I have, on occasion, pointed out to some of our homo-citizens that pedophilia is the next “civil rights” issue. This makes them bristle. How dare I compare their sin to a pedophile’s sin! The gay sinner is “born that way,” while the pedophile sinner is sick. What they don’t understand is that all sin is a symptom of a separation from Christ. Apart from Christ, all sinners…hetero and homo…have the wrath of God abiding on them. Shouldn’t someone tell them?
Those homosexuals, as it turns out, are a very judgmental group.
So here’s where I’m heading with this story. What is our obligation to the lost sinner? Are we to “love them in their sin”, or love them enough to tell them the truth about their sin?
“Love the sinner, hate the sin, Brother Dave,” most Christians tell me. Except that is a lie. “God hates all workers of iniquity.” It is the sinner He hates…not just the sin. It is the soul…the sinner and not the sin…that gets cast into the lake of fire.
Although male-on-male sex was not my personal sin of choice, my appetite for other sins was insatiable. I used to hate guys like me…those “religious” folks who were always warning me about hell. I couldn’t figure out why they didn’t just leave me alone and let me live my own life the way I wanted. I was a “good” person. I “believed” in God. I was raised in church. I prayed before my meals. I didn’t judge people.
But one day, a man told me the truth about my sinful condition. He explained that apart from God, I was doomed to an eternal hell. He told me that Christ died so that my sins could be forgiven, and that I could live a life free from the bondage of sin. He offered me a way out of my drinking and carousing. He threw me a lifeline. He told me that my job was to help lead people to the Light. He told me that Jesus could change my life.
There were no churches at the Homo Pride parade in Springfield, Missouri. If we had not gone, there would have been no witness to the life-changing power of Jesus. We were there to tell them that there is a way out.
Why does what we do seem so unloving to so many? Didn’t Jesus exhort us to “Go ye into all the world”? Doesn’t the Scripture prod us to “Preach the Word….reprove, rebuke, and exhort…?” Why do we spend thousands of dollars on foreign mission trips when the public square right in our own hometown is lined with profoundly lost people? Why are we afraid to extend the hand of mercy to the child of some heartbroken parent who is desperately crying for someone to reach his or her child?
What if we are the answer to that parent’s prayer? What if we hold the key to unlocking the prison that their child is trapped in? What if our willingness to lay down our lives is the conduit through which the Holy Spirit flows? What if the Gospel still has the power to change lives? I am so glad my friend told me the truth.
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