Staff & Sling

Joseph E. Hébert, Ph.D.

98119 N 3745 Rd
Okemah, OK  74859
918 623 3078

Tough Love

Will there be any homosexuals in Heaven?. What about murderers, or adulterers or thieves? According to one church, a small congregation in Kansas, there won't be any. According to this one congregation God hates homosexuals.

And scripture says:

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.

I Corinthians 6: 9, 10.

And let's be clear about something here. In this verse you will notice the word "effeminate" and the phrase "abusers of themselves with mankind." These are interpreted from two Greek words, :"8"6@4 and "DF,<@6@4J"4. The Greeks, not satisfied with a single word for "homosexual," had separate words to designate the participants in the act of sodomy. Seen here, the first (:"8"6@4) designates the participant acting in the physically feminine role, and the second ("DF,<@6@4J"4) designates the participant acting in the physically masculine role.

But rather than focus on the homosexuals in this list, I would suggest we consider the rest. Notice that fornicators and adulterers (unmarried and married participants in heterosexual immorality) fare no better than homosexuals. My point is simply this. We need to not make the mistake of believing that other peoples' sins are okay, as long as they sin like us.

Most of us never struggle with homosexual temptation. For that we should be grateful. But how many of us can honestly say we've never looked on a member of the opposite sex with lust in our hearts? According to Jesus that makes us adulterers already (Matthew 5: 28).

Even if you won't admit that you're an adulterer, who among us can honestly say they've never once coveted anything that was their neighbors? Never? Not even once?

So rather than being like the Pharisee who stood and prayed, "God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men [are], extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican," (Luke 18: 11b), we all need to be like the publican (tax collector) who, unwilling to even look up toward God, prayed, "God be merciful to me a sinner," (Luke 18: 13b). We all need to understand that we are all sinners. Just because others sin differently, that doesn't mean they sin worse, nor does it mean that we sin better.

So will there be any homosexuals in Heaven? Just keep reading in I Corinthians. The very next verse, the very next sentence in Paul's thought, states plainly that, "And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God," (emphasis added). So clearly there will be repentant homosexuals in Heaven, just like there will be repentant sinners of all sort.

But with that said, we cannot ignore the admonition of scripture that such people will not inherit God's kingdom.

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

I John 1: 8 - 10

This passage makes it plain and explicit. If you try to rationalize your sin, if you try to convince yourself or anyone else, that your sin isn't so bad, that perhaps your sin is okay, or maybe not even sin at all, then you deceive yourself and the Truth (i.e. Jesus) is not in you. You cannot remain unrepentant and be saved.

God's mercy and forgiveness is like an all you can eat smorgasbord. No matter how much you need, it's there for the asking. But God's mercy and forgiveness is not like a buffet that you can pick and choose from. I John 1: 9 states plainly that God is both faithful and just to forgive your sin, and to cleanse you of all unrighteousness. You cannot choose the forgiveness but leave the cleansing for later. You must be repentant.

If you believe you can call yourself a Christian and still live a homosexual lifestyle, you're deceived. God didn't make you that way, Adam did. And God said plainly that He won't leave you that way.

Moreover, don't think this is any different than trying to convince yourself, or anyone else, that you had to divorce your wife and marry your new girlfriend because "only God could have given you so much love" for the other woman. To divorce your wife and marry another is an act of adultery, plain and simple.

You simply must not try to rationalize or justify any of your sinful ways. You cannot remain unrepentant and be forgiven, because God will not forgive you without cleansing you of your unrighteousness.

This is why we, as Christians, need to heed Jude's admonition to show all sinners tough love.

And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling [them] out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.

Jude 22, 23

To the sinner who, like the publican mentioned above, recognizes his own sinfulness and wants God's mercy, we need to show them God's love. Reassure them that if they will repent, God is faithful and just to forgive and cleanse them. But to the unrepentant sinner who, like the Pharisee mentioned above, is deceived, we do them no favors by tolerating the rationalizations with which they deceive themselves and cling to their sinful ways.

So again, will there be any homosexuals in Heaven? There certainly won't be any unrepentant ones.