#442 – Faith Matters; He Gave Them Over

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TRUE COLORS: The Rainbow Revolution

Pastor Bob McCartney gave a sermon series on current social issues this fall highlighting the truth found in the Bible. Here are my notes from this fifth sermon in his series, True Colors.

We are living in the midst of a seismic shift, a very real revolution in attitudes on the homosexual lifestyle. In 2004, 60% of the American public said they oppose same-sex marriage. Fast forward 15 years to 2019, and over 60% now favor same-sex marriage. That is a gigantic leap in cultural attitudes. Typically, cultures don’t change that fast.

Some of us now find ourselves on the visiting team and we have lost home field advantage. The culture is not with Evangelical Conservative Bible believing Christians on this topic.

There is a true generational gap in this particular sphere of thought. Those who came of age when this was perfectly acceptable look at it as a civil rights issue, not a scriptural issue.

Let’s explore what is happening in our world and explore this issue Biblically so that we thoroughly understand it. The best place for us to turn is Romans chapter 1 which is about the wrath of God.

The wrath of God is his righteous justice toward those who deserve eternal punishment. Sometimes that wrath is demonstrated actively like in Sodom and leads to destruction. But sometimes God’s wrath is passive and He takes His hand off of it. It’s not destruction, it’s disintegration. He abandons them and things just get worse and worse.

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.

20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

Pay attention to the phrase “God gave them over”.

22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. 24 Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. 25 For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

26 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.

And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper,

Romans 1:18-28 NASB1995

We are in God’s wrath of abandonment.

We shall soon be in a world in which a man may be howled down for saying that two and two make four, in which people will persecute the heresy of calling a triangle a three-sided figure, and hang a man for maddening a mob with the news that grass is green.

G.K. Chesterton

Homosexual behavior is a sin before God. But you ask, what right do we have to say that it is a sin? Where does right and wrong come from?

1.  Who gets to say homosexuality is a sin?

Morality is rooted in the nature of God. God is good, loving, merciful, and just. His moral law is written into the fabric of creation. Somewhere deep inside you, you know right from wrong.

Morality is written in the Word of God. God allows His law to flow out of His righteous character and He reveals that to us in His written Word. He is a good God who wants His creation to have a good, joyful, meaningful and purposeful life. God says it and we affirm it.

Morality is not what the polls say it is, it’s what the Bible says. You surrender your own personal morality when you become a Christian. Right and wrong are not a matter of opinion, they are a matter of fact. Only God gets to say what is right and wrong.

Homosexuality is not the core of our rebellion against God; a desire to be God is. A desire to be the one who gets to declare good and evil, and play judge rather than be judged.

Rosaria Butterfield, The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert

We want to make up the rules for ourselves. When said I am a follower of Jesus, you surrendered your right to make moral choices for yourself. Jesus is the one who guides our choices and we don’t get to make it up as we go along.

2. How did we get here as a culture?

Th attitudes of our culture have been transformed in the last 50 years. You don’t get to a rainbow revolution unless you first have a sexual revolution.

It began in the 60’s with free love. The essence of the sexual revolution was to unhinge the Biblical order of love. The God ordained order is Marriage, Sex and Babies. The sexual revolution changed the order and diminished the sacred institution of marriage.

Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge.

Hebrews 13:4 NASB1995

God says marriage is a holy sacred institution. Marriage is the picture of Christ and the church, so diminishing marriage cheapens Christ’s relationship with us. We cheapened marriage and the church willfully went along. When we did, we opened the door for God to give them over.

3. What does God say about homosexuality?

26 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.

Romans 1:26-27

You have to do some serious gymnastics to say that this verse does not communicate to us that God rejects homosexuality as an acceptable lifestyle. There are four words in this passage; degrading, unnatural, indecent and error; that all communicate to us where God is on this issue. And this is not the only verse that speaks about this.

You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.

Leviticus 18:22 NASB1995

If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltiness is upon them.

Leviticus 20:13 NASB1995

9 Or 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 effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 NASB1995

The law is for people who are sexually immoral, or who practice homosexuality, or are slave traders, liars, promise breakers, or who do anything else that contradicts the wholesome teaching

1 Timothy 1:10 NLT

The Bible is VERY CLEAR that homosexual behavior is a sin. But this is not a new sin. In Rome at the time that Paul wrote Romans, there were a large number of homosexual couples. And he still spoke against it.

It is not what you are drawn to that is the sin, it is the behavior that is the sin. No one chooses the sin they struggle with.

Some of us struggle with addictions, anger, anxiety and others struggle with same sex attraction. It is not what you are tempted by, it is your behavior that becomes the violation of God’s moral code.

There is a difference between struggling against temptation and surrendering to it. Just because you are drawn toward an action doesn’t make it right.

APPLICATION:

  1. All sex outside of biblical marriage is a sin.
  2. Lesbians and Gays are not a “problem to be solved”, but people who need love.
  3. It is not a sin to be tempted, it is a sin to give in to temptation.
  4. Don’t give up on a friend who says they are LGBT.

God still changes hearts and lives and can change sexual desires.

Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

1 Corinthians 6:11 NASB1995

Watch the full sermon here:

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