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Homosexuality?

Homosexuality: What does God Actually Say About It?

Homosexuality?

Dr. Trey Talley, Lead Pastor and Elder
Author of The Missing Gospel of Modern Christianity

 

There is no doubt that many people, institutions, and governments, now approve of homosexuality. But what about God? Has God, our Creator, spoken on the issue of homosexuality? Yes, homosexuality is clearly addressed in God’s authoritative word.

 Scripture has been breathed out by God and given to us that we may know what the truth is, that we may know what to believe, what not to believe, how to behave, and how not to behave. As Paul writes, 

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17) 

The Bible is from God; therefore, if we desire to know how God views an issue, like homosexuality, we should look to His Word for the answer. In determining your own opinion on this matter, I hope that you would look beyond feelings, experiences, media, and the world and go straight to God’s Word since it is the supreme source of truth in issues of belief and behavior. With that being said, let’s look at three primary passages that deal with this issue.

 

1. Romans 1:24-27

 

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. (Romans 1:24-27)

The people that Paul is addressing exchanged the truth about the real God for lies and created a false god. Idolatry and sexual immorality go hand in hand. For a sinner to live like they want to, the first thing they must get rid of is God. A holy, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, righteous God really infringes upon a lifestyle of sin. Have you ever seen this happen with people that you know? Perhaps they are in homosexual sin, heterosexual sin, or whatever sin. But when called out on, they say something to the effect of, “Well my god understands me and knows my heart.” Such a person has just created another god. Unwilling to repent and change, they stay in their sin and exchange the true God for a false god. Paul uses the homosexual sin as an example of those who have suppressed the truth about the one true God, created their own God, and justified their behavior. Their foolishness and darkness have become so deceptive that they not only attempt to reverse the order of Creator/creature by creating their own God, but they also reverse God’s order of sexuality between male and female. 

The Apostle Paul writes that homosexuality is “dishonorable.” If that is the case, then what is an honorable sexual/marital relationship? Does God give the standard so that we can know what a natural, honorable, God-ordained relationship looks like? Yes, he clearly states it from the beginning in the book of Genesis.

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply… (Genesis 1:27) 

Jesus Christ later repeats this passage, thus maintaining the original honorable sexual and marital relationship honored by God. 

He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate. (Matthew 19:4-6)

Thousands of years had gone by since the time of Adam and Eve, yet nothing had changed. God was still blessing the union of one man and one woman. As well as speaking about homosexuality as He did in the Old Testament:

You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination. (Leviticus 18:22)

The sin of homosexuality is referred to as an “abomination” by God in the Old Testament. So, what about the New Testament? By examining these passages from Romans, we find that nothing had changed. Paul still spoke of homosexuality in the same way: “impure,” “dishonorable,” “contrary to nature,” “shameless,” and that the homosexual will receive the “penalty for their error,” which is the wrath of God. Paul’s way of speaking about homosexuality in the New Testament shows that God had not changed his mind since setting the standard in Genesis. It also lets us know that God still viewed homosexuality as He did in the Old Testament. 

 

2. 1 Timothy 1:8-10

Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted. (1 Timothy 1:8-10)

Here, the sin of homosexuality is in a list that includes those who beat their parents, murder, and lie. Even those who try to defend homosexuality as not a sin would agree that every other act in this list is a sin. If God approves homosexuality, then why would it be on this list of grievous sins? Paul made it clear that homosexuality and the other sins listed were against sound doctrine. That means that these behaviors were contrary to the behaviors that are commanded of us by God. 

 

3. 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. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)

Why is this text so crucial to the issue of homosexuality? Because homosexuals are listed in the category of “unrighteous” who “will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Yet, we have “Christians,” “churches,” and even “Christian denominations,” that are giving their full approval to homosexuality and acting as if it is no longer a sin and that homosexuals will enter the kingdom of God. 

What would you do if someone engaged in homosexuality, came to you and wanted to know your thoughts? What would they want you to say? What would God want you to say? Most Christians are finding themselves being pressured to not only approve but to applaud homosexuality. But, as Christians who know the word of God, we must not hide the Biblical truths about this sinful behavior. You only strengthen their deception by hiding or even rejecting how God views homosexuality and failing to warn them of the eternal consequences of remaining in their sin.

Many Christians have been duped into believing that it is unloving to call homosexuality a sin. Instead, they are speaking of it as an activity that is no longer considered a sin. This sounds much like the words of the prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah:

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! (Isaiah 5:20)

Israel was relabeling “right” something that God had already labeled “wrong.” This is what our society is currently doing with the sin of homosexuality. However, the creation has no power to change God’s mind. Israel suffered God’s wrath for their sins against Him, even though they called it “sweet, light, good.” The same thing was being done in Jeremiah’s day as well:

They have healed the wound of my people lightly, saying, ‘Peace, peace, ‘when there is no peace. (Jeremiah 6:14)

In this situation, God was calling out those who claimed to speak for Him for the sin of speaking incorrectly about how He viewed the people’s sin. The false prophets were saying that these people were at peace with God, even though they were living in unrepentant sin and would soon receive the wrath of God. 

What are people commanded to do when we sin? Confess and repent of it. This means to speak of the sin as God speaks of it and to change from pursuing disobedience to God to obedience. However, today, some professing Christians are being deceived into believing the lie that homosexuality is not a sin, and that no repentance is needed. By doing so, they have become like those that God was angry with those who claimed to represent Him back in the time of Isaiah and Jeremiah, telling people who will not inherit the kingdom of God that they are at peace with God. If we approve of homosexuality, applaud it, encourage it, and do not call upon people to repent of this sin, then we are shutting them out of the kingdom of God.

So, considering 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, will homosexuals go to heaven? In verse nine, Paul states that the “unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God.” In the list that follows, he includes those who practice homosexuality in the group of people who will not inherit the kingdom of God. It is important to see that it is not just homosexuals but same-sex sinners, adulterers, and sexually immoral people in general who will not inherit the kingdom of God. However, there is good news! Paul says that many whom he was writing to had been involved in these sins, including homosexuality, but now they had been “washed,” “sanctified,” and “justified.” In other words, they had trusted in the Person and work of Jesus Christ and repented of their sins. The Good News for all sinners, is that there is forgiveness of all sin for those who have faith in Christ and repent of their sins. But for those who remain in their sin, they will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Summary: 

Culturally, homosexual behavior may or may not be seen as wrong.  

Criminally, homosexual behavior may or may not be seen as wrong. 

Personally, you may or may not believe that homosexual behavior is wrong.

Biblically, God has made it abundantly clear to His creation that homosexual behavior is a sin. 

If we, as Christians, approve of homosexuality, then we are: 

  1. Misrepresenting God like the false prophets. 
  2. Undermining the authority of the Word of God.
  3. Relabeling unrighteous behavior as righteous behavior.
  4. Closing the kingdom of heaven to homosexuals by leaving them in their sin.
  5. Acting unlovingly by withholding the truth about repentance and salvation.

 

Sharing the truth in love, Trey Talley



Melchizedek

Who was, or is, Melchizedek?

Melchizedek

Who was, or is, Melchizedek?

Dr. Trey Talley, Lead Pastor and Elder
Author of The Missing Gospel of Modern Christianity
 
If you were asked to name some of the most influential people in the Old Testament, you might think of Adam, Noah, Joseph, Abraham, Moses, Joshua, Elijah, David, etc., but for most people, the name Melchizedek would come to mind. However, the author of Hebrews uses much ink to express just how important Melchizedek is for us to understand the priestly role of Jesus Christ. So, who is Melchizedek? 
 
Well, for starters, his name is only mentioned two times in the entirety of the Old Testament. And even though the author of Hebrews reveals that Melchizedek is even more crucial than even Father Abraham, we know almost nothing about him. Melchizedek shows up out of nowhere, is recorded as saying only one sentence, and then he is gone. 
 
Many believe that Melchizedek was just a good man who lived in the time of Abraham who had a lot of great Christlike qualities. However, I think that there is more to Melchizedek. I believe that there is sufficient evidence to show that Melchizedek was not a man but a Christophany. This is a term used when the second person of the Trinity, God the Son, makes an appearance before His incarnation.1 
 
Before we begin, I highly recommend that you read Genesis 14:17-20; Psalm 110Hebrews 5:5-11, 6:19-7:1-28.
 

11 Points Proving that Melchizedek was a Christophany

1. His name. As the author of Hebrews emphasizes, it literally means King of Righteousness and King of Peace. This type of language is extremely lofty, and in fact, Isaiah uses Isaiah to describe One that will be both King of Righteousness and King of Peace when he told the coming Messiah.2 

2. He is both King and Priest. God appointed who was to be king and who was to be a priest. These two roles were separate except in the person of Melchizedek and Jesus Christ. King Saul once overstepped his position as king and performed duties only allowed by God for priests. How did God respond? God removed him as king.3 For another example, King Uzziah similarly acted also as a priest, and God punished him with a lifetime of leprosy.4 So for Melchizedek to be both a king and a priest puts him in a unique category with Jesus Christ, making this one more reason to think of Melchizedek as a Christophany.

3. His appearance and disappearance. Nothing is known of Melchizedek, yet he was not only a king but the priest of the one true God. If God had established another earthly kingdom with this righteous king and had a people represented to God by this priest, then it would seem that there would be more information recorded about these people who had Priest and King of the One true God. Instead, like other Christophanies of the Old Testament, He appears and then disappears. There is no history of Melchizedek existing before he appeared to Abraham or after he appeared to Abraham.

4. His lack of ancestry. The book of Genesis is packed with genealogies. Yet, nothing is known about Melchizedek. “He is without father or mother or genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but resembling the Son of God he continues a priest forever.”5 The point appears to show more than just a resemblance to the eternality of the Son of God, but Melchizedek was the eternal Son of God.

5. He resembled the son of God. Some theologians try to downplay this description because of the word “resembling,” was used instead of something more definitive like “was the son of God,” however, if anything, we see that the word “like” is a sufficient reason to believe that Melchizedek was more than just a man because we also see language like this used in Daniel when he describes Jesus, “I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one likea son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him.”6 It could easily be said that in both cases, something more is implied. As we know, Daniel is describing the one who is man and God, Jesus Christ. It seems that the author of Hebrews is describing one that is also both God and yet is appearing like a man.

6. He has a never-ending priesthood. The whole point that the author is making with Melchizedek is that his priesthood continues forever. The only other time that we read the name Melchizedek mentioned in the Old Testament is Psalm 110, “The LORD has sworn and will not change his mind, “You are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.”7 It would seem highly doubtful that God would place Jesus’ priesthood under a mere man who existed in Abraham’s day. Since the priestly role belongs not to God the Father, nor God the Holy Spirit, but to the Son, I believe that the Psalmist’s point is to show that the Messiah’s Priesthood because He is never ending.

7. He was superior to Abraham. What other person would possibly be considered more important than the man who received the promise of God that through his offspring would come the Messiah? Think about it. Surely there could be no contemporary of Abraham that would be more important than that. The only one superior to Abraham would have to be the one who is to be Abraham’s offspring: a pre-incarnate Jesus Christ.

8. He preceded and superseded the Levitical priesthood. God alone appointed Aaron to begin the Aaronic or Levitical Priesthood. However, the priesthood of Melchizedek was shown to be in existence hundreds of years before and continues forever. However, the Levitical Priesthood had a beginning date and an ending date. Once Jesus had become the incarnated perfect priest. He took the perfect sacrifice (Himself) into the perfect temple (heaven), thus ending any need for the Levitical Priesthood to continue.

9. He is immortal. This point appears to be made because the same individual who appears in Genesis 14 is mentioned over 500 years later as being a never-ending priest. Also, by the author of Hebrews writing, men give their offerings to the Levitical priests who are mortal, but Abraham gave his offerings to One who was not. “In the one case, tithes are received by mortal men, but in the other case, by one of whom it is testified that he lives.” Who alone is immortal? None, but God. Also, consider this statement regarding Melchizedek and Christ:This becomes even more evident when another priest arises in the likeness of Melchizedek, who has become a priest, not on the basis of a legal requirement concerning bodily descent, but by the power of an indestructible life. For it is witnessed of him,’ You are a priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek.”8 The author of Hebrews uses Psalm 110 to show that Jesus’ Priesthood is forever and tied directly to Melchizedek.

10. He serves bread and wine. “And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. (He was priest of God Most High.)”9 While it could be just happenstance. It certainly does not seem to be so to me. Where else do we learn of someone serving these two things? Yes, Jesus serves bread and wine to His disciples on the evening of the Passover Feast. This is where Jesus changes a God ordered an annual feast that had gone on for over 1000 years to show that He is the lamb of God that is about to be sacrificed for the forgiveness of sins.10  Even now, when we take of the Lord’s Supper, we do so to commemorate the New Covenant, the forgiveness of sins, and the fact that we will dine again with Him in heaven one day.

11. His priesthood is not instituted by the Old Covenant Law. The Law and the Levitical Priesthood were given to the Israelites as part of the Old Covenant.11 However, Melchizedek’s priesthood and ability to bless others on God’s behalf existed long before the covenant with Israel was ever made. This means that Melchizedek’s priesthood existed before the Law the Levites and the Old Covenant, which means that it will continue after the Law, the Levites, and the Old Covenant. The author makes this point in Hebrews in chapter seven when he writes, “Now if perfection had been attainable through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the Law), what further need would there have been for another priest to arise after the order of Melchizedek, rather than one named after the order of Aaron? For when there is a change in the priesthood, there is necessarily a change in the Law as well.”12

Not only do we have these 11 points that point to Melchizedek as a Christophany, but we also have multiple weak points of saying that he was only human. Such as: (1.) Where did he come from? (2.) Where did he go? (3.) If he was a God’s king of righteousness, king of peace, and priest, then where were the people he represented to God? (4.) The whole bible is built upon God’s special revelation of Himself to the lineage of Abraham. But if Melchizedek was a priest beforehand of a people, then it sure seems that God would have given us more information about them.
 
In summary, whether you believe that Melchizedek was just a good man or a Christophany is not salvific, and Christians have continued to hold fellowship with one another even when there is a disagreement about Melchizedek’s nature. My point in writing this article is that I believe that the passages about Melchizedek in Genesis 14, Psalm 110, and Hebrews 5-7 make a lot more sense when we see Melchizedek as a pre-incarnate appearance of Son of God.
 

1. Other possible Christophanies to explore: Genesis 16:7-13, 22:15-18, 31:11-13; Exodus 3:13:21, 14:19; Judges 6:11-23, 13:9-20, etc. 

2. Hebrews 9:6-7

3. 1 Samuel 13:8-14

4. 2 Chronicles 26:16-21

5. Hebrews 7:3

6. Daniel 7:13

7. See Psalm 110:1-4

8. Hebrews 7:15-16

9. Genesis 14:18

10. Luke 22:20

11. Exodus 20-24

12. Hebrews 7:11-12. See also Romans 8:3-4; Matthew 5:17-18; Galatians 3:19-26




 

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