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Sunday, May 17, 2009
With the recent success of proposition 8 in California, and the polls showing a majority of Americans across the country opposed to giving marital status to homosexual couples, one would think that the same sex-marriage debate would have faded away. Unfortunately, that has not been the case. Every week we hear of another state either passing laws that allow gay marriages, or judges of those states ruling by fiat to force it upon society.
As a logical Christian, I look at the many prophecies God has given us throughout the Scriptures, and I can see the writing on the wall. In the near future we will be living in a society that not only allows same-sex marriage but also accepts it as a normal way of life. It really should not surprise anyone, especially when you consider our society has allowed its high court to banish God from the class room and rule a woman has a right to abort her children.
While I admit this is a battle we will inevitably lose, it is still one we must fight in the hearts and minds of every man and woman in America and abroad. As a Christian I stand behind the Bible that clearly states, homosexual behavior is a sin. It is this battle line we must make our stance upon as we continue to fight and advance the truth of the gospel in America and around the world.
Paul told the believers in Rome, that we have all sinned and thus fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23 ) So if homosexuality is considered a sin, then an explanation of what sin is would be needed. The best definition I have ever heard to describe exactly what sin is would be, “anything that falls short of the perfection of a perfect God” I bring this up because many churches and Christian leaders allow those caught up in the gay lifestyle to believe they are not sinning. These false teachers are under the assumption that God has made them the way they are so obviously He would condone their behavior. They also teach that the Bible does not really condemn homosexual behavior or that Jesus would not condemn this behavior. The reality is that these claims are just more lies by Satan to convince an individual to continue practicing behavior that keeps them away from God. However, if they insist upon twisting Scripture to justify their behavior, it is our duty to point out their errors.
The Bible contains nine specific references to homosexuality: four in the Old Testament (Genesis 19:1-25); ( Judges 19:22-30); (Leviticus 18:22); and ( Leviticus 20:13) and five in the New Testament (Romans 1:24-28); (1 Corinthians 6:9-10); (1 Timothy 1:8-11); ( 2 Peter 2:6-10); and (Jude 1:7) Paul wrote the passage in Romans in such a simplistic manner that one would think he wrote in anticipation of the debate we are having today on homosexuality. Unfortunately, those who wish to lead others astray go through quite a few twists and turns to convince others of their beliefs. Along with the above mentioned Scriptures there are other references that can help the reader understand God's view upon marriage and family, promiscuity, and sexual purity. These Scriptures are as follows,( Genesis 2:18-25); (Proverbs 18:22); (Mark 7:21); (1 Thessalonians 4:3-5); (Romans 6:13); (Romans 13:13); (1 Corinthians 6:13); (1 Corinthians 18-19); (Galatians 5:19-21); (Colossians 3:5); (Revelation 21:8); (Revelation 22:15).
Throughout history, Christian theologians have been consistent in their interpretation that the Scriptures consider homosexual behavior to be sinful. We even derive our modern word sodomy from the biblical account of Sodom and Gomorrah. It should also be stated that while the act itself is condemned by the Bible, personality traits such as feminine feelings on the part of a man or masculine feelings on the part of a woman are not. There has always been and there always will be men and women who have traits that could be misconstrued, but it does not change the fact that we are created as man and woman and can only reproduce by the union of a man and a woman. God said be fruitful and multiply, and there is only one way to achieve that goal. (Genesis 1:28) & (Genesis 8:17 )
There are those who attempt to use the Scriptures I listed above to prove that God did not really mean to condemn homosexuality. These false teachers attempt to distort the plain meaning of Scripture by taking ancient historical languages and reinterpreting them with the mindset of today's hedonistic views. However, their arguments fall short, and with a minimal amount of study it becomes clear that they only wish to confuse their followers into believing they are not sinning. We must avoid interpreting Scripture in light of our tendencies and desires and instead interpret our desires and tendencies in light of the Scripture. God's word is the rule, we must not make our rule God's word.
Another way they obfuscate the truth is by claiming the biblical view of sexuality is not valid in the modern word. They point out that the law in Leviticus was intended for the ancient Hebrews and does not apply today. By claiming the Levitical law was intended for the ancient Hebrews, they use examples of many things condemned as evil in the Old Testament that are commonly accepted in the modern world, like eating pork. While I do admit that civil or ceremonial laws do often change from country to country and year by year, moral laws do not change. The New Testament may have repealed various Old Testament ceremonial Jewish laws like eating unclean foods and circumcision, (Acts 10:12-15); (Colossians 2:11-16); (Romans 14:17)), but the Bible is consistent throughout the Scriptures on its teaching about morality, which includes the practice of homosexuality.
Those who advance the gay agenda attempt to normalize their behavior to the public by claiming Jesus never mentioned homosexuality in any of His sermons. Obviously, they reason, we cannot ascertain His position on it. However, Jesus never mentioned other blatant sexual sins like rape, incest, or pedophilia either. Now does anyone think that Jesus would condone any of those behaviors? I think not. Just because Jesus does not mention them, does not mean that it is all right to commit these offenses against God and each other.
There can be no mistaking about the teachings of Jesus when it comes to the proper marriage relationship of a man and a woman. In (Matthew 19:4-5) Jesus reiterated the same thing about marriage and family that Moses taught when He wrote the account of creation in the book of Genesis. (Genesis 2:24) It is very clear from both Moses and Jesus that any sexual relationship outside of a committed marriage relationship between one man and one woman not only demeans the institution of marriage, but also insults our heavenly Father.
Besides being quite clear in his contempt for sexual immorality (Mark 7:21), Jesus was even more strict than the teachings in the Old Testament. He went so far as to state that sexual immorality extended to even the lusting in ones heart. (Matthew 5:27-30) These were very tough standards compared to what Moses taught, and He knew we would find it difficult to accept them. Throughout His life Jesus met people who were caught up in different sinful behaviors, yet nowhere does He ever condone the behavior of those that sinned. After Zacchaeus had spent some time with Jesus, the tax collector pledged to pay back fourfold all he stole from his fellow Jews. (Luke 19:1-9) These were very tough standards compared to what Moses taught, and He knew we would find it difficult to accept them. Throughout His life, Jesus met people who were caught up in different sinful behaviors, yet nowhere does He ever condone the behavior of those that sinned.
When the woman caught in adultery was brought before Him, Jesus forgave her, but also made it clear she was to sin no more. (John 8:1-11) Also Jesus specifically stated that he did not come to abolish the law but to fulfill it, (Matthew 5:17) and Jewish law was quite clear on homosexual behavior. So to suggest that Jesus would have condoned homosexual behavior is twisting Scripture for personal gratification and reasons of political correctness.
In our attempt to show how God is a loving and forgiving God we must not forget that He is also a God of justice. Justice means that there will be punishment for those who do not obey His precepts. Jesus says more about hell and eternal punishment than anyone else in the entire Bible. The teaching comes from his own lips and we must take it with utmost seriousness. (Matthew 5:48) Examples of the wrath of God's judgement: (Genesis 2:17); ( 2 Kings 17:18); (Psalm 74:1); (Psalm 79:5); (Psalm 90:11); (Proverbs 10:16); (Micah 7:9); (Zephaniah 3:8); (Matthew 5:29); (Matthew 7:13); (Matthew 25:46); (Romans 1:32); (Romans 2:8); (Romans 6:23); (Acts 3:19); (1 Corinthians 6:9); (Galatians 6:7-8); (Philippians 3:19); (2 Thessalonians 1:9); (James 1:15) and (Revelation 20:12-15).
Those who attempt to mislead others about what the Scriptures say, suggest that God is a God of love and accepts people just as they are. This is a very dangerous thing to teach, because it leads people to think they do not need to believe in Jesus so be saved. However Paul specifically told the Romans that all have sinned and thus fall short of the glory of God, (Romans 3:23 ) and Jesus tells us that no one but God is good. (Luke 18:18) We are an unclean people who sin continually, and God demands that we repent of those sins. (Acts 2:38) When we create a god that fits our lifestyle we are in direct violation of the Second Commandment, “Thou shall have no other gods before Me”. (Exodus 20:3)
Regardless of the excuses we use for our sins, sin is still sin, and we will all be tested throughout our lives by our flesh and the world in which we live. Some of us will be given a thorn in our side to remind us of God's grace which allows us to look to Him for the strength we need to defeat our weaknesses. (2 Corinthians 12:7- 10) Those weaknesses can either lead us to find pleasure in the world, or comfort in the knowledge of Christ and His power to save us. The question we all must ask ourselves is, can we sacrifice those pleasures that keep us from God upon the cross with Christ, or will we risk eternal damnation because of our desire to practice behavior the world has legalized?
I pray that those who have ears to hear will hear His voice and call upon the name of the lord Jesus Christ.
Posted by Chuck at 8:37 AM