It seems that everywhere one looks these days there is some aspect of the homosexual agenda being touted. ‘Pride’ marches, lobbying for same-sex marriage, same-sex family benefits in law, same-sex adoption rights, mayoral proclamations, etc. The modern entertainment industry seems increasingly to be dominated by this issue. Increasingly, the homosexual constituency is influencing decisions at every level of society. Parallel to this is an increasing disregard for what God says on the subject – even among Christians!
Not a surprise.
The rise of the homosexual ‘agenda’ is not something that surprises the Bible-believer. The Lord Jesus warns in no uncertain terms that the days leading up to His return will be marked by the same character that was seen prior to Noah’s flood and the destruction of Sodom in the days of Lot.
“And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed [them] all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.” (Luke 17:26-30 AV)
Sodomy was part of the wickedness and violence (Genesis 6:5) that filled the earth prior to the flood. Evidently, there was something inherently sinful in the kind of marriages referred to above. There is room in the Saviour’s words for the suggestion that homosexual marriage may even have been seen! The fact that Ham, Noah’s son, engaged in this sin after the flood, indicates his exposure to it prior to the flood. This was the sin that occasioned the destruction the cities of the plain, one of which was Sodom, in an act of direct Divine judgement. This world will again resemble Sodom and Gomorrah before the Saviour returns.
Homosexuality is sin.
God’s Law. All sin is defined by the Law of God. “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” (1John 3:4 AV) God’s law cannot be amended, redefined or repealed by human laws. The Law of God is summarized in the ten commandments and the seventh commandment: “Thou shalt not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14 AV), comprehensively deals with all forms of sexual sin. Sodomy is just one of the many sexual sins defined by this commandment.
God’s standard for human behaviour. The Divine standard for human sexual behaviour is outlined clearly in Scripture. It is to occur between one man and one woman in the context of monogamous marriage.
“But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” (Mark 10:6-9 AV)
Every sexual act that occurs outside those parameters is sin. A Biblical definition of sin includes the activity of the imagination and mind in this area too. “But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” (Matthew 5:28 AV)
Strong words. The Bible has strong things to say about homosexuality. It is an aggravated sin in God’s eyes. This is seen in the terms that God uses to describe it: abomination, Leviticus 18:22, 20:13; vile affections and that which is against nature, Romans 1:26.
God’s abhorrence of this sin is further seen in the action He has historically taken against outbreaks of this activity. The Flood in Noah’s day, the destruction of Sodom, and the pouring out of wrath of God at Christ’s return are all clearly linked by Scripture to the sin of homosexuality among others. There is a sobering reference to the destruction of the city of Sodom in the Epistle of Jude:
“Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.” (Jude 1:7 AV)
The fiery ruin of that city on account of its sin was just the beginning of eternal fire! The sinners from Sodom are presently in the fires of everlasting punishment and will be there eternally. This is of course the fate of every sinner who rejects Christ and His gospel.
Homosexuality is a chief sin and it is presented in Scripture as appearing when God’s restraints upon man’s behaviour have been removed. “…God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves…God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature…” (Romans 1:24, 26 AV) Homosexual behaviour appears in a society as a climax to a course of defiance of God’s law in many other areas of life. It is a sin that is at the pinnacle of man’s wickedness usually appearing in company with promiscuity and other forms of immorality and wickedness.
Not the unpardonable sin! There is a comfort in knowing that sodomy is a sin because the gospel has the answer to it! There is only one sin that God will not pardon – blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, Matthew 12:31-32. Of course, those who continue to pursue any sin in defiance of God’s warnings in the gospel, are in grave danger of committing that unpardonable sin, and will cross the line of God’s patience and mercy.
There were members of the Church at Corinth that had previously been involved in this lifestyle but had been cleansed from it and had obviously abandoned the wickedness of their previous lifestyle when they became members of the Church of Christ.
“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11 AV)
God has stated unequivocally His intention to punish sodomy, yet IF sodomy is NOT a sin (as some allege) but is an irreversible, fatalistic tendency then the sinner who commits it is entirely without hope of ever being delivered from the wrath of God! However, taking the Biblical view that sodomy IS a sin, means that the gospel of Jesus of Christ provides a complete remedy and wonderful hope for the homosexual who trusts Christ for pardon and salvation.
A worse sin than the sins of Sodom. Jesus said: “And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.” (Matthew 11:23-24 AV) Those who reject the gospel message after being privileged to hear it, commit a sin that is worse in the eyes of God than the sins of Sodom! What an eternity faces those who hear the gospel and refuse it!
Arguments used to justify sodomy
- I was born this way! To some extent this is true of all sin! All mankind is born in sin and has inherited a depraved nature which is the source of all our sin. “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man…” the Saviour said. (Matthew 15:19-20 AV) However, it is not possible to make our natural disposition toward sin an excuse for indulging it. A depraved nature is an explanation for sin but it is not an excuse for sin. God holds men accountable for every breach of His Law even though they are fully inclined by nature to break it.
- I can do as I please! True. The right to self-determination is often claimed today. Human rights legislation in the developed world has enshrined the right to express ‘sexual orientation’ in various ways. But every sinner must be prepared for the consequences of exercising this right. There is a contingent ‘right’ to be considered – the just consequences of pleasing self in a way that offends God. Pleasing self by indulging sin will bring a harvest of misery in time and eternity. The Divinely-given right to appear before the bar of Divine justice and experience God’s justice in eternity is inalienable for all mankind. No human court or decision on the part of the sinner can remove that right. “And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.” (Romans 1:27 AV) Whatever pleasure sin brings it is only for a season and inevitably it produces misery. “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” (Proverbs 16:25 AV)
Homophobic! Often any kind of Biblical witness against the error and consequences of defying God by living in a homosexual lifestyle is greeted with loud protests of “Homophobia!” Although the term is meaningless in itself – a ‘fear of the same’ – it has come to mean a fear of homosexuality and is usually used in a derogatory way. It is a wise thing to fear sin! It is a wise and proper thing to fear the God whose law outlaws homosexuality. “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” (Hebrews 10:31 AV) It is a fear of this sin, and its consequences in the life of those who practise it, and in the society that condones it that motivates a Biblical protest against it. It is gospel compassion that warns men against all sin and the threatened wrath of God upon it.
- Biblical arguments. Some will argue that the Bible is not clear on the matter of homosexual behaviour. Others dismiss Old Testament statements as if they were a relic of some irrelevant, ignorant age and have been replaced by a more tolerant New Testament theology. The argument is sometimes advanced that true Christianity must tolerate everything in loving indulgent way. Still others go so far in their abuse of Scripture to try to advance a Scriptural case advocating sodomy and producing ‘evidence’ of it in the lives of God’s people in Scripture. All of this is an entirely misguided and erroneous view of Scripture. The God the New Testament is the God of the Old. Christ and His Apostles taught nothing that was contrary to the Law of God or the standards of truth and righteousness laid down in the Old Testament. The Bible is a single book with a single message and rightly interpreted presents a single view of sin and the sinner.
What should the Christian do?
- It is not the Christian’s place to implement the Divine sentence of punishment on this sin. It is never right to take the administration of God’s law out of His hands into our own – beyond the responsibility He has given to the Church to discipline those within its ranks for sin1. A kind of Christian vigilantism, for want of a better term, is entirely wrong. It is God’s business to punish sin and He will do so in perfect justice.
- Pity. The Christian is to manifest gospel pity and compassion for all sinners who destroy themselves with their sin. Homosexuality is a particularly destructive behaviour – physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and eternally – and the heart of the Christian is to be moved with deep, Christ-like pity for these sinners.
- Warn of God’s judgement. The threat of Divine wrath is real and is to be stated clearly. Warning of the consequences of defying God must be published.
- Offer the hope of the gospel. Even the most militant homosexual may be saved by the grace of God. There is gospel hope for them to save them from the guilt of this sin and give them victory over it in their life as a believer. The Christian can have absolute confidence in the offer of the gospel to whosever! The Lord Jesus said, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15 AV)
- Separate. The Christian has an obligation to keep themselves pure from every form of sin. The Bible-believer must have nothing to do with anything that advances or endorses sin, be it sodomy or any other sin. As Abraham maintained a pilgrim life of faith separated from Sodom – even though his nephew was there – so must we maintain a walk with God separated from the world and its ways.
What should the homosexual do?
- Recognize this practice as sinful. The recognition of our personal guilt before God is a critical first step in experiencing God’s forgiveness and salvation. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” (Romans 3:23 AV)
- Repent and believe the gospel. The gospel message reveals the wrath of God on sin; that Christ died in the place of every guilty sinner who will trust Him; that there is the experience of the new birth that is necessary to be delivered from the power of sin and prepare sinners for heaven. Jesus Christ “ is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.” (Hebrews 7:25 AV) His salvation is freely offered to the penitent.
- Live a holy life as a born-again child of God, fighting the sins of the flesh and living to please Christ. We are saved to serve God and live to please Him. This means fighting sin and temptation; resisting the sinful ways of the world; and actively pursuing a course of obedience of God’s word.
1 An example of Church discipline of sexual sin in one of its members is found in 1 Corinthians 5:1-13. The Church had the responsibility to dis-fellowship the man and separate from him, declaring the nature of the evil that he had committed. Beyond this it had no authority from God to act against him.
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