I would invite you to begin tonight to turn to Genesis chapter 1. I just want to touch lightly on a text there that you should have in mind and then we'll move to the nineteenth chapter of Genesis. Genesis chapter 1 and verse 27 says, "And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him, male and female He created them."
There you have in very simple and direct indication that the reference to God's creative purpose. God created male, He created female. In chapter 2 and verse 23, the man said, "Now this bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh, she shall be called woman because she was taken out of man, for this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall cleave to his wife and they shall become one flesh." God made male, zakarin Hebrew. God made female, neqebahin Hebrew and they were to come together to complete each other making one flesh. That is God's unalterable creative design. One man for one woman for life.
Now there are a number of ways that such a marital relationship in God's design can be convoluted and confused and perverted. It isn't very long actually in the book of Genesis until perversions of all kinds begin to manifest themselves. You have a relationship that surfaces in the sixth chapter of Genesis which appears to be a relationship in which fallen angels or demons cohabitate with woman and produce some kind of strange offspring, Satan's attempt to bring about some kind of perverted sexual relationship to produce an unredeemable race.
You move ahead from the fornication of chapter 6, a bizarre kind, to chapter 19 in Genesis and you have an indication of incest. It says in verse 36, "Both the daughters of Lot were with child by their father." Adding to fornication and incest, if you come over to chapter 34 you find here rape. "Dinah, the daughter of Leah, whom she had born to Jacob went out to visit the daughters of the land. And when Shechem, the son of Hamor the Hivite, the prince of the land saw her, he took her and lay with her by force. He was deeply attracted to Dinah the daughter of Jacob. He loved the girl and spoke tenderly to her," and the story goes on. Here is an incident of outright rape. We won't take the time to look in detail.
Go to chapter 38 and in chapter 38 you have another perversion and this one is prostitution. It mentions in verse 15, "When Judah saw her he thought she was a harlot, for she had covered her face." Already harlotry exists, prostitution exists. There is an occasion other than the ones that I've read you about polygamy in the book of Genesis. So it isn't long after God has ordained one man for one woman for life that all kinds of perversions occur...fornications, adultery, incest, rape, prostitution, polygamy.
And you can add to that the sin of homosexuality. For that you go to chapter 19 of Genesis. And I do want to spend some time in the details of this because it is our subject. Satan obviously is trying to pervert and confuse God's order. He has brought into human society all these other matters and now he introduces homosexuality. Apparently it became very widespread very rapidly, as did adultery, fornication, incest, rape and prostitution. And, of course, they're still rampant in the world today.
But apparently the city of Sodom was filled with all kinds of iniquity. If you can just make a note to read Ezekiel 16, you read in Ezekiel 16 a little bit of a listing of some of the sins characteristic of Sodom. The one sin that isn't mentioned in Ezekiel 16, but the one that is carefully detailed here and thus doesn't require a further mention is the sin of homosexuality. There were all kinds of iniquities characteristic of this particular city, but none of them was more shocking than homosexuality. Adultery and fornication and polygamy and incest and rape and prostitution are already present in the world by the time you get very far into human civilization and with them this sin of homosexuality, of course, rears its ugly head.
We have in this nineteenth chapter a fairly careful record of the kind of thing that was going on in Sodom and it gives us a good understanding. So we want to take it rather carefully. Look at verse 1. "Now the two angels came to Sodom in the evening." These were two angels who were, by the way, along with the presence of God perhaps in a preincarnate appearance of Jesus Christ had visited Abraham and Sarah. The two angels came to Sodom in the evening. As Lot was sitting, the brother of Abraham, sitting in the gate of Sodom. "When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground."
Now we know that angels can take on human bodies and take on human form. You will note that I just mentioned to you that two angels along with perhaps a preincarnate appearance of Christ, at least we know that God was present there in some way, had appeared to Abraham. We know that the writer of Hebrews alludes to this when he mentions that some people have entertained angels unawares. To entertain an angel unaware would mean that the angel had to appear in some form which was normal. And so angels occasionally do appear in a human form. And certainly holy angels can occasionally when it fits the purposes of God take on some kind of form which is or appears to be human. Two angels came to Sodom in the evening as Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. He recognized the magnificence of these beings and he bowed down with his face to the ground.
"And he said to them, 'Now behold my lords, please turn aside into your servant's house.'" That's my house. "'And spend the night and wash your feet.'" That was not a derogatory statement about the condition of their feet, that was a common courtesy because everybody's feet were either dusty or muddy. That was simply a way of saying to come in and cleanse yourselves, take care of your physical needs. "That then you may arise early and go on your way." What he means to say to them is you better get out of town fast and you don't want to linger in the public square or anywhere where you can be observed. Here they were approaching the gate of the city and Lot runs, as it were, to them and says, "Hold it, you've got to come immediately to my house and you've got to be cared for there, spend the night and be fast on your way, early in the morning before anyone can notice you."
"They said, however, no. We'll just spend the night in the square." That's not a good idea. "He urged them strongly, so they turned aside to him and entered his house and he prepared a feast for them and baked unleavened bread and they ate." Just as Abraham had demonstrated kindness in chapter 17 to his angelic visitors, so does Lot. He's very kind to them. He must have known who they were. Must have recognized the magnificence of them.
In verse 4 before they lay down, before these two angels could lay down, and it's interesting, isn't it, to think about the fact that these angels who take on human form have the need to sleep? I'm not sure I can explain all of this. I don't understand it all. But nonetheless the plan was that they would sleep which shouldn't surprise you since they had just eaten also. Angels apparently then did take on an actual human form which could eat and needed to sleep. "But before they could lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, surrounded the house, both young and old, all the people from every quarter," every section of town. What's going on here? Verse 5 says, "They called to Lot and said to him, 'Where are the men who came into you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may have relations with them.'" Not very subtle, are they?
Here are the most magnificent objects for their perverted lust that they had ever laid eyes on. A new flesh, as it were, to pander to their insatiable wickedness, "Where are the men who came to you tonight? We saw them. Bring them out that we may have relations with them." That we may have actually intercourse with them. That's how perverted that city was. People came from all over town. This isn't a little group. This is people from all over town from every quarter, all the people both young and old. Homosexuality had run the gamut of age throughout the whole city. That we may have relations with them...takes a Hebrew word jadawhich implies sexual knowledge. Some versions might translate it "that we may know them," but it is not just a welcome committee.
"But Lot went out to them at the doorway and shut the door behind him." He went out to speak to them and closed the door behind him because he knew of the passion, the viciousness, the insatiable lust that would drive past him and through the door if given the opportunity. He said, "Please, my brothers, do not act wickedly." They wanted to act wickedly. A man named Bailey has written a book in which he says, "The sin of Sodom was a lack of hospitality." And that's why God destroyed them? No. It wasn't a lack of hospitality, it was the fact that they wanted to do wickedly. They wanted to attack those angels and sodomize them.
Verse 8 says, "And now behold, I have two daughters who have not had relations with man." Two virgin daughters. "Please, let me bring them out to you and do to them whatever you like, only do nothing to these men inasmuch as they've come under the shelter of my roof." This is strange, isn't it? What is he doing here? He is saying, "Look, rather than defile these angelic visitors, I'd rather give you my two virgin daughters." You don't give up your two virgin daughters to people just because they lack hospitality and you're trying to appease them. He was saying, "Can I substitute my own virgin daughters? Would you please do to them what your lust desires rather than to these two angelic visitors?" Frankly, I think it's a pretty stupid thing for Lot to do, or to offer to do. But admittedly he's in a tough spot. He certainly doesn't want to have two angelic visitors who sought shelter in his home and who are sodomized while under, as it were, his roof and protection. The dilemma was hard but the solution was pretty dumb. On the other hand, he may have felt safe knowing that they were all homosexuals.
Verse 9, they said, "Stand aside, get out of the way." Furthermore they said, "This one came in as an alien and already he's acting like a judge. Who is this Lot? He comes into our town, he's an alien, he's a stranger, he doesn't even belong here and now he's sitting in judgment on our behavior? Now we will treat you worse than them." Which may have been a promise that they're going to rape him. A crowd of people raping two angels and then a crowd of people raping Lot. So they pressed hard against Lot and came near to break the door.
This ought to tell you something about the uncontrollable lust of homosexuals. "But the men reached out their hands and pulled Lot into the house, the angels with them, and shut the door. And they struck the men who were at the doorway of the house with blindness both small and great." With divine power, they just instantly made them blind. After rescuing Lot, amazingly they blinded these homosexuals. But would you notice this? "Having been blinded," it says, "they wearied themselves finding the doorway." You would think if you had just been struck blind, you would accept your fate and get out of there and bemoan your blindness, wouldn't you? If...I would think to myself if I got that close and I had just been made stone blind, I would be so horrified at my blindness that I would be running away in sheer terror. But the passion and the lust was so strong and so insatiable and so unbreakable was all it did was make it harder for them to find the doorway. Here they are blind and driven by their lust groping in their blindness to get in the door. The lust of homosexuality is compelling, isn't it? So wicked and so vile was this city with its homosexuals that God burned the whole place to a crisp.
In verse 12, "Then the men said to Lot, 'Whom else have you here? A son-in-law and your sons and your daughters and whomever you have in the city, bring them out of the place for we're about to destroy this place because their outcry has become so great before the Lord that the Lord has set us to destroy it.'" And I remind you that homosexuality, this insatiable driving lust can take over a whole city which then is obviously a city to be destroyed by God.
Down in verse 24, "The Lord rained on Sodom and its sister city Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven and He overthrew those cities and all the valley and all the inhabitants of the cities and what grew on the ground." In fact, archaeologists can't even find the place. When I say it was incinerated, that's exactly what happened. They don't even know where it is. God burned it to a crisp.
It was there that the term sodomy was originated. There the term sodomy had its origin. The term sodomy appears in 1 Kings 14:24, in Deuteronomy 23:17 and 18, and it means homosexuality. It is the term for homosexuality. Homosexual is a sodomite who gets his characterization from that city. Clearly the term sodomy wouldn't refer to homosexuality if the sin of Sodom wasn't homosexuality.
To see something more of the characterization of that sin and that city, look at Jude verse 6. And I think this is a very, very important text to sort of solidify our thinking. In verse 6 Jude talks about angels who did not keep their own domain or habitation, but abandoned their proper abode. I take it that that refers to Genesis 6 where you have those fallen angels who did not stay in the angelic community but abandoned their proper abode and cohabitated with human women and God has kept them in eternal chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day. They were angels who went out of their normal relationships. And verse 7 says, "Just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh." They're exhibited as an example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire. The sin of Sodom was going after strange flesh. And the rest of the cities on the plain there were drown in fire and brimstone and burned to a crisp. A Sodomite then is a homosexual. And frankly, that's the best term to use. I use the term homosexual this morning and I've used it again tonight because up to this point we haven't gotten to this text. I don't prefer the term. Homosexual is clinical. Homo-sexual, just identifying same sex. The term that they like to use the term "gay" is absolutely ridiculous. They are anything but gay. The biblical term really is Sodomite, if you take the illustration of Genesis 19. Although as we noted this morning, the term homosexual in the Greek is used. I think it's a good reminder to them when you identify them to call them Sodomites because that's the best and most graphic illustration of that lust in its perversion.
Before we go to the New Testament, I want you to look at Isaiah chapter 3...Isaiah chapter 3 and verse 9. Here Isaiah is pronouncing judgment on Jerusalem and Judah. The prophet says Jerusalem is ruined and Judah is fallen. He says they're against the Lord and they're provoking the Lord. In verse 9 of Isaiah 3 indicts them because they display their sin like Sodom. Not only do they sin but they're blatant. They do not even conceal it. "Woe to them for they have brought evil on themselves. Say to the righteous that it will go well with them, for they will eat the fruit of their actions. Woe to the wicked, it will go badly with them but what he deserves will be done to him. O, my people, their oppressors are children and women rule over them. O, my people, those who guide you lead you astray and confuse the direction of your paths."
Here is an indictment between Judah and Jerusalem for parading their sin like Sodom. This is a flagrant rebellion against God and no doubt encompass sins of homosexuality. This shouldn't be surprising because homosexuality was rampant in the life of Assyria and Babylon and Egypt. It took 150 years but finally these same sins that were all around Israel because a part of Israel's life and culture and led to divine judgment. What destroyed Sodom, what would destroy eventually Greece and Rome destroyed Israel. It is a deadly destructive sin. And Isaiah says when the judgment of God falls, it's going to fall because you have displayed your sin like Sodom.
As we said this morning, it is a destructive and damning and destroying sin. It has destroyed millions throughout history. It is still destroying millions today. God hasn't changed His view of it at all. It may well be the most damning sin in terms of the public acceptance in the future of our country and our world since it is being advocated in TV and books and films and papers worldwide. And we said this morning that our society needs to see it for what it is and that is sin. And as long as we don't, then the people who are engaged in it don't recognize their true condition.
What does society say about homosexuality? Well in 1881 there was a born a man who left an immense impact on human history, his name was Sigmund Freud. Among many human behaviors which were curiosities to him was the behavior of sodomy. He became very interested in dealing with sodomites and in understanding them. He determined after some supposed research that sodomy was a psychological disorder and that it was directly related to a domineering mother. By the way, that viewpoint still hangs around today and you hear people articulate it. He said basically, "It's just a disorder that comes because you were dominated by your mother and you grow up then hating the one who dominated you. And since the one who dominated you was a woman, you hate women and so you attach your sexual fantasy to men." That's been a very popular viewpoint.
In the 1930's there came a man by the name of Havelock Ellis. Havelock Ellis published a manual, a sex book and in that sex book he brought sodomy into the open. This is the 1930's. And he pointed out, supposedly, some famous sodomites. He concluded that there were great men among the sodomites and that they accomplished what they did because there was an unusual genius associated with sodomy.
He said, "Frankly, Freud is wrong. It is not a psychological disorder generated by a domineering mother, it is hereditary, it is genetic and it is a higher level of genius than just normal folks possess." He wrote about Erasmus, the Dutch humanist sixteenth century, and said he was homosexual. He said Christopher Marlowe, the English poet, was homosexual. Michael Angelo, the Italian genius, painter, architect was a homosexual, Lord Byron, Francis Bacon, Oscar Wilde, Walt Whitman, some of them were, by the way, history does indicate that. I'll never forget reading the autobiography of Oscar Wilde who said at the end of his life to his horror and shame that what he was in secret all his life he had to finally shout from the housetop. But he said, "Look at all these geniuses," and he picked the selective list of people out of the run-of-the-mill sodomites and made it appear as if it was a higher level of genius to which some people were born.
So since Freud and Ellis and others who have embellished both viewpoints, you can take your pick. Did your mother do it to you because she was nasty and domineering? Or did your mother and father do it to you genetically? And there's still debate. The reason there is still debate is because no one can prove it's hereditary. Furthermore, no one can prove that homosexuals have in common a domineering mother.
Then along came a real fraud by the name of Albert Kinsey with a famous Kinsey Report. In the 1940's and the 1950's he published the famous Kinsey Reports on Sexuality. He was a sexual pervert himself and so he was trying to prove a point before he even did his research. He wanted to justify adultery, fornication, homosexuality, and any other kind of deviant sex so he fabricated his figures, fabricated his research. I spent this week reading a very interesting book called Kinsey Sex and Fraud. It debunks the entire Kinsey report and shows how fraudulent the figures were. It was he, you remember, who said that in the result of his research was that one out of ten people were sodomites. And this normalized it. One out of ten were sodomites. That is not true, has never been true, may some day in the future be true if their media campaign is continuingly successful. He tilted and twisted and fabricated the statistics to make it look like everyone was an adulterer, everyone was a fornicator, everyone was having affairs illicitly out of their marriage and one out of ten people were sodomites.
This was followed up by the American Psychiatric Association which declassified sodomy as a mental sickness and removed it from its lists of standard diagnostic diseases and illnesses. And the American Psychiatric Association decided to buy into Havelock Ellis and say it was hereditary. And once Kinsey kicked in the door with his false figures and everybody thought homosexuality was just normal and one out of ten people were homosexuals, that, by the way, is why in the L.A. public school system the homosexual awareness and the homosexual advocacy lobby is called Project Ten. That comes from the Kinsey Report, the one out of ten and that has led to the epidemic of today. And then you take all the talk-show hosts from Phil Donahue on through and what they do is create a platform which further normalizes this kind of deviant behavior. There is no evidence...there is no evidence that homosexuality is a result of a domineering mother. There is no evidence that homosexuality is a result of genetics. There is plenty of evidence that homosexuality is a choice...a choice like all sin, it's a choice. You may have certain susceptibility to it. There may be some people who are more tempted in that area. But it primarily has to do with choice.
And if you read the literature of those that are trying to help people come out of homosexual sodomite sin, they will tell you that what leads people into these choices, what leads them to live like this is just a simple little list of things. One, early homosexual experience, when they're young, somebody engages them, some other boy maybe in their youth or even late childhood, adolescence engages them in some kind of homosexual play that stimulates them.
Another component in the leading people into these kinds of choices is the need for intimacy and some homosexual supplies it. Some young boy meets a man and it has been known to happen in the church with some Sunday School teachers of young boys, and it happens in the schools all the time and you read about it in the newspapers, and this teacher becomes sort of like a father figure to the boy and the boy needs intimacy and he finds warmth and he finds a listening ear and pretty soon he finds himself being stimulated in a physical way by this man and it's fun and he likes the man and that makes him feel comfortable about it and becomes a lifestyle.
Another one of the little components that lead this way is sub-culture acceptance. Some boys particularly, or even girls who become lesbians, can't find their way to acceptance in the normal culture and so they find a sub-culture that will accept them. And homosexuals are always looking for new flesh. Sometimes it happens to men because they're rejected by women and because they can't find an outlet for their physical desires among women because women won't have them, or they fell unattractive to women or they've been rebuffed, they'll slide into the circle where they can find gratification.
There are factors in life that lay out the path of temptation but it's still the series of choices. I can remember as a boy, just a young boy in my early years of junior high being approached in a restroom by a man who now I knew, and it was a few years before I understood, that had homosexual intentions toward me. And I didn't understand that until I looked back on that and I was so frightened, I went out of there. And I can look back and imagine that some boy in that kind of circumstance with a man he knew and trusted would have given himself to that, found some kind of thrill in that and be on his way to a life of that. When I went away to college in my first year at a Christian school, I had a roommate in my own room attack me in the middle of the night. And I remember it so absolutely vividly, I was first of all shocked and all I remember was rising out of bed and throwing a punch and...(applause)...I mean, this is a fairly normal instinct for me, not to he commended, but expected...and seeing him fly across the room into a corner and then confronted, "What is going on?" This is some years ago at a Christian school in my lifetime, it's wholesale everywhere now and the rampage is on for new flesh, and the rampage is on to elicit the involvement of young lives. And where you have kids that are rejected by women, who are looking for a sub-culture of acceptance, who have a need for intimacy, who get lured into this kind of thing, you have some choices that lead to other choices, that lead to other choices and it becomes lust out of control.
So, when we look at this situation, we have to see it for what the Bible sees it for. It is a sin that brings about the judgment of God. But as we saw this morning, it is a sin that is forgivable.
One other text and that's Romans chapter 1. Romans chapter 1 verse 18, very familiar text which gives us a good look at the fallenness of man and God's reaction. "The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness." In other words, God's wrath is revealed against the whole human race because they have the truth and they suppress it. They reject it. "That which is known about God is evident within them." God has planted it in their hearts. God has made it evident to them. Verse 20, "Since the creation of the world, His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature have been clearly seen, being understood through what is made so that they're without excuse." You have the internal moral law of God, you have the external creation and evidence of God and His morality. The evidence is there, the truth is there and men reject it. Verse 21, "Even when they knew God innately from the internal witness and externally from the creation, they didn't honor Him as God, they didn't give thanks, they became futile in their speculations and their foolish heart was darkened, professing to be wise they became fools and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. They rejected God, thus rejecting truth. They created their own gods like animals and men and failed to worship the true God, and that's why God's wrath is poured out upon them.
There you have the characterization of the fallen world. God has given the knowledge of Himself internally and externally. Men reject it and instead of seeing God as revealed, they turn their backs on God, they invent their own gods and bring about the wrath of God upon them.
Now the wrath of God comes in this form, verse 24, "Therefore, God gave them over...God gave them over." What a statement. "He gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity that their bodies might be dishonored among them." Look at verse 26, "For this reason God gave them over....there it is again...to degrading passions." Verse 28, "And just as they didn't see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind." Verse 24, He gave them over that their bodies would be dishonored. Verse 26, He gave them over to degrading passions in their heart. Verse 28, He gave them over to a depraved mind. Body, heart, mind, all given over and what...what became of that when God took His hand off and God let man go his own way? What came of it? Sexual perversion. What you see today is already the evidence of God's judgment on man as He lets him go.
Verse 24, "God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity that their bodies might be dishonored among them. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie. They worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator who is blessed forever, amen." Then verse 26, "For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions." What kind? "For their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural." They were given over, verse 24 says, to epithumia, uncleanness, reaching out after forbidden pleasure. The Stoics called it grasping for pleasure which defies all reason. Lust gone wild. That's what verse 24 is talking about. Desires that make people do shameless things and nameless things. And they dishonored their bodies.
How did they dishonor their bodies? They did what was against nature. They did what was unnatural. In verse 26 women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural. What you have in homosexuality then is a very clear illustration of depravity, of people given over to their lusts without any restraint on God's part. He just let them go. Women, we call them lesbians. Somewhere around 20 to 25 million of them, we hear in America now. They have chosen to live godlessly and God gives them over to the results of their choices. Verse 27, "And in the same way also, the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error." They burn in their lust, that phrase, "burned in their desire toward one another," literally to burn out, ekkaio, to burn out, they were consumed with lust. It's the consuming rage of it. As I told you this morning, the average homosexual in San Francisco, three nights in the bath house, ten to thirty different sexual encounters in one night. Sadomasochism, flagellation, dungeons, torture, orgies, their jealousies among themselves, their neurotic acts are more perverse than heterosexual people. When they have their Gay Parade, you can't even look at it. You can't even watch it. Anybody else who did anything like that would be arrested and put in jail. Homosexuals Kerney and Hill of San Bernardino killed an estimated 40 victims. According to the "New York Times," quote: "The man who knows more about violent death than anyone else in the country is Dr. Milton Helpurn(?), formerly chief medical examiner of New York City." In his biography titled Where Death Delights, Helpurn...not a Christian...wrote this, "It's not my role to condemn homosexuality as such, and I leave it to the psychiatrists and psychologists to try to figure out why people practice homosexuality." He said, "I'm not to judge it. But having performed sixty thousand autopsies, it is high time that those who deviate from the norms should understand the risks. I don't know why it is so but it seems that the violent explosions of jealousy among homosexuals far exceed those of the jealousy of a man for a woman, or a woman for a man. The pent-up charges and energy of the homosexual relationship simply cannot be contained. When the explosive point is reached, the result is brutally violent." Helpurn goes on, "But this is the normal pattern of these homosexual attacks, multiple stabbings, the senseless beatings that obviously must continue long after the victim dies. When we see these brutal multiple wound cases in a single victim, we automatically assume that we are dealing with a homosexual victim and a homosexual attacker," end quote. Why? Because there is a burning lust that is out of control. They burn in their desires. He went on to say in his book that in ten seconds they can look at a dead body and tell you whether it was killed by a homosexual because of the mutilations and the multiple stabbings or multiple blows. There is a gnawing unsatisfied gripping lust that is evidence of their depravity and evidence of the fact that God has given them over, let them go. And they are burning in their desire, women exchanging the natural function for what is unnatural, and men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their persons the due penalty of their error.
How in the world can the Presbyterian General Assembly say, "The task force on homosexuality created by the General Assembly is completing its two year study and ready to finalize its recommendations to the General Assembly?" What is there to study? The Word of God is so clear. Verse 28, they didn't want to acknowledge God so God just gave them over to a depraved mind to do the things which aren't proper, things which make no sense. That's part of God's judgment.
Now in verse 32, after chronicling a whole list of sins that are the result of God giving people over, it says, "The people who practice these things are worthy of death and they still do them and then they give hearty approval to those who practice them." They advocate them. They know the ordinance of God that those who practice such things are worthy of death. That's in the Bible, that's clear. But they still do them and they give hearty approval to others who practice them. All of life becomes totally disoriented.
There's a species of ants that lives in some parts of Africa. By the way, the ants in Africa, as I noted in my trip this summer, are astoundingly productive. They can build massive anthills, some of them twenty feet high. And they live in subterranean tunnels that go way down into the earth where the young are sheltered. And down in these subterranean tunnels where the ants move, there's a special shelter for the queen. The workers go on foraging trips to distant places, returning to the nest with food for the colony and particularly for the queen. It is said by those who study them that if when they are away their queen is molested, the workers even far away become nervous and uncoordinated. If she's killed, they become frantic, they rush around aimlessly and eventually die in the field without ever finding their way back. It's thought that the worker ants in the normal situation are constantly oriented to the queen by some radar-like device. If she is killed, all orientation ceases, frenzy ensues, a frenzy that ends in death. What a parable of man, huh? What a parable of man, cut off from God, he lives in a disoriented frenzy until his death, the frenzy of being disconnected from God. Such is the condition of fallen man, of homosexual sodomites.
But again, we need to end where we began. This sin is forgivable. Such were some of you, but you are washed, you are sanctified, you are justified and all of this through the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God. It is sin, but there is forgiveness.
Some Sunday nights back, a young man named Robert was baptized in the water here. And he came into the water and he told a wonderful testimony. He said, "I have AIDS," and he said, "I've been a homosexual for years and I said to someone I want deliverance from this life. Where can I go? Where can I go and find help?" And he said, "Someone told me to go to Grace Community Church and I could find help there. He said, "I walked into this church on a Sunday morning. I had never been here," he sat right out over there. And he said, "I was desperate, I wanted deliverance from my sin and its consequence, death." And he said, "John got up, as he does every Sunday, and read a Psalm." And he said, "This is what he read." And he recited it, Psalm 107, "They wandered in the wilderness in a desert region. They didn't find a way to an inhabited city. They were hungry and thirsty. Their soul fainted within them. Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, He delivered them out of their distresses. He led them also by a straight way to go to an inhabited city. Let them give thanks to the Lord for His lovingkindness, and for His wonders to the sons of men! For He has satisfied the thirsty soul, and the hungry soul He has filled with what is good. There were those who dwelt in darkness and in the shadow of death, prisoners in misery and chains, because they had rebelled against the words of God, and spurned the counsel of the Most High. Therefore He humbled their heart with labor; they stumbled and there was none to help. Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble; He saved them out of their distresses. He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and broke their chains apart. Let them give thanks to the Lord for His lovingkindness and for his wonders to the sons of men."
He stood in these waters and recited that verbatim. And he said, "When I heard you read that, I knew I had come to the right place and that my chains could be broken and I could be set free." And that morning, that first Sunday, that first time he had ever come here, he gave his life to Jesus Christ and was wonderfully saved and later entered the waters of baptism to confess that sin and that transformation to you. And I said to him privately, "What are you going to do with the days of life that God gives you?" Well he told me, he said, "The Gay Pride Parade is coming down the street near where I live, I've been in the mainstream of this whole thing." And he said, "All of my former friends are going to be stopping by to greet me because they know I'm so ill and I'm going to give everyone of them the gospel of Christ." And I know he did and he's dying and yet he's ready because he knows he's going to meet Christ. That's the good news, isn't it?
Father, we thank You for the grace that is granted to sinners of any kind and every kind. We thank You that You forgive the deepest darkest sin, that You break the strongest chains, that You give grace to the vilest sinner for You have done it for us. And we pray for people who are trapped in this terrible lifestyle with its inexplicable passions. We pray, O God, that You would deliver many, be gracious to them and save them for Your glory. What a testimony, Lord, it would be if many were saved out of that sin and gave testimony to Your grace and became rescuers of others in those chains. Thank You for setting so many free, even here in our church. We pray that You'll set more free, that Your grace may be displayed and Your love for sinners. We pray also, Lord, for those who come out of that lifestyle and come to You and are still tempted, whose memories are vivid with the ugly things of the past. We pray, Lord, that You'll wash those memories away, that You'll fix them on holy things, on right relationships. Clean out their minds and give them pure thoughts and triumph over temptation. Give us all, Lord, opportunity to speak to those that we might meet that are caught in that sin and to know that the most compassionate thing we can do is not accept them but warn them for if they don't understand the sin, they can't see the Savior. And, Lord, this is but one sin among many. We pray that You would save sinners of all kinds and make them holy, sanctified for Your glory, that many may sing Your praise in time and throughout eternity. In our Savior's name we ask. Amen.
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