What does the Bible say about homosexuality?
What do you do when a friend comes out and says, “I’m gay?” What do you do when someone who you care about accidentally reveals their sexual orientation that is contrary to what you believe?
Let’s refrain from answering these questions at this moment and turn our focus in another direction. These two questions reveal one thing. The topic of homosexuality is never an easy topic to discuss and it must be handled with sensitivity. As a Christian blogger, you can either go in one or two directions. One approach is that you can seek to use Scripture to nail the one who is currently living in this lifestyle.
Another approach is that you can soften your message and not discuss the sin at all. Today I’m doing neither. My goal is not to soften God’s message, but to amplify God’s truths. In this article, I will attempt to answer many questions pertaining to homosexuality, but I will also offer help for those who struggle with same-sex attractions.
Christian quotes about homosexuality
“God’s faithfulness is proved not by the elimination of hardships but by carrying us through them. Change is not the absence of struggles; change is the freedom to choose holiness in the midst of our struggles. I realized that the ultimate issue has to be that I yearn after God in total surrender and complete obedience.” – Christopher Yuan
“Unconditional love does not equal unconditional approval of my behavior.” Christopher Yuan
“From the first chapters of the Bible to the Torah to the New Testament, there is no hint that homosexuality is acceptable behavior for God’s people. To think the Bible affirms homosexuality takes more than special pleading – it requires a denial of the plain teaching of Scripture.” Kevin DeYoung
“I don’t believe it is wise or truthful to the power of the gospel to identify oneself by the sins of one’s past or the temptations of one’s present but rather to only be defined by the Christ who’s overcome both for those he calls his own. All men and women, including myself, that are well acquainted with sexual temptation are ultimately not what our temptation says of us. We are what Christ had done for us; therefore, our ultimate identity is very simple: We are Christians.” – Jackie Hill Perry
“The SSA Christian that is called to marriage is no more of an apologetic for the power of God than the SSA Christian that is called to singleness. In both, God is glorified.” – Jackie Hill Perry
“Concerning homosexuality: This once brought hell out of heaven on Sodom.” – Charles Spurgeon
“I struggle with same-sex attractions, but when I struggle I look to the cross and see Jesus hanging there it makes me want to fight. If Jesus sacrificed His life for me to go to Heaven, then I can sacrifice this sinful lifestyle for Him.”
“God’s judgment on homosexual and lesbian relationships is not because he is a killjoy, but because he is opposed to what kills joy.” John Piper
“God and man in covenant worship are represented by male and female in covenant sexual union. Therefore, when man turns from God to images of himself, God hands us over to what we have chosen and dramatizes it by male and female turning to images of themselves for sexual union, namely their own sex. Homosexuality is the judgment of God dramatizing the exchange of the glory of God for images of ourselves.” John Piper
“What are we to think of a passage like Romans 1:26-27? The Bible defines homosexual desires as “contrary to nature,” not an equal alternative orientation. Homosexuality is a “dishonorable passion” that “consumes” men and women, leading to shameless behavior. The strong emotional pull of lust and the affections shared between persons in a homosexual relationship – whatever those affections may be called – cannot properly be called “love.” After all, love “does not rejoice at wrongdoing” (1 Cor. 13:6) and homosexuality is wrongdoing.” Thabiti Anyabwile
“If we were to become as intent on accomplishing our agenda as the gay rights activists and the feminist are for their agenda, we would see a change in this country. It’s time for the church in America to turn our world upside down.” John Hagee
“In mercy, even though homosexuality is a sinful way of life, and not a genetic problem, Paul makes it clear that it is possible for a homosexual to be “washed” form his defilement through the saving grace of Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 6:9-12).” Jay Adams
Is homosexuality a sin in the Bible?
This is one of the most popular questions in Christianity today. Not only is it popular, but it’s hard to answer. It’s not hard to answer because the Bible seems to be silent on the matter. It’s hard to answer because of the amount of brokenness that this subject brings.
Whenever we are discussing sexuality, we are stepping into a war zone that is filled with anger, pain, hurt, shame, tears, and worst of all, even death. What do I mean by death? I mean this, sexuality is deeply personal and because of that it is profoundly impactful upon someone’s life. Numerous studies have found that the attempted suicide rate is 1.5 – 3 times higher for lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth in America than heterosexual youth.
As I said before, this war zone brings shame and death. Shame eradicates intimacy and it is the annihilation of freedom. Now you grasp why a topic such as this is so hard to answer. Honestly, it breaks my heart. Nevertheless, this question must be answered. As I searched the Scriptures desperately looking for answers it is undeniably clear that homosexuality is contrary to God’s design for sexuality. Therefore, homosexuality is a sin and we must stand firm to God’s truths. However, we must remember that all sin is a disruption of God’s design. When we read passages such as 1 Corinthians 6:9 which tells us that the unrighteous will not inherit the Kingdom, it does not state that every sin written in that verse is inferior to homosexuality.
The problem with this way of thinking is that first it is not biblical. Secondly, it produces more shame, alienation, and isolation, for the one who desires help. Is homosexuality a sin? Yes. If you are characterized and dominated by this sin and by this, I mean someone who is unrepentant and has made a lifestyle and practice of this sin, will you inherit God’s Kingdom? As much as it burdens my heart to say it, the answer is no according to 1 Corinthians 6:9-10. However, the same is true for someone who lives a lifestyle of greed, drunkenness, sexual immorality, thievery, etc.
With this in mind, something that can be said is that Paul does indeed put a strong emphasis on sexual immorality. He doesn’t just stop there. In Romans 1 Paul denounced homosexual acts as something that is unnatural. Sexual expression is a beautiful gift from the Lord and it is to be enjoyed between a husband and wife. Romans 1 dives deep into the corruption of God’s beautiful gift and Paul describes this as the Lord giving men and women up to very dishonorable actions. Sexuality is God’s design and only God can define the guidelines for its use.
I believe that sexuality or if we get deeper into the matter, homosexuality cuts deeper into your identity than most sins because it’s so personal. No one will identify themselves daily as a liar, thief, or an adulterous. However, people do identify themselves as gay or lesbian.
If you are reading this and you are struggling with your sexual identity or if you are currently living in a lifestyle contrary to what God would have for you I encourage you to keep on reading. My goal is not to condemn anyone. I feel at times that my pride and my arrogance is far worse than any sin. A lustful gay thought is no more sinful than my lustful heterosexual thoughts. It is only by grace through faith in Christ that a man such as myself is saved.
In this section we found out why any sin is a sin and that is because it disrupts God’s original design. I will acknowledge that many verses below may be tough, but this is what the Bible says on this subject. Once again, if you’re struggling with this my goal is not to condemn. My goal is to help you to experience God’s love, healing, and the liberating power of Christ.
1. Leviticus 18:22-24 “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination. Also you shall not have intercourse with any animal to be defiled with it, nor shall any woman stand before an animal to mate with it; it is a perversion. Do not defile yourselves by any of these things; for by all these the nations which I am casting out before you have become defiled.”
2. Leviticus 20:13 “If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltiness is upon them.”
3. Romans 1:26 “For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural.”
4. Romans 1:27 “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.”
5. Romans 1:28-32 “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. 29 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, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. 32 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.”
6. 1 Timothy 1:9-11 “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.”
7. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 “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.”
8. Galatians 5:19-21 “The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
9. 1 Kings 14:24 “And there were also sodomites in the land: and they did according to all the abominations of the nations which the LORD cast out before the children of Israel.”
10. Romans 2:14-15 “(Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.)”
11. Deuteronomy 22:5 “A woman shall not wear man’s clothing, nor shall a man put on a woman’s clothing; for whoever does these things is an abomination to the LORD your God.”
12. Deuteronomy 23:1 “No one whose testicles are crushed or whose male organ is cut off shall enter the assembly of the Lord.”
13. 1 Corinthians 6:18 “Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.”
Idolatry and same-sex desires in the Bible
As I diligently searched the Scriptures on this subject I noticed a correlation between acts of homosexuality and idolatry. It’s unambiguously seen in Romans 1, but Paul also talks about this in the book of Colossians and Ephesians.
The reason that pagan idolatry is twisted is because it turns God’s natural design upside down. In pagan idolatry instead of worshiping the Creator you reject Him and instead of rejecting the creation, you worship it. Therefore, in essence in pagan idolatry you replace worship of the Creator with worship of the creation. Notice that we have turned the original design upside down.
In the same way that we see a distortion of God’s natural design in pagan idolatry, we see the same thing in homosexuality. Homosexual behavior is distortion because it rejects the intended purpose of the Creator. The Lord’s original design for human sexuality is rejected and turned upside down. This displays the relation between homosexuality and idolatry. Not in the slightest am I declaring that homosexuality is exclusive as the only sin where we see the connection between it and idolatry. However, usually our most cherished idol is self. Romans 1:23-29 is so profound in that it exposes the severe dangers of idolizing self. When you idolize your sex, it can lead to same-sex attractions. In consideration of the foregoing, Christ is the antidote for all idolatry and the consequences of it. Some of the effects of idolatry are brokenness, a loss of joy, and depression.
A plethora of studies have found that LGB teenagers experience higher levels of depression than their heterosexual peers. LGBT youth are at higher risk for depression than their heterosexual counterparts according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). According to a 2015 study conducted by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), mental health conditions are more than twice as common in LGB adults than in heterosexual adults.
Something that I can tell you from experience in my own life is that pursuing any idol will leave you broken and dry in the end. Idolatry begins when you lose sight of Jesus and His splendor. Idols may satisfy for a moment, but they leave you desiring more in attempts to fill that longing that you may have. Idols don’t love us. Jesus provides something better than a temporary solution. In Christ there is fullness of joy. You will always find different types of water and different types of bread. However, in the end we always need more of it and not only that. The breads and waters of this world come at a cost.
If you are someone who is presently practicing homosexuality or if you are struggling with these desires Jesus says, “Come to me.” He wants you to experience Him. You are greatly loved by Christ and you were made for so much more. God wants you to have a deeper understanding of the sufficiency of His grace. According to John 6:35 with the bread that He offers, you shall never hunger. With the water that He gives you, you will never thirst. Jesus is the Creator of life and He knows how to truly satisfy our soul. It’s a liberating feeling to know that God knows us intimately. In Christ there is satisfaction, forgiveness, and the power to have triumph over this.
For those who are struggling with same-sex desires know that God’s grace is so profound. In Christ you have ultimate eternal satisfaction. In Christ there is victory over the distortion of worship. If you are someone who is not a Christian and you identify as a homosexual my hope is that you see the marvelous beauty of the gospel of Christ. Jesus in His love for you lived the life that you and I couldn’t. He bore your sins, your burdens, your struggles, and your feelings of inadequacy. He took it upon Himself dying the death that we deserve so that we could be reconciled to the Father and experience such great love and forgiveness. On the cross a great price was paid and because of that we turn from idols and turn to Him in true worship.
14. Romans 1:24-25 “Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.”
15. Ephesians 5:5 “For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.”
16. Colossians 3:5 “Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.”
17. 1 Corinthians 10:14 “Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry.”
18. Jonah 2:8-9 “Those who cling to worthless idols turn away from God’s love for them.But I, with shouts of grateful praise, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. I will say, ‘Salvation comes from the LORD.”
19. Romans 12:1 “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.”
Can you be a gay Christian according to the Bible?
This is another common question. Is it possible to be both Christian and gay? If by “gay Christian” you mean someone who is relying upon Christ for the forgiveness of sins, but struggles with same-sex desires, then yes. There are many Christians who struggle with homosexual thoughts, but live a life of celibacy. However, I would be very cautious with using the term “gay Christian.”
The believer who struggles with SSA is just a struggling believer just like the one who has heterosexual lusts. One of the greatest treasures of getting saved is realizing your true identity in Christ. You are a new creation. You are redeemed. You are chosen. You are an heir of God. You have been set free. This is your true identity! I understand how some people use the term, but the term “gay Christian” can easily communicate something different.
If by “gay Christian” you mean someone who is living an active unrepentant homosexual lifestyle, then the answer to this question is no. Scripture repeatedly tells us that genuine believers will not live in a continuous lifestyle of sin because they have been made new with new desires and affections for Christ. In no way am I singling out homosexuality. By the same token, I would say the same thing for someone who would claim to be a Christian thief or a Christian murderer.
20. 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”
21. Ephesians 1:7 “We have been set free because of what Christ has done. Through his blood our sins have been forgiven. We have been set free because God’s grace is so rich.”
22. Romans 3:23-24 “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”
23. 1 John 3:8-10 “The one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. 9 No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. 10 By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother.”
Help for same-sex desires
First and foremost, let’s start by differentiating homosexual inclinations or attractions and involvement in the activity itself. Contrary to popular belief, having homosexual attractions are not sinful. I am not referring to lust. By this I mean being only attracted to someone of the same-sex. What is sinful is the behavior and acting it out. Maybe this pertains to you and you might be struggling with this. If so, I want you to know that there is hope. You are so loved by Christ and He has proven His love for you on the cross. He calls you either to marriage or a life of celibacy.
I understand and empathize with those who have these sexual desires, but can’t express them in the way that they desire. I understand, and I identify with those who feel broken. How much more does Christ understand those who are struggling with same-sex desires! He knows how you feel. He lived a life a celibacy and Hebrews 4:15 tells us that He sympathizes with our weaknesses. He understands our temptations better than we do. That’s not to say that He was tempted by homosexuality. However, it is possible that Jesus was tempted sexually not because of any sin that lied in Him, but because of temptations placed in front of Him by Satan.
Jesus who experienced our temptations did not sin. Please take a moment to ponder this thought. God in flesh loves you, He knows you, and understands you. He knows how it feels to not blend in with the world. He knows how it feels to feel unwanted. He knows how it feels to long for intimacy. Every single thing that we feel alone in and misunderstood in, Christ is currently saying, “I know how it feels and I understand you.” This should give anyone struggling with any sin great comfort. Since He understands our temptations better than we do, He knows how to help us better than we know how to help ourselves. He tells us repeatedly to come to Him. He is a safe place for those who feel shame and embarrassment from their same-sex attractions.
Christ offers emancipation from the shame and punishment of same-sex desires. Oftentimes due to the nature of our sin, we feel dirty and rejected. However, look and see that the gospel is a beautiful picture of how God has washed our filthiness with His blood, thus making us clean. Romans 8:1; Romans 5:16; Romans 8:34; and a plethora of other verses reminds us that in Christ there is no condemnation. You can go to Him and not feel condemned and judged by Him. Not only are you welcomed, not only are you invited, but you are urged to feast with Him. This is such a delightful and glorious privilege. Christ gives you freedom from the power of same-sex attractions. The spirit of God is living inside of believers. For those who are struggling with these attractions you can rejoice in the fact that you are no longer a slave to sin.
It’s not these desires that have dominion over you. According to Romans 6:22 it is Christ that now has dominion over you. Christ gives you the power to reject these obstacles in your life. Consider this for a moment. I’m not oblivious to the fact that temptations will arise and for some the struggle to overcome is greater than others. Nevertheless, I encourage you to dwell upon the magnificence Of Christ. Realize that He is God and that He lives inside of you giving you the strength to overcome. When temptation is emerging, mediate on the truths of Romans 6:11. “So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.”
24. 1 Corinthians 10:13 “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”
25. Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
26. Romans 6:22 “But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life.”
27. Romans 6:6 “We know that our old self was crucified with Him so that the body of sin might be rendered powerless, that we should no longer be slaves to sin.”
Did Jesus talk about homosexuality?
I could not find anywhere in the New Testament where Jesus brought up homosexuality. However, the same could be said about kidnapping, bestiality, etc. The goal of Christ was not to specifically name every sin. The goal of Christ was to redeem us from the curse of the law. Here is what Jesus did say. Christ affirmed God’s original design for marriage and sexuality by quoting God’s Word in the Old Testament.
Matthew 19:4–6 “He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, 5 and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”
By referring to Adam and Eve and going back to the story of creation, in Matthew 19 we can see Christ authoritatively affirming the biblical vision of marriage, which is one man and one woman coming together in physical union. This statement from Christ leaves no room for any kind of sexual immorality. In fact, in Matthew 5:28 and Matthew 15:19 Jesus denounced all forms of sexual immorality. The Greek word πορνείᾳ (porneia) found in Matthew 5:28 and Matthew 15:19 refers to a plethora of sexual sins including: adultery, fornication, homosexuality, lesbianism, incest, intercourse with animals, etc.
The most sacred relationship in which you will ever enter into is marriage and any alteration from the biblical view of marriage is separation from the divine mandate for marriage. If you are a Christian who is struggling with same-sex attractions I want you to consider and rejoice in this. All believers will one day experience the sacred union of marriage. You will one day experience the precious sacredness of marriage with a spouse that God has given you. Or, you will experience the unfathomable richness of being the bride of Christ.
This imagery of a bride and her Bridegroom is so extraordinary because it reveals the sacrificial love of Christ for His chosen bride. The love for this Bridegroom and His bride is so exhilarating that we wait in anticipation for the day when we will be united with Him. As we wait for our King and our Bridegroom, we remain faithful by taking up our cross and continually calling on His name.
28. Matthew 19:4-6 “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.”
29. Genesis 2:20-24 “So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals. 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.”
30. Genesis 1:27 “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. 28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
31. Matthew 15:19-20 “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. 20 These are what defile a person. But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone.”
What Does the Bible Say about being born gay?
Are people born gay according to the Bible?This is one of the most sensitive sections in this article. Many are struggling with this. My intentions are not to hurt or injure those who are struggling with this issue and praying for new desires for the opposite sex. My hope is that you are touched by the transformative power of the gospel.
Let me start by saying this. Is it possible for someone to have a greater tendency to commit a specific sin than someone else? Yes. However, whether or not someone was born with a predisposition to commit a certain sin does not make that sin acceptable.
Also, if it is possible that someone was born gay, then they can rejoice because of the mighty work that Christ has accomplished on the cross. Christ offers us a new identity and those who put their faith in Christ will be born again according to 1 Corinthians 5:17. For some people this means new desires for someone of the opposite sex. For others this means power from Christ to pursue a life of celibacy. This means greater joy and realization of who Christ is and walking in His true designed path for you.
Now, do I believe that there is some genetic causation for the attraction of people of the same-sex? Truthfully this is tough, but I don’t see anywhere in Scripture that would lead me to believe there is. I say this with a great deal of love, care, and empathy. I believe the answer is no biblically and scientifically.
The American Psychological Association is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States. According to APA:
“There is no consensus among scientists about the exact reasons that an individual develops a heterosexual, bisexual, gay or lesbian orientation. Although much research has examined the possible genetic, hormonal, developmental, social and cultural influences on sexual orientation, no findings have emerged that permit scientists to conclude that sexual orientation is determined by any particular factor or factors. Many think that nature and nurture both play complex roles.”
I believe that from Scripture we can conclude that all sin is the result of a fallen world. Romans 5:12 tells us that sin is inherited through Adam. We all have a sin nature and we all have different upbringings and because of that maybe some individuals are inclined toward some sins over others. Nonetheless, the gospel of Christ brings good news for those who are exhausted from the weight of their sin. Romans 1:16 teaches us that “it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes.” By the Spirit of God, you are born again which allows you to hate your sin without hating yourself.
Christopher Yuan, who lived a homosexual lifestyle before coming to Christ said this about those who have become a new creation in Christ. “Sexuality is no longer who we are, but rather how we are.” Jesus has made it possible to put to death the old self. Our response to being born again should be similar to what we see in 1 Peter 1:3. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”
32. James 1:13-15 “When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.”
33. Romans 5:12-15 “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned— 13 (For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. 15 But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many.”
What was the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah?
One of the most difficult and darkest subjects to discuss in the discussion of homosexuality is the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. In Genesis 13:10 we notice that before its destruction Sodom was known for its immense beauty. Sodom was known as a flourishing city that was blessed by God. The cities of Sodom and Gomorrah witnessed the great power, care, grace, patience, and mercy of the living God. However, even in this the cities rejected the Lord.
Now the question is asked, what was the sin of these cities that led to their destruction? There were a plethora of sins that led to their destruction such as inhospitality, pride, etc. However, it is clear when we read Genesis 18; Genesis 19; Jude 1; 2 Peter 2; and other verses that the primary sin that led to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah was homosexuality. In fact, the term “sodomy” derives from the biblical story of Sodom and Gomorrah. The term came to be used to refer to anal sex with a member of the same sex, whether it was consensual or not. Genesis 19 records the men of the cities coming out desiring to gang rape angels of the Lord disguised as men. The city of Sodom was riddled with various forms of sexual sins, including homosexuality and there was a blatant disregard for God.
Furthermore, in this story we notice the dangers of compromising with the world. Christians should have great love for those who are entangled in a homosexual lifestyle. However, we should never compromise with the integrity of God’s Word no matter how difficult it may be. When we slowly remove God’s wisdom and His Word from our lives whether it be in our family, our churches, the world, etc. there will be negative consequences. Lot experienced this firsthand. Preachers must be loving not compromising and they must be firm on God’s truths, otherwise instead of the world becoming like the church the church slowly becomes like the world.
This is a tough story in the Bible and there is no way around it. Those who reject the Lord will be judged. However, there is beauty and hope for all sinners in this story. This story represents the judgment of God and His wrath towards all sin. Sodom was an immoral city, but notice God’s patience towards this city desiring men and women of the city to turn their hearts from sin and towards Him. God came down in flesh to warn us and save us from the judgment to come. In Christ there is no judgment. There are beautiful pictures of Christ throughout this story. Notice that in the story Lot was saved by going through one door. In John 10:9 Jesus says, “I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.”
Outside the door you are not protected from shame, sin and the power of it, judgment, and pain. However, inside the door of Christ you have eternal joy and satisfaction. In Christ you have eternal security. You are in a safe place. You are in a place that is free of judgment and shame. Inside this door there is a beautiful expression and presence of deep intimate love and comfortability beyond anything that outside this door can give.
The door of Christ is remarkable in every sense of the word. No matter who you are He is calling you into this door to be saved and experience true liberation. In the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, we notice that God made a way of escape from the judgment to come. The offer of salvation is as real now as it was then. In His love Christ made a way and Christ took upon your judgment.
34. Genesis 18:20-21 “And the Lord said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous; I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know.”
35. Genesis 19:4-29 “Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom—both young and old—surrounded the house. 5 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.” 6 Lot went outside to meet them and shut the door behind him 7 and said, “No, my friends. Don’t do this wicked thing. 8 Look, I have two daughters who have never slept with a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do what you like with them. But don’t do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof.” 9 “Get out of our way,” they replied. “This fellow came here as a foreigner, and now he wants to play the judge! We’ll treat you worse than them.” They kept bringing pressure on Lot and moved forward to break down the door. 10 But the men inside reached out and pulled Lot back into the house and shut the door. 11 Then they struck the men who were at the door of the house, young and old, with blindness so that they could not find the door. 12 The two men said to Lot, “Do you have anyone else here—sons-in-law, sons or daughters, or anyone else in the city who belongs to you? Get them out of here, 13 because we are going to destroy this place. The outcry to the Lord against its people is so great that he has sent us to destroy it.” 14 So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who were pledged to marry his daughters. He said, “Hurry and get out of this place, because the Lord is about to destroy the city!” But his sons-in-law thought he was joking. 15 With the coming of dawn, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Hurry! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away when the city is punished.” 16 When he hesitated, the men grasped his hand and the hands of his wife and of his two daughters and led them safely out of the city, for the Lord was merciful to them. 17 As soon as they had brought them out, one of them said, “Flee for your lives! Don’t look back, and don’t stop anywhere in the plain! Flee to the mountains or you will be swept away!” 18 But Lot said to them, “No, my lords, please! 19 Your servant has found favor in your eyes, and you have shown great kindness to me in sparing my life. But I can’t flee to the mountains; this disaster will overtake me, and I’ll die. 20 Look, here is a town near enough to run to, and it is small. Let me flee to it—it is very small, isn’t it? Then my life will be spared.” 21 He said to him, “Very well, I will grant this request too; I will not overthrow the town you speak of. 22 But flee there quickly, because I cannot do anything until you reach it.” (That is why the town was called Zoar. 23 By the time Lot reached Zoar, the sun had risen over the land. 24 Then the Lord rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah—from the Lord out of the heavens. 25 Thus he overthrew those cities and the entire plain, destroying all those living in the cities—and also the vegetation in the land. 26 But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt. 27 Early the next morning Abraham got up and returned to the place where he had stood before the Lord. 28 He looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah, toward all the land of the plain, and he saw dense smoke rising from the land, like smoke from a furnace. 29 So when God destroyed the cities of the plain, he remembered Abraham, and he brought Lot out of the catastrophe that overthrew the cities where Lot had lived.”
36. Jude 1:7 “Just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.”
37. 2 Peter 2:6-10 “Later, God condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and turned them into heaps of ashes. He made them an example of what will happen to ungodly people. But God also rescued Lot out of Sodom because he was a righteous man who was sick of the shameful immorality of the wicked people around him. Yes, Lot was a righteous man who was tormented in his soul by the wickedness he saw and heard day after day. So you see, the Lord knows how to rescue godly people from their trials, even while keeping the wicked under punishment until the day of final judgment. He is especially hard on those who follow their own twisted sexual desire, and who despise authority. These people are proud and arrogant, daring even to scoff at supernatural beings without so much as trembling.”
38. Ezekiel 16:49-50 “Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. 50 And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good.”
39. 2 Peter 2:1-2 “But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed.”
40. 2 Peter 2:18 “They brag about themselves with empty, foolish boasting. With an appeal to twisted sexual desires, they lure back into sin those who have barely escaped from a lifestyle of deception.”
41. Luke 17:29 “But the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all.” It will be just like this on the day the Son of Man is revealed.”
42. Lamentations 4:6 “For the iniquity of the daughter of my people Is greater than the sin of Sodom, Which was overthrown as in a moment, And no hands were turned toward her.”
How should Christians respond to homosexuals?
Regardless of who you are, we all need Christ. As believers, we should desire to share our faith with all men and women. Nonetheless, let’s hit closer to home. In the introduction of this article I presented two questions. What do you do when a friend comes out and says, “I’m gay?” What do you do when someone who you care about accidentally reveals their sexual orientation that is contrary to what you believe?
Maybe it’s your sibling that came out. Maybe it’s your parent. Maybe it’s your teen child. What do you do? I’ll allow you to know what I did when these questions became a reality in my life. When my friend opened up to me about his sexual orientation I just thanked him for being vulnerable and I showed him love and care. This is especially true if it’s a teen child. We should reassure them of our love. Why didn’t I bring up a Bible verse at the moment? Why didn’t I beat him over the head with the Bible? Because if I didn’t handle that situation with care, then I could have easily put a strain in the relationship.
We are never to condone the sin, but we are to love the one in the sin. By reassuring the person of your love you are showing them a glimpse of God’s unwavering love. If it’s a child who opens up it is best to encourage that child to not define himself or herself as homosexual or lesbian. I believe there are great benefits to being humble and sharing your own brokenness and need for Christ to your child. This brings more vulnerability, intimacy, and trust in the relationship. Furthermore, this allows you to walk alongside each other and discuss the healing power that Christ brings. After love is reassured in the relationship, we should be willing to talk to our children about God’s design regarding sexuality and other things.
By no means was I saying that we should shy away from evangelizing because we shouldn’t. However, we should use discernment to know when it’s appropriate and when it’s not. I’ve noticed at times that you will have those loving but tough talks and often it is the other person who brings it up. With discernment if possible, we should always lovingly ask questions. This is especially true if it’s a child who comes out. We must put aside an argumentative spirit that only wants to debate and not listen. We must use discernment on how we respond to a certain person depending on the relationship. Sometimes we are able to ask someone if they’ve submitted their sexuality to God. Some relationships do not allow you to do this. Some relationships allow you to bring up God and the Bible and some don’t because the person is just going to furiously storm out of the room.
Discernment is needed. Wisdom is needed, and it is given in God’s Word and through prayer. We must continue to pray for wisdom on how to respond and how to help. We must also continually pray for the salvation of our friends, co-workers, family members, and students. We must continually remember them and desperately weep over them in prayer. Praying and weeping over the sins of others emanates from a loving and caring heart that is in alignment with the heart of God.
We must be a people similar to Nehemiah who said, “When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven. Then I said: “Lord, the God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments, let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel. I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father’s family, have committed against you. We have acted very wickedly toward you. We have not obeyed the commands, decrees and laws you gave your servant Moses.”
Sometimes the news of someone coming out as gay can seem excruciating and can bring heartache. However, keep this in mind. God has deeply experienced the weight of your anguish. You can trust Him and rely upon Him, for it is God who changes the heart and we can rest in His sovereignty and goodness. Whoever the person may be, remember to be kind, caring, loving, and a man or woman committed to prayer.
43. 2 Timothy 2:24-26 “And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.”
44. Romans 2:4 “Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?”
45. 1 Corinthians 13:13 “So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
Jesus can set you free
When we delve into 1 Corinthians 6 we jump to the 9th verse and stop at verse 10. In these two verses we learn that all active unrepentant sinners will not inherit the Kingdom of God. The issue is that if we stop at verse 10 we miss out on the precious truths of verse 11.
Paul was speaking to the Church of Corinth and he said, “do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” However, he doesn’t just stop there. In the following verse Paul says, “And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.”
Look at how beautiful the mighty supernatural work of God is in someone’s life. The sinner is washed by the work of Christ. He is set apart by the work of Christ. He is justified by the work of Christ! No matter what sinful lifestyle you are in through repentance and faith in Christ alone God can take you from verse 9 and 10 and bring you to verse 11. He can set you free and give you a new identity just like He has done for the Corinthian Christians.
46. 1 Corinthians 6:11 “And that is what some of you were. 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.”
47. John 8:36 “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”
Fight the good fight
For believers who struggle with SSA allow me to remind you that you are not who your struggles say that you are. You are who Christ declares that you are! You may not have chosen to have these desires. Nonetheless, what you do choose is what you do with these desires. Let’s continually deny ourselves. By this I mean surrendering different areas of our lives to Christ. As we deny ourselves and resist relentless cravings of the flesh, we are strengthened in Christ.
As believers, we can rejoice in the fact that we are partakers of God’s nature. The transcendent God has inhabited our flesh. For all struggling believers such as myself this should give you so much hope. This means that we no longer have to be enslaved to our passions and sins. God is working in us to will and to work for His good pleasure. I encourage you to fast, pray, and remain in the Word. I know that sometimes it can feel like an unrelenting battle, but don’t give up. You have absolute victory in Christ! Run to Christ who loves you, welcomes you, and understands you.
Though we struggle now due to this fallen world and our unredeemed flesh, one day we will be fully redeemed from all sin. The sufferings that you may face today is not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed.
48. Romans 8:18 “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”
49. Matthew 16:24-26 “Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?”
50. Romans 8:23 “Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies.”