I know that the Bible says that homosexuality is a sin and that those who do so will not inherit the Kingdom of God, but it also says that the only unforgivable sin is not accepting Jesus. If a gay or lesbian person accepts Jesus, but is not able to change his or her lifestyle, can they go to heaven? What about alcoholics, drug abusers, child molesters, etc.?
There is only one sin that is mentioned that is unforgivable. That is the sin of not believing and not receiving Jesus Christ into your life. A homosexual person can accept Christ, just as an alcoholic, a drug addict, or a mass-murderer can. In fact, over one-third of the Bible was written by murderers (Moses, David, Paul…). Jesus' offer of salvation is open to everyone. When someone is saved, it is not due to a change in their lifestyle but it does and should change their lifestyle. If someone has truly accepted Christ into their life, then nothing can keep them out of heaven. In John 10:28-29, Christ says of Christians,
“I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of My hand….and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.’
The term “no man” is repeated twice, indicating the importance of it to us. This “no man” includes our own selves or anybody else. This would seem to cover every sin, even born-again Christian’s committing suicide. Here’s why: When Jesus said in John 3:16 – 17 that “….whoever believes in Him will not perish, but has everlasting life.” the condition to this eternal life is believing in Him. This whoever can be anybody. A practicing homosexual, an intravenous drug user, murderer, etc. The “will not” is present indicative or rather “it’s a done deal” in God’s eyes already. Remember that God calls those things in the future as if they already exist because he has the power to accomplish His will. That’s why the Alpha and Omega can say “…but has [presently for believers or already has] everlasting life”.
Then John 3:17-18 reveals why your secure. For “He did not come into the world to condemn the world; but that through Him, the world might be saved”. If you believe in Him, your not condemned…period! The blood of Christ covers past, present and future sins. Although you still reap the consequences of them, those consequences are not losing eternal life. The only ones who are condemned are those who won’t believe in Jesus. To anyone trying to overcome homosexuality, drug abuse, etc. I hope that they understand that they will continue to sin, again and again, but one’s salvation is unaffected. Rewards may diminish in heaven, but nobody who accepts Christ can be lost by Christ.
Consider Paul, a spiritual giant if anyone ever was. He may have been the greatest missionary ever and was the greatest contributor to the New Testament. This man did exactly, time and again, what he knew to be wrong (Romans 7:15). Then he failed to do what was right, even though he was aware of it at the time (Romans 7:19). He sinned willingly but not willfully. There is a great deal of difference in the two. If a person senses change is needed or does change, that's a good sign that Christ is working in their life. They are willing to do good. To not try at all (like the unsaved) is willfully rejecting Christ since they aren’t even willing to try.
Works-based salvation (what we can do) saves no one, for no one can save themselves (Romams 6:23). Besides, God is the only one who truly knows our hearts, but if Christ has become the Lord, then the Holy Spirit will begin to deal with the sin of homosexuality in their life. Not stop all the urges, not stop all of the returns to it, but prompt and urge the believer not to engage in such behavior as well as other ungodly acts. But neither ought one constantly worry, even to sleeplessness, about losing their salvation. John 3:16 says “that whomever would believe in Him would not perish“. It doesn’t add: unless, or except for, or in the event of….. It is clearly not conditional on any other thing or anyone (including our own selves).
Not Saved By Works But For Works
If at any time we feel we get to heaven partly through our own efforts, we are unknowingly holding to a teaching that the Bible continually condemns. Such a definition of grace is man's careful fabrication, for the Bible consistently declares that the believer's right standing with God is “without works” (Romans 4:6), “without the deeds of the Law” (Romans 3:28), “not of works” (Ephesians 2:9), “It is the gift of God,” (Ephesians 2:8). Obviously we aren’t saved by good works, but for good works as James points out. But, if a person claims to be saved and shows absolutely no external evidence of it or there is not spiritual hunger or growth, then that person may not actually be saved.
To attempt to make the believer's response part of his salvation and to look upon grace as “a help” is to flatly deny Biblical truth, “…if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace…” (Romans 11:6). The simple Biblical message is that “the gift of righteousness” in Christ Jesus is a gift, resting on His all-sufficient sacrifice on the cross, “For if by one man's offense death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:17).
So it is as Christ Jesus Himself said, He died in place of the believer, the One for many (Mark 10:45), His life a ransom for many. As He declared, …this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins” (Matthew 26:28). This is also what Peter proclaimed, “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God…” (I Peter 3:18). Paul's preaching is summarized at the end of II Corinthians 5:21, “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him..” (II Corinthians 5:21).
A hundred good deeds can not absolve anything but a guilty conscience (Mark 1:15). Even after a person is saved, they can feel they might not be saved, then the urge moves to “meriting,” “earning,” or “being good enough,” instead of simply accepting with empty hands, the gift of righteousness in Christ Jesus. To refuse to accept what God commands is the same sin as that of the religious Jews of Paul's time, “For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.” (Romans 10:3) No amount of works can save anyone. Jesus has done it all, once and for all!. Since we can not bring about our own salvation, it stands to reason that we can not bring about it’s loss. Tragically, some churches do not teach eternal security, therefore members often live in fear and doubt. The good news is no one need live in fear or doubt anymore.
God gives people the power of the Holy Spirit to break addictions, lifestyles and destruction behaviors, including homosexuality. If the person does not change in someway, then perhaps they were never truly saved, for the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin and we seek forgiveness from God. The former addicts, substance abusers and homosexuals will want to stop these sins. The difference is that holiness is not the way to Jesus, Jesus is the way to holiness.
Dear Mr. Wellman, thank you for writing this article. It clears up many questions I’ve had in my mind about many things. But mostly about the finality and totality of being saved. And what happens thereafter. Fantastic article!
kenoman53, thank you so much for your encouraging comment. I have received some less than encouraging comments and messages and your comment makes me feel it was worth it. This needed to be said. I came from an alcoholics family and was drug abuser and I never felt good enough to be saved. What I discovered was that, no that I am pastoring a small church, is that God uses those weak and base things, like myself, to proclaim His greatness. He is made strong through those of us, like me, who are weak. I had to decide, where my doubts or feelings more sure than the Word of God? No, God’s Word is unchangable and therefore I discovered that no one is beyond the hope of salvation. No sin too great for God’s grace is without end. Eternal security is not understood as it should be. What God has given, no man can take away or what we have not earned, we can not lose. That is why it is called the Good News of the Kingdom of Heaven. Its just too good of news to keep to myself. God bless you friend and thank you kenoman53.
So if I’m reading this correctly, all I really need for true salvation is John 3:16-25, and I can toss the entire rest of the Bible in the trash if I want to? Doesn’t repentance have anything to do with salvation? What about defining the word “believe” as it’s used here in the Bible? Doesn’t it have a slightly different definition than say “believing” in Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy? Please don’t take this as an attack on you personally. My life has begun to change a lot since I’ve accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior, and I am just curious about this subject. Thank you for your time.
Thank you for your comment. To believe in means to trust in, rely upon, lean on, fully hold on to…believe means that, even I, a former drug abuser and prisoner can be saved. I don’t know why you would insinuate that the rest of the Bible should be tossed out. No, the entire Bible is about believing in Jesus Christ really…and trusting and having saving faith. It is a gift from God. As I said in the article, “God gives people the power of the Holy Spirit to break addictions, lifestyles and destruction behaviors, including homosexuality. If the person does not change in someway, then perhaps they were “never truly saved”, for the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin and we seek forgiveness from God.” Please understand that I am not saying that they should continue in these but as I said, “If the person does not change in someway, then perhaps they were never truly saved, for the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin and we seek forgiveness from God. The former addicts, substance abusers and homosexuals will WANT to stop these sins.”…again, if they do not then as I said, they may not actually be saved. Thanks. I hope I addressed your concern. If not, I am sorry about my poor attempt. Thanks and God bless. I am glad, like you, that we have overcome my brother and its only by the grace of God that I am still not in that addiction.
Jack – one of my fellow authors just did an interview with a man, who by the grace of God, was changed out of a homosexual lifestyle. I thought you would interested to read it! http://journeytofreedomdotnet.wordpress.com/2011/09/12/interview-with-dennis-jernigan/
Amy, thank you so much. I’ll check it out. Praise to God and thru Jesus Christ we can be more than conquerors in Him alone. We can do all things thru Christ Who lives in us!
Dear Mr. Well man, thank you so much for your wisdom on the subject of salvation. All of what you said, lines in agreement with the word of God and with my spirit. God has been revealed all this to me but it felt for a while as though I was the only one who believed and received this revelation. It’s so great to hear someone else say these same words that I have expressed via social media. So many people want to make receiving salvation a difficult thing to do, however it’s so simple! I as beginning to doubt if I was really receiving this revelation from God but sir, reading your words of wisdom was confirmation of God’s revelation words to me!
To God goes all the Glory, Honor and Praise 🙂
Thank you JMAllen. I am so glad you liked what you read. I know that God is longsuffering…just looking in the mirror shows me that. May God richly bless you for your encouragement.
Interesting read.I agree completely about what you say.
I have been a Christian for 53 years. Been trying to live it also.I still sin daily, but I ask forgiveness at the end of day for my conscious sins.Still have a cigarette habit that I haven’t been able to shake.
The greatest Bible sermon I ever heard was about the 2 other people who were crucified on each side of Christ. One didn’t believe, and one did.They died. The one that asked Christ to remember him couldn’t get off his cross to change any bad habits, he possessed up to moment of passing to our Lord’s kingdom.
Peace and love my friend.
It is impossible to “walk in the flesh” and “walk in the spirit at the same time”…if we are truly, genuinely converted, we will be at war with our flesh/tent…we still will sin to varying degree b/c we occupy this tent and by human nature, it is our very nature to sin but our sin will convict to the point of one day realizing we need Jesus more then this thing we love so much. When we believe in “The word became flesh”, that is, Jesus and his word which He is the word then we will believe his word and all of it…not just John 3:16…I have a family full of supposed believers who still live like the world and who are very casual about it, not remorseful at all trampling the blood of Jesus…They just accept their sin…I believe God mentions particulars so that we will not be deceived…He does not mention the severity of stealing, let’s say, a pencil from your work office…but He does list specifically deadly sins…all sin has consequences no doubt, but God is clear on what sin will have eternal loss…Again, we cannot walk in the spirit while walking in the sin nature, a wilful sin, knowing very well what God has to say and have a clean conscience, it simply is not possible…We cannot love the world and love God too…we have to choose…and what’s more…salvation is a free gift, but one that will cost you everything if it is indeed genuine….we have many an example…just look at the Apostles’ lives, they gave everything, their lives, their lifestyle’s, their families, jobs, possessions…they gave it all…For the cause of Christ…so why do we find it so extremely difficult to give up what we love…for God gave so much, his very son’s life who shed his blood for us all…yet we cannot let go of the lover we shouldn’t have, the lifestyle we shouldn’t be leading, the stuff we cling too, etc…this is where we come to realize, like Paul said…I count it all rubbish!! for the joy I have in Christ!!!