Recently I was a part of a discussion regarding the ever increasing voice in society, and especially in the Church, about homosexuality and homosexual marriage. I’d like to remind those of us who call ourselves Christ followers what the bible has to say about this subject.
Sin is sin, we know this. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 and others tell us about homosexuality:
1 Corinthians 6:9-10
“9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! The sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, passive homosexual partners, practicing homosexuals, 10 thieves, the greedy, drunkards, the verbally abusive, and swindlers will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
And we know Christ died for our sins, even the homosexual. Can a sinner be saved? Yes! Christ came to redeem the sinner. The question becomes “what then? What do we practice after we supposedly accept Christ?
1 John 3:4,8
“4 Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; … 8 The one who practices sin is of the devil,”
(1 John 3:7 and 9 are also telling.) Do not…remain…in your sin, practicing it, after you come to the saving knowledge of Christ Jesus.
Therefore you are without excuse, whoever you are, when you judge someone else.
We are never to judge and condemn people for their sins. Jesus died for people. He paid for our sins. So how do we deal with the sin still in front of us?
1 What shall we say then? Are we to remain in sin so that grace may increase?
12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its desires, 13 and do not present your members to sin as instruments to be used for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who are alive from the dead and your members to God as instruments to be used for righteousness.
We quit practicing it. We participate in our sanctification. This goes for all sin, not just the sin that sparked this conversation, the sin of homosexuality. You can apply this topic to each and every one of us. It’s almost like we all want to say: “Jesus, come into my heart and be my Lord.” Ok, that’s done; now let me get back to a worldly lifestyle.
Matthew 7:21 (NET)
21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the kingdom of heaven – only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. 22 On that day, many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in your name, and in your name cast out demons and do many powerful deeds?’ 23 Then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you. Go away from me, you lawbreakers!’
Luke 13:23-24 (NET)
Q23 Someone asked him, “Lord, will only a few be saved?” So he said to them, 24 “Exert every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to.
“Only the one who does the will of My Father in heaven.” Conditions. This is not to be confused with a works based religion where your deeds must be perfect to qualify. No, Jesus takes our sin and imputes His righteousness to us. It is all Him. We cannot earn our way into heaven. But we certainly can keep ourselves out. Remember James says that faith without works is dead.
John 14:21,24 (NET)
21 “The person who has my commandments and obeys them is the one who loves me.
24 The person who does not love me does not obey my words.”
These can be hard to truly accept. But they are biblical. Of course we could just take a Sharpie marker and wipe these thoughts right out of our bibles. Or we could understand them to be true. After all, they are not my words but rather they are the Words of our Savior. Those who don’t keep His commandments — i.e.: those who continue in sin willfully — will not see the kingdom of God.
It really is that simple.
John 14:15 (NET)
“If you love me, you will obey my commandments.
And please understand one final thing. I don’t write this to condemn anyone. If you practice sin willfully, you condemn yourself. I don’t condemn, rather I bring the Good News that there is a way out of sin, out of the practice thereof, and a way to pick up our cross and carry it. We are to learn and understand the commandments of God, the requirements for a Christ follower. There is a way to know these and to follow them. Jesus says that His yoke is easy and His burden is light. In other words if you make the decision to stop practicing sin — whether adultery, fornication, lust or greed — He will guide you through and be there to help in the hard times.
And Jesus set up the Church to help as well. First to take the Gospel to a lost world. Then to be ready to help those who would repent. We all know that our flesh is weak and we stumble and we fall (Paul talks about this in Romans 7). We get pulled back into the very sin we used to practice. But the key is that we repented, we turned from our practices and left them. We participate in our sanctification and we grow in Christ by doing His will, His commandments.
We can quit participating in sin willfully and we turn away and walk, with the help of the Spirit, in God’s will.
Or we can take a Sharpie and start crossing out the hard stuff.