There has been a lot of controversy over the past generation over whether Jesus the Messiah calls Christians to be accepting of those who are involved in homosexual acts or not. And whether a Christian wants to or not, he or she is forced to answer the question of “what is the Biblical response to those participating in or supporting those who are involved in same-sex acts.” Likewise, but more magnified, every teacher, elder, and pastor is required to respond to the same question. Some have tried to pass the question off by saying it’s up to every individual to determine within themselves what is right and what is wrong. Others have taken a bold claim on one side or the other and stated plainly whether they believe it is right or wrong. For those in the world, they will clearly state that it’s up to them to decide and I’ll talk more on that in a moment. However, for the Christian, you do not get to decide. Why? 

For Christians, God’s Word says we were purchased with His blood and that we now belong to Him. This is made clear in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 as it says,

“Don’t you know that your body is a sanctuary of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought at a price. Therefore, glorify God in your body.” 

As the Apostle Paul states over and over, he is a slave (“doulos” in Greek) of Christ (ref. Romans 1:1). Because when we profess Christ as Lord, He becomes our Master and therefore we must obey Him. This is why Jesus said in John 14:21,

The one who has My commands and keeps them is the one who loves Me. And the one who loves Me will be loved by My Father.

As children of God, our goal as mentioned above in 1 Cor. 6 is to glorify God in our bodies. Each day we are being made more and more like Christ, being conformed to the image of His Son. Do we still sin? Yes! However, Hebrews 10:26-27 says, 

For if we deliberately sin after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a terrifying expectation of judgment and the fury of a fire about to consume the adversaries.” 

Therefore, each day we are to wake up waging war against our sins and to strive to be pleasing to God. Yes, we are saved by faith alone as it says in Ephesians 2:8, but if we are saved since we now belong to Him, we will desire to be pleasing to Him. If we don’t walk in a manner that He desires, then instead of being in His light we are in darkness. Look at what 1 John 1:6 says,

If we say, “We have fellowship with Him,” yet we walk in darkness, we are lying and are not practicing the truth.

For most Christians, if they are honest, they haven’t read the entire Bible. So, all they have to refer to is bits and pieces of what they have seen or what others have quoted. The point being is, if you google verses to say we should be accepting of homosexuality then of course, you will find verses that seem to say we should be accepting of sin. For example, two phrases that are often used is “love your enemies” or “do not judge”. However, in order to understand the true meaning of these phrases or extracts from verses and to not misinterpret God’s Word, we must dig deeper into His Word to see it in its entirety. Instead of accepting the cases where people just quote one or two verses by themselves or extract phrases from them, we need to look at the context and the original meaning of those passages.

First, we need to understand we have a Father who desires for us to be pleasing to Him and therefore as needed He will correct us (ref. Heb 12:9-11). Though many have a problem understanding this, because they think salvation is just for them personally, not knowing we were actually saved to be used for His glory. It says in Ephesians 1:13-14,  

When you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and when you believed in Him, you were also sealed with the promised Holy Spirit. He is the down payment of our inheritance, for the redemption of the possession, to the praise of His glory.” 

Notice the last part, to the praise of His glory. The goal then is, that the Father out of love corrects us so that we will be pleasing to Him. In the same way, He says we should also correct one another because we should desire to see our brothers and sisters be successful in Christ. Look at Galatians 6:1,

Brothers, if someone is caught in any wrongdoing, you who are spiritual should restore such a person with a gentle spirit, watching out for yourselves so you also won’t be tempted.

Now look even more closely at 1 Corinthians 5:9-11 as it says, 

I wrote to you in a letter not to associate with sexually immoral people. I did not mean the immoral people of this world or the greedy and swindlers or idolaters; otherwise you would have to leave the world. But now I am writing you not to associate with anyone who claims to be a believer who is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or verbally abusive, a drunkard or a swindler. Do not even eat with such a person.” 

Here we see two things. First, if a brother in Christ or sister is in sin, and they are not willing to repent and turn back from that sin, then we are to treat them as unbelievers. This is because if someone is a Christian then they will desire to be in fellowship and the separation from the body of Christ will actually drive them back. Yes, I have seen this work in more than one instance. However, we often worry about people not coming back. Well, God answers that too. In John 2:19 it says,

They went out from us, but they did not belong to us; for if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us. However, they went out so that it might be made clear that none of them belongs to us.”

You see, we have to understand that God is always purifying His church. The purpose is that love is pure and true, and true love desires to see one succeed in their walk with God, and frankly, sometimes true love hurts. Just like a surgeon who cares about you won’t recommend that you leave the tumor in that will kill you, but instead surgically remove it. Yes, it will hurt, but in the long term, the benefit is worth the temporary pain. 

Now on to the last part, which we see at the end of 1 Corinthians 5:9-11 and that is that Paul did not tell us to not associate with the world. As Christians, we must be in the world. Jesus prayed to the Father and said in John 17:15-19, 

I am not praying that You take them out of the world but that You protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, as I am not of the world. Sanctify them by the truth; Your word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. I sanctify Myself for them, so they also may be sanctified by the truth.” 

Our purpose as seen in Matthew 5:14-16 is to be a light in the world, so we can’t go into seclusion. However, notice also that Jesus asks for protection over us and He says that we are not of this world. You see, we are sojourners, just passing through, and while we are here we are to be witnesses. How though can we be witnesses if we blend right in and don’t stand out? This is why He also prays that we are sanctified. We must be set apart from the darkness in order to be a light. Now if we truly desire to follow Christ, we will know what darkness is. In fact, we are shown the differences and a contrast is given to us very clearly. It is a comparison between what we all used to be, to what we are now. In 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 it says, 

Don’t you know that the unrighteous will not inherit God’s kingdom? Do not be deceived: No sexually immoral people, idolaters, adulterers, or anyone practicing homosexuality, no thieves, greedy people, drunkards, verbally abusive people, or swindlers will inherit God’s kingdom. And some of you used to be like this. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” 

Notice two things here. First, in verse 11, it says some of us used to be like this. As Christians, we are made a new creation (ref. 2 Cor. 5:17), which means we no longer walk in the ways we did before. Now notice it says in verse 10, that those who walk in these things will not inherit the Kingdom of God. Christians, how can we be loving if we support these sins and allow people to walk into eternal hell? And if we believe in eternal life, we have to believe in an eternal hell. That is because in Matthew 25:46 it says,

“And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

The same Greek word for eternal is used in both instances in this verse, so if you change one, you change the other. Hell is eternal and will be a very painful place. Do we really want to embrace our life so much now, that we are willing to let people face eternal hell, just so we can be liked and avoid confrontation? You see, if we really, truly love people, we will tell them what they are doing is wrong out of love, because we want to see them gain eternal life and we also desire to see our Father in Heaven get the glory. 

Some will use Matthew 7:1 as a way to get out of this confrontation because it says, “Do not judge, so that you won’t be judged.” However, they do not understand the context. The Pharisees were saying the Gentiles couldn’t receive salvation, so Jesus was saying it isn’t up to us to determine who can and can’t receive salvation. Telling those in sin that they are wrong isn’t putting ourselves in the judge’s seat; we are actually leaving God in the seat because His Word says in 1 Corinthians 6:10 who will not inherit the Kingdom. The question then is, will we be a light, or will we conform to the world and lead not only the world to eternal destruction, but also ourselves? 

This part is for those who are in the world and living in sin, whether it be homosexuality, drunkenness, hate, adultery, murder, unbelief in Christ, idolatry, lying, or anything opposed to God’s Word, as it says in Revelation 21:8, 

“But the cowards, unbelievers, vile, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars —their share will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” 

God holds all sin accountable and you will face His judgment according to His word, not mine. However, we do not want you to face that judgement and I pray fervently that you don’t. Rather I want you to see the grace and love that Christ poured out on the cross, and know that even though we all deserved wrath, He came and done this beautiful thing on our behalf. Because of that, I plead with you to turn from your sins and to repent of them, and to submit to Him as Lord. He will never forsake you and He is a Father who upholds His word. He is a loving God, but also a just God that must hold sin accountable. Therefore, I want you to embrace Christ who has paid the penalty and appeased God’s wrath for those who truly turn to Him.

However, I do not want you to believe that God is okay with your sin, as He is clearly not, just like He isn’t pleased with mine or anyone else’s. For me to leave you with that thought would be unloving. Instead, I want you to see God for who He says He is. So please read through this again and then grab God’s Word and look at all of it and read it and let Him speak to you. Compare what I have said to the Bible and see for yourself that I do not intend to mislead you.

For those who claim to know Christ and yet have been accepting of the world’s ways, you must repent and truly turn to Him. In Revelation chapter 2, He addresses a church that is not rejecting the teaching and ways that defile the temple and He tells them that if they do not repent, He is going to deal with them accordingly. It says in 2:19-23 

I know your works —your love, faithfulness, service, and endurance. Your last works are greater than the first. But I have this against you: You tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and teaches and deceives My slaves to commit sexual immorality and to eat meat sacrificed to idols. I gave her time to repent, but she does not want to repent of her sexual immorality. Look! I will throw her into a sickbed and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of her practices. I will kill her children with the plague. Then all the churches will know that I am the One who examines minds and hearts, and I will give to each of you according to your works.” 

He also says in Revelation 3:15, “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish that you were cold or hot.” You see, Christ is not going to allow people who just profess His name, but do not keep His word to enter Heaven. In fact, He says it would be better if you were one or the other, cold or hot towards Him. Why? Because at least atheists know they are atheists, but for Christians who claim to believe, but live in hypocrisy, they do not know it and are even harder to convince than the one who is lost. I leave you with someone questions: out of the verses below, which group do you fall in? Are you on the narrow path or wide? Are you holding to the true Word of God or a false prophet? Are you going to enter Heaven or be tossed out? Ask God to show you, as you read these verses from Matthew 7:13- 23, 

Enter through the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the road is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who go through it. How narrow is the gate and difficult the road that leads to life, and few find it. “Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravaging wolves. You’ll recognize them by their fruit. Are grapes gathered from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? In the same way, every good tree produces good fruit, but a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can’t produce bad fruit; neither can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 So you’ll recognize them by their fruit. “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord!’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of My Father in heaven. On that day many will say to Me, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in Your name, drive out demons in Your name, and do many miracles in Your name?’ Then I will announce to them, ‘I never knew you! Depart from Me, you lawbreakers!” 

In closing, we are all in one group or the other, but as James says in James 2:19 “You believe that God is one; you do well. The demons also believe —and they shudder.” Therefore, we don’t want to deceive ourselves by saying believing is enough. Because if we believe then our lives will show it.

Brothers and Sisters in Christ Jesus, I know these things are painful and yes, it means that we will not be accepted by many, but people’s eternal lives are on the line. Our Savior surely was hated by many and He says in John 15:18, “If the world hates you, understand that it hated Me before it hated you.” So we must know we will not be popular by any means if we stand firm in His word. In 1 John 2:15-17 it also says, 

Do not love the world or the things that belong to the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in Him. For everything that belongs to the world —the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride in one’s lifestyle —is not from the Father, but is from the world. And the world with its lust is passing away, but the one who does God’s will remains forever.” 

Are you trying to be liked? If so, you are already wrong. Our goal should be to be pleasing to Him. Are you seeking to be accepted by the world? If so, you already wrong. Our goal should be to be accepted by Him. 

And let us all not forget, that as the Church, we must truly go in love. Our goal it to be pleasing to the Father and in love to seek to snatch people from the fire (Jude 23). And if anyone does come to the church living in homosexuality, or any other sin for that matter, then we are to love them, and to teach them the truth, in hopes of leading them to repentance and to follow the word of God. However, we can be loving and still reject the sin. Love and truth cannot be separated, they go hand and hand. Notice in 1 John 3:18, that we must love in deed and in truth.

1 John 3:18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.

 

I pray you would know my heart and desire behind this is to only point out exactly all that God’s Word says, so that no one will be deceived by the various opinions and selfish ambitions coming from men and women who clearly don’t understand the eternal impact. With love, I pray God opens your eyes to see Him and all His glory!!! 

Pastor Eli 

 

 

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