If you’ve been watching the headlines over the last couple years, you have noticed the incredible surge of interest in affirming homosexuality. Whether it’s at the heart of a religious scandal, political corruption, radical legislation or the redefinition of marriage, homosexual interests have come to characterize America. That’s an indication of the success of the gay agenda. And some Christians, including some national church leaders, have wavered on the issue, even recently. But sadly, when people refuse to acknowledge the sinfulness of homosexuality—calling evil good and good evil (Isaiah 5:20)—they do so at the expense of many souls.
How should you respond to the success of the gay agenda? Should you accept the recent trend toward tolerance, or should you side with those who exclude homosexuals with hostility and disdain?
In reality, the Bible calls for a balance between what some people think are two opposing reactions—condemnation and compassion. The two together are essential elements of Biblical love, and that’s something the homosexual sinner desperately needs.
Homosexual advocates have been remarkably effective in selling their warped interpretations of passages in Scripture that address homosexuality. When you ask a homosexual what the Bible says about homosexuality—and many of them know—they have digested an interpretation that is not only warped, but also completely irrational. Pro-homosexual arguments from the Bible are nothing but smokescreens—as you come close, you see right through them.
God’s condemnation of homosexuality is abundantly clear—He opposes it in every age:
- In the patriarchs (Genesis 19:1-28).
- In the Law of Moses (Leviticus 18:22; 20:13).
- In the Prophets (Ezekiel 16:46-50).
- In the New Testament (Romans 1:18-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Jude 7-8).
Why does God condemn homosexuality? Because it overturns His fundamental design for human relationships—a design that pictures the complementary relationship between a man and a woman (Genesis 2:18-25; Matthew 19:4-6; Ephesians 5:22-33).
Why, then, have homosexual interpretations of Scripture been so successful at persuading so many? It’s simple: People want to be convinced. Since the Bible is so clear about the issue, sinners have had to defy reason and embrace error to quiet their accusing consciences (Romans 2:14-16). As Jesus said, “Men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil” (John 3:19).
As a Christian, you must not compromise what the Bible says about homosexuality—ever. No matter how much you desire to be compassionate to the homosexual, your first allegiance belongs to the Lord and to the exaltation of His righteousness. Homosexuals stand in defiant rebellion against the will of their Creator who from the beginning “made them male and female” (Matthew 19:4).
Don’t allow yourself to be intimidated by homosexual advocates and their futile reasoning—their arguments are without substance. Homosexuals, and those who advocate that sin, are fundamentally committed to overturning the Lordship of Christ in this world. But their rebellion is useless, for the Holy Spirit says, “Do you not know that the unrighteous 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” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10).
So, what is God’s response to the homosexual agenda?
Certain and final judgment. To claim anything else is to compromise the truth of God and deceive those who are perishing.
As you interact with homosexuals and their sympathizers, you must affirm the Bible’s condemnation. You are not trying to bring damnation on the head of homosexuals; you are trying to bring conviction so that they can turn from that sin and embrace the only hope of salvation for all of us sinners—and that’s through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Homosexuals don’t need healing—homosexuality is not a disease. They don’t need therapy—homosexuality is not a psychological condition. Homosexuals need forgiveness, because homosexuality is a sin.
I don’t know how it happened, but a few decades ago someone branded homosexuals with the worst misnomer—gay. Gay used to mean happy, but I can assure you, homosexuality does not bring happiness. Homosexuals habitually seek happiness by following after destructive pleasures. There is a reason Romans 1:26 calls homosexual desire a “degrading passion.” It is a lust that destroys the physical body, ruins relationships and brings perpetual suffering to the soul—and its ultimate end is death (Romans 7:5). Homosexuals are experiencing the judgment of God (Romans 1:24, 26, 28), and thus they are very, very sad.
First Corinthians 6 is clear about the eternal consequence for those who practice homosexuality—but there’s good news. No matter what the sin is, whether homosexuality or anything else, God has provided forgiveness, salvation and the hope of eternal life to those who repent and embrace the Gospel. Right after identifying homosexuals as those who “will not inherit the kingdom of God,” Paul said, “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” (1 Corinthians 6:11).
Like anyone else, homosexuals gain salvation through repentance and faith. There were former homosexuals in the Corinthian church back in Paul’s day, just as there are many former homosexuals today in my church and in faithful churches around the country. With regenerated hearts, they sit in Biblical churches throughout the country praising their Savior, along with former fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, thieves, coveters, drunkards, revilers and swindlers. Remember, such were some of you, too.
What should be your response to the homosexual agenda? Make it a Biblical response—confront it with the truth of Scripture that condemns homosexuality and promises eternal damnation for all who practice it. What should be your response to the homosexual? Make it a Gospel response—confront him or her with the truth of Scripture that condemns that person as a sinner, and point them to the hope of salvation through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. Stay faithful to the Lord as you respond to homosexuality by honoring His Word, and leave the results to Him. ©2018 John MacArthur
This article first appeared at gty.org and is reprinted here with permission.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, New American Standard Bible, ©1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, Calif.
John MacArthur is pastor-teacher of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, Calif., as well as an author, conference speaker and president of The Master’s University and Seminary. He is the featured teacher with the Grace to You media ministry.