What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep and has lost one of them, does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, “Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost! I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.” Luke 15:4-7
This chapter is based on 110 verses in 26 passages of Scripture
Note: All Scriptures in parenthesis appear in my book, Revealing God’s Design with Love, or can be looked up in any Bible.
Jesus did not directly address gays, nor did He teach on the subject of homosexuality during his ministry on earth. But He did address the issue of homosexuality, and its various practices before and after He came to earth. Associated practices of homosexuality in the first century included cross-dressers and the effeminate. Gender change would likely have been added to this mix had Jesus arrived in this century rather than the first. This is because each of these practices alters and perverts God’s original design for the physical and psychological make-up of a man and a woman. (Genesis 1:27) (Also see Deuteronomy 22:5 and I Corinthians 6:9-10 quoted below)
It must be remembered that before Jesus came to earth, He existed as God himself along with God the Father and the Spirit. (John 1:1-3, John 8:53-58) As the Scripture teaches, Jesus is God, equal to the Father and Spirit in every way. Yet, in the midst of this, all three were also fully one God at the same time. (John 10:30; Deuteronomy 6:4)
This may be difficult to grasp because we have no human relationship on earth which compares. However, whether we fully understand the Trinity, Jesus was equally involved at the very beginning of time agreeing with God’s pronouncements on homosexuality and gender change. He was also equally involved after His death and resurrection when Paul was inspired by the Spirit to write what he did about the practice of homosexuality. (Romans 8:9-10)
Therefore, on the one hand, Jesus never directly addressed gay issues while on earth, yet on the other hand, He did when He, the Father, and the Spirit inspired the Old and New Testaments. If you want to know more about how God the Father, Spirit, and Jesus work together, then I suggest checking out a book on Amazon.com that I have written entitled Sowing Teachable Moments Year One. Chapter 23 illustrates how the Father, Spirit, and Jesus are each God, as well as one God at the same time.
Jesus viewed gay practices as a sin that needed to be repented of, abandoned, and forgiven. These practices were not just common or run-of-the-mill-sins, but ones God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit considered and still considers today as abominable, detestable, and full of folly. Society’s acceptance of these practices may seem like an advance in morality, but they are not according to Scriptures. They are just as sinful today in this New Testament era in which we live, as they were in Old Testament times. (See Leviticus 18:22-24, Genesis 19:1; 4-7; 10-13; 24-25 and Judges 19:22-23 referenced below).
Therefore, when coming to minister to us on earth, there was nothing for Jesus to change regarding homosexuality or gender change. What He, the Father, and the Spirit had determined about such a sin was set for all time. The laws and rules the Three (Trinity) established for the Jewish nation in this regard were never abolished nor annulled. Only the consequences changed when Jewish law was superseded by Roman law. The Jews came under the Roman law after being defeated by Rome, and under early Roman law, homosexuality was not illegal to practice, although it was generally looked down upon. 1
Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:17-19
Due to Israel’s defeat as a nation and the spiritual ignorance they displayed when dealing with Jesus, the Son of God, their role as God’s representative nation was suspended. Only during the end times will this suspension be lifted. (Jeremiah 30:3) Until that time, the church, which is led by the Spirit, takes over the role of being God’s representative to the world. The church’s emphasis is primarily on God’s grace and forgiveness, rather than His laws. However, both are needed to give a complete picture of God’s love, character, expectations, and will.
The church is made up of anyone and everyone who believes in Jesus as Lord and Savior, no matter the era, what part of the world they are from, station in life, or the culture of which they are apart. (I Corinthians 12:12-14; Acts 28:20)
It is, therefore, our responsibility as believers in the church to share Christ with everyone we can; to teach the truth about what is right and wrong according to the Scriptures; to emphasize God’s grace and forgiveness, and to abide by the laws of our land when possible. Should any laws, including those that deal with homosexuality, demand from us something contrary to God’s Word and our faith, then we are to be like Daniel of the Old Testament when he refused his government’s edict to stop praying. His decision took him to the lion’s den, but we know how that turned out. God may even do something similar for us if we stand against an issue like homosexuality. (I Peter 2:13-14; Daniel 6:7-10)
Should America’s leaders continue to push for the acceptance of gay practices and gender change, then all we may be able to do is pray they change their minds and policies. While doing so and proclaiming the truth of the Scriptures, persecution and rejection may come. Sad to say, this is often the way it is when God’s people stand up for His truth in this world. During such persecution, though, remember what the Christians were willing to endure under Nero’s persecution, all for the sake of Christ and the Gospel.
During His ministry, Jesus modeled how to treat sinners which we all are. He taught sinners how to find salvation, how to understand the truth, and how to see their own sin for what it was. He also spent a great deal of time with as many sinners as possible. Jesus ate with sinners, walked and talked with sinners, and even associated with the most rejected and disgraced. He healed many, whether their faith was present or not. In the end, Jesus even gave up His life on the cross for their sins, no matter what they had done. (Luke 7:39, 47-50; Luke 8:26-29; John 4:3-6, 8-11)
We, as Christians, need to do the same with the gays and those changing their gender. They need to be ministered to as Jesus did with the sinners of His day. There is no doubt, according to Scripture, that homosexual sins of all kinds are abominable and detestable before God’s eyes, but not too abominable or detestable for the sinner to be rescued.
Although we cannot sacrifice our own lives on a cross as Jesus did, we can love them as He did. This can be accomplished by spending time with them, helping them with their struggles, assisting them when they are sick, and being friends through thick and thin. At the same time, we should also teach them about their sins, and how God can forgive them for what they are doing to themselves and others. Hopefully, they will find salvation and freedom from their sins because of what we have done.
Scriptural References for Homosexuality and Gender Change
Deuteronomy 22:5 A woman shall not wear man’s clothing, nor shall a man put on a woman’s clothing; for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord your God. [Forerunner to gender change]
I Corinthians 6:9-11 9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate [a forerunner to gender change], nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 Such were some of you, but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.
Leviticus 18:22-24 22 You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination. 23 Also, you shall not have intercourse with any animal to be defiled with it, nor shall any woman stand before an animal to mate with it; it is a perversion. 24 Do not defile yourselves by any of these things; for by all these the nations which I am casting out before you have become defiled.
Genesis 19:1; 4-7; 10-13; 24-25 1Now the two angels came to Sodom in the evening as Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground. 4Before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, surrounded the house, both young and old, all the people from every quarter; 5and they called to Lot and said to him, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may have relations with them.” 6But Lot went out to them at the doorway, and shut the door behind him, 7and said, “Please, my brothers, do not act wickedly.” 10But the men reached out their hands and brought Lot into the house with them, and shut the door. 11They struck the men who were at the doorway of the house with blindness, both small and great so that they wearied themselves trying to find the doorway.”
Judges 19:22-23 22While they were celebrating, behold, the men of the city, certain worthless fellows, surrounded the house, pounding the door; and they spoke to the owner of the house, the old man, saying, “Bring out the man who came into your house that we may have relations with him.” 23Then the man, the owner of the house, went out to them and said to them, “No, my fellows, please do not act so wickedly; since this man has come into my house, do not commit this act of folly.”