|Vol. 15 No. 4 April 2013||
Rodney Nulph, Associate Editor
Sadly, media, Hollywood, government, society and even some religious folks have bought into the false idea that there is nothing wrong with two men or two women having sexual relations or even becoming “married” to each other. The homosexual agenda is rampant in the tolerant society in which we live. We see this sinful agenda propagated more and more. Many do not wish to retain God in their knowledge (Romans 1:28), and as such, “anything goes”! Some, even self-professing religious people, have mistakenly bought into the postmodernist mentality that says, “Let everyone choose his or her own lifestyle; as long as homosexuals are not hurting me, I have nothing against them.” Notwithstanding the postmodern mindset, truly religious and righteous persons cannot keep silent! As the apostle Paul, “…we also believe, and therefore speak” (2 Corinthians 4:13). God’s standard remains the same and will never change (Psalm 119:89; Matthew 24:35), no matter who endorses, tolerates or propagates homosexuality; God still says it is sin! Consider God’s truth regarding homosexuality.
Homosexuality is a disgrace. While much of the world is flaunting this sin, God still affirms that homosexuality is “…that which is against nature…” (Romans 1:26b) and “…that which is unseemly…” (Romans 1:27b KJV; “indecent acts,” NASB; “shameful acts,” Amplified Version). Although many applaud it, the Creator of heaven and earth does not, and He will never applaud this sin or any other sin! Homosexuality is such a disgrace that God referred to it as an “abomination” (Leviticus 18:22) and something contrary to sound doctrine (teaching) (1 Timothy 1:10). On the sixth day of creation, God made man and woman (Genesis 2:7; 22), not man and man or woman and woman! It is a disgrace to humanity for anyone to flaunt or advocate this atrocity! Homosexuality is a disgrace!
Homosexuality is disobedience. Those who are truly honest with the Word of God can easily understand that homosexuality is direct disobedience toward our Creator. Under the Mosaic Law (i.e., the Old Testament), God specifically forbade homosexuality in the words, “Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind…” (Leviticus 18:22). This disobedient act was of such magnitude that God actually required both homosexual partners to be put to death (Leviticus 20:13). Homosexuality was such disobedience that God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah because of it (Genesis 19:24-25; Jude 7). Interestingly, when Lot pleaded with the men of Sodom to not have homosexual relations with the “men” (angels) that entered his house, he called this evil desire “wicked” (Genesis 19:7). Sadly, what Lot called disobedient and wicked, our current world calls “tolerant” and “permissible”! Under the covenant of Christ (i.e., the New Testament), God has not changed His view of homosexuality as being disobedient! Peter, guided by the Holy Spirit, declared that the sin of Sodom (homosexuality) was “ungodly” (2 Peter 2:6), and Paul affirmed that homosexuals will not go to heaven (1 Corinthians 6:9). Homosexuality is flagrant disobedience!
Homosexuality brings destruction. Some in our world today believe that accepting the homosexual lifestyle in our country would be moving ahead and becoming more “enlightened.” However, nothing could be farther from the truth! Homosexuality destroys people! As our world pushes to redefine marriage, and “opening” this special privilege to homosexuals, the home as is defined by God continues to be broken down and destroyed. God made man and woman (Genesis 1:27), and He gave each of them a specific role to fill in the sacred marriage union. There is no place for two men or two women in biblical marriage! Children are to be propagated and educated by “father and mother” (Exodus 20:12; Ephesians 6:2)! Anything outside this Divine structure for the home destroys the people involved! God knows best!
Homosexuality also destroys the population! As we have clearly seen, Sodom and Gomorrah had “brimstone and fire” (Genesis 19:24) rained upon them from heaven above because of their willful and sinful homosexuals acts. What makes America or any other nation believe that it will be different for it? God is clear, “…sin is a reproach to any people” (Proverbs 14:34; cf. 11:11). America has been trapped in the snare of homosexuality (cf. Proverbs 29:8)! Sure doom will follow if we do not vehemently oppose the sin of homosexuality!
Some will read this and label this writer a homophobe, a bigot, self-righteous, intolerant or even hateful. However, an honest examination of this treatise will prove to the honest person that God hates the sin of homosexuality! We must mourn over this and every sin if we ever hope to find God’s comfort (Matthew 5:4). We simply cannot lose the ability to blush (Jeremiah 6:15) if we ever hope to be blessed by God again. God’s truth on homosexuality is clear. What hope, then, does the homosexual have? Get help to curb and conquer your sinful desires. (You can contact your local churches of Christ for help.) Call upon the Lord by hearing His Word (Romans 10:17), repenting of your sins, which involves leaving your deviant lifestyle (Acts 17:30), confess Christ as Lord and King (Matthew 10:32), and be baptized for the forgiveness of your sins (Acts 2:38). Then continue to follow the Lord and resist the devil unto death (Revelation 2:10). The world will tell you differently, but God’s truth regarding homosexuality will never change!
A healing, a sermon, a trial and a proclamation herald an eternal call for more boldness in preaching the Gospel. Not long after the establishment of the church, the apostles Peter and John approached the Temple at an hour of prayer. There, they met a beggar. He had been lame all his life of over forty years (Acts 3:1-2; 4:22). The public knew the man (3:10) and gathered in amazement at his “walking, leaping, and praising God” (3:8). (Note: The miracle was instantaneous, complete, and public. Oh, how modern, falsely called miracles differ! They take days and weeks in hospitals, are incomplete or faked [“He took one step!”], and/or are privately claimed.)
This public, undeniable (cf. 4:14) miracle served the purpose of miracles in calling attention to the word of God (Hebrews 2:1-4; Mark 16:20). Gathering in Solomon’s Porch of the Temple Complex, the people heard a straightforward sermon from Peter (3:12-26). In the message, Peter outlined the Jewish people’s own prophets’ predictions of the Christ (3:22-26), and set forth some rather accusatory language: “But you denied the Holy One and the Just …and killed the Prince of Life…” (3:14-15).
This preaching led to retaliation, not from the common people, but from the religious leaders, who were “disturbed” that Jesus was still being preached (4:1-2). Peter and John were arrested (4:3) and tried the next day (4:5-12).
In the trial, Peter’s force did not shrink. He proclaimed to the rebellious council that the “good deed” done to the “helpless man” was by the power of Jesus, “whom you crucified…” (4:9-10). When warned not to preach in the name of Jesus, Peter and John answered, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard” (4:19- 20). In the midst of this discussion, the council noted their boldness and, in the absence of their formal training, attributed it to the fact that “they had been with Jesus” (4:13).
One wonders if such boldness might need a present-day recapitulation or restatement. We cannot resurrect the miraculous; such deeds fulfilled their purpose and ceased in first-century times (cf. Acts 8:14-17; 1 Corinthians 13:8-13). We would rather not repeat such trials before authorities, though Christianity’s conflict with governmental mandates seems to be mounting. We must, though, ever renew the preaching of the “old paths” (Jeremiah 6:16), and maybe it is time we preached with a little more boldness.
Do soft sermons convert or just make people feel good in their sins? Does avoidance of “touchy” subjects (i.e., Bible subjects) in personal conversation and Bible studies challenge sinners or preserve superficial friendships? The rhetorical questions have their negative answers.
Peter spoke boldly (truth) in love (cf. Ephesians 4:15). He acknowledged the ignorance of the people (3:17), yet commanded repentance (3:19). This proper balance caused church growth (4:4), although it was mixed with persecution. One wonders if boldness ceases when fear of consequences prevails.