And take…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17
Volume 19, Number
In this issue:
God “is kind to the unthankful and evil. Therefore, be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful” (Lk. 6:35-36). Jesus’ instruction to be kind to those living in sin (“the unthankful and evil”) does not preclude identifying their sin and admonishing them to repent and obey Jesus to be saved. Jesus Himself, who came to “seek and save the lost,” warned us of the eternal results of our unrepented sins (see Luke 13:1-5). We desire to be like our Master by also loving and warning the lost (Lk. 6:40).
With this in mind, we wish to kindly, yet emphatically, call attention to the false comfort often entertained by those committing the sin of homosexuality. This false comfort also consoles those who accept those committing the sin, thereby emboldening them to continue in sin. I speak of the false premise that God made them homosexuals; this is the way they were born.
Natalie Elle Woods recently overheard some people in a restaurant saying they were “disgusted” by liberals and the LGBTQ community. One of them was “complaining about his relative who was liberal and had just come out as gay.” She later reflected on what she heard, saying “I felt ashamed of myself in that moment...I could turn around and say something. I could make out with the girl in front of me. I could cause a scene, be obnoxious.” Instead, Woods paid for their meal and left a note on the receipt” which read, “Happy holidays from the very gay, very liberal table sitting next to you. Jesus made me this way. P.S. Be accepting of your family” (Denton Woman Pays Tab For Table “Disgusted” By LGBTQ Community, Jeff Paul, cbsdfw.com). Ms. Woods is being lauded on social media for her act of kindness. When interviewed about the incident, she said, “I truly don’t believe that I probably changed their mind. I don’t. But it’s all a matter of planting seeds” (Ibid).
I do not disparage your act of kindness, Natalie. Nor do I dispute your right (or those who disagree with you) to express views on this subject. I will claim the same goal here that you claimed for yourself; to plant a seed by responding to your defense of your homosexuality. The seed I wish to plant is the word of God, not opinion (Lk. 8:11). His word is truth, the final authority on all matters concerning life and godliness (Jno. 17:17; 2 Pet. 1:3).
I do not write this out of bias or hate, but love. It is Jesus who said, “If you love me, keep My commandments” (Jno. 14:15). That is my intent, and also my desire for you. To accomplish this, I ask you to consider this: Without a doubt, the Bible says, “No Natalie, Jesus did not make you this way.”
Natalie, God created human beings “male and female” for an expressed purpose: “Be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it” (Gen. 1:27-28). As a practicing homosexual, you cannot do this. You have chosen conduct that is against the very nature God gave us from creation. This is why homosexuality is aptly described as “...vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. 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” (Rom. 1:26-27). Natalie, God’s word, the Bible, gives you (and all of us) the clear and concise explanation that homosexuality is not the way you were made. It is the way you have chosen.
Homosexuality is a sin against God and against your body (please read 1 Cor. 6:9-11, 18). It is going after “strange (different) flesh” which God did not arrange and approve for you (Jude 7). Jesus came to seek and save the lost, including homosexuals like you, Natalie (Lk. 19:10). Jesus did not accommodate and excuse the sin of homosexuality by saying it is how He made some people. No, Jesus did not make us sinners, which you imply by saying, “Jesus made me this way.” Jesus came to redeem sinners – all of us (because we have all sinned; we all need redemption in Him, Rom. 3:23-26). Jesus does not console and comfort us in our sin. Therefore, I will not comfort you in your sin, Natalie. Like Jesus, I will kindly yet firmly urge you to repent. I do not want you to perish in your sin (Lk. 13:3, 5). Like Jesus, I will warn and teach homosexuals to repent, and then to “go and sin no more” (Jno. 8:11; 1 Cor. 6:10-11).
God does not tempt people to sin, Natalie. Yet, that is the conclusion we must draw if Jesus made you this way. The Bible says, ”Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren” (Jas. 1:13-16). Homosexual conduct gives expression to lustful desires for sexual contact with one of the same gender. It is the sin of fornication (sexual immorality) that proceeds “from within, out of the heart” (Mk. 7:21). The Son of God did not create the very thing He condemned as a sin that defiles a person (Mk. 7:23). If so, that would surely make Jesus a great hypocrite.
Natalie, you choose to practice the sin of homosexuality. Jesus did not make you “this way.” At some time in your life, you were tempted with this sin, and you yielded to its temptation. We’ve all been there – tempted and yielding to sin (Jas. 1:14-15). Jesus knows that, but He does not approve of our sins.
Natalie, you are like the rest of us. We have all sinned against God. We all need salvation from our sins, and Jesus is our only way to be saved (Acts 4:12). Homosexuality does not make you a worse sinner than other sinners (Lk. 13:1-5). Jesus Christ died for you, for me, and for every other sinner, regardless of our specific sins (Heb. 2:9).
Jesus has commanded every sinner to believe His gospel, to repent of sins and to be baptized in order to be saved (Mk. 16:15-16; Acts 2:37-38; 17:30; 22:16). But, until you acknowledge your sin you will not stop sinning and seek His salvation on His terms. Neither will you reform your actions and conform yourself to God’s will instead of your own (cf. Psa. 32:5; Gal. 2:20).
The word of God (which was inspired by the Holy Spirit) can convict us of our sins and correct us from our sins, including the sin of homosexuality (Jno. 16:8-9, 13; 2 Tim. 3:16-17). But, we must choose to let it.
Ending a sexual sin is not easy, but it is possible. Many tell you that you cannot change and that you should not change, because this is who you are. But, people did change in the New Testament (1 Cor. 6:10-11; Jno. 8:11). Sex is a powerful, addicting drive. It takes faith in Christ His word, plus concentrated effort to recognize homosexuality for what it is, to seek Jesus and do His will. (There are many who can and who want to help you overcome your sinful addiction and follow Jesus.)
With all of this said, it remains your choice, Natalie, what you will do. God will not force His will on you. Will you believe and obey Jesus, or will you refuse to believe Him, reject His word and His salvation (Jno. 12:48-50)? You see, just as you made a choice to begin your homosexual conduct, you are presently choosing to continue to live in your sin. However, you can make a different choice, just like the homosexuals in ancient Corinth did (see 1 Cor. 6:9-11; Acts 18:8). If you continue to choose to practice homosexuality, please do not attribute it to Jesus. He did not make you “this way.” You chose your way, a way that leads you away from Jesus and eternal life to a horrifying end (Jer. 10:23; Matt. 7:13-14; Jno. 14:6).
My aim has been to plant a seed by using the Bible to help you see your explanation that “Jesus made me this way” is a rationalization that helps you feel comfortable and justified in continuing to sin against the Lord. Once you acknowledge your homosexual behavior as a choice you are making and not the way you were made, you can begin to find your way out of this sin and its death. I urge you to believe and obey Jesus to receive the salvation and eternal life that is only found in the Son (Acts 2:37-41; 4:12; 1 Jno. 5:11-13). Christians are here to help you come to Jesus and find rest for your soul (Matt. 11:28-30; 1 Cor. 6:9-11).
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The Holy Spirit (1)
Scripture Reading: John 16:5-7
confusion, error and division over the Holy Spirit: Baptism, gift,
gifts, anointing, person or force, new birth, His work today, etc., Eph.
4:4; 1 Cor. 14:33.
I. WHO THE HOLY SPIRIT IS (HIS NATURE).
A. He is
Deity (God), One of the Godhead, Acts 5:3-4.
II. WHAT THE HOLY SPIRIT HAS DONE.
Inspired the OT Prophets of God (1 Pet. 1:10-11) 2 Pet. 1:21; 2 Tim. 3:16.