Translator’s notes: This is a translation into contemporary American English of the Swedish sermon transcript. Corresponding Bible quotations are taken from the NIV (New International Version). The accuracy of the Bible quotes in Swedish are not verified against a Swedish Bible, but they all compare well to the NIV. Implied or omitted words and translation comments are in [brackets].
[Åke Green speaking]:
IS HOMOSEXUALITY GENETIC or an evil force that plays mind games with people?
Is it a sign of the times and can you be delivered from it? From the beginning God created humans as man and woman. We begin in Genesis 1:27-28:
"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth."
Here, God's Word clearly states that you were created to be Father and Mother - as man and woman - designed for parenthood. The Lord states that very clearly here.
Scripture considers any kind of sexual relationship outside of the bonds of marriage as loose living. The Scripture characterizes it as fornication. The marriage institution is also clearly defined in Genesis 2:24, where it says:
"Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh."
Only man and wife are referred to here. It is not stated any other way; you can never imply or interpret it to mean that you can have whatever [sexual] partner you wish to have.
That instinct, which God has embedded in humanity to experience the deepest form of relationship, and in order to protect marriage in true faithfulness, has become the Devil's strongest weapon against God and against marriage. So he is using it against God. That which God has created so that man shall experience togetherness and faithfulness and happiness and everything it brings -- the Devil uses this against God and in God's face, in order to twist and distort.
Of course, in the animal kingdom there are males and females, and in the botanical world there are also male and female plants; in neither the animal nor in plant life do [sexual] abnormalities occur. Rather, every species stays with its own species. That is the way it is -- until humans, in recent years, have stomped into this area with test tube fertilization and through cloning. Up until that point it has been as God has said that we should live.
Legalizing [domestic] partnerships between men and men, between woman and woman, it will simply create disasters -- beyond comparison! We are already seeing the results of this. We see it through the spread of AIDS. Certainly, not all AIDS-infected individuals are homosexuals, but it came into existence because of this in the past. For that matter, innocent people can become infected with this terrible disease, without having had anything to do with what lies behind it, as far as homosexuality is concerned. Nevertheless it will create a big disaster, and the authorities and the social services are already experiencing that you cannot control this. They experience the difficulty of it. However, not only that: TV recently reported about the increasing number of men and women infected with various venereal diseases. It is increasingly spreading because they are not living as God has intended them to live together with each other. And that is because humans are slipping into clearly unbiblical and clearly inhuman relations. It is not a private matter or a right to live in a sexual manner other than what the Bible dictates. Hebrews 13:4:
"Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge."
Regardless of how society views this, God will judge both society and those who commit sexual immorality. Remember that. Both society or the city, or the place, God will judge because of those who commit sexual immorality.
Let's go back in history to Genesis 19:1-5. Verse 4:
"But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter: And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them." [v. 4-5]
Here we read for the first time about homosexual men. All the men of Sodom openly spoke [of] and openly displayed their deviant sexual disposition. Both young and old, we read here -- everyone. Then they put it this way: "So that we may know them". This means sexual relations -- the same expression the Bible uses when a man goes in to a woman [for intercourse]. It is exactly the same expression here that talks about these men, who lusted after each other. Isaiah 3:9 states it this way: "The shew of their countenance doth witness against them; and they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not. Woe unto their soul! for they have rewarded evil unto themselves." [Hiding your sin] was not done in Sodom. Openly they show up in front of the house and call for Lot. The righteous one, they do not spare him in any way, but say: "Bring out these men that we may know [have sex with] them. We are simply lusting for them." So there they stand in plain sight. They do not hide their sin. Completely openly and unabashedly they talk about their sexual needs, and that tells you something about the conditions in Sodom.
God tells Abraham in Genesis 18:20: "And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous." Thus says the Lord. So grievous! The outcry from Sodom and Gomorrah it is great and the sin is grievous. That is how God views the aberrant sexual relationship, It is very grievous, says God. It is very grievous, this, when people let themselves get involved in this.
Openly, unabashedly, that is how we perceive men kissing each other, and women kissing each other. However, it is also done in front of TV-cameras -- that they can do. They do it also in front of movie cameras, but not only that, it is done openly in the street and at our public places. That is the way it is done in our country today. What does God say? He says it is very grievous. It is very grievous when it comes to our country, just as it was for Sodom and those cities.
Paul says in Philippians 3:19 that they brag about their sexual exploits. Is that not what we perceive people doing today? People nowadays want to protest against God's order of creation. That God has created men and women to further the human race is disliked both by the Swedish law of the land, as well as by the homosexual movements. They dislike the order of creation. You protest against God and against the order of creation. Moreover, they allow [domestic] partnerships, men with men, and women with women. How can it... how can it be this way? Well, it is as Paul says in the letter to the Romans, which I will come back to in a moment. Romans 1:22: "...they became fools!" To think that those who govern our country are fools sitting in the house of parliament. To think that there they all are, the government, who have agreed to this insanity and let loose this flood of sin in our country. It is foolishness, says the Word of God. Consequently, I believe the Lord says about this sin in Sweden that it is very, very grievous. And why then has this manner of living come about? Well, then we of course turn to the first chapter of the Letter to the Romans and include the verses there, where Paul thoroughly deals with the subject. There was reason for it, since the Roman Empire was permeated by these thoughts of homosexuality. It was something that was flourishing so terribly, and he had to deal with it so that it did not become a pattern in God's congregation as well.
Why has this manner of living come about? Romans 1 :21-28:
"Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient."
They exchanged the highest... they exchanged the Lord for the lowest there is. That is what they exchanged, Paul states here. It is only a fool who acts that way, he says. Since they do it in this way, they reject God who is the blessing, God who is the Sovereign One, God who is the Master of all things. They reject Him. The Word of God is law and the standard for living, but it is of no use to accept God's Word in principle and say: "Yes, this is God's Word," if in practice you disobey His commands. What difference does it make if I acknowledge the Word of God, but in practice I break it by acting completely contrary, and living completely contrary, to what the Word says. Since God's Word demands obedience from us, we must obey it if we are to receive God's blessing and fulfillment in our lives, and be called children of God. Here in the 28th verse: "And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient." Man is clearly equipped with a free will and can either resist or submit to the inclinations of the old nature. We truly have the power to do that. Moreover, the moral nature of man shows itself through the expression of good and evil, which is written in our hearts: the voice of conscience that we have within us. In this way, our thoughts judge us, either defending or accusing us. If we say with our mouth: "There is nothing wrong with what I am doing," but the heart says something else. It does not matter if you defend a sin you are living in, or defend someone else's sin. Your heart says something different, because your heart judges your thoughts. You can with your mouth babble about all sorts of things, but the heart will convict us. That is what the Bible passage is saying here. And in Romans 2:14- 15:
"For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another."
There is a conscience. When we turn our back on God and refuse to receive knowledge, then God removes His Spirit from the conscience -- the conscience becomes insensitive and wavers. Then there are no longer any inhibitions for a human being. God no longer guides these people, because they proceed all the more in ungodliness. Romans 1 :24:
"Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves."
Homosexuality begins with the desire of the heart. This is the result--sins of the mind. The fantasies you entertain, or the sexual dreams that you harbor. And here [you have] the porn industry, TV, movie and print business. They have awakened these powerful desires by openly promoting [this homosexual lifestyle] to all Swedish people. It is done unabashedly, without consideration for people who cannot bear to see such things. As a result, people may commit acts of violence. It is known that this is dangerous. Nevertheless, it is not prevented. It is openly shown. Demonstrations that wind their way through the streets of Stockholm - the homosexuals have their posters held up and paraded about - I asked the Oland Times to write an article about this, and I made myself available. Not a single one got back to me. I contacted the Barometer [newspaper] and said: "I am going to preach on this subject. You're welcome [to attend]." Not a response, nothing. I called the TV -station and said the same thing: "Do you want to come on Sunday morning, because then I'm going to preach on this burning subject?" "Yes, we probably have some time," they said. I called on Monday, but nobody responded. They simply let this one pass. They do not want to deal with it.
"For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet."
The desires of the heart turned into shameful lusts. "Burned" means to turn on. That is the way people do it. You turn on a prompting in there [the mind] when you have your sexual fantasies or dreams, or when you see these things in magazines or in movies. Then it simply means that you ignite something inside yourself, through one's contempt of God. Moreover, when the shameful lusts take shape in the personality, it becomes an uncontrollable power, like a fire that cannot be extinguished. And God does not extinguish that fire, says Paul. God does not extinguish a fire you have [ignited] yourself, in your own life. God lets it burn. Then it says in Romans 1:27b "receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet." Consequently, when people do not want to resist - but uncontrollably, uninhibitedly devote themselves to this, [then] God lets it burn. Judgment day is coming, and they will be judged for the fire that they have allowed to burn. Here Paul emphasizes that both women and men were on the same level when they practiced homosexuality. The one was no better than the other. That is the way it was in the Roman Empire.
"Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination. Neither shalt thou lie with any beast to defile thyself therewith: neither shall any woman stand before a beast to lie down thereto: it is confusion." [v. 22-23]
From verse 27: "For all these abominations have the men of the land done, which were before you, and the land is defiled;) That the land spew not you out also, when ye defile it, as it spewed out the nations that were before you. For whosoever shall commit any of these abominations, even the souls that commit them shall be cut off from among their people. Therefore shall ye keep mine ordinance, that ye commit not any one of these abominable customs, which were committed before you, and that ye defile not yourselves therein: I am the LORD your God."
The Bible clearly teaches about these abnormalities. Sexual abnormalities are a deep cancerous tumor in the entire society. The Lord knows that sexually twisted people will rape the animals. Not even animals can avoid the fiery passion of man's sexual lust. Even this [bestiality], some will pursue. For many years, I have heard stories like these from people when I sat and listened as a volunteer telephone counselor. This wasn't just one incident where people told of the animal [sexual] relations they had had -- which had given them satisfaction. So it is abundantly clear that God is not writing a book of fairy tales for people to think of these things. He writes it with the thought in mind that people will act this way when they abandon God. Because of these sins, the land will vomit out its inhabitants. The political response to this in our country is then what Paul talks about: "We know God's righteous decree that those who live that way deserve death. Still it is in that very way they live, and worse yet, they think it is good when others do it." [paraphrase of Romans 1:32.] This is how we experience the political response in our country. They [government] give their consent and they think it is good that they are engaged in this. "It doesn't matter."
However, our country is facing a disaster of great proportions! Of that we can be sure. God said the land would vomit out its inhabitants. They were not allowed to remain if they continued living like the people who had previously inhabited the land. When the children of Israel were about to possess the promised land, should they begin to have such relations that were contrary to God's Word, then God says the land will once again vomit out its inhabitants. I think it could happen in Sweden. I think it could happen in our country, because we have adopted such laws. Our country has not the least concern about what God has spoken. Our country is facing a disaster. Who is to say that we cannot have an earthquake where hundreds of thousands of people could die in an instant? Who is to say that we cannot have any monsoon rains that drown thousands of people in our country? Who is to say that other catastrophes cannot reach Scandinavia? We are so safe and secure. And we sit here so sheltered and cozy, and "it cannot happen to us," but in southern Europe - there it happens, and in other parts of the world and China - there it happens. God can turn it around, so that the inhabitants of our land may experience precisely these [events]. We may be vomited out of the land because our nation has left God. This is devastating.
To think that approximately 300 of our popularly elected officials have led us down a road to catastrophe. As they have adopted these laws of [domestic] partnership and let people live as they wish. And today they cannot fathom the consequences of the decisions they have made. Only time will tell about this. We have gotten to learn words like "incest, pedophile, and child molestation." Words that make us shudder, that belong to the abnormalities. I want to turn to First Corinthians chapter six and include something Paul brings up concerning the Corinthian congregation and their way of life. He says in verse 9 [-11]: "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortionists, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God."
Now I read from the original text, it goes like this: "Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the Kingdom of God. Do not deceive yourselves. Neither sexually immoral people nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor people of sensual pleasure, nor defilers of boys, shall inherit God's kingdom." Defilers of boys -- already when the Bible was written the Lord knew what was going to happen. We have experienced it here, and we are horrified by it. In First Timothy 1:10 Paul talks about perverts. "Perverse" is translated from the original text, which states: "one who lies with boys."
All homosexuals are not pedophiles or perverts. They nevertheless open the door to forbidden areas and allow sin to take hold of the life of the mind. And the one who is a pedophile today does not start out as such. They simply begin by changing their gender relationships. That is how it began. To be "faithful" in a homosexual relationship is in no way a better relationship than where you frequently change partners. It is equally detestable in the eyes of God. From God's perspective it is to be rejected, and from God's perspective it is as much sin if you frequently change partners as it is to live in a [committed] homosexual relationship. It makes no difference before God's Word.
Is homosexuality a genetic instinct in the personality of the human being? What does Jesus say in Matthew 15:18 [-20]? A verse we sometimes read and quote:
"But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man."
Jesus is clearly pointing to the heart, the intellect, and the invisible thought life. That is where Jesus sharply focuses his thoughts on this occasion. Jesus means that the sins of sexual immorality begin in the thought life. When I have been sitting, listening to people in the night [on the crisis hot-line], everyone without exception has begun dealing with homosexuality in their thoughts. Often it happened in their teenage years, but it also happened when they lived in an unhappy marriage -- women did not experience what they needed from a man. Therefore they sought the company of other women -- and men likewise. Consequently it was such that they began their sins of sexual immorality in their thought life. And from there it continued to spread. And without exception, they all said that the first time they engaged in this behavior, there was a barrier within them. Everyone said that. However, when they had done it only once, the barrier was broken. So we see that man, even despite his sins of sexual immorality, has a protection through this barrier. After a few encounters, it became easier every time. Now we understand what Jesus is saying about the sins of the thought life.
Romans 1:26: both men and women exchanged natural [sexual] relationships for unnatural ones. There simply must be a choice that you make. They exchange. Then you exchange away something. It is a free choice. There was no one coercing. Exchange means that you voluntarily part with something and voluntarily receive something else. Voluntarily I part with the cleanliness and receive the uncleanness. A conscious exchange, Paul says. Consciously they exchanged, Paul says. Homosexuality is something sick. A healthy and clean thought has been exchanged for a contaminated [or defiled] one. A healthy heart has been exchanged for a sick one. A healthy body has been devastated because of an exchange. Paul says in First Corinthians 6:18: "Flee fornication." Sexual immorality dishonors the body. It should not be [merely] discussed, not combated -- you should flee from it like Joseph. What did the Lord say to Lot? Flee for your life. "Flee," the Lord consequently says.
Is homosexuality something one chooses? Answer: YES. You choose it. You are not born into it. It is absolutely that way; otherwise it would be a betrayal of mankind. You voluntarily enter into this.
Can you live in homosexuality and be a Christian? Ephesians 5:3,5-6:
"But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints."
[5- 7:] "For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them."
Let no one deceive you. Do you think that you can be a Christian and be a homosexual? Then you deceive yourself, you fool yourself. What if others are saying that "it isn't so bad and God is full of love"? He is full of love, but He is also holy. He has said that He hates immorality, and therefore [the sexual immoral] can not be a Christian. Those who live that way are not a child of God and cannot be one. We must say it so people hear it. Do not fool yourselves, dear people. It is deceit of the highest level if you think you can fool yourselves. For the Devil says: "You can be a Christian, and you can be good as a Christian, and you can live like this anyway." "You can be faithful in your partnership," says the enemy of souls. However, the Word of God says something else. Delusions that lead to punishment we read about in Romans 1:27.
Revelations 22:14-15: "Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie."
Can it be stated more clearly? If this is what you engage in, and live like in such a world, then you are living a lie, and you cannot enter the kingdom of God. You do not get in. You can be a Christ-professing homosexual, live that way, but you do not get into Heaven on that. I want to emphasize that God's Word teaches this. Can you be a Christian homosexual man or woman? No, you cannot. Then you deceive yourself, says the Word of the Lord. And these will then stand there in shame one day.
Is this lifestyle of sexual immorality a sign of the times? Luke 17:28. Yes, in [the gospel of] Luke, Jesus brings this up, among other places in chapter 17, speaking there of how it will be in the days of Noah, and how it will be in the days of Lot. How they lived back then. They ate and drank, bought and sold, planted and built. But one day, when Lot left Sodom, it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and finished them all off. It will be the same on that day when the Son of Man is revealed. What was it that led to these cities perishing, losing their dignity, disappearing from the face of the Earth? It was because they lived in homosexuality. It will be the same on that day when the Son of Man is revealed; consequently, this is a sign of the times we are facing. As people lived in the time of Lot, so shall they live before Jesus returns. This is something we cannot deny in any way. Jesus says that the lifestyle of Sodom shall be active in the whole Earth before the coming of Jesus. The one who represents this lifestyle today goes against God's order of creation. From Matthew 18, I must include verse 6 where Jesus deals with children, stating:
"But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea." [The Swedish version's quote of "offend" is "seduce."]
"Seduce" is here translated from the word skandala [scandal]. So now we all know what it is -- a scandal. It is a scandal to seduce one of these little ones, and now I want to focus a little on the situation of the children in the relationship of a [domestic] partnership. [It is] a scandal to rob a child of its Mommy and its Daddy. It is a scandal, Jesus says. It is a scandal to let innocent children be subjected to this torture. You violate a child by moving it from parents, from Mommy and Daddy, to either two men or two women. It can be said that two men can bring up children just as well, or that two women can bring up children just as well. Yes, that I believe, that they can bring up [children] that way, but it nevertheless goes against nature, and it is a scandal when you do it that way, Jesus says. Where somebody seduces one of these little ones, and they have to grow up in such an environment.
Sodom, as a cautionary example, is mentioned over 30 times in the Bible. These sins of sexual immorality are so deeply rooted that not even the judgments of the tribulation are able to make people abandon the sin of sexual immorality. Revelations 9:20 [-21]:
"And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk: Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts."
The judgments cannot convince people to abandon their sins of sexual immorality. Is this not possession by evil spiritual forces? It is so deeply rooted in man that when the judgments come and go across our world, the sexually immoral will not change, but they will continue to live as sexually immoral people. Consequently, it must be that they are gripped by evil spiritual forces.
A good married life prevents sins of sexual immorality. First Corinthians 7:2-5:
"Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency."
A good married life, where the man gives the woman what the woman needs, and where the woman gives the man what he needs, that prevents the sins of sexual immorality, Paul says. "Prevent", Paul says, otherwise Satan may tempt you. Then these thoughts may enter the life of our mind, and in such a way we might experience and fall into temptation.
Can homosexuals be set free or do they have to be tormented by this impulse in them? First Corinthians 6:9-11:
"... Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind... shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God."
The Word of God offers power to live a pure life. This Bible passage talks about what they used to live like -- in sexual immorality and adultery, but they were washed clean. Hallelujah! And Paul says in Titus that we lived "enslaved by all kinds of passions" [Titus 3:3], but we encountered the mercy of our God and Savior. Then He saved us, praise God -- from the sins of sexual immorality, from homosexuality. That, He saved us from. With Sodom and Gomorrah in mind Jesus says [that] if they had heard the same message as Capernaum they would have repented [Matthew 11 :23-24].
Jesus is saying that you have to repent. Jesus' view of homosexuality is a call to repentance. They have washed their robes and made them white, therefore they stand before the throne of God. There is a purifier. Nobody has to be defeated by sexual immorality. Nobody has to say: "I have such a losing battle in this area." Everybody can be set free and delivered. You can receive it if you want it.
Can homosexuals be delivered from this diabolical power? Yes, they can. Because if the Corinthians could be cleansed from these abnormalities they lived in, then each and everyone can also experience it [today]. I thank God that Paul, in the Letter to the Romans and the Letter to the Corinthians, has written as clearly and plainly as he has, regarding these sexual issues. If those people had not had those struggles, then we would never have known about it. Rather, we would have thought that we experienced this only in recent times, but it has existed through all of history, and God wants to save every generation from these sins. We must not say: "We have to accept this." We cannot bless [domestic] partnerships. We cannot unite ourselves with that. We cannot lay hands on those people and say: "We bless you." That we cannot do, then we draw the disapproval of God on our lives -- that is why it is so important.
The Bible's answer to the question: "Is homosexuality a genetic instinct?" It is not.
The Bible's answer to the question: "Is it an evil force that plays games with people?" Yes, it is. And we must understand that it is that way.
"The only thing I know is that grace is sufficient,
[Åke Green speaking]
We must never think that some people, because of their sinful lives, would end up outside of grace. Paul says about himself that he was the foremost of all sinners, but he encountered an abundance of grace and mercy. He also states in First Corinthians 6:9-11, when he lists sexual immorality with other sins, that you can be saved from all the listed sins, including sexual immorality. What these people need, who live under the slavery of sexual immorality, is an abundant grace. It exists. It is valid also for them. Therefore we will encourage those who live in this manner to look at the grace of Jesus Christ. We cannot condemn these people -- Jesus never did that either. He showed everyone He met deep respect for the person they were, for instance the adulterous woman, in John 8, or the woman at the well in Sychar, according to John 4. Jesus never belittled anyone. He offered them grace. We must never belittle anyone who lives in sin. The sin we cannot bear -- but the human being [we must hold up]. Surely we still believe it is as Paul says in the Letter to Titus [2: 11-12]. Listen:
"For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world."
It is by showing all people grace and mercy that we can win them for Christ. We never win anyone by giving them the cold shoulder.If anyone wants to talk or receive intercessory prayer, you are welcome to let us know. I do not think it is appropriate today to invite people forward in this service, it can be misconceived. Let us now cover each other in prayer...