Pastor Scott L. Harris
Grace Bible Church, NY
February 24, 2002
Mention the word, "homosexual," and a variety of emotions can be evoked. For those who are
positive toward it, homophiles, there is often pride and a sense of a call to win a battle for equal (though
actually "special") rights. There are also those who are fearful of it, properly labeled homophobic. Their
fear may drive them to rabid activism against it or to the opposite extreme of shunning those who
practice it. There are others who oppose it, often incorrectly labeled as homophobic, whose emotions are
ones of revulsion and pity. Then there are those who practice homosexuality. Their emotions range from
boastful pride to shame and guilt.
I have no fear of homosexuality or those who are practicing it. I am not homophobic, though I
oppose it and am extremely concerned about both the medical ramifications of it and the political agenda
some of the radical groups have set. I do have a sense of pity and revulsion. Revulsion because the
behavior and practice is so contrary to God’s word. Pity because of the depth of sin these souls have slid
into and the consequences of that sin. But the real question is not how we personally feel, but what God
says in the Scriptures about it. We are to align ourselves with that.
I have been collecting material on homosexuality for many years. When I pulled my research file I
noticed that it was next to my "homicide" file. As we shall see later in this sermon, that is fitting because
not only is there a higher than should be expected incident of homicide victims being homosexuals, but
the practice itself is extremely destructive. It is in a sense self homicidal, and it certainly keeps the soul
of the individual "dead in trespasses and sin." Paul warned about this in Romans 1:26,27
Paul does not bring this not as an attack on those who practice homosexuality, but rather it is simply
an illustration of the downward spiral of sin that occurs when people turn from the God that created
them and seek to build their lives by their own wisdom.
Remember that the book of Romans is the clearest theological presentation of the gospel anywhere
in the Scriptures. Paul introduces the theme for the book in verses 16 & 17 stating, "For I am not
ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first
and also to the Greek. 17 For in it [the] righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is
written, "But the righteous [man] shall live by faith."
The gospel message is about the righteousness of God, especially in His bringing about salvation for
those who have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. However, you can not understand this righteousness or
what salvation is unless you first understand what you were saved from. Paul explains that in chapters
1:18-3:20. We are saved from sin and God’s righteous wrath upon it.
Some might argue that they were ignorant of God and so not responsible. Paul explains in verses 18-20 that God has made Himself known and revealed Himself so clearly in creation that they are without
Others might argue that they are already good enough to make into heaven. Paul destroys those
arguments in these first three chapters demonstrating that all people, the immoral, the moral and the
religious, fail to meet His standards and are unrighteous before Him. There is not even one person who
seeks God on their own (Romans 3:10-12). God is righteous in His condemnation of man, but God is
also loving, gracious and merciful and He has made a way for His justice to be met and for man to be
saved from His sin at the same time through faith in Jesus Christ.
Here in chapter one Paul details the slide of man into ever greater sin. This is the natural and logical
consequence of man’s actions with the truth God has given to him. As Paul pointed out in verse 18, men
suppress the truth in unrighteousness. The willingly and purposely set themselves against the truth God
has revealed. And as verse 21 points out, even though man knew God, he refused to honor or give
thanks to Him for who He is. Instead, man sought to understand the world according to his own
thoughts, and shut out the truth, resulting in futile speculation. They may always be learning, but they are
never able to come to a knowledge of the truth (2 Tim. 3:6) because they already excluded the truth from
consideration. That is, remember, the fundamental error in evolution and other worldly philosophies.
When a person turns from glorifying God and giving thanks to Him, they are turning from truth to
futile speculation. This is the first step into evil, and it only gets worse from there. If truth no longer
controls, it can only degenerate, and since people are proud they profess to be wise in their futile
speculations when the truth is that they have become fools.
Now in saying they have turned from the truth, I am not saying they have turned from every vestige
of truth. Man can figure some things out for Himself, but since his mind is given over to futile
speculations, he will mix what truth he may hold with error. The idolatry that Paul pointed out in verse
23 is an example of that. They still acknowledge that there must be a something more powerful than man
that controls things, but instead of turning to the creator to glorify Him, they turn to the things God has
made and worship them.
I pointed out the absurdity of idolatry in last week’s sermon. Isaiah speaks of this in Isaiah 40, 44 &
46. It is absurd for man to worship something that cannot speak, it has to be carried from place to place
and either held in place with chains or carefully made so that it does not fall over. Yet men pray to this
object to deliver them from harm? They take part of a log and burn it to keep warm, part of it they cook
their meal over and part of it they carve into something which they then worship. It is utter silliness, yet
man has commonly done this through out the ages even into our own time. What is even more scary
about this is that demons can then become the source of power in idolatry to blind and entrap man even
more (1 Cor. 10:20).
There are relatively few people in our society that are involved in such blatant idolatry. Idolatry in
our society usually takes the form of materialism, fame and power. Anything you value as more
important than God is an idol.
God’s judgement for this is to is to give them over parevdwken / paradoken. This judgement
occurs three times in this chapter and each time it is to something worse. In verse 24 it is to the lusts of
their hearts in uncleanness to the dishonoring of their bodies in them.
We usually take God’s care and protection for granted, however the truth is that it is God’s
restraining hand that keeps people from becoming as evil as we could be. God judges here by moving
back His restraining hand and yielding to let the person get their own way. They will then suffer the
natural consequences of their own sin. The purpose would be to let the pain of sin that results from their
foolishness cause them to turn back, but when they do not turn, the hand is moved father back and the
person is allowed to fall farther into sin with its consequences. In short, God judges a person’s sin by
allowing them to become even more sinful with its consequences.
Because man does not properly honor and give thanks to God for who He is, his speculations become
futile. This results in exchanging the glory of God for idols with the consequential judgement of God in
giving them over to their desires for what is impure. The natural consequence of that is the shameful and
sometimes abusive treatment of their own bodies. The body becomes a biological entity like an animal.
People pursue whatever makes them feel good regardless of whether it is good for them or not. They also
then view other people as pieces of flesh to exploit for their own pleasure.
The spiral continues downward in verse 23 when people exchange the truth of God for a lie and
worship and serve what is created instead of the Creator. The sense of worship here is "giving
reverential awe." They give greater honor to what God has made than God himself. A quick way to see
how much a person is affected by this is to compare how much of their time and finances are given to
the worship and service of God with whatever else they value in life – hobbies, non-essential material
goods, hedonistic pleasure, fame, power, etc.
This false worship pushes the spiral further downward. The person may still acknowledge that God
exists, but their lives revolve around themselves instead of Him. They may even seek to worship Him,
but it will be according to their own designs, instead of God’s commands. God’s judgement comes upon
them in verses 26,27.
26 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the
natural function for that which is unnatural, 27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the
natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing
indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.
God’s restraining hand is pulled back further so that they are not only set loose to the lusts of their
hearts to impurity (vs. 24), but now also to degrading passions. We saw the verb form for the word
"degrading" back in verse 24. It is that which is dishonorable, disgraceful, shameful. The word passion
here (pavqo" /pathos) is similar to "lust"(ejpiqumiva / epithumia) in verse 24, except in this context, it
is worse. Lust"(ejpiqumiva / epithumia) is the broadest of the Greek words for desire and may be used
for good or bad. Here in verse 24 it is in a negative sense, but in 1 Timothy 3:1 it is used in a good sense
of the work an Elder desires to do. Passion (pavqo" /pathos) is not as broad and "denotes evil desire,
chiefly, however, as a condition of the soul rather than in active operation" (Berrry’s Lexicon with
Synonyms). Thayer describes this as "ungovernable desire." There is less control over the desire for it is
a condition of the soul. It is easy to see that this is another step downward into evil.
The homosexuality described in verses 26 & 27 is an example of the degree these degrading passions
will take the individual. It is important to note that the descent into evil that Paul describes here does not
mean that every person will first become an idolater, then practice homosexuality, and then all the things
described in verses 29-32. The descent is in the evil heart that first will not honor God resulting in the
person becoming futile in their speculation and darkening their hearts. This results in arrogant
foolishness of which idolatry is an example. God gives them over to the desires of their hearts for what
is impure. A consequence of their actions will be the dishonoring of their bodies. Man continues the
descent down by giving his worship and service to what has been created instead of the Creator. God
then further gives them over to their desires, except now the desires rise out of the soul. They are
stronger and less controllable even though they lead to that is degrading. Again, the homosexuality Paul
speaks of in verse 26 and 27 is just an example of this difficult, if not impossible, to control passion that
Perversion Among Women
Paul states that their females exchanged the natural function for that which is contrary to nature.
Paul does not even give these women the dignity of the normal Greek word for women (gunhv / gun).
He instead uses a word that just means "female" (qh’lu" / thelus). The term "function" (crh’si" / chrasis)
was commonly used for sexual intimacy and in this context could refer to nothing other than that. Their
practice is against God’s design, but it should not be surprising that those who turn from God would also
turn from His design. Homosexual activists claim their practice is natural for them, yet even a cursory
understanding of biology demonstrates that it is contrary to what is natural.
Perhaps Paul placed the women first because it is especially illustrative of his point. Women are
generally more reluctant to become involved in sexual immorality or perversion. Charles Hodge
commented on this, "Paul first refers to the degradation fo females among the heathen, because they
are always the last to be affected in the decay of morals, and their corruption is therefore proof that all
virtue is lost."
Perversion Among Men
In verse 27 Paul states that it was in the same way also the males abandoned the natural function of
the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, males with males committing indecent acts
and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. Again we find that Paul will not give
these men even the dignity of either of the normal words for man (andro" / andros or anqrwpo" /
anthropos), but instead uses a word that just means "male" (arshn / arsan). Paul is more descriptive
about these males. Their passion is further described here as a burning desire, an inflamed craving. It is a
lust that has been set on fire that seeks the object of gratification in order to make it it’s own. It is a
consuming passion, but the object of the passion is a perversion that is indecent. Paul is reserved in his
description of the shameful practice of these males with one another, but there is no question as to what
he is referring to.
Their moral error brings back upon themselves the penalty due them. The consequences are two-fold.
First, there is the inflamed cravings that are continue to push for more. A study some years ago by Bell
and Weinberg found that only 10% of homosexuals could be classified as relatively monogamous or
relatively less promiscuous. 28% of white male homosexuals reported having 1,000 homosexual
partners. 17% had fewer than 50 partners. 79% reported that more than half of their sexual partners were
strangers. Homosexual men average between 10 and 110 different partners per year with some having
300 or more per year.
The emotional turmoil from this is tremendous. The tragedy unstable and broken relationships is
repeated over and over again. That will often develop great insecurities in the person. A constant
question becomes "does the other person like me?" One male homosexual I counseled for a period of
over a year was constantly in turmoil over that question. When he began to feel that he was not liked
(based not on truth, but his belief that no one could really like him – evidence of the guilt he was living
with), or when he felt insecure he would search out a quick homosexual encounter to gain a sense of
being loved even it was for only a matter of a few hours.
There are also the physical consequences. The practice of homosexuality brings upon those
participating the due penalty of their sin. What I am about to bring before you is not for the purpose of
being sensational in the least. It is for the purpose of us understanding the risks of homosexual practice.
My figures are a little old, but they still make this point.
I am not going to describe their methods of trying to satisfy their degraded cravings. There is no need
to describe the details of their debauchery in a church service. As Paul said in Ephesians 5:12, it is
disgraceful to even speak of the things which are done by them in secret. I will only say that a
significant percentage of their practices include acts that directly cause bodily harm, and the majority
involve themselves in practices that involve direct exposure do intestinal diseases in addition to sexually
transmitted diseases. A smaller but significant percentage of homosexuals are involved in practices of
sadism, masochism and/or violation of minors.
Rather than sensationalism let me just give you some hard facts about disease incidence within the
homosexual population. The high incidence of each of these disease is directly related to their sexual
Hepatitis A: The U.S. Center for Disease Control reported (Jan-Jun 1991) the following figures of
Hepatitis A percentages of homosexuals among all cases. Those are huge figures when it is kept in mind
that the homosexual population is only perhaps 1.5-2% of the total population. Denver – 29%; New York
City – 66%; San Francisco – 50%; Toronto – 56%; Montreal – 42%; Melbourne – 26%.
Hepatitis B: Between 50-75% of homosexual males have had Hepatitis B. 5-10% are chronic carriers.
The national average is only 0.1%. Ninety per cent of homosexually active men demonstrate chronic or
recurrent viral infections with herpesvirus, cytomegalovirus or hepatitis B.
Gay bowel Syndrome, Certain enteric parasites are collectively called, "Gay Bowel Syndrome" because
of their frequency in the homosexual population.
Sexual transmitted diseases. Reports issued in 1979, 1984 & 1986 show that between 70% & 78% of
homosexuals reported having a sexually transmitted disease.
Intestinal parasites (worms, flukes, ameba) ranged from 25% – 39% – 59%.
AIDS – Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome was originally known as GRIDS – Gay Related Immune
Deficiency Syndrome – until the homosexual community protested. GRIDS would still be a good name
for it. U.S. Center for Disease Control figures for Dec. 87-Nov 89 for all cases are: 61% homosexual
males; 21% I.V. drug users; 7% male IV. drug users who are also homosexual or bisexual; 5%
heterosexuals; 3% other; 2% Blood transfusion with HIV infected blood; 1% persons with hemophilia.
The percentage of the total being homosexual males drops over the years as that population is killed off
by the disease. As of 1992, 83% of U.S. AIDS in caucasians were homosexuals. Percentages of those
infected can only be assumed (thought that 70% of homosexuals in major metropolitan areas are
infected) because of laws restricting testing and tracing. This is the only politically protected disease that
has ever existed. No wonder it is the only pathogen to have ever circled the globe in just 1/3 of a
Life Span An obituary study done in 1991 comparing those in homosexual journals and regular
newspapers gave the following results. The regular newspaper tabulations were similar to U.S. averages
for longevity: median age of death of married men was 75 and 80% of them died old (age 65 or older).
For unmarried or divorced men the median age of death was 57 and 32% dying old. Married women
averaged age 79 at death with 85% dying old. Unmarried and divorced women averaged 71 and 60%
The median age of death for homosexuals was virtually the same nationwide, and overall less than
2% survived to old age. If AIDS was the cause of death, the median age was 39. For the 588
homosexuals who died of something other than AIDS, the median age of death was 42 and 9% died old.
The 106 lesbians had a median age of death of 45 and 26% died old.
2.5% of homosexuals died violently. They were 87 times more apt to be murdered; 25 times more
apt to commit suicide; and had a traffic-accident death-rate 18 times the rate of comparably aged white
males. Heart attacks, cancer and liver failure were exceptionally common. 21% of lesbians died of
murder, suicide or accident. A rate 532 times higher than white females aged 25-44.
Examination of the age distributions of samples of homosexuals in the scientific literature from 1858
to 1992 suggests a similar pattern of longevity. AIDS has further reduced the homosexual lifespan, but
their regular exposure to other health hazards assures shortened lives.
Would not even basic compassion compel us to warn people of the risks of homosexual behavior?
Yet I am sure that there will be those who will hear or read this and accuse me of "gay bashing."
God’s Historical Responses
The Bible is clear in its response to homosexuality. Yes, there are those that seek to twist the
Scriptures and claim that the Bible is only against promiscuity and not homosexuality. But people strive
to make the Bible say many things which it does not and which are not true.
Genesis 19:4-11. This is the story of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. In the previous
chapter the Angel of the Lord and two angels told Abraham that Sodom would be destroyed because the
outcry was great and "their sin exceedingly grave." When the two angels arrive in Sodom, Lot,
Abraham’s nephew, takes them into his home. In verses 4 & 5 we learn that it was not long before men
of Sodom come and demand that Lot bring the "men" out so that they might "know" them.
The homophile position is that they just wanted to get acquainted with the two men (angels) that
were with Lot. They claim the sin of Sodom was improper hospitality. However, the meaning of this
word "know" (yadha) is always determined by its context. For example, it is used in Genesis 4:1 where
it states "Adam knew (yadha) his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth…". I think you can figure
out what that means. I think any reasonable person can also figure out the intentions of these men which
Lot called "wicked" in verse 7. Especially in light of the fact that Lot even offered his two daughters
who had not "known" (yadha) men in an effort to appease them. In addition, the actions of these men
who "wearied themselves trying to find the door" even after the angels had blinded them reveals these to
be people driven by sinful lust, not people who just did not know how to properly get acquainted with
Judges 19,20 records a similar incident and a similar claim by homophile interpreters saying that the
men of Gibeath just wanted to "know" in the sense of "get acquainted with" the visitor to their city
(19:23). But again, the immediate context destroys such a notion in that the host tells them not to "act so
wickedly" and to "not commit this act of folly (19:23)." Folly (nebalah) denotes an "insensibility to the
claims of God or man." Thus an act done in disregard of God’s standards. Second, the host offered to
them his virgin daughter and his concubine to be "ravished" by them and "do whatever [they] wished
(19:24)." The offer was turned down, so the visitor gave them his concubine, whom they killed in their
getting to "know" her (vs. 25-28). Again, any reasonable person can figure out these are men driven by
degraded passion, not the desire to get acquainted with a stranger.
Leviticus 18:22 is very direct in stating God’s command – "You shall not lie with a male as one lies
with a female; it is an abomination." Homophiles such as John Boswell of Yale University want to
equate this just with homosexuality that occurs in the worship of Molech in the previous verse. His
exegesis is more than seriously flawed, but even if his point were granted, what then about Leviticus
20:13? It has no context of Molech worship and reads, "If there is a man who lies with a male as those
who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death.
Their bloodguiltiness is upon them."
We could add to this New Testament verses such as 1 Cor. 6:9,10 and 1 Tim. 1:8-10 which also
speak of homosexual practice as abominable sin, but God’s view of it is already clear. It is a horrible sin
which is a graphic example of those who have turned from God resulting in His giving them over to their
Responding To Homosexuality
How do we respond? First and foremost recognize that this is not a political battle though there are
political ramifications. It is a spiritual battle. It is a battle between good and evil, between the kingdom
of God and the kingdom of Satan. Our goal is simply to be faithful servants of the Lord Jesus Christ. In
doing so, we will be involved in our society and be involved in political battles, but whether we win or
lose those battles in unimportant in comparison to being faithful servants of Jesus Christ.
How should Lord’s Servants in respond to homosexuality.
#1 – Pray.
A) for homosexuals to be convicted by the Holy Spirit of sin and come to repentance.
B) – for those in authority to be convicted of the sinfulness of the practice and the have moral
courage to do what is right before God, regardless of political expediency.
#2 – Proclaim the truth
A) Speaking the truth in love we enter into the public dialogue on homosexuality and proclaim the
Scriptures. We should never shy away from the subject when it comes up. People may not want to hear
what God has to say, but we are commanded to proclaim His word to all people. This would include not
only social conversations but also the public forum such as letters to the editor, guest columns, speaking
engagements, political forums.
B) Tell homosexuals the hope of the gospel. Their sin can be forgiven and their bondage to it can be
C) Let your government representatives know your beliefs concerning the various issue surrounding
homosexuality. They may not want to hear it. They may disagree with you, but they need to know that
God will hold them accountable for what they do.
D) Be supportive of those standing against the homosexual agenda
#3 – Personally minister.
A) Do not shy away from a person because you find out they are homosexual. They need a true
friend and you can be it. However, keep in mind that a true friend helps a friend overcome sin. There
will be toleration of sin as you work with the person, but there is never acceptance of sin.
B) Be involved in a ministry to homosexuals. That can be done either through one of many
established ministries (I can get you more information through Exodus International) or simply by
seeking them out, befriending them, and sharing Christ with them. In special need would be those that
have developed AIDS. Helping at a Hospice or AIDS clinic can put you in contact with an individual
who is ready to hear of God’s love.
Pray for the Lord to lead you to the person He wants you to minister too.
#4 – Portray Hope
1 Cor. 6 tells of many sins that once characterized the Corinthian Christians including homosexuality
and other sexual perversions, but they were washed, sanctified and justified in the Lord Jesus Christ. At
one point in time our lives where characterized by our sin, but after Christ comes into our lives we are
characterized by Him. Our particular sins may have been different than the homosexuals, but we were in
the same state. Dead in our trespasses and sin until God in by His grace saved us. There is hope by faith
in Jesus Christ. That is the message we are to give both in word and by our lives.