The Bible and Homosexuality (1)
6-28-15 Genesis 1:26 Independence Day
Good morning everybody. If we could take our bibles and open them to the book of Genesis; the book of Genesis, chapter 1 and verse 26. The title of our message this morning is a message I really didn’t plan on teaching today, nor want to teach it, so I’m just going to turn it over to Chris at this time and…. [laughter] The total of our message this morning is The Bible and Homosexuality…. The Bible and Homosexuality!
Typically around this time of the year I teach a fourth of July patriotic type message and I originally was going to teach that next week, on 4th of July weekend, July 5th. However, given recent events that took place on Friday I decided to expand this into a two week series, beginning this week and going into next week, on this whole issue of homosexuality. You know, there’s a time to put aside your knitting to address the need. And my habit as a verse by verse teacher is just to keep moving through the Bible but John 21 will still be there in a few weeks, we just have one chapter left to cover, we’ll be returning to John 21 a few weeks down the road.
I want to address this issue about homosexuality, particularly in light of the recent Supreme Court case that was handed down. In case you’ve been living under a rock somewhere and don’t know what’s going on, the Supreme Court has declared that homosexuality is a Constitutional right and essentially what that means is every state that did not issue a marriage license to a homosexual couple is now prohibited from doing so. And they are being forced, under legal compulsion, to issue these licenses, whether the state agrees with the policy of issuing these licenses or not. And beyond that, the Supreme Court ruled that any state that honors the gay marriage, that marriage must be honored in any state that couple goes to, whether they agree in that state with gay marriage, same sex marriage better said, or not.
My goal in this two part series is not to be angry and it is not to be reactionary, but the goal is to generate light rather than heat. And I simply want to, as our culture descends into confusion about this issue of homosexuality, particularly with the ruling of the highest court in the land, I want to get back to the Bible. What does God say about this subject of homosexuality? It really doesn’t matter what the Supreme Court says, it really doesn’t matter what I think, it really doesn’t matter what you think in a certain sense. It does matter, though, what God thinks and since the Scripture has addressed the issue directly, I want to explore today what the Scripture actually says.
None of the comments that I’m going to be making today should be construed as gay or same sex bashing. Homosexuals are souls for whom Christ died. However, what is happening is the whole subject matter of homosexuality is being given sort of a stamp of approval. And those of us that may not go along with this stamp of approval are being looked at as bigots, racists, and irrational people. And what I’d like to show you today is there is a reason why the Christian church, for the last 2,000 years, has had a formed belief on this issue of homosexuality. God is not silent. And I have spent, probably the better part of the weekend trying to read through that decision. It’s about 100 pages when you factor in the majority opinion, written by Justice Kennedy and the various dissenting opinions. I’ve read about two-thirds of it.
But Chief Justice John Robertson in his dissent makes the following statement. He says, “But by the majority’s account,” speaking of the majority of Justices that came out in favor of Constitutional right for same sex marriage, “But by the majority’s account, Americans who did nothing more than follow the understanding of marriage that has existed for our entire history, in particular the tens of millions of people who voted to reaffirm the State’s enduring definition of marriage, have acted to lock out, disparage, disrespect, and subordinate and inflict dignitary wounds upon their gay and lesbian neighbors. These apparent assaults on the character of fair minded people will have an effect in society and in court. It is one thing for the majority to conclude that the Constitution protects a right to same sex marriage. It is something else to portray everyone who does not share the majorities” (quote) “better formed understanding” (close quote) “as bigoted.”
It is quite interesting to me to note that this issue with the Confederate flag and this young man that killed several people in a South Carolina church, the issue of the Confederate flag has made front page news right alongside this issue of gay marriage, or same sex marriage. And it’s very interesting to me to watch the media elite try to connect the two together. The Confederate flag in their minds mean racism. Those that are against what the Supreme Court has said in the same way are racists, bigots; in fact, they’re no different than this very morally depraved young man that went forth and murdered several people.
This is the climate that we find ourselves today in in the United States of America, in the year 2015. And beloved, may I just say to you that things are not going to get any easier. The mindset of the culture is what it is, and it is accelerating. What, then, does the Scripture itself say about this subject of homosexuality? What a fitting time it is to go to the pages of God’s Word and seek to ascertain what the Creator Himself has revealed.
We’re living in a time period when even Christians, so-called themselves, are denying that the Bible has anything to say about same sex marriage. This is J. Bakker, the son of former televangelist Jim Bakker; he is a leading representative of what we call the emergent church, or the emerging church. And notice his words: “It sounds so churchy, but I felt like God spoke to my heart and said homosexuality is not a sin.”
And there are hundreds, perhaps thousands of quotes I could produce just like this, where we, as Bible believers and readers are being put under tremendous pressure, not just from the legal system but even from our own ranks, seeking to rewrite the Bible as if it had nothing to say about the subject of homosexuality.
So what I would like to do, I hope you have your Bible with you handy, we are going to be moving fast, but I want to simply reveal to you what I believe the whole counsel of the Word of God speaks on this particular subject. Next week, in the second part of this two-part series we’ll get into some of the legal ramifications associated with the decision. Today though we’re sticking specifically with the Word of God.
Has God spoken on this issue? Yes He has! The whole subject matter starts in creation itself in Genesis 1:26. Notice what it says there in verse 26, “‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness….’” Verse 27, “God created man is His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.  God blessed them; and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply….” Why start in the book of Genesis on a topic like this? Simply put, the book of Genesis is the blueprint, if you will; it is the pattern, if you will; it is the norm, if you will, of God’s intention for sexual relations in the human race that He Himself has created. You’ll notice that a statement, “be fruitful and multiply,” “male and female,” totally excludes homosexuality for the simple reason that a homosexual couple is not “male and female,” it’s male and male or female and female. Beyond that, what homosexual couple can fulfill this mandate, “be fruitful and multiply.”
It becomes a biological impossibility for a homosexual, does it not?
Take a look, if you will, at Genesis 2:18-25. Genesis 2 is an amplification of day 6 in the creation week when God brought forth humanity. It says is Genesis 2, it speaks of the very first marriage, it says this, “Then the LORD God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.’  Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name.  The man gave names to all the cattle, and to the birds of the sky, and to every beast of the field, but for Adam there was not found a helper suitable for him.  So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place.  The LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and 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, because she was taken out of Man.’  For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.  And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.”
This is the very first marriage in the Bible and the blueprint once again is very clearly in the direction of heterosexuality, not homosexuality. This is pre-fall, this is before sin had begun to mar God’s original creation, and we clearly see a heterosexual pattern here. This is what is normative in the eyes of God. This is what God anticipated; this is what God intended and you have no hint in Genesis 1 nor in Genesis 2 of any homosexuality whatsoever.
And as we continue through the Scripture after the fall of man, what we discover is the time in history where the blueprint of God is violated. Take your Bibles, if you could and go to Genesis 18:20, we are now leaving the blueprint and looking at the deviation of God’s blueprint. Genesis 18:20, notice what it says, “The outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah is indeed great, and their sin is exceedingly grave,” it speaks of a great sin of exceptional quality taking place in that ancient and wicked city, infamously known as Sodom and Gomorrah.
Take your Bible, if you could, and go to Genesis 19:4-5, notice what these verses say: “Before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, surrounded the house, both young and old, all the people from every quarter;  and they called to Lot and said to him, ‘Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may have relations with them.’” That is a translation there from the New American Standard Bible; I think it’s correctly translated “relations.” If you’re reading from the King James Bible it will read something like this, Genesis 19:5, “Bring them out that we may know them.” Now when you examine the Hebrew construction of “know” that’s used there what you’ll discover, and you don’t have to turn there but it’s the identical Hebrew construction found in Genesis 4:1. Genesis 4:1 says, “Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bore Cain, and said, I have begotten a man from the LORD.”
Bring out your guests, Lot, that have sought refuge under your roof, bring them out so that we may get to “know” them, the desire of this crowd to engage in carnal knowledge, with Lot’s two guests. In fact, this scene is so horrifying it describes people, both young and old, in this activity. People from every quarter of the city were literally beating down the house of Lot demanding that Lot’s two guests be released for sexual purposes. It’s a horrifying scene.
And you see, this is the reason that God destroyed that wicked city. The gay rights theologians, and by the way, you should know that there is an entire battery of theologians that have devoted their lives to erasing any condemnation of homosexuality from the Bible. Just like there are attorneys that work overtime, every day of their lives they go to work to try to erase any so-called stigma of homosexuality, there are theologians in that business as well. And what typically they do is they retreat to Ezekiel 16:49, which is a 6th century prophet, Ezekiel says this: “Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had arrogance, abundant food and careless ease, but she did not help the poor and the needy.” Now if you are ever to get into a discussion with somebody that knows what they’re talking about, no doubt at some point if you bring up Sodom and Gomorrah they will bring up Ezekiel 16:49 and they will say look, the city of Sodom and Gomorrah was not destroyed because of homosexual rape; it was destroyed because the city didn’t look out for the poor. It was destroyed because of the lack of hospitality to guests.
And the fact of the matter is, Ezekiel 16:49 describes a sin of the city, but not the only sin of the city. Certainly with their affluence they should have looked out for the poor and as affluent people have a tendency to do because they are released through financial circumstances from the burden of having to work by the sweat of your brow as aggressively as others do, wealthy people have a tendency to invest their extra time into pursuing the lusts of the flesh. That’s why being rich in a certain sense is a curse, because as you are rich you are introduced to leisure; leisure can be lethal because you’ve got time on your hands not to indulge the sin nature. That is what the Sodomites were involved in. It is not simply some sort of refusal to look out for the poor; it is this idea that they used this extra income and resources that they had to live according to the sin nature.
That’s why I like what the book of Proverbs says. The book of Proverbs says Lord, don’t make me so poor that I have to steal, and don’t make me so rich that I forget You. I want to be, Lord, right there in the middle. See, poor, or poverty, can be difficult because now you’re tempted to steal; wealth can be a challenge because you forget God and I believe that was Agur in the Proverbs that says I want to be right there in the middle.
You see, the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah, when you put the whole thing together, yes, they were careless; yes, they were at ease; yes, they had resources; yes, they did not help the poor, but they used the extra resources and time on their hands to indulge the desires of the sin nature and it got so perverse that they surrounded the house of Lot one night, who had two guests visiting and they demanded that those guests be released for purposes of carnal knowledge.
Jude 7, remember Jude is the Lord’s brother, Jude wrote a book of the New Testament called the book of Jude; Jude is a very good commentator, then, on the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, and notice what Jude, verse 7 says: “just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire.” What was the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah that caused God to rain fire and brimstone down and destroy an entire city? It was this idea that they went after strange flesh, these inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah. They indulged in gross immorality.
Why is it “strange flesh?” Why is it “gross immorality?” Simply put it is a gross and deviant violation of the blueprint of God for sexuality; that is clearly documented in Genesis 1 and Genesis 2. So what you find in Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 is the blueprint of the Creator. And what you find in Genesis 19 is a gross violation of that blueprint.
Hopefully we are growing now in our understanding of what God thinks about this issue of homosexuality.
Let’s go now, number 3, to the Mosaic Law; this takes us to about the time period of 1445 B.C. Take your Bible, if you could, and turn to Leviticus 18, and notice if you will verse 22, and you remember the story in the Bible, you remember how the nation of Israel departed from the land of Canaan in Genesis 46 and they went to Egypt; they sojourned there in Egypt for 400 years. In fact, in Egypt they became captives; God through the Exodus event brought them out of 400 years of bondage. They traveled to a place called Mount Sinai, and they received from God His Law.
Now we at Sugar Land Bible Church will never put you under Law, and the reason we do not put people under the Law is because we believe that the Law of God was given specifically to the nation of Israel. It was not given to the United States of America; it was not given to Sugar Land Bible Church, it was given specifically to a nation called Israel. In fact, Psalm 147:19-20, you don’t have to turn there, says, “He declares His words to Jacob, His statutes and ordinances to Israel.  He has not dealt thus with any nation; and as for His ordinances they have not known them. Praise the LORD!” Translation: The Law belongs to Israel and only Israel, and yet we can study that Mosaic Law, which is found in the book of Exodus, Numbers, Deuteronomy and Leviticus, and we can get a window, if you will, a perspective, if you will, into the character of God, because the Law is a revelation of God’s perfect moral character. And we learn in that Law the things that please God and the things that displease God. And the Law of God twice has something specific to say about the issue of homosexuality.
Notice, if you will, Leviticus 18:22, “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.”
Notice, if you will, Leviticus 20, a couple of chapters to the right, and verse 13, Leviticus 20 adds punishments; chapter 18 gives the crime, chapter 20 gives the time. Notice Leviticus 20:13, it says, “If there is a man who lives with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable ace; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltiness is upon them.”
It is quite interesting to me that in both of these chapters, Leviticus 18 and Leviticus 22, what you discover is the sin of homosexuality is treated just like other sins. For example, in these chapters you will find condemnations of incest, chapter 18:6-18; you will find condemnations of adultery, chapter 18 verse 20 and chapter 20 verse 10. You will find condemnations of child sacrifice, Leviticus 18:21; Leviticus 20:2-5. You will find condemnations of bestiality, Leviticus 18:23; Leviticus 20:15-16. You will find condemnations of witchcraft, Leviticus 20:6 and verse 27.
And you will find condemnations of disrespect for parental authority, Leviticus 20:9. Any honest objective reading of the Law of God leads to the conclusion that homosexuality is a sin just like all of these other sins mentioned on that list that I just read. I’m not saying God doesn’t love these people. “For God so loved the” what? “the world.” It’s not a question of God’s love; it’s does the Creator endorse the practice of homosexuality and any fair-minded reading of the Law would say no.
Beyond that what’s very interesting at the end of chapter 18, verses 24-28 is a statement by God that because of these practices… what practices? Homosexuality and all of the other practices that I just mentioned, because of these practices God is spewing out of the land of Canaan; He is driving out of the land of Canaan the Canaanites.
Leviticus 18:24-28 says, “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.  For the land has become defiled, therefore I have brought its punishment upon it, so the land has spewed out its inhabitants.  But as for you, you are to keep My statutes and My judgments and shall not do any of these abominations, neither the native, nor the alien who sojourns among you  (for the men of the land who have been before you have done all these abominations, and the land has become defiled).”
Notice, if you will, Leviticus 20:22-23, “You are therefore to keep all of My statutes and all of My ordinances and do them, so that the land to which I am bringing you to live will now spew you out.  Moreover, you shall not follow the customs of the nation which I will drive out before you, for they did all these things, and therefore I have abhorred them.”
It is quite interesting to me that the practice of homosexuality caused the Canaanites, under the judgment of God, to be driven out of the land. And you say well, wait a minute, I thought the Law was only for Israel. It is, but you see, God has revealed the blueprint of heterosexuality to the pagan nations as well, and therefore those pagan nations, the Canaanites who did not have the Law, other than what was written on their hearts, were held accountable based upon their adherence to the divine blueprint of sexuality as revealed by God. God held Israel accountable for violating it: He held non-Israelis and the Jewish nation accountable as well.
This is how God looks at nations. All nations, whether they have the Law or not, know truth because truth is written on our hearts, Romans 2:14-15. [Romans 2:14-15, “For when the Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves,  in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them.”]
And every society has a choice, will they honor the truth of God or reject it. And if you reject it there are consequences that come as well.
This is not my personal point of view; this is exactly what the Scripture is saying. You say well, all of this is very interesting and most of the verses that you’ve quoted here are Old Testament passages. Certainly in the New Testament God is a God of tolerance, is He not? Certainly in the New Testament we wouldn’t find any strong condemnation of homosexuality. Certainly in the New Testament we would not find anything in the teachings of Christ that would condemn homosexual behavior, would we? I’m glad you asked.
Take your Bible and turn to Matthew 19:4-6, now we are in the New Testament and we’re looking at Jesus Himself, incarnate God in human flesh. Jesus, Matthew 19, actually verses 3-6, this is the verse that was read a little earlier, it says this in verse 3, Christ was questioned about marriage and divorce,  “Some Pharisees came to Jesus, testing Him and asking, ‘Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason at all?’  And He answered and said, ‘Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning” this should ring a bell, “from the beginning MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE,’  and said, ‘FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH?  So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.”
The Pharisees came to Jesus and they wanted to get Him into a debate; a debate about the indecent thing mentioned in the book of Deuteronomy, which dissolves a marriage. The school of Hillel had a very liberal interpretation of that; the school of Shammai had a very strict interpretation of that, and they come to Jesus and they want to know what side of the fence are You on, Jesus? Are you with Hillel or are you with Shammai? And I love how Jesus answers the questions: He does not take the bait. Instead He answers the question on His own terms, and where does he go? Is it not interesting that in verse 4 He’s quoting Genesis 1:27? Is it not interesting that in verse 5 He is quoting Genesis 2:24? Rather than to get into this Rabbinical debate He goes right back to the standard of the Creator, the blueprint of human sexuality which was ordained by God Himself before the fall of man.
You see, we think that in our fallen state somehow the original blueprint no longer applies but the fact of the matter is Jesus Himself, well into New Testament times, likely the ministry of Jesus took place thousands of years, perhaps as late as 4,000 years beyond when the original blueprint was given. Jesus never said that original blueprint is out of date. Despite the passing of multiple millennia the original blueprint was not out of date. What Shammai said and what Hillel said is irrelevant. What matters is what God said in His original standard, as given in and to pre-fall humanity.
It is quite interesting to me that Jesus, as we have studied the Gospel of John, performed seven miracles. Do you recall the very first location of the very first miracle that He performed? It’s recorded there in John 2:1-11, John 2:11 says this, “This is the beginning of His signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and He manifested His glory, and His disciples believed in Him.” What was the venue or the location that Jesus chose to inaugurate His public ministry? It was at a wedding. Jesus, in doing so, is telling us and placing His stamp of authentication and blessing on a heterosexual wedding. Why is that? Because those involved at the wedding are honoring the blueprint of the Creator Himself.
And yet when you begin to talk this way here’s the type of thinking that you get from people: well, Jesus never condemned homosexuality specifically, did He? That, in logic, is what we call an argument from silence. You assume that silence on a topic is somehow a tacit approval of that topic under discussion. Let me tell you something: Jesus never condemned freebasing cocaine directly; He never condemned spousal abuse directly. Are we to assume from that that somehow Jesus is in favor of drug abuse; are we to assume that Jesus is in favor of spousal battery. What a ridiculous assumption that is, and yet our thought life has degenerated to such a level that these are the typical arguments that we get from people.
You cannot assume that silence on something is an endorsement. An argument from silence is what you call a logical fallacy. It’s like me as a professor of a class telling the students when the final is, it’s on the syllabus, it’s mentioned as a date, here is when the final is coming in written form. And yet the students have the syllabus and yet I, as a professor never mentioned the final the rest of the semester. What kind of an excuse would it be to say well, you never mentioned it so we just kind of assumed that weren’t going to have one? That’s an argument from silence; it’s assuming that not mentioning something is the same thing as an endorsement of an idea. You cannot take the words of Christ in terms of silence and somehow pretend that that is an endorsement. Jesus very clearly Himself, God incarnate, went back to the blueprint of the Creator when He was questioned about this subject of marriage and divorce.
And something else you need to understand about Jesus, and this is difficult for us to understand given our red letter editions of the Bible, Jesus’ teachings are not the final say. There are gaps, if you will, in the teachings of Jesus Christ. Jesus Himself said that? In John 16:12-13, in the Upper Room, Jesus says, “I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.  But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth….” And the moment He said that he was acknowledging that His words are authoritative but there are gaps, there are things that must come along later to be revealed. He’s speaking largely there of the New Testament, which had not yet been written. And this is why Paul, in 1 Corinthians 7:12 says things like this: “But to the rest I say, not the Lord,” in other words, the Lord hasn’t directly commented on this but I’m writing under divine inspiration and so I am filling in a divine gap, if you will.
And what we are in the midst of today is a society that is selectively quoting Jesus. What would Jesus do? They grab a piece of His sayings and they use it for their own agenda. They talk about well, wasn’t Jesus a God of tolerance? Didn’t Jesus talk about love? Of course He did, but my goodness, let’s put Jesus back in context. Jesus also said things like this in John 5:14, regarding the man who was healed at Bethesda, the paralytic, He said, “‘Behold, you have become well; do not sin anymore, so that nothing worse happens to you.’”
And everybody likes to quote the woman at the well, didn’t Jesus show grace and forbearance and tolerance with the woman at the well? But how everybody leaves out John 8:11where Jesus Himself said, “From now on sin no more.”
What, then, is the teachings of Jesus Christ related to this subject of homosexuality if we do not find a direct statement of Christ, per se, but we do find His affirmation of the heterosexual blueprint as given by God.
The last stop in our trip, this will be a longer stop, is the teachings of Paul. Paul, the apostle dealt squarely and directly with the subject of homosexuality. Paul made a number of statements that could be considered pro heterosexual. He made a number of statements that could be considered anti… not homosexuals but homosexuality.
Notice, if you will, 1 Corinthians 7:2-5, notice how Paul keeps reaffirming the blueprint of God as given at original creation. 1 Corinthians 7:2-4, “But because of immoralities, each man is to have his own wife, and each woman is to have her own husband.  The husband must fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband.  The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.” [5 “Stop depriving one another, wept by agreement for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”]
You see, the Corinthians had a little problem, one of them kind of kept sneaking out at night and going and visiting the temple prostitutes. You’ll find that in chapter 6. Therefore the remedy to the situation is in chapter 7. The proper place for the expression of the God-given sex drive is within the confines of heterosexual monogamy. He is not inventing new things here; he is going back to Genesis 1. Notice it doesn’t say because of immoralities let each man have his own man; because of immoralities let each woman have her own woman. That type of thinking is foreign to the pages of Scripture, although no doubt in Greco-Roman culture homosexuality was very much in vogue, much like it is in our own culture. But the Scripture simply does not cater to that mindset; it goes back to the heterosexual standard of God.
Notice, if you will, Ephesians 5:22-33, I won’t read all the verses but it says this: “Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord.  For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body.  But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.  Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her,” what is the blueprint of the church of Jesus Christ? What is the dominant metaphor in the New Testament used to describe God’s relationship with His own people? It is groom and bride, husband and wife. There’s nothing here about two wives; nothing here about two husbands.
And in fact, where does this come from? Is it not interesting that in Ephesians 5:31 Paul says this, this should ring a bell? “FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND SHALL BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH.” That’s the same verse that Jesus quoted, that’s Genesis 2:24. What are all of these New Testament characters going back to? The blueprint of God and the design of God.
Notice, if you will, 1 Timothy 3:2, Paul continues to affirm heterosexuality as the divine standard of God. He says this, “An overseer,” that would be an elder, “must be above reproach, the husband of one wife….” Notice 1 Timothy 3:12, same chapter, now he’s talking about deacons, “Deacons must be the husband of only one wife,” there’s absolutely nothing here about two men, two women in some sort of union, serving as overseers of the church. If you ever get to a point in your church where the person that is giving you authoritative doctrine will not speak directly on this issue and concisely on this issue, you are simply put in a church that does not care about the divinely inspired Word of God. You’re in a church and you’re amongst a group of people, I don’t care how many people are there, I really don’t care what kind of academic credentials the individual behind the pulpit has, you are in a church that has jettisoned the Word of God because the Word of God on this subject of sexuality is crystal clear.
Does God forgive? Of course He does. Is God a God of grace? Of course He is. But that does not change the blueprint. What is the blueprint? One man for one woman for one life? That is not something that comes from the ingenuity of man. It is something that God Himself established long before the fall entered the picture and marred it.
Now Paul is just getting warmed up here because he makes a number of statements, not only affirming heterosexuality but directly condemning the sin of homosexuality. Notice, if you will,
1 Corinthians 6:9-11, you say I’m getting tired, flipping all of these pages in my Bible, well, I made it easy on you, I’ve put it up there on the screen. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, Paul says this: “Or do you not know that the unrighteousness will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals,  nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.  Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.”
You’ll notice right there in verse 9 is the word “homosexuals.” One of the arguments that’s being made, and you need to know the name Matthew Vines because he is the well of incorrect thought, a homosexual himself, that everyone is drawing from. The argument that is being made today by some in New Testament scholarship is that what Paul and the Scripture are condemning is homosexual promiscuity; what they are condemning is homosexual coercion, such as rape or a man forcing himself onto a young boy, or something of that nature. As long as the couple is consenting and committed, we might even say monogamous, then that homosexual union is fine.
May I just say to you the words mean things! When you look up this word, “homosexual,” which is the Greek word arsenokoites, in a standard Greek Lexicon, in this case I’m using BDAG, which stands for Bower, Danker, Arndt and Gingrich, well accepted classical Greek lexicon, and you look at what the meaning is, this is what it says regarding homosexuals: “One who has intercourse with a man as with a woman, a male who engages in sexual activity of his own sex, rendering with the single term sexual pervert is lexically unacceptable. Paul’s restrictions against same sex activity cannot…” “cannot be satisfactorily explained on the basis of alleged temple prostitution or limited contact with boys for the purpose of homo erotic service.”
This idea that the Bible is not condemning homosexuality as long as it’s committed is a nonsense idea. The original Greek meaning of that word knows no such idea. The Bible is against homosexuality whether it is promiscuous, whether it is coerced, whether it is consenting and even when it is expressed within the confines of a quote “loving, caring committed relationship.” Close quote.
We’re living in a time of incredible propaganda. I sit and am astounded at the lies that Satan is telling people. And we need to live correctly in these last days and understand what the Word of God actually teaches on this subject because even the body of Christ itself is becoming deceived and confused.
I want you to notice that when Paul mentions homosexuals what does he also mention, right in the same context? Fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, thieves, covetous, drunkards, revilers and swindlers. What does that mean? In the mind of Paul, who authored this book under the power of the Holy Spirit homosexuality is no different than any other common sin. It’s in the same category as being a thief, a drunkard, a swindler, an adulterer.
I also want you to notice verse 11. He mentions homosexuals and then he says this: “Such were,” see that, “Such were some of you, but you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.” What does that mean? It means simply this: a homosexual can change their spots, just like any other person wrapped up in any other sin. Just like a thief under the power of God can no longer be a thief. Just like an adulterer under the power of God can no longer be an adulterer. Just like a swindler under the power of God can no longer be a swindler. It is exactly the same, biblically speaking, for the homosexual.
In fact, according to one study by Dr. Robert L. Spitzer, the renowned gay activist, psychiatrist who in 1973 successfully managed to have homosexuality removed from the American Psychiatric Associations list of disorders. That guy, he had a change of heart, and this is what he says in his study. He has published the results of his new study which shows that homosexual orientation can be changed to heterosexual. According to Dr. Spitzer’s findings, which were eventually published in the archives of sexual behavior, 200 homosexuals changed their lifestyle as a response to therapy during the five year duration of the study. The fact of the matter is, there are people living today that were once gay and are no longer gay, once involved in same sex activity and in fact are no longer involved in that.
Just like the Lord changed you, with many of your sinful habits and propensities we understand that under the grace of God and the power of God what seems impossible to man becomes possible. I’m not the man I should be, but thank God I’m not the man I used to be and the character of individuals can be changed.
And you see, this point is so important to acknowledge because the propaganda that we are being fed today is that being homosexual is no different than being black; it is no different than being a member of a racial minority. And just as we, in this country, got beyond, praise God, hostility towards racial minorities, we need to make that same jump and we need to get beyond hostility to homosexuals.
I’m not in favor of hostility to homosexuals, but here’s the problem: you pass a law, you come into my business, you come into my organization, you come into my belief system and you force me under the compulsion of law to change my views? You can go be homosexual, if you won’t respond to the gospel and you want to go self-destruct in a homosexual lifestyle, you just go right ahead and do that but don’t you dare drag me in with you. [audience claps]
I teach at a college where 60% of our students are African-American and I ask them a simple question: how many people do you know that are black that used to be black? Now someone said one time Michael Jackson, but…. Other than that I’ve got no answer. There are no people that are black that used to be black; there are no people that are Asian that used to be Asian, there are no people that are Hispanic that used to be Hispanic, there are not people Caucasian that used to be Caucasian. But there are people, even in Corinth, even in our own day that used to be homosexual, so to compare homosexuality to civil rights legally granted and properly granted to racial minorities in this country, in my mind is the hijack of civil rights movement. You’ve hijacked a good thing and you’ve turned into something perverse.
You say well, gee, Andy, you’re pretty tough here on homosexuality, don’t you have your own sins you’re struggling with? The answer to that would be yes, there are many sins that I struggle with. In fact, like homosexuals there are many sins that I was born with. I was born with a bad temper, I was born with a desire to be covetous, I was born with a desire to be unkind to people, I was born with a desire to be sarcastic, I was born with a desire to be gluttonous and to overeat. But you see, those behaviors, just like homosexuality, can be altered. And let me tell you something about my personal sins; yes, I have personal sins but I am not out trying to get society’s stamp of approval on my personal sins. I am not out trying, God forbid, to teach my personal sins and struggles in the textbooks of impressionable school children as if it was normal or normative. And I am not out trying to rewrite the Bible to make myself feel better about my personal sins. My personal sins I come to the Lord and say Lord, I’m failing You in this area, can You help me. And God responds so graciously with the power of His Spirit.
But what I am talking about now is NOT the Spirit nor the mentality of the gay, or… I don’t even want to use that word “gay” any more, same sex agenda. It is about coercion, it is about adopt our way of thinking, and if you won’t you are no different than a southern white racist KKK waving bigot. And that is a perversion of thought; it is a perversion of logic. It is a hijacking of the Civil Rights Movement and is a distortion of the Word of God. (We’re just getting warmed up here).
Paul said something else, Romans 1, this is the biggie, buckle your seat belts. Romans 1:18-19, Paul condemns homosexuality here, he says this in verse 18 and 19, you say I’m tired turning to these pages, well, I put it on the screen for you. “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,  because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.” Verse 26, “For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural,  and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.”
What does homosexuality come from? Paul tells us here in Romans 1; he tells us as clearly as can be told. It emanates from a mindset that suppresses God. Isn’t that what Paul says in Romans 1:18, “‘For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness,” God has disclosed Himself. There’s no front page news that God exists, we all know God exists because of the complex world that we’re living in. God has spoken in Scripture, God has spoken in creation. And yet what has the natural man done? He has taken the clear revelation of God and in active sense he has suppressed it. He has perverted the evidence and made it seem as if God does not exist at all. And guess what—you dismiss God from your thinking and then all of the other relationships that He has ordained and established get confused. One of the ones that gets confused is parent-child.
Romans 1:30 talks about the outcome of this suppression; it says as people suppress the truth of God they become disobedient to their parents. [Romans 1:30, “slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents.”] Why is that so? Because God is the one that ordained the parent-child relationship. It has a specific function and yet if an individual will suppress God and pretend like He doesn’t exist, then the parent-child relationship which God has established makes no sense. The relationship becomes confused, where you have children in rebellion against parents. You see, that is exactly what Paul is saying here with homosexuality. They suppress God, therefore the God-given sex drive, which is to be expressed within heterosexual marriage and monogamy, that relationship which God has ordained becomes confused. How can you have a proper understanding of that relationship if God made it and we don’t consult “the owner’s manual?”
Romans 1:26-27 says, “For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural,  and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.”
Do you know why our society is completely confused on the issue of sexuality? It’s very simple; we threw God out of our thinking a long time ago. Kick Him out of the government, kick Him out of the schools, many churches, God forbid, kick Him out of the church. So how can we, as fallen human beings make any sense of sexuality when God is the author of it? You’ll notice, as men suppress what has been revealed and they drift off into perversity, you’ll notice what God says is the end of these verses—“receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.”
The fact of the matter is, God has not given the human race rules or principles to follow because He is some kind of cosmic killjoy. The fact of the matter is, God gives us rules or principles to follow to maximize the enjoyment that we would have in sexuality as we function under God. You say I don’t believe you? Well, read the Song of Solomon sometime, you’ll see the joy of sexual expression as it’s carried out under the blueprint of God.
Deuteronomy 6:24 says this: “So the LORD commanded us to observe all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God for our good always and for our survival as it is today.” Why does God give us principles? For our own good and our own survival. You reject the principles that God has set up for your own good and how can you think, how can we think that we will not experience consequences for those choices. Why are there all these stop lights, and stop signs set up around town? And I have to admit, I get annoyed with them sometimes as you do. Why are they there? What if I just decided I’m not going to follow any stop lights or stop signs today, I’m just going to do what I want in my own eyes. After all, stop lights and stop signs are an encumbrance of my personal autonomy. Well, we know what will happen, you’ll hit somebody, someone will hit you, you could be injured, you could be killed.
Consequences come from rejecting clear rules that are designed for our own good. And that is exactly what is going on in the homosexual community. They have made a decision that we will not listen to the rules of God, you can take your religion and leave me alone. And God says fine, you leave Me out of the equation you will receive in your own person the due penalty of your error.
According to one study, up to 55% of homosexual men with anorectal complaints have gonorrhea; 80% of the patients with syphilis are homosexuals. Chlamydia is found in 15% of asymptomatic homosexual men and up to one-third of homosexuals have active anorectal herpes simplex virus. In addition, a host of parasites, bacterial, viral and so forth are all rampant in the homosexual population. I wish I was quoting some right wing fundamentalist but I’m not; I’m quoting Steven D. Wexner in an article entitled Sexually Transmitted Diseases of the Colon, Rectum and Anus, published in a medical journal that specializes in this area.
And you see, everything has been so twisted around that if you to veer people away from the homosexual lifestyle the title that you are given is “unloving.” I remember in law school I was told a number of times, because I would raise issues like this, it’s unloving. Let me ask you a question; how is it loving? Explain to me, somebody please, how is it loving to confirm, to ratify their involvement in a lifestyle which is self-destructive. If your son or daughter comes to you and says I’m experimenting with drugs, would not a good parent seek to dissuade them from their activity? Would they not try to turn them away, knowing the consequences that drugs will bring into their own life? Knowing the ramifications of their decision?
If you go to such a child and you say you have my blessing, you have my stamp of approval on what you’re doing, because we’re afraid of a child’s reaction, we’re afraid of a tantrum, how is that in any way, shape or form loving? The fact of the matter is it’s abusive behavior. And by simply acting as if God has not spoken on this subject of homosexuality in the name of tolerance and freedom of thought we call such a thing loving but it’s actually unloving. We’re doing the exact opposite of what true love is.
One more, 1 Timothy 1:9-10, Paul writes this: “realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their or mothers, for murderers  and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching,” of their error. There is the word again, arsenokoites, we defined earlier, translated homosexuals. Right in a long list where Paul mentions every other wicked, vile behavior that could be imaginable, being lawless, rebellious, ungodly, sinners, unholy, profane, murdering your father or mother, as the Menendez brothers did a few decades ago in Los Angeles, murderers, immorality, homosexuals, kidnappers, liars, perjurers, and everything else that is contrary to sound teaching and error. Homosexuality is right in that list.
You cannot escape this as much as sometimes we would like to. Sometimes our minds just need to be washed through the Word. God has an opinion on this. It’s not the opinion of a church; it’s the opinion of God. He’s expressed Himself in creation. He’s expressed Himself on how the blueprint went awry in Sodom and Gomorrah. He’s expressed Himself directly in the Mosaic Law. The teachings of Jesus reaffirm the blueprint. And the Apostle Paul, three times promoted heterosexuality, three times condemned homosexuality.
There’s a reason why the church, for the last 2,000, years has been crystal clear on the subject. And the reason we are unclear on it today is we have a problem with the authority of the Word of God. We think we are more enlightened; we think we’re smarter, we think we’re better. But Paul himself, in the book of Romans says, “professing themselves to become wise, they became” what? “fools.” It doesn’t matter what the Supreme Court says or doesn’t say, God’s Word is immutable, eternal and unchangeable on the subject. If, should we ever be blessed with a court that recognizes what God has said, let’s go along with the court. But we’re in a situation now where the court is saying one thing, God is saying something else. The question is, in that climate what do we do about it? How do we think about? And I hope you’ll come back next week as we talk about it.
Of course, it’s not only homosexuality that’s under the condemnation of God; all human beings are under God’s condemnation. Romans 3:23 says, “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” If you’re here today, whether you’re struggling with the homosexual lifestyle of perhaps some other sin and you do not know the name, Jesus Christ, then our exhortation to you is you can be saved and have your slate wiped clean, and you can be justified in the presence of God simply by trusting in what Jesus has done for you. Not by good works, not by self-righteous efforts but by specifically trusting in Jesus Christ. It’s something you can do right now in the privacy of your own mind and heart as the Spirit of God places you under conviction.
Shall we pray. Father, we are humbled today by Your truth in Your Word. I grieve in how we’ve neglected to examine what you have said on a pressing issue in our day. Help us, Father, to become wise, to walk out our lives in these last days anchored on the truth of Your Word. I pray, Father, if anybody here is unclear about the gospel and how they can become a Christian they will come and talk to me afterwards as I’m available. We will be careful to give You all the praise and the glory. We ask these things in Jesus name. And God’s people said….