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The Sin of Sodom, I
For us, a public discussion of the sin of Sodom is a delicate matter. However, it is a subject that is paraded openly before our families in schools, on television, by famous people, in politics, by religious leaders and even in children's books. Therefore, the sin of Sodom (homosexuality) must be addressed both in the pulpit and in the classroom.
Homosexuality is something about which God speaks in the Bible—in both testaments. God considers this conduct not only sinful, but further belonging to a sub-category of sin called "an abomination." Therefore, it is important for us to examine what God says about this topic. Homosexuality cannot be ignored! It adversely affects our nation and often results in death. It also leads to spiritual death for impenitent souls. Homosexuality affects men, women and children. Sometimes, even Christians are involved in the sin of Sodom.
Genesis 19:1-29 introduces the sin of Sodom and the subsequent destruction of this and surrounding cities by God. Genesis 13:13 identifies the men of Sodom as exceedingly wicked sinners. Genesis 18:20 says that the sin of Sodom is "very grievous." Genesis 18:23 adds emphasis to the portrayal of the inhabitants of Sodom as "wicked." Genesis 18:24-33 shows that God could not find even 10 righteous souls in Sodom.
Genesis 19:5 (especially in the NKJV) identifies the specific sin by which the city of Sodom defiled itself. This sin is commonly known to us as homosexuality or sodomy. So, under Patriarchy, God's first system of religion given to man, God condemned homosexuality.
Next, under Judaism, God also condemned homosexuality. Leviticus 18:22 reads, "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination." The seriousness of this sin to God is apparent from Leviticus 20:13. "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."
God mandated capital punishment under Patriarchy and Judaism for homosexuality. Though God especially warned men and women in Israel against this sin (Deuteronomy 23:17), the sin of Sodom is one of the sins that Israel learned from the nations around them (1 Kings 14:24; 15:12; 22:46; 2 Kings 23:7).
The New Testament likewise condemns homosexuality. Three passages refer to the biblical record of the sin of Sodom found in Genesis 19. "And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly" (2 Peter 2:6). Jude adds that the sin of Sodom also results in the punishment of "eternal fire." "Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire." See also Luke 17:29.
Additionally, homosexuality is elsewhere condemned in the New Testament. Romans 1:26-32 addresses this sin. "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, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet" (Romans 1:26-27).
Also, two lists of sins further warn against the sin of homosexuality. In 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (NKJV) the words "homosexuals" and "sodomites" appear among other sins cited. The apostle Paul by inspiration named "sodomites" again as sinners, among others, in 1 Timothy 1:9-11 (NKJV).
The sins of homosexuality and adultery are forms of "fornication." Several passages condemn "fornication" irrespective of the form in which it appears (Jude 7; Matthew 5:32; 19:9; 1 Corinthians 5:9; Galatians 5:19-21).
The world says that genetics may be responsible for "sexual orientation." We are told that God made homosexuals. Many religious people therefore claim to practice homosexuality with God's approval. These people are unaware of or ignore the preceding Old and New Testament passages that clearly condemn homosexuality.
According to God, sins in general, including "fornication," are only acted out after they are conceived in the heart or mind (Matthew 15:19). One's uncontrolled "lust" leads to sin and spiritual death (James 1:14-15). Though certainly outside influences may contribute to temptation, sin can be resisted (James 4:7). Further, God will not allow anyone to be tempted beyond his ability to resist (1 Corinthians 10:13).
Happily, even homosexuals can repent or change. The apostle Paul acknowledged that some of the Corinthians were formerly homosexuals (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). God will forgive any sin for which a sinner will repent (1 John 1:5-10). God also forgets the sins that he forgives (Hebrews 8:12; 10:17).
Though it is distasteful to the child of God, Christians must learn what God says about homosexuality and sodomy. Godly parents must guide their children in God's Word in this matter as well as others. Every citizen must give special attention to politics, school boards, libraries and television programming since each of these is a vehicle through which the homosexual message is promoted. Christians ought to voice their objections to the homosexual movement. Some ways this may be done are through votes, phone calls and letters. Our families and our nation are at risk!
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