As most of you know, The Supreme Court recently made a ruling allowing gay couples to “marry” all across America. To many of us, we believe that this was unwise and more importantly, an unbiblical stance. Marriage has already been defined by the One who created it in the first place. He is the supreme Judge who is over the Supreme Court. However, we as Christians need to realize that the country that we live in is much more akin to Babylon than that of ancient Israel. Our neighbors are no longer the Brady Bunch, and we no longer live in Mayberry. So, we need to know how to live and what to say in the present day. We need to act as Christ to a people who are by and large Christless. If Jesus was here physically, I believe there are 5 things He would say to the LGBT community.
- You matter to Me, because I created you in My image.
According to John 3:16, Jesus came to die for a people from every tribe, tongue, and nation. No doubt, there are gays who exist within this spectrum. We know that God has extended some portion of grace to all (although not specifically saving grace) for scripture says that “he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust,”(Matthew 5:45). Every person is created in God’s image. He loves His creation. Those who are homosexuals matter to God in the sense that He extended love to His whole creation. It is not a complete effectual love, but it is love nonetheless. You matter in His big picture.
- I can sympathize with your temptation, for I was also tempted.
Jesus was tempted. “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need,” says the writer of Hebrews in chapter 4:15-16. Jesus hungered, thirsted, slept, and wept. Satan even tempted Jesus. However, in this temptation, He was yet without sin. Temptation is not sin, but acting upon it is. There are those who have homosexual temptations, but those temptations do not become sin until it is acted upon either through lust or a physical action. They need to realize that Jesus understands temptation, and through Him, they can have the power to overcome that temptation. While that thorn in their flesh may never be completely taken away, the Lord can give them the power that they need to overcome temptation (I Corinthians 10:13).
- I want you to have true joy, not just temporary satisfaction.
Sin can be enjoyable for a season (Hebrews 11:25). Why else would people do it if it was not enjoyable? It is desirous for their flesh. An adulterer must enjoy a one-night stand. A glutton must enjoy the over eating, otherwise they would stop on their 2nd helping. But Jesus desires your holiness more than your happiness. To be holy, one must be redeemed by the Lord. This happens through recognition of sin, a repentance of that sin, and regeneration for the sinner by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, for the glory of God alone. Happiness is fleeting, but the state of joy is eternal. The only way to have eternal joy and not just temporary satisfaction is through Jesus.
- I want you to know that you are destroying your body and damning your soul
It is just a simple fact that STDs are rampant among those in this lifestyle. Statistically, 70-78% of the LGBT community has reported to have had an STD. Roughly 50% for all people, both gay and straight, who engage in premarital sex are said to have an STD as well. Homosexual males are 116 times more likely to be murdered and 24 times more likely to commit suicide than their straight male counter-parts. The decision to be gay often has lasting physical consequences. But, more importantly than the body’s destruction, is the damning of your soul. It is true that we are ALL born into sin and choose to sin. This sin separates us from God. The Old Testament law condemned homosexuality (Leviticus 18:22). Jesus condemned it by alluding to the Old Testament sexual laws as perverse in Matthew 19 and Mark 7. Paul condemns it by saying “Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals . . .” in I Corinthians 6:9-10. This practice, if unrepented of, will lead you to hell – because it is sin.
- I love to save those who are lost.
Jesus loves to save sinners. He loves to draw to Himself, gossips, idol worshipers, womanizers, and yes even homosexuals. In writing to the Roman church Paul said, “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,” (Romans 2:4). You cannot remain in your sin and be saved. It would not be loving to allow a sinner to keep sinning. It would not be loving to remain silent about the truth. However, it is loving to warn of the coming destruction for those who refuse to acknowledge the Lord. To do this there must be a willingness to acknowledge sin, to turn from that sin, and accept Jesus as the Lord, Savior, and Master of your life. He loves to save those who are perishing, and is willing to save all who call upon His name.
I believe if Jesus was still physically present here on earth, this is what He might say. However, we as His representatives need to be willing to pass this message on to our neighbor, family, and co-worker. Yes, this lifestyle is a sin, and because of that, it is not one that is simply an “alternative.” However, we must recognize our own lostness, sinfulness, and inability to save ourselves as well. We need to remember that the homosexual community is not our enemy . . . Satan is. They need Jesus just as much as us. We must be willing to engage them in a respectful manner and lovingly have this dialog with them. Jesus will sort out their sin in the end. Do we let them become a member in the church while practicing this lifestyle? No, God forbid! But, the church is a good place for them to be to hear God’s truth and either deny Him or be convicted by His Word. So, let’s be sure that when we are talking to our LGBT neighbor that we do it in a way that honors God.
Soli Deo Gloria,
Adam B. Burrell