The following is a near word-for-word transcript of sermon I delivered this morning, June 12, 2022, at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Warthen, Georgia.
I am sure by now most of you have heard that I was going to preach on something controversial this morning. This week I asked for prayer on Facebook live, because the subject matter is so sensitive. And do you want to know why I did that? It’s because we live in a world that is full of darkness and deceit and there’s an enemy who is fighting tooth and nail, fang and claw, to keep the truth of God’s Word hidden, and he has plenty of willing accomplices. These are they who “hold (or suppress) the truth in unrighteousness,” as spoken of in Romans 1:18.
- Romans 1:18 KJV – For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold [suppress] the truth in unrighteousness;
Over the years there have been multiple cases of companies, everything from auto makers to drug makers, who have been sued and even prosecuted for withholding critical information such as defects or dangers. Anyone remember the Ford Pinto? What about Fen Phen? A lot of people died, and a lot of people were permanently hurt because somebody didn’t want to tell the truth. Billions of dollars were paid out. Worse, thousands of lives were either lost or changed forever.
So, what does the Bible say about the Christian, the man of God, the preacher, who knows the Truth, yet, for whatever reason, suppresses it, hides it, or simply never talks about it? To what court will he or she have to answer? Let me tell you, he will stand before the Judge of the universe and give an account!
- Jeremiah 48:10 KJV – Cursed be he that doeth the work of the LORD deceitfully, and cursed be he that keepeth back his sword from blood.
Unfortunately, there are several reasons why the truth is being withheld today; why what I’m going to preach about today is rarely addressed in public, much less from the pulpit.
- A lack of understanding – we are not confident in our knowledge of the subject, so we stay quiet or avoid discussion.
- Fear and intimidation. The threats are real.
- A faulty understanding of Scripture – bad theology – that attributes sainthood to the sinner without repentance and seeks unity through compromise.
- Sin is in the camp.
Well, let me tell you about my thoughts on those 4 points…
- I’ve done my homework. But that didn’t take much. I mean, one really doesn’t have to look far for evidence that men are men and women are women and that each was made for a purpose the other one was not designed for. But I’ve also gone to the Bible for answers to the lunacy running rampant in this world. And guess what, the answers are in there, so I’m ready to talk about it any time you want to drop the hat.
- Fear and intimidation? As President Biden so eloquently puts it, “Come on!” Who are we to fear when we are doing the will of God? Who are we to fear when we are speaking the truth? Those people we read of in the Bible were not included for our entertainment, you know; they are there for our instruction. How can we, with a good conscience, tell our children and grandchildren to be like young David, Daniel, or Shadrack, Meshack, and Abednego?
- How can we tell them to stand up to giants when we cower before lawyers and people who can’t decide which bathroom to use?
- How can we tell them to be a Daniel and pray, even when the King says not to, even if it means the lions’ den?
- How can we in good conscience praise Daniel’s three Hebrew friends for not bowing before Nebuchadnezzar’s golden statue if we cower to every demand to affirm idolatry?
- As to the third reason why Truth is withheld – a faulty view of Scripture/bad theology and a desire to affirm every delusional definition of humanity, folks, all it takes is reading more than one verse, reading them in context, and avoiding the apologetic nonsense written by former Christians who’ve now found that the forbidden fruit isn’t that bad, after all. Most bad theology can be corrected by simply reading the Bible.
- And then, when it comes to sin in the camp, well, I have no idea if anyone here or watching from somewhere else is guilty.
You may be like Achan in the Old Testament who took the forbidden treasure from Jericho and hid it under his tent. If so, that’s between you and God.
What’s more likely, however, is that you know somebody with the bad theology and the hidden sin, and you’re more invested in it than you’d like to admit. As a matter of fact, you’ve even been wondering if God condemned that sin, or not? I mean, Achan was probably a great guy and loved his family, right? What was a little disobedience? Isn’t all sin the same? What would be wrong with simply letting him be who he is? Heck, think about all the church could do if he donated a little of that forbidden gold to the church!
Church, I do not want to be guilty of withholding the truth in order to keep the government happy, the activists happy, or even the church member happy. There may be a den of lions or a fiery furnace in our future, but I’d like to be remembered like Shadrack, Meshack, and Abednigo who said, “Even if our God does not deliver us from your hand, we will not bow.”
Now, before I say anything else, I want to remind you that we are to speak the truth in love. It is not my job to condemn anyone, only to love them as Christ loves them and gave His life for them. Therefore, when I say what I’m going to say, please understand that I don’t hate anyone. All I want to do is tell you the truth, even if it hurts, even if offends, even if it makes you mad. Because, when it’s all said and done, my job is to warn you the building is about to collapse – you have to decide get out before it’s too late.
Church, we are living in a day when the very creation of Holy God is under attack. We have so many people worrying about the climate and climate change, and maybe that’s a good thing, but God didn’t just create the world – he created man, “male and female created He them.”
In Genesis 1:26 we read that God said, “Let us make man in our own image…” Man, both male and female, was made in the image of God, yet today the very definition of Man is under attack. Let me tell you, when we think we are smarter than our Creator to the point of redefining and redesigning what was made in His image, we show that what we really hate is not ourselves, but God.
Folks, this is the month of June, the month that for so long was associated with beautiful brides. Now it’s a month dedicated to Pride. And sadly, too many church people have ditched the Bride of Christ at the altar and run of with the bride of Frankenstein. Churches and whole denominations that were once known for their piety and Bible study are now ordaining practicing homosexuals, lesbians, transgenders, and even those who can’t decide. The truth is no longer being taught and preached as the image of God becomes more distorted every day.
So, then, what does the Bible say about homosexuality? I’m not asking you what CNN says. I’m not asking you what a government agency says. I am not asking you what you read on the internet or saw on TV. What does the Bible say?
Well, because this is such a complicated topic and one that deserves a lot more discussion than what I’m able to cover today, I want to tell you what the Bible says based on 4 questions.
I. Is Homosexuality a Sin?
The first thing we need to do is clarify the question. As a matter of fact, it would be best if we break this single question down into two. The first one should be “Is being tempted with same-sex attraction a sin?” The second should be, “Is homosexual activity a sin?” This is a very important distinction, for being tempted to sin is not the same as committing the sin. If it was, we’d be in trouble.
- Matthew 4:1 – Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. (Jesus was tempted, but he didn’t sin.)
Satan has been tempting us since the beginning of time. And as it was in the beginning, temptation is not the sin; acting upon the temptation is. All of us are different in many ways, and what tempts you may not be a temptation to me. We are not all the same when it comes to what our flesh desires – some people like cottage cheese while I gag at the thought of it.
For whatever reason, though (sometimes biological, other times because of something traumatic that has happened, for reasons that are different from one person to the next), men and women, even boys and girls, sometimes find themselves attracted to others of the same sex. Frankly, this is how our culture is preying upon our youth – by capitalizing on their immaturity. But the fact is that the temptation is not the sin – acting upon it is.
So, the second part of that question should be “Is homosexual activity a sin?” If we are talking about two people of the same gender having sex, then yes, it is a sin.
Again, we are not talking about being tempted to do something; we’re talking about actually doing the thing. Some people may be born with a tendency toward violent behavior, but we don’t encourage them to go ahead and act upon those feelings because they were born that way, do we? No, the truth is pretty simple and not hard to find, IF WE ARE HONEST AND AREN’T TRYING TO HIDE THE TRUTH.
Let’s look at what Scripture says.
- To begin with, there’s the story found in Genesis 19, the story of Sodom and the men of Sodom who wanted to rape the angels sent there to remove Lot and his family.
- Leviticus 18:22 KJV – Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.
- Leviticus 20:13 KJV – If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them (in other words, it’s nobody’s fault but theirs).
So, as you can see in just these few verses, having sex with someone of the same sex is wrong in God’s eyes.
But that leads me to another question people ask a lot. . .
II. “If homosexual activity is a sin, then why didn’t Jesus talk about it?”
All I can say it that those who use Jesus Christ as an excuse to sin are either simply ignorant, or they know a lot of Christians are. Often, when debating a practicing homosexual, the Christian will find himself backed into a corner with “gotcha” questions. In actuality the answers to these questions are not that difficult, but the Enemy knows how to twist the truth, AMEN?
The homosexual (or ally) will set up the Christian by asking, “Do you believe the Bible?” The answer, of course, will be “Yes.”
Then the homosexual activist will go back to Gen. 19 and Leviticus 20 and ask, “So, do you believe homosexuals should be put to death?” Many times, this is where they get tripped up. Most believers will say “No,” but then that will set them up for not believing the Bible. IF they say “yes,” then, besides other reactions, the activist can ask, “OK, well then why didn’t Jesus ever talk about homosexuality? Jesus taught us to love one another, not kill each other, right?”
What is the answer? How would YOU respond? DID Jesus say homosexual activity was a sin, or not? He didn’t have to!
Look, Jesus never said it was a sin to drive 100 mph in a school zone, but He did tell us to obey the laws of the land (not to mention loving our neighbor, which it’s hard to love your neighbor and drive 100 through a school zone).
And Jesus never specifically mentioned homosexuality, either. But what He DID say had wide implications for all types of sexual activity outside of God’s design. And what is that design? God created male and female, nothing in between, nothing flexible or fluid, as complimentary to each other, as examples for theological truths yet to be revealed. Look at the following verses…
- Matthew 19:4-6 KJV – And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
- Matthew 5:27-28 KJV – Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
Even though our culture wants to shame and intimidate, even scare us into “affirming” same-sex relationships, Jesus never did. All He ever affirmed was the example set in creation. All other sexual activity, whether gay or not, if outside the bond of marriage between a male and a female is either fornication or adultery, both of which are clearly sin.
Now, let’s ask another question…
III. Is it a sin to be PROUD of who I am?
Like I mentioned at the beginning, June is Gay Pride month. If you didn’t know, first “gay pride” parade was held in 1970, 52 years ago. The parade was a follow-up to the Stonewall riots that occurred a year earlier in Greenwich, New York, at the Stonewall Inn (which, incidentally, was declared a National Monument in 2016 by Barak Obama).
Essentially, the police raided a gay nightclub to arrest some drag queens (men who dress like women), because at that time in New York it was illegal. While the police had people locked up in the paddy wagon, somebody whipped up the watching crowd and started throwing stuff at the police. The riot lasted 5 days.
Every year since 1970 there have been parades and celebrations in the month of June. The purpose this these celebrations is to not only draw attention to the abuse of homosexuals (which, by the way, is wrong, too), but also to affirm every aspect of sexual perversion. What used to be shameful, people are proud of and want us to know it.
But, again, is it a sin to be proud of who I am? I’m proud to be an American, aren’t you? I will be attending a 4th of July celebration somewhere this year. But the difference between being proud of who you are and “Pride” month is as simple as the reason for celebrating: sexual perversion.
Besides sacrilegiously adopting the symbol of God’s mercy (the rainbow) as their emblem, people who celebrate unrepentant sin and demand the respect of others is a dangerous sign. As a matter of fact, when a culture has gone as far as ours has to celebrate a sin…one that Jesus died so that we might be forgiven, not affirmed…is evidence that God is already in the process of pouring out judgement upon a nation. Turn to Romans chapter 1 and read with me beginning at verse 26.
- Romans 1:26-27 KJV – For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
When we see a culture so full of sin, this particular sin, and not just the act of homosexuality, but the promotion of its acceptance as normal, we should mourn, not celebrate! Such things are only evidence that we’ve already been turned over, that this is just the beginning of judgement to come.
And in case you’ve ever been told that the real sin of Sodom and Gomorrah was being inhospitable, nothing sexual, I submit to you Jude 1:7…
- Jude 1:7 KJV – Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
Sodom and Gomorrah are an example to us.
This leads me to one last question, even though there are many, many more that could be asked…
IV. Can a homosexual be saved and go to heaven?
First off, I don’t want to go any further without reminding each and every one of us that if it wasn’t for the grace and mercy of God, every one of us would be in hell right now.
- Romans 3:23 KJV – For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Sexual sin is no different than any other sin in this way – it takes the blood of Jesus to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
But if you want to know (because you asked, right?), let’s turn to a few passages of scripture and read what they say.
- 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 KJV – Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
- 1 Timothy 1:10 KJV – For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;
What these verses are saying is that those who live in unrepentant sin are, in fact, likely unsaved and in danger of hell. Notice that the tense of the verses is continual, active, on-going. But this doesn’t have to stay that way. And, more importantly, it is NOT saying that those who regularly practice and affirm homosexuality can NEVER be saved!
- 1 Corinthians 6:11 KJV – And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
So, what does the Bible say about homosexuality? It’s a sin, for sure, and one that is an affront to the very plan and nature of God. However, there is no sin that the blood of Jesus Christ, accepted by faith with a repentant heart, can’t cleanse and wash as white as snow!
Homosexual sin is like any other sin; it’s a heart issue…
- Matthew 15:19 – For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies…
And let me go one step further…homosexual sin is like any other sin in that if you walk in the world, even as a born-again believer in Jesus Christ, without the armor of God you are just as vulnerable to temptations of the culture and the lies of Satan as any lost person.
- Galatians 5:16 KJV – This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
- Ephesians 6:13 KJV – Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Maybe you are struggling with sin in your life. Maybe it’s something other than sexual sin. Jesus offers forgiveness.
Maybe you or a friend or loved one is struggling with the grips of homosexual sin. And maybe, after all you’ve heard, you can’t see how God could understand what you’re going through.
Well, Hebrews 4:15 says, “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” Thankfully, Jesus does understand how difficult temptations can be, but he is also the answer to those temptations.
- 2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV – Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
And even if you stumble after you’ve given your heart and life to Jesus Christ, does he cast you out? NO!
- 1 John 2:1 KJV – My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
Whatever your need, would you give it to God today?
A Mini Commentary, Pt. 16 (Ephesians 4:16)
Sorry for the delay, but here is the final instalment of the mini commentary on Ephesians 4:1-16. I pray the whole series has been informative and a blessing in some way.
4:16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
From whom the whole body fitly joined together
Here is where the metaphor of the body can get a little tricky, at least compared to the way things naturally work. When a human is conceived, his DNA is already present, passed from both the mother and the father. The “blueprint of life” dictates how a child will look, how big he will be, his color of skin, etc. But Jesus, the Head of the Body, is the one who oversees the construction and placement of body parts. The mind, the Person of God, is eternal; the Body – both when He walked the earth and when He left and sent His Spirit – came into being by the will of God. There is no accidental deformity withing the Body of Christ! There are no mutations, missing parts, or inadequate ones! The WHOLE body is FITLY joined together! Hallelujah!
Are you intimidated, discouraged, or feel out of place in the Body of Christ? Don’t feel that way! You were designed and created to fit exactly where the Head wants you. You have a purpose for which no other part in the body can fill. You are unique and designed by God.
and compacted by that which every joint supplieth,
Here we see that not only is every person who is part of the Body a specially designed member created for a particular purpose in the overall growth of the Body, but each has a part in the unifying of the Body into a cohesive whole. Paul implied this same thought in his letter to the Colossians: “That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ” (Colossians 2:2).
according to the effectual working in the measure of every part,
Now, despite the lofty example of Jesus, God “knows our frame,” that we are nothing but dust (Psalm 103:14). Therefore, notice that Paul says, “…the measure of every part.” The measure of one part of the Body, one Christian, is not going to be the same measure of another one. Too often we find ourselves comparing our spirituality to that of other more “godly” believers. In doing so we often find ourselves discouraged from not measuring up to their likeness. Look, we are all dust, and the most that we can ever be is only because of God’s grace.
But the encouraging hope is this: what we have and all that we are, yielded to the will of the Head of the Body, is guaranteed to be effective toward the purpose for which we have been designed.
maketh increase of the body
Simply put, a healthy member of the body, no matter the importance, will, if effectually being used, make increase to the Body. Does that mean that one must lead others to Christ in order to “make increase”? Possibly, but whatever the purpose, if doing what it’s designed to do, will contribute to the other members’ edification.
unto the edifying of itself in love.
Herein lies the overall purpose of the gifts God gives in Christ through the Spirit: the edifying of the Church – the building up into the image and likeness of Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, there are many within the Body of Christ who think the edification of the individual member takes precedent over the body as a whole. This can be seen in the doctrine that promotes “prayer language,” or private times of prayer that consist of ecstatic speech, unknown tongues, or what is technically referred to as glossolalia. Yet, Paul addressed this very topic in 1 Corinthians 14:14-19.
Paul said in 1 Corinthians 14:14: “For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.” He did not argue that it could never happen; he just said that if he did pray in such a way, he would not understand what was being said. Furthermore, in verses 15 and 16 he states that he would rather speak and sing in an understandable language so that everyone could benefit, especially those who “understandeth not” (v. 16). But it is in verse 17 where the letter to the Ephesians and the letter to the Corinthians cross paths: speaking in a prayer language might encourage the one praying, but “the other is not edified.” He gave (v. 11) … for (v. 12) … till (v. 13) … that (v. 14) … may (v.15) … edify (v. 16).
 Henry George Liddell et al., A Greek-English Lexicon (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996), 1675.
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