What is God’s Design?

Wow. Looking online, hearing people talk, seeing the pain and the anger scrawled on people’s faces. All I can say is wow. I can’t comprehend the depth of emotion associated with homosexuality. I can’t imagine what the struggle must feel like. I can’t imagine the confusion or the pain of feeling hated that I have heard so many people try to describe.

I feel for both those who call themselves gay and those who are fighting to keep that culture out of our world. I know they are both hurting.

I myself am writing this post with a very, very heavy heart for our world. In so many ways, we are straying further and further from the Bible and from God’s design. Our world is broken. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t speak truth into it. Not hatefully, not angrily, but with an ache for the people we long to see on the path of abundant life, hurting for the people we know are trying to fill a hole that only Jesus can fill.

Homosexuality is not God’s path for anyone. In fact, God clearly, undeniably says that it is sin.

What is God's Design

It’s tempting when we read the Old Testament to see there a God who is different from the God of the New Testament. It’s as if He somehow changed. The New Testament is all about grace and love and forgiveness, while the laws of the Old Testament clearly command that people be stoned to death for their sins.

One such sin that required the death penalty in the days of ancient Israel was homosexuality. Leviticus 20:13 says, plainly and clearly, “If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them.”

What?? We think today in modern terms, What a bloody, violent religion! I mean, some of the things people were stoned for at the time seem so small and so simple to us, so because of that, people tend to ignore the stance of God against homosexuality. But we look at it backwards. We think it’s unfair that God called for the death of those who committed some sins, when really, it’s unfair that He ever lets a sinner keep on living. Psalm 7:11 says, “God is a just judge, and God is angry with the wicked every day.” God hates sin. He calls it ALL an “abomination” (Proverbs 6:16-19). We are rebelling against the Holy One when we lie, when we swear, when we cheat, when we are jealous… We should have to pay the ultimate penalty for every one of those sins.

But God is merciful.

I say all of this because so many people try to discredit the Bible’s entire position on homosexuality based on the Old Testament and what seems to be such a vile set of rules. But God’s heart of love and protection is the same throughout all of history. God offered up chances of forgiveness for those who corrected themselves in any sort of sin, and for those who were not willing to repent, but who were instead caught by others, He longed for the protection of the people of Israel so that they would remain faithful until the day Jesus was born into their midst.

But the Old Testament doesn’t directly apply to the modern day. The Old Testament teaches us about God, but Jesus brought us out from under that Old Testament law, so in a way, people are right to discredit the Old Testament verses with regard to homosexuality. I don’t blame them at all. However, God continued to speak harshly against the sin of homosexuality in the New Testament. He said, “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” (Romans 1:26-27). In those verses, from the New Testament, it clearly says that homosexuality is against nature, that it is shameful, that it is an error, and that it deserves penalty. There is no room in those verses for misunderstanding God’s position on homosexuality. He has made it unavoidably clear.

But, you know what else He said? He inspired Paul to write, “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.

Paul was reminding us that we have ALL SINNED. God doesn’t rank sins. When the Bible says, “For the wages of sin is death,” it doesn’t say some sins only have a small punishment, others deserve the eternal death of Hell. No. My lies earned me death. My gluttony earned me death. My gossip, my covetousness, and my laziness have all rightfully earned me death because I am choosing my way over God’s way. Some people have earned that death through the sin of homosexuality. But just as Christians have been “washed,” “sanctified,” and “justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God,” those who are trapped in sin as we were, have the exact same door of forgiveness open to them if they are willing to repent.

If you are struggling with the sin or the temptation of homosexuality, I am praying that you would read, not my words, but those of the Lord, which urge you that there is a better way and that there is a God who can strengthen you to fight the temptation. We were all born with the desire to sin in some way, but 1 Corinthians 10:13 says, “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” With God’s help, ANYTHING is possible to overcome.

If you are someone who knows a person caught in the sin of homosexuality, like I do, we need to be praying for them with the knowledge that God can change their hearts. We also need to be ready to share the truth from the Bible, even if it hurts. Know what God says and stand really firm, with love.

Finally, if you, again like me, are struggling with the weight of how wrong this world is, I think we need to be constantly reminding ourselves that God is in control (even when it doesn’t feel like it), that God has good work for us to do here and now to help those around us, and that there is an end to all of this. God will make it all right again. We need to remember that Jesus Christ, “according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1:3-4) and that in the end, it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand (Proverbs 19:21).

 

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