From time-to-time someone will use love as an excuse for overlooking sin. Lately, the sin we are suppose to overlook and even celebrate is homosexuality. So it is that last month the Prince William County Board of Supervisors celebrated LGBTQM Pride Month (see Prince William County Proclaims June 2019 LGBTQM Month (bristowbeat.com)). Since the Bible is fairly clear that overweening pride leads to sin, the title, LGBTQM Pride Month, is hugely ironic. Still, that was the least of the foolishness. For example, as bristowbeat.com recorded, one of the more prominent speakers made this comment.
I know that you are afraid of the consequences of this vote. You look at how some voters took vengeance on Supervisor Nohe and challenged Supervisor Candland for their votes last year. But the real fear should be when you stand before Jesus and he reminds you that whatsoever you did to the least of his people you did unto him.
In John 13:34-35, one of Jesus’s last teachings before facing the Cross was “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Vote yes on the proclamation not in spite of your religious beliefs, but because of them. (from here)
In the United States, we live in a time of vast ignorance about Jesus and His Bible. Yet there is no shortage of Bibles or Bible commentary. Instead, we just have a bunch of people who are all too willing to take other people’s word about what the Bible says. Such laziness is dangerous. If we knew our history, we would know that much of the impetus for the Protestant Reformation came from the fact that the Roman Catholic Church originally opposed allowing the publication of Bible in the language of the People. The leaders of the Roman Catholic Church were afraid that if the People had their own Bibles some of the People would reach incorrect conclusions about what the Bible says. They were right, of course, but the Reformers were not happy with what the Roman Catholic Church was saying about the Bible. So they were not impressed with that argument. Therefore, at the risk of their lives the Reformers published Bibles in the language of the People, and the People started reading those Bibles.
Today we still have the same problem. If we want to understand the Bible, we are best off if we read it. Why? Consider the nature of sin. We are so tempted by sin we cannot resist it. Even the Apostle Paul had to admit this (see Romans 7:13-25). Sin is an awful thing. Idol worship, blasphemy, murder, theft, lying, adultery, and so forth. We know we should not do such things, but we do. We will even deny our sin is prohibited by God in the Bible.
What did Jesus do for us? Jesus did not love us and then ignore our sins. That would be akin to the condemnation we find in this passage.
James 2:15-16 New King James Version (NKJV)
15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit?
Because He loves us, Jesus helped us; He offered us grace and mercy. He did what we could not and cannot do. He lived the perfect life. He became the perfect sacrifice, and He died for our sins. We know the Father accepted His sacrifice because Jesus rose from the dead.
So did Jesus make sin okay? Of course not! We are still not suppose to worship idols, spout blasphemies, commit murder, steal, lie, cheat on our spouse, and so forth. Instead, we are suppose to repent of our sins, accept Jesus as our Savior, and thank the Holy Spirit when He comes to live within us.
So what do we say when some people insist homosexuality is okay? We say Jesus loved us, not our sins. We say the Bible defines homosexuality as a sin. Romans 1:18-32 provides an unambiguous example.
If we love sinners, we have no other choice. Consider how the first sermon of the Apostle Peter ended.
Acts 2:37-39 New King James Version (NKJV)
37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?”
38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.”
If we won’t admit a sin is a sin, how can we repent of it? If we won’t repent of our sins, how will we receive forgiveness and the gift of the Holy Spirit?
Where is the love in denying the need for repentance?
“It is worthwhile noticing that the priest, so far as he may attempt to be original in the substance of his message, is unfaithful to his commission. Christ does not commission his ambassador to invent treaties of reconciliation, but to deliver the Divine treaty.” Hence, the Church “does not believe that God’s Revelation can be improved upon by even the most brilliant human intellect. She does not rebuke those of her ministers who seek originality in the manner of their message, so long as the message is not obscured by their originality; she does not silence those who present old dogmas in new phrases: but emphatically she repudiates those who, as some recent thinkers have attempted to do, seek to present new dogmas under the cover of the old words.”
Quotations from Robert Hugh Benson, The Friendship of Christ (London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1912).