I typically shy away from political discussions. They can never end well. Everyone has an opinion. However, with the recent events surrounding the United States Supreme Court hearing arguments both for and against homosexual marriage, people on both sides have been quoting Scripture. Armed with the knowledge that even Satan knows his share of Scripture and regularly twists it to conform to his evil plots, I wanted to explore what the Bible does indeed say about the love that God has for everyone, and homosexuality.
First, there are three points that must be made clear before we address these issues: God and Jesus are one; God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow; and the Bible is the inspired Word of God.
God and Jesus are One
God and Jesus are one, along with the Holy Spirit. Jesus was with God long before His precious body graced a manger. "Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” [Genesis 1:26 NIV 1984]. Notice God said "Let us make man in our image." The "us" here are God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Trinity is one of the most difficult concepts to grasp in theology; its one of those issues that must be accepted on the basis of faith. We don't have to -- and neither can we -- understand all there is to know about God. Job 38:1-7 responds to this level of understanding:
"Then the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm. He said: “Who is this that obscures my plans with words without knowledge? Brace yourself like a man; I will question you,
and you shall answer me. “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone — while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?"
As he stood in the warmth of the burning bush and being commissioned by God to go to Pharaoh to have his people released, Moses asked God what His name was, so that Moses might tell Pharaoh. "God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’” [Exodus 3:14]. Compare this to Jesus' answer when questioned by a crowd about Jesus' origin, from John 8:56-58]. "Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad.” “You are not yet fifty years old,” they said to him, “and you have seen Abraham!” “Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I AM!” (Emphasis added). The Jewish crowd, educated in the full meaning of the name "I AM," knew fully well what Jesus was saying: I AM God. Jesus and God are one and the same.
This concept that God and Jesus are one is crucial to understand the next point.
God/Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow
So, when we believe that God and Jesus are one, we also are required to believe that God/Jesus is the same yesterday (in the past), today (in the present), and tomorrow (in the future). Hebrews 13:8 plainly states, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever."
The book of Revelation echoes this in three different places:
“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.” [1:8]
"He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life."[21:6]
"I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End."[22:13]
Therefore, what God/Jesus says in the Old Testament, since God is the "same" [Hebrews 13:8], that applies in the New Testament as well. What God said in the Old Testament, Jesus confirmed in the New. Sins mentioned in the Old Testament are sins in the New Testament, for God does not change. The difference is that Christ came to fulfill the law, and He did that on the cross, ergo He created a new covenant, one built on grace and Christ's sacrifice for us on the cross, instead of daily animal sacrifices that did not forgive sin once and for all.
The Bible is the inspired Word of God
All the above hinges on the belief that the entire Bible is the inspired Word of God. God divinely inspired men of faith to write the various books of the Bible. How, we don't know. Like the Trinity, this must be taken on faith. We should praise God, instead of question Him, that He has given us Scriptures to follow. "The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law." [Deuteronomy 29:29]
2 Timothy 3:16-17 states, "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." This passage says all Scripture -- not just the ones we agree with, not just the ones that don't convict us, not just the ones that make sense. True followers of Jesus Christ treat the Scriptures as a whole -- they do not treat the Scriptures like a cafeteria line: "Oh, I'll have a huge portion of God's love, hold the chastity, and a bowl of love thy neighbor. No, thank you, I don't want the part about tithing or actually being involved in the body of Christ. Do you have any prosperity Scriptures?" No, Paul's letter to Timothy emphatically states that all Scripture is God-breathed (inspired by God to writers in the past) and should be used for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness...why? So that followers of Christ can be thoroughly equipped for doing God's work. If a follower of Christ does not know the Bible, how can that follower hold up with confidence the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God [Ephesians 6:17] against the attacks of Satan?
God loves everyone -- right?
The short answer is, yes. God loves everyone. If God did not love the people whom He created, He would not have sent His Son Jesus to die on the cross. "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." [John 3:16]
So what does God not love? Sin. In fact, God is so pure He cannot look upon sin or wrongdoing. "Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrongdoing." Habakkuk 1:13. God loves us so much, He sent His Son Jesus to die for us, for the forgiveness of sins, so that we will leave the life of sin and live in Him. Romans 5:6-8 states, "You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
In fact, God wants to forgive us our sins. Micah 7:18 praises God for this. "Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy." 2 Peter 3:9 echoes this. "The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance."
God loves us enough to send His Son Jesus to die for us, to take our sins upon Him. God loves us where we are -- but He loves us enough to not leave us where we are. We are forgiven even while we are sinners, but He doesn't leave us to wallow in sin. As part of this, we repent -- which means turning away from sin. People who are attracted to the same sex CAN BE forgiven by God of all sin, including homosexuality. When we have been forgiven of sin, we turn from it. We abhor sin and run from it.
The Big Question
Lately I've been reading disturbing articles from churches and "faith-based" organizations claiming that Jesus never condemned homosexuality. This is a tool Satan uses to further his purposes here on earth. God condemned homosexuality in the Old Testament (and if God/Jesus are one, and the same...then...) and Jesus condemned homosexuality in the Book of Revelation.
"Then the Lord said, “The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know.” [Genesis 18:20-21] What was this "sin so grievous" that the Lord Himself needed to come down and see, and therefore burn Sodom and Gomorrah to the ground? Genesis 19:4-5 sheds light on this: "Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom — both young and old—surrounded the house. They called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them." The word sodomy comes from the name of the city Sodom, which was destroyed by God.
Leviticus 18:22 states plainly: "Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable."
Homosexuality as a sin is not just an Old Testament concept. Paul wrote to Timothy that homosexuality is contrary to God's teachings. "We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers — and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine that conforms to the gospel concerning the glory of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me."
Perhaps the strongest case can be made from Romans 1:21-32:
"For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles. Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen. Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error. Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them."
Is there a way out? Of course -- God always provides a way out. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." [1 John 1:9].
But what about marriage? Is it for people, any sexual gender, who love one another? God, the creator of marriage [Adam and Eve], ordained marriage to be between one man and one woman. 'The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him'...But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
The man said, 'This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.' That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh." [Genesis 2:18. 20b-24]
Jewish leaders tested Jesus by asking Him about divorce. Jesus answered, “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,' and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh'? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” [Matthew 19:4-6]
Therefore what God has joined together....
Since God cannot look upon sin, He will not -- cannot -- look favorably upon marriage between two of the same sex. No court can legislate what marriage is when God the Judge has already ordained what it is. No court on earth can pass laws that govern God; no government on earth can legislate God.
In today's world, you can either choose the way of the world, which is the popular, easy road -- a road that leads straight to death and hell. Or you can choose the Way of the Lord, which is difficult and narrow and not popular at all. But at the end, is Life, and Jesus, and Heaven. Jesus Himself said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." [John 14:6] This Way, which is Jesus, is not easy. "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." [Matthew 7:13-14].
As the Joshua passage above states, "But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord." [24:15]. We are indeed living in a wicked land. We as followers of Christ must consciously, purposely, choose the things of God in every way -- to live according to what Jesus commands, and in order to not kill our witness to others.
I am sure this particular blog post will resonate with some and be condemned by others. Such is the life of a blogger. However, I am not here on this earth to please people. I am commissioned by God to hold true to His word, to encourage others in the Christian faith, and to share His Gospel. I am here to please my Savior Jesus Christ. It bothers me tremendously that Satan is using the Holy Scriptures to further his wicked schemes in this country. But there is hope yet! "If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land." [2 Chronicles 7:14].
Followers of Christ, do not be saddened if -- and when -- the Supreme Court rules in favor of the homosexual lifestyle. Rejoice! For Scripture tells us that Jesus' coming is near! "Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires...But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells." [2 Peter 3:3, 10-13]
But woe to those who continue in wickedness, blaspheming God by twisting Scriptures to suit their own evil purposes. Woe to those who accept, embrace, and encourage a homosexual lifestyle.
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