Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Is homosexuality the “unforgivable” sin?

Often, Christians are accused of treating homosexuality as the most important issue facing humanity today. We are accused, and many times rightly, of claiming that homosexuality is the worst sin imaginable and, oftentimes, the one sin for which there is no forgiveness available. While the Bible clearly labels homosexuality as a sin, two points need to be made as clear as possible.

All sin is sin.
Every human being is a sinner. Every human being sins. In man’s eyes, there are some sins that are worse than others. However, in God’s eyes (which is what matters) we are all guilty of sin…period. This sin separates us from Him and, if we do not repent and commit our lives to serving God, guarantees us an eternity of misery (Matthew 25:46). Therefore, while many choose to point fingers at those living homosexual lifestyles as being worse sinners than others, any sin is enough to ruin our relationship with God (James 2:10).

First Corinthians 6 presents a list of sins that bar our entrance into the kingdom of God. This list includes much more than just homosexuality, although homosexuality is included. This list is not all-inclusive, nor is it ranked by levels of sin. The list includes: the sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, men who practice homosexuality, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, and swindlers (verses 9-10 ESV). This passage tells us that this type of conduct prevents us from being forgiven of our sins and reconnecting with our Creator. In other words, when we choose to live in these sinful manners, we choose to be separated from God, both in this life and eternity (II Thessalonians 1:9).

No sin is unforgivable.
Directly after presenting the list of sins that prevent people from entering the kingdom of God, we find this passage addressed to the Corinthian Christians, “And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (I Corinthians 6:11 ESV).

This passage clearly tells us a couple of things. First, while we may look upon certain sins as worse than other sins, God sees all sin as that which separates us from Him. James 2:10 is clear when it says, “For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it” (ESV). The sin of lying damns one just as surely as the sin of adultery.

Secondly, God can, and will, forgive any and all of these sins. An adulterer, a liar, a thief, or a homosexual can be forgiven if they will repent and live for the Lord. The writer of this passage says clearly that his readers were once sinners who participated in these types of sins, and were prevented from entering the kingdom of God; nevertheless, they are now forgiven, citizens of the God’s kingdom. No sin is unforgivable.

Therefore, while Christians must continue to speak out against sin in the world, we must remember that we too were sinners, guilty before God, with no excuse. We were saved and forgiven by the grace of God. We should humbly share this grace, found in the good news that Jesus has paid for our sins on a cross, with a lost and hurting world that needs very much to hear it.