Our presentation of “Hell House”, this week has made us the target of much criticism from those who accuse us of promoting hatred, toward homosexuals and abortion providers. An old proverb says, “There is a kernel of truth in every criticism.”
I have chosen to rethink my personal position and what I believe to be the position of our church. The phrase “What would Jesus do?” is being bandied about a lot today. Let’s apply that question to this present situation. If one or more homosexuals were present in this service today, what would Jesus do? [A sermon preached by Dr. Arnold Lastinger. Used with permission.]
1. What would he not do
A. He would not throw them out or look upon them with hatred or contempt, (John 6:37; Romans 5:8)
B. He would not move away from them or sit on the other side of the church. After all, He sat down and ate with prostitutes and sinners.
C. But, He also would not condone their lifestyle. The Bible from which He preached condemned homosexuality, (Leviticus 20:13)
2. He would love them
A. Paul said that he was the worst of sinners, (1 Timothy 1:15) ergo: If God could love him, He could love anybody!
B. He loved the woman taken in adultery, (John 8:1-11) Note: He did not approve of her sin; he told her not to do it again! Disapproval of a person’s conduct does not equal hatred of the person!
C. No clinical evidence to support the genetic origins of homosexuality. One study stating so was done by a biased researcher, himself a homosexual, and the results could never be reproduced by unbiased researchers.
3. He would set them free
A. They don’t need to be rejected, scorned, or ridiculed by society and the Church.
B. They don’t need to be tolerated or accepted as an “alternative lifestyle” either.
C. They need freedom and victory from their sinful lifestyle. Jesus can give them that.
4. He would confront their sin
A. Not scornfully, but lovingly. Just like the way he treated the woman taken in adultery.
B. Jesus was soft on people; He was not soft on sin! He doesn’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.
C. His desire is that none shall perish forever but enjoy eternal life through him.
5. He would pardon their sin
A. Sin and the sinner is never a problem to Jesus, He knows exactly what to do with it; He forgives it.
B. Sin and the sinner is only a problem to us; we don’t know how to deal with it other than tolerate or condemn both.
C. All that is required of us is that we repent and Jesus is faithful to forgive (Acts 2:38-39)
6. He would welcome them
A. Jesus would accept them to his heavenly family, (John 1:12). “You got a problem with that?” Paul didn’t, (1 Corinthians 6:11)
B. Look around you, there probably are some former homosexuals among us today. Maybe you’ve been hugging their necks for years and never knew it!
C. But then, there are things about you that they don’t know also. But God does and he has forgiven you and welcome you to his family.
7. He would change them
A. Nobody ever comes to Jesus and walks away unchanged. Mary Magdalene came as a prostitute; became a saint.
B. Paul was a murderer, became an evangelist. Every person who comes to Jesus has a testimony!
C. In John 8 the woman was told to “go and sin no more.” If you don’t want to be changed, don’t come to God!
God would treat the homosexual exactly like He would treat every other sinner. He would love them, forgive them, adopt them into his family, and change them into what they ought to be. That, my friends, is exactly how we should treat them, too. I don’t know how anyone could interpret this as a message of hate, but I’m sure some will do so. So be it! That’s just the way it is.
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