Homosexuality: What Does God Think?

Sunday, August 25th, 2013
Sermon Series: Deadly Pressures

Deadly PleasuresDownload Sermon Outline

Sermon Manuscript . . .

What Does God Think of Homosexuals?

Romans 1:24-32 and other biblical texts

 

What does God think of homosexuals? What does the Lord Jesus think of homosexuals? He loves them–that’s right, God loves homosexuals. Like all unbelievers, they do matter to God. They are people made in His image. Yet like all of those who suppress His truth, like all rebellious sinners, like all humans, God hates their sin.

Over the last five decades, the issue of homosexuality has grown into an explosive concern in the world and in the Church. In our world, attitudes toward homosexuality began to change subtly with the 1948 Kinsey Report, which depicted some 5% to 10% of the population as primarily homosexual in orientation. But rather than seeing heterosexuality and homosexuality as polar opposites, the report placed every man, woman and child at some point on the continuum between exclusive heterosexuality and exclusive homosexuality. In other words, this respected report gave the impression that everyone was somewhere between heterosexual and homosexual–all of us supposedly had a little of both.

At this time, some began to think differently about homosexuality, but it was still considered a shameful lifestyle hidden in secret. Then in 1973, the laws that had categorized homosexual acts as crimes were recommended for repeal, raising the question that if something is no longer a crime, then it is also no longer sinful. Even the American Psychiatric Association deleted homosexuality from its official Diagnostic Manual in 1973. By implication, their action declared homosexuality to be a normal form of sexual life.

From the mid-70’s, all the way into this decade, we have watched homosexuals come out of the closet to demand their rights–their gay rights. No longer considered a moral aberration by the media, they became activists who lobbied, protested, paraded and fought for their rights as a minority group. From 1973 to today, they had transformed public thinking about homosexuality from a group of immoral sinners deserving wrath, to a minority group deserving rights.

Today homosexuality again is in the media and in our thoughts as we have pondered the implications of legally embracing transgender bathrooms, gays being allowed in the military, homosexual literature in schools, same sex marriages, and calling homosexuality sin now being considered hate speech. All the while this is happening in the world, some dramatic changes have occurred in the Church concerning homosexuals and homosexuality–terms which I am using today to describe both gay men and women, homosexuals and lesbians.

For those of us in the Church, in the last fifty years we have seen denomination after denomination redefine what the Bible says about homosexuality in order not only to be more what they call, accepting, tolerating and caring–but also so that those denominations might be able to ordain homosexuals as their pastors. Along with those dramatic, church-splitting moves, liberal theologians seeking to be in harmony with current secular thinking have compromised the Scriptures to diminish any connection between the biblical condemnation of homosexuality and current homosexual practices.

As a result of the pressure of the world and the poor decisions of the Church, this issue has become a controversial and hostile issue. Therefore, it’s crucial we understand what God thinks about homosexuality–not what I think, or the media espouses, or denominations teach, but what our God thinks about this issue. You can only know what God declares about homosexuals and homosexuality by looking at His Word in a normal, literal fashion, interpreting what’s being said in its context in the original language. So let’s do that as today we begin a four-week series on four great moral pressures.

First, I am not concerned about this church being hateful or cruel to any among us who are struggling with their sexual orientation. I say that to your credit–you are a loving people, and will accept any fellow-sinner who wants to repent of sin and follow Christ. Anyone who is honestly looking for a genuine relationship with Christ is welcome here–ex-cons, any minority, homosexuals and Raiders fans.

In our society, there is a lot of gay-bashing going on, but I don’t hear much of that here. I praise God for that. There is an amazing sensitivity and compassion all throughout this church for men and women who want to follow Christ, even though they’re neck deep in sexual confusion.

Plus, I am not going to take the time to correct all the innumerable false views or wrong biblical interpretations made today about homosexuality. I believe a literal look at the key texts will be sufficient for God to direct our minds and speak to our hearts to convince us what He thinks and how we should respond. Today, I am concerned about two crucial facts . . .

#1  I am concerned you be convinced as to what the Word of God says about homosexuality, so that as you leave here today you’ll be able to stand strong against the unbelievable pressure, insults and labels that will be thrown at you for following God’s will found in God’s Word.

#2  That you will be able to find the balance between speaking the truth, but doing it in love. I’m praying after today you’ll be able to build bridges with homosexuals, but also be able to draw lines with homosexuality. And let me warn those of you who may be indifferent to or ignorant of this issue this morning, and state with confidence–you are going to get dragged into this controversy whether you like it or not. You are going to get pulled in, and you’d better be ready.

All over our country, in every city, the homosexual community is protesting any and all who would oppose their agenda. Reverse discrimination is on the increase, and soon the right to speak the truth on this issue may be taken away. You ask, “Why the hostility?” One simple reason–because many churches like ours, and many visible ministries refuse to accept the position that the homosexual lifestyle is an acceptable alternative to the creation model authored and designed by God . . . the model where a man and woman join together in a permanent bond of marriage, which forms the basis for having children, enjoying family life, and demonstrating the character of God.

This design God clearly defined right at the start in Genesis 1:27 and 2:24–there God said before the fall (turn to Genesis 1), “And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to His wife and they shall become one flesh.” Notice three facts about God’s divine model for marriage and sexual intimacy from these verses.

#1  God Designed Marriage and Sexual Intimacy for a Man and a Woman–for a male and a female

God is the one who created sexual intimacy. It was not fabricated by the porn industry–God designed it. And in Genesis 2:18, God says it is not good for man to be alone, so He created women (and all the men said, “AMEN!”). And in Genesis 2:24, God commanded the man and woman to leave their parents’ home and cleave, literally glue themselves in commitment to each other, and become one flesh–which is more than just a physical act, but a total joining of a couple . . . intimacy being the consummation of their commitment.

And God said in 1:31–all of this, marriage between a man and woman and sexual intimacy in that marriage was dirty, shameful, bizarre. No–it was all very good. Marriage between a man and woman is God’s best and only plan. The second fact is . . .

#2  God Designed Sexual Intimacy for Marriage

Marriage was perfectly designed by God–His best. And sexual intimacy was designed only for marriage. That’s why over 25 times in the New Testament God says sexual intimacy outside His design–outside of marriage between a man and a woman is wrong. It is a sin with terrible consequences.

But sexual intimacy inside of marriage, Hebrews 13:4 says that sexual intercourse is honorable, which means that sexual intimacy in marriage between a man and woman is not only okayed by God, but has His joyous approval. God designed the whole program–it is only sinfulness and a sick culture that cheapens God’s plan of that which is to be the greatest joy between a husband and wife. The third fact is . . .

#3  God Designed Sexual Intimacy in Marriage for the Enjoyment of the Partner

First Corinthians 7:1 to 5 tell us the wife’s body does not belong to her, but to her husband–and the husband’s body belongs to his wife. They are for each other not for themselves–this is so strong. God actually commands couples four times in these verses to make sure they are engaging in regular mutual intimacy–to not do so is sin.

And the Bible warns us any violation of God’s design will bring serious consequences. In Psalm 32, 51, 1 Thessalonians 4:1 to 8, I Corinthians 5 and 6 God tells us sex outside of God’s design will scar you forever, force God’s vengeance upon you, and cause you to sin against your own body, your spouse or your future mate and so much more. So if marriage between a husband and wife is God’s model, what does God think of homosexuality?

First  What Does God Say about Homosexuality?

Turn back to Genesis 19:5 and let’s begin by looking at the first recorded case of homosexuality in the Bible. Most of you know the tragedy of Sodom and Gomorrah. This tale of terror begins in chapter 18, when Jesus and two angels visit Abraham and tell him in verse 20, “The outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah is indeed great and their sin is exceedingly grave.”

Abraham, who knows His nephew Lot lives in Sodom, asks if God will destroy righteous along with the wicked? Will God destroy the city if there are 50 righteous left, then 45, 30, 20, finally if there are only ten righteous left? God said He would not destroy it on account of ten. Then in chapter 19, the angels arrive in Sodom and are immediately greeted at the city gates by city elder Lot, who quickly hides them away in his house.

But read what happens in verse 4 and 5, “Before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, surrounded the house, both young and old, all the people from every quarter; 5 and they called to Lot and said to him, ‘Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may have relations with them.’” The NIV says, “’Bring them out so we can have sex with them.’” The KJV says, “’Bring them out unto us, that we may know them.’”

But gay propagandists tell us, what Moses really meant was, “Bring them out so we can get acquainted with them.” They want us to believe that the sin here is the sin of being inhospitable–the people of the city were not being sensitive to Lot and his guests by demanding they be able to get to know them better. They justify this weak argument by reminding us the word “homosexual” is not used to describe the men of Sodom, nor does the Bible say God judged Sodom for homosexual behavior, and the Hebrew word for “know” doesn’t always mean sexual intimacy, but just getting to know someone intimately. But consider this . . .

1-The Lord sent the angels to Sodom to confirm an “exceedingly grave sin” that Abraham understood would involve incredible judgment.

2-If chapter 19 is really about lack of respect for hospitality, then to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah with fire and brimstone, turning the area into the Dead Sea, seems a little bit harsh for just being rude?

3-Lot’s offer of his two daughters in verse 8 doesn’t make sense unless there are sexual issues at stake.

4-The Hebrew word for “know” is used six times in Genesis to refer to sexual intercourse. It is the same word used in verse 8, when Lot describes his daughters as virgins, never having had relations with a man.

5-Jude 7 clearly states, the sin of Sodom was gross sexual immorality, “going after strange flesh”, and 2 Peter 2:7 speaks of Sodom as showing “the sensual conduct of unprincipled men”. This could hardly be a description for a mere lack of hospitality, since the word sensual used by Peter means sexual debauchery.

6-ALL ancient historians write that the sin of Sodom was sexual perversion, and the city name, Sodom, became a byword to describe homosexual behavior, or sodomy.

Turn to Judges 19–there is an interesting parallel to the Sodom story. Here everyone in Israel did what was right in their own eyes, and their society fell apart religiously and morally. Chapter 19 is one of two true stories at the end of Judges to convince us how low Israel had sunk.

A man and his concubine stay the night in Gibeah in an old man’s house,, and the men of the city come to the house and in verse 22 say to the old man, “Bring out the man who came into your house that we may have relations with him.” The old man refuses, but offers his own daughter and concubine instead–but the men of the city want the man.

So in verse 25 the old man seizes his concubine and brought her out to them, and they raped her and abused her all night. Clearly the intention of the men of the city was a homosexual relationship, just as we found in Sodom, which in both places was considered wicked.

Turn to Leviticus chapter 18 and see what God clearly states in His law concerning homosexual behavior. In the context of sexual relationships, Leviticus 18:22 says, “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.” Abomination comes from the Hebrew root to hate or abhor. Homosexuality is detestable and hated by God. God hates the practice of homosexuality–He abhors it.

Then two chapters later in Leviticus 20:13 God says, “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.” God hates the sin of homosexuality so greatly, that to commit an act of homosexuality under the Old Testament economy meant you were to be put to death.

That last phrase, “their bloodguiltiness is upon them,” means when someone commits a homosexual act they know they are guilty and therefore deserve death, and their blood/their lost life was their own choice. Therefore God said put them to death.

As with every passage dealing with homosexuality, there are some who wrongly say these laws refer to homosexual acts that were committed in chorus with the worship of Canannite cults, but were not directed at loving homosexual acts between Israelites. But both chapters are addressed to the sons of Israel, with no conditional statements given in either case. In fact, God says in 18:24, these homosexual acts which God has forbidden is the very behavior which defiled all the other nations, telling us clearly that homosexuality is not to be practiced by God’s children at all.

There are also some who say Christians are no longer under the Law, and can ignore the Levitical commands. But there’s a significant difference between the dietary or ceremonial laws which were abolished (in the New Testament, such as Acts 10), and the moral laws which the New Testament reaffirms and apply today (according to Matthew 5:27 to 28). Violation of ceremonial laws brought uncleanness, but breaking the moral law was punishable by death. So look at what God says in the New Testament.

Turn now to the New Testament in 1 Corinthians 6:9 to 11, for here God tells us how a homosexual can become a Christian–wanna know? In order to begin his argument for the importance of remaining sexually pure, God through Paul says this. “Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you.”

God is saying no practicing homosexual is a Christian–period. God warns us here, don’t be deceived, don’t be fooled, no practicing homosexual–even those gays who call themselves Christians, can ever have true assurance of salvation as long as they continue to practice homosexual behavior. God is speaking here. God says, although homosexuality can be forgiven and cleansed just as any other sin, no unrepentant homosexual will enter heaven, just as no unrepentant fornicator, idolater, adulterer, effeminate person, thief, covetous person, drunkard, reviler or swindler will enter heaven.

All people are born in sin, and each of us has tendencies and temptations toward certain sins. But no one is born homosexual, any more than anyone is born a thief or murderer. A person who becomes a habitual and unrepentant thief, adulterer or homosexual does so by his own choice.

Again, those who would distort the Scripture say the use of homosexual here only refers to those who behave as prostitutes, but not to those who have a monogamous partnership of homosexual love. But again, the term homosexual used here means a male or female who practices homosexuality. Nor does the word homosexual here refer to prostitutes, but to anyone who is practicing homosexuality.

It’s the same with 1 Timothy 1:9 to 10, “Realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers 10 and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching.” Homosexual behavior is contrary to sound teaching–it is unhealthy.

Now turn to Romans 1:18-32, one of the clearest texts about homosexuality–in verse 18 God says, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness.” God says all unbelievers are suppressing the truth of God that He made obvious through all of creation, so God’s wrath is continually being expressed against ungodliness against all who live as if God doesn’t exist.

In verses 19 to 23, God tells us the three ways unbelievers show ungodliness–for men repress the truth, reject the truth and finally they replace the truth with philosophies, godless theories, self worship, idol worship and formal religion.

Then in verses 24 to 32, God shows us three ways He works against unrighteousness of men–against all who seek to live without rules. Verses 24, 26 and 28 mark God’s three steps against unrighteousness. This is how God judges sin right now–HE IS judging unbelievers. It says three times God gave them over. That means God shows His wrath by punishing sin with more sin.

The first swat of punishment comes in verse 24, where God gives people over to impurity. Like the sexual revolution of the 60’s, people live for sex. They abuse God’s good gift of sexual intimacy by ignoring God’s design of sex only in biblical marriage. The second swat of punishment comes in verse 26, where God gives people over to degrading passions. Like the coming out of the closet of the 70’s and 80’s, people give themselves to sexual perversion, distorting a good gift of God into an evil aberration.

What exactly was the aberration?  Verse 26) for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27) 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. What is God saying here?

Females who are usually more reluctant than males to participate in sexual perversion, stopped their natural sexual expression as God designed it and gave into abnormal sexual expression. The word function here means sexual intimacy. And men burned with an out of control lust for other men, instead of for females. God says homosexuality is a degrading passion that is unnatural, involving an out of control lust and indecent acts, resulting in physical consequences, receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.

The third and final swat of punishment is in verse 28, when people’s minds become so depraved they can’t tell the difference between evil and good–right or wrong. It becomes so bad that verse 32 says, not only do they live as if there are no rules, but they give hearty approval to those who practice unrighteousness—applause. Could that be describing our day? So what do compromising theologians say about Romans 1?

• Paul was imposing Jewish custom on the Roman world, where homosexuality was an accepted practice

• Or they say homosexuality was a punishment for idolatrous sin, but not a sin itself

• Or they say what the Bible is talking about is heterosexuals who sin when they participate in homosexual behavior, but Romans 1 is not referring to homosexuals who practice homosexual activity

Yet clearly, Paul uses terms that refer to the created order, not custom, saying just as man has reversed God’s created order in worship, he’s also rejected God’s created order in sexuality, overturning God’s design, which is evil–telling us clearly that homosexuality is both a movement away from God’s design, and from holiness.

There are only two ways one can neutralize the biblical witness against homosexual behavior–by gross misinterpretation, or denying the authority of the Word. Obviously any attempt at all to justify homosexuality is both futile and wicked, but to attempt to justify it on biblical grounds is not only futile but obscene. To do so is to make God a liar, and to love what He hates and justify what He condemns. But you say, “You make this sound so simple, but from what I understand, homosexuality is very complex.”

Second  What Contributes to the Decline into Homosexuality?

Why is there homosexuality? According to the Word of God, it’s because men and women choose to repress the truth, they reject it and replace it, and as they do God gives them over to sexual impurity, then homosexuality. Homosexuality is a righteous judgment of God for rebellion. Homosexuality is caused by a choice to sin.

Why is there homosexuality? Because men and women who are fully and completely responsible for their actions chose to sin—period (and by the way, that’s true of all sin . . . drunkenness, drugs, gluttony, lying, gambling, looting, being a Raiders fan–all sin).

But is that all? Aren’t there some circumstances that contribute to someone becoming a homosexual? Yes, there are. But be clear on this, the first cause is the individual’s choice to sin, a choice they are fully responsible for before God. But like many sins, there are also some other factors that contribute to and encourage someone to make that choice to sin. But in no way do these excuse those who practice homosexuality from their guilt because of their sin. What are the factors that encourage homosexual behavior? Three factors make almost every researcher’s list.

1-Rampant sexual promiscuity

Just as Romans lays out for us, and just as we have seen in the last five decades in the US, rampant sexual sin like we saw begin in the 60’s that ultimately leads to the perversion of normal sexual practices and degrading passions like homosexuality. Whenever a culture turns its back on God’s design for marriage and sexuality, it will lead to homosexuality. And . . .

2-Destructive family dynamics

In almost every situation where someone becomes a homosexual, there is clear evidence of a distant, absent, raging, or disapproving father, or a shaming, smothering, controlling, or emotionally crippling mother–and quite often both dynamics are present. Almost all homosexuals come from a home where Dad’s and Mom’s roles were not in harmony with God’s clear design for male and female as described in the Bible. When those roles are distorted or reversed, it encourages homosexual behavior in children.

Almost all children go through some gender confusion at one point in their lives, but when you put them into a home of distorted or reversed roles, you’re adding fuel to the fire of homosexual lust. One other contributing factor is . . .

3-Early homosexual experiences with a trusted friend or family member

At an early age, when there is some normal gender confusion anyway, or when there is some raging, shaming, or smothering going on in the home–if at that very impressionable time, Uncle Frank or Cousin Eddy, or Phil from down the street expose that young person to a homosexual experience, that too has been found to be a powerful contributing factor to someone becoming a homosexual. Not always, nor is it an excuse, but it too adds fuel to the fire of choosing to sin against God in this manner.

Add to that pressure, the strong desire to escape from a raging father or a smothering mother. Add to that the addictive power of sex, and you can see how that would make the choice to rebel against God’s clear design all the easier. Then . . .

Third  Why is There Confusion about Homosexuality Today?

Understand when I say homosexuality, I’m not referring to thin, effeminate looking men, or masculine looking women. Nor am I talking about the weird desires for the same sex that disturb people occasionally, or the gender confusion that occurs at some time with most people. When I refer to homosexuality, I am addressing those who regularly practice homosexual behavior.

“What is that?” you ask. The gay propagandist would like to portray homosexual behavior as a normal alternative to heterosexual behavior. They want you to think of homosexuals as mature, monogamous, loving individuals who form and maintain long lasting, stable relationships in society. And some homosexuals do just that–but very, very, very FEW. The institute for sex research says that “at most, only 10% of the homosexual community could be called relatively monogamous.” Which, just doing the math unmasks the alarming percentage of homosexuals who are promiscuous–90%, and I mean promiscuous.

Many of you have heard the stats–it’s not uncommon for homosexuals to have several hundred partners over the course of their lifetime, sometimes 300 in a single year–many of these encounters will be with total strangers, in bath houses, public restrooms and backrooms of gay bars. And if you care to hear the chilling truth about what really goes on in homosexual encounters, you won’t hear it from gay activists, and you won’t hear it from those who are spreading the propaganda about the 10% of homosexual couples who stay together, as if that justified their behavior.

Dr. Stanley Montiff is a medical expert who has studied and researched homosexual behavior, and has written a book on the kind of behavior homosexuals regularly engage in with each other. Though the book has disappeared off Amazon, he gives some accurate and chilling statistics about all homosexuals. The same stats can be confirmed by Dr. Paul Cameron.

100% of homosexuals engage in oral sex

93% in rectal sex

92% engage in oral-rectal behavior

29% urinate on each other

17% are involved in eating, rubbing on or rolling in human feces

There is more, and far worse, but I cannot speak it here–Ephesians 5:12. If you need more evidence of this perversion, then talk to a biblically solid police officer about the behavior and crimes of homosexuals. This is happening regularly with homosexuals. You never hear about this type of behavior from the gay activists who want this kind of lifestyle widely accepted as a perfectly acceptable alternative to God’s design, and to me it’s not only frightening, but maliciously deceptive.

No wonder there is an epidemic of sexually transmitted diseases in the homosexual community. No wonder Aids is still an issue. No wonder the operative word in the gay community is fear–first of being found out by straight friends and family members. Second, fear of this kind of lifestyle being exposed. Third, fear of disease, and fourth and finally, fear of retribution from God on the Day of Judgment.

Listen, the lifestyle of gays is anything but gay. But in spite of all of this, in recent years the leaders in the gay activist movement have organized themselves into one of the most powerful and effective political and public relations campaigns ever launched on mankind. And if you have any doubts as to what the homosexual agenda is, refer to the book, After the Ball, written by two homosexual leaders, Kirk and Madson, as they spell out the homosexual agenda so there is no doubt as to what they are up to. They list twelve planks in the homosexual platform. Let me give you four of the most severe.

First  They write they are determined to convince everybody in our land that homosexuality is an inborn involuntary condition–no choices are made whatsoever, and hence no value judgment should be offered or received by anybody. They’re born gay—it’s in their genetic make-up.

But God says it’s the result of His wrath in punishing sin with sin, giving men and women over to their degrading passions. It is uncontrolled lust that enslaves homosexuals, not their genetic make-up. A favorite analogy of gays is being born right-handed or left-handed–no one makes that choice, they say. There is no value judgment, no morality involved–nothing is right, nothing is wrong. You go with what you are born with. But God says they are without excuse for their choices.

Second  In the homosexual platform, the sex lives and love lives of homosexuals and heterosexuals are similar and conventional. That is just plain deceptive.

Third plank  Gays should be given the right to marry, adopt children and establish themselves as families.

Fourth, and here’s the kicker  Any resistance to the homosexual agenda will be viewed as racism. According to their platform, if you don’t support the homosexual agenda today, you’re a narrow, intolerant, bigoted Nazi. They know exactly what they want, and they say in the book they will do whatever they must to secure it. And what will motivate them? What will keep their movement alive for them? They ask themselves rhetorically, “Will it be patriotism?” No “Will it be from benevolent love?” No. It will be “from rage. Tomorrow the real gay revolution begins,” they write.

Men and women of FBC, it is a new day. Don’t be confused by the media or by the politics. We must allow God and His Word to be our guide alone! So what should we do?

#4  How Should Christians Respond to God’s Truth about Homosexuality?

First  We must speak the truth and be willing to draw lines

As you leave here today, you need to be able to say this to anyone supporting the gay agenda–that God does love them, but the idea of restructuring the family in the ways they are suggesting is not a plan any true Christ-follower can support. And it’s not because we are homophobic. And it’s not because we are intolerant or callused.

It is because those of us who are genuine Christians have learned to trust the wisdom of God found in the Word of God. We’ve learned the hard way that His Word alone describes the only way to relate to each other in society as friends, spouses, parents and children. The Bible is very clear about what God’s design is for sexual expression, for how marriages are to function, and how the family structure is put into place.

And courageous Christ-followers of FBC–someday soon you are going to have to declare yourself on this explosive issue, and you’ll probably pay a price for doing so. I hope today’s study will prepare you for your moment of truth so you can come out of your Christian closet and declare your convictions as to where you stand on this matter.

We at FBC want to be a place for all people to come to turn from their sin in repentance, and depend on Christ alone by faith. We’re to be a community to spread God’s grace, but we must also be a community that stands up for truth. Not in a pompous way, but in a courageous manner–in a manner that says, ”Look, we’ve learned that Gods ways are higher than our ways,  His wisdom exceeds our wisdom, His plan for our family structures, our marital practices and our sexual behavior is a righteous, honorable plan that not only pleases Him, but blesses us. And any other plan will only damage people and destroy our society.

People of FBC, do you trust the will of God as it is revealed in the Bible? To the point where you are ready to take a stand and say, “I have to declare myself as being a Christ follower who understands marriage, family structures and sexual expression are only to be engaged in according to how the Bible describes them”? Are you ready to make that stand? If you make that stand, it might result in being called an intolerant bigot or a homophobic Nazi.

Obviously, there isn’t anyone here who wants to deny anyone in our society their basic civil rights–but sooner or later there is a line that is crossed where the homosexual agenda begins to be pushed on the rest of society in ways that are inappropriate, unbiblical and immoral.

Second  We must speak the truth in love and be willing to build bridges

God is asking you in this church to build bridges and to draw lines–and that is very difficult. Scripture is clear about our need as a church to open our arms and our hearts to sinners of all kinds who are seeking forgiveness in Christ, and build bridges to people who are looking for help and hope. We are to be a place for those who want out of their homosexual lifestyle and walk toward Jesus and moral purity. We are a church that builds bridges to strugglers of all kinds.

But at the same time with kind courage, we are going to have to draw moral lines and warn those who would attempt to superimpose their immoral agenda on the rest of us who are seeking to live according to God’s Word. We need to stand up and stand firm, and we are going to say no further for the simple reason that it is not God’s way, not God’s Word.

My prediction is when we start drawing these lines, it is only going to start adding fuel to the rage that already exists in the homosexual camp. And I think that accusations and insults are going to come flying out at you, and maybe this church–charges of bigotry, lack of love and intolerance. At that point, there will be an enormous temptation for us to cave in, or even worse, to return insult for insult and escalate the rhetoric and become hateful. But that is not God’s way either. Remember Jesus Himself said, “Never return evil for evil.” It’s not His way. Speak the truth, but speak it in love. Manifest kind courage, not caustic self-righteousness.

So there is the challenge for us as a church. I know this congregation can do it. I think we can build bridges to the homosexual and stand for truth against homosexuality, and repeat the stand of Martin Luther—“Here I stand, I cannot do otherwise, God help me!”

Never forget, just because you are not a homosexual doesn’t give you a pass into heaven–you are bound for Hell as well. All sin, just one sin, will cast you into Hell forever. That is why we cannot save ourselves. That is why we are no better before God than a homosexual. And that is why anyone wanting to turn from their sin, be it complaining and ingratitude, or homosexuality and lesbianism is welcome here. Why?

FBC is a colossal collection of moral foul-ups. That’s who we are–I mean, you’re in bad company! If the truth were known, even though we all look pretty good, we have people here today who have done some pretty serious fouling up in their lives, and most of us have lost some battles just this week with pride, greed, profanity, drinking, pornography, insensitivity in relationships, self-righteousness, pride, manipulations, lying, complaints–you name it. You are sitting in bad company–welcome!

But you should know something about us–we’re absolutely committed to exposing our sins before a loving and holy God. We don’t deny that they exist, and we don’t rationalize them away, and we don’t justify them and say we’re problem free. We are absolutely committed to exposing our sins to a loving and forgiving God, and we’re committed to asking for forgiveness for the sins we have committed on the basis of what Jesus did for us on the cross. And we are committed to walking in moral purity by the power of the Holy Spirit, arm-in-arm with brothers and sisters who are on that same walk, in obedience to God, whether we feel like it or not.

And what we say to homosexuals, “While you have the opportunity, come out of the shadows, expose who you are to a loving and holy God. Turn from your sin, depend on Christ alone, ask for forgiveness from Christ and link arms with us as we walk in the direction of moral purity. We want you to say with Paul in 1 Corinthians 6:11, ‘And 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 in the Spirit of our God.’”

I know you have a lot more questions. Parents, you are wondering what to say to your children. We have people on the patio today to help you. Please talk with them, and get the help you need. Let’s pray.

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ABOUT THIS PREACHER

Chris is the teaching pastor at Faith Bible Church - Murrieta.
Deadly Pressures
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1 Peter
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