Many people have the idea that individual Christians take up a moral stance against abortion, same-sex relationships, and pre marital sexual relationships, because of their personal opinions. In truth, these positions are those which the Bible takes up and has maintained from the beginning.
The immorality that is pervasive in many forms today is not compatible with the intent of God for mankind. We cannot change our laws and moral behavior and expect God to change His views.
There is good reason that God created only two genders; He intends only these two marry and exhibit what love and faithfulness should be. Anything contrary to this manner of living is in opposition to nature and therefore a perversion of God’s intent for human life.
It is interesting that when Jesus came to earth and died for our sins, one of the most important laws of God that He highlighted as applicable to people today was what they did with their bodies. Because our body is the place where Jesus comes to take up His residence and live through the life of the believer, He was emphatic in His requirement for sexual purity.
Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. ~1 Corinthians 6:18-20
The idea that a person could live in a same-sex relationship while being a follower of Jesus, is never taught by Him or the Bible. Today, some have twisted the scriptures or omitted verses which condemn same-sex relationships and teach that God accepts gay or lesbian persons. What we find in the body of scriptures is that these types of relationships are in a category of sins that must all be repented of before Jesus will grant eternal life.
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
Notice That Paul Said: “And Such Were Some Of You…”
There were some individuals who were involved in these sins who turned from them and began to follow Jesus. They are described as “washed, sanctified, and justified, in the name of Jesus.” The early church required the people who were actively committing these sins, turn from them in order to be saved.
This truth has not changed in the time since these things were taught by Jesus and the New Testament. God does not accomodate people in their sins simply because the culture in which they live, accepts them in their particular chosen lifestyle.
This is not the particular position of the Christian church, but the firm affirmation of God’s word. As the followers of Jesus we do not have the right to change what God has said to make it fit our personal belief, manner of living, or to make people feel accepted or included when they choose a particular immoral lifestyle. We should encourage these persons to turn from their sins, just as we do for every other sin, and turn to Jesus Christ for their salvation.
It is not unloving or unkind to tell someone that if they do not cease their same-sex relationship, fornication or adultery, they will not go to heaven. This is what the Bible teaches and it is what God clearly stated throughout the Bible.
Jesus In The Old Testament
There are some today who claim that Jesus never condemned same-sex relationships in the New Testament. These persons are not aware that Jesus appearance on earth at Bethlehem, was not His first appearance on earth. Jesus has come to earth during earlier times of human history in the form of a man.
When Abraham and Sarah were promised a son, in Genesis chapters 17-18, we see Jesus, the Lord-Jehovah, coming to meet Abraham to tell him that in the next year he would have a son.
When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord (יְהוָֹה yhwh) appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless. ~Genesis 17:1
When we arrive at the New Testament, we discover that Jesus is yhwy, Jehovah-God. When the New Testament was written in Greek, the word that was used for Lord in applying it to Jesus, was also yhwh, Jehovah-God.
Psalm 97:9 describes the LORD as “most high above all the earth…exalted above all other gods.
For You, LORD, are most high above all the earth; You are exalted far above all gods. ~Psalms 97:9
In Philippians 2:10-11, we see that Jesus is described as “exalted and given a name above all other gods.”
“Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
The New Testament Greek translation of Jesus as Lord, was understood by those who translated the Greek text into English, as the same person referred to in the Old Testament as Yahweh, or Jehovah. Clearly, it was the intent of the translators to convey to their readers that Jesus as the Christ, or Messiah, is the Jehovah God, and Yahweh of the Old Testament.
Further evidence of this fact is observed by the Apostle Paul when he speaks of Jesus as “God” while taking the form of a man to become a bondservant and dying for the sins the world. Because of Jesus’ faithfulness and great sacrifice, His name has been exalted above all other names on earth and in heaven (Philippians 2:6-7).
“(Jesus) who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant…”
According to Psalms 97:9, the LORD (Jehovah) will be exalted above all gods.
- Jesus is called LORD and God (Philippians 2:6-8).
- Jesus will be exalted above all other gods (Philippians 2:9-11).
- Therefore, Jesus is the same as Jehovah-God of the Old Testament.
Following this line of deduction—if both the Messiah (in Psalms 97:9) and Jesus (in the Book of Philippians) are called Jehovah-God (there is only one) and both are exalted above all other gods, then they are logically one and the same.
There are several places in the New Testament where Lord from Jehovah is used to describe Jesus Christ. Clearly, the New Testament translators intended we understand that Jesus is the One called Yahweh in the Old Testament.
For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ (Messiah) the Lord (Yahweh) ~Luke 2:11
A Jew who reads this Greek New Testament account of the angel’s announcement to Mary that her Son would be the Messiah, also known as Jehovah, would be shocked and amazed. Nevertheless, this is what the original language demands, as it is written:
“Today, in the city of Bethlehem, the baby who has been born is the Messiah who is God Himself.”
This is why the shepherds were so amazed at the angel’s statement.
Jesus Comes To Sodom And Gomorrah
When we see Jehovah-God (yhwh) coming with two angels to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, this is Jesus who later takes the permanent body of a man as He is born at Bethlehem.
Jesus came with two angels who were also going to Sodom and Gomorrah after their meeting with Abraham. The purpose of this visit to Sodom and Gomorrah was to personally visit these two cities to see if the reports of their sexual sins were true and bring notice of impending judgment.
Peter and Jude later commented on what had been taking place at Sodom and Gomorrah:
…turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly. ~Peter 2:4-6
…as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after unnatural flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. ~Jude 1:7
In my book, “Sodom And Gomorrah: The Gay Marriage And Same-Sex Controversy,” I detail how we know for certain that this individual called “Lord,” is, in fact, Jesus of the New Testament. In chapter 19 of Genesis, we see that it is Jesus as the Lord who brings down fire upon these two cites and destroys everyone who lives there.
Then the Lord rained brimstone and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah, from the Lord out of the heavens. So He overthrew those cities, all the plain, all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground. ~Genesis 19:24-25
From this brief study in the Bible, we can see that there is no validation for believing that Jesus accepts same-sex couples and granting them eternal life, while they are still living in their sins. Like all those who commit sexual sin, gay, lesbian, and transgender persons must repent of their sins and cease living in this manner, if they will obtain the forgiveness of their sins and eternal life in heaven. Couples who live together in sexual sin without marriage, must also repent of their sexual sins and turn to Jesus, if they will obtain eternal life.
What we do with our bodies matters to the Lord and He has made this clear to every generation. This is God’s law and not man’s. If we will find salvation and obtain heaven as our eternal home, we must repent of all sexual sin.
If a Christian holds a different position from what God has said regarding sexual sin, they are in opposition to God and must change their view. We cannot take Jesus as our Lord and not agree with what He has said.
But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say? ~Luke 6:46
The reason that Christians have strong conservative, moral values, is because this is what God requires throughout His word. The only opinion that a follower of Jesus can rightly maintain, is what God has already said in His word. If we take up an opinion that is contrary to what God has already said, it is we who are wrong, not God.
Old Testament Laws Applicable To Christians Today
When people were coming to Jesus in order to trust Him as their Savior in the early Christian church, there were only three requirements that we held over from the Old Testament that a believer must keep.
It is clear from the New Testament that the early Christian church made a specific point of prohibiting all sexual misconduct by those who would follow and believe in Jesus.
In the Book of Acts, chapter 15, Paul and Barnabas came to Jerusalem with Peter, James, and the other disciples of Jesus, to discuss the matter of circumcision for new believers in Christ. Some of the Pharisees (Acts 15:5), began to insist that the new Christians in the church should be circumcised and be required to keep the laws of Moses
“But some of the sect of the Pharisees who believed rose up, saying, “It is necessary to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.”
The issue that is important to us here is the idea that the laws of Moses were still applicable to the new Christian believers. The leaders of Jerusalem claimed that a person could not be saved us they kept this law that Moses instituted.
“Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.” Acts 15:1
The brother of Jesus, James, began to speak and said that those who come to God through Jesus Christ for their salvation, will not be placed under the laws of Moses; but they will be held to the laws of God, regarding sexual immorality.
Therefore I judge that we should not trouble those from among the Gentiles who are turning to God, but that we write to them 1. to abstain from things polluted by idols, 2. from sexual immorality, 3. from things strangled, and from blood. Acts 15:19-20
Not to eat meat that had been offered to idols, sexual immorality, and meat that had not been properly bled out when killed. These were the only laws the the leaders of the Christian church required of new believers. Of particular importance to our subject matter here, is the issue of whether or not God intended to continue the laws of sexual immorality that were described in the book of Leviticus and other places of the Old Testament.
According to the text of Acts, 15, the Christian church is required to keep the original laws of God requiring correct behavior with their bodies. A man shall marry a woman and the two will become united in marriage. We are not to participate in adultery, fornication, nor same-sex activity. These were all laws that were originally given by God and are commanded by Jesus for His church.
After this meeting, these men wrote and sent letters to all of the Christian churches in every city that were to be read on every Sabbath.
They wrote this letter by them: The apostles, the elders, and the brethren, To the brethren who are of the Gentiles in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia: Greetings. Since we have heard that some who went out from us have troubled you with words, unsettling your souls, saying, “You must be circumcised and keep the law”—to whom we gave no such commandment—it seemed good to us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. We have therefore sent Judas and Silas, who will also report the same things by word of mouth. For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things: that you abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. Farewell. So when they were sent off, they came to Antioch; and when they had gathered the multitude together, they delivered the letter. When they had read it, they rejoiced over its encouragement. Acts 15:23-31
This encounter between the Apostles and disciples of Jesus and the Pharisees, clears up two important questions.
- First, that all of the cultural laws and the laws of Moses that were instituted for the Jews, are not applicable to the Christian church today.
- Second, the laws of God that determine what is right and wrong, concerning sexual behavior, has never changed with God. Men may still only marry women. Women may still only marry men. Sexual conduct is only sanctioned by God between men and women, and only in the case of marriage. All other sexual behavior by any other person or persons, is still defined as sinful.
Our world is moving very quickly in it’s departure from God. This is precisely what Jesus said would take place just before He returns.
How close His return must be…