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Jack Graham - Are Same Sex Relationships Really the Same?

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    Jack Graham - Are Same Sex Relationships Really the Same?
TOPICS: Straight Up, Homosexuality

Are same sex relationships really the same? There's a great deal of vitriol, even violence associated with this subject. It is controversial, but it is one of the great moral issues of our times. This is not just a civil-rights issue, though some claim it is only a civil-rights issue; it is not a political issue per se, but it is a moral issue. And because it is a moral issue, it is a biblical issue because our morals must be understood in the framework and the foundation of faith in the Word of God. That's certainly true for the Christian. I am compelled to bring this message. I'm compelled because those who advocate an aggressive agenda for homosexual rights and so on are saturating the media and the popular culture. Dominating it!

More and more persons in entertainment and the arts and sports and religion are publicly outing themselves or coming forward with their personal opinions, their personal lifestyles. And what used to be marginal is now mainstream in America. What was on the edges is now at the very center. And sexual liberation, homosexual marriage, gay rights takes center stage today on television, radio, movies, music, you name it! There's another reason that we need to talk about this issue and that is people in your family, perhaps you yourself are struggling in this area of your life, of same sex attraction. And frankly I prefer the term same sex attraction to many of the terms that go to describe the movement or the behavior because if you say someone is gay or if you say someone is homosexual, you are giving them an identity that seems set, an identity that cannot be changed, an identity of which the course is set and it is impossible to change, "That's who I am, I am gay. I am homosexual" As we'll see, of course, the Bible does not teach that.

So same sex attraction is very real. And, of course, that brings up the question: Is homosexuality or same sex attraction a choice or is it chance? In other words, are you born homosexual or are you bred? Is this something that you are or something that you have learned? Is this a choice? And I've done quite a bit of research on this through the years, and certainly this week once again. You know, we all know that before the age of 6 years of age, maybe even younger, our personalities are often developed in the most profound ways. Who we are, what we are about, our family, our environment affects us dramatically even before birth! Before a child is old enough to walk or even talk the influence is there. And thus, this is the reason I believe that many homosexuals will, looking back on their lives, say something like, "Well, I was born this way. I've always felt this way. I always knew that I had a different attraction. I always felt that something else was natural to me".

And there are factors, such as the home environment, the school environment, early sexual experimentation that profoundly affect a person's psychology and emotional response. some parents blame themselves for the activity of their children, but many children who are raised in the very best environment, in Christian love and Christian devotion are stunned, shocked, overwhelmed when a child says to them, "This is who I am; this is what I do". You also need to know that peer pressure is a very important influence regarding this issue, especially today.

That's why so many of you who are students need to listen to me very clearly. Your peers, whether you're a small child, you know, if you're a boy who doesn't like sports, for example, and maybe you like doing other things. And sometimes your peers will say you're this and you're that, and call you various kinds of names and epithet, and you begin to think, "Well, maybe I am something else. Maybe I am something different". Certainly a young boy or even a girl that has been molested as a child or a small boy may be confused by that entire experience. Here's another thing. It's been my observation that people of homosexual experience are often, first and foremost, not looking for sex but they're looking for love and affirmation and approval. The sexual encounter and experience is often a by-product of what a person is really crying out for which is love, which is acceptance. I've always said that temptation is the seduction to take a God-given desire and to fulfill it in a God-forbidden way. And the Word of God is clear! You have to play mental and interpretive gymnastics with the Bible in order to get it say something you want it to say, rather than what it says!

I believe the Bible is Truth with a capital "T". So there are several truths that I want to mention. Number one truth, number one, the practice of homosexuality is a sin which is severely judged by God. What does God say? What does God think? Turn in your Bibles to Genesis chapter 1. Let's start on the first page of the Bible. Can we do that? This is going to be a long sermon; we're going to go from Genesis to Revelation! So fasten your pew belt! Genesis 1:26: "Then God said, 'Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness. Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.'"

Point number one includes the fact that God is the Creator of life. So how did God create life? How did the One who is the originator, the Creator of all of us, how did He do it? Verse 27: "So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him". That is, we bear a resemblance to God. That image has been distorted by sin but in it's originality we bear the very image of God which can be restored through Jesus Christ! "But the image of God He created male and female he created them". There was a foundational difference in God's creation. Male and female. He created them. Back in verse 24, or in verse 24 of Genesis chapter 2 the Scripture says: "Therefore a man shall leave his mother and father and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh".

Now it is obvious, isn't it, that God had a clear pattern and a construct for the social order which begins with the husband and the wife and the foundation of the family? Man's sexual, and woman's sexual identity is defined by God! It is sin that distorts and devalues that relationship. And it is mankind's sin and rebellion against God that creates a destruction and a demise of all that is good, all that is holy and all that is godly! And so on the very first page of the Bible God stated how we are to live in a monogamous relationship as husbands and wives, men and women! And wouldn't you say men and women are different? We are different in many ways! Obviously physically, psychologically, socially, even the way we may respond spiritually. We are very, very different, and I like the difference! It is that complimentary relationship, it is the distinctiveness of the male and the female that makes a marriage a marriage!

And not only that, of course, but procreation, and providing, producing, providing and protecting children as the very bedrock, the foundation of society! And as the family goes so goes society! As the family goes so goes the nation! And as the nation goes so goes the world! Homosexuality goes all the way back to the book of Genesis. In fact the story of Sodom and Gomorrah and God's judgment upon Sodom. Sodomy is a by-word for homosexuality. And when Lot was fleeing from Sodom, God sent two angels to help in that process and the men of Sodom came out and desired the men that came from heaven. And Lot plead with them not to do this terrible thing, and judgment came upon Sodom and Gomorrah.

Then in Leviticus, chapter 18, verses 22 and 24: "You shall not lie with a male as with a woman: it is an abomination". Adultery, incest, fornication, homosexuality are all described in the Bible as abomination. Sins that are particularly abominable to God. God detests this. But I might also say that over in the book of Proverbs God detests lying and cheating and hands that shed innocent blood. But it is a fact that God calls this sin a grave and grievous sin; that it is an abomination! Goes on to say in verse 24: "Do not defile yourselves with any of these things, for by all these the nations are defiled which I am casting out before you". Did you know that no nation has ever survived rampant immorality? None!

A singer who sang Christian songs by the name of Jennifer Knapp came forward with her sexual struggles and professed herself to be a practicing lesbian. And in USA Today Jennifer Knapp said this: "The Bible has literally saved my life. I find myself between a rock and a hard place, between the conservative evangelical who uses what most people refer to as clobber verses to refer to this loving relationship as an abomination while they're eating shellfish and wearing clothes of five different fabrics and various other scriptures we could argue about". Jennifer wants to make a point, she is suggesting because this is a part of the Mosaic Law and the cultural system of the time and the political system of Israel and the Levitical law system that was ended in Christ, this no longer applies.

Is that true? It is true that God has ended the sacrificial system. The Mosaic law, the Levitical laws, the political laws of Israel that are recorded into the Bible, these have moved forward into the fulfillment of Christ. But it is not true to suggest that moral sins are the same as these Mosaic laws. The moral sins given to us in the Ten Commandments, affirmed to us by Jesus and the Apostles, these moral laws stand forever! And so when you read this is an abomination, don't take my word for it, take the Scripture's word for it. Listen to what the Apostle Paul said in Romans 1, verses 26 and 27: "For this reason God gave them up", God just turned them over to vile passions, "for even their women exchanged their natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another. Men with men, committing what is shameful and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which is due".

Now Paul discusses this sin as a sign of the wickedness of a generation that has been turned over to its sin by God. The source of the sin is idolatry. No longer worshipping God, turning from the one true God and worshipping idols, beasts and four-footed things and so on. And therefore, because there is no God authority, the rebel ensues and there is strange and sorted and unnatural obsession with sex and homosexuality and these kinds of lifestyles that some want to call natural but you cannot call natural what God has called unnatural. Try as you may, think about it, it just doesn't work! Just doesn't fit! It doesn't happen this way!

Chuck Colson, a man that I deeply admire, says regarding same sex marriages and homosexual marriage, he says, "The argument you see is that to deny homosexuals marriage is manifestly unfair. Why would you do that? Why would you say because we love one another we can't get married? But it is not unfair," Colson says, "Gays and lesbians are not unworthy of marriage; they are incapable of marriage". And it's been my experience and observation that most in the movement who desire same sex marriage, etc. do not desire this because of their love for the institution of marriage or God's blessing upon their relationship, but rather for political advantage or financial endorsement and acceptance. And the fact is the desire for approval and acceptance is what most are going for. And God says you cannot call what is unnatural natural. And we must not veer from the clear Word of God!

First Corinthians 6:9-11, "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 homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetousness, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God". And we're going to get to this verse in just a moment because it is a glorious promise and hope. "And 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 by the Spirit of God". The Scriptures say here is that any unrepentant practice or lifestyle is not compatible with the Christian faith. First Timothy 1:9 and 10: "knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous person but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, and for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murders of mothers, for manslayers, for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there is anything that is contrary to sound doctrine".

Jude 1, verse 4: "For certain men have crept in unnoticed who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turned the grace of our God into lewdness", yes, people in the pulpit who turned the grace of God into license and lewdness, "and deny the only Lord God and our Lord, Jesus Christ". Verse 7, what's he talking about? "As Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, in similar manner of these have given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example suffering the vengeance of eternal fire". Second Peter, chapter 2: "If by turning", this is verse 6, "if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes He condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; and if He rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked"...

There are some interpreting what those guys really wanted when they came knocking at Lot's door, that the sin of Sodom is really inhospitality. That Lot was just being inhospitable in not letting these men in the house. Ha! That's not what the Bible says. "That Lot was greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked", for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormented in his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and he heard; "then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment", and especially those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority. The authority is the Word of God. Romans 1:32: "who knowing the righteous judgment of God that those who practice such things are deserving of death, and not only do the same but also approve of those who practice this". You're on thin ice if you are approving sin of any kind. But this is all symptomatic of the degeneration and collapse of a culture that has forgotten God.

You say, "Well, all that's good. That's the Old Testament". What did Jesus say? Someone has suggested because Jesus did not directly address this subject that it's okay with Jesus. That He would affirm this kind of behavior. And the more sorted among us have even suggested that Jesus was a homosexual or practiced homosexuality. But what did Jesus say in Matthew 19, verses 4 to 6: "And He answered and said to them, 'Have you not read that he who made them at the beginning made them male and female'", quoting the first page of the Bible, "'And for this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'? So then they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate".

From Genesis to Jesus, Old Testament, New Testament, patriarchs, prophets, apostles the message is the same! The relationship between a man and a woman is sacred and holy before God in the commitment of Holy Marriage. Anything else is dysfunctional and immoral! And sin of all kinds brings judgment! The Bible clearly teaches that sinners, including all kinds of sinners, including homosexuals, can be forgiven! Must be forgiven! That the blood of Jesus Christ, God's Son, cleanses us from every sin! Don't you let anyone tell you that you are in a bondage or a lifestyle that cannot be broken! If I believed that I would close my Bible, shut it and never preach again! Are you going to tell me that the blood of Jesus Christ, the blood that makes the foulest clean cannot reach down and change the most depraved of human hearts like mine?

Romans 5:8, "While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us". All sinners! That's why Paul said in cataloging these grievous sins, "And such were some of you"! This was what you did, this is what you were about! This is past tense now! But now you have been washed, now you are clean as the driven snow! Now the blood of Jesus Christ, there is no person so deep into sin that the blood of Jesus Christ cannot reach them where they are! Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners! "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners", Paul said, "of whom I am chief"!

So if you have met your sin and repent of your sin, and come to Christ and accept His love at the cross given for you. If you want love and if you want acceptance and approval come to God for it! And He can change your life and change your lifestyle and make you pure and you can live a life faithful to Him. But what we are to do as a church and you are to do as a Christian is to hold in the proper tension, biblical conviction regarding same sex attractions and relationships. The biblical convictions that, yes, this is wrong; God says it's wrong; we stand where God stands in His Word! And at the same time spiritual and biblical compassion. Our goal is not to bash or to destroy or to tear down, but to introduce people to a Savior who can change everything in life and in eternity, and His name is Jesus. The fact is, you can't choose to live in your sin and love God at the same time. And to break the commandment of loving God is the first and foremost commandment. But I'm telling you that His power will set you free. The truth will set you free. God's Word will change your thought-patterns and your lifestyle and everything about you as His grace and His power enable you to live a life that is pleasing to Him.
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