In today’s world, there is a growing number of people who claim to be homosexual. There is also a growing number of professing Christians who attempt to defend the idea that a person can be a homosexual and a Christian – simultaneously. I hope to make some clarifications in this article.
It seems that some people take the Lord’s command to “love thy neighbor” to mean we are to comfort our neighbors in their sins. Sin is a transgression against the moral law of God, and unrepentant sinners will ultimately face the judgment of God and be cast into the lake of fire. It is not loving nor compassionate to comfort a sinner in his sins. I do not think a genuine Christian would do so. As for homosexuality, God’s Word is clear on the matter and his Word is not subject to the changing standards of the day.
Leviticus 18:22 – “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.” God plainly calls homosexuality an abomination. It is listed along with other unnatural acts such as bestiality. We live in a culture that protests when Christians speak out about, and stand on, the moral laws of God, and it is no different with this issue. That is offensive, they say. You are being judgmental, they claim. We all sin, so they say, so you are being a hypocrite. The Bible teaches us that sin is the exception in the life of the Christian, and that the person that abides in Christ sins not. Sin is so rare in the life of the Christian, that it can truly be said, he sins not. If he sins, he can repent and receive full forgiveness, but repent he must. This is not a popular message, but it is the message of the Bible. Name the sin that you cannot give up. If you named a sin that you cannot turn away from, look at what the Bible says in 1 Corinthians chapter 10. “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” God tells us there is NO temptation that you cannot overcome, if you choose to do so. Many do not overcome temptation, and instead they indulge in sin, but is it not a matter of inability - it is a matter of unwillingness. Being tempted is not a sin. Even Jesus was tempted. Giving in to temptation is sin, and it is something we can avoid – we have God’s word on it.
God wants us to know that the unrighteous will not inherit the Kingdom of God. It does not matter if we walked the aisle of a church building and a preacher prayed with us, it does not matter if we were dipped in the baptismal waters, what matters is being an obedient follower of Christ. We do not have to “clean up” before we turn to Christ, but turning to Christ involves forsaking sin and self-rule. Any message that says we can be saved and yet live sinfully is not biblical. The Gospel does not rid us of the obligation to live holy lives, the gospel offers us forgiveness of our sins and the hope of eternal life if we follow Christ.
There are certain lifestyles that give evidence that a person is in rebellion against the Lord, and to emphasize that, God commanded Israel to deal severe punishment upon anyone who indulges in these abominations. This is not limited to homosexuality but notice what the Lord says of this act in Leviticus chapter 20 – “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.” Some people today choose to argue that this no longer applies to believers in Christ under the New Covenant. Their rationale is they are under grace and not law. But that would be like saying that we can murder under the New Covenant because we are no longer under the Old Testament Law against murder. There is a misunderstanding of grace in our time. Grace does not give us a license to live in rebellion against the Lord. Grace does not give us the right to live in lawlessness. Grace is God’s divine influence upon the heart that has appeared to all men “teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.” Grace is not a release from biblical morality. It is not a replacement for obedience.
God says in the last days there will be people who “turn the grace of God into lasciviousness.” They claim that because God is gracious, that because God is love, all we have to do is accept salvation from him as a gift, and then we can live anyway we please. There is a popular phrase that many preachers use. They will tell listeners to “accept Christ as their Savior”, yet this terminology is found nowhere in the Bible. The Bible tells us to confess Christ as Lord, which does not mean merely mouthing the words. We are to submit to him as Lord. We are to forsake sin to follow Jesus as Lord. For those who wish to claim this is a works-based salvation, read this.
People want a free ticket to heaven, but they are not willing to meet the biblical conditions (Isaiah 55:7 – Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon). Salvation is free. No one has to pay for it or earn it through self-merit, but it is not unconditional. It will cost you. It will cost you your life. (Matthew 16:25 - Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?)
Many people have come short of true repentance unto salvation yet some preachers and Sunday-School-literature-trained church members give them assurance of a salvation that they do not even have. These deceived souls will stand before the Lord one day, claiming to know him, but he will say to many - depart from me, I never knew you, you that worked iniquity. You that worked lawlessness.
Yet these Bible preachers and teachers tell us that repentance is not necessary, that submission to the Lord is not necessary, and that salvation is a free gift to mentally accept. Salvation is a gift - but it is given to the repentant sinner who yields his heart to Christ and follows him in obedience.
So it would seem that the question “can a person be a homosexual and a Christian simultaneously” has been answered by the Word. If we choose to live by God’s authority, then we must conclude that homosexuality, just like other forms of fornication, are transgressions against the moral law of God. Christians must continue to preach against homosexuality, but not just homosexuality. They must preach just as fervently against all sexual sins. God will not be mocked, and all of the rationalizations that people have will not help them in the judgment.
Can a homosexual become a Christian? Of course. A homosexual can abandon his sin and turn to Christ just as any other sinner can. But he cannot just “trust the Lord to save him.” He cannot just “trust in the finished work of Christ.” He cannot merely “trust in Christ as his savior.” 1 Cor. 6:9-10 says this: “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.” Notice the warning we are given: “be not deceived.” That alone should alert us that there are professing Christians that will try and deceive us by claiming that these people will inherit the Kingdom.
None of this means that a Christian will not experience the temptation to sin. Is homosexual temptation a sin? Some would say yes, but why? If this is the case, then the temptation a man faces to commit adultery with a woman is sin, even if he rejects it. According to the Bible, temptation, no matter its form, is not sin. There are elements of our suffering creation that are effected in ways that we do not fully understand. This includes genetic factors that genuinely affect people constitutionally. This does not mean that people are created sinful, or that they are born homosexuals (a homosexual by definition is a person that engages in sexual activity with a person of the same gender). But it can mean that people are born in such a way that physiological factors result in psychological confusion and they are tempted in different ways than others. Children raised under certain social factors may be molded in such a way that they are tempted in ways that others are not. The constitutional depravity of mankind has had negative effects on God’s design for human beings. As a result, people can be tempted more strongly in some areas than other people are. But remember, temptation is not sin, and just as Christians must choose to follow Christ instead of unlawfully gratifying their flesh in other ways, the same applies to a person that feels homosexual attraction. No matter what the temptation is, we can reject it and submit to God. Even though we are all subject to temptation, we can all walk in the Spirit rather than in the flesh. A former homosexual that turns from his/her sin to follow Christ may deal with homosexual temptation, but they can choose holiness. There is no sin in feelings or desires, unless one dwells on them for the purpose of unlawful gratification. The Lord can influence homosexuals (or any sinner) to stop living in their destructive lifestyle, but they will never understand this truth if deceivers keep comforting them in their sins.
In Romans chapter 1 we read: “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 recompence 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, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenant-breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.” God says that the practice of homosexuality is rebellion. It is not a godly alternative lifestyle for modern times, it is unnatural affection. People say no to God’s rule over them, time after time, and so he gives them up. He stops striving with them and he lets them have their way, and their way leads to despicable practices.
Another relevant passage in the Bible is found in Deuteronomy chapter 22: “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.” This is connected to the issue of abandoning God’s distinctions and design for men and women. God does not like it when men look, dress, and act like women, and he does not like it when women look, dress, and act like men. These are not trivial matters. God says to men: if you wear that which pertains to a woman it is an abomination to me. He says to women: if you wear that which pertains to a man it is an abomination to me. Certainly, not all cultures throughout history have dressed the same, but there should be a clear distinction between men in women in how they look and act. In our culture, I believe that women should not wear pants – for modesty reasons and because men wear pants. I am fully aware that some people disagree with this, but I do not believe they can offer scriptural support for their argument, only emotional rhetoric. Likewise, men should not wear dresses. Both were once unacceptable in American culture.
The Bible says in 1 Timothy 1:9-10 - “Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine.” The rationalizations going on in some churches today about accepting homosexuality will be no defense before God. Is it more loving to comfort homosexuals (and other sinners) in their sin? Or is it more loving to tell them that “The unrighteous shall not inherit the Kingdom of God?” God will forgive us of any sin, but he will not forgive us for a single excuse. Even one sin persisted in is fatal to the soul.