Evangelize… Don’t Moralize! Part 2

The unbelieving homosexual, no matter what they believe about homosexuality, is a sinner and needs Jesus! In my case, after I was lead to tell my new Christian friend, Jill, I had been leading a lesbian lifestyle for many years, let’s remember how she spoke the truth in love. She responded by telling me that it’s wrong because the Bible says it is. And she balanced it out with “but God love’s you and I love you… that is something you need to take to God.” It was a word fitly spoken (Pro. 15:2; 15:23b). Had she been in my face that it is an abomination… or had she begun to espouse her beliefs that it is unnatural, harmful, and destructive to civilization, all of which may be true, it would not have gone well with me. All those answers are to a certain degree subjective. They can be and will be dismissed as just your opinion. Because Jill didn’t do that, and she humbly and lovingly pointed me to the Lord and His truth; no defensiveness surfaced on my part, and I didn’t feel or sense any condemnation.

The important truth we want to remember here is that homosexuality is wrong is because God, who gave us our sexual capacities, simply said so in His Word! When we present the case in that light, we remove our personal opinions and experiences from the argument, thus bringing the person face to face with God Himself and the truth of His Word. This was my situation. Jill knew I believed in God, but I was not born again and she sensed I was opening up to spiritual things. She looked for an opportunity to be a minister of reconciliation, sharing the gospel of peace with me. That opportunity came the next day!

So, if God gives you an opportunity to minister to a person struggling with homosexuality, keep it simple and focused, praying for an open door to share the gospel. Be patient and let the Holy Spirit work, but don’t moralize by overemphasizing the sinfulness of homosexuality. In the New Testament, homosexual behavior is not singled out as more sinful than adultery, fornication, idolatry, blaspheme, greed, hatred, or any other specific sins. Paul consistently placed homosexual behavior right alongside a variety of other sins (see Rom 1:29-31; 1Cor 6:9-10; 1Tim 1:9-10). Neither should we single it out as the worst of sins. One reason they didn’t single it out was because homosexual sex was as common in the Roman world as it is becoming in ours. That has not been the case with us until recently, so we have tended to overreact to homosexuality more than to other sins. And, some have thought that Paul identified homosexual sin as more sinful in the first chapter of Romans, but I agree with most good Bible teachers, that that is not the case. In verses 26-32, Paul is using homosexual behavior to illustrate the inevitable moral insanity and sexual perversity that follows when people, nations, cultures, and civilizations reject the true and living God. We’re seeing the fruit of turning away from God and doing our own thing in our country, are we not? All unrighteousness is sin!

Once I was born again, then I dealt with the homosexual issue. I thought, ok, I’m a sinner… I’m saved… but is homosexuality really sin? With the indwelling Holy Spirit and the Word of God I was convicted that it was a sinful lifestyle. If I had a problem with that, I would have had to wrestle with God about it. I’m a firm believer that conviction over specific sins is better left to the Holy Spirit. God doesn’t clean us up and then save us. He saves us and then begins His “open heart surgery”… changing us from the inside out. Remember, specific sins are fruit of the root problem: all men and women sinners, who are dead in our trespasses and sins. The only remedy is the salvation that comes through personal faith in Jesus Christ.

In closing, it’s time to get back to the important question. How did I come out of homosexuality? First I received the gospel message, became a new creation in Christ, truly born again, a sinner saved by grace! Praise the Lord! And, very soon after I was born again, I agreed with God that according to the Bible, homosexuality is a sin. I could not and would not lead that lifestyle any longer. Is that it, you ask? No, there were some struggles to overcome. But I was so grateful for my salvation. I loved Jesus much more than the homosexual lifestyle. I allowed Him to be the Lord of my life, and by His amazing grace He opened up His storehouse of blessings that canceled the past, equipped me to deal the struggles of coming out of homosexuality and secured my future! Again, I say, praise the Lord. Stay tuned… more to come!

Prayer thought: Precious Lord, give us the heart of a minister of reconciliation and the opportunity to share the gospel of peace to a hurting world!

Related source:  (Speaking the Truth) In Love  (standupforthetruth.com)

Evangelize… Don’t Moralize! Part 1

I have so much on my heart to share; the question is, where do I begin? The Holy Spirit has been prompting me for quite some time to make it a priority to share, posting much more often on the Bridge of Hope Ministry (BOHM) Blog. I haven’t been listening… so as to do! No more excuses… time to make God’s priorities, my priorities.

But, again, where do I start? Often during my morning devotions, God has spoken to my heart, and I think, I need to share this… or share that. Or I read posts and comments on various ministry blogs and websites; then think about responding but don’t because of the time it will take. Then I just forget about it.

Recently, as I prayed about getting back at posting on the blog, it became clear where to start. And really, this has been on my heart since February when I was on a Christian radio program, Stand Up For The Truth. That day, as I began to share, people began to call in with questions such as: so, do you believe a person is not born homosexual? Did you choose to be homosexual? Would you share what specific things (specific experiences) in your childhood that you think helped cause the development of same-sex attractions/feelings in you? In a nutshell, all these questions were about how I became a lesbian! As I drove home, I remember thinking, isn’t anyone interested in how God changed my life… how I came out of homosexuality… how the Son set me free (John 8:34, 36). Understanding how the love of Jesus set me free, and changed me from the inside out, will help equip others for ministry in this area.

As I speak with believers at conferences, it’s quite evident people are not sure how to minister to someone they know who says they are homosexual. Typically, I will ask, is this person saved… are they born again? The answer to this question will determine where your ministry to this person will begin. Just as Jesus told Nicodemus, “you must be born again” (John 3:3), so must this struggler God has brought into their lives! It is the first and most important step to finding freedom from homosexuality. And, yes, it was the most important step in my journey out of homosexuality. Freedom comes through Jesus Christ! And typically, that means the need for someone to share the gospel!

Many who have come to Christ out of the gay lifestyle have shared that those who influenced them in their decision for Christ did so primarily through love and patience. And they did not make homosexuality the primary issue, because it is not. The primary issue is sin. My friend, who shared the gospel with me, influenced my decision for Christ in just that manner. She evangelized; she did not moralize! Yes, she shared the truth about homosexuality. But she did not dwell on it; there was something much more important she was hoping to share.

Here’s what happened. As we sipped our morning coffee and talked, religion and spiritual “stuff” came up. Eventually I felt lead to tell her the lifestyle I was leading and the trials of the past couple years. She listened and then said something like this: “Ruth, I believe it (homosexuality) is wrong because the Bible says it is. God loves you and so do I, but that is something you need to take to God.” She left it at that, never mentioning it again. The next day, God gave her an open door to share the gospel! We did not talk about homosexuality at all; but she did talk about sin. She explained how we are all sinners and how Jesus bridged the gap between a holy God and unholy, sinful man! The next day, on my own, reading through the Four Spiritual Laws tract, thinking through all the scriptures and their application to my life, I recognized my need for Jesus. I prayed and accepted Him as my Savior and Lord.

So, if you know someone who is homosexual, pray for the Holy Spirit to draw this person to Christ. Pray for God to use you and give you an open door to share the gospel. When that open door comes, don’t moralize by over-emphasizing the issue of homosexuality, telling them they need Jesus because homosexuality is perverse, it’s unnatural, it’s wrong, it’s an abomination, you shouldn’t live that way, etc. Had my friend done that with me, she never would have had an opportunity to get to the real issue and to share the gospel. She truly spoke the truth in love and then took advantage of the open door God gave her to focus on and to lay out through the scriptures, the real issue … we are all sinners (Rom. 3:23), and “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8) and more!

Therefore, just as we approach any other sinner who needs Jesus with love, grace, mercy, kindness, and courtesy, we do the same for those living the homosexual lifestyle. Evangelize… don’t moralize!

More on this next time! Before you go, please check out the rest of the website, as it has been recently revamped.

NOTE:  If you are interested in Ruth’s book, Love Flowed Down… It Was For Me, it can be purchased at the ministry website store through PayPal… or you can purchase it at Amazon.com.  There is a book description on the Amazon page!