The Hope Of The Gospel For Homosexuals

It is written:

“Surely you know that people who do wrong will not get to enjoy God’s kingdom. Don’t be fooled. These are the people who will not get to enjoy his kingdom: those who sin sexually, those who worship idols, those who commit adultery, men who let other men use them for sex or who have sex with other men, those who steal, those who are greedy, those who drink too much, those who abuse others with insults, and those who cheat. 11  In the past some of you were like that. But you were washed clean, you were made holy, and you were made right with God in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)

Several things about this text of Scripture regarding homosexuality are worthy of consideration.

First, the Bible identifies homosexual behavior as sin. The phrases used here (“men who let other men use them for sex or those who have sex with other men”) describe both the active and passive roles in the homosexual activity. Both are classified as sin, and the passage makes it clear that those who continue in this sin “will not get to enjoy God’s kingdom.”

Second, the text makes it clear that what is under condemnation is homosexual activity, not homosexual attraction. Attraction in and of itself is not sinful; rather, desire has the potential to lead to sin (James 1;13-15).

Third, Paul does not view homosexuality as “the greatest” or the “most terrible” sin. Recently, a friend told me about a non-Christian relative who visited a church “revival” meeting. For all three nights, the preacher preached exclusively on homosexuality. She did not understand why this was the one “issue” that was continually hammered on from the pulpit. Is this sin worse then other sins? Not according to the Bible, yet it is often treated as such.

Fourth, there were some at Corinth who had been guilty of these lifestyles of sin and had yet been forgiven and cleansed by the blood of Christ.

There is an interesting fact to notice in this connection. In every passage of the New Testament where homosexuality is mentioned, it is condemned; and then, there is the fact of God’s forgiveness extended to all. Wesley Hill has written:

“In the first place, the Christian story promises forgiveness of sins—including gay sex—to anyone who will receive it through Jesus’ death and resurrection. One of the most striking things about the New Testament’s teaching on homosexuality is that, right on the heels of the passages that condemn homosexual activity, there are, without exception, resounding affirmations of God’s extravagant mercy and redemption. God condemns same-sex sexual acts and amazingly, profligately, at great cost to himself, lavishes his love on homosexual persons….The New Testament rings with the good news that the “unrighteous” may be redeemed. Like the prodigal son welcomed home by his father in Jesus’ parable, gay persons may be forgiven and set apart as God’s treasured possession—no matter what they’ve done in the past. First Timothy 1: 8–11 has an indictment of same-sex sexual behavior equally as stark as the one in 1 Corinthians…But, again, directly following this coldly condemning word comes a “trustworthy [saying] . . . deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (1 Timothy 1: 15), including all the types of sinners just mentioned. In Paul’s letter to the Romans, when the topic of same-sex erotic activity comes up, as it does almost immediately (Romans 1: 18–32), Paul places it in the context of a grand narrative of God’s re-creating human beings—and, indeed, the whole cosmos—through Jesus Christ….“Paul’s references to homosexual conduct place it within the realm of sin and death, to which the cross is God’s definitive answer,” writes biblical scholar Richard Hays. “The judgment of Romans 1 against homosexual practices should never be read apart from the rest of the letter, with its message of grace and hope through the cross of Christ.”…Christianity’s good news provides—amply so—for the forgiveness of sins and the wiping away of guilt and the removal of any and all divine wrath through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Seen in this light, the demand that we say no to our sexual temptation need not seem impossible. If we have failed in the past, we can receive grace—a clean slate, a fresh start. If we fail today or tomorrow in our struggle to be faithful to God’s commands, that too may be forgiven. Feeling that the guilt of past sins or present failures is beyond the scope of God’s grace should never be a barrier preventing anyone from embracing the demands of the gospel. God has already anticipated our objection and extravagantly answered it with the mercy of the cross.” (Wesley Hill, Washed And Waiting: Reflections On Christian Faithfulness & Homosexaility, 77-80 (Kindle Edition); Grand Rapids, Michigan; Zondervan)

The Gospel is the message of hope for every sinner. There is no room for any sinner to boast (Titus 3:3-7). The God of Heaven calls all to repentance and salvation.

Have you answered His call (1 Corinthians 15:1-8; Acts 2:37-38; 1 John 1:9)?

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