Will I Burn in Hell for Being a Homosexual?

HomeChristianity and the BibleWill I Burn in Hell for Being a Homosexual?

I don’t know if you’re asking for yourself, for a friend, or for some other reason… but it’s an important question. This is going to be quite long. Hang in there.

First, nobody goes to hell for what they WANT. Every human being wants to do things they shouldn’t do. We’re all in the same boat. Temptation isn’t sin, so being tempted to sin isn’t going to result in punishment. The New Testament tells us that Jesus was tempted, and He didn’t sin. They’re not the same.

Second, nobody goes to hell for sinning. That might sound surprising to you, but that’s what the New Testament clearly and obviously teaches. Will people go to hell? Yes, it’s clear about that too. Will anyone go to hell for sinning? No. Why not? Because the punishment for sins – for all sins, for all people, for all time – was given to Jesus. He died in our place.

A Bible verse that many like to quote says this: the wages of sin is death. That’s not the whole story, though. There’s more: Jesus died for all, and therefore all died. There’s no punishment left for sins. Every sin you and I have committed – and ever will commit – has been paid for by Jesus. 

Why would He do that? Again, the New Testament tells us: God demonstrated His love for us in that while we were sinners, Christ died for us. Did you catch that? Jesus’ death was a demonstration of God’s love. You may also be familiar with John 3:16: For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life

Most people today read that and think “God loved the world SO much…”. That’s not what the SO part means. It doesn’t mean that God loved us ENOUGH to die for us. It means “this is the way” that God loved us. How did God love us? By dying for us, to demonstrate His love for us. To wrap up the second point, nobody will be in hell because they sinned. Jesus paid our debt. So: why will anyone end up hell?

Third, people go to hell for only one reason. Let me quote from 2 Corinthians 5: Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.  So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Here’s the equation, my friend: God reconciled us to Himself by becoming a man and dying to show us His love. Christians, therefore, have a message… like we’re speaking for God. Our message is this: be reconciled to God

In every relationship, both sides must come together. Most of us have tried to make up with a friend after a fight, only to find they weren’t interested. That’s the situation with God: He has met us more than halfway, but we have to be willing to be reconciled. We have to be willing to accept His offer of new life. What happens to people who refuse to be reconciled to God? They will be given what they ask for… a life without Him. That’s what hell is.

Will anyone be in hell for being a homosexual? No.

Will anyone be in hell for being a thief, or a liar? No.

Will anyone be in hell for being a drunk, or for cheating on their taxes? No.

Will anyone be in hell for doing pretty much ANYTHING wrong? No, because Jesus already died to pay for those things.

There’s one more, very important, element that must be discussed: God is God, and we are not. We aren’t His equals. The Bible describes Him again and again like a king, and us like His subjects. He has all of the power and we have none. We are subordinate to Him. He is the Creator and we are His creations.

We don’t usually like that.

We want control, don’t we? We want to call the shots. We don’t want accountability, most of the time. As children we would disobey our parents, and that would strain our relationship with them. We want to do whatever we feel like doing, don’t we? So how were we reconciled to our parents? Our relationship was restored to the appropriate balance: they are the parents, we are the children. This applies directly to our relationship with God. We can’t really be reconciled with Him if we’re going to pretend that we’re in charge of our own lives… that WE are the kings, and that He is largely irrelevant. We’ve seen how that works out with rebellious children, and that’s the situation we’re talking about in our spiritual lives as well. Reconciliation with God is based in accepting our relationship AS IT REALLY IS, not as we wish it was.

The New Testament refers to a bunch of different people who will not ‘inherit the kingdom.’ In Matthew 25 it’s people who said they followed Jesus but didn’t do what He taught. In Ephesians 5 it’s people who are immoral, impure, or greedy. In 1 Corinthians 6 it’s “wrongdoers,” like the sexually immoral and idolaters and adulterers and men who have sex with men and thieves and slanderers and swindlers. In Galatians 5 it’s people who engage in ‘the acts of the flesh’ like sexual immorality, impurity, debauchery, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and more.

That’s a lot of people! That list definitely includes me, based on how I used to live. Does that mean I’m destined for hell because I’ve done those things? No… look at what accompanies these passages:

Notice the first one. It’s in Galatians 5. We’ve all done things we shouldn’t do. The question is whether we “live like this” or whether we’re willing to be reconciled to God and be in right relationship with Him. As with children and good parents, obedience is part of that. Based on what we see in the New Testament, people who live like thieves and refuse to be reconciled to God will not inherit the kingdom. Notice the word “inherit.” It’s exactly like an earthly inheritance. It’s a good thing… a gift of great value. Will men who have sex with men inherit the kingdom? As long as they choose to “live like this,” they refuse to be reconciled to God.

It’s not about whether someone is attracted to the same sex or the opposite sex. It’s not about whether, like me, you shoplifted everything you wanted as a kid. It’s not about whether you have a temper, or love whiskey, or bad-mouth your boss. It’s about whether we’re willing to live with God as our King, or if we demand the right to live as we want without consequences.

Trouble is, there ARE consequences to not being reconciled to God, whether we like it or not. The New Testament is clear about homosexual activity, as it’s clear about adultery and theft and lying. As long as we insist on living like that, we continue to refuse God’s offer of reconciliation. Since we won’t inherit the kingdom, we will indeed end up in Hell.

There are a LOT of same-sex-attracted people who are reconciled to God, and choose to live as subjects in His kingdom. I would imagine that this may be difficult for them… but no more difficult than trusting God with every other part of our lives. I’ve found that it’s more than worth it.

So: why do you ask? Have YOU been reconciled to God? Let me know if you want to discuss this further. 

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