The title probably caught you off guard. It completely contradicts what many of us have been led to believe. I know that growing up, I always thought that the Bible said that gay people go to hell for being gay. It didn’t seem fair to me… because experiencing attraction toward the same gender myself, I knew that it wasn’t a choice. And I didn’t understand why something that wasn’t a choice was grounds for me to be punished endlessly in Hell. I believe this is why a lot of gay people dismiss Christianity from the get-go…. because it just doesn’t seem logical to them that a loving God would condemn them for feelings they couldn’t control.
If you’re gay, and reading this, I want you to know that God will not sentence you to an eternity of anguish because you have gay feelings. The Bible does not support that concept and I apologize to you if you’ve heard differently. Many people tend to just parrot things that they’ve heard from the generation preceding them, without any real evidence from Scripture to support such claims.
But…. to the defense of many well-meaning Christians, there is a reason that people say “gay people go to hell for being gay.” Most of the time, when they say or think of the word “gay”, they don’t mean someone who just experiences same sex attraction. What they mean is someone who pursues and acts out on their same sex attractions. That is how they define “gay”. Which brings me to my next point…..
God will not condemn gay people for having gay feelings…God will condemn gay people for rejecting His Lordship, and making themselves the lord and god of their own life…. just like He will condemn straight people for rejecting His Lordship and making themselves lord and god of their own life. Homosexual feelings are a result of how sin (noun form) has broken our world, bodies, hearts and minds. We aren’t what we should be, because of the presence of sin in the world. This world, and each of us, do not operate how God intended [sinless] humanity to operate— and we do not operate how we should because of the transgression of Adam and Eve. Unfortunately, we have inherited the fallenness/brokenness/curse that they earned themselves after they disobeyed God. We bear the mark of their transgression, whether we like it or not. We all (gay, straight, whatever) deal with the consequences of our first parent’s actions. But the effect of their sin is not what God condemns us for… it’s our own willful rebellion against Him that He condemns us for. Rather than coming to Him with our weaknesses and struggles to ask for mercy and help, we go our own ways…. telling ourselves, even if subconsciously, that we belong to ourselves and no one—not even God—will tell us what to do. The sin of all sins, which God will not forgive and ultimately condemns in Hell, is the rejection of His Lordship.
So if you accept God’s Lordship, and come to Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, you are eternally clean, forgiven, loved…. and there is no condemnation for you. You will not be condemned for having sinful feelings or for even doing sinful things if you trust in the work of Jesus Christ on the Cross as payment for your sinful debt owed to God.
Now…. that all sounds great. And no one would hate me for posting this blog if I ended it right there. But that’s not the whole gospel.
Anyone, gay or straight, will be saved if they have a saving relationship with Christ. But— where many stop short in the proclamation of this good news is right before telling the good news of the radical effects that a saving relationship with Jesus Christ has on a person’s life. When you enter into a right standing relationship with God, it’s because God has brought you into a right standing relationship with Him by sending His Spirit to draw you to Him. And not only has the Spirit brought one to Christ, and revealed His beauty to them so that they trust in Him for salvation, but the Spirit remains in the saved person and begins a transformative process in the person’s heart called sanctification. From that point forward… the person is not their own, but is literally the purchased property of Jesus Christ….whom He purchased with His own Blood. The Spirit transforms the persons life— day by day, making them more and more into the likeness of their Lord…. and ridding them more and more of the corruption that the presence of sin has caused in their hearts. No, they will never become perfect, sinless and without fault… not until Jesus returns and they receive their new bodies. But they will be different.
They will be new.
The Bible lays out for us plainly what is sinful… and homosexuality is included under that category. Homosexual behavior is sin. It is outside of God’s design for how He created the world to function and is clearly forbidden multiple times in Scripture (you may say you don’t believe the Bible is without fault.. I’ll get to that in a minute). The Blood of Jesus not only cleanses us from sin, but also frees us from the dominion of sin… this includes the dominion of homosexuality. Now I’m not saying in anyway that the gay feelings disappear… one will most likely still have the feelings and struggle (such as I do), but the Holy Spirit helps them in their weakness and enables them to turn away from the sinful enticement and to choose to follow Christ… moment by moment, day by day. Repentance from sin is a lifelong embarkment, going hand in hand with genuine/saving faith.
Now, one might say that they believe in Jesus, but they don’t believe homosexuality is sinful. By their own admission, they don’t believe the Bible…. and if you don’t believe the Bible to be God’s revealed truth (in totality), neither can you have the Jesus of the Bible for salvation. The only Jesus that offers salvation is the Jesus of the Scriptures…. the one who came for sinners, died for their sin, and freed them from the power of sin (to fulfill the Scriptures, like He says multiple times in His time on earth. Jesus witnessed to the authority of the Bible more than anyone else). He commands His redeemed people to walk in a manner after Him… turning away from sin. Any other version of Jesus is fraudulent.
As someone who strives to surrender my sexuality under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, I assure you, it is a sacrifice. But it’s a small sacrifice, in light of what I receive from Christ in exchange—-wholeness, peace, gladness, identity, hope, courage….and the list goes on. That may sound cliche to you— it used to sound cliche to me too— until I experienced the reality of it. Jesus completes every aspect of who I am in ways that my preferred sexual pleasure or a homosexual relationship ever could. Jesus completes me in ways nothing else and no one else could. And there are multitudes out there who would (and do) say the same.