Should Homosexuals Be Welcomed In Churches?

Posted: January 29, 2014 by revivalbiblestudy315 in Apologetics, Bible Study, Homosexuality
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Should Homosexuals Be Welcomed In Churches?
by Don Simmons

Short answer: No! And there are three primary reasons:

1) The First Reason Homosexuals Should Not Be Welcomed Into the “Church” is because the word “church” in Greek is Ekklesia, which means “assembly”, “called out ones”–so the Church is simply a term for “an assembly of the called out ones”, or more simply stated, “it is a gathering of the true born-again saints”. I recently read a quote on FB that stated, “We don’t go to church. We are the church. We go to worship” (by Burk Parsons). This quote seems to capture the spirit and the purpose of the church–a meeting where “believers” go to worship the God who created them, who redeemed them, who empowers them, and who sustains them. It is a place for true believers to worship the One True God! It is also a place where believers go to excercise their spiritual gifts and to build each other up (1 Cor. 14:26). A place where we go to “stir up one another to love and good works” and “encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near” (Heb. 10:24-25). Additionally, it is also a place to deal with “sin” in professing believers” (Mat. 18:15-17; 1 Cor. 5:1-13). And where if sin is not dealt with by the individual believer, whether a true or false convert, it is dealt with by the church.
This may surprise many of the readers here, because this concept is foreign to the professing church. In fact, most of us have heard, “invite your unbelieving family, friends, co-workers, etc., to church so that they can ‘get saved’, meaning “by the pastor’s preaching”. But this is not where the evangelistic gospel is to be proclaimed. In fact, these “pastors/evangelists” who we rely upon to share the gospel with our friends and family, are given to the church to equip you, the church body, for these works of service (Eph. 4:11-12).
If we look at Scripture, we will see that generally speaking, the church was not “open to the public”. For example:

1 Corinthians 14:23-25–
“If, therefore, the whole church comes together and all speak in tongues, and outsiders or unbelievers enter, will they not say that you are out of your minds? But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or outsider enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all, the secrets of his heart are disclosed, and so, falling on his face, he will worship God and declare that God is really among you.”
Though there may be times that an unbeliever enters the assembly of the saints, it is not normative. In fact, the meeting shouldn’t be targeted for him. He will find the meeting to be convicting, rather than a comfortable experience.

Acts 5:13-14–
“None of the rest dared join them, but the people held them in high esteem. And more than ever believers were added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women…”
Though some would argue that we should bring the unsaved to church in order to introduce them to Christ, the NT reveals that the most effective evangelism was separate and distinct from the “church gathering”.

Acts 18:27
“And when he wished to cross to Achaia, the brothers encouraged him and wrote to the disciples to welcome him. When he arrived, he greatly helped those who through grace had believed,”
Acts 20:20
“how I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you in public and from house to house,”
Galatians 3:1
” O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified.”
These passages demonstrate that evangelism was often a public ministry, usually by one or two, but apart from the gathering of believers, and discipleship was done in an intimate setting among other believers.

2 Corinthians 6:14 – 7:1–
“Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said,
“I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them,
and I will be their God,
and they shall be my people.
Therefore go out from their midst,
and be separate from them, says the Lord,
and touch no unclean thing;
then I will welcome you,
and I will be a father to you,
and you shall be sons and daughters to me,
says the Lord Almighty. Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.”
Our inviting the unsaved to our gatherings is contrary to the command of God. The gathering of saints is not for evangelism, but for the purposes shared above. Those who are faithful to obey this command have a wonderful promise from our loving Heavenly Father (vs. 17b-18).

2 John 1:7-10
“For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. Such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist. Watch yourselves, so that you may not lose what we have worked for, but may win a full reward. Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting…”
Believers are commanded to separate from the fellowship of those who teach falsely concerning the nature of Christ and His work of salvation. This would include those that teach that those who are practicing homosexuals can still go to heaven.

2) The Second Reason That Homosexuals Should Not Be Welcomed Into “the Church” is because this would prohibit them from obedience to many of the commands given to the church. In addition to the reasons mentioned above, such as “coming out from among them and being separate”, the church would hardly be at liberty to “put out” a professing believer for a serious sin, such as homosexuality or sexual immorality. Though many churches try to handle this problem by keeping an official “membership role”, this concept is totally foreign to Scripture. In fact, notice in the passage that deals with “church discipline”, 1 Cor. 5 that Scripture tells the church to “…purge the evil person from among you” (1 Cor. 5:13), NOT, “…purge the wicked man from membership”. And notice that the ultimate purpose of putting a professing believer “out of the church” is “…for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of The Lord”. Which leads us to the next reason,

3) The Third Reason That Homosexuals Should Not Be Welcomed Into “the Church” is because it would be the most unloving thing that you could do to this individual. This may surprise you, but when we look at the fate of the man/woman who continues on in sexual sin or perversion we find:
1 Corinthians 6:9-11
“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”
Notice what this passage teaches: a) that the “unrighteous” or those that don’t live according to the righteous standard of God, will not inherit the kingdom of God b) that we aren’t to be deceived c) that the sexually immoral, including those that practice homosexuality will not inherit the kingdom of God d) that though some in this assembly of believers used to be this way, they no longer are, but have been “washed, sanctified, justified in the name of The Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of God.” This begs the question: “So if they don’t inherit the Kingdom of God”, what is their inheritance? Scripture gives an explicit answer to this question in Rev. 21:8, “But as for the…sexually immoral (which includes the homosexual)…their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” As you are meditating upon their eternal fate, consider the following passage in Rev. 14:10-11,
“…he will also drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night…”. Did you catch the horror of the unrepentant homosexual (or any other unrepentant sinner for that matter)? “Forever and ever, and no rest day or night”! These men and women that continue on in their sin will cry out to God for mercy, having no rest, no night time to alleviate their sufferings, not even death–only eternal torment, by a God who had offered them life, but they refused.”
Though Scripture tells us that, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” in John 3:16, it goes onto state in this same chapter, “And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil. For everyone who does wicked things (which would include practicing homosexuality) hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed” (John 3:19-20). In fact, John 3:36 tells us that these men/women have “the wrath of God abiding upon them”.
In fact, the most loving thing that you can do for your “homosexual” friends, family, or even those you meet on the street, is to tell them that they must “repent” (Acts 17:30-31) and be “born again” (John 3:3). For those that are born again will be a “new creation” (2 Cor. 5:17), they will have the promise of a “new heart” and “God’s Spirit” implanted within them, “And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in my statues and keep my rules an dobey them. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God” (Ezek. 11:19-20). And those that are “born again” have a new relationship with sin,
1 John 3:9-10
“No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God ‘s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil:whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.”
So if you truly love the homosexual, then love him enough to tell him/her the truth! Share the gospel with him/her, but don’t welcome him into your church.

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