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The Bible & Homosexuality – Part 5

posted Jun 23, 2015, 11:07 AM by First Baptist


 

In this series of articles, we’ve been looking at the major Bible passages dealing with homosexuality.

 

We’ll now consider a final passage, and then next week, I’ll address why this subject is even important. After all, one argument of the pro-homosexual lobby in America is that we shouldn’t care what happens in somebody else’s bedroom, and if two men or 2 women want to marry, so what?

 

Our last passage is I Corinthians 6:9-11a:

 

Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral or idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders . . . will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were.

 

Context

 

You’ll recall from our recent 18-week series through I Corinthians that Paul was writing to Christians living in the ancient equivalent of Las Vegas. The city of Corinth was known for its sexual immorality (including homosexuality) and, among other problems, the believers in Corinth were returning to their old practices and becoming like the surrounding culture in terms of their sexual behavior.

 

Definitions

 

Two terms require defining:

 

1)      Male prostitutes: a translation of the Greek word malakoi, which refers to males who take the role of a female in sexual intercourse (the passive role).

2)      Homosexual offenders: a translation of the Greek word arsenokoitai, which refers to males who take other males to bed (the assertive role).

 

Source: The Bible & Homosexual Practice by Robert AJ Gagnon

 

Paul’s Warning

 

Paul issues a stark warning: men who play the sexual role of females or who take other males to bed will not inherit the kingdom of God – i.e., will not be part of Christ’s kingdom when He returns.

 

Taken at face value, Paul is saying that those who engage in homosexual practice will not enter heaven. If true, this certainly raises the seriousness of homosexual practice to its ultimate level!

 

Every commentary I’ve read on this passage agrees that Paul is talking about a person who engages in homosexual behavior as a way of life; in other words, a person who persists in the practice of same-sex intercourse.

 

How does this tie into a person’s eternal state? The reasoning is this: Those who persist in homosexual behavior have given themselves over to sin (embracing it as a way of life). This is a characteristic of the unsaved, not a characteristic of those who have been born again by the Spirit of God!  Of course, persons who are truly born again continue to sin, but they struggle against it; they don’t embrace it.

 

Two Stories

 

At my previous church, we had two men who identified themselves as homosexual. One of them struggled with same-sex attraction since his teenage years.

 

That’s the key: he struggled with it; he was committed to living a chaste life in the power of the Holy Spirit. Those of us who knew about his struggle sympathized with it, but he didn’t want anyone’s pity because he recognized same-sex attraction as his cross to bear (just as nearly everyone has a cross to bear).

 

Compare this to the other person in my congregation.

 

The other person, a young man in his 20’s, looked me in the eye over lunch one day and said he was embracing his homosexuality. He had no interest in further counseling on the matter and didn’t really care what the Bible had to say. As his pastor, he expected me to “affirm” his lifestyle. When I declined to do so (I said I affirmed him, but not his lifestyle), he left the church. The last I knew, he was living with his male partner in another state.

 

I believe it is this 2nd situation that Paul is addressing and warning about.

 

The Hope of the Gospel

 

Paul’s statement “[a]nd that is what some of you were” refutes the argument that homosexuals can’t change. Not on their own, of course, but they can by the power of God!

 

This doesn’t mean that a person with same-sex attraction won’t ever have that attraction again. They probably will, but most likely to a lessening degree. What it DOES mean is that a homosexual doesn’t have to live in bondage to their homosexuality. They can be free from its controlling power.

 

Is that a good message for us to share? I think so.

 

Pastor Dan

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