Archive for the ‘Homosexuality’ Category

Homosexuality: A Moral Issue Confronting Christians (Romans 1:24-27)

Romans 1:26-27 “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.”

Idolatry to immorality is just one short step. Take God out the equation and man can justify any sin or action. For God and His Word is the only absolute truth that exists in this world; if man no longer accepts that fact, or pretends that fact does not exist, then man has no ultimate moral guide or compass and can then do whatever is right in his own eyes. By exchanging the truth of God for a lie, man has removed God’s authority in his life and has made himself his own god. So man will naturally seek to please his new god, which is himself.

INTRODUCTION: Homosexuality and the acceptance of this lifestyle have become more prevalent in our society. So called “equal rights” are being granted to practice and promote this lifestyle. There are now, and I hate to even use this terminology, “gay churches”, and “gay priests and ministers” in some mainstream denominations. How they can reconcile those things and the Word of God together is beyond me. There are cities in our country and around the world that cater to this lifestyle. There are vacation resorts and a certain “magical kingdom” that have days set aside to cater to and celebrate this anti-God and anti-Bible lifestyle.

This is a moral issue that seems to be confronting churches and Christians today more and more. As Christians, we need to be educated and prepared concerning this issue (I Peter 3:15). Some Christians behave wrongly and hatefully to this lifestyle. Some even question if it is wrong, again this I do not understand, the Bible is very clear on its teachings on this issue. But as with any moral issue, we must look to the Word of God for our guidance and for the truth about this issue confronting so many Christians and churches today.

WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT THIS ISSUE?

IN THE PATRIARCHAL AGE…

  • Homosexuality is what led to the fall of Sodom and Gomorrah. (Genesis 18:20 – And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous;) – The men of the city young and old were involved in this sin. They are later described in Jude verse seven as “giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.”
  • Some will question based on what Ezekiel 16:49 says as to why Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed. (Ezekiel 16:49 – Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.)
  • But this is an invalid and unresearched questioning of the destruction of Sodom. The Sodom referred to in this verse is Ammon and Moab, offshoots from Sodom.
  • It could not have been the original Sodom, for that Sodom had been destroyed by God about 1500 years earlier.
  • The sin of homosexuality was a grave sin in the days of the patriarchs and it was dealt with harshly by God.

IN THE MOSIAC AGE…

  • The Law of Moses made it a capital crime. It was an abomination listed together with bestiality. (Leviticus 18:22-23 – Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination. Neither shalt thou lie with any beast to defile thyself therewith: neither shall any woman stand before a beast to lie down thereto: it is confusion.)
  • This sin was a reason other nations were driven out of the land. (Leviticus 18:24-25)
  • It was a sin punishable by death. (Leviticus 20:13 – 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.)
  • Some may say this is the law and when Jesus came he said nothing about homosexuality. But remember Jesus lived under the law; He was the fulfillment of the law. He is the only person that ever kept all the law. The law was enforce and did not end until His death on the cross (Colossians 2:14). While alive, Jesus taught strict observance of the law (Matthew 5:17-19). By this we can easily infer and clearly understand that Jesus approved of what the law taught about homosexuality. (Matthew 5:17-19Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.)

IN THE CHRISTIAN AGE…

  • We find in Romans 1:24-17, that Lesbianism and Homosexuality is described as “vile affections” and “against nature” and “unseemly”. Also is says “receiving in themselves that recompence of their error” – could this be a reference to AIDS or other diseases possibly?
  • The Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthian church regarding this issue in I Corinthians 6:9-10 “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.” The sin of homosexuality was included in a list of sins that could prevent one from inheriting the Kingdom of God.
  • The Apostle Paul wrote again of this sin to Timothy in I Timothy 1:9-11Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, 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; According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.” This time the sin of homosexuality is included in a list of sins that are “contrary to sound doctrine.”
  • Homosexuality is indeed contrary to the sound doctrine of the Word of God. The Bible is clear on this subject over and over again. Yet, there are some that believe that God made them that way. Is this true? Would a righteous, sinless, perfect God make someone this way?

WHAT CAUSES HOMOSEXUALITY?

NATURE OR NURTURE? – Is homosexuality the result of one’s genetics, and were they born that way? There has been no definitive scientific study documenting or proving that homosexuality is genetic. There was one that came out in the 1990’s saying this, that it was genetic; but it later came out that the data in this study had been heavily faked and a lot of it just made up to fit a narrative. If God made someone a male or a female He made them that way on purpose. He also intended them to live out their life that way and also to be fruitful and multiply according to the way they were designed and made by Him and not contrary to that design.

  • There was a study conducted at Northwestern University by a Dr. Michael Bailey examining 110 sets of identical twins. He found no genetic link or cause of homosexuality. If it were genetic one would surmise that if one identical twin was homosexual the other would have to be also; but this study demonstrated that was not the case at all.
  • Note that identical twins are exactly alike genetically. If homosexuality were genetic then both would have the same sexual preference or desire. This study showed that was not the case and demonstrated no genetic linkage to homosexuality.

IF NOT NATURE, THEN NURTURE? – Nurture may not fully explain the issue either. Many believe nurture has an impact on this issue; but it is not the sole cause either. The consensus opinion is it is a combination of possibly nurture and possible exposure to sinful behavior of a sexual nature at a young age, but this opinion must be qualified by noting it is an opinion surmised from study’s trying to figure out what causes homosexuality. This opinion is not definitive or exclusive in nature.

  • Documented environmental factors that have been linked to the development of homosexual tendencies include:
  • A lack of healthy parental relationships.
  • A missing father.
  • An overbearing or smothering mother.
  • Early exposure to improper sexual activities.
  • Sexual abuse at a young age.
  • It must be noted that sinful behavior does not always have a simple explanation. There is no simple explanation to sin, especially once one becomes enslaved to that sin. (John 8:34 – Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.)
  • As Christians, we need to understand the power that sin can hold over someone; and in turn we need to have a sympathetic response to those that are currently enslaved to some sin in their life, whether that sin is homosexuality or something else. Our attitude towards those suffering in the bondage of sin needs to be one of sympathy; and desiring to help in some way and not one of judging and condemning or making fun of.

SO WHAT SHOULD A CHRISTIANS RESPONSE BE?

WE ARE TO SHARE THE GOSPEL OF TRUTH AND FREEDOM FROM SIN.

  • We must hold fast to the gospel of truth that is in Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 4:20-24 – But ye have not so learned Christ; If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.)
  • We must continue to teach sound doctrine and truth to those affected by this sin. It may not be popular, it may not be well received sometimes, it definitely will not be politically correct; but we need to not compromise God’s truth, not compromise on what the Word of God says and we must continue to hold fast to the life changing, sin liberating truths and promises as found in the Word of God! (I Timothy 1:8-11 – But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully; Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, 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; According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.)

WE ARE TO DISPLAY THE LOVE OF THE GOSPEL TO THOSE AFFECTED BY THIS SIN.

  • We have a duty to speak the truth in love, notice not just speak the truth as many do; but we are to speak the truth in a loving way to those affected by this sin. (Ephesians 4:15 – But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:)
  • We must have the right kind of attitude when we seek to minister to those living in this sin. We must have a meek, patient, gentle, and loving attitude seeking to avoid the argument about the issue and instead seeking to minister to and share the gospel with. (II Timothy 2:24-26 – And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.) As the saying goes, and I have recently heard this saying criticized, but this saying falls in line with how Christ conducted Himself and with the teachings of the New Testament “You must hate the sin; but love the sinner”.

WE MUST OFFER THE HOPE OF THE GOSPEL TO THOSE INVOLVED IN THIS SIN.

  • The Bible teaches that cleansing, sanctification and justification is available to all that will receive it. (I Corinthians 6:9-11 – 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. 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.)
  • No matter what form the perversions of sin take, the Gospel of Christ is the solution to them. The Gospel is the provider of deliverance from them. The Gospel of Christ is the source of hope to work through them on the way to victory from them. Faith in Christ and His Word is the source of victory in our life! Faith is the victory! (I John 5:4 – For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.)

IN CONCLUSION: Homosexuality is a volatile issue today. It is a very politically charged issue today. Having opposition to it is often depicted as being hateful, narrow minded and, a new word that has become part of our vernacular, homophobic. But let me remind you being true to God’s Word, standing on your convictions based on the Word of God, speaking the truth of God’s Word to a lost and sinful world is never any of those words just mentioned above. Using a much used comparison, if a man walked by someone’s house and saw it on fire, he would not encourage the man to stay in the fire and say how supportive he is of the man for following his heart and staying in the fire. No! The man walking by would do everything he could to save the man in the fire and do everything he could to warn others, whose homes were nearby, to stand guard lest the fire spreads to their houses too!

And so should we as Christians not back down or shy away from sounding the alarm and spreading the Truth of the Gospel about this issue to those affected by it and to the world in general. We as Christians must, and I repeat must, remain faithful to the Scriptures on this subject; but we must also be faithful to the example of our Savior Jesus Christ, in how He reached out to all sinners with love and promises of forgiveness and hope of transformation. (Mark 2:15-17 – And it came to pass, that, as Jesus sat at meat in his house, many publicans and sinners sat also together with Jesus and his disciples: for there were many, and they followed him. And when the scribes and Pharisees saw him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto his disciples, How is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners? When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.)

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Biblical Instruction on Gender Identity

Deuteronomy 22:5 “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.”

Moses gave us some foundational and relevant instruction on a hot topic of discussion happening today. Moses in his writings in the Pentateuch, gave the world God’s foundational teachings and truths on this topic of gender identity and transgenderism.

INTRODUCTION: First, before we delve into this topic of transgenderism and gender identity, we have to establish what sources are used for truth. We have to establish that absolute truth, that absolute rights, and absolute wrongs do exist. Something’s are right or permitted to be done as long as they are in the bounds of God’s Word; and something’s are wrong and sinful to do. We have to acknowledge that there is sin in the world. We have to acknowledge that there are evil things in this world. We have to be willing to accept that certain acts committed by men are in fact evil in the sight of God and condemned as such by Him in His Word.

We have going on in the news today several examples of this topic that we are going to examine in light of God’s Word. We have the new bathroom policy implemented by Target stores – In our stores, we demonstrate our commitment to an inclusive experience in many ways. Most relevant for the conversations currently underway, we welcome transgender team members and guests to use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender identity.”  We also have in North Carolina the law designed to protect the privacy and safety of women and children while using the restroom by restricting people to using the bathroom that corresponds to their sex that is on their birth certificate. Since this North Carolina law has taken affect the state has been threatened and now sued by the federal government claiming the right of a transgender person to use the bathroom of their choice, trumps the right to privacy and safety of the other 99.7% of the population of the United States.

The Texas Attorney General in response to the bathroom policy of Target issued this statement – “As chief lawyer and law enforcement officer for the State of Texas, I ask that you provide the full text of Target’s safety policies regarding the protection of women and children from those who would use the cover of Target’s restroom policy for nefarious purposes,”. American Family Association President had this to say on this topic “Nearly everyone has a mother, wife, daughter or friend who is put in jeopardy by this policy …Predators and voyeurs would take advantage of the policy to prey on those who are vulnerable.” – As you can see, we live in a world that seems to have lost what historically most would have considered basic common sense. What is up is now down, what is right is now wrong, what was wrong is now right. The Bible warned us about this in Isaiah 5:20 “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” “Modern social righteousness often differs from the righteousness of the Bible. Someone has said: ‘A wrong deed is right if the majority of people declare it not to be wrong.’ By this principle we can see our standards shifting from year to year according to the popular vote!”Rev. Billy Graham. Hazen G. Werner, who served as a United Methodist bishop in Ohio, Hong Kong and Taiwan, once said this: “There is no more startling phenomenon in our day than the respectabilization of evil.” We are seeing this phenomenon taking place right before our eyes today. Today we are seeing things that were once generally accepted as being good, getting challenged over and over again. Governments and courts are redefining marriage and ruling that those desiring to live by Biblical standards are law breakers. So how does one know what is right and wrong in areas of morality, and specifically in the area of transgenderism? The answer I would argue is very simple; but we will first consider a few things.

WHAT DO MANY ACCEPT AS AUTHORITY IN MORALITY? 

Their feelings. – If it feels good to them it must be right. The Bible warns us against trusting our feelings. (Proverbs 14:12 – There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.). Others may say I have to follow my heart. The Bible also warns us against doing that as well. (Proverbs 28:26a – He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool:). Many people have destroyed their lives by trusting their feelings or following their heart. (Jeremiah 17:9 – The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?)

Their conscience – As the saying goes “Let your conscience be your guide” – But your conscience will not always be reliable, especially if you are not saved. A better saying would be to “Always let the Holy Spirit that lives in you be your guide”. An example of a conscience not being right is found in the life of Paul. He let his unsaved conscience guide him to persecute Christians. (Acts 26:9-11 – I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. Which thing I also did in Jerusalem: and many of the saints did I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I gave my voice against them. And I punished them oft in every synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them even unto strange cities.)

Their friends – “Everyone else is doing it” – Remember everyone else in Noah’s day did not trust God and get on the Ark. How did that work out for them? Don’t use what everyone else does as your guide to morality but rather choose the right path and the narrow way that leads to a joyous life. (Matthew 7:13-14 – Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.)

NOW LETS EXAMINE THE CHRISTIANS AUTHORITY IN MORALITY

Jesus has all authority in heaven and earth. (Matthew 28:18). Jesus has all authority in all areas, including areas of sexual morals and behavior. (Ephesians 4:21-24 – If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.)·         Jesus will one day judge all of mankind. (Acts 17:31 –  Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.)·         Jesus will use His Word as the standard to judge all men. (John 12:48 – He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.)

Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, guided what the Apostles wrote about morality in their writings.  (John 16: 12-13 – I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.) – The argument that says Jesus did not say anything about it does not hold water. Jesus used the Holy Spirit to author the entire Bible. The entire Bible is what Jesus said. (II Peter 1:21 – For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.)

This authority pertains to all areas including areas of morality. – Paul charged the church of Thessalonica regarding moral issues (I Thessalonians 4:1-8). Paul also addressed the churches of Ephesus and Corinth regarding issues of morality.

CONFUSION ABOUT MORALITY – With the sources of authority the world uses you can see why there would be confusion about morality. This brings me to my original point in order to get to where one can know for sure what is really right or what is really evil in the sight of God; one has to acknowledge that absolute truth does exist and the authority for establishing that absolute truth comes from Christ Jesus. The Christian need not to be confused about moral issues, because God, “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:” II Peter 1:3. All need to know and accept by faith what Jesus said “…I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6. If God is not the author of confusion then who is? —- The father of lies – Satan; and he uses his lies to help cause the confusion of the transgender person. (John 8:44 – Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.)

SO WHAT ABOUT BEING TRANSEXUAL OR TRANSGENDER?  – Deuteronomy 22:5 says “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.” We find also that Jesus spoke about this in Matthew 19:4 “And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,” – Notice Jesus said it is God that makes people male or female. They do not later get to decide or identify as a different gender, it is God that makes that determination and that determination was made before their conception.  This verse tells us clearly that women are not to dress in a way or present themselves in a way that would lead one to possibly confuse them with a man or present themselves in a masculine way, with masculine characteristics to their dress or hair. It also teaches us clearly that men are not to dress up like women or present themselves physically in a way that could lead them to be confused for a women or to dress or present themselves in an effeminate manner.

Charles Ryrie said this about this passage – “In that society male and female dress were similar, making distinctive styles for the sexes especially important to help prevent transvestism and homosexuality.” 

The British Family Bible Commentary states this about this verse in Deuteronomy “If there were no distinction of sexes, made by their habits, it would open a door to all manner of impurity: for which reason, if there were no other, this law was very wise and pious.”

It goes against nature to blur the distinction between male and female. When such blurring of these distinctions begins it creates confusion and opens the door to all kinds of unspeakable sins. It is not just a blurring of the distinctions between male and female but those who proclaim themselves as transgender or transsexual most likely are really suffering from a psychological disorder or the effects of sinfulness of some kind; because the Bible clearly teaches all people were made either male or female by God. God is not the author of confusion and thinking one is supposed to be the opposite sex of one’s birth is a clear indication of major confusion. (I Corinthians 14:33 – For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.)

AN EXAMPLE OF THE CONFUSION INVOLVED IN THE SIN OF TRANSGENDERISMThere was a man who had medical procedures in the 1980’s to become like a women. He has since reverted back to his biological gender as that of a man. He changed back because he said he found God and God redeemed him, forgave him and changed his life and gave him the hope he had been searching for. This man lived for 8 years as a woman. He said the physical change did nothing to resolve his mental and emotional struggles. He simply needed God and instead searched for fulfillment in other things. He said one day he had an epiphany, he was not transgender he realized he was simply a man with a psychological problem. He now says that no one is born transgender but people can suffer from psychological disorders brought about by sin. Either their own sin or by being abused sinfully by others usually at an early age. This man said “God designed man; He designed women, God will redeem the lives of people who struggle with gender identity issues just like I did. He redeemed my life, and I’ve been free from it as a result of that. I can see that changing genders, quite frankly is just pure foolishness.” God’s power, love and forgiveness can redeem sinful man; it can redeem the transgender person. We need to demonstrate God’s love and compassion to the transgender person, while making sure at the same time to not condone their sin. Remember, such were some of the church at Corinth and God changed their lives and used them to do great things for Him. (I Corinthians 6:11 – 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 IS TRANSGENDERISM ACCEPTABLE OR SHOULD WE ACCEPT IT? – NO, it is NOT acceptable in God’s sight. It should NOT be accepted. It is not intolerant to be against sin. It is loving to be against sin and proclaim sin as sin. It is wrong to remain silent on the issue when you know the truth; and you know the truth has the power to set men free from the shackles of sin and the shackles of the sin of transgenderism. (John 8:32 – And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.)

It is not acceptable because God created two distinct genders and roles at creation. (Genesis 1:27 – So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.)

It is not acceptable because nature teaches us that transgender conduct is sinful. (Romans 1:26-27 – 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.)

It is not acceptable because it disregards our God given gender. (Deuteronomy 22:5 – The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.)Ø  It is not acceptable because it promotes homosexuality. (Leviticus 18:22 – Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.)

It is not acceptable because it dishonors God’s creation. (Romans 1:24 – Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:)

It is not acceptable because it dishonors marriage and the home as ordained by God. (Genesis 2:23-24 – And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.)

IN CONCLUSION: Temptations and sin are not insurmountable. There is no sin too big or egregious that God cannot forgive and help the sinner to overcome it. We need to be ministry minded to those who are affected by this sin. Remember how God was able to use those that used to be affected by this sin in the church of Corinth to do service for Him. God can change lives and change hearts if the person affected by this sin will open up and let Him. It is that God forms our identity as male or female and He knows us before our birth. (Jeremiah 1:5 – Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.)

We just examined a foundational truth as found in the writings of Moses in Deuteronomy 22:5. This truth is a key teaching to be familiar with in light of current events going on in our country. We have to establish that absolute truth that absolute rights and absolute wrongs do exist. In order to get to where one can know for sure what is really right or what is really evil in the sight of God; one has to acknowledge that absolute truth does exist and the authority for establishing that absolute truth comes from Christ Jesus. We learned that this passage given to us through Moses clearly teaches women are not to dress in a way or present themselves in a way that would lead one to possibly confuse them with a man or present themselves in a masculine way and that men are not to dress up like women or present themselves physically in a way that could lead them to be confused for a women or to dress or present themselves in an effeminate manner.

BITTERNESS & BONDAGE (Acts 8:9-24)bondage

Acts 8:21-23 – “Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.”
Sin hurts, it hurts us and it hurts those around us. Sin starts in the heart, it then can lead to bitterness and bondage and sins answer is repentance. Simon the Sorcerer sinned in wanting to buy the power the Apostles had. He coveted something that was not his to have. He thought lightly of the things of God. He did not honor God but wanted to bring honor and power again to himself. All this wanting, coveting and seeking self honor and self power started in his heart. We need to understand and see the hurt and problems sin brings. The Bible does tell us there is pleasure in sin for a season (Hebrews 11:25). But after that comes the results of sin, the bitterness and the bondage. The season of pleasure is not worth it. Living in sin is not worth it. Sin hurts yourself and can hurt others around you too.

SIN STARTS IN THE HEART (Acts 8:21 – Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.) Think of David – He did not wake up one morning and decide to commit adultery and then plan a murder. He first conceived the sin of adultery in his heart. He did not check this sin. He gave into it. Then this sin progressed unto other sins. David’s sin hurt himself; but it also hurt Bathsheba, it hurt Uriah, it hurt David’s unborn child. Sin hurts; don’t think you sin in a vacuum. Sin hurts and your sin hurts more than just you. The Bible teaches us there is a progression to sin. (James 1:15 – Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death) – Sin is first conceived of in our heart, and then we outwardly act on that sin and when we do that, sin can have damaging effects to us and to others. Mark 7:6 says “He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.Where is your heart? – Is it close to God like it ought to be or are you far from Him? – Are you allowing sin to conceive itself in your heart and lead you far from God? Jesus goes onto say later in Mark 7:21-23 – “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.

SIN LEADS TO BITTERNESS (Acts 8:23a – For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness). Sin can make people bitter. Some of the most easy going, happy people you could know, once they get started into a life of sin can become some of the most bitter people you may ever know. Sin is a terrible thing which the Lord hates. Sin in our life is the root of bitterness in our life. Don’t let bitterness take root in your life. (Deuteronomy 29:18 – Lest there should be among you man, or woman, or family, or tribe, whose heart turneth away this day from the LORD our God, to go and serve the gods of these nations; lest there should be among you a root that beareth gall and wormwood;) Bitterness can be the result of unresolved anger in your life. You may be thinking I am not letting sin dwell in my heart – well do you have unresolved anger with someone? – Then you are letting sin dwell and take root in your heart. If you are not already there you are heading toward bitterness. (Ephesians 4:26-27 – Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil.) Judas Iscariot is a prime example of one’s sin leading to bitterness and hopelessness. Judas sinned and became bitter at himself and the circumstances he found himself in and took his own life. Don’t let sin take root in your life, don’t let anger or hurt dwell in your heart – get it resolved and forgiven and move on for God.

SIN LEADS TO BONDAGE (Acts 8:23 – For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.) – Notice sin not only leads us into bitterness but it also leads us into bondage. Sin first is conceived of in your heart – you then can become bitter over this sin – sin can also enslave you. You will do anything and everything just to get to do that sin or experience that sin one more time. YOU IN EVERY SINCE OF THE WORD WILL BE ENSLAVED TO THAT SIN. Nothing else will matter in your life anymore but that sin. (Genesis 19:4-11 –  But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter: And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them. And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him, And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly. Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof. And they said, Stand back. And they said again, This one fellow came in to sojourn, and he will needs be a judge: now will we deal worse with thee, than with them. And they pressed sore upon the man, even Lot, and came near to break the door. But the men put forth their hand, and pulled Lot into the house to them, and shut to the door. And they smote the men that were at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great: so that they wearied themselves to find the door. ) Notice even after being made blind they still did not stop in their pursuit of their sin. – They were in bondage to their sin – they were enslaved by their sin. (Genesis 19:11 – And they smote the men that were at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great: so that they wearied themselves to find the door.)

Even after they received a physical hardship as a direct result from their sin, they had let themselves become so enslaved by their sin of homosexuality that it did not matter, they kept pursuing their sin. Paul warns us to not let ourselves become enslaved to sin in Romans 6:12 – “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.” – Don’t let sin have the preeminence in your life. Sin can take many forms, it can be obvious forms of sin such as physical sins or sin can take the form of unresolved anger or the form of spending too much time on games or other activities and not enough time in your Bible. Whatever form sin takes in your life it will eventually hurt you and can hurt others around you. Don’t let sin have the preeminence in your life instead let Christ have that preeminence. (Colossians 1:18 – And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.)

SINS ANSWER IS REPENTANCE (Acts 8:22 – Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.) Repentance is the best advice for those in sin. – We should not be accepting of others sin, we should not condone others sin, we should not ignore others sins; instead counsel them, instruct them and point them to the things of God and the need for repentance. – This needs to be done however with an attitude of love and a goal of getting them closer to the Lord. You don’t do anyone any favors by being accepting of their sin. If someone’s house is on fire will you just be accepting of it and think well that is the lifestyle choice they made to live in a burning house – no you would be doing all you could to get them saved from that fire. We need to be doing all we can to get those living in sin around us to the Lord, inviting them to church, going door knocking, teaching them repentance of their sins and if they are not saved how to accept Jesus as their Savior. He is the one that can save them from the eternal fire.

Notice how Peter worded verse 22 “Repent therefore of this thy wickedness” – our repentance to God needs to be specific. Peter said “this they wickedness” – We need to get specific to God about our sins and repent of those sins specifically. Also notice what Peter called it “wickedness” when you repent to God you must call it what God call’s it. Don’t explain away your sin to God or try to justify it somehow just pray and repent of it specifically and call it what God calls it. Notice one more word Peter says in verse 22 “perhaps” – Peter doubted the sincerity of Simon the Sorcerer. This tells us we need to be sincere when we ask God for forgiveness of our sins. Our repentance must be sincere, it must be specific and our sins must be called by what God calls them. We need to understand our need of repentance. Romans 6:23 says “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” – If we have never accepted Jesus as our Savior the wages of those unrepented sins is our eternal death and torment in Hell.

Sin hurts, sin not only hurts us but it can hurt others around us. Sin starts in the heart it is first conceived in our hearts (Jeremiah 17:9 – The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?)
Sin starts in the heart, Sin leads to bitterness, sin leads to bondage but sins answer is repentance. Our repentance needs to be sincere, it needs to be specific and it needs to honestly portray our sins as they really are not as we may wish they were.

Romans 1:18-22 “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,”

A knowledge of God was imprinted on every human heart. There is no excuse to deny God or to say He does not exist. The evidences of a Creator God are all around us to be clearly seen. Those that teach and promote lifestyles that are contrary to God’s Word are setting themselves up as knowing better then God. In doing this what they really are doing is showing themselves to be fools. The Bible tells us those who think they are the enlightened ones, the tolerant ones, are actually fools who have knowingly denied God, denied His precepts, and denied His righteous authority.

When you deny God you are deny yourself true and lasting happiness. When you deny God you are denying yourself eternal life and sentencing yourself to eternal damnation in Hell. Those who preach tolerance of sinful lifestyles and try to cloak it in the guise of christian sounding words are committing a most heinous and sinful deception. If they truly believe the arguments they espouse they are the epitome of what Paul states in II Timothy 3:8 “Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. “

God imprinted a knowledge of Himself on every human heart. Man is without excuse in denying God. God gave us the Bible His Holy Word. Filled with His moral code man is to live by. The intolerant left wants to deny God and wants to deny His moral precepts He gave us in and through His word. You are not intolerant nor a bigot if you believe and live by God’s word. Matthew 9:12 “But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.” Pray for the healing power of the Lord Jesus Christ to come to our nation.

THE SIN OF HOMOSEXUALITY
(Romans 1:21-32)

Romans 1:26,28“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 even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;” God’s word is clear on the subject of homosexuality. This is a sin. This is a perversion. This is not an alternate lifestyle. This does not equate with a heterosexual relationship. Homosexuality should not be granted the same status as a heterosexual relationship. Both homosexual and lesbian relationships are condemned in the Bible. God only approves of monogamous heterosexual relationships inside the bonds of marriage. All other sexual relationships both heterosexual and homosexual are a sin and condemned as such.

One Nation under God? – In our pledge we recall the heritage of our nation and declare we are “one nation under God”, but are we “under God” or have we left Him? (Psalm 33:12 – Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.) Let’s examine some of the sins that are now condoned or even encouraged by the leaders of our nation and the policies and laws they have put in place. (Proverbs 14:34 – Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.)
Abortion – the taking of the life of an unborn child. Life begins at conception. Could a nation that condones this be considered “under God”? (Jeremiah 1:5 – Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee,…)
Fornication and Adultery – the whole nation seems to have lost its moral compass when it comes to this issue. The Bible is very clear on the issue of sex outside of the marriage bed. (Hebrews 13:4 – Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.)
Homosexuality – this is still a sin. No matter who may have “evolved” their opinion on this, a sin is a sin is a sin. And this particular sin is a perversion and thoroughly condemned as such in the Holy Scriptures. (Romans 1:26-28, 32 – 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 recompense of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.)

What our nation needs is revival if we hope to truly be a nation “under God” again. Christians are the key to this revival happening. We have to do our part to help bring revival about. We need to live separated, dedicated lives for Christ. Seeking to do his business on earth and follow his commandments for our life. (II Chronicles 7:14 – If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.)

Both lesbianism and homosexuality are condemned in Romans chapter 1. (Romans 1:26-27 – 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 recompense of their error which was meet.) God only approves of monogamous, heterosexual relationships in marriage. God condemns adultery both before and during marriage. Homosexuality and lesbianism is called “vile affections” in verse 26. Verse 26 says that they are against nature. Verse 27 tells us the precursor of this sin is lust “burned in their lust one toward another”.

The Bible says Homosexuality is a sin. It is a learned, chosen and unnatural sinful behavior which the Bible and our laws refer to as “sodomy”. Deuteronomy 23:17 – “There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel.”, Leviticus 18:22 – “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.” & in our text Romans 1:32 tell us “that they which commit such things are worthy of death.
• Until December 1973 the American Psychiatric Association’s diagnostic manual listed homosexuality as a mental disorder. In December of 1973 under pressure from gay rights groups the board of the APA voted to remove it from the manual.
• In reference to this decision acclaimed New York psychiatrist Charles Socarides said in a Time Magazine report “It is flying in the face of the one fact that we know which is that male and female are programmed to mate with the opposite sex, and this is the story of …. any society that hopes to survive.” Socarides also claimed that the vote for the removal of homosexuality from the APA’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, won by a 65% majority rule, was heavily influenced by a letter sent by the National Gay Task Force to the 18,000 APA members asking them to support its removal. Only just over half of the APA members voted in this referendum. The National Gay Task Force spent over $3000 on printing and mailing the brochure to the APA members. A detail that was not revealed prior to the vote on the issue by the APA members.
• Medically speaking homosexuality is an unhealthy and harmful lifestyle. Examples – AIDS – homosexuals are primarily responsible for the spread of this disease in America. When AIDS was first detected it was called GRID (Gay Related Immune Deficiency). A large portion of gay males have had Hepatitis B, many have various infections and almost half of all the reported cases of syphilis in the United States occur in gay men.
• The Lord will give victory over this sin if we repent, seek His forgiveness, seek His wisdom and walk in His ways.(I Corinthians 6:9,11 – 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, 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.)
• Paul was talking to Christians in the church at Corinth when he said some of them used to be homosexuals and lesbians. God will forgive this sin and help you to get victory over it. (Ephesians 3:20 – Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,)

The Bible say that “Fools make a mock at sin” Proverbs 14:9.
 They will say “what’s the big deal” or “it’s not that bad” or “you are just overreacting” They try to trivialize sin to make it less than it is. Does this sound familiar? This is rampant in our country. A good example of this going on in our country right now is the homosexual community. Until the 1970’s homosexuality was classified as a mental illness and was illegal in almost every state. Now they are succeeding in making a mockery of their sin. So much so now they have the President of the United States in support of homosexual marriage! A fool has no desire to learn, but desires only to air his personal opinions. (Proverbs 18:2 – A fool hath no delight in understanding, but that his heart may discover itself.) The homosexual community and those in support of this are good at telling everyone to be tolerant but they are some of the most intolerant people when it comes to a Christian point of view on the subject of their sin.

Proverbs 26:11 tells us a fool will continue to go back to his old base ways. He will continue to go back to his filthy sinful ways. You might be able to pull him away temporarily but he always wants to go back to that sin. Foolishness left unchecked or not gotten out of will pervert one’s life. Foolishness will take a promising life of happiness and serving the Lord and ruin it and throw it all away. (Proverbs 19:3 – The foolishness of man perverteth his way: and his heart fretteth against the LORD.) Don’t let this sin get a foothold in your life or mind. Don’t let yourself be conned into thinking it is a good thing to be supportive of homosexuals you may know. Think of it this way, would you be supportive and encourage a drunk to drink more wine and continue in their drunken self destructive behavior or encourage a murderer to continue killing?

The wicked City of Sodom. (Genesis 19:5-7 – And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them. And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him, And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly.) Two angles came to announce judgment on the city of Sodom. Sodom and Gomorrah were going to be destroyed by God because of the awful sins of the people of those two cities. (Genesis 18:20 – And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous) They were all wicked. Wickedness and perversion had become universal in Sodom. They were wicked sinners exceedingly before the Lord. (Genesis 13:13 – But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly.) Their wickedness was an unnatural abomination before the Lord. The sin still bears their name and is called Sodomy. Sodomy is an awful sin. (Romans 1:31-32 – Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.) Let’s draw a sharp line here, if something is sin it is sin. There should be no gray area where sin is concerned. All type of sexual contact before marriage is sin. Whether it is heterosexual or homosexual. (I Corinthians 7:1 – Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.) Just because you are against a sin does not mean you are against the sinner. Jesus received sinners, but when they met Jesus their attitude towards their sin changed. They saw it as God saw it. They changed the direction of their lives and repented of their sins. (Luke 5:31-32 – And Jesus answering said unto them,They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.)

The destruction of Sodom. (Genesis 19:23–25 – The sun was risen upon the earth when Lot entered into Zoar. Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven; And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.)
• God waited for the sun to rise over Sodom and Gomorrah to show that this was no ordinary storm. God rained downed on them fire and brimstone. God demonstrated to the world that sin does not go unpunished. (Jude 1:7 – 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.)
• God overthrew the cities, it was utter destruction. Nothing was left. The end of sin is not satisfaction or happiness but death and destruction. (James 1:5 – Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.) Homosexuality is a sin. This is a perversion of nature and a wicked sin. It is not right to be supportive of this perverted sin. Just like it would not be right to support a drunk in their drunkenness it is not right to support someone in this sinful perversion. The Bible speaks strongly against this sin (Romans 1:21-32, Leviticus 18:22, Deuteronomy 23:17).

The Bible is also very clear that marriage is to be between one man and one woman for one lifetime. God created Eve for Adam (Genesis 2:24 – Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh). God ordained marriage to be between a man and a woman. Men are not to marry men and women are not to marry women. This is not condoned or allowed in the Holy Scriptures.
It is not intolerant to believe God’s word. God is the very epitome of love and inclusion. Christ came and died for all mankind. He died for the very vilest of sinners and He died for you and me. God so loved us all, that He sent His only son to die in our place; So that we could have eternal life and live with Him in Heaven one day. God is love (I John 4:7-10). God loves the sinner but He does not love their sin. As Christians we too should love the sinner but not the sin. You can condemn a sin and that does not mean you are mistreating the sinner.