“If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Psalm 11:3).
On Friday, June 26, 2015, the final stone in the foundation of marriage in America was removed by the Supreme Court. This is not about equality for all people. This is the redefining of marriage, which authority is not governed by human law. The Supreme Court is not the Supreme Being. Marriage is not an institution created by man. Marriage was God's idea. He created the blueprint for marriage, and He is on record that it is between “one man and one woman.” When He created woman from man, He personally brought her to the man. God never brings a man to a man or a woman to a woman. He said:
Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). At the time, Adam didn't have a mother or father, so why did God say this? He was laying as a foundation for all time the governing principle: Marriage is between a husband and wife.
Proponents of same-sex marriage try to argue that Jesus never addressed the issue of homosexuality. But Jesus ratified Genesis 2:24 in Matthew 19:5-6: “For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they two shall be one flesh. Wherefore they are no more two, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” He punctuated it with a strong warning not to undo marriage as God designed it to be. Apostle Paul cited the same verse in Ephesians 5:31, that “in the mouth of two or three witnesses, every word shall be established” (Matthew 18:16). It is clear that God intends for a husband to cling to his wife—not to his significant other!
In this mandate are two of the pillars of man's creation: Monogamy and heterosexuality.
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply…” (Genesis 1:27-28). The first blessing God spoke over the newly married couple was to “be fruitful and multiply.” There is no way two men or two women can multiply and pass on their unique genetic material. They must bring in a third party of the opposite sex. This alone makes such unions unequal to married couples. Furthermore, there is no way that two men nor two women can become one flesh. This is unique to the heterosexual marital union. A man with a man or a woman with a woman violates the marriage covenant of “two becoming one flesh.”
Such a union can never produce a godly seed. It can only serve to perpetuate perverse and unnatural lusts which the Bible condemns. Neither is God reticent in His abhorrence of homosexuality. It is not necessary to read between the lines or manipulate Scripture to see He has denounced homosexuality as an abomination: “You shall not lie with a man as with a woman. It is an abomination” (Leviticus 18:22). An abomination is something to be abhorred and viewed as loathsome, detestable, and repugnant to God. Not only does God not approve of same-sex marriage, He is against it.
“If a man also lies with a man as he lies with a woman, both have committed an abomination; they shall be put to death.” (Leviticus 20:13). Homosexuals and their proponents may be quick to jump on the Old Testament death penalty as being radical. Certainly no genuine Christian would advocate the death penalty for homosexuality, but not because it is not deserving of the death penalty, because ALL SIN is worthy of death, according to the Bible. This is why God sent His Jesus Christ to die on the Cross to pay the penalty of death for all sinners. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
God did not rescind the death penalty for sin; nor did He rescind the 10 Commandments or any laws of morality. In righteousness He judges sin, but in His mercy He laid the sin and the penalty upon His Son. He hates the sin of homosexuality, but he loves homosexuals and all sinners; this is why He sent His Son to redeem us all from the bondage of sin. “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
Homosexuality Defiles the Person & the Nation
The prohibition of Leviticus 18:22 is followed by this startling command and companion consequence: “Defile not yourselves in any of these things: for in all these things the nations are defiled which I cast out before you: And the land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomits out her inhabitants” (Leviticus 18:24-25).
God said that the practice of homosexuality brings defilement to those who engage in it, and when a nation becomes rife with this sin, her land is defiled in God's sight, and He will visit it with judgment. “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people” (Proverbs 14:34). There are two sins that defile the land itself, murder and homosexuality.
The New Testament is not ambiguous when it comes to homosexuality. It is not necessary to read between the lines or manipulate the language, in order to get the message that homosexuality is a sin that dishonors the body. It goes beyond the sexual act, because God sees it as a lie that corrupts His creation:
“Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools. And changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and the birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves: who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshiped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed forever.
The term uncleanness refers to aberrant sex; that which is against nature, against God's blueprint of heterosexuality. In order to accommodate this, “they changed the truth into a lie.” Homosexuality dishonors the body in that it changes the truth of creation — man and woman — into a lie that is against God's design as Creator. Homosexuals depart from God's design, burning in their lusts. The sexual act is the fruit of the lusts that are in their hearts.
“For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly (indecent), and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet.” The term vile affections is that which is shameful, reproachful, and they were inflamed with these unnatural sexual passions.
“And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient (improper).” This is why homosexuals think they're all right, and why some claim they are Christians going to Heaven. A reprobate mind is a mind that is void of sound judgment, a conscience that is darkened by lusts. It is the result of rejecting truth. It is not possible to reject truth and remain neutral. When a person rejects the truth, they are turned over to the lie:
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears. And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables (lies) (2Timothy 4:3-4).
This is one of the most sobering passages Apostle Paul wrote. Let me share with you what the Greek grammar dictates: In the first clause, the active voice is used, meaning that the subject performs the action: They turned away from the truth. This is a conscious, deliberate decision on their part. But the second clause is in the passive voice, meaning that the subject is receiving the action: They are being turned unto the lies by someone. What this means is, when a person turns away from the truth, they will go into deception, and the worst part is, they won't know it. This is a reprobate state:
“Because they received not the love of the truth that they might be saved, God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie, that they might be damned who believed not the truth” (2 Thessalonians 2:10-12).
Let me point out that the tenor of God's response: “God gave them up to…” “God gave them over to…” is one of reluctance! It is not His desire to give them over to their deception, but He will not revoke their right to choose, even though it would be better for them if He did. Free choice is a God-given right, but all choices have consequences, and homosexuality carries a heavy penalty. It is not the unpardonable sin, but it does embody the potential for deception, which blinds the minds and hearts to the truth of God's Word, and God has no choice but to give them the desire of their hearts and turn them over to the lie.
As with the people of Sodom and Gomorrah, God would have spared them had there been enough righteous in the cities, but there were less than five righteous people in those twin cities of thousands. When God sent the two angels, who looked like men, to rescue Lot and his wife and daughters, the men of the city wanted to rape the angels. They banged at the door of his house, demanding Lot to send the angels out, until the angels pulled Lot inside, and smote the men with blindness. But even that did not deter them; they continued to claw and bang at the door all night. The next day the angels sent Lot to get his other daughters and their husbands, but they mocked him when he told them God was going to destroy the city (Genesis 18).
People today will mock you when you tell them this sin will bring God's judgment on America. Jesus said, “As it was in the days of Lot, so shall it be in the days before the coming of the Lord… The same day that Lot went out from Sodom, there rained down fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all” (Luke 17:28-30). This account of Sodom and Gomorrah is ratified by Jesus, Apostle Peter, and Jude in their epistles.
Jesus said that if God did not spare Sodom and Gomorrah, He will not spare this wicked generation. Peter said that God turned those cities into ashes, and delivered righteous Lot who was dwelling among them, because God knows how to deliver the godly out of temptation, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished (2Peter 2:5-9). Jude said that the cities were destroyed because they were given over to fornication and going after strange flesh, and they serve as an example of the vengeance of eternal fire (Jude 7-8). There is no way to water this down without violating the Word of God.
Homosexuals Can Change
“Don’t you know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor coveteous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)
Don't fool yourself by expunging Scriptures to ease your conscience by saying these are just the words of a man. Don't fall for the line: “Homosexuality must be okay, because God made me this way.” God would not condemn what He created, and He did not create anyone to be homosexual. These terms are clearly defined:
“Effeminate”—refers to the homosexual male who plays the role of the female, and “abusers with themselves with mankind” refers to sodomites and homosexuals. God says that they will not inherit the kingdom of God (Heaven). But there is a way out!
“And such were some of you: but you are washed, but you are sanctified, but you are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God” (vs. 11).
Paul was an eyewitness to those who had come out of homosexuality into the freedom of heterosexuality, and he rejoiced with them:
“You were—but now you are… washed, separated from your sin, and made righteous!” This means a homosexual can change by the power of Jesus Christ.
“Amazing Grace, How sweet the sound! I once was lost, but now am found; I was blind but now I see!”
But Paul said that those who practice homosexuality will not go to Heaven, and this is confirmed by Apostle John in the book of Revelation:
“Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter into the gates into the city. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loves, and makes a lie” (Revelation 22:14-15).
“But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone: which is the second death” (Revelation 21:8).
“And there shall in no wise enter into it, anything that defiles, neither whatsoever works abomination, or makes a lie, but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life” (v.27).
There are three reasons why homosexuals are not going to Heaven. As we saw in Scripture, homosexuality is called an abomination, defiles the person, and changes the truth of God into a lie. No one in these three categories will enter into Heaven, but will have their part in the lake of fire.
Gays Are Still Not Happy
The day after the landmark Supreme Court ruling legalized same-sex marriage in every state in America, the front page of my hometown paper, The Baltimore Sun, did not herald the victory celebration of the LGBT. Rather, the headline they chose: “Rights battle isn’t over!” You would think that now that they have achieved their greatest goal to have same-sex marriage legitimized by the highest court in the land, they would be satisfied. But their work is not done. They want to silence everyone who opposes their agenda, and now they are greatly emboldened to do so.
They have hijacked the civil rights issue, seeking to make it a hate crime to speak out against homosexuality. One prominent black minister in Texas said, “They have compared the color of my skin with their sin.” God created skin color, and a person cannot change his skin color. But God did not create homosexuals, and they can change, and have changed, and will continue to change by the power of the Gospel, because “God is not willing that any should perish”—including homosexuals (2Peter 2:9).
The hate crimes law was enacted, and rightly so, to prosecute those who commit violence against others because of their race, which is a federal felony that carries heavier penalties. If speaking out against homosexuality can be designated as a hate crime, then preachers of the Gospel, just by reading the Scriptures we have just read, could be prosecuted.
Hillary Clinton, a presidential candidate in next year's election has stated at a global conference on women that “religious beliefs have to change” in order to accommodate abortion. She essentially said that we have to rewrite the Bible! This same sentiment is touted by those who endorse homosexuality and want to force their beliefs on everyone else. They are not satisfied to revel in their own victory; they want to strip Christians and all other religious groups whose conscience rejects homosexuality, of our First Amendment rights of freedom of speech and freedom of religion.
We have already seen what they have done to Christian businesses associated with weddings, such as florists, bakeries, and wedding reception venues. They have taken them to court where they have received exorbitant fines and threatened with jail time, forcing several to close their businesses down.
Do we think they won't come after Christian ministers next?
They already have, even before this ruling! In October 2014, Houston’s openly lesbian mayor, subpoenaed five pastors, including the executive director of the Texas Pastor Council, to turn over any sermons dealing with homosexuality, saying that those pastors who failed to comply could be held in contempt of court. This was punishment for their opposition to an earlier bill passed in June 2014, that allowed any man who identified himself as a woman to use a woman's public bathroom and vice versa, which would allow sexual predators to do so as well. This law outraged parents, pastors, and other citizens of Houston, and they garnered 50,000 signatures to have the law put on the ballot subject to public vote. But the mayor dismissed the petition, so a lawsuit was filed against her administration.
It was in response to this that the mayor took the unprecedented action to demand the pastors who opposed this law to turn over their “sermons, text messages, photographs, electronic files, e-mails, and all communications with members of your congregation on topics such as homosexuality and gender identity.”
The backlash and firestorm that ensued forced the mayor to drop the subpoenas. But we should not be so naïve as to think it won't happen again.
Christians across America should take a cue from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who signed a bill the day before the Supreme Court ruling, called the “Pastor Protection Act,” which protects religious organizations and individuals from performing marriage ceremonies that violate their sincerely held religious beliefs. The governor hosted a signing ceremony at the Texas governor's mansion where he was joined by members of the legislature who were instrumental in the passage of this bill, as well as members of the clergy from across Texas.
The governor proclaimed: “Freedom of religion is the most sacred of our rights and our freedom to worship is secured by the Constitution. Religious leaders in the state of Texas must be absolutely secure in the knowledge that religious freedom is beyond the reach of government or coercion by the courts. Today I am proud to sign into law the Pastor Protection Act to ensure that clergy in Texas cannot be forced to violate their religious beliefs.”
To this I say: “One down—forty-nine to go!”
The Wiseman said, “The curse causeless shall not come.” Many problems and negative outcomes we experience are often self-invited. Self is a powerful motivator, and when a leader is motivated by self-will, it is especially tragic, because the consequences will be suffered by many others within his sphere of authority.What Do You Hate?
I will never forget the time when I was in a fierce battle, attacked on many fronts. Having suffered a severe back injury, I was living with chronic pain, which kept me housebound and even bedridden for hours a day. The spiritual and emotional warfare I experienced was devastating, and I fought daily not to sink into total despair. It was during our annual Campmeeting, of which I had always been a vital part, but this year while everyone was rejoicing in the high services, I was alone at home.
Cold? Hot? or Lukewarm?
In His last letter to the seven churches of Revelation, Jesus indicted the Church of Laodecia: "I would that you were cold or hot. But because you are lukewam, I will spew you out of my mouth!" Did He mean, as some have said, that it's better to be cold... a sinner or backslider in the world, or hot... an on-fire believer in the church, than to be lukewarm... mediocre, or worse, a hypocrite?
Scripture proves there are no circumstances where God wants anyone to be cold in sin. And while Jesus sharply rebuked hypocrites, calling them serpents and sepulchres, He was not referring to them in the lukewarm category.
So what did He mean by lukewarm? Laodecia's ill-famous aquaduct and her two sister cities' water supply hold the key.All Sermons by Sharon Hardy Knotts and R. G. Hardy