|Vol. 15 No. 7 July 2013||
Does God Hate Homosexuals?
Louis Rushmore, Editor
Someone typed an inquiry into the search engine for Gospel Gazette Online and asked, “Does God Hate Homosexuals?” The biblical answer makes a distinction between souls and the sins that they commit. That is, God hates all sin, and yet, He loves the sinners, desiring them to repent of their sins. Maybe it seems to be a fine line of distinction to us, but the sins that we commit do not have to identify who we are for a lifetime or for eternity if we expunge them from our lives.
Irrespective of what kind of sin of which one may be guilty, all sins separate us from a relationship or fellowship with God. “Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, That it cannot save; Nor His ear heavy, That it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear” (Isaiah 59:1-2 NKJV). Any sin for which one does not repent or cover in a God-appointed way will lead to spiritual and eternal death. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). Everyone commits sin sometimes and must seek divine forgiveness in accordance with New Testament instruction; “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
Homosexuality was a sin condemned by God in the Old Testament, and homosexuality is a sin likewise condemned in the New Testament. Consider these verses. “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination” (Leviticus 18:22). “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” (Leviticus 20:13). “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” (Romans 1:27). “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, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11; see also 1 Timothy 6:9-10). Happily, the context of 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 indicates that the sin of homosexuality can be forgiven upon repenting of it.
God desires everyone to be saved. “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). Nevertheless, despite God wanting everyone to be saved, He will eventually bring everyone into Final Judgment. “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?” (2 Peter 3:10-12). Each of us will have to give an account of ourselves (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Revelation 20:12).
God hates all sins, though he loves sinners. Yet, there are some sins that God hates even more than others sins, and these are referred to as “abominations” (Proverbs 6:16). Homosexuality is one of the sins that God considers an “abomination” (Leviticus 18:22; 20:13). One’s sins are “forgiven” or “covered” (Romans 4:7), and one becomes a Christian when he obeys the Gospel of Christ (2 Thessalonians 1:8; 1 Peter 4:17). Jesus Christ summarized the divine plan of salvation in Mark 16:16, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved…” In Acts 2:38, the apostle Peter preached Christ’s plan of salvation, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins…”
Even Christians sometimes commit sins (1 John 1:8, 10), though sinning is no longer a way of life with them (1 John 3:9). When Christians sin, they must repent of their sins and ask for forgiveness in prayer (Acts 8:22; 1 John 1:9).
God loves the homosexual soul, but He vehemently hates the sin of homosexuality. God also loves all other souls, too, but He hates the sins that they commit. Each of us needs to take care of the sin problem in the way designated by God through the New Testament so that our sins do not prevent fellowship with God while we are on earth and eternally as well.
Louis Rushmore, Editor
Someone posed the question in the search engine of Gospel Gazette Online, “Is Baptism Essential for Salvation?” Jesus answered this question in Mark 16:16, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved…” (Mark 16:16 NKJV). The apostle Peter answered the question, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins…” (Acts 2:38) and “There is also an antitype which now saves us — baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 3:21). Ananias answered the question when instructing Saul of Tarsus (later more often known as Paul), “And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16).
Baptism (immersion) in water for the purpose of having one’s sins removed imitates the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord (Romans 6:3-5; Colossians 2:12). Upon rising from the watery grave of baptism one is a new creature (Romans 6:4; 2 Corinthians 5:17). By baptism one gets “into Christ” (Romans 6:3; Galatians 3:27).
Preceded by hearing God’s Word (Romans 10:17), believing that Jesus Christ is the Son of God (John 8:24), repenting of sins (Luke 13:3) and professing Jesus to be the Christ (Matthew 10:32; Acts 8:37), baptism, then, is the point at which one receives the forgiveness of sins that are past (Romans 3:25). After baptism, one is a Christian – a child of God – and is obligated to live faithfully (Revelation 2:10). When the child of God notes sin in his or her life, then one must repent and pray for forgiveness (Acts 8:22; 1 John 1:9).
Baptism is essential to salvation. Faith alone cannot save (James 2:24). Obeying the Gospel of Christ (1 Thessalonians 1:8; 1 Peter 4:17; Romans 6:17) includes faith, repentance, professing Christ, being baptized and continuing to abide by New Testament teaching. Baptism is essential to salvation as are faith, repenting, professing Christ and continuing to be faithful.