You are well aware, I know, by now that the subject for this morning is the subject of the divine perspective or the divine view of homosexuality. We want to look at this particular issue from the eyes of God, and thus through the Word of God.
I suppose there should be some justification for isolating a sin like this and preaching on it when there are so many sins which are equally heinous to God. The answer to those who might wonder why we would isolate this one should be apparent, but just in case it isn’t, this sin has taken on unique properties in our culture. It has been declassified as a sin and turned into a sort of civil rights group. It is at this particular point a political issue and not a moral one, an issue of freedom and not a moral one or a spiritual one.
The fact that it is being advocated not only in the private sector but in the public sector in public schools and in government, political parties, and conventions, and that it is being ruled on in courts, and decided on in legislatures, and dealt with by governors, and presidents, and mayors, and so forth, has taken this sin and sort of extracted it out of the general plurality of sins and given an identity all its own. And consequently, because of its prominence in our culture, it needs to be addressed.
I want to begin by reading a very pertinent scripture, and I want you to turn to it. First Corinthians chapter 6. First Corinthians chapter 6. Three verses stand out with regard to this issue: Verses 9, 10 and 11. First Corinthians 6:9. “Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall 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 shall inherit the kingdom of God. And 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.”
This is one of those bad news/good news passages. The bad news is the unrighteous don’t inherit God’s kingdom. The unrighteous who don’t inherit God’s kingdom are characterized as fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, effeminate, homosexuals, thieves, covetous, drunkards, revilers and swindlers. Those are the kind of people who do not go into God’s kingdom, so if you’re one of those kinds of people, you don’t go into God’s kingdom. That’s the bad news.
But the good news is in verse 11. Those kind of people can be washed. Those kind of people can be sanctified. And those kind of people can be justified. And they have been and they are being. So that he could say to the Corinthian church, “Such were some of you.” You used to be fornicators, and idolaters, and adulterers, and effeminate, and homosexuals. You used to be thieves, and coveters, and drunkards, and revilers, and swindlers, but you aren’t anymore because you’ve been washed from those sins, and you’ve been sanctified, and you have been justified. That’s good news.
I’m here to say this morning primarily that God has good news for homosexuals. They are redeemable. They can be saved. They can be delivered from that sin. They can be washed from its stains. They can be set on a road of godly, holy, pure living called sanctification. And that had happened in the Corinthian church.
When Paul wrote earlier to the Corinthians in the first part of his letter, he said, “Not many of you are noble. Not many of you are mighty. But God has chosen the base things to confound the noble and the mighty.” You are a base, ignoble, humble people. You want to know how base they were? The Corinthian church was full of ex-fornicators, ex-idolaters, ex-adulterers, ex-effeminates, ex-thieves, ex-coveters, ex-drunkards, ex-slanderers, ex-extortioners, and even ex-homosexuals. But they were washed clean and they were sanctified, that is separated from a life pattern of sin, and they were justified, that is declared righteous by God on the basis of the merits of Christ.
The Corinthian church was full of those kinds of people, and so is Grace Community Church. Such were some of us but we’ve been washed, and we’ve been sanctified, and we’ve been justified because God has set His saving love on sinners and forgiven them. I have stood on many occasions in this baptistry behind me and below my feet and so have others, and have baptized many who have been delivered from a life of homosexual sin, a life of sodomy. By God’s grace and through His saving love, homosexual sinners are redeemable. They are recoverable. They can be washed. They can be separated from that sin and they can live a pure life. They can be given a new heart and made fit for heaven.
Some months ago I was standing in my office and I was looking at the little spindle that contains the messages that come in by phone and I noticed one that said, “A young man has called and asked that you come to the hospital to see him. He’s dying.” And so I decided to go immediately. And I went down to Riverside Drive to the small hospital located there and went in the door and asked the person at the desk what room he was in. And I walked down the hall and turned into the room and took a look at this man in bed, a man I didn’t know, but I could take one look at him and tell he was dying of AIDS. He was just about skin and bones, gaunt with hallow eyes and sunken cheeks, almost lifeless. And as I saw him, my attention moved to another man who was lying kind of casually across a small sofa that was in the hospital room, and I said to him, “My name is John MacArthur,” at which point this man hastily exited the room and said, “I’ll leave you alone.”
I walked over to the bedside, knowing what I was about to hear. I took hold of his hand and he said to me, “I’m dying. I have not long to live. I have AIDS and cancer is eating my body at rapid rate.” And then he burst into tears and said, “But I’m afraid to die because I know I’m going to go to hell.” He said, “I’ve lived a sinful, sordid, homosexual life for, I think, 26 years.” And then he went on to tell me - I said, “Tell me about yourself,” and he told me about a Christian mother and a Christian father.
He told me about being raised in a Christian home. He told me about attending two years of Bible college. He told me about all the rebellion in his heart and the beginnings of that homosexual sin, and how eventually it blew him right out of the Bible college into 26 years of the most gross kind of living in the mainstream of the rabid homosexual community. He said, “Now I’m dying and I know I’m going to go to hell.”
I said, “Tell me about homosexuality. Tell me about it. Tell me how you view it. Tell me what you think of it.” And as he sobbed and cried he said, “It is sin. I’ve always known it’s sin. I hate it. God hates it. And it damns men.” And he said it over and over about it, I suppose about a half a dozen ways, just as a cathartic to his own soul. The confession felt good.
And I said, “David, do you understand the gospel of Jesus Christ, the saving gospel of Jesus Christ?” And he said, “Yes.” I said, “Tell me the gospel.” And he reiterated to me unhesitatingly how Christ was God incarnate, born, and died, and rose again for our salvation, and the efficacy of His death on the cross as a substitute for sinners, and he knew it well, and he understood that salvation was by grace through faith and only God could save out of His own mercy the one who willingly believed and was eager to turn from his sin. I said, “Are you willing to turn from your sin, to repent, cry out for God and ask Him for salvation?”
He said, “Yes, yes, yes.” So I said, “Well, salvation is a gift that only God can give. Let me pray for you and ask God to give it to you.” And so I began to pour out my heart, and as I was holding his hand and praying, he was squeezing my hand tightly, the emotion of his heart coming out through the hand. And I pleaded with the Lord to be gracious and save him, and to forgive him all this life of horrendous iniquity, and deliver him. And I prayed for quite a long time, after which he burst into prayer, a sobbing kind of prayer, and confessed his sin again, probably a half a dozen times to the Lord, and pleaded with the Lord to be merciful, and to forgive him for the way in which he had blasphemed His name, and rejected the gospel, and lived in sin.
This man is, by all intents and purposes, an absolutely inveterate homosexual who has sinned in ways that are beyond description. And he’s crying out for mercy. After his prayer was over, there was a peace and a calm that came over his heart. And as he opened his eyes and kind of wiped away his tears, a smile broke across his face and he was looking at the wall and he kept staring at the wall with a little smile on his face. And I said, “What are you looking at?” He said, “I’m looking at the calendar because I want to remember the day of my new beginning.” And then he went on to reiterate that he sensed that God had saved him, that he accepted by faith the fact that if he had trusted Christ, God would save him in His mercy. And he believed in that moment that he was converted.
I think it was in a day or so from then that Lance Quinn took over a copy of The Gospel According to Jesus so that he could read it and fully understand, and be sure that his faith was real. And within five days from the day that I had prayed with him, he was gone, dead. But I said to him that day by the bed, I said, “Now that you’ve become a Christian, what’s going to be different?” He said, “My whole life is going to be different.”
He said, “The first thing is my whole life is filled with people who live in a homosexual world. The fellow who was in here when you came in is my lover. My male nurse here is a homosexual and the AIDS Association has sent me an AIDS worker to be with me in these days who is also a homosexual. Everybody in my life is a homosexual.” And he said, “Now I have the responsibility to tell them all of the sin that they’re engaged in and call them all to come to Christ.” God gave him five days to do that and then he was gone.
Let me tell you something. One of the supreme tragedies of our time is the declassification of homosexuality as a sin because when you declassify it as a sin, you cut them off from their salvation source. It is a damning declassification. You’re not being nice to homosexuals to call it an optional life style, a sexual preference. You’re not nice to them to do that. That isn’t kind. That isn’t thoughtful. That isn’t loving. That is damning.
The kindest thing you could ever say to someone engaged in homosexual sin is it is a sin that will damn you and it will exclude you from the kingdom of God forever. That’s the kindest thing you can say. A proper diagnosis is absolutely crucial. This is not a preferred sexual orientation. This is not an alternate lifestyle. This is not a genetic thing. This is sin and perversion that damns men’s and women’s souls.
The massive movement to appease the guilt and to release lust unchecked, to free up homosexuals to live any way they want and to feel good about it by defining their blasphemous sexual conduct as nothing more than an alternative lifestyle is a damning thing. As we shall see later, those who advocate homosexual rights will have the blood of dead homosexuals on their hands. Homosexuality is an insatiable lust. It is a drive that goes beyond anything that heterosexual people experience. And these people are not only trying to justify their own lust, their unchecked, unbridled, insatiable desires, but they are trying to sell it to everybody else because then that becomes even a greater justification the more they can normalize it. And so they’re selling it to your children.
I read this week that Star Trek II, the Second Generation, or whatever it’s called, has put into the cast two homosexuals to live on the spaceship because they’re people, too, and they need proper consideration. There are situation comedies on television where the, not the actors and actresses, they may be homosexual, I don’t know, but that the parts they play are the parts of homosexuals to normalize that. The government is funding all kinds of homosexual advocacy groups. The public schools of our own city are filled with advocacy for homosexuality. The National Education Association of America is an association of homosexual advocacy, endeavoring to put homosexual advocates in the public schools to assist children who have propensities that way and to make sure they are free to do that without any parental knowledge. They want to make homosexuals out of your children.
They want to normalize this. They want everybody to get in on this because it makes them feel better, safer. Politicians seek the homosexual vote by campaigning for homosexual rights. That’s an absolutely inconceivable thing. They want us to accept the notion that homosexuals constitute a legitimate minority like black people, or Hispanic people, or any other race, and that homosexuals have been unjustly discriminated against, and because of the unjust discrimination, they are now to be given reparations, or they are now entitled to some kind of special treatment under the law.
A massive propaganda campaign is geared to make society and the church believe that homosexual practice is normal, moral and proper for some people, for many people, maybe for you. Homosexuals, they say, are just another minority and they should enjoy every human right and every human freedom, and they should be allowed to express their sexual acts, as any minority has the right to freely express its cultural heritage.
Of course this is ridiculous. They are not a race of people. This is not a racial issue. This is not a cultural issue. They are deviates. They have a perverted view of sex and they want to identify it as if it were a racial minority. Are we to have minority rights for murderers? What about drug dealers? They have a certain orientation. What about child molesters? They have a sexual preference. What about rapists? They have a sexual preference. They have a sexual orientation. Should they have civil rights? Should they get reparations for the way we’ve been treating them? Absolutely ridiculous.
Allowing them to express their preference in the way we have has become the cause of the most devastating public health epidemic in the history of this nation. Allowing them to express their preference has become the cause of what will be the most devastating financial eruption the field of medical health has ever known and threatens to bankrupt the whole of America as we try to pay for the AIDS epidemic. Allowing them to express their preference is going to lead tens of thousands, if not millions, of children and young people into the pit of perversion all under the tolerance of the state and the direction of the Board of Education.
June in Los Angeles in the public schools was Gay Pride Month and it will be every June from now on. This kind of behavior is simply the expression of sexual lust, twisted and uncontained. And I’ll say more about that tonight. When I say it is sexual lust twisted and uncontained, I mean exactly that. I understand that fornication is a sin and I understand that adultery is a sin in the sexual area, but there are proportions to homosexual sin that catapulted beyond what I can understand.
I could go on and on with a litany of statistics, but it’s not necessary. Just a few will suffice to give you the sense of what’s the uncontained character of this lust. The average homosexual - the average homosexual - has had relationships with more than 500 different sexual partners. In L.A., which is above the average, the average homosexual has 300 sex partners a year, almost one a day, and that’s different people. Thirty percent of them have had over 1,000 sexual partners, and many of them have had over 1,500. They stopped counting when they reached 1,600 partners.
The conduct of the acts that they do has no bounds. In the gay bath houses of San Francisco - where AIDS was really born and developed and from where it spread across America, it started in a small community of people in those bath houses - the statistics are quite interesting. The homosexuals there would average three nights a week in the bath house. These are very conservative figures. I was told that yesterday by a medical doctor. They averaged three nights in the bath house a week, and each night conservatively between 10 and 30 sexual encounters. Project that over 52 weeks a year and you can see how they literally killed each other, just spreading their disease in and around. And when they moved from there, they took it to the rest of the nation, the rest of the world.
Every conceivable, every inconceivable act is included. You might want to know that out of the average 500 sexual partners that a homosexual has, the vast majority of them are anonymous. In the gay bath house the between 10 and 30 you have every night are all anonymous. You never even see the person with which you engage yourself.
It’s not anything like a genius. They say that homosexuality is a certain kind of genetic genius. It doesn’t sound like genius to me. It’s not some kind of heredity. It is unbridled, twisted and uncontained lust. I could give you more statistics, but I think you have enough to understand. It isn’t going to help to discuss the problem anymore, we’re very much aware of it.
What I’m here to say is this. This vile, wretched, wicked sin, like every other vile, wretched, wicked sin is forgivable by the grace of God. That’s what I want to announce. Jesus Christ died on the cross and in His body He bore the sins of homosexuality. He bore in His own body our sins on the cross. I don’t know if you ever thought about it like that, but think of the horror that He bore. And He did it that He might redeem homosexuals.
But to receive that forgiveness, the sinner has to see what he’s doing as a sin. And as long as we cover up the wretchedness and the sinfulness of it, we are aiding and abetting the damnation. And that’s why there is blood guiltiness. We talked last week about the blood guiltiness that America bears for the children that is slaughtered in abortion, and I believe that we bear the blood guiltiness for the execution of homosexuals that’s going to come at the hands of Almighty God, and is already coming through AIDS, because those who have advocated that as an alternative lifestyle or a civil right bear some of the guilt.
There’s an almost tireless effort on the part of homosexuals, they’re almost - they’re vicious and they’re violent in trying to prove that this is a normal kind of life for them because they have to deal with such unbearable guilt to try to prove it’s genetic, it’s hereditary, it’s somehow in the genes or the chromosomes.
Let me sum it all up by saying this. I have read a myriad of things about this. The bottom line is this. There is absolutely no proof in any scientific realm that this is genetic. There is no physiological difference verifiable between a homosexual and a heterosexual. And you might also want to know that the vast majority of homosexuals also have sexual relationships with the opposite sex. It is a choice, and we’ll see that tonight.
There’s a lot of false research being done by homosexuals, trying to make this seem genetic. None of them have succeeded on the scientific level, nor will they because the Bible tells us it is a sin. It is sin. No effort at research, no effort at the study of endocrinology, no effort at reexamination of science, no effort at rationalization is about to change what God says. It’s sin. It’s sin. You can be sure when you hear some of this research that if it’s been done by homosexuals, or even if it’s done by homosexual advocates, they have falsified the data if they can prove in any way that somehow this could happen genetically. It is sin. It is not just some kind of hereditary orientation.
Now let’s go back to 1 Corinthians 6 and look specifically at two words. In verse 9 is the word “effeminate,” followed by the word “homosexuals.” These are two kinds of people that do not enter the kingdom of God. Effeminate is malakos. The word means “soft.” It came to mean “feminine” or “effeminate,” a man who acts like a woman who is soft, feminine. It also became a technical term for the passive partner in homosexual relationships, the one who takes the female role.
Arndt and Gingrich, one of the classic lexicons, says “the word also included men and boys who allowed themselves to become male prostitutes for homosexuals.” You see, there are men and boys who aren’t really desirous of homosexuality as much as they’re desirous of money. And so they prostitute themselves for homosexuals. They don’t maybe have that same passion, that same consuming perverted drive that the homosexuals have, but they will sell themselves to them. That word would encompass them, male prostitutes who are the passive partners to service the aggressive homosexuals, or passive partners who are homosexual who take the female role, the effeminates.
And then the word homosexual, arsenokoitēs. It just means that, “someone who has a relationship with the same sex,” namely a man who has relationships with a man. Paul says those kinds of people don’t enter the kingdom. And he’s really covered the ground. The active, aggressive homosexual, the passive, accepting, soft, effeminate homosexual; the one who aggressively engages in that, the one who is the passive partner, the macho kind of homosexual, and the soft, effeminate homosexual, all of them are excluded from the kingdom. They don’t inherit it. Why? Because that kind of pattern of sin is exclusive of God’s kingdom. They will never belong to God’s kingdom with all of its blessing and all of its glory.
The church, then, has to tell people that the door to the kingdom is shut if you live like that. If that’s your choice and you’re not willing to recognize it as sin and repent of it, and bow the knee and accept the forgiveness of Christ, you’re going to be shut out of God’s kingdom.
The church must, as the gate keeper, announce that. We have to say to homosexuals, “If you continue that life pattern and you choose to live that way, you will have the door to the kingdom of God shut. If you’re willing to repent, come to Christ for forgiveness, and be washed and cleansed, the door to the kingdom is open.” As the gate keepers, as the ones who hold the keys to the kingdom, as the ones who open and close, the church and its leaders must give that message. The sad thing is, the church, in many cases, is not doing it.
In fact, the church today has become a leading advocate of homosexual rights. Even the Catholic Church has an organization inside of it called Dignity which advocates homosexual rights. Protestant churches certainly have their advocacy groups. The World Council of Churches, the National Council of Churches, which is made up of liberal churches, mainline denomination liberal churches, denies that homosexuality is a sin and thus are part of the damning conspiracy joining Satan in damning homosexuals because they refuse to recognize the sin that damns them. Major denominations: Methodists, Episcopalian, Presbyterian ordain homosexuals, ordain lesbians, and have gay advocacy groups, they call them.
Recently when I was in Raleigh-Durham area of South Carolina (should be North Carolina) for some meetings, it was brought to my attention that a local Southern Baptist church had married two homosexuals to each other, had a wedding ceremony for two homosexuals, and had ordained a homosexual to preach. The church was kicked out of the Southern Baptist Association.
The homosexual Episcopalians recently had their convention in Houston. They have a whole association which can hold its own convention. The United Methodist pastor out in Thousand Oaks, I read in the newspaper the other day, Terry Bushard is his name said, quote, “A homosexual is welcome in this congregation and will have all rights and privileges.” The Quakers, the old legalistic pious Quakers, one of their organizations says, and I quote, “Homosexuality is no more deplorable than left-handedness.” Now I don’t know what that says to those of you who are left-handed, I wouldn’t think about it too long.
These advocacy groups and these organizations within the church, within “Christianity” even go further than this. I hate to say this but I’m going to say it so you’ll understand the level of this conspiracy. There is a rather strong effort on the part of some theologians to prove that the apostle Paul was a repressed homosexual, that the apostle Paul, they say, was struggling with his own sexual yearnings and he never resolved them so he became a self-hating, repressed homosexual. And that’s the reason he spoke against homosexuality. It was a ploy to cover up what he didn’t understand, and that’s why he was so anti-woman. His anti-woman bias was merely an expression of his true homosexuality, but he never really understood it, so he was mad at women and homosexuals.
There’s even a denomination for “Christian homosexuals.” There’s an organization in New York called Evangelicals Concern which is an association for Evangelical fundamental homosexuals, whatever that is. The denomination for “Christian homosexuals” is called the Metropolitan Church. There are a number of the Metropolitan Community Churches. Troy Perry was their founder.
I will never forget the day I was set to debate Troy Perry. It was set up in Hollywood at the Peterson Publishing Building on Sunset Boulevard, and he was coming with Ralph Blair, who was president of Evangelicals Concern, and this organization in New York supposedly with many well-known homosexual evangelicals in it. Their board of directors at the bottom had a few names and a lot of blank lines of people who hadn’t yet come out of the closet, he said. And it was to discuss homosexuality, Troy Perry being the representative of the Metropolitan Community Church. And so we sat across the table. The moderator of the debate was Sherwood Wirt. It was eventually published in a Christian periodical. He, at the time, was the editor of Decision magazine, the Billy Graham magazine. And we began the discussion.
Prior to the meeting I had been given some inside information about Troy Perry. It was very important and I wanted to hold it until the right moment. So we got into this discussion, and the first part of the discussion was that the Bible is antiquated. It’s an ancient document. It was written in an unsophisticated time when people didn’t really understand contemporary, sociological phenomena and weren’t into psychology, and so it shows nothing but a primitive bias against homosexuality. And that shows that it’s a book that’s antiquated and we need to update it. It’s true in spiritual matters, but when it comes to that issue, it demonstrates its ancient character and inability to cope with 20th century sophistication. That was their basic dialogue. And what they were basically saying, bottom line, was God hasn’t caught up with things yet. He’s very old fashioned, and antiquated, and needs to sit at the feet of some of these folks so he can learn what’s come lately. That’s the bottom line. And I discussed it on that level and said, “You’re really telling me that God is out of touch with reality.” And we discussed that.
And then came the issue of even if you grant homosexuality as a God-given sort of propensity, aren’t there any rules for how you conduct yourself? You just go willy-nilly all over the place, in and out of gay bars, and in and out of bath houses, and in and out of relationships, and back alleys, and bathrooms, and anything like that, is there absolutely no - ? And then they launched into this thing. “No, it should be done, one person should take a life partner, and we believe in monogamous homosexuality.” And we got into this part of the discussion and at that particular point I said, “I want to read something.”
And I pulled out this paper that I had been given which chronicled the pattern of life of Troy Perry, which was back alleys, bathrooms, bath houses, you name it, the whole nine yards, and I just started to read it off. And I said, “This is the record of your assistant, your associate in the church, and this is what he tells me is your lifestyle. Is this correct?” And I started reading it, at which point he came at me over the table and I had someone with me, too, Mike Ryan, who was a professional football player that I brought along for the occasion. And Mike just rose to his feet, and Troy Perry turned and left the room. And that was it, the end of discussion, end of debate.
It was an effort on their part to get us to believe that this is some kind of a nice thing, that they were made this way by God and it’s a gift from Him, and they live these moral lives. And the truth of the matter is that’s not right. That’s not how it is. Oh, there may be some who have only one partner, that’s not the rule. That is far and away the minutest kind of exception.
This church, this Metropolitan Community Church teaches that homosexuality is a gift from God. They teach that Jesus was never hostile to lesbians and homosexuals. They teach that David and Jonathan were homosexuals. Ruth and Naomi were lesbians. And Sodom was destroyed for a lack of hospitality. And I want to tell you something, folks, it’s a simple spiritual principle. To the pure all things are pure, and to the vile all things are vile. They can make every pure relationship look vile. That’s their agenda. But here’s the church linking with them.
There was another guy in there from the Presbyterian church who was standing alongside the Metropolitan Community Church people advocating their theology with them. In the name of Jesus Christ, you see, these churches and these “Christian organizations” that want to affirm homosexuality are joining the damning crowd that are trying to deny the sin, and the denial of the sin damns the soul. But if we will see this as sin, then we see that it can be forgiven. Homosexuals must have an unbearable life. The guilt must be beyond imagination. But there is deliverance. They can be freed.
This isn’t anything new, by the way. Paul faced this stuff. It was everywhere. When he says here, “effeminate and homosexuals don’t inherit the kingdom of God,” he’s not talking about something people aren’t doing. He’s talking about something common. Socrates was a homosexual, very active, as were most of the Greek leaders and philosophers. Plato penned an entire section in his symposium on homosexual love. Historians tell us that Alexander the Great had both male and female lovers, as do most homosexuals. And his army, the soldiers under him, were engaged also in homosexuality, and the longer they were away, months and sometimes years on their campaigns, the more gross and the more widespread that homosexuality became, and some historians will tell you when you read them that one of the great compelling things in those armies that caused them to fight so viciously was they were not protecting their country or their general, they were protecting their homosexual fellow soldier lovers. And you see that happening today in the prisons of our nation, as well.
Julius Caesar’s lover was King Nicomedes. Both Gibbon and Toynbe write that one of the major contributions to the fall of the Roman Empire was homosexuality. Suetonius says, the historian, 14 out of the first 15 Caesars were homosexuals. It was rampant in Paul’s time, everywhere. Nero, who would be the current emperor when Paul wrote this, had taken a boy named Sporus, had him castrated, then married him in a full wedding and lived with him as a wife. He must have been a good wife because the Caesar who followed him picked him up as his wife.
Paul’s world wasn’t any different than ours. Homosexuality was rampant, and he confronted it as sin and said it’s the sin, just like any sin, that keeps you out of the kingdom of God. Paul was not a homophobic over-reactor because he was a repressed homosexual, and neither am I. He was true to what he knew the Word of God taught. He was true to what the Holy Spirit inspired him to say. It was sin. And until it is faced as sin, it can’t be dealt with.
What does God say about it? Let’s go back and find out. Deuteronomy chapter 22 is a good place to start. Deuteronomy chapter 22. Some time in your past if you’ve been in a fundamental or evangelical church, you may have heard some pastor refer to this verse, probably in another context. Deuteronomy 22:5 says, “A woman shall not wear a man’s clothing, nor shall a man put on a woman’s clothing.” Now follow this, “For whoever does these things looks weird.” Is that what it says? No. “For whoever does these things must be on his way to a party.” No. “For whoever does these things is - ” what? “ - an abomination to the Lord.” It abominates God. It disgusts and revolts him.
Now a woman is not to wear a man’s clothing. The first time I ever heard anybody refer to this, they were preaching a sermon about why women shouldn’t wear slacks or pants. It doesn’t mean that. May I remind you of something? In ancient times men wore skirts. That is a ridiculous interpretation of this. Everybody wore skirts. Nobody wore pants. That’s not what it’s talking about. There was a certain style, however, to men’s clothing and a certain style to women’s clothing. But the Hebrew says, “A woman shall not wear - ” literally “ - that which appertaineth to a man.” Whether it’s weapons, or implements, or tools, or clothes, or whatever it is that rubs out the distinctiveness of one’s sex, that’s an abomination to God.
Today we call people who do this “transvestites,” a person who exchanges his dress for that of the other sex because it induces a certain kind of sexual - perverted sexual - thrill or fulfillment. Men are to be masculine and women are to be feminine, and God has made them male and female, male and female created He them, and that’s the way He wants them to stay. And Satan wants to obliterate, and convolute, and pervert, and twist that.
We see that in the homosexual community today rampant. In fact, they love to dress up in the clothing of the opposite sex. The men put on those women’s clothes and they parade themselves publicly under the title “drag queens.” I’ll never forget one time when I was riding with the infamous Hawaii Five-O in Honolulu. One of the officers was taking me around to see sordid Honolulu at night, and he said, “I want to take you into an area to see something you won't believe.” And we drove into this area, and here the streets were lined with dozens of people in bikinis, and spiked high heels, and done hair, and thick makeup. And as we got closer and started to mingle with them, as I walked with this officer, I saw that they were all men.
They parade themselves like that down the streets in their gay-pride parades all over the country. They dress like that. Sometimes you see them on the street and don’t even know it. Some of them are drag queens, that is they do it in public. Some of them are female impersonators, they do it in public. Some of the women dress like men and you look and you wonder if they’re men or women. They do it in public. And then there are those who do it in private. Theirs is that sick kind of sordidness that men get into when they wear their wives clothes and bizarre things like that.
That kind of thing distresses God. It is an abomination to God because it is an attempt to rub out the distinctions that God has ordained. The ancient writer Maimonides mentions that a man dressed in fancy women’s clothes would often come and worship Venus and Ashtoreth, and women dressed in men’s armor would come to honor Mars. That is so typical in ancient mystery religion because it was all a part of their pagan culture. Satan dominates the world, he dominates pagan culture, and he wants to twist and pervert sexual identity. God says if you do that, that is an abomination to Me.
Look at 23:1. Here you find another issue at hand. “No one who is emasculated, or has his male organ cut off, shall enter the assembly of the Lord.” Now you’d have to ask the question who in the world would have his male organ cut off? Who would do this? A homosexual. They’re called today “transsexuals.” They used to be called “eunuchs.” Oh it was done in a religious way, sometimes. Sometimes parents in pagan societies would have their ten-year-old boys castrated so they could be devoted to the gods in the temple and they didn’t have to then worry about them playing around with the priestesses who offered their services to paying customers.
Sometimes a king who had a harem would want some men in there to care for some of the needs of the harem, and he would against their will castrate them so that they couldn’t do anything with the women in the harem. So eunuchs had places in harems, and they had places in pagan temples, even from the time they were young. But I think what you have here is someone who has this done to him and the implication would be not only the possibility of pagan worship here, certainly that’s a possibility, but also the implication of the possibility of a homosexual perversion. It doesn’t tell us specifically. But you have here a surgical attempt to remove maleness.
Today these transsexuals say, “Well I’m really a woman trapped in a man’s body and so I have to get my body fixed.” In ancient times people were castrated for their religion. They were castrated because of their duty perhaps to a king, or they were castrated by their own volition because it fit their perversion.
And it says here, “One who has this done shall not enter the assembly of the Lord.” If you’re a transsexual, that fits your idolatry and your sexual preference, you’re not going to enter the assembly of the Lord. Ever? You mean, somebody who has a sex change operation can never, ever, ever enter the assembly of the Lord? Look at Isaiah 56.
Isaiah 56. That means they can’t enter the kingdom. They can’t have a relationship with God. They can’t go to heaven. They can’t worship the true God. Look at Isaiah 56:3. Go back to verse 1 for a moment. In the middle of the verse God says, “My salvation is about to come.” My salvation is about to come. I’m going to bring salvation. Now go down to verse 3. “So let not the foreigner who is joined himself to the Lord say, ‘The Lord shall surely separate me from His people.’ ” You don’t have to say that. If you say, “I’m a pagan. I’ve come over here to live in Israel. I’ve come over here to worship at the temple. I’ve come over here to honor the true God. But He’ll probably kick me out.” Don’t say that. “I won’t do that,” God says.
Verse 3, “Neither let the eunuch - ” the transsexual “ - say, ‘Behold, I am a dry tree.’ ” “There’s no hope for me. I was castrated. I’ll never be able to enter the assembly of God. I’ll never be able to walk with Him.” Isaiah says, “Don’t say that.”
Why? Verse 4. “For thus says the Lord, “To the eunuchs who keep My Sabbaths, and choose what pleases Me, and hold fast My covenant, to them I will give in My house and within My walls a memorial, and a name better than that of sons and daughters - ” and then here’s a play on words, “ - and I’ll give them an everlasting name which will not be cut off.” I’ll save them if they come to Me, if they hold fast My covenant, if they choose what pleases Me. So somebody who had his organs cut off and so defiled the image of God can be forgiven - can be forgiven - if they come to the Lord.
I was baptizing on a Wednesday night over in the Family Center before we had this building, and always I interviewed the people who came in to be baptized, but this night I had been delayed, I think, and I didn’t get a chance to, so someone else did and I just came in to do the baptism. So this rather burly lady came in and spoke her name, and I think the name was Carla, and the voice sounded strange, and the mannerisms looked strange.
And this person said, “Well, I’m here because I want to testify to my faith in Christ and be baptized,” and a very brief testimony. And then I just baptized Carla. But I was deeply distressed, and I went out and I said to someone, I said, “Make sure that that person comes to my office immediately after getting dressed.” And this person walked in and I said, “I just want to spend a few moments. I have some questions.”
“Fine.” I said, “I’m disturbed. I want to be very up front with you. You came in from the women’s side, you gave a feminine name, but I think you’re a man.” And then we launched into a discussion about the fact that he had supposedly had a recent sex change operation. I said, “You certainly don’t for a moment think that the Lord Jesus Christ is going to accept you and sanctify your lifestyle as a man living as a woman in a homosexual relationship, or relationships.”
“Well, I was a - I’ve always been a woman, I just got trapped in a man’s body.” And I said, “No. You’ve always been a man and now you’re a castrated man, but you’re a man. You were born a man, and you will die a man, and you must live as a man, and you must acknowledge the sin of what you’ve done. And if you will acknowledge the sin of what you’ve done and ask the Lord’s forgiveness and repent and come to Him by faith, you’ll be forgiven and He’ll be gracious to you. But you must live as a man. Get rid of those clothes. Get some mens clothes and prove the genuineness of your heart repentance toward God.”
Never saw him again. Showed up in another church down the road and I called and talked to the pastor, told the story, and they had to deal with it. It’s real life. There are people who do this. The kingdom is open to them if they acknowledge the sin of what they have done, and do what pleases God.
Well, we talked about the transsexual and the transvestite, let’s go right to the issue of the homosexual. Those are components of homosexual life. The real issue is struck with a telling blow in Leviticus chapter 18 - Leviticus 18:22. It could not be more explicit. God is giving laws here, laws against wickedness and sin. Verse 22. “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination. Also, you shall not have intercourse with any animal to be defiled with it, nor shall any woman stand before an animal to mate with it. It is a perversion.”
Again I say to you, God doesn’t make commands about things that people don’t do. This kind of bestiality and this kind of homosexuality has always been a part of human life. As we shall see tonight when we look at Genesis 19 in the story of Sodom, the whole city was given over to it. It was the forerunner to San Francisco. He says don’t do it. It’s an abomination to lie with a man as you lie with a woman. It’s an abomination to have intercourse with an animal. It’s a perversion.
Then follow verse 24. “Do not defile yourselves by any of these things; for by all these the nations which I am casting out before you have become defiled. For the land has become defiled, therefore I have visited its punishment upon it, so the land has spewed out its inhabitants.” He says, “Look, I brought you into this land. I’m giving you this land, and I’m telling you the reason that you’re able to have this land is because I have thrown the other people out, and the reason I’ve thrown them out is because this is how they behaved. This has brought about the destruction of the prior nation. Look at them. They are homosexual. They are involved in bestiality. They are involved in - and He names other things like incest, and so forth - they’re involved in that. That’s their life pattern and I am throwing them out. My wrath has fallen on them, and I’m telling you, if you do it, My wrath will fall on you, too. You won’t escape. They didn’t.” Homosexuality defiles the land and it brings God’s judgment.
Verse 26. “But as for you, you are to keep My statutes and My judgments and shall not do any of these abominations, neither the native, or the alien who sojourns among you - ” nobody “ - (for the men of the land who have been before you have done all these abominations, and the land has become defiled); so that the land may not spew you out, should you defile, as it has spewed out the nation which has been before you. For whoever does any of these abominations, those persons who do so shall be cut off - ” killed “ - from among their people.” You’re going to die if you do this. “Thus you are to keep My charge, that you do not practice any of the abominable customs which have been practiced before you, so as not to defile yourselves with them; I am the Lord your God.”
This is God talking, folks. You do this, you’ll defile your land. You defile your land, you’ll die. We’re watching it, aren’t we? We’re seeing it. People say, “Is it the judgment of God?” Of course it’s the judgment of God. Is AIDS the judgment of God? Of course it’s the judgment of God. All venereal disease is the judgment of God built into the fabric of human life. You do this, you’ll die. You do this, I’ll destroy your land. This is an abomination. This sin is intolerable to God. He will not allow it to go on unchecked. He will judge with death those who do it, and He will destroy a nation that tolerates it.
Now you tell me where America sits in view of God’s judgment. It’s not going to get better for us in this country. The glory days are over, folks. It looks to me like we’re going downhill fast into the pit of judgment. Some of the homosexual rights people say, “Well, Jesus said He came to put an end to the Law. Sure, that’s the Old Testament Law but Jesus came to put an end to the Law.” No. He didn’t come to put an end to the Law. He came as the end of the Law, the fulfillment, the culmination of the Law, the one who lived the Law perfectly. And He said, “Not a jot or a tittle shall pass away from this Law.”
And He reiterates the Law, does God, in the inspiration of the Holy Spirit given to Paul to write as he writes 1 Timothy 1:10. “The Law is not made for righteous men - ” verse 9 “ - but for those who are lawless.” Verse 10. “ - immoral men, and homosexuals.” The Law is still written to call homosexuals to account, is what he is saying, 1 Timothy 1:9-10. Nothing has changed. God’s moral law hasn’t changed because God hasn’t changed. Whatever is right has always been right and always will be right. Whatever is wrong has always been wrong and will always be wrong. Morality doesn’t change because God doesn’t change. God said if you do this, you’ll defile your land. If you defile your land, I’ll destroy your nation. If you do this, you’ll die.
But there’s still mercy before death and mercy before judgment to those who repent. Look at Leviticus chapter 20 and one final verse, and then we’ll stop for this morning. Leviticus 20:13. “If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman - ” having sex with a man, a man having sex with a man “ - both of them have committed a detestable act, kill them.” That’s what it said. Kill them. “Their blood guiltiness is on them.” They deserve to die. The blood cries out again for death. God’s law says “kill them.” God’s law said if you murder somebody, you should die, right? Anybody who kills somebody, kill them.
I told you last week that in the case of abortion the blood cries out from the ground and God hears it. The slaughter of the innocence in America as we massacre little babies, their blood cries out against their killers. There’s blood guiltiness on the ones who killed those babies. They deserve to die. Listen to this. There’s blood guiltiness on homosexuals, and those who advocate homosexuality, and those who seek homosexual rights, those people are abetting and aiding damning sin, and there is a blood guiltiness attached there on the people who do not destroy them.
This nation, instead of judging, condemning, punishing homosexuality advocates it, and thus has the blood of the dead homosexuals on its hands, just as it has the blood of the dead babies on its hands. This is a blood guilty nation. And if you think we’re on the edge of some American utopia, you better guess again. From God’s standpoint, these are serious days. How in the world we could ever get to the point with Christian beginnings where we have politicians, people running for President, and congress, and senate, and governor, and mayor, and council members, and all of that kind of stuff, who advocate homosexual rights and those people could be elected, those people bear guilt before God because they aid and abet people going into a sin that is an abomination to God.
All that said, God says being a transvestite is an abomination, being a transsexual is an abomination, being a homosexual is an abomination, aiding and abetting any of that stuff is abominable to God, and there’s blood guiltiness associated with all of it, and the penalty is death, and God will judge the nation that tolerates it, and God will destroy the people that do it.
Having said all of that, I go right back to where we started and remind you of this wonderful truth. This sin, in all its categories and in all its extremes, is forgivable. Does that tell you something about God’s grace? Does that tell you how gracious our God is? Does that tell you something about the death of Christ who, in His own body, bore those very sins? God is a God of mercy and grace. And if you will come to Him in your sin, He is willing to forgive.
That’s the message to homosexuals, and that’s the message for you to give to homosexuals. Tonight we’re going to discuss the problem some more, and then I want you to look at the story of Sodom from where the term “sodomy” comes, and Romans chapter 1, and a very important passage tucked in the chapter of Isaiah to complete our study.
Father, even as we conclude this morning, we are the first to admit that this is a distasteful and repulsive kind of subject. We don’t even like to dwell on it, and yet we know that we have to speak prophetically to the time in which we live. Father, we grieve over the fact that so many are trapped in this sin, and we grieve over the fact that this is being reclassified or declassified as a sin, and that even churches are denying its sinfulness, and thus bear the blood of those who die as punishment for this iniquity.
Father, we just pray that You might save many who are caught in this sin. Deliver them, O God, even as You have many through the years. We know You are able to save sinners. We feel comfortable about our own sin, but we know You hate pride, and hypocrisy, and a lying tongue, and flattery. We feel more comfortable about those sins. This one we feel less comfortable about, and we can become very self righteous because we don’t commit this one, and yet, Lord, we are equally as sinful.
But, Lord, You can forgive us all. I just pray in Your grace You might pour out Your mercy on those who are caught in the sin of homosexuality and that You might deliver many before they are destroyed forever. I pray that we might be kind enough to speak the truth, kind enough to give the warning so that they might come to the cure who is Christ. I pray for the leaders of our nation to take a strong stand on this. We feel that if people who advocate this get into positions of power, it surely is a token from You that Your hand is off this nation and that You’ve given us over.
So, Lord, we ask that You would be gracious to us and give us leaders who see this for what it is. Give us people who will not tolerate it and yet who will preach the saving love and mercy of Christ. We thank You that Your Word speaks to the issues that concern us and gives us clarity. Now make us faithful to obey.
If there are in our congregation, this morning, Lord, any who are unsaved and who are caught in this sin, save them today. Bring them into our prayer room after the service that we might share with them and pray with them. If there are any Christians who know You, but who have been tempted by the old patterns of homosexual life before their salvation, give them strength, and victory, and triumph. If there are any young people in our church that are being influenced into this, save them, deliver them before it ever happens. And lead us all to be a people zealous of good works who live righteously and godly in this present age. We pray in our Savior’s name. Amen.
You may reproduce this Grace to You content for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Grace to You's Copyright Policy (http://www.gty.org/connect/copyright).