There is a plague sweeping our nation. Which if continues unchecked, I believe will destroy America. I don't think we need to fear being conquered by a foreign enemy, though that is not impossible. I think that what we need to fear is the plague of immorality that is sweeping our nation. I think that there are two sins in particular that are leading to our downfall. Those sins are homosexuality and abortion. So for the next two weeks I would like to speak to you about these issues. Today we will look at the sin of homosexuality and next week we will look at the sin of abortion.
In Romans 1 Paul talks about the downfall of man because of his rejection of the revelation of God.
Romans 1:21 (NKJV) because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
This could be said of our nation, "nor were thankful". America started out on a strong Biblical foundation, but as we have grown and prospered, we have continued to turn away from God. I believe that the moral decline of our nation is a judgement from God because of our turning from Him. I think Romans 1 teaches this.
Romans 1:24 (NKJV) Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves,
Romans 1:26 (NKJV) For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature.
Romans 1:28 (NKJV) And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting;
Each one of these phrases is the Greek word paradidomi, which means to hand over to judgement. God, in an act of judgement, removes the restraints and moral depravity is the result. I believe that we can see God's judgement right now in America.
Twentieth century America is not the first society to be riddled with immorality. The ancient Greeks elevated homosexual relations. The Romans gradually surrendered the strong families and morals that once made them great, replacing them with laxity and weakness. The often-made comparisons between the final years of Rome and modern day America are striking -- self-indulgence, political corruption, adultery, homosexuality, sexual orgies, live sex acts in the theater, brutal sports in the arena, and a creeping family deterioration and moral laziness that led to self-destruction.
Sorokin, in his book Sexual Revolution says, "When the ruling group and the society as a whole relax their code of sexual morality, within three generations there is usually a cultural decline, as was the case in the later stages of the Babylonian, the Persian, the Macedonian, the Mongol, the Greek, and the Roman civilizations."
America is being judged. Will we be destroyed? One of the most critical issues in the preservation of our society is the societies attitudes and actions toward homosexuality. It was not that long ago in our country when if a person chose to practice homosexuality, he had to be careful to hide it. If news of it got out, he would be ostracized in one way or another, because our society viewed homosexuality as something extremely shameful. Today society has become very tolerant of homosexuality. We need to understand the destruction that this sin brings. Look with me at:
Genesis 18:20-26 (NKJV) And the LORD said, "Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grave, 21 "I will go down now and see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry against it that has come to Me; and if not, I will know." 22 Then the men turned away from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham still stood before the LORD. 23 And Abraham came near and said, "Would You also destroy the righteous with the wicked? 24 "Suppose there were fifty righteous within the city; would You also destroy the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous that were in it? 25 "Far be it from You to do such a thing as this, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous should be as the wicked; far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" 26 So the LORD said, "If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes."
So Abraham bargains with God how about 45, or 40 or 30 or 20?
Genesis 18:32-33 (NKJV) Then he said, "Let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak but once more: Suppose ten should be found there?" And He said, "I will not destroy it for the sake of ten." 33 So the LORD went His way as soon as He had finished speaking with Abraham; and Abraham returned to his place.
God couldn't find ten righteous people. The corruption had permeated the whole society. I fear that this is happening in our country. The sin of homosexuality is becoming acceptable and thus spreading.
Why is this vile sin spreading so fast? Why is it becoming so widely acceptable? I think that it is because behind this sin is a movement, a sub-culture. Homosexuals have a support network. What other sin do you know of that has a support network? Have you ever heard of a liars bar where all the liars go to drink? Have you ever seen murderers marching in the streets for their rights? Or how about fornicators pride week?
When did the homosexual movement start? The New York Gay Ball in 1965; the police raid on the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich village in 1969; Gay Pride Week in 1970, where twenty thousand marched in New York City alone -- each has been cited as the birth of the homosexual movement.
This movement is no longer poor or unorganized. Its leaders are highly motivated, tactically trained, and heavily financed. They are skilled in communication, education, politics and, often, religion. They are single mindedly dedicated to one task: making the homosexual lifestyle an integrated and accepted part of American culture, thus removing the restraints and opening the flood gate of wickedness.
In a matter of a few decades the homosexual movement has measurably transformed the nation's perception of homosexuality. It has made great strides toward disassociating homosexual behavior from sin, and identifying it as a legitimate alternative lifestyle. They have had the full cooperation of the media on this; television, movies, public schools. If it is not sin, then the restraints are gone.
Those once hostile to it, now tolerate it; those once tolerant of it, now embrace it. Most people, Christians included, have gradually acclimated to the commonness of homosexual behavior. We have been and are being desensitized to its unnaturalness and sinfulness. If the next twenty years proceed like the last, homosexuality will be taken for granted by most Americans.
To begin to understand the homosexual movement, we must be aware of some basic doctrines that govern homosexual attitudes and behavior. Here are some of the major beliefs of the homosexual movement.
1. Homosexuality is an inborn nature -- not an illness, not a choice, and not subject to change by an act of the will, psychological therapy, or religious experience.
Let's think about that. Let's say a man is born a kleptomaniac. Should society give him the freedom to steal? What if a man has a natural tendency toward adultery? Should it be approved? What if a person has the inborn nature to murder, or rape? Should all forms of sin be approved?
2. Homosexuality is as natural as heterosexuality, it just happens to occur less frequently. It is not an undesirable condition except for its social stigma, which is the result of misguided or hateful homophobics.
People who abhor the practice as immoral are dubbed "homophobiacs" as though theynow should be the ones in hiding. So now the evil of homosexuality has been surpassed by the evil of "homophobia": It is not that we are afraid of homosexuality ("homophobia"); but we do not apologize for being opposed to it! Opposition to homosexuality is not shameful; it is homosexuality that is shameful, as are all forms of immorality. Don't let them twist things and make us the bad guys because we won't accept their sin.
3. Homosexuals constitute as legitimate a minority as blacks or Chicano. Homosexual rights are just as valid as women's rights.
4. Homosexuals should openly acknowledge their condition -- "come out of closet" -- and live their desired lifestyle. They should be proud, not ashamed, to pursue homosexual relationships.
5. Those homosexuals who embrace the Christian faith, (a significant number) argue that God created them as they are, accepts them as they are, and endorses a lifestyle in keeping with the nature he had given them.
We are being told that Bible believing evangelicals are the problem, because we say that homosexuality is a sin. Well that's what we say because that is what the Bible says.
They are trying to make homosexuality sound innocent and very harmless, but it's not. It has physical results that are so far reaching that they now have new classifications for diseases that occur only among homosexuals.
There is built into this thing exactly what it says in:
Romans 1:27 (NKJV) Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.
Homosexuality has built in consequences. According to the Washington Post, a survey of four thousand homosexual males indicated well over half had contracted at least one STD. In San Francisco the venereal disease rate is almost twenty-two times the national average. The state of California alone spends twenty million dollars a year to treat homosexual STDs.
AIDS could end up being the worst epidemic our world has ever experienced. The reason AIDS is spreading so fast is because of the homosexual's multiple partners. The Village Voice estimates the number of partners in the life of a male homosexual at more than 1600.
Here are some characteristics of the homosexual sub-culture. Distinctively homosexual businesses are increasingly common. There are not only gay restaurants but gay dental practices, gay insurance agencies, and at least one gay savings and loan. A homosexual newspaper advertises Realty Referrals, a "free nationwide service which puts you in touch with an agent who appreciates your lifestyle and knows the local gay community where you are about to buy or sell."
Gay student organizations, that were once nonexistent and then underground, are now almost as accepted as speech clubs and ski teams. Often they are involved in the school newspapers and use them for prohomosexual propaganda.
In 1973 the board of the American Psychiatric Association, under pressure from the National Gay Task Force, changed its official position by declaring that homosexuality was not an illness. I agree, it is not an illness, it is a sin.
Given this backdrop, it should come as no surprise that the media, educators, government agencies are increasingly portraying homosexuality in a more favorable light. Regularly, homosexual demonstrations are given the wholesale endorsement of the news media. The media is producing movies, and TV shows with homosexuality shown favorably.
Tragically, the most potent endorsement of the homosexual movement has come from the organized church. In the literature of forty years ago, it is difficult to find any serious defenses of homosexuality by professing Christians. One of the first, and certainly the most significant, was Derrick Sherwin Bailey's Homosexuality and the Western Christian Tradition, published in 1955. Only sixteen years after Bailey's work, a United Methodist church in San Francisco married two homosexual men, to the applause and cheers of five hundred others. Ten years later, the First United Methodist Church of Boulder, Colorado, kept Rev. Julian Rush as minister of youth and education despite his publicly acknowledged homosexuality and his active role in Denver's Gay and Lesbian Community Center. Later two admitted homosexuals were ordained to the Methodist ministry.
How Christianity deals with homosexuality is of paramount importance to the homosexual movement, for despite our "post-Christian era," Christianity remains a powerful force in America.
Religion and morality have always been two sides of the same coin. Nothing affects attitudes, behavior, and tolerance levels like religious beliefs. Therefore, if any cause is to find acceptance, it must win over the churches. This is especially true of any cause that apparently violates traditional church doctrines.
How the church portrays the homosexual lifestyle will determine the beliefs of many, whether or not that portrayal is in harmony with the Scripture.
It would be easy to conclude only liberal churches endorse the homosexual lifestyle. On the contrary, the largest homosexual denomination in the country is the "evangelical" Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches (UFMCC).
The first Metropolitan Community Church was founded in Los Angeles in 1966 by Rev. Troy Perry, formerly an ordained Pentecostal minister and author of The Lord Is My Shepherd and He Knows I'm Gay. In six years, Metropolitan boasted more than thirty-nine chartered congregations and forty-three missions and study groups, with a combined membership exceeding seventeen thousand. In ten years, it grew to sixty-seven thousand, in well over a hundred locations across the world.
Their doctrinal statement was solidly evangelical. They believe in the deity of Christ, the virgin birth, the resurrection, and salvation by grace. They promote evangelistic outreach. They perform evangelical weddings, but with one twist-- most couples married are of the same sex.
What does the Bible say about all this? Before we look at what the Bible says about homosexuality itself, I want to show you some things connected with it.
Deuteronomy 22:5 (NKJV) "A woman shall not wear anything that pertains to a man, nor shall a man put on a woman's garment, for all who do so are an abomination to the LORD your God.
This is speaking about transvestism-- someone who likes to wear the clothes of the opposite sex. The point of the verse is not that women should only wear dresses. In that culture, men commonly wore full length robes. Point -- In what ever culture you live, dress in such a way as to reflect your God given gender, not deny it.
The word "pertains" is the Hebrew word "keliy." It is a broad term covering, clothes, armor, weapons, tools, jewels, and ornaments and anything else. Whatever tends to obliterate the distinction between the sexes is forbidden, it's an abomination.
The same truth is suggested in the hair length issue of :
1 Corinthians 11:14-15 (NKJV) Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him? 15 But if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her; for her hair is given to her for a covering.
The idea is let your hair, your clothing, and everything about you affirm your sexual identity. Many pagans indulged in this perversion. If you study the idolatry of ancient times you will see that sometimes the gods appear as men and sometimes they appear as women. Transvestism is an abomination to God. Parents, you are responsible for your children.
Transsexuals are also an abomination. This is people who claim that they are women trapped in men's bodies and they have to go out and get a sex change operation.
Deuteronomy 23:1 (NKJV) "He who is emasculated by crushing or mutilation shall not enter the assembly of the LORD.
No person was qualified for associating with the people of God in whom the divine image was wilfully mutilated. The pagans commonly made eunuchs and many parents even mutilated their children to prepare them for service to the idols.
Homosexuality is women engaging in sexual acts with women and men engaging in sexual acts with men.
Like all other sinners, people involved in homosexuality try to justify their sin. So homosexual churches have a homosexual theology in an attempt to biblically defend their homosexual lifestyle. Their theology states:
1. The sin of Sodom was inhospitality, not homosexuality (this contracts Jude 7).
2. The OT prohibitions against homosexuality are in the same class with prohibitions against eating rabbits and oysters and picking up sticks on the Sabbath; in other words, they are no longer relevant.
3. Prohibitions against homosexuality were applied only to priests, and even then for matters of ritual and symbolic purity.
4. Homosexuality was prohibited because of Israel's obsession with population growth.
5. Jesus never condemned homosexuality.
6. David and Jonathan, the apostle Paul, and Jesus himself may have been homosexuals.
Some verses that the homosexuals use to say that David and Jonathan were homosexuals are:
1 Samuel 18:1 (NKJV) Now when he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.
1 Samuel 18:3-4 (NKJV) Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul. 4 And Jonathan took off the robe that was on him and gave it to David, with his armor, even to his sword and his bow and his belt.
1 Samuel 20:41 (NKJV) As soon as the lad had gone, David arose from a place toward the south, fell on his face to the ground, and bowed down three times. And they kissed one another; and they wept together, but David more so.
1 Samuel 18:12 (NKJV) Now Saul was afraid of David, because the LORD was with him, but had departed from Saul.
Would God have been with David if he had been a homosexual? No! Homosexuality is an abomination to the Lord.
Let's look at what the Bible has to say about this sin.
Genesis 1:27-28 (NKJV) So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth."
The text says, "male (zakar) and female (neqebah)," He created them. There is no third type, no he-she's or shims. How can homosexuals carry out the command of verse 28? God's created intention was for man and woman to bear children. Marriage is the union of a man and women.
The first reference to homosexuality in Scripture is in the infamous account of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 19. The wickedness of the men of that city is obvious and is of such a severe nature that it brought divine destruction upon the entire city.
Genesis 19:1-5 (NKJV) Now the two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them, and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground. 2 And he said, "Here now, my lords, please turn in to your servant's house and spend the night, and wash your feet; then you may rise early and go on your way." And they said, "No, but we will spend the night in the open square." 3 But he insisted strongly; so they turned in to him and entered his house. Then he made them a feast, and baked unleavened bread, and they ate. 4 Now before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both old and young, all the people from every quarter, surrounded the house. 5 And they called to Lot and said to him, "Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may know them carnally."
What did they mean by "know" them? Did they just want to meet them and get acquainted socially? No! Notice how the word "know" is used in:
Genesis 4:1 (NKJV) Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, and said, "I have acquired a man from the LORD."
Genesis 19:8-11 (NKJV) "See now, I have two daughters who have not known a man; please, let me bring them out to you, and you may do to them as you wish; only do nothing to these men, since this is the reason they have come under the shadow of my roof."
Lot was a sick father. Why he does this, I have no clue. Did he possibly place that high a priority on hospitality? Was he saying that fornication was better than homosexuality?
9 And they said, "Stand back!" Then they said, "This one came in to stay here, and he keeps acting as a judge; now we will deal worse with you than with them." So they pressed hard against the man Lot, and came near to break down the door.
They didn't want the women. Their lust was for the men.
10 But the men reached out their hands and pulled Lot into the house with them, and shut the door. 11 And they struck the men who were at the doorway of the house with blindness, both small and great, so that they became weary trying to find the door.
How strong is their lust that even after they have been blinded by the angels, they still keep trying to find the door and get to the men?
Genesis 19:12-13 (NKJV) Then the men said to Lot, "Have you anyone else here? Son-in-law, your sons, your daughters, and whomever you have in the city; take them out of this place! 13 "For we will destroy this place, because the outcry against them has grown great before the face of the LORD, and the LORD has sent us to destroy it."
Why was this city destroyed? Was it for lack of hospitality? The Bible answers this question in the book of Jude.
Jude 1:7 (NKJV) as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
Genesis 19:24-25 (NKJV) Then the LORD rained brimstone and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah, from the LORD out of the heavens. 25 So He overthrew those cities, all the plain, all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground.
This all happened before the law was ever given. Once the law was given, notice what the penalty was for this sin.
Leviticus 18:22-30 (NKJV) 'You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination. 23 'Nor shall you mate with any animal, to defile yourself with it. Nor shall any woman stand before an animal to mate with it. It is perversion. 24 'Do not defile yourselves with any of these things; for by all these the nations are defiled, which I am casting out before you. 25 'For the land is defiled; therefore I visit the punishment of its iniquity upon it, and the land vomits out its inhabitants. 26 'You shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations, either any of your own nation or any stranger who dwells among you 27 '(for all these abominations the men of the land have done, who were before you, and thus the land is defiled), 28 'lest the land vomit you out also when you defile it, as it vomited out the nations that were before you. 29 'For whoever commits any of these abominations, the persons who commit them shall be cut off from among their people. 30 'Therefore you shall keep My ordinance, so that you do not commit any of these abominable customs which were committed before you, and that you do not defile yourselves by them: I am the LORD your God.'"
Leviticus 20:13 (NKJV) 'If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them.
Judges 19:22-24 (NKJV) As they were enjoying themselves, suddenly certain men of the city, perverted men, surrounded the house and beat on the door. They spoke to the master of the house, the old man, saying, "Bring out the man who came to your house, that we may know him carnally!" 23 But the man, the master of the house, went out to them and said to them, "No, my brethren! I beg you, do not act so wickedly! Seeing this man has come into my house, do not commit this outrage. 24 "Look, here is my virgin daughter and the man's concubine; let me bring them out now. Humble them, and do with them as you please; but to this man do not do such a vile thing!"
Here we see the sin of homosexuality called, "a vile thing."
The New Testament has the same thing to say about this sin.
Romans 1:26-27 (NKJV) For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. 27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.
This sin is vile and against the creation order.
1 Corinthians 6:9 (NKJV) Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites,
Paul condemns this sin, it is unrighteous behavior and it will be judged by God. The Bible says that homosexuality is "unclean," "impure," "dishonoring to the body," "vile," "degrading/disgraceful," "contrary to nature," "unseemly/ obscene," "improper activity of a depraved mind," "unrighteous," "wicked," etc.
Could a Christian be involved in this sin? Believers, Christians are not exempt from any sin. I have personally known two Christians that were involved in homosexuality. One of them died of AIDS. The other I counseled with and shared with him what the Bible said about homosexuality. He repented of the sin and is now married and faithfully serving Christ.
Jerry Arterburn was a believer who got involved in homosexuality. Let me share with you some of the things that he said about it. "The first homosexual advance came at a church camp and the second at a church picnic. The process of my converting to a homosexual lifestyle didn't happen over night. It was so gradual I didn't even know it was happening, because in the beginning, I thought I was merely making new friends. It was the first time I felt truly accepted. The feeling of being accepted was overwhelming. That acceptance, more than any other aspect of the gay world, hooked me into the culture."
Jerry repented of homosexuality and later died of AIDS.
This is not an alternative lifestyle, it is a sin.
Jude 1:7 (NKJV) as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
God uses Sodom and Gomorrah as an example of the devastating effects of God's judgement. Sodom is a picture of devastation. Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Lamentations, and Amos all use Sodom as an illustration of Judgement. Jesus uses it, as does Peter and Paul, as an illustration of God's vengeance. Sodom and Gomorrah is the severest example of judgement because homosexuality is sin at its worst.
It is sad when the church accepts this sin under the guise of love. If you really loved them, you would tell them their sin. The Bible condemns homosexuality, don't miss this. So the real menace of society is not those who oppose immorality, but those who promote it. Clearly, things have gone too far. We must not take the law into our own hands, but we can and will refuse to allow immorality to become acceptable. This is not "gay bashing." This is commitment to a higher authority. This is but one responsibility of holiness.
When Christians claim that God did not create homosexuals, that he rejects and judges homosexual behavior, homosexuals become angry. When we claim that God forgives and cleanses homosexuality, they are offended ("Who needs forgiveness?"). But when Christians claim that the power of God can help homosexuals break out of their lifestyle, they are outraged. For if God can empower men and women to live in sexual purity, then the homosexual movement is stripped of its most basic tenet: that homosexuality is not a choice and that restraining homosexual drives and abstaining from homosexual behavior is either unnatural or impossible.
You're not born a homosexual, you choose to be one. There is no such thing as a homosexual, in a technical sense, only those who choose to commit homosexual acts. It does them no good -- and much harm -- to tell them they have no problem, or that God accepts homosexual behavior. They need to hear from us not baptized echos of the world's voice, but the ancient, yet timeless voice of Scripture. We must give them God's Word, not man's. If they see this as a sin, then they can be delivered from it -- God saves sinners.
How do we respond to these people? When you see a homosexual do you look down on them with contempt? Do you get involved in gay bashing? Or do you say, "There, but for the grace of God go I." Jesus said, "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone." We're all sinners. Homosexuals can be saved the same way that we were saved, by grace through faith.
1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (NKJV) Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 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 and by the Spirit of our God.
Notice verse 11, and such were some of you. We need to pray for those involved in this sin. We need to share the gospel with them. We must warn them of their sin. They can't be saved until they understand that they are lost. We must hold high the standard of God's Word and not be sucked into society's acceptance of this vile sin. I applaud the Southern Baptist Convention's stand against homosexuals. It is the churches job to be salt and light, which involves speaking out against sin. We all have a sphere of influence and we must use it to proclaim the truth of God's Word. THIS IS NOT HOMOPHOBIA, IT IS HOLINESS!
So we must speak out against this sin and we must also reach out to those who are dying of AIDS. There are many today who are dying of AIDS and they need the church to reach out to them in loving concern. If the church reaches out in love to these AIDS patients, then the world will perceive that Christians really do care and that God really cares.
Believers, we can't afford to be complacent, our nation is being destroyed by this sin. May we be a light that shines in the darkness, holding forth the Word of life.
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