What Should We Think of Homosexuality?

What Should We Think of Homosexuality?

Richard Hollerman

On nearly every radio newscast and in nearly every daily newspaper, we read of some notice about the issue of homosexuality. Numerous states have now accepted what they label “homosexual marriage,” although most of these have come from judicial decisions rather than popular vote. The practice of homosexuality—whether male or female—is not going away but most definitely is spreading.  In light of this current phenomenon, we need to address this directly and truthfully.

Additionally, we know that there must be countless men and women who struggle with their sexuality and wonder how they can break free from a dominating passion that has overcome their life.  They long to have a clear conscience before God and escape from the shame of homosexuality that has overtaken their life..

Contemporary Language

In the past, homosexual relations were referred to in various ways. A homosexual was popularly known as a bugger and homosexuality was known as buggery. Homosexuals were known as fags and sodomy was known as “a crime against nature.”  Homosexuals were sometimes called queers—since their sexual orientation was “queer” or strange and unnatural. Ironically, some radical sodomites today take pride in calling themselves “queers”! The first half of American history nearly everyone recognized this practice as a sin against both nature and God and every state in the United States recognized it as a criminal offense.

Presently, the language has somewhat changed. Certain terms are considered offensive and derogatory, especially since popular culture has come to accept this sin as acceptable or at least allowable.  Currently, male homosexuals are often called gays. Formerly, “gay” was defined as “showing or characterized by cheerfulness and lighthearted excitement; merry.” It referred to “bright or lively, esp. in color.”  Sadly, this perfectly acceptable term has come to mean, “of, relating to, or having a sexual orientation to persons of the same sex. While “gay” can refer to a male homosexual, in some cases it can refer to both male and female. Frequently, a female homosexual is called a lesbian, a term that originally meant “a native or inhabitant of Lesbos,” a island off the coast of Greece that had a reputation for female homosexuality.

Traditionally, the term for homosexuality is sodomy, although sometimes this is reserved for the sexual activity of males rather than females. We think that the term is the better choice for all homosexuals. Most are aware that sodomy comes from the sin of Sodom, a sin that resulted in God’s destruction of the city because of their unrepentant practice of homosexuality (cf. Genesis 19).

One other point of language would be the contemporary issue of “homosexual marriage” (which we prefer not to call “gay marriage” since the relationship is neither “gay” nor is it a “marriage”). Marriage is defined as “the social institution under which a man and woman live as husband and wife by legal or religious commitments.” You will notice that marriage consists of two people (not three or more) who become “husband and wife” (not two same-sex partners).

Sodomite activists have coined a term that has no real meaning—“homosexual marriage.” It may be a homosexual “union” or “relationship” but it can’t be a “marriage” since marriage requires two people of the opposite gender. Even when “marriage” is used in regard to an adulterous relationship (cf. Matthew 19:9; Mark 10:11-12; Luke 16:18), it still consists of a man and a woman. Let’s not deceive ourselves by seeking to legitimize an immoral relationship by calling it a “marriage”!

Background of the Present American View of Homosexuality

We should recognize the fact that homosexuality has been practiced since ancient times, including the culture of Greece and Rome—in the era before and after Christ. It stretches back to 2000 BC and the city of Sodom near the Dead Sea of Palestine. In America, sodomy was universally condemned, rejected, and considered illegal and criminal until the past century. Toward the latter part of the twentieth century, one state after another canceled their laws against homosexual sex.

Then an event occurred that changed the way homosexuality was practiced in this country.  The Stonewall riots occurred when New York homosexuals took to the streets to object to police action against them. This occurred on “June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York City. They are widely considered to constitute the single most important event leading to the gay liberation movement and the modern fight for gay and lesbian rights in the United States.” Interestingly, the Stonewall Inn was owned by the mafia! This location catered to an assortment of deviates: “drag queens, representatives of a newly self-aware transgender community, effeminate young men, male prostitutes, and homeless youth.” By 1970, Gay Pride parades came to New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles—and this has continued to the present day.

Social movements encouraged a ferment that led to these riots. The black civil rights movement, the sexual revolution, the feminist movement, and anti-war demonstrations served as a seedbed for the overturning of traditional views in society. We can see that in less than fifty years, the view of America has turned upside down. Public acceptance of sodomy has come to the point that “on June 1, 2009, President Barack Obama declared June 2009 Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month”! All state laws against the practice of sodomy have been canceled and more than 50 percent of the public accept what has become known as “homosexual marriage”! A social revolution of immense proportions has occurred!

Why the Rise of Modern Homosexuality?

Various factors have come together to provide a fertile ground for the rise, practice, and promotion of homosexuality and other deviant sexual expressions.

        1.    Moral Relativism. Just what does this mean?  Relativism is the belief that “conceptions of truth and moral values are not absolute but are relative to the persons or groups holding them.” Especially through the propagation of this mistaken and evil view, particularly prominent in liberal colleges and universities, people are left without a moral compass. They are left to themselves to choose the wrong rather than the right. In reality, God is the basis of moral standards and this finds expression in His infallible Word (2 Timothy 3:15-17).

 

        2.    Humanism. This is “a system of thought centering on humans and their values, capacities, and worth and de-emphasizing religious beliefs.” This view promotes the idea that moral decisions are merely dependent on the person himself, apart from any outside influence or moral standards. It is the reigning view in America and many other countries today. We can see that if one discards any guidance from God or spiritual values, then any sexual activity or perversion is permissible.

 

        3.    Freedom. Some people have the false and dangerous idea that the pursuit of liberty allows them to be free from all moral constraints and ethical standards. They conclude that since America promotes civil liberty, the nation should also promote moral “freedom” which is not really freedom but moral bondage.

 

        4.    Pluralism. What does this mean?  Pluralism is “a condition in which numerous distinct ethnic, religious, or cultural groups are present and tolerated within a society,” and “the belief that such a condition is desirable or socially beneficial.” We can see how this perverted view overthrows all moral and religious standards of right and wrong. God says that not all religions are “created equal,” that not all morality or immorality is equally acceptable, and not all social systems and activities are equally permissible. God condemns wrongful moral choices with these vivid words: “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight” (Isaiah 5:20-21).

 

        5.    New views on sexuality. Especially since the 1960s, known as “the decade of sexual immorality,” America has been on a downward plunge of sexual excess and sexual saturation. In many ways, immorality has not only been tolerated, but promoted and applauded.  Fornication has become expected among young people, and “living together” in an unmarried state has become accepted by society. “No fault divorce” is the rule rather than “adultery only” of the previous generation.  Most families have experienced at least one divorce and remarriage. Graphic and written pornography has become acceptable and internet pornography is epidemic. Adultery (having an “affair”) has become more permissible and acceptable. If many forms of sexual immorality have become acceptable to society, it is not surprising that the perversion of homosexuality has grown in acceptance by an increasingly decadent public.

 

        6.    Hedonism. Hedonism refers to “the doctrine that pleasures or happiness is the highest good,” or “devotion to pleasure and self-gratification as a way of life.” As you can imagine, this is a reigning perspective among a growing number of people in America and in other countries.  It is reflected in Jesus’ parable of the rich man who built larger barns and said, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your east, eat, drink and be merry” (Luke 12:19). It is the same philosophy Paul mentions: “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die” (1 Corinthians 15:32b). If this is the controlling perspective of life, then we are free to engage in all kinds of sexual pleasure and immorality—including sodomy.

 

        7.    Personal Rights. America is dominated with the desire to assure our “personal rights.” Thus we hear of the personal right to do this or that, including nearly any and every kind of sexual activity. It is vital to remember that God does extend “rights” but this would be the “right” to do right and not wrong, the “right” to obey Him and not to follow the flesh. In the context of our discussion, we have the “right” to engage in pure and wholesome sex, according to God’s plan and purpose, and we don’t have the right to disobey Him or follow our own selfish, fleshly ways.

 

        8.    Entertainment.  Hollywood has promoted all forms of sinful sexuality, including fornication, divorce and remarriage, adultery, and homosexuality. Music, with its sexual and rebellious themes and beat, has also contributed to the liberalizing trend reflected in the masses.

 

        9.    Government. Civil government—including federal, state, and local government—is also responsible for permitting evil and deviant forms of sexuality. It is the government that opened the door to pornography. It is the government that opened the door to liberal divorce laws and permission to remarry. It is the government that has protected homosexual expressions and practice. And it is the government that is permitting the bizarre practice of “homosexual marriage.”

 

        10. Public Education. Public schools (elementary, secondary, college and university), where the majority of the teachers and professors are liberal (morally, socially, and religiously), also foster sexual immorality. Some schools, such as those in California, even require homosexual education from elementary through high school! Other school districts are following. If college professors teach their students that homosexual relations and orientations are entirely acceptable and natural to those “born” with sodomite propensities, it is not surprising that a growing number of those students also have warped ideas about what is moral and immoral.

What Does God Call Homosexuality?

Since God created sexuality in the beginning, we should be intensely concerned about what he reveals to be His will on this burning topic. All other human ideas mean nothing compared to God’s view as revealed in the Bible.  Let’s examine some of the passages in both the Old and New Testaments that bear on this topic.

Genesis 18. When God revealed His intention to destroy the city of Sodom because of their homosexual perversion, He said, “The outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah is indeed great, and their sin is exceedingly grave” (v. 20). God clearly considers this practice to be sinful. Those who practice this sin in Sodom are considered “wicked” (vv. 23, 25).

Genesis 19. When God sent two angels to Sodom to rescue Lot and his family from the coming judgment, we find additional terms. The sodomites of Sodom wanted to commit homosexual rape on these two visitors (whom we know were angels) (v. 5), but Lot pleaded, “Please, my brothers, do not act wickedly” (v. 7). Lot knew that this sin was a wicked manifestation of rebellion. The angels said to Lot and his family, “Their outcry has become so great before the LORD that the LORD has sent us to destroy it” (v. 13).

Leviticus 18:22. In the Law of God given through Moses, we read: “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.” God considers this sin to be an “abomination” to him.

Leviticus 20:13. Also in the Mosaic Law, we read: “If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltiness is upon them.” Here we see that committing a homosexual act was entirely unacceptable. It called for the death penalty. The law of Christ doesn’t carry over this same penalty to sodomites of our day, but the fact that capital punishment was required, does show how serious this perversion was. It was a “detestable act.”

Deuteronomy 23:18. Here we have reference to a sodomite prostitute: “You shall not bring the hire of a harlot or the wages of a dog [male homosexual] into the house of the LORD your God for any votive offering, for both of these are an abomination to the LORD your God.” Again, we see that sodomy is an “abomination” to God.

Romans 1:26-27. This is probably the most graphic condemnation of the sin of homosexuality (both male and female). Notice the terms employed: “God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.”  God recognized both male and female homosexuality to involve “degrading passions.” It is “unnatural” for it opposes the natural function of sexuality.  Homosexuality involves “indecent” acts and the practice involves “error.” There is no “sweeping under the rug” or covering over the gross and wicked nature of homosexual acts committed between members of the same sex.

1 Corinthians 6:9-11. Paul in this passage says that those who are “effeminate” or “homosexuals” “will not inherit the kingdom of God.”  One writer comments, “Both expressions refer to homosexuals, the first to those who allow themselves to be used unnaturally and the second to active homosexuals.” Another reference states: “The Greek words malakos and arsenokoites refer specifically to male homosexuals . . . but in Romans 1:26-27 Paul also refers to female homosexuals, and to homosexual desires or ‘passions.’ Both passages . . . refer  to homosexuality in general.”

1 Timothy 1:8-11. Here Paul mentions “homosexuals” and says that the law against this sin and others is for those who are “lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane.” He says that this is “contrary to sound teaching.”

2 Peter 2:6-9. There is much here that deals with the sins of Sodom. Here we read that God “condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction” because of the sin of homosexuality (and other sins) (v. 6). He made these cities “an example to those who would live ungodly lives thereafter.” This would not only include the cesspools of homosexuality like New York and San Francisco but any place where this immorality is found.

The text also says that Lot was “oppressed by the sensual conduct of unprincipled men” (v. 7). Are we “oppressed” by the rampant homosexuality demonstrated in the sodomite parades (that can include even a million people!)? We also read that he was “tormented day after day by their lawless deeds” (v. 8). Yes, he was foolish and sinful to live in close proximity to such utter wickedness, but we do get an insight here of what God thinks of this sin. As the writer concludes his discussion of this sin, he says that God is able “to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment” (v. 9).

Jude 7. This is another reference to the sins of “Sodom and Gomorrah.” They “indulged in gross immorality” (porneia) and “went after strange flesh,” and “are exhibited as an example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire.” To have sex with one of the same gender is to go after “strange” flesh! Again we see that eternal fire is reserved for one who comes to the judgment without repentance.

Additional Passages. It is important to realize that one Greek word, porneia, is found again and again in Scripture. It is a term that means “illicit sexual intercourse.” The term means “fornication” or “illicit sexual intercourse in general.” Another source says that porneia means “prostitution, unchastity, fornication, of every kind of unlawful sexual intercourse.” A final authority says that the term means “fornication, prostitution” and pornos means “a fornicator.”

We can understand that when Scripture speaks of “fornication” or “sexual immorality” (porneia) generally it would include not only sex between the genders but also immoral sex within the genders—e.g., male and female homosexuality.

Let’s just give a brief summary of homosexual fornication. The Lord Jesus says that “from within, out of the heart of men, proceed . . . fornications” (Mark 7:21). The sins that he mentions are “evil things” that “proceed from within and defile the man” (v. 23). How many homosexuals realize that this sin is an “evil thing” that “defiles” him or her? In Galatians 5, Paul says that “immorality” (porneia), including homosexuality, is a “deed of the flesh” that cause one to “not inherit the kingdom of God” (vv. 19-21).

Scripture also says that “no immoral [porneia] or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God” (Ephesians 5:5). This would include homosexual fornication (porneia). Paul says to “consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality” for “because of these things” “the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience” (Colossians 3:5-6).

The apostle also says, “This is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality”—and this would include homosexuality. He says that it includes “lustful passion” and “God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification” (1 Thessalonians 4:3-8). The Hebrew writer additionally says that “fornicators and adulterers God will judge” (13:4). In Revelation—the final book of the New Testament—we notice that “immoral persons” (porneia) will “have their part” “in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death” (21:8). Obviously, this would include unrepentant homosexuals.

Why is Homosexuality Sinful?

We know that we can’t rely on entertainment, the educational institutions, or even the government to lead us aright on the nature of this sin. But God, our Creator, has the right to be heard on why homosexuality must be shunned and renounced.

At the very beginning, we read of the creation of mankind: “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (Genesis 1:27). It is significant that God created a man (Adam) and a woman (Eve) and neither two men or two women! He created Adam and Eve—not Adam and Bruce or Eve and Mary!

“Then the LORD God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him’” (Genesis 2:18). This means that the woman complements the man. She was “suitable” for him. God knew what was good and right and fit: for a man to relate to a woman. This is what is considered natural. Another arrangement (two men or two women) is considered unnatural, against nature. We noticed that when a woman departs from this divine arrangement, she “exchanges the natural function for that which is unnatural,” and when a man relates to another man, he abandons “the natural function of the woman” and “burns in his desire for another man,” thereby committing “indecent acts” (cf. Romans 1:26-27).

Even without divine Scripture, the unbiased person can easily see that it is “natural” for a man to relate to a woman, whereas it is “unnatural” for a man to relate to a man (or a woman to sexually relate to another woman). Unless a person has been “brainwashed” by the media and other humanistic influences, he can see that nature does speak to the whole issue of homosexuality! Even the physical body speaks to this issue. The male body is perfectly suited to sexually relate to the female body, whereas it is totally unnatural for two men to relate to each other sexually and the same is true of two women.

Surely the fact that the sin of homosexuality is unnatural is a clear indication that God is displeased with this relationship. It perverts or distorts what God created man and woman to be and do. We have no right to change what God has created us to be. We have no right to choose our own way and follow our own sexual passions that are opposed to God’s right and pure way. Scripture says that “marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled,” for “fornicators and adulterers God will judge” (Hebrews 13:4). The marriage bed is defiled when fornication and adultery is committed. It perverts, distorts, or alters the marriage relationship. This would include the perversion of homosexuality as well as adultery.

One of the clearest indications that homosexuality is unnatural and a moral perversion is found in God’s relationship with Israel in the Old Testament. There we see that God is pictured as having Israel as His “wife” (cf. Ezekiel 16:8-14, 59-60; Jeremiah 31:32; Isaiah 54:5; Hosea 2:7; Joel 1:8). In the New Testament, Christ is viewed as being “married” to His bride, the “church” (His body) (cf. John 3:29; Matthew 9:15; Mark 2:19-20; Luke 5:34-35; 2 Corinthians 11:2; Revelation 19:7-9; 21:2, 9-10; 22:17).

Paul writes to his fellow-believers, “I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin” (2 Corinthians 11:2b). In an even fuller account, Paul describes our relationship with Christ in Ephesians 5:22-33. Here the husband loves his wife, just as Christ loves the church (v. 25). Likewise, the wife submits to and respects her husband, just as the body of Christ submits to and respects Christ Jesus (vv. 22-24, 33). This beautiful analogy is entirely destroyed or perverted if we were to insert two men or two women into the passage.

Paul Warns Against Sexual Immorality

One long section that deals with sexual immorality and morality in general would be 1 Corinthians 6:12-20. Notice how some of what Paul writes about this immorality (porneia) relates directly to homosexuality.

1.    “The body is not for immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body” (v. 13b). The Christian’s physical body is not meant to engage in sexual immorality, include a sodomite relationship.

 

2.    “Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ?” (v. 15a). How can we take the members of our physical body and engage in homosexual lust and immoral behavior? How would we dare to drag “members of Christ” into a perverse and unnatural sexual encounter?

 

3.    “Flee immorality. . . . The immoral man sins against his own body” (v. 18). We are not to participate in immoral sex (porneia) for, if we do this, we sin against our own body!

 

4.    “Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?” (v. 19). Can you imagine the perversion involved in taking the temple of God and the Holy Spirit and defiling it with homosexual activities? Furthermore, we don’t even belong to ourselves—but to God. How can I take God’s possession (my body) and defile it with another man (and the same would be true of a woman using her body immorality with another woman)?

 

5.    You have been bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body” (v. 20). Jesus Christ died and paid for you with His own blood. You belong to Him. How can I take what belongs to Him and use it in an immoral manner?  Can we honestly say that we “glorify God” in our body when engaged in a homosexual relationship?

These are weighty reasons why we are not able to take our body and engage in any sexual immorality (whether fornication, adultery, homosexuality, or any other). Homosexuality simply doesn’t agree with who we are in Christ.

Biblical Consequences of Homosexuality

Let’s notice some of the results of homosexuality (both male and female). We refer to the guilt of sodomy that remains unforgiven. We’ll include not only direct references to the sin but also references to “fornication” (porneia) which can include homosexuality.

            1.    The homosexual will receive “the due penalty of their error” (Romans 1:27).

            2.    The homosexual is “worthy of death”—spiritual death (Romans 1:26-27 with v. 32).

            3.    The homosexual will have the “judgment of God” to fall on him as he practices sodomite relationships (Romans 1:26-27 with 2:2).

            4.    The homosexual will not “inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Galatians 5:19-21; Ephesians 5:5).

            5.    The homosexual will receive “the wrath of God” as a “son of disobedience” (Ephesians 5:5-6; Colossians 3:5-6).

            6.    The homosexual will be judged (or condemned) by God (Hebrews 13:4).

            7.    The homosexual will be kept “under punishment for the day of judgment” (2 Peter 2:9).

            8.    The homosexual will undergo “the punishment of eternal fire” (Jude 7).

            9.    The homosexual who is unforgiven will have his or her part in the eternal lake of fire (Revelation 21:8).

Is there Any Way to Escape these Dreadful Results of the Sin of Homosexuality?

The Scriptures not only present the truth about the dreadful results of sin (above) but also gives the “good news” (gospel) of forgiveness through Christ! God is not only interested in the sin of homosexuality, but the dozens—even hundreds—of other sins that plague the human race.  All sin will bring spiritual death (Romans 6:23), separation from God (Isaiah 59:2), His holy and just wrath (Romans 1:18), and the lake of fire (Revelation 21:8). Our gracious God wants to deliver you and me from this dreadful fate! “The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

But if you are a male or female homosexual, you may ask, “Can I really be forgiven of this sin? Is there any way out? Could God’s love somehow save me from this dreadful condition?”  How can I ever escape from the shame of having engaged in homosexual sex?

Indeed, the good news is that God has delivered others and He can deliver you! After pointing out that the homosexual cannot enter the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9-10), Paul refers to some homosexuals who were able to break free from this condemnation. He says, “Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God” (v. 11). This means that some of his readers at Corinth had practiced sodomy in the past, but through Christ they had been “washed” from their sins (Acts 22:16; 1 John 1:7). They had been “sanctified”—or separated from their former life and from sin (Ephesians 5:26; Hebrews 13:12; 1 Corinthians 1:2). They had been “justified” or declared righteous before God (Romans 5:1). They had not remained in their sin but had received the full forgiveness of our loving God!

“But how can this be done?” you may ask. The answer is profound. God so loved us that He gave His only Son to deal with the sin problem (John 3:16). This is why Paul could say, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (1 Timothy 1:15). How could he “save” or deliver sinners from sin, death, and hell? Jesus stepped into our earthly situation as a perfect, sinless man as well as God (Philippians 2:5-8) and was willing to take our sins on Himself and die for those sins: “Christ Jesus died for our sins” by giving Himself “for our sins” (1 Corinthians 15:3; Galatians 1:4). “He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross” (1 Peter 2:24) and “died for our sins once for all” (3:18). Not only did Jesus die for our sins, but God raised Him from the dead so that He might be a risen. living Savior (1 Corinthians 15:4, 20-22; Romans 10:9).

How Can We Receive Forgiveness?

If Jesus died and rose again, how does this great event benefit us? As in all gifts, the receiver must be willing to take or receive the gift that the giver offers. Likewise, we must be willing to accept the gift of salvation and forgiveness from God. Further, Christ is then able to “accept” us if we are willing to repent of our sins and trust in His sin-bearing sacrifice on the cross (Romans 15:7). We must repent and turn from our sins (Acts 2:38; 3:19; 20:21) and place our faith in God through Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord (John 3:14-18, 36; 5:24; 6:47; Acts 16:31). We then express this repentant attitude and trustful faith by being baptized into Christ and His death (Romans 6:3-5; Galatians 3:26-27; Colossians 2:11-13). God then accepts us as He accepted the Corinthians (whom we noticed above).

This means that your homosexuality may be forgiven by our gracious God—and every other sin we have committed. If we are honest, we must admit that we have committed thousands of sins in our lifetime (if only three sins a day, this would be 1,000 a year!) and all of this needs to be forgiven since no sin can enter heaven!

Wouldn’t you say that this is “good news”—a message of grace and forgiveness, a message of love and acceptance! God doesn’t want you to continue to push the sin of sodomy under the proverbial rug. Instead, he wants you to openly admit that you have committed unnatural, perverse, and evil sexual immorality. God declares, “He who conceals his transgressions [sins] will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion” (Proverbs 28:13). Notice that one must be willing to confess his sins as well as forsake or renounce those sins.

You may say, “But I don’t think that I have the strength and ability to lay aside a sin that has dominated my life for years!” Although there have been some unbelievers who have broken away from this life-dominating sin, others have found it to be quite difficult. Again, there is good news! God knows your struggles and the power that this unnatural and evil passion has had on your life. Our God of grace and wisdom wouldn’t just forgive you for your past sins and then leave you alone to wrestle with this sin in an ongoing basis. No, He has made provision for overcoming this bondage.

He has made the opportunity for solving this dilemma by giving us the Holy Spirit to actually live within us! The Bible says that when one comes to Christ by repenting of his sins and being baptized into Christ, God gives a special “gift” to us—the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38). The follower of Jesus (the Christian) has been given the Spirit to live in him (Romans 5:5) and to enable him to “put to death the deeds of the body” through His power (Romans 8:13; cf. vv. 1-17, 26). After coming to Christ and being forgiven, we are “strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man” (Ephesians 3:16). With the indwelling Holy Spirit, you will be able to say “no” to a homosexual orientation, a homosexual lust, and homosexual acts. “Walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16).

Paul describes how you can be free from the lurid pull of homosexual lust.  He says, “When you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness” (Romans 6:20). Then he goes on to say, “Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death” (v. 21). In other words, there were really no positive benefits from the sin that used to characterize our life in the past. If you have been involved in homosexuality, you can testify that there are no good results that have come from your immoral relationships. Not at all! Only lustful pleasure that will have an end. It will result in spiritual death! He says that his readers now (as forgiven believers) are “ashamed” of the sins that they formerly were involved in—such as fornication, adultery, and homosexuality. Hopefully, you also are “ashamed” of the “shameful” relationships indulged in during your homosexual days or immoral days.

What do you want—life or death? Morality or immorality? Purity or defilement? A clean conscience or a defiled conscience? God can provide the answer through Christ Jesus our Lord!

How Can I Possibly Overcome this Sin?

We know that this sexual orientation and passion can be difficult to break and overcome. But we must not forget that God exists and He is more interested in your purity than even you are!  He has not left us helpless or hopeless in having victory over this deviant mindset and behavior. Paul assures us, “I can do all things through Him [Christ] who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). Anything that is God’s revealed will can be obeyed, providing we avail ourselves of His provisions and help.

The world may say that you cannot change and that your “genes” will determine your orientation. This deterministic perspective is irrational, unscientific, mistaken, and simply wrong. God doesn’t force a person to sin—He allows each person to determine whether or not he will do right or wrong. What can we do?

First, as we noticed before, it is important that you be saved and thereby God will give you His Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38-39; 5:32). The Spirit will help you to “put to death the deeds of the body so that you may live” (Romans 8:13). Thus, you are not dependent on your own strength alone, but you will have the power of God through the Holy Spirit who dwells in you.

Second, it is vital that you fill your mind and heart with God’s Word.  We read this prayer: “Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You” (Psalm 119:11).  We need to read the Scriptures, meditate on the Scriptures, study the Scriptures, and commit the Scriptures to our heart (cf. Acts 17:11; Psalm 1:1-3; 2 Timothy 2:15; John 15:7). When we have God’s thoughts in our own heart, our own perspective in life will be a reflection of God’s will and perfect character.

Third, you need to “renew your mind” according to the will of God (Romans 12:2). No longer are you to fill your mind with evil, sexual, and perverse thoughts, but you must fill your heart with good and pure thoughts. Paul says, “Whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things” (Philippians 4:8). Don’t dwell on or even think of the impure, unclean, sexual, perverse, and wicked things that may have consumed you in the past.

Fourth, devote your body completely to the Lord. “Present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship” (Romans 12:1).  Put to death the sinful actions of the body (Romans 8:13). Completely cut off sinful bodily actions and relationships: “Do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not be master over you. . .” (Romans 6:12-14a). Now you must use your body in pure and righteous causes: “Just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification” (Romans 12:19).

Fifth, renounce all other practices and relationships that would drag you down and defeat you. If you are overcome with one sin, this will lead to a defeat in other areas of life. This is why you must overcome and master such sins as smoking, smokeless tobacco, drinking, drugs, pornography, immodest clothes, junk foods, and anything else that would compromise your stand. Pursue holiness in every area of your life—for only those who are holy will see God in heaven (Hebrews 12:14). Only the pure in heart will be with God (Matthew 5:8; cf. 1 Timothy 1:5).

Sixth, cut yourself completely off from all contact with your former friends, particularly the ones who were also involved in this same sin in the past. There may be a time when you can reach out to them with the gospel, but we urge you to separate yourself from them completely now. Don’t be deceived about this! “Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company corrupts good morals’” (1 Corinthians 15:33). Paul urges us, “Do not be bound together with unbelievers” (2 Corinthians 6:14a). “The companion of fools will suffer harm” (Proverbs 13:20b). If you were to continue such contact, surely you would be dragged down and suffer spiritual harm!

Seventh, surround yourself with as many pure and wholesome men and women as possible.  Instead of pulling you down, they will help to pull you up! “He who walks with wise men will be wise” (Proverbs 13:20a). Paul writes to his young associate, Timothy: “Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart” (2 Timothy 2:22). Notice that this young man was to be involved with these positive attitudes  and he was to do so with other devoted believers—“those who call on the Lord from a pure heart”! We know that it is difficult to find other loving, holy, zealous, devoted, and Scriptural believers, but seek with all of your heart to find other members of the body of Christ and find sweet fellowship with them.

With these thoughts in mind, you will be able to conquer impure thoughts and break free from compromising friendships. Begin a new life as a new creation of God (2 Corinthians 5:17) and you will be something different from what you used to be in your homosexual days!

You Must Make a Choice

You have learned enough to have the truth of God before you. Maybe you haven’t seen this truth clearly before. The Bible says that in your inner being and heart, you have known that this sexual activity and relationship is sinful and against God’s will (Romans 1:18-20; 2:12-16). But now you have seen the blazing light of God’s truth that has been given to you through His word of truth—and you have no excuse for your past actions. You now need to come to Christ in sorrow and deep repentance and place your faith in God by coming to Christ Jesus for His spiritual and moral cleansing. You can be clean! Your mind and heart and spirit can be “washed” from all guilt when you seek forgiveness. He will renew your mind when you come to Him for His power and help (Romans 12:1; Philippians 4:8).

But please don’t make excuses! As you know, many homosexuals are unwilling to admit their guilt. They hide it or, if they get tired of this, they “come out of the closet” and may even become public advocates of “homosexual rights” and a guilt-free homosexual lifestyle. Some go so far as to advocate or enter a relationship that they dishonestly call a “homosexual marriage.” Please don’t fall into this trap of Satan!  “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap” (Galatians 6:7). Be willing to cast away all hypocrisy, all justification, and all brazen promotion of this wicked perversion. Humble yourself and beg God for His mercy through Jesus Christ. He will welcome you with open arms!

Endnotes

1. The American Heritage College Dictionary.
2. Ibid.
3. Ibid.
4. Ibid.
5. Random House Webster’s College Dictionary.
6. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stonewall_riots
7. Ibid.
8. Ibid. We would not suggest that concern for African Americans or opposition to the war were necessarily wrong, but that the social unrest that occurred at the time served to open liberal ideas about all phases of sexuality—whether it be homosexuality, adultery, fornication, or pornography.
9. Ibid.
10. The American Heritage College Dictionary.
11. Ibid.
12. Ibid.
13. Random House Webster’s College Dictionary.
14. Ryrie Study Bible.
15. ESV Study Bible.
16. Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words.
17. Joseph Henry Thayer, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament.
18. Bauer, Arndt, Gingrich, Danker, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament.
19. Liddell and Scott’s Greek-English Lexicon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

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