” . . . we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. “
“Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like. . .”
I want to speak lovingly, but clearly and firmly; the endless and relentless chorus being drummed through the background music of society that homosexuality is a product of birth, and a natural occurrence in the genetic makeup of an individual is patently irrelevant.
In an article I wrote a couple of years ago, I referenced an exchange between CNN’s Erin Burnett, and the president of Southern Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky Al Mohler. In the exchange, Burnett rebuffed at the idea that a homosexual could change their sexuality. In fact her reply to Dr. Mohler was “excuse me reverend, but that’s just crazy.”
I have no intention of arguing about whether or not someone is born gay or not, because that has absolutely nothing to do with the issue Bible believing people have with homosexuality. The underlying premise behind such arguments is the idea that we should embrace how we are born, it cannot, and should not be helped. To go even deeper into the argument is an idea that says, “Since this is how God made me, who is anyone to judge?!” It is the idea that we should celebrate the diversity of how people are born, and their right to be all they were born to be.
The problem is, that God doesn’t accept anyone the way they are born. That’s why Jesus told us we must be born again.
The dialogue over homosexuality is the perfect context in which we have to explain and proclaim the gospel. Man’s problem does not begin with how he lives, but how he is born! He is born bent wrong. How a person is born is not a divine license to embrace their nature. At the heart of this issue is the doctrine of Natural Depravity. All people are born sinners . . . and it is not hatred to say so. Though a man could be born, live, and die, without ever committing a sin, he would still have to be born again in order to enter the kingdom of heaven, because of his nature.
Some men are born with the propensity towards alcoholism; some men are born as flaming heterosexuals; some men are born kleptomaniacs. The Word of God teaches us that our ultimate problem is not what we do, but what we are. Men steal, because they are thieves, they are not thieves because they steal. Men murder because they are murderers, and not the other way around . . . I think you get the idea.
The fact is that no one will ever be able to look God in the face and excuse their sin by saying, “I was born this way, I couldn’t help it.” The Lord will readily be able to say, “I know you were born that way, that’s why I offered to you the chance to be born again.
Salvation constitutes a change in nature. Where there is no change in nature, there is no salvation. Now a man’s “birth nature” doesn’t just evaporate at salvation, but a man’s “new birth nature” stands up on the inside to say there is a new master in town. When anyone gets the idea that salvation is a nod of the head, an intellectual agreement, and a recited prayer, they will never be “changed” and they will never be saved.
Change is required by God and provided by Christ. That’s why it is imperative for true Christians to continue to insist that the Gospel has the power to change any man, and every man. The gospel can change drunks into deacons, homosexuals into holiness, scoundrels into saints, and delinquents into disciples. In fact the only way for a man to be saved, is to be changed! An unchanged person is an unsaved person.
If you are what you were when you were born, then you’ve never been born again. The Bible tells us in Ephesians 2; and Galatians 5 that sin is born in our flesh, bound in our nature, and comes out in our lives. It is not to be embraced, it is to be run from as far and as fast as we can get away straight to Jesus. The Bible tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
One last thing. It is not hatred to tell someone they could change and/or they should change. That is gospel preaching! Our message to the world is the same as the Apostle Paul’s – (Acts 20:21) “Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” The message we proclaim is one of “Repentance” and “faith.” To preach repentance is to preach men should turn to Christ, and could turn to Christ. To stop proclaiming the need to change is to stop preaching the gospel itself.
The gospel is God’s offer to change men through the new birth. Seeing that would be a welcome change worth making.