Earlier in the service I read from the first chapter of Romans what is really a very, very shocking portion of Scripture just to remind you that Romans chapter 1, verses 18 to 32 describes the wrath of God that is unleashed in the world. The wrath of God is divided into a number of elements. There is eschatological wrath – that is the wrath that will fall on the Earth at the end of human history in a time called the time of tribulation. There is sowing and reaping wrath – that is the wrath of God that comes consequent on sin; whatever a man sows he reaps. There is cataclysmic wrath – that is the wrath of God that He sets on man from miraculous use of the natural order such as the flood or any other massive disaster that catapults souls into eternity.
So, there is that wrath of God which is eschatological and which is consequential and which is cataclysmic. And then there is that wrath of God which is eternal wrath, and that would be the wrath of God unleashed on the ungodly forever in the punishments of eternal hell.
But the wrath that is being referred to in Romans 1 isn’t any of those; it is the wrath of abandonment. The wrath described here is the wrath that is executed when - according to verses 24, 26, and 28 – God gives them over, gives them over, gives them over. In other words, it’s when God abandons a nation. It’s when God abandons a society and gives them over to the consequences of their behavior which is escalating iniquity and disaster, leading to judgment. “This wrath of God is released from heaven, revealed from heaven” - verse 18 says – “against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth.” And he goes on to say they all have the truth; the truth is visible from creation – you can know something of God and His nature - and from the heart. Romans 2 says the Law of God is written in the heart.
But when man abandons God as revealed in creation; when man abandons God as revealed in conscience; when man abandons God as revealed in Holy Scripture, suppressing the truth, God judges that society. And though that society may consider itself to be wise, it is, in reality, the ultimate ship of fools. The heart becomes darkened when God is abandoned, and then God abandons the darkened heart.
What you see in Romans chapter 1 is the sequence of what happens when God abandons a nation. First, verse 24 says, “He gives them over to the lusts of their hearts to impurity” – sexual sin – “the dishonoring of their bodies among them.” When God abandons a society, the first thing that happens is it becomes pornographic; it becomes obsessed with sex, obsessed with fornication, adultery, every kind of sexual behavior. We have gone through that already in the sexual revolution a couple of decades ago.
The second thing that happens, when God abandons a culture, is found in verse 26, “God gave them over to degrading passions; their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural; 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.”
At the end of that verse, “receiving in their persons the due penalty” is the diseases that come consequent to homosexual behavior. And as you know, they unleashed on the world the horror of AIDS. But what it’s saying here is that when God abandons a nation or a culture under His wrath, there will be a sexual revolution followed by a homosexual revolution. And we are living in this very condition.
There’s a third step, verse 28, “God gave them over to a depraved mind” – that’s a mind that doesn’t function; they can’t think right. And so, life becomes “filled with unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil, envy, murder” – and we talked about that last week, the massive murder of millions and millions of unborn infants in the womb that is carried on in our country and around the world.
Also characteristic of this depraved mind is they become “haters of God” – haters of God. We’re living in the outpouring of the wrath of God in the category of His abandoning a culture, and we’re living in the sequence that is here: a sexual revolution, a homosexual revolution, a reprobate mind that unleashes everything, including murder on a massive scale and hate toward God.
It was shocking to me a few weeks ago, as I said last Sunday, to see that these very things that God hates and that bring down God’s judgment were affirmed as part of the Democratic Party platform: open sex with government-provided contraception, murder of babies in wombs, God left out of the platform, and homosexual behavior, even advocating homosexual marriage – an oxymoron since that’s impossible.
Now, all of a sudden, not only is this characteristic of our nation, but we now promote it. One of the parties – the Democratic Party – has now made Romans 1 – the sins of Romans 1 – their agenda. What God condemns, they affirm; what God punishes, they exalt. Shocking really. The Democratic Party has become the anti-God party, the sin-promoting party.
By the way, there are 72 million registered Democrats in this country who have identified themselves with that party, and maybe they need to rethink that identification. I know from last week’s message that there was some response from people who said, “Why are you getting political?” Romans 1 is not politics. The Bible is not politics. This is nothing to do with politics; this has to do with speaking the Word of God to the culture in which we live. It has nothing to do with politics. It’s not about personalities. It’s about iniquity and judgment. And why do we say this? Because this must be recognized for what it is: sin – serious sin, damning sin, destructive sin.
You say, “Well, our society cultivates tolerance, and you’re giving hate speech.”
What I’m saying is not hate speech. What the Democratic Party is saying is hate speech because they must hate the homosexuals if they will allow them to go the direction they’re going, affirm that, knowing that it’ll take them to hell. That’s hate speech; this is love speech. You either warn them or you affirm them. And Romans 1 warns them. And any faithful Christian warns, “This is dangerous; this is deadly.” It’s better to warn them than to affirm them. You might be the nice guy to affirm them, but that’s not love speech; that’s hate speech.
I want you to look at 1 Corinthians chapter 6 – 1 Corinthians chapter 6. And what I’m going to do is just put you in touch with what the Word of God says so you’ll know the truth. The news is very bad, but the news can also be very good. Listen to this, 1 Corinthians 6:9, “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived” – by the propaganda, by the media, by the films, the television programs, everything you’re exposed to, educators – “Do not be deceived; neither fornicators” – that’s people who engage in heterosexual sin – “nor idolaters” – and sexual sin and idolatry always historically have been connected – “nor adulterers” – that’s people who have relationships with other than their spouse – “nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”
We exist as a church to proclaim the kingdom of God. Is that true? We have been given the keys to the kingdom of God. Jesus declared that to His apostles, “I give you the keys to the kingdom of God.” Our responsibility is to tell people about the kingdom of God, and who can be in the kingdom of God, and who is excluded from the kingdom of God. That’s the ministry of the church; that’s what we do; that’s what every preacher must do. And I’m not the one who makes the terms; I am only the one responsible to God to proclaim what God has revealed. And I’m here to tell you that if you advocate a life of sexual sin, adultery, fornication, effeminateness, or homosexuality, you will not inherit the kingdom of God. What that means is you’re on your way to hell, not heaven. This is the spiritual kingdom of those who are in Christ.
Church is made up of people who were like this. Please notice – here’s the good news, verse 11 – “Such were some of you.” That’s right; this is the church in Corinth. And what is the church made of? Of all righteous people who’ve been righteous since they were born? No, there aren’t any. All sinners. The church is a collection of former fornicators, former idolaters, former adulterers, former effeminates, former thieves, former coveters, former extortioners, and former homosexuals.
“Such were some of you.” That statement alone indicates this is not some genetic defect “You were this way; you aren’t anymore.” Anymore than every other thing is to be genetically blamed. Do people fornicate because of some kind of a genetic defect? Is that why they’re idolaters? Is that why they steal? Is that why they covet? Is that why they’re drunkards? Is that why they’re revilers and swindlers? If so, then we better have equal rights for all of them and let them all start lobby groups so that they can get us all to recognize that this is a genetic issue.
“Such were some of you; but” – this is key – “you were sanctified.” Do you know what that means? Separated from that sin - separated from that sin.
“People say, “Well, you know, if you’re homosexual, you know, you can’t really ever be changed.”
That’s not what Scripture says. You were like this, but you are sanctified; you’re separated from that behavior. It doesn’t just say you were justified; that’s forensic. I’m glad it doesn’t just say you were justified, because then people would say, “Yes, I am forgiven; the righteousness of Christ is imputed to me. I’m justified, but I still have the same sort of a tendency.”
No, you were justified, but you were also washed and sanctified, changed, separated in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and that work is done by the Spirit of our God. This is the message that we want to give to the world. These are sins that send people to hell, and people who advocate these things and live these lifestyles will not inherit the kingdom of God. And hell is forever, and we’re here in love to speak love speech and say, “You must escape the wrath to come by repenting and fleeing these sins, and you can be washed and transformed and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Through the years at Grace church – and I’ve been here a long time, since 1969 – this church has existed in a hotbed of homosexual activity in Southern California. And I’ve had my share of personal opportunity to meet people who have been washed and sanctified and justified. And some of them are sitting among you, and you don’t even know that because they were saved from that, just as there’re adulterers and swindlers and the rest that make up a redeemed congregation.
I had some incredible experiences. I can remember going down to a local hospital. A young man dying of AIDS, raised in a Christian family, rejected the gospel, lived 20 plus years in a blatant, outrageous, homosexual lifestyle - the L.A. Police Department told me some years ago that the numbers of partners that active homosexuals have would be an average of about five hundred, some as many as a thousand – that kind of lifestyle. This young man, in his room, was surrounded by these kinds of friends.
He had called the church to say could someone come; he was dying and he was afraid to die. And he held my hand and squeezed my hand, and I prayed that God would forgive him and save him. And he cried out to God and repented of his sin and pled with God to be merciful and gracious and save him. His name was David. And I prayed, and he was squeezing the life out of my hand.
And then when the prayer was over, he just looked still, and he looked at the clock on the wall. I said, “What are you looking at?”
He said, “I want to remember the time of my salvation.” And he lived for a few more weeks, and all those people shunned him. I’ve seen that - and not just once. And that’s why we’re here, to preach the message of deliverance to the people who are trapped in that horrible sin. I can’t imagine that somehow it could be illegal, in the United States of America, to speak in love to those people, and that some party in this country would adapt the tolerance of homosexuality as something they affirm. Unbelievable.
Well, you know it’s being taught in public schools, from the time children arrive there, and through every form of media - sinners coming together around a certain sin and demanding to have rights. I wonder why the murderers don’t do that, and the drug dealers, and the thieves and the rapists. This kind of behavior is nothing more than the expression of sexual lust twisted and uncontained.
People want to talk about, “Why do people have this tendency and that?”
Simple: a wretched heart, debased heart, evil heart taken down a path of destruction. The best we can tell, they’re about one percent of the population that are homosexual in their conduct. It’s not a genetic defect, but there’re about one percent or maybe a little more who behave that way. You would think it was a lot more, wouldn’t you?
There was a study of 518 mass murderers – mutilating kind of murderers; 350 of them were homosexuals. One percent of the population and maybe 70 percent of those kinds of people. It unleashes a horrendous passion. It’s a deadly sin. And that’s just the physical part, to say nothing of the eternal reality. How can we not speak to this?
Go with me back now to 1 Corinthians 6 for just a minute. In 1 Corinthians 6, we see these words that I just want to draw to your attention. You know the word “fornicator” – that’s porneia from which the word “pornography” comes – idolaters. Because sexual sin was connected to idolatry. All the idol temples had priestesses that were nothing but prostitutes, and it was all mingled together. And you know what adultery is, having sex with someone other than your spouse.
But take the word “effeminate” there. That’s the word malakos – malakos in the Greek. And it’s a technical word for a passive partner in a homosexual relationship. Effeminate doesn’t mean that you walk funny; it means that you’re the passive partner in a homosexual relationship. In fact, the lexicons – and by the way, homosexuality had been around since the start. I mean Genesis 19, a whole city of people in this sin that God incinerated, and I’ll get to that in a minute. So, this has been around a long time; so, there’s plenty of words to deal with this in the Old Testament and the New Testament.
Malakos is a technical term for the passive partner in homosexual relations. It actually came to refer to the male prostitute who offered himself anonymously for homosexual vice. “Such were some of you, but you’re washed, sanctified, justified.” The word “homosexual” is arsenokoitais. Koitos is the word for bed, arsēno is the term for man – going to bed with a man. That’s what it means. It means going to bed with a man. People who do that don’t inherit the kingdom of God. They do not.
First Timothy 1:9, “Realizing the fact that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, ungodly, sinners, unholy, profane, people who kill their fathers or mothers, murderers, immoral men and homosexuals.” The law of God is made to expose the lawless, rebellious, ungodly, sinners, unholy, profane, killers of their parents, murderers, immoral men, and homosexuals. That’s not a nice group to belong to, and they will not inherit the kingdom of God because you have to turn from your sin, repent, confess, and beg for mercy.
How perverse is it that the major denominations – so-called Christian denominations in our country – affirm homosexuality, ordain homosexuals, ordain lesbians, marry men to men and women to women? Even the Quakers – and I quote – say, “Homosexuality is no more deplorable than left-handedness.” The Episcopalians have led the parade with a well-known bishop, for the whole of the United States of America, who is a sodomite. A local Methodist church not far from here, the pastor says, “A homosexual is welcome in this congregation and will have all the rights and privileges.” That’s hate speech. If you love that man, you’ll confront his sin and tell him about the gospel so his soul can be saved.
There’s a strong lobby against this teaching of Scripture. In fact, liberal theologians have suggested that Paul himself was a repressed homosexual, struggling with his sexual yearnings that never were resolved. He was a kind of a self-hating guy. There’s even a denomination called the Metropolitan Community Churches. At one time there were 110 of them. It’s a homosexual denomination, and the leader, the guy that started it, a man named Troy Perry.
I know Troy Perry. Some years ago I was invited by a national magazine to do an interview at a debate with Troy Perry. We went to an office building down in the Los Angeles area. And I was there to confront him and to discuss the idea of whether or not you could be a Christian and a practicing advocate of homosexuality as he is.
We got into the room. It was a very heated kind of environment – you can imagine. He had a few of his associates with him. I had a great big, huge lineman from the USC football team because I didn’t know what might happen. That’s the truth. And we sat across from each other, and he started to talk about being a devoted homosexual to one person that he loved that God had brought in his life. And he was talking about the fact that you could be a holy homosexual in that sense; that you could be a Christian. And he was parading himself as if he was some pure person. And before he went, I made sure that he heard the message of repentance and grace and forgiveness in Christ, which to my knowledge, even to this day, he has not believed.
The Metropolitan Community Church and the people who advocate this teach that homosexuality’s a gift from God, that Jesus was not hostile to lesbians and homosexuals, David and Jonathan were homosexuals, Ruth and Naomi were lesbians, Sodom was destroyed for a lack of hospitality. And the false church aids and abets all of this.
Writers about ancient history say this is one of the major contributors to the decline of the Roman Empire. That Nero, by the way, was emperor when Paul wrote 1 Corinthians, and Nero had a little boy that he had castrated, and he had a full wedding and married this little boy and took him as his wife. And the little boy’s name is Sporus. It was blatant; it was advocated. Paul’s world wasn’t any different than ours. And he confronted it as sin because that’s the only hope the homosexual has, to see the sin for what it is and to find grace in Christ.
Looking back into the Old Testament, go back to Deuteronomy 22. We just need to get the clear picture here of what God has said, and we’ll just try to cover a few things. Deuteronomy 22:5, “A woman shall not wear man’s clothing, nor shall a man put on a woman’s clothing; for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord your God.” That would be called transvestism in my day. In this modern day it’s called cross-dressing; it’s an abomination to God. And actually, in the Hebrew, the statement would read this way, “A woman shall not use that which pertains to a man.” It’s a broad statement “that which pertains to a man.” Clothing obviously. Style of life, implements, weapons, tools, anything that blurs the distinctiveness between a woman and a man.
Some old preachers used to say, “This is why women shouldn’t wear pants.” That doesn’t work, because the men didn’t wear pants in those days; they wore dresses. We know that; they all wore robes, so get over that. Just be masculine and be feminine; that’s the point. It’s an abomination to try to look like the opposite sex. It’s an abomination to try to act like the opposite sex. Satan wants to obliterate that.
The ancient writer Maimonides mentions that a man dressed in fancy women’s clothes would come and worship Venus and Ashtaroth and women dressed in men’s armor would come to honor the god of war Mars. This kind of crossing over has been going on in all of human history, and it’s all over the place in false mystery religions in ancient times.
Chapter 23 of Deuteronomy, verse 1, “No one who is emasculated or has his male organ cut off shall enter the assembly of the Lord.” This is a transsexual, somebody who has surgical sex change.
People say, “This releases me from being a captive in the wrong body.”
Let me tell you something; you’re in the right body. You might not like it, but it is the one God gave you. By the way, the word “emasculated” – interesting word. It’s the word “crushing.” That’s scary. People would even go to that extreme to have that done. People were castrated for their deities. Parents would do it to boys at the age of ten. This is paganism – paganism.
Leviticus chapter 18, just further understanding of this, verse 22, “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it’s an abomination.” It’s an abomination to dress like the opposite sex. It’s an abomination to have some kind of sex change altering of your body. It’s an abomination to have a relationship with someone of the same sex. “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.” And it’s right alongside having intercourse with an animal – with an animal, bestiality. “Nor shall any woman stand before an animal to mate with it; it is perversion.” That’s the level of this perversion, just like a woman having a relationship with an animal.
“And the land,” he says, “will be defiled.” “Don’t defile yourselves” – verse 24 – “for by all these the nations which I’m casting out before you have become defiled.” There’s Romans 1. That’s why that judgment comes, because of these kinds of perversions. God abandons and then judges nations. I don’t know how much time America has left; I really don’t. But we’re on a course described here as God casting us out. “The land has become defiled; I’ve brought its punishment upon it” – verse 25 – “so the land has spewed out its inhabitants.”
And we get all caught up in the politics of this election. That isn’t the issue. There are things vastly more important than that, than personalities. It’s about whether this society exists in the future at all as we know it. The land is so defiled, God will spew it out. First he abandons it, and then He destroys it. Verse 30 ends the section, “You keep My charge” – keep My commands – “don’t practice any of these abominable customs which have been practiced before you, so as not to defile yourselves with them” – why? – “I am the Lord.”
And verse 2, “You shall be holy, for I the Lord God your God am holy.” He’s saying to His people, “You have to stand against this.” It’s a shocking thing when this becomes the agenda to support.
Chapter 20 of Leviticus – chapter 20 and verse 13. And there are – there are just – this is a hard section to read because it talks about so many ugly thing – incest, adultery, all kinds of horrible things. Verse 13, “If there’s a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. This bloodguiltiness is upon them.” Remember we said last week the murder of babies makes this land bloodguilty. Their blood cries out for punishment. Homosexuality makes this land bloodguilty. “Their bloodguiltiness is on them. They have committed a detestable act; they surely shall be put to death.”
“Well,” you say, “that’s such a terrifying message.”
And I say again, there’s still hope for them. Turn to Isaiah 56. The only hope is in the Lord. Isaiah 56, verse 3, “Let not the foreigner who has joined himself to the Lord say, ‘The Lord will surely separate me from His people.’” In other words, I don’t have a chance; I’m an outsider. “Nor let the eunuch say, ‘Behold, I’m a dry tree.’” In other words, I have no hope. Listen to this, “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; I will give them an everlasting name which will not be cut off.’” What grace is that?
This is the homosexual who says – and maybe he’s even been castrated – “I’m a dry tree; I can’t ever have a future; I can’t have children. Horrible. I don’t have a family.”
And the Lord says, “Hold my covenant fast. Choose what pleases Me, and I’ll give you a place in My house, and in My walls I’ll raise a memorial to you and a name better than that of sons and daughters and give you an everlasting name which will never be cut off” – play on words. That’s the grace that God offers to those who turn from this sin.
It’s important for you to know the dramatic account, if you aren’t familiar with it already, in Genesis 19. So turn to it. God’s Law is unchanging. God’s Law is unchangeable. God’s attitude toward sin is the same.
And if you want to see a picture of God’s attitude toward homosexuality, what’s going to happen when Romans 1 reaches its ultimate culmination and judgment comes, or when God does what He said He was going to do, in the writings of Moses, to nations that are defiled, that He would bring about their spewing out, here’s and illustration in Genesis 19.
Way back in the beginning of human history, there’s a city called Sodom. By then, homosexuality has spread everywhere. It didn’t take long. You had the fall in chapter 3, and then you have a story of sexual sin that just goes raging through the rest of the book of Genesis. You have adultery, incest, rape, prostitution, homosexuality, and it just comes like crazy early on. And by the time you get to the nineteenth chapter of Genesis, you’ve got a city, Sodom, another city, Gomorrah – cities of the plain that are basically, literally defined by homosexuality so that the word “sodomite” means homosexual. It’s that fast that this sin has taken off.
Two angels come to Sodom in the evening” – in human form, which angels can do and did in the Old Testament frequently. “And Lot is sitting at the gate of Sodom.” Lot’s living there; he chose to live there. So, these angels show up. “He rose to meet them, bowed down with his face to the ground. And he said, ‘Now behold, my lords, please turn aside into your servant’s house; spend the night, wash your feet; that you may rise early and go on your way.’” You’ve got to get in my house, get cleaned up, get up in the morning, and get out of here.
“No, we shall spend the night in the square,” the angels say. We’re just going to stay here in the square.
“He urged them strongly” – verse 3 – “so they turned aside and entered his house; and he prepared a feast for them, and baked unleavened bread, and they ate.” They were real, physical bodies that these angels had taken on, and he showed them this kindness. And he was really trying to protect them.
“Before they lay down” – verse 4 – “the men of city, the men of Sodom, surrounded the house, both young and old, all the people from every quarter.” The whole place is caught up in sodomy. The whole place – young and old, from every part of town. They have just seen two beautiful men show up in town, and the word is going around town, and they’re ready for a mass rape. And they show up at Lot’s house.
“And they said, ‘Where’” – verse 5 – “‘are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may have relations with them.’” But they wanted to rape them – gang rape them.
“Lot went out to them at the doorway and shut the door behind him, and said, ‘Please, my brothers, do not act wickedly.’” And then he makes a probably what he thought was a safe suggestion, “‘I have two daughters who haven’t had relations with men; please let me bring them out to you, and do to them whatever you like; only do nothing to these men, inasmuch as they have come under the shelter of my roof.’” This is kind of a stupid thing to do, but this is a kind of perversion that has no interest in what is normal. That’s how far it’s gone. Maybe he felt safe; it’s still a stupid thing to do.
“They said, ‘Stand aside’” – out of the way – “Furthermore, they said, ‘This one came in as an alien, and already he is acting like a judge; now we will treat you worse than them.’” You get out of our way or we will do worse to you than we’re about to do to them. Nice group. “So they pressed hard against Lot and came near to break the door. And the men” – the angels – “reached out their hands and brought Lot into the house and shut the door. And then they struck the men who were at the doorway of the house with blindness, both small and great” – they all went stone blind supernaturally. And listen to this, “So they wearied themselves trying to find the doorway.” What? If I had just gone blind, I think I’d be thinking about, “What happened? How did I get blind?” I’d be running like a mad man. They’re all blind, and it doesn’t change anything. In their blindness, they’re wearying themselves to find the door.
“Then the two 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 are about to destroy this place, because their outcry has become so great before the Lord that the Lord has sent us to destroy it.’”
That’s the message, folks. You live like this, and God will send His destroying angels. And you know the rest of the story. That is precisely what happened. Verse 24, “Then the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven; He overthrew those cities, and all the valley, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground.” Destroyed the whole thing. And that’s an illustration of how God fills about a society that affirms homosexuality and people that conduct themselves this way.
From this time on – from Genesis 19 on – the word for homosexual is the word “sodomy.” Sodomy. Sodomy. A homosexual was a sodomite. It is the Old Testament term for homosexual used in 1 Kings 14:24 and also used in Deuteronomy 23:17 and 18. And there, in Deuteronomy 23:17 and 18, it calls homosexuals sodomites and dogs – dogs. A very graphic description of their conduct. It is preposterous to call them gay. “Homosexual” is clinical, “sodomite” is biblical, but “sinner” is theological. It’s a horrible thing, this sin, and it’s a horrible thing for people to advocate it as normal. Tragic, tragic.
Isaiah has another comment that I want to point out to you. Isaiah 3. Here Isaiah’s talking about God’s judgment coming. God’s judgment is coming, and on Judah, the southern kingdom. And they’re very sinful. Verse 8 might be a place to start – well, verse 9, let’s start there. “The expression of their faces bears witness against them, that they display their sin like Sodom” – in other words, they’re sinners and they’re blatantly sinners. Sodomites that assaulted Lot’s house were blatant in their sin. “They do not even conceal it,” he says about Judah. It’s the same. Look at this nation. The same thing, “Woe to them! They brought evil on themselves. Say to the righteous it’ll go well with them, for they’ll eat the fruit of their actions. Woe to the wicked! It’ll go badly with them, for what he deserves will be done to him. O My people! Their oppressors are children” – in other words, even a child could overpower you, you’re so weak – why? – “women rule over them.” Women rule over them? In the culture of the Old Testament, it could well be a sodomite – sodomites in the government, homosexuals in rule.
I read an article two days ago on the rapidly growing number of homosexuals – open homosexuals populating the United States Supreme Court – not the judges, but the surrounding masses of people. In a book called The Gay Invasion, the reports are that, of course, we’ve had homosexuals in every presidential cabinet since Franklin Roosevelt, but never to the degree we do now and being appointed as judges. In some cities they are the majority of leaders, by the way.
Isaiah knew sodomy was all around them, a part of life in Assyria, a part of life in Babylon, a part of life in Egypt. In fact, there was much about homosexuality among the pharaohs. It took a while; it took about 150 years, but all of this kind of seeped in, and what destroyed Sodom would destroy Judah, and later it would destroy Greece, and later it would destroy Rome. And this is always a deadly sin, and always a defining sin, and always a damning sin.
In 1881, it was Sigmund Freud who came along and said, “Well, I’ve studied homosexual behavior, and I’ve concluded it’s a psychological disorder that comes from a domineering mother.”
In 1930s, there was a man named Ellis who published a manual on this, bringing sodomy into the open, and he said it is a genius gene. In other words, it’s a genetic gift that homosexuals are uniquely geniuses. And then he had a whole litany of supposed homosexuals from Erasmus, the Dutch humanist; and Christopher Marlowe, the English poet; Michelangelo; Lord Byron; Francis Bacon; Oscar Wilde; Walt Whitman; on and on and on. So, for him it was an elevated human being at another level of genius. It was in the ‘40s and the ‘50s Albert Kinsey came along and fabricated lies, saying one out of ten people in America were genetically homosexual. American Psychiatric Association declassified sodomy as a sickness, and now it’s not only acceptable, but it’s advocated. This is where we are, and this is on the brink of judgment. This is on the brink of judgment.
Now go back to Romans 1, verse 32, the end of all of this, in this section, is that “although they know the ordinance of God” - is there anybody in doubt about what the Bible says? It’s clear in this country; we all know that in the Western world. “Although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death” – I’ve just read that all to you, haven’t I? – “they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.” That’s the issue, folks. Why am I doing this now? Because an entire party in the United States has given hearty approval – suneudokeō. Eudokeō means to agree with, to consent to, to be well-pleased, to think it is good. Sun means together with others. Collectively this group has decided that this is good, and they give hearty approval. No wonder they didn’t want God in their original platform. We have to speak the truth to rescue the perishing.
Turn to Psalm 107 and I’m going to close there. Psalm 107. Some years ago I was standing here at the beginning of the service, and I got up to read the scripture. And this is what I read, starting in verse 4, “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 bands apart.
“Let them give thanks to the Lord for His lovingkindness, and for His wonders to the sons of men! For He has shattered gates of bronze and cut bars of iron asunder.”
I read that. After the service was over, a handsome, tall man, 6’3” or so, walked up to me. He’d been sitting right back there. His name is Robert Lagerstrom. He was one of the directors of the gay pride parade in Los Angeles, lived completely consumed in a world of homosexuals, and was dying of AIDS. He said, “I have to talk to you; I have to talk to you.”
I said, “Absolutely.” So, we sat and talked.
And he said, “I just have to tell you. You preach a long time.”
I said, “Well, why are you saying that?”
He said, “Because when you read that scripture, I knew I was in the right place, and I just wanted to get wherever I needed to get, to whoever I needed to talk to to tell me how the Lord could break the bands of iron and the bondage that holds me. And then you kept talking and talking - talking and talking.”
Later when I talked to him, a couple of occasions, he couldn’t even remember the sermon; all he remembered was the scripture. But he gave his life to Christ. He was dying of AIDS, and he went to some of his friends, and he said, “I don’t want to die; I’m terrified to die. Where can I get help?”
And the homosexual friends, that he had, said, “Go to Grace Community Church.” They sent him here. These are unconverted people who know the reputation of the church. He came that one Sunday. He came, gave his life to Christ. I baptized him right here a few weeks later. He was totally transformed. He went back, and the gay pride parade went down Hollywood Boulevard, right by his apartment, and all his friends came by to see him in his dying days, and he gave the gospel to all of them. And he went to glory. And his baptism testimony was recorded and played at his funeral to the whole homosexual community. That’s not politics; that’s the gospel at work. And if you don’t have the right view of sin, then you’re going to get caught up in aiding and abetting people’s destruction.
Now, with that in mind, listen to the words of that psalm. “They wandered in the wilderness in a desert region; didn’t find a way to an inhabited city. They were hungry and thirsty; their soul fainted within them. They cried out to the Lord in their trouble; He delivered them out of their distresses.” I love this, “He led them also by a straight way” – they talk about going straight. “Let them give thanks.
“There were those who dwelt in darkness in the shadow of death, prisoners in misery and chains. They cried out to the Lord and He saved them out of their distress.” These are tragic people, sad, sad people, profoundly guilty, empty. You can’t affirm them.
Romans 1 ends this way, in verse 32, “Although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do them, but they give hearty approval to those who practice them.” Really? You’re going to give hearty approval to that? Hearty approval – suneudokeō in the Greek. Suneudokeō. The word eudokeō means to be pleased with, to think something is good, to give consent. And suneudokeō means to give collective consent. It’s an intense word, to join in being well-pleased. Unimaginable that American leadership and people would join together in giving hearty approval to the destructive, deadly, damning sin of homosexuality. May the Lord help us to bring the gospel to thousands of people like Robert and see them delivered by its power.
Father, we are so grateful that You’ve not left us in doubt about these things which are part of life for us. I pray that You’ll use us to bring the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ to people in these horrible chains of homosexual behavior, who have no future, no family, no hope, who live with massive guilt, pain, agony, driving unleashed passions – that You would come powerfully through the instrumentation of Your people to bring the gospel that alone can save them.
Be glorified, Lord. Turn the tide with our truth and with Your gospel. Save people caught in not only this sin, but in all kinds of sins that are so popular in this culture. Give the gospel a fresh hearing, we ask for Your glory, in Christ’s name, amen.
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