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    Q: #312. Can a homosexual go to Heaven?

By: Steve Shirley

    A: First off, let me say that I can judge no one's salvation. Only God can ultimately know if a person is saved or not. Of course, if a person has surrendered his or her life to Jesus Christ and accepted what the Bible says a person must do to be saved, then that person WILL be saved. (For the sake of space, I will not go through the steps. Please see: Plan of Salvation.)

     According to the Bible, a key step in salvation is repentance. Repentance and salvation are connected over and over (Acts 2:38)(Mk 1:14-15)(2 Cor 7:10)(Mt 4:17)(Heb 6:1). In coming to Jesus, we must ALL admit that we are sinners, and we need His sacrificial payment for our sins. We must also feel great sorrow and remorse for our sins, and be willing to turn from them, forsake them, and go in a new direction with our lives. This is repentance. If we are willing to turn, God will help us. However, if we come to Christ unwilling to turn from sin, we cannot have a saving relationship with Him.

     Looking at repentance in regards to homosexuality, the Bible clearly says that homosexuality is a sin (Lev 18:22)(Lev 20:13)(Rom 1:24,26-27)(1 Tim 1:9-10)(1 Kin 14:24)(Deut 23:17-18). If a homosexual wants a personal, saving relationship with Jesus, he must be willing to turn from this sin. If he (or she) believes he can turn to Jesus and continue on in unrepentant sin, he is mistaken. HOWEVER, this does not just apply to homosexuality. The same thing is true for ANY sin! If one is an adulterer he/she must repent and be willing to turn from adultery, the fornicator from fornication, the thief from theft, the drunkard from drinking, etc... If we are unwilling to turn from sin, we are not repentant, and if we are not repentant, we cannot be saved.

     If a person says they are saved, and they are practicing unrepentant sin, the Bible calls them a liar (1 Jn 2:4)(Also see: 1 Jn 3:4-9, 1 Jn 5:18, Heb 10:26-27, Titus 1:15-16). One cannot be saved and practice sin because the Holy Spirit lives in ALL believers (Rom 8:9,11)(Eph 1:13-14). The Holy Spirit will convict us of sin (Jn 16:8), lead us to truth (Jn 14:17)(Jn 15:26), and direct us (Acts 20:22)(Acts 11:12). In other words, it is IMPOSSIBLE for a Christian to sin without conviction. This does not mean that a Christian cannot struggle with sin, or struggle to overcome a certain sin that has a grip on his life (I believe all Christians have at least one besetting sin we struggle with), but we certainly are not going to be "comfortable" in our sin. We will be miserable!

*** Keep in mind that being tempted is not a sin; the sin comes when we act on, or give into the temptation. Jesus, while on the Earth, was tempted in all ways just like we are (Heb 2:18)(Heb 4:15-16) but did not give into the temptations, and was without sin.

     Here is another statement I believe I can confidently make from scripture: "There will be no PROUD sinners in Heaven." The Bible tells us over and over that God HATES pride (Prov 6:16-19)(Prov 21:4)(Prov 16:18)(James 4:6). Applying this to sin, does any person really think they can be "proud" of their sin and go to Heaven? In relation to homosexuality, I think of "Gay Pride." If a person is "proud" to live a gay lifestyle, which the Bible clearly calls sin, they are not sorry for their sin, nor are they repentant. Again though, this applies to ALL sins. We cannot be "proud" of any sin. We must HATE our sins. We must be at war with them. This is the sign of a true Christian: confession of sin and repentance.

     The Bible says in (1 Cor 6:9-11) that homosexuals ("abusers of themselves with mankind" - KJV) shall not enter the kingdom of God. However, many other people are in this group as well: fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, sodomites, thieves, covetous, drunkards, revilers, and extortioners. And, continuing in (Gal 5:19-21) some other acts include: witchcraft, hatred, wrath, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, envying, and carousing. Do you fall into this group? Most Christians have been guilty of committing one or more of these sins. Does committing one of these sins means we cannot go to Heaven? No... The key is that while we may be guilty of committing these sins, we are sorry about it. We confess our sin(s) and repent. We do not make it our lifestyle or "practice" it. The unrepentant homosexual, adulterer, fornicator, thief, drunkard, ect... is the one who will not enter the "kingdom of God."

     So, to answer your question, "Can a homosexual go to Heaven?" I believe that it is indeed possible that a person "struggling" to overcome homosexuality can go to Heaven. But, an unrepentant homosexual will not go to Heaven. Nor can any other unrepentant sinner.

*** I speak more about homosexuality, and what the Bible teaches about how to get free from this sin in a study you can find here.

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