By Stephen Finley
A frequent accusation that is lodged against Bible-believing Christians is that they hate homosexuals. Nothing could be further from the truth. As born-again, Bible-believing Christians, we at Redemption Baptist Church love and genuinely care for those who are involved in the homosexual lifestyle. In fact, we love them so much that we dare to tell them a message that they absolutely need to hear—even if it must be told at the risk of being misunderstood and mischaracterised.
God’s Love for Us
We’ll return to that thought in a moment. First, though, let’s talk about love. The Bible makes it clear that God loves all mankind. In John 3:16 Jesus said, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” In Romans 5:8 the Apostle Paul wrote, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” The Apostle John wrote that “God is love” (1 John 4:8).
Not only is perfect love one of God’s attributes, but God expects His disciples to imitate His love. In Matthew 5:44, Jesus commanded His followers, “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.” Jesus went on to explain that His disciples should love even their enemies in this totally selfless way because that is the manner in which God loves. Though most of humanity rejects God, and defies His Word and His laws, God still mercifully “maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust,” year after year, century after century (Matthew 5:45).
In like manner, God’s people should love others, and be longsuffering and merciful with them. Christians are commanded to love friend and enemy alike, just as God does. In fact, love is such a prominent character trait of true Christians that the Apostle John wrote that “he that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love” (1 John 4:8). The Bible’s verdict cannot be mistaken: Every son and daughter of Adam is loved by God. Despite our sin, God loves us: and He proved His love by sending His own Son to pay for our sins on the cross. Therefore, genuine followers of Jesus Christ are commanded to love their neighbours (including homosexuals), even as they love themselves (Matthew 22:39).
The Nature of God’s Love…and Holiness
We know that God is love; but what is the nature His love? True love is manifested in many ways, of course; but among the evidences of true love is the desire to tell a friend what he needs to hear instead of what he wants to hear. The Bible says, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful” (Proverbs 27:6). The Bible also says that love “seeketh not her own” (isn’t looking out for self, but rather cares about the welfare of others) (1 Corinthians 13:5). If you were passing by your friend’s house at midnight, and you suddenly noticed that a flame had just begun to spark up in his sitting room, and you knew that your friend were sound asleep in his room, what would you do? Would you say, “It wouldn’t be very loving of me to wake my friend up in the middle of the night and scare him with warnings that his house is on fire; so I’ll just mind my own business and keep my mouth shut”? Or, would you beat on his door, scream at the top of your lungs, and warn him to wake up, because his house is on fire? The answer to this question is self-evident. True love demands that one warn others when they are in danger.
As people who take God’s Word seriously, we are here to warn you that there is danger afoot! Most of us have heard that “God is love”: and He is. However, there is another attribute of God that most people seldom consider. It is, in fact, God’s primary characteristic. It is holiness. In Isaiah 6, God allowed Isaiah to see a vision of God on His throne in heaven; and as He viewed God on His throne, he saw the seraphim (a special class of angels who hover around God’s throne and praise Him continually). The seraphim were crying, “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts!” When Isaiah saw this sight, he was so ashamed of his own sinfulness that he cried out, “Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts” (Isaiah 6:5).
It is this attribute of God about which we must warn you. The Bible says that because God is holy, He is just. He loves us; but as a holy God, He hates and abhors our sin. As the just Judge of all the earth, He cannot simply sweep our sin under the rug and pretend that it doesn’t exist. Scripture says that although the Lord is slow to anger, He “will not at all acquit the wicked” (Nahum 1:3). Ecclesiastes 12:14 says that God, as the righteous Judge, “shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.”
What God Says about Homosexuality
With this in mind, let us examine what God says about homosexuality. God has made it exceedingly clear in His holy Word, the Bible, that homosexuality is sin; and as our righteous Judge, He condemns it. God’s Word says, “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination” (Leviticus 18:22). Again, God’s Word says, “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination [an act that is abhorrent to God]” (Leviticus 20:13).
Those who are involved in the homosexual lifestyle insist that they were “born that way.” Friend, do not be deceived: God did not create anyone in this way. God’s Word declares that God created human sexuality for the purpose of bringing children into the world, within the bounds of marriage between a man and a woman (Genesis 1:28; Genesis 2:21-24). Hence, homosexuality is defiance of God’s law, and a mockery of God’s gift of sex.
Romans 1:21-28 states that homosexuality is not only an offence to God, but is “against nature” (Romans 1:26). Obviously, the protest from those who practice homosexuality would be, “But I do have this attraction! These feelings are natural for me! Otherwise, how would I be this way?” Again, the Bible answers this question. According to the aforementioned Scripture, people develop the homosexual desire through a process of hardening their hearts against God and His laws, wilfully corrupting their imaginations, and pursuing unrestrained lust, until they get to the point of twisting and corrupting God’s natural gift into something that is against nature itself. The Apostle Paul wrote to the Christians in the churches of Rome:
“Because that, when they [our ancestors who were born after the time of the Flood] knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things [i.e., they began to worship animals, and man himself, in the form of idols]. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind….” (Romans 1:21-28).
God says that homosexuality is “reprobate” (literally, “unapproved,” or “rejected” by God). Transvestitism is, likewise, an affront to a holy God, who created men and women to be distinct, with God-given roles. Clothing is a symbol of that distinctness. God commands that “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment; for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God” (Deuteronomy 22:5).
Even if God had not given these clear statements against homosexuality (and He did), God’s model of marriage is, in itself, a law. If God created a woman for our father Adam, and brought that woman to him, and made her Adam’s “wife,” and blessed their union (Genesis 2:21-25), then sexual activity between a man and a man or a woman and a woman is defiance of God’s design. In fact, any sexual activity outside marriage is condemned by God (including adultery and fornication). Those who pride themselves in being “straight,” yet who commit sex outside the marriage bond, are defying God’s law, as well. God’s Word says, “Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled; but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge” (Hebrews 13:4).
God created marriage for several purposes. One purpose is to provide loving companionship for both the man and woman, and to complement their physical and emotional needs. God said that “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet [suitable] for him” (Genesis 2:18). Another extremely important purpose for marriage is to bring up a “godly seed” (children), and to teach them to know, love, worship, and serve God with all their heart, soul, and mind (Genesis 1:28; Deuteronomy 6:5-9; Malachi 2:13-15). God also designed the union between a man and his wife to be a beautiful picture of God’s loving union between Himself and His people (Ephesians 5:22-33; Revelation 21:1-14). Ultimately, the purpose of marriage is to bring glory to the God who designed it. In fact, everything that God created or instituted was made with the purpose of bringing glory to Him (Revelation 4:11). Homosexuality does not, and cannot, accomplish these holy purposes, because it is outside the perimeters of His design and His law.
Lest you think that we are being hypocritical, judgmental, or “holier-than-thou” in pointing out these things, you may be assured that we are not. Genuine Christians acknowledge that they are nothing but wicked, hell-deserving sinners who have been saved by the grace of God. Yes, homosexuality is a sin and abomination against God: but so is lying (Exodus 20:16). So is hatred (Leviticus 19:17). So is lust in your heart toward someone who is not your spouse (Mathew 5:28). So is gossip (Leviticus 19:16). So is sowing discord among brethren (Proverbs 6:19). So are wrath; anger (both outward, explosive anger and inward, seething bitterness); malice; lack of forgiveness; vengeful thoughts and actions; backbiting; disobedience or disrespect to parents; stealing; cheating; pride; love of self; envy; covetousness (either love of money and things, or desire for things that do not rightfully belong to you); breaking one’s word; loving pleasure instead of loving God; lack of mercy; disbelief or distrust of anything God has said in His Word; and simply going one’s “own way” instead of God’s way (Ephesians 4:31-32; 2 Timothy 3:1-5; Romans 12:19; Proverbs 6:16-17; Roman 1:29-32; Exodus 20:1-17; Romans 14:23; Revelation 21:8; Isaiah 53:6).
God does not look on the outside, as man does; He looks on the heart (1 Samuel 16:7). He sees hatred in the same light as murder, and inward lust in the same light as the physical act of adultery (Matthew 5:21-22, 27-28). He places pride and lying right on par with murder as being among the “seven abominations” that God hates (Proverbs 6:16-19). He names lying and disbelief of God’s Word among the sins of murder and witchcraft as sins that deserve eternal fire (Revelation 21:8). He equates rebellion with witchcraft, and stubbornness with the worship of idols (1 Samuel 15:23).
There is not a single one of us who is not guilty of these sins thousands of times over. As inheritors of the sin nature of our father Adam, we came into this world speaking lies (Romans 5:12; Psalm 58:1-3). As the Scripture says, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way” (Isaiah 53:6a). We have all sinned against God, and stand guilty before Him (Romans 3:19-20). In Romans 3, God compares mankind to an archer who has missed his mark completely, in that we have all completely missed His standard of absolute holiness. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”
What the Bible Says About Salvation
There is not one of us who is worthy before God. We all deserve the punishment of our sin, which is spiritual and eternal death (separation from God) (Genesis 2:17; Ephesians 2:1; Revelation 20:14-15). The good news, however, is that God is willing to wash all your sins away (all of them, and not merely the sin of homosexuality, if you have been guilty of it), and reconcile you to Himself. Acts 13:39 says that “by him [Jesus] all that believe are justified from all things.”
The city of Corinth (in Greece) was known, in the first century, for being exceedingly sexually immoral; yet, many of these people found freedom through the Lord Jesus Christ. Many of the members of the church of Corinth had, before they found salvation through Jesus Christ, been “fornicators,” “adulterers,” “effeminate” (the “feminine” side of homosexuality), and “abusers of themselves with mankind” (the “masculine” side of homosexuality) (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). Yet, the Apostle Paul wrote to these people, “And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:11). This complete change in their standing with God, and in their lifestyle, was made possible by one thing only: the sacrifice that God’s Son, Jesus Christ, made on the cross. When the Corinthians placed their faith in Christ and His sacrifice, God gave them complete forgiveness of sins, and the power to overcome sin and do the things that please God.
To illustrate the salvation that God offers, think of the Flood of Noah. All who went into the Ark (and there were only eight people who took God up on His gracious offer) were saved from destruction (Genesis 7:1-24). Likewise, all who are placed “in” Christ Jesus are saved from God’s wrath. Jesus is the “Ark” of salvation (not a religion, church, or any man-made institution). Jesus is Almighty God, who took on human flesh (Matthew 1:18-23; John 1:1-3,14). He became one of us so that He could be our Sin-bearer—so that He could die in our place, and take our death penalty for sin.
The Bible says that as Christ hung on the cross, all your sin was placed on Him. First Peter 2:24 says that Christ “bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness.” Seven hundred years before Christ was born, the prophet Isaiah made this prophecy of Christ: “…and the LORD hath laid on him [Jesus Christ] the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6). Galatians 3:13 says that Christ was able to redeem us from the curse of God’s Law because He was “made a curse for us” as he hung on the tree. He did this for you because there is no good work you can possibly do to earn your salvation. The Bible says, “For by grace are ye saved through faith [complete trust, dependence on God]; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
This message of salvation from sin and its penalty through faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ is what the Bible calls the “Gospel” (literally, “good news”). First Corinthians 15:1-3 says,
“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; by which also ye are saved….For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.”
Salvation is a gift which has already been paid by Christ, with His own blood. However, as a gift, salvation must be received; and the way to receive it is by faith in Christ alone. If you will simply admit to God that you deserve the penalty for your sin (which is eternal death in hell); turn in your mind, heart, and will from sin to Christ (this is called “repentance”); and believe that Christ died and rose again to take away your sin, He will save you immediately—and forever. The Scripture says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation…For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:9-10,13).
To receive Christ’s gift of salvation is to receive Christ Himself. John 1:12 says, “But as many as received him [Jesus], to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” Jesus said, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life” (John 5:24). If you will simply cast your faith on Christ alone, you will be what the Bible calls “saved,” or “born again” into God’s family (Acts 16:31; John 3:1-8).
There is no greater joy you could possibly have than that of knowing that you have eternal life (a relationship with God through Jesus Christ). The Bible says, “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life” (1 John 5:13). It is our sincere prayer that you will find the freedom in Christ Jesus that we have found.
If you would like to know more about how you can be saved, or if you have already received Christ through reading this article, please contact us!