Can Practicing Homosexuals Go To Heaven?
Those that follow us on Facebook know that I like to address the hard questions. The ones no one wants to ask or the ones the “religious people” improperly respond to. I constantly hear people say that practicing homosexuals cannot be saved and can’t go to heaven. This just is not true (assuming they are believers in Christ).
No one has ever been saved by their sexual behavior/preference, and nor has anyone gone to hell because of their sexual behavior. We are saved by faith in Christ, not by sexual purity. The issue here is that we need to be understanding what the bible really teaches about how we get saved. The gospel is not to stop being a homosexual and get saved. It’s not to stop doing drugs and get saved. It’s not to stop lying and get saved. The gospel is to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, that He died on the cross for your sins, that He was crucified-buried and raised to give you new life, and if you truly believe that you will be saved. It is a gift, through faith, lest any man boast about his/her human performance. Yep, that includes the ability to avoid sexual sin.
If you are a homosexual, bi-sexual, or whatever and have really placed your faith in Christ – then the gospel promises that He will NEVER leave you, never forsake you, He loves you and forgives you, and when you are faithless He REMAINS faithful. It promises He remembers your sin no more. It promises your sins have been removed from the record book. It promises that by your FAITH you have been saved, not your success in perfectly overcoming sexual sin.
Yes, the Bible is very clear that homosexuality is a sin, and yes God hates it (as He does ALL sin), and I am certainly NOT condoning any kind of sexual sin. It will NEVER truly satisfy the believer. But sexual sin of any kind is not an unforgivable sin, as religion might suggest. Religion assumes that if someone has accepted Christ then they immediately dispose of all struggles with sins. Well, I have never met a single Christian that didn’t struggle with some kind of sin. No, not even one. Some overcome some struggles in a week, some a month, and some take 1, 5, or even 10+ years even partially overcome their personal fight against sin. Let’s be honest, some even die still struggling and desiring to overcome fleshly desires.
What I do know is this, this poor teaching leads people away from God, not to God. That’s heartbreaking because it’s only after we are saved that God can change us from the inside out – and there’s not a single verse that says it all happens instantaneously. And don’t even get me started on all the wackjobs holding up their ‘God hates fags’ signs as if someone would read that and seek God. No, we seek God when we see love – not hate.
Yes, God cares DEEPLY about behavior and wants us to avoid sin. Oh, and I am not just referring to homosexuality. Add in sex out of wedlock, lying, pride, and even disobedience to parents (see Romans 1:30) And because we all stumble in many ways He calls us not to conform to the world but instead to renew our minds. Meaning believe that we are new creations with new desires. He desires for us to listen to that voice that tells us our sin is not actually fulfilling us and seek the correct source. This is an act of love, not anger or wrath. All sin is a result of looking to the lie – the lie that promises it will somehow complete us. Bring us joy. But the believer ultimately finds himself empty when we grab onto the wrong solution.
So the question we need to ask regarding salvation is not “are you a practicing homosexual”. It’s “do you believe in Christ?”
If the answer is yes (and here’s how to tell if it’s true) then God promises that He gave you a new heart, a new spirit, and new desires and there will be a struggle inside of you as your spirit wages war against the flesh. Part of you may still crave to have those “old self” desires filled, but another part of you will hate it because you’re not made for sin anymore. To quote the Apostle Paul from Romans 7:15-20 who struggled with coveting:
15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I DO NOT DO, but what I hate I DO. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good.17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do NOT DO THE GOOD I want to do, BUT THE EVIL I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin living in me that does it.
Paul is struggling with sin. Sure his struggle is with coveting, but it doesn’t matter if your sin is anger, lust, drug addiction, or homosexuality, your heart’s true desire will line up with God’s, though your flesh may not. Your heart will cry out for the purity of understanding. So while you may find yourself struggling in sin for fulfillment you will simultaneously find yourself “doing what you DO NOT WANT TO DO” as did Paul.
Closing Note: While I hold tight to total forgiveness by faith alone (apart from our struggles) it is worthy of pointing out that ANY doctrine that encourages homosexuality, or any other kind of sin, is not the truth. We are NOT promoting sexual sin, but rather in a world where Christians are leading people away from God with false doctrine, we are promoting God’s forgiveness apart from works – apart from the law, regardless of what type of sin you struggle with. God is very clear that He deeply cares and does not want us to sin (any kind) and because of that He has freed us from the slavery to sin and has placed His Spirit inside of us, and given us new hearts with new desires.
1 John 3:9 tells us “No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God”. This does not mean we won’t struggle with sin or that God is going to punish us when we do, but rather it means that if God is “in us” He is changing our desires, and how could a truly saved person continue in sins and be fulfilled by it if this is true? Yes, even after salvation it is very possible to struggle with sin for months or years but it will never really satisfy the born-again believer. So if you find yourself under the teaching that encourages ANY kind of sin then run for the hills. There is a HUGE difference between a message of total forgiveness and a message encouraging/promoting sin. They may sound the same, but they are miles apart. In fact, this is why the Apostle Paul was attacked by the Roman Church. His message (the true Gospel teaching) of total forgiveness apart from behavior sounds a lot like promoting sin (see Rom 3:8), and the church was slanderously charging him with promoting sin because, like Christians do today, they struggled to see the difference in a message of complete peace with God by faith alone and a message saying God doesn’t care so why not go sin even more.
-Only faith in Christ saves us
-Sexual sin, while bad, does not override salvation
-Sin, of any kind, never really satisfies the true believer
-Behavior is important, but not for salvation, but because God cares about us and He wants us to live out who we are and experience the true joy which only occurs when we walk in the Spirit.
-It’s time we stop elevating homosexuality as ‘the big sin’. How can you hold someone else to the standard of the law and not yourself (See Romans 2:1)? The Apostle James said if we stumble at one point of the law we are guilty of it all. So your sin might be lust, but the point sin is sin. Guilty, and every mouth will be shut up by the law.
Less sin isn’t the answer. Jesus is.
Author: Mike Cynar
Mike Cynar was raised in a church setting where he frequently noticed that many attendees would eventually drift away. The church labeled these individuals as ‘back sliders’ or ‘fake Christians’ just looking for ‘fire insurance’. However, Mike realized the issue was rarely with these individuals but instead with the church’s message itself. The teachings heavily emphasized behavior improvement and one’s flaws, with only a fleeting mention of one’s identity in Christ. It felt as though every sermon was tailored to the church of Corinth, who as we know or committing sins that even unbelievers don’t partake in. This trend was noticeable not just in one denomination, but across Baptist, Catholic, Pentecostal, and many other churches. Upon understanding the true essence of the gospel – that our righteousness comes from Jesus’ actions, not our own – Mike was inspired to liberate believers from lifeless sermons and reconnect them with the genuine teachings of Jesus. He believes that one can nurture a vibrant and growing bond with Jesus, unhindered by rigid religious practices. And thus, “Jesus Without Religion” was born.
It turns out that it is grace that leads to repentance. And if our heart is to get others to walk in the Spirit and live a godly life, then the best approach is not a beat down sermon, but rather to remind other that it is only when we understand our true identity in Christ that we will live it out. Yes, it’s true, if you’re convinced that God thinks you’re a dirty sinner, you will ultimately continue a lifestyle that mirrors that view, but if you truly believe that even on your worst day, you are called holy, sanctified, justified, and will be presented blameless in the end, well, it turns out this is the secret to living out on the outside what has been worked in to the inside.