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Homosexuality - Genesis Part 47

So What? / Lon Solomon
The Truth Network Radio
June 12, 2022 7:00 am

Homosexuality - Genesis Part 47

So What? / Lon Solomon

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You know, virtually every person here, I believe, knows someone personally who would call themselves a homosexual.

Maybe it's a friend, maybe it's a relative, maybe it's someone at work. And some of us here struggle with same-sex attraction in our own lives. And we're going to resume today our verse-by-verse study in the book of Genesis. And because we're in Genesis 19, where this is part of the issue, we're going to be talking about this subject today. Now, as we all know, this topic is probably the most controversial subject in all of America today.

And so I've had people ask me, hey Lon, are we going to skip this because it's so controversial? Well, just let me say that here at McLean Bible Church, we don't skip topics. That's not what we do.

All right. We teach the Word of God verse-by-verse. And when we come to a topic, controversial or not, we deal with it biblically, we deal with it straightforwardly. And then we move on to the next verses and to whatever topic they're talking about. And this is what we're going to do today. Now, I know a lot of churches have dealt with this issue and have done so in a hateful way, in a homophobic way. But this is not us at McLean Bible Church. We're going to address this topic in a biblical way, which means that we're going to teach what the Bible really says about homosexuality and same-sex marriage. But we're going to do it in a way that reflects the love and the compassion that the Lord Jesus Christ has for every single one of us. So, are you ready?

All right. Here we go. We're in Genesis 19, as I said. But since it's been a little while since we have been in the book of Genesis, I think maybe a tiny bit of review would be in order. In Genesis 18, we saw that three men showed up to see Abraham. Two of them were angels in human form.

And the third one was the Lord Jesus Christ Himself in the appearance of a man. And as part of that visit, this is what happened, Genesis 1820. The Lord said to Abraham, the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is exceedingly great and their sin is exceedingly grievous. Now, what sin was the Lord talking about that was so grievous to Him?

Well, let's go into chapter 19 and let's look. Verse 1, So the two men, that is the angels, arrived in Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the city gate. And when Lot saw the two men, he rose and went to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground. And he said, Sirs, please turn aside to your servant's house, meaning his own house.

You can wash your feet and spend the night there and then go on your way early in the morning. But before they went to bed, all of the men from every part of the city of Sodom, both young and old, surrounded Lot's house. And they called to Lot and said, Where are the men who came to you tonight?

Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them. So Lot went outside to meet them and said, No, do not do this wicked thing. But the men said, Get out of the way. Then the two men, the angels, reached out and pulled Lot back into his house and shut the door.

Then they struck the men at the door, young and old, with blindness. And then a little later in the chapter, after Lot and his family have gotten out of Sodom, verse 24. Then the Lord rained down fire and brimstone on Sodom and Gomorrah. And thus he overthrew those cities. So what was the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah that was exceedingly grievous in the Lord's sight? So much so that he destroyed the cities. Well, some people say, based on a verse in Ezekiel, that it was lack of hospitality on the part of these men.

But that's just not the case. And we know that because the New Testament comments on Genesis chapter 19 and the events that went on there. 2 Peter chapter 2, verse 6, the Bible says God condemned Sodom and Gomorrah to make them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly. This is especially true of those who indulge in the lusts of unclean passions. And the Greek word miasma here that's used is a word that means sexual passions, sexual issues. The point is that the Bible is very clear that the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah was sexual in nature.

And the only thing therefore it could be is the homosexual behavior that these men wanted to carry out with the angels. Now, having established that, let's talk a little bit about where we are in America these days when it comes to this very same kind of behavior. Well, I'm sure you know this past Tuesday Minnesota became the 12th state to legalize same-sex marriage. I'm sure you also know that currently California's Proposition 8 where the citizens of the state of California passed an amendment to the California state constitution making same-sex marriage illegal that this is up for review by the United States Supreme Court where analysts fully expected to be overturned. As a matter of fact, the Pew Research Organization back in March of 2012 conducted a poll in which they found that 70% of people born after 1980 support same-sex marriage here in America.

You say, well, Lon, why is this? Well, it's like President Obama said, and I quote, he said, the basic principle America is founded on, the idea that we're all created equal applies to everybody regardless of sexual orientation as well as race or gender or religion or ethnicity. Let's treat everybody fairly. Let's treat everybody equal, end of quote. In other words, all of these folks that favor the treatment of gay people and heterosexual people the same and who are supportive of same-sex marriage, they are that way because they see all of this as a civil rights issue. They see all of this as a fairness issue.

They see it as an issue of treating everybody equal. And for us as followers of Christ, this is where the rub comes. Because if homosexuality and same-sex marriage are just a civil rights issue, if they are just a fairness issue, if they are just a treat everybody equal issue, and we oppose them on that basis, then we are guilty of all the bad things that people say about us. But you see, as followers of Christ, we are people of the book, the Bible, the Word of God. And as such, we must first and foremost see everything in life, not as a civil rights issue, not as a fairness issue, and not as a treat everybody equal issue, but as a biblical issue. And then we must decide our behavior and response based on what the Bible teaches about that topic. So, what does the Bible say about homosexuality and same-sex marriage?

Well, let's look and see. We begin in Leviticus chapter 20, verse 13. The Bible says if a man lies with another man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. Leviticus 18, verse 22 says you shall not lie with a man as one lies with a woman, it is an abomination in the eyes of the Lord. We've already seen in Genesis 18, verse 20 that the Bible says, God says, the sin of Sodom, which we know now was homosexual behavior, that it was grievous in his sight.

And when we go into the New Testament, we find the same position in the Bible. Romans chapter 1, verse 26 calls this behavior degrading. Romans 1, 26 calls it unnatural. Romans 1, 27 calls it indecent. Romans 1, 28 calls it depraved and not proper. 2 Peter chapter 2, verse 6 calls it ungodly. And 2 Peter 2, verse 10 calls it unclean. I could give you more verses, but I believe the point is made that the Bible has a totally consistent position on homosexual behavior, a position that has never changed since homosexual behavior first appeared here on earth, and that is that namely God regards it as sinful, ungodly behavior that is grievous in his sight. Furthermore, when it comes to same-sex marriage, we find that that's not part of God's plan for the human race either. Genesis chapter 2, verse 24, which is where God created the very institution of marriage.

Here's what it says. It says a man, literally in Hebrew, ish, not meaning just a man in general, it means a male as opposed to a female. A male shall leave his father and his mother and cleave to his isha, which doesn't mean wife, it means woman, female, and the two of them shall become one flesh. So from the beginning, God defines marriage as one male plus one female, and Jesus corroborates this in the New Testament, Matthew 19, verse 5.

He said a man shall leave his, the Greek word is gune, which does not mean wife in Greek, it means literally a female person. Listen, it's true that God loves the world, and it's true that Jesus died on the cross to offer forgiveness to everybody. But folks, if we think that changes God's position on homosexual behavior and same-sex marriage, I'm afraid that we're sadly mistaken. And let's go now into Romans chapter 1. And here in Romans chapter 1, the Bible is describing for us how human societies deteriorate, how they would deteriorate morally and spiritually and come under God's judgment. And notice that each of the three successive stages God tells us about here are denotated by the phrase in the Bible, God gave them over.

Here we go. Here are the three stages. Stage number one in that deterioration is humanism. Romans 1, verse 21. For although men knew God existed, they refused to glorify Him as God and exchanged the glory of God for images, idols, in the form of men and birds and animals.

Therefore, here's our phrase, God gave them over so that they worshiped and served created things, idols, rather than the Creator. So, stage one in a society's fall comes when that society dethrones God as the head of that society and replaces Him with man, man's wisdom, man's achievements, man's capacities, man's idols, like fame and reputation and power and money. I don't know about you, but as I look at American society today, my sense is we are already well through stage number one. Which brings us to stage number two, and that is accepted homosexual behavior.

Watch. Romans 1, 26. Because of this humanism, next, God gave them over, there we are, to degrading passions. For their women exchanged natural relations with men for that which is unnatural and in the same way men abandoned natural relations with women and burned in their lust for one another men with men committing indecent acts. And did you ever wonder why in these verses God mentions the women of society first before the men?

Well, there's a reason for that. It's because God's trying to tell us that what we have here in stage two is not just a few closet homosexuals in a society. What we have is an entire society accepting and approving and normalizing homosexual behavior so much so that even the women in that society who are normally the more chaste and the more virtuous element of any society, even they are brazenly taking part in this.

Now, I think in America we are presently teetering right here at stage two. In fact, in an article in Time Magazine several weeks ago entitled, it was the cover article, the title of it was Gay Marriage Already Won. In the article, Time Magazine said, and I quote, exit polls in November 2012 show that 83% of voters believe that same-sex marriage will be legal nationwide in the next five to ten years, end of quote. And you know, all of this is no accident.

No, no. It's part of a deliberate strategy by the gay community. In his article, The Overhauling of Straight America, Arthur Marshall Kirk said this, and I quote, he said, The first order of business is desensitization of the American public concerning gays and gay rights. Our campaign should not demand direct support for homosexual practices, but should instead take anti-discrimination as its theme.

You can forget, he says, about trying to persuade the masses that homosexuality is a good thing, but if you can only get them to think that it is just another thing, then your battle for legal and social rights is virtually won. He concludes by saying, and we can undermine the moral authority of homophobic churches by portraying them as antiquated backwaters. Badly out of step with the times and with the latest findings of psychology, such has worked well on churches before on such topics as divorce and abortion, end of quote. And that takes us to stage number three, which is spiritual hardness. The Bible calls this a society with a reprobate mind. Romans chapter 1, verse 28. Since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God in their minds, here we go again, God gave them over to a reprobate mind so that they became filled with every sort of wicked behavior and depravity. Not only did they themselves do such things, but they took pleasure in convincing others to do them also. In this final stage, we have a society without a conscience. We have a society that's become desensitized to sin, as the Bible says, full of every sort of wicked behavior and depravity.

You say, well, Lon, thank God at least we're not here yet. Really? Really? You ever watch cable television? You ever watch normal television? I mean, adultery and premarital sex are as casual on these programs as having a diet coke. Murder is almost on every program. Pornography is rampant. Foul language has become so commonplace that the bleeps don't even matter anymore. I mean, what's happening to our society? Friends, what's happening is we're beginning to enter stage 3. And how does all this relate to homosexuality?

Well, because Romans chapter 1 says that once a society legitimizes homosexual behavior, it's like that society loses its moral compass and it begins declining morally into a place from which history tells us no society has ever recovered or survived. Now, that's as far as we're going to go in our treatment of this biblically, but it leaves us with an important question. You all still out there? Yeah, OK. All right. And so you know what our question is, don't you?

And it's a very important question in light of this topic. So are you ready? All right, here we go. Nice and loud.

One, two, three. Yeah. You say, Lon, man, that's heavy stuff that you've just been putting out here. I mean, so what? What do we do about all of this? Well, I believe we ought to have a double pronged response as the Church of Christ. Number one, response number one is we need to keep standing for God's truth. Remember we said two weeks ago that one of the purposes, one of the four purposes of the church is to proclaim God's truth as found in the Bible to a lost and dying world. And therefore, response number one is that we need to keep telling this world what God's position is on homosexual behavior and on same sex marriage.

Now, I've got to tell you personally, I'm inclined to agree with Time magazine that gay marriage has already won. I believe we are so far over the precipice right now that only an earth-shaking, Holy Spirit-driven revival has any hope of turning us around. And I'm praying for that, but even if that never happens, it does not absolve us as the Church of Christ of our responsibility before God to preach the Word, 2 Timothy chapter 4, to preach it without compromise, to preach it whether it's popular or not, and that is precisely what we here at McLean Bible Church are committed to keep doing. Praise God. Praise the Lord. All right. But there's a second response we need to have, and that is we need to reach out to homosexual people with Christ-centered love and compassion because homosexual behavior can result in some really bad consequences in people's lives.

And we need to have compassion on these folks, and we need to love these folks the way Jesus Himself loved people who were doing terrible sins in His day, but He loved them anyway and reached out to them in compassion anyway. You say, what kind of bad results are you talking about? Well, there were three studies published in the Archives of General Psychiatry. This is something published by the Journal of the American Medical Association.

It's not a Christian publication at all. And the concluding study of these three was by a gentleman named J. Michael Bailey. Now, I don't know if you recognize the name J. Michael Bailey, but he was the researcher, and we should note this, who did much of the gay twin studies which were used by gay advocates for support of the Born That Way theory. So he's a hero in the gay community. He is not anti-homosexual by any stretch of the imagination, and yet even he said this, and I quote, he said, these studies contain arguably the best published data on the association between homosexuality and psychopathology, and both studies converge on the same unhappy conclusion, that homosexual people are at substantially higher risk for some forms of emotional problems, including suicidality, major depressions, anxiety disorder, conduct disorder, and substance abuse, end of quote.

Remember what we said. Homosexual behavior can result in some really bad consequences in people's lives. Now, I want to say by way of balance that there's a lot of heterosexual behaviors that can result in some really bad consequences in people's lives as well.

It's just that we're not talking about them right now. That's not the topic. In fact, summarizing these three studies in this journal, Dr. Neil Whitehead in his article entitled Homosexuality and Mental Health Problems said, and I quote, recent studies show homosexuals have a substantially greater risk of suffering from psychiatric problems than do heterosexuals. We see higher rates of suicide, depression, bulimia, antisocial personality disorder, and substance abuse, end of quote. We need to have compassion on people who are caught up in something that does this many times to their lives. Now, you say, well, wait a minute, though.

I think that maybe the reason people that are homosexuals have all these issues is because they're living in a society here in America that stigmatizes homosexual behavior, a society that has like churches and other places that threaten them with hell and all these other things where they face rejection. And so that's probably why they're having all these psychiatric problems, yeah? Well, no.

No. Listen to Dr. Whitehead. He goes on to say one of these three studies, by the way, was done in the Netherlands. He goes on to say, and I quote, the authors of the study done in the Netherlands were surprised to find so much mental illness in homosexual people in a country, the Netherlands, where tolerance of homosexuality is greater than in almost all other countries. As a matter of fact, he goes on to say another good comparison is New Zealand, which is much more tolerant of homosexuality than in the U.S. Despite this broad level of social tolerance, he says, in a New Zealand study, suicide attempts among homosexual people were common at about the same rate as in the U.S., end of quote. The point, my friends, is that despite all the propaganda of the homosexual community and despite the logic that maybe it's because of the stigmatization that they face in America, what the facts show is that it has nothing to do with that stigmatization. It has to do with the simple fact that homosexual behavior produces some really sad personal consequences in people's lives. You say, well, Lon, what about homosexual people who say that they really have this inborn attraction?

It's not a choice they make. It's not imaginary either. It's real. Well, I believe them. You say you do. Yeah, I believe them because as a non-gay man, I have an inborn attraction to members of the opposite sex and it's not my imagination either. So I believe them. You say, so Lon, you agree that same-sex attraction is intrinsically ingrained in some people?

Absolutely I do. Also, so is lying and cheating and stealing and adultery, manipulation and scheming and coveting and gossiping. Remember we saw earlier in the book of Genesis how when Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the garden, one of the consequences was that every human being born after that is born with an intrinsic sin nature and all these things we just mentioned, lying, cheating, stealing, adultery, homosexual behavior, all of this is part of that sin nature, but this isn't the real issue. The real issue is what we do with these inborn sinful desires. Remember, it's not sin to have a sinful desire. It's sin to act on it. I mean, I'm married 39 years next month and I know what God says in the Bible. Thou shalt not commit adultery. And so I have to depend on the Holy Spirit's power each and every day to help me shut down my innate attraction to other women and not act on it, but mortify it. And that's what the real issue is here, my friends.

That's what it's all about. It's all about helping homosexual people by the Holy Spirit's power control their same-sex desires in obedience to God, just like by the Holy Spirit's power I have to control my heterosexual desires in obedience to God. The bottom line is that God's message in the Bible to homosexuals and heterosexuals is exactly the same message. Friends, remember, all sin is equally offensive in God's sight. All sin. But also remember, wait a minute, that God's love for every sinner is equal and that Jesus died on the cross for heterosexual sinners and for homosexual sinners equally. And we need to be very careful about not being 21st century Pharisees where we look down our noses at certain sins and we go, oh, like the Pharisee, you remember, in the temple who said, I thank you, I'm not like this person. And I thank you, I'm not like this person. Oh, and I thank you, I'm not like that tax collector over there.

Friends, don't you understand? You are. You are in the sight of God.

We all are. God doesn't gradate sin. It's all sin. It's all offensive. And Jesus died for all of it.

It's the same. And we need to be careful that we understand this and therefore our message to homosexuals and our message to heterosexuals is exactly the same. That through the life-altering power of Jesus Christ and with some help from godly, loving friends, every one of us, every one of us can live a life of obedience to God. That's the message of the Word of God and that's the message we need to preach to everybody. Amen? You with me? All right.

Now, let me just say in closing that if you're here today and you're struggling with same-sex desire and you've never told anybody because you're afraid, you're embarrassed, I want to say to you that keeping that to yourself is the absolute worst thing you can do. Jesus said, John chapter 12 verse 35, walk in the light. Listen, my friend, healing takes place in the light. Becoming healthy as a person takes place in the light. Beating sins that have their claws into us takes place in the light because in the light we can bring the presence of the Spirit of God and His power to bear. In the light you can be surrounded by godly, loving friends and community who can walk with you.

But in the darkness, none of this can happen. Folks, you've got to come out in the light where we can help you. And I urge you, if you need help, to call our campus pastor here at Tysons, Joe Henricus, to email him. He's ready.

He knows these calls and emails are coming. And we, along with the Holy Spirit and some godly friends, we will surround you whether you're heterosexual or homosexual. You call us if you need to come out into the light. Pornography needs to come out into the light. All of it needs to come out.

But let me say one final thing. If you're here and you've never trusted Jesus in a real and personal way as your Savior, you need a pre-step to all of this because we can't help you unless the Spirit of God's power is operating in your life and the Spirit of God's power doesn't operate in anybody's life that's not born again, that doesn't know Christ, that hasn't given their heart to Christ. When we're born again, that's what activates the Spirit of God's power in our life. And so if you've never done that, we have a pre-step you need to do.

And Joe Henricus can help you with that as well. Let me say in closing, we don't skip topics here at McLean Bible Church because they're controversial. But by the same token, we don't harp on topics here at McLean Bible Church because they're controversial. And what that means is we're not going to have another sermon next week on homosexuality and a sermon the week after that on homosexuality. The next time we talk about homosexuality, we'll be where?

When we get to it in our verse-by-verse study of wherever. And you need to know this is all we plan to say. We've said what we need to say. It's time to move on to Genesis chapter 20 and let's talk about what's there. But we have tried today to talk about this topic with biblical clarity so you know where God stands. But we've also tried to talk about it with Christ's compassion and His love for all of us as sinners.

And I hope we've done a good job of that. Let's pray together. Heavenly Father, You know we've talked about a very sensitive topic today. A very controversial topic today.

A topic that many of us are touched by because we have friends, relatives, children who have decided to live a life of homosexual behavior at least up to this point. And so Lord, use what we've talked about today to both declare truth and to extend compassion and mercy. The mercy and compassion of Christ to people. And Lord, I want to thank You for being clear in the Bible about where You stand on homosexual behavior and same-sex marriage. And I thank You that You went to the cross to pay for it for all of us and every other sin known to man. Lord, may we as a church family offer that forgiveness and that love and mercy equally to everyone, everyone here in Washington, D.C. And we pray these things in the name of Christ. What did God's people say? Amen. Amen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-06 01:59:48 / 2023-04-06 02:11:34 / 12

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