Friday, November 28, 2008

Are Any Homosexuals Saved?

Ask a Bible Teacher - by Jack Kelley

Q. Do you believe that a person can truly be born again and be active in the homosexual lifestyle? I know several who believe they are born again and are very active.

A. The Bible classifies homosexuality as a sin, just like stealing, adultery, murder, etc.(Lev. 18:22 & Rom. 1:26-27)) People don’t have to stop sinning before they can be saved, but the regenerative work of the Holy Spirit is intended to draw us into a life pleasing to God. Most people, while still being sinners, experience a diminished enjoyment of their sins as the Holy Spirit convicts them of a need to change. And yet Christians commit adultery, kill people and steal from others just like non- believers. And they engage in homosexual behavior. The question isn’t whether we still sin, but whether we recognize our sinful behavior as such and seek forgiveness.

A believer who denies that homosexuality is a sin is like one who denies that adultery is a sin. They’re kidding them selves and rebelling against the Holy Spirit’s convictions. Eventually one would question whether they were really saved. But a sinner who admits he or she is a sinner and sincerely asks for forgiveness deserves to get it “even 70 times 7 times” (Matt 18:22.) They deserve our prayers and support as well. We have no idea what demons they’re fighting, jut like they have no idea of ours. Remember, if we could stop sinning we wouldn’t need a Savior.

Q. Read your article re homosexual practice with interest.

Your statement that when you are born again if we do sin and ask for forgiveness it is forgiven. I agree but if one continues sinning the same sin you did as unsaved is it forgiven. Because if you are “Born again of the spirit of GOD” when you sin you feel great remorse and look to God to deliver you from this sin.

If I kill a person and commit my life to Christ but continue to kill people,something is wrong. At rebirth the old should be gone the new man should desire the things of the spirit.

I say this because when I do something that I know I shouldn’t I feel terrible and when I ask for forgiveness it is sometimes with deep remorse that I approach the Lord. I have weaknesses and I know that is where the enemy will always attack so I earnestly look to God for help,Grace and mercy to deliver me from the temptation and desire to sin.

I agree once you are “Born Again” sin is forgiven but it must be a new man, right?

A. I know you don’t mean to come across this way, but you don’t sound very merciful. When the Lord told Peter that he had to forgive a brother 70 X 7 times He didn’t condition that by adding, “Unless it’s the same sin over and over.” Have you never committed the same sin twice?

I believe that sexual behavior can be addictive just like drugs or gambling or overeating. If you’ve been blessed with a life free of addiction then thank the Lord for that. But while you’re doing so, ask also for mercy on behalf of those who struggle every day to maintain control of their lives. At the end of the parable of the unmerciful servant (Matt. 18:21-35) that was prompted by Peter’s question, the Lord had the king (who represented God) saying, “I forgave you all your debt because you asked me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant as I had on you?” It’s a good question for all of us.

When Jesus went to the cross, all of the sins of our life were in the future. Yet He knew every one of them and nailed them all to the cross. (Colossians 2:13-15) No where in the Bible is there even a hint that He left some of our debt unpaid.

Q. I’ve read your reply to the person who questioned whether the unrepentant homosexual woman would be taken in the rapture, and I disagree. I have read your answer to that person, and you say that nowhere in the NT does it say our salvation can be taken from us. Technically, you are right. Nobody can snatch us out of Jesus’ hand against our will, but we can voluntarily walk away.

in John 15:1-2, Jesus says He is the vine, and that the Father is the vinedresser, and that “Every branch in Me that does NOT bear fruit, He (God) takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.” In verse 4 it continues “ABIDE in Me and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, UNLESS it abides in the vine, neither can you, UNLESS YOU ABIDE IN ME.”_ A perverse homosexual lifestyle being lived by an unrepentant person is NOT abiding in Him. I’m sorry, but it just isn’t.

Yes, we all stumble and sin. Yes we are all sinful until the day we die, but the key is asking for forgiveness and trying hard to not repeat the things that do not please God. Will we all fail? Certainly! But when one is unrepentant, and ceases to care about the sin, then one is in willfull rebellion and is treading very dangerous ground. That woman will not be raptured unless and until she has a change of heart and becomes repentant.

A. 2 Cor 1:21-22 says that when we are saved God accepts responsibility for keeping us that way and puts His Spirit in us as a guarantee. How does the Holy Spirit become unsealed, and God’s guarantee get broken? Also all the sins of our life were paid for the moment we accepted the Lord. (Col. 2:13-14) How does He later rescind that forgiveness? And Salvation is not a fruit bearing event. Your quotes in John 15 teach us that a believer out of fellowship will live a defeated life, of no more value than pruned branches.

If your view is correct then Jesus lied to us about losing none of us. Sheep wander away all the time, that’s why they need a shepherd. If he saves us and then loses us then he has violated His father’s will.(John 6:38-40) Finally, the qualification for salvation is belief, not behavior. (John 3:16) The Bible cannot contradict itself. If that woman’s sister is born again then the Lord will bring her back into fellowship before the rapture, because He promised he would not lose her. He will always leave the 99 and go find the one. (Luke 15:4) Our job is to pray for her, not to condemn her, because we could easily find ourselves in a similar situation.

Q. I have a close friend of mine who is gay. He believes that Jesus Christ is his Lord and Savior. Will he go to heaven?

A. Homosexuality is a sin and is forbidden by God. But so are adultery, theft, murder and the like. Some say that a practicing homosexual is different from a murderer because typically murderers don’t kill people every Saturday night. But when Jesus went to the cross He already knew every sin we’d ever commit in our life and how many times we’d commit the same ones over and over. He nailed all of them to the cross and paid the price for them with His life.

When a sinner of any kind gives his heart to the Lord all the sins of his or her life past present and future are forgiven. There are special rewards in Heaven for those who overcome behavior that God dislikes, but our salvation is not dependent on that. It’s based solely on our belief that Jesus died for our sins. All of them.

Q. I can’t get enough of this website. It’s so full of useful information. Thank you for the time and energy you obviously put into it.

I read all I could on homosexuality as I have a brother-in-law who has left his wife of 17 years and three almost grown daughters for another man. He has convinced himself and daughters that he fought off this desire for years until God told him he was born that way and must embrace the lifestyle for his happiness. His Christian parents are accepting him and his partner into the family, encouraging the grandchildren to call him “uncle”!

My question: My husband (his brother) and I have three young children and while we let him know we love him, however do not approve of his actions, we are not willing to embrace him while he is with his partner. In other words if they are coming together to family gatherings we will not be present. We grapple with this, please know, but we strongly feel it sends a message to our kids that what they are doing is OKAY! We also feel it sends the same message to him and his partner, if everyone acts as if what they are doing is okay. If everyone goes on as if nothing is wrong with the picture what is that really saying? Isn’t that christians tolerating blatant sin? Our whole family has been torn apart over this!

A. I don’t know who told your brother-in-law that he was born a homosexual, but it wasn’t God. The thing we most depend upon where God is concerned is His word. We have to know that He doesn’t ever change His mind, or else He could suddenly decide to “unsave” us and we’d be hopelessly lost.

In Leviticus 18:22 God called homosexuality detestable. In Lev. 20:13 He made the act punishable by death, along with adultery, incest, and other sexual sins. In Romans 1:27 He called homosexuality a perversion and said that it’s a judgment for sin.

If He created some to be homosexuals, then He couldn’t condemn homosexuality this way, any more than He could condemn someone for having blue eyes. Neither can He condemn something so completely at one point and then accept it at another. God is the same, yesterday, today and forever. It’s clear that God views homosexuality as a sin like theft, murder, adultery, blasphemy, etc.

In Christianity we’re supposed to hate sin but love sinners, but that’s not the same as accepting or even tolerating behavior that’s sinful. Paul told the Corinthians to expel an immoral brother from the fellowship. (1 Cor. 5:1-11) Later, when he admitted his sin and asked their forgiveness, Paul told them to restore him. (2 Cor. 2:5-11)
The Lord is always working toward restoration and reconciliation, even if it takes an entire lifetime, and so should we. While leaving no question as to where you stand on his behavior, and why, be sure to continue expressing your love for your brother-in-law and your desire to be reconciled. Pray that God will keep all your hearts open to His will in accomplishing this.

Q. I’m quite confused on this issue that seems to be very prominent in many churches. I have seen and heard the Bishop of New Hampshire on several interviews and he speaks of Jesus and salvation and seems quite convincing that he is truly a Christian and that there is nothing wrong with homosexuality and that we have been interpreting scripture wrong to make this a sin when in fact it isn’t. We have some family members who claim to be homosexual and are living with their partners which adds to my confusion. Can you shed some light on this issue?

A. I don’t see how anyone could misinterpret the scriptures concerning homosexuality. For example, Leviticus 18:22 & 20:13 both say that if a man lies with another man as one lies with a woman both have done what is detestable. And how about Romans 1:26-27?

Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.

These passages simply can’t be misunderstood if you read them as they’re written. Homosexuality is a sin. But like every other sin it can be forgiven because like every other sin it was paid for at the cross. And like every other sin, you don’t have to stop doing it before you can be forgiven. Once we’re born again, any sin we commit, no matter how many times we’ve done the same thing in the past, is forgiven and forgotten the moment we ask.

We don’t have to like it or even tolerate it in our presence, but we do have to recognize that we’re all sinners, and while some sins seem worse than others from the human perspective, all are equally detestable to God and unless paid for at the cross will result in our eternal exclusion from the presence of God.

Q. I am fifteen-years-old. I have grown up a Christain. I have faith in God with all of my heart, but I need help. Despite that fact that I went to a Christain elementary school, went to Sunday school through out middle school, and go to church, I am a homosexual.

My question is: Should I continue to hide these thoughts for the rest of my life? (If I do then I would have to lie to any man I end up with and will continue to be sad).

Or should I live as a homosexual? (This is the only way I will be happy. The Lord wants me to be happy and not to be homosexual, but I cannot see how this would work). Please help.

A. I can’t begin to understand what you must be going through, and don’t pretend to be an expert on this. But I do know two things. One is that God’s word is unmistakably clear on His attitude toward homosexuality, and two is that He is a just God and therefore couldn’t condemn any of His children for a condition they couldn’t help or correct.

These two things lead me to conclude that He didn’t create anyone to be a homosexual. Something has to have happened to put homosexual tendencies into a person’s mind, and that something, whatever it was, has to be reversible. They also lead me to conclude that homosexuality is no different from any other sin. And that means it was paid for at the cross and can be forgiven.

1 Cor. 10:13 seems to apply here. “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful: He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”

There are several sites on the web that specialize in working with believers who have homosexual tendencies. I suggest you contact them to find out more about them and then choose one and ask for their help. Thousands of us will pray that the Lord leads you to the help you’ve asked for.

No comments: