Does the Bible Really Say Homosexuality is a Sin?

Does the Bible really say homosexuality (and other LGBTQ lifestyles) is a sin? This question is on a lot of people’s minds today. What people want to know is, can I be LGBTQ and still enjoy a relationship with God?  What does the Bible say? There is a short answer and a long answer. The short answer, while accurate, often leaves the wrong impression with people seriously looking for spiritual answers to these issues. The long answer, on the other hand, can be equally as misleading.  So, if you are serious about this issue and want a Biblical answer, I encourage you to invest a few minutes in this post. I think you will hear some things you might not have heard before.

There is no simple answer because the issue of salvation isn’t wrapped up in what we do but what we believe – or, more accurately – who we believe in. So let’s walk through a few questions and short answers, and then we will get to the long answer, which will make the other short answers make sense.

  •  Is homosexuality a sin, according to the Bible? Yes. We will look at exactly what the BIBLE (not preachers) say in a minute.
  • Does God hate homosexuals and other alternative lifestyle folks? NO! Contrary to the fact that some fundamental fanatics say, “God hates fags,” this is simply not true or Biblical. Those people neither know God or His word. They will be judged accordingly – count on it. They do not speak for God. God loves everyone. John 3:16, the most famous verse in the Bible, says, God so LOVED the world (everyone) that He gave His only begotten Son to save them.”
  • Can a homosexual be Christian, or to put it another way, can a Christian be homosexual? Yes. Christians have all sorts of different sins in their lives. Lying, cheating, stealing, pride, religious hypocrisy, sexual immorality, and any other sin you can think of. The Bible tells us we are in a lifelong struggle to become like Jesus. The bigger question is, can a Christian be homosexual and stay that way? The answer is, that genuine Christians will slowly but surely change through the power of the Holy Spirit.
  • Is homosexuality worse than other sins? No! Heterosexual sins are no different than homosexual ones. Fornication, adultery, pornography, lust, and other things are no different in God’s eyes than homosexual ones. Those who make a distinction are wrong. According to the Bible, God blessed the sexual relationship inside a marriage covenant between a man and a woman.
  • Can God forgive homosexuals? Yes! God can forgive anyone for anything. We are told in Romans 5:20: “Where sin abounded, grace abounded much more.” Any person can be forgiven through Jesus.
  • Doesn’t forgiveness mean it is alright to be homosexual? No. Stop and think about it. If you needed forgiveness, what you did was wrong to start with – no matter what sin we are discussing. If someone broke into your house and stole money, then asked your forgiveness, you may forgive them, but you would not assume that your forgiveness was a license to keep stealing from you. After a while, you would put a stop to it. Forgiveness releases us from the shame, guilt, corruption, and eternal death that sin brings. It does not grant permission to keep sinning,

What does the Bible say about homosexuality and related issues?

To be honest, most people concerned with this issue have never read what the bible says for themselves. They simply listen to what other people say the Bible says. Not a good plan when your eternal soul hangs in the balance. Find out for yourself, then make a decision. If you are serious about what the Bible says, then you will want to read these scriptures.  I have placed the scriptures in red so you can separate the scripture from my commentary. Get your own Bible and look it up for yourself.

  • “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination” (Leviticus 18:22). Note this passage contains a long list of sexually moral items, not just a rule against homosexuality.
  • “If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination….” (Leviticus 20:13). Note this passage contains a long list of sexually moral items, not just a rule against homosexuality.
  • “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11) This passage also lists a lot of activities that have nothing to do with homosexuality. in short, God isn’t just picking on homosexuals; he is giving warnings to all the unrighteous, including those who might consider themselves to be Christian. I might also add that this is not just a one-time thing or an occasional slip into temptation. He is warning those who practice these things as a lifestyle. They will not inherit the kingdom of God.
  • “Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. For this reason, God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.” (Romans 1:26-32).  This is a good verse for those who say the New Testament doesn’t say anything about homosexuality. It does, and it is very clear. This passage explicitly addresses both lesbian and gay issues. Again, you will note that many other things are mentioned in this passage besides sexual sins.
  • “The law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine.” 1 Timothy 1:8-11
  • “…As Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh (homosexuality), are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire..” (Jude 1:7) You can read the entire story of Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis chapter 19. it is too long to post here.

The bottom line is that the Bible does say homosexuality (along with adultery, fornication, bestiality, sex with a neighbor’s wife or your sister or aunt) is wrong. There is no verse in the Bible that changes any of that. If the question really is, “What does the bible say?” Then, the honest person has only one conclusion. The Bible does say that homosexuality is a sin, even using the strongest word possible – abomination.

But is that the end of the story? Go directly to hell, do not pass, and do not collect $200! No, it is not the end of the story. God saves, God forgives. God changes. God heals.

Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” This passage tells us we don’t save ourselves by good works or morality. No one- not preacher- not sinner, can claim self-righteousness before God. Romans 3:10 says, “None is righteous, no, not one.” Romans 3:23 tells us, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” You see, nobody has a corner on God. Every person, from those we would consider the best to those we would consider the worst, are equally guilty before God. God has concluded that every man, woman, and child needs to be saved or suffer the eternal consequences. You see it is not just homosexuality or the homosexual God is addressing, but all sin in every person. Homosexuality is just one of many things.

Every person needs to be saved from sin’s power, effect, and consequence. God offers forgiveness through Jesus Christ. However, He also offers the power to live a true alternate lifestyle – one that honors God and stops the corruption and destruction that sin brings. Yes, the Bible says homosexuality (and a lot of other things) is a sin. Still, it also offers the only hope to live a life that is completely satisfying now and eternally blessed forever.

If you want to talk about some of these things, please contact one of our web pastors. We will be glad to talk to you without judgment.

Disclaimer: I want to point out that if a person wants to be homosexual, a Christian shouldn’t condemn them.  Our responsibility is to love all people. However, love also means telling the truth. the apostle Paul said speaking the truth in love allows us all to grow up (Ephesians 4:15). If someone decides to be homosexual, they are quite free to do whatever. God will not stop them. God did not tell the church to make people obey Him. God did not call the church to be the moral police.  Any hatred, violence, bigotry, or prejudice against the LGBTQ community is wrong. However, the other side of the issue is equally valid. If a person (gay or straight) willingly ignores the Bible, that person opens themselves up to the consequences God was trying to save us from.




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About the author

Dr. Steve Highlander has been a dedicated Christian for forty-three years and has over forty years of ministry experience, including pastoral ministry, church planting, world missions, prison and jail ministry, and work with at-risk youth. He is a published author and has been involved with radio, publishing, and Internet Ministries. Currently, Steve is an ordained minister with the International Chruch of the Foursquare Gospel. He holds a doctorate in Pastoral Theology and is a Certified Christian Counselor with the Association of Scriptural Psychology therapists (ASPT). He serves as the national missionary in the South Pacific Country of Papua New Guinea for Foursquare Missions International and as Senior Pastor of Community Foursquare Church in Ottawa, Kansas. Steve founded Talk to a Pastor in 2002.

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