No one argues that Jesus raised the bar for what comprises holy living. For example, Matthew 5:21–22 (NASB95) reads:
21 “You have heard that the ancients were told, ‘You shall not commit murder’ and ‘Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.’ 22 “But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing,’ shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell.
As another example, Matthew 5:27–28 (NASB95) reads:
27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery’; 28 but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
With Jesus raising the bar as a lens through which to interpret the Bible, how does one consider the scope of a passage like 1 Corinthians 6:9–10? This passage reads (NASB95):
9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.
Should passages like Matthew 7:12-13, 21-23 become more real? These read:
Matthew 7:12–13 (NASB95) – 12 “In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets. 13 “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it.
Matthew 7:21–23 (NASB95) – 21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23 “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’
These thoughts came to me as I considered the overall moral decay of quite a bit of America.