Ezekiel 3:17-21 Son of man, I have made you a watchman to the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me. When I say to the wicked, You shall surely die; and you give him not warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at your hand. Yet if you warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul. Again, When a righteous man does turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die: because you have not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at your hand. Nevertheless if you warn the righteous man, that the righteous sin not, and he does not sin, he shall surely live, because he is warned; also you have delivered your soul.
Often you may hear something like the following:
“Gays are an abomination and are to be put to death. If you don’t believe this is in the Bible then you haven’t read it. If God created man in His image then isn’t He responsible for this? Why can’t people be free to choose how they want to live? I am not Gay if you are thinking that is why I am questioning this. However, I do not have any hatred toward Gays. They are people just like you and me just with different lifestyles. Why should they go to Hell or be put to death?”
This same type of statement or question may come for other types of sins.
This question could be applied to heterosexual sin, pornography, taking drugs, or any other type of sin.
How to Handle This Question
(The parts in quotes are just examples of what you might say or ask.)
It is best to ask them a few questions first and to listen to their answers
- “Why do you say that homosexuals are to be killed?” (They will probably bring up the Law under the Theistic civil government of that day. In this case you can follow up with questions about the way that Jesus dealt with the woman found in sin.) “Why do you think that Jesus said to this woman, “Neither do I condemn you?” Why do you think that Jesus said to this woman, “Go and sin no more lest a worse thing befall you?”
- “Does it seem as if God is playing God by commanding that these people are to be put to death?” “Do you think that God is wrong to be God?”
- “Is there anything at all that could be wrong under any circumstances?”
- “If there is no right or wrong, then is it wrong for people to judge sin?” “Is it wrong for a person to say that something is wrong?”
- “In your opinion do you think that God, if He is the Almighty Creator, has the right to judge sin?”
- “In your opinion do you think that God, if He is the All-Wise God and if He is Love and if He alone has good judgment, would be unjust?
Let them know you understand
- “I can understand how you might ask this.”
- “I actually can relate to how you feel because I have sometimes felt condemned and felt helpless to free myself from my sin.”
- “I’m hearing what you are saying, and I think I understand.”
Relate to them
- “When I first heard this question, it seemed to challenge what I know to be true.
- “I used to feel the same way.” (if you did)
- “At first glance, this gives the appearance of being a problem that would challenge belief in God.”
Tell them what God has shown to you
- “Would you like to hear how God answered this question for me?”
- “We are designed to have an overwhelming desire to have a relationship with God. We were designed to be overwhelmed with the desire to be joined to God. In fact, scientists can now test the brain and know the extent to which any person has a desire. They can do this with drug users to see how much they are addicted. They can also do this with those who have become addicted to pornography. The interesting thing is that those people who are addicted to pornography test out to be much more in addiction than those people who are addicted to cocain, heroin, or any other drug. We were designed to be overwhelmed with the desire to be joined to God. When you use that portion of your being for some other purpose, you divert that which God made for the purpose of joining yourself to Him and you direct it toward your addiction. If you do this, then you will find that you are overwhelmed and swept into youraddiction and you cannot oppose the addiction. It takes you over and you will find yourself saying, “I can’t help myself.” We all have original sin. This type of sin is inherited. We all have a fleshly nature that tries to push us in this direction, but if we yield to that fleshly nature, then we will find ourselves being swept into these kinds of addictions. Once a person has done this, that person will probably not be able to overcome the addiction without help from the Church. Once a person falls into such a sin, it takes about nine years of not following the pattern to overcome the pattern. This is why no one can be saved by obeying the law of God. The law of God will protect a society somewhat, but how well did it work. Humanity had ways of getting around God’s laws and making it not work. This is why Jesus went to the cross.
It is then good to ask an open followup question (not a “yes” or “no” question) to allow them to process what you have said.
- “How do you see this as applying to your question?”
- “What are your thoughts?”
- “Where do you see this as different from your point/question?”
A More Complete Answer
There are several problems with these statements and questions, but before addressing those, we should give some basic concepts to keep in mind when answering these types of questions and statements.
- We believe because God has revealed Himself to us. That is the meaning of the word, faith, as the Bible speaks of faith. It is that miraculous belief that comes as we listen to His utterance. If we have a proper attitude toward God, one of honor, respect, and obedience, then we will be able to hear Him. We will know His voice whether He speaks through the Bible, through a fellow Christian, through nature, or through any other means. If we don’t honor him, then we cannot possibly hear His voice.
- God is God and we are not.
- To try to explain truth to him who loves it not is but to give him more plentiful material for misinterpretation. George Macdonald
- If we are not prepared to buy the truth at the cost of our own humbling we shall not receive it. Lies have no price upon them. They are cheap and they abound everywhere. But for the truth there is always a price to pay.
God made mankind to be joined to Him. As such, man must become absolutely holy. To be holy is to be joined to the Creator God Who is the only source of Love and to come into unity with Him, flowing in His love continually. Man has no capacity outside of Christ to become holy. Christ is a Head in Heaven and a Body on earth. The Church lost sight of this as it declined into the dark ages, but God is restoring the vision. See also Why think that God should define goodness?
God has no hatred for gays or for anyone else. God has revealed that He has no joy in our troubles, even when we bring those troubles on ourselves through disobedience to Him. All of God’s judgments are remedial. The reason that we cannot do what we want is because it would be impossible that we could do what we want and yet fulfill the purpose for which God created us. God created us for a purpose. That purpose is that we would walk in unity with Him. God is holy. We need to be holy as well. God is God and we are not. We may have a warped picture of God as sort of a really big man, but He is not like that. We underestimate His greatness and His glory. Yet, when we walk in submission to God, we inherit all the power and authority of God. That power and authority is never given to anyone who is not in submission to God. We are just learning about submission, so we are very weak in power and authority. Even our prayers may go unanswered as a result. In order to walk in God’s power and authority, we must take on His nature. Christ never said His Own words or did His own acts but always said the Words and did the Acts that the Father gave Him. We, as human beings, are under the same constraints.
Satan decided that he wanted to do what he wanted to do rather than to submit to God. This is where all the sorrow and suffering on earth started. While God knew that this would happen, God didn’t make it happen. We don’t have a lot of revelation on this, be we know enough about God to know that if there were a better way, God would have done things that way. This is the way it had to be. Think of the price that God, Himself, paid to redeem mankind. Plus the fact that God has a love for every person that we really cannot comprehend. No person can love at that level. Yet, we all know how hard it is to see someone suffer when we love them. We cannot imagine how hard it is for God to watch us destroy ourselves with sin.
The same thing happened in the garden. Satan came to Eve and contradicted the Utterance of God. She then used her senses to assess the forbidden fruit and decided that it was good and the result of eating it would be good. She trusted her own eyes and her own mind instead of believing God. We shouldn’t judge her too harshly, though. Every person does the same thing from time to time. We hear the direction from the all-knowing God and decide that we know better than He does what is good for us. Then, we cry when it doesn’t work out well. God would rather have us learn by listening than to learn by pain, but we persist sometimes. Perhaps that is why our spiritual progress is so slow. We go ahead. Then we go backwards.
The sin of the homosexual is no more special than the sin of the ax murderer or the sin of the liar or extortioner. The reality is that all of these sins are a punishment in themselves. Because they would not hold God in their knowledge, God turned them over to their own useless mind.
There are sins that are to death and sins that are not to death. Some sins do more damage to us than others. Every sin is a failure to hear God’s voice and receive His faith, which means that we don’t access His free gift of righteousness and never yield our bodies to Him so that He can think His thoughts, say His utterances, and do His works through us. Some sins are slips across a line. Some are intentional steps across a line. Others are simply missing the target. We all inherit sins, and even a single sin separates us from God. That is why God Himself paid the price to satisfy the justice of our sins. He has made it so that if we will just receive His free gift, we will be forgiven and set free from sin. The forgiveness happens in an instant. The setting free doesn’t happen all at once, but it goes from glory to glory by the Spirit of God. Each time we yield to the Spirit, we are changed a little bit to be more like Him. There is no sin, not even homosexual desires, that He cannot free us from if we are willing to be set free. This free salvation (being set free from sin) is extended to every person without any price. Those who love darkness more than they love light will reject it. All of us reject God sometimes. When we reject God or fail to listen, He speaks to us gently at first. If we persist, things get harder. I don’t know how many will persist to the point that they must go the way of the Lake of Fire where the burning is until the eon of the eons and where the flames are of a nature that can burn angels. One shudders to think that anyone would be so foolish, yet we have seen some very stubborn people. Eventually, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess to the Glory of God.
God visits the iniquities of the parents upon the children to the third and fourth generation of those who hate Him. It is interesting that genetic science has shown that inheritance goes to the third and fourth generation. To hate God is to not flow in His Love. God is Love, and we were created to have His Love flowing through us. In fact, our spirits, our minds, and our bodies do not work correctly unless we are joined to God and have His Anointing, His Love, constantly flowing through us, thinking His thoughts, saying His utterances, and doing His works through us. When we refuse to hold Him in our knowledge, He simply allows us to have our own way. Romans 1 says that He turns us over to reprobate (useless) mind. That is our own mind without the Holy Spirit flowing through it.
Without the Holy Spirit flowing through our mind, we cannot even begin to see the Kingdoms of the Heavens. That is why Jesus told Nicodemus that he must be born again or he wouldn’t be able to see the Kingdom of God.
Eventually, everything will be restored to God. That is the plan. It will take until the ages of the ages or the eon of the eons. That is a long time in our thinking. It is a few days in God’s thinking.
You may see a tone of judgment coming from the person who makes these kinds of remarks. They may even show contempt for God’s will. If this is the case, it is because they are going with the flow of popular opinion. God doesn’t care a bit about popular opinion. He is always righteous and holy and cannot even look at sin without judging it. That is because He is absolutely just and fair. As for these new rules and laws, they are transient and temporary. They are built on nothing at all. They cannot stand on logic. In fact, without the God of the Bible, there is no logically consistent way to defend any kind of moral or ethical standard. If you tried to establish one, then someone else could answer, “Who says?” And then it would come down to “might makes right.” As for changing morals, going back only a few decades, no one would have defended homosexual behavior. In fact, a few years before that, very few would have defended shacking up between a man and woman. God doesn’t change to suit us, though. We don’t get to judge Him. He has given Jesus the authority to judge us. And the believers will judge angels. What kind of ego maniac would think that he or she could pass judgement on God? Yet people do.
God will judge us all. He is very merciful and patient, but there comes a time when His patience is unproductive if we keep going farther from Him. He must bring us back. When the only way left to Him is judgment, then He will use judgment. His purpose is to bring us closer. He has no joy in judging anyone. All His judgments are remedial and are exactly what is needed to bring us back to Himself.