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Most of us at least are acquainted with someone that is homosexual.  We need to be aware of how the Lord wants us to treat people that live that lifestyle.  As we saw in our last question, those that committed homosexual acts were to be put to death.  Leviticus 20:13 tells us, “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.”  Under the Jewish law, if two people were caught committing adultery, they were also to be put to death.  Leviticus 20:10 says, “And the man that committeth adultery with another man’s wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.”

In 1 Corinthians, chapter 5, we have an incident where a man was committing adultery with his step-mother.  I know that sounds disgusting, but it happened.  Were they put to death?  If you read the account, you will see that the man was disciplined by the church so that he would repent of and stop his terrible actions.  In fact, this man did repent and the Apostle Paul said to them in 2 Corinthians 2:6-7, “Sufficient to such a man is this punishment, which was inflicted of many.  So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow.”

So, what’s the difference?  The world is not under the Jewish law; we are living in the day of God’s grace.  The Lord Jesus, Himself, fulfilled all the requirements of the law with His death on the cross.  He said in Matthew 5:17, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.”  The Apostle Paul spoke of the “dispensation of the grace of God” in Ephesians 3:4, which is the day we continue to live.  This does not mean that sinful acts are now permissible.  It means that now, instead of swift and harsh judgment, the Lord wants to deal with the offender in grace and truth so that they may come to repentance of their sins.

We need to act in grace and truth towards those that live in sin, whatever the sin may be.  We read in Romans 2:4 that, “the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance.”  Homosexuality is not the only sin that we need to deal with.  Let’s read 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, “Know ye not 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 covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”  Besides homosexuality, we read here of fornicators, idolaters, thieves, drunkards, and others.  My friends, let’s make sure that we don’t become selective about the sins that we condemn.  Perhaps we speak out against homosexuality, but do not have a problem with the man that is living with his girlfriend, or the married woman that is having an affair.  We have patience with the poor man that drinks too much, but lash out at the gay men we see holding hands.  This is not right.  As believers on the Lord Jesus Christ, we should acknowledge that all sin dishonors the Lord.

If we meet or know someone that is homosexual, or is a drunkard, or is an adulterer, we need to realize that the Lord loves these people.  His desire is that they be saved as we read in 2 Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”  What these people need; what we all need, is the Lord.  Keep in mind that if you can possibly rehabilitate someone from being gay, or a drunkard, or an adulterer, that doesn’t mean this person will go to Heaven.  We don’t need to get the sin out so that Christ may come in; we need to get Christ in so that the sin will go out.

Of course, there are those that live these lifestyles that profess to be saved.  In that case, let’s keep in mind   2 Timothy 2:24-26 which says, “And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.”  Let’s speak the truth to them in love.

Remember too, that love does not mean tolerance of sin.  In John, chapter 8, we have the familiar story of the woman that was caught in the act of adultery.  She was brought before the Lord for condemnation.  Upon her acknowledgement of Jesus as Lord, she received forgiveness.  She also received the word of the Lord to stop sinning.  We read in John 8:11, “And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.”

One of our biggest problems today is that many of our so-called spiritual leaders condone such behaviors as homosexuality, adultery, and so on.  Isaiah 5:20-21 warns, “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!  Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!”  Of course, this is not new.  In the Old Testament, we find spiritual leaders doing the same thing.  Let’s read Jeremiah 23:14, “I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem an horrible thing: they commit adultery, and walk in lies: they strengthen also the hands of evildoers, that none doth return from his wickedness: they are all of them unto me as Sodom, and the inhabitants thereof as Gomorrah.”  A man will not likely stop his wickedness when his spiritual leaders are telling him it is not sinful.

May we be faithful to love those that are living contrary to God’s Word and share with them the precious truth of God’s Word.  Is it really possible to love the sinner and hate the sin?  Absolutely!  The Lord does, and we can, too.  (29.2)