Author "Calling the Rainbow Nation Home"
Are Homosexuals Condemned to Hell?
Are all homosexuals destined for hell? Does ones sexual orientation, in and of itself, condemn one to a life apart from Christ? Surprising as it may seem there are many within the Christian community that believe this to be true. Go to any major "gay pride" event and you will see protestors with signs saying such things as "Fags are going to Hell!" So who is right? Are 'we' condemned to Hell because of our sexual orientation? Or are these poor people so wrapped up in their fear that they would attack the very Body of Christ (Matthew 25:40)?
When I was "coming out," most in the church believed that homosexuals were condemned to Hell. Because of this, I too struggled with this concept and wondered if my very salvation was in peril. After all, I had no one else telling me anything different. My heart was telling me that God loved me 'just as I am' yet the Church was telling me something entirely different. Which was right?
Not wanting to lose my salvation over my sexual orientation, I started my journey here to find God's truth and will for my life. Aware that my own biases would probably cloud my judgment, I decided to start my search using the worst possible scenario. That being the premise that the "anti-gay" contingent was correct and that homosexuals were destined for Hell. If I could find any way to Scripturally back this premise, then I had determined in my mind that I would accept this as the truth. After all the weight of the Church stood behind this idea and I surely didn't want to risk my relationship with God. No matter the personal cost.
After much thought, I came up with only two possible scenarios that would support this notion. The first is that salvation is reserved for a select group of people, and that homosexuals are somehow excluded from this group. The second possibility is that homosexuality is such a terrible and perverse sin that salvation is beyond our grasp. On the flip side, if neither of ideas could stand up to Biblical scrutiny, then there is nothing left to support the notion that salvation hasn’t been extended to everyone - including the gay community!
Could salvation be reserved for a select group of people? It may seem surprising, but this is not a new idea. The early Christians believed that salvation was only offered to those of Jewish heritage and not to the Gentiles (non- Jews) who were seen as an unclean abomination (Acts 10:28). Thankfully, Paul and others wrote extensively on this issue and strongly refuted the notion that salvation is offered only to a select few.
John described best God's open invitation in John 3:16 when he wrote that “whosoever” (King James translation) believes in Jesus Christ will not perish. “Whosoever” does not exclude anyone, instead it includes everyone! Simply put, it does not matter if you gay or straight, black or white, male or female. What matters is whether you believe in Jesus Christ or not and have accepted Him as your Lord and Savior.
John 3:16 (NIV) "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
So if no one is excluded from God's invitation, that only leaves one scenario left. That being that homosexuality is such an evil and perverse sin that it cannot be forgiven. Of course we have to assume for a moment that homosexuality is a sin to explore this idea! But if true, could any sin be so terrible that Christ’s death is incapable of cleansing us from it?
If we accept this premise, the implications are immense, for it means that there is a limit to salvation’s cleansing power. If true, then Christ did not conquer sin, but rather that a single sin conquered Him! If sin conquered Christ, then satan, not Christ, still rules and we have lost the battle! Is there such a limit to the cleansing blood of Christ that was shed on the cross? No! (Romans 8:37-39; Matthew 28:18) A thousand times no!
How do I know this to be true? I knew firstly because Paul said in Romans 8:1, “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus”. If there was a sin that could keep us from being saved, the text would have instead read, “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus EXCEPT for the homosexuals”. It simply does not say that!
Secondly, I know because of my own personal experience. God has so dramatically changed me since the day I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior some twenty-five years ago. That to tell me God isn’t interested in homosexuals or that God doesn’t accept gay people is absurd! It’s too late to tell me such nonsense! Why? Because I’ve already experienced God’s miraculous touch and power (2 Corinthians 5:17-19)! I’ve already felt God’s overpowering love sweep over me and through me. I've experienced first hand the gifts of the Spirit that Peter described as only come from God Himself (Acts 10:44-48)! And finally, I’ve already witnessed the lengths He will go to save ‘others’ like me! Far from convincing me that God “hates gays” I am fully persuaded that God loves us, cherishes us and will go to any length to save us.
Has God ever asked me to change? YES! God has asked me to change LOADS of things about my life. But He has NEVER once asked me to leave my relationship or try and change my sexual orientation!
It’s clear that no one particular group of people has ever been excluded from salvation. Nor is any sin so great that it cannot be cleansed by the power of the blood of Jesus. Salvation has nothing to do with one’s sexual orientation, and everything to do with our acceptance or rejection of Jesus Christ. The anti-gay signs that scream out, “Fags are going to Hell!” should instead be asking us all one simple question. “Have you Accepted Jesus Christ?” For that is the only thing that matters concerning ones Salvation.
Note: Don't end your search here though. What does Scripture have to say about this issue? If your short on time you can click here to go directly to the "clobber" passages interpreted by many in the church to condemn homosexuality. Do they? Also highly recommended is the next article in the series titled "Is Homosexuality a Sin?" If you have the time though I encourage you to read the entire article series from start to finish starting first with the introduction. Want to know even more? I strongly recommend Rev. Sundby's book "Calling the Rainbow Nation Home."
Counter reset 9/16/2005