In today’s world, Christians are divided over what to think about homosexuality. The two fundamental questions we wrestle with are: “What is the Lord’s verdict on homosexual acts?” and even more, “How does a homosexual person achieve salvation?”
* HOMOSEXUAL ACTS *
Scripture is adamant that HOMOSEXUAL ACTS are seriously depraved.
In Genesis 19:1-29, the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah are destroyed for their love of homosexuality in the Old Testament. As Lot and his caravan were turning in for the evening, the Bible states: But before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both young and old, all the people to the last man, surrounded the house; and they called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us, that we may know them (Genesis 19:4-5). Lot rebukes them for their desire of homosexual acts: …I beg you, my brothers, do not act so wickedly (Genesis 19:7).
The two angels who are sent by God to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah ask Lot: …Have you any one else here? Sons-in-law, sons, daughters, or any one you have in the city, bring them out of the place; for we are about to destroy this place, because the outcry against its people has become great before the Lord, and the Lord has sent us to destroy it. (Genesis 19:12-13). And God does destroy both cities (Genesis 19:24-25).
The New Testament affirms that homosexuality is depraved. In Romans 1:24-27, Paul speaks about homosexuality as “dishonorable” and “unnatural”:
Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves…
For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. Their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural, and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in their own persons the due penalty for their error.
The apostle Paul condemns homosexuality again in 1 Timothy 1:8-10: …the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, immoral persons, SODOMITES, kidnapers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine…
Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (2000 edition) defines a “sodomite” as “one who practices sodomy”. There are two definitions offered for “sodomy”: (1) copulation [sexual intercourse] with a member of the same sex or with an animal and (2) noncoital [not sexual intercourse] and especially anal or oral copulation [sexual intercourse] with a member of the opposite sex. Merriam-Webster notes that the word “sodomite” comes from Sodom in Genesis due to the “homosexual proclivities of the men in the city”.
Further, the purpose of sex is for procreation. The Lord commands us to Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it… (Genesis 1:28). Homosexual acts do not fulfill GOD’S NATURAL LAWS. Two men or two women cannot biologically produce a child – a natural process created by God; therefore, their sexual activity has no purpose other than for self-gratification.
* SERIOUSLY THREATENS SALVATION *
A person who performs homosexual acts seriously threatens their salvation.
Our Lord makes it clear that desires of the flesh are against the Spirit (Galatians 5:16-17) and that giving into these desires are evil. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things shall not inherit the Kingdom of God (Galatians 5:21).
1 Corinthians 6:9-10 specifies homosexuality as a serious sin that may cause a person to lose salvation: Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither the immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor robbers will inherit the Kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.
Some Christians may cite that the last line in this passage implies that no Christian can lose salvation for any sin after accepting Christ – we are always justified in His Name. (Please refer to the Loss of Salvation article for explanation of why this is not true.)
* REPENTANCE AND LEADING A CHASTE LIFE *
How does a homosexual person achieve salvation? There are two necessary things: repentance and leading a chaste life.
First, homosexuals and unmarried people are similar in one way – they both have the potential to fornicate (acts of sexual intercourse between two unmarried persons). Since marriage is only between a man and woman - Matthew 19:4-6 and Genesis 2:24 – homosexuals are included in this term.
The Book of Revelation affirms that (unrepentant) fornicators cannot enter the Kingdom of God (Revelation 22:14-15). A person who commits homosexual acts must REPENT or they cannot be saved.
Second, homosexuals (like everyone!) must lead a CHASTE LIFE. We must be pure in our thoughts and actions.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such there is no law (Galatians 5:22-23).
Paul is talking about “self-control”. The Lord knows it’s very hard for anyone to not act upon their intense sexual desires - this may be your daily cross to bear in life (Luke 9:23). Not leaving us out in the cold, God has given us everything we need in life to escape our passions (2 Peter 1:3-8) if we choose to accept the challenge!
In short, “love the sinner, hate the sin” applies for homosexuality. Homosexuals must be treated with kindness and compassion as every person is created in the image of God (Colossians 3:12). However, homosexuals have to lead a chaste life like everyone else. Homosexual acts will make a person lose salvation if they do not repent.