Is God Tolerant Or Loving? This question is debated hotly today in many circles. The answer is no to the first and yes to the second. Let me explain how and why. The mantra of the world today is “to be tolerant, is the highest quality of one’s character” Let’s take a hot button issue for tolerance. Same sex attraction and the Church. Should the Church affirm LGBT issues and affirm homosexuals in the Church. Again the answer is yes and no. Yes we should embrace the souls who come to our Churches that are gay, lesbian or whatever comes next. They need to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ. The gospel is good news! No, we cannot affirm that lifestyle and wink because it is the highest virtue of the politically correct. If your brave enough read on.
Is God Tolerant Or Loving?
By Joshua Toupos
I love God and I love the homosexuals! I love the truth and the truth is that the Church of Jesus Christ cannot “Affirm” the homosexual agenda. Can we sanctify it by surrounding it with stain glass, pews, and openly gay clergy? But as many clamor “But God is loving isn’t He?” The answer is yes from both liberal and conservative camps. So what’s the issue, why am I not tolerant and why do I claim God is NOT TOLERANT? The answer is the cross of Christ. Both God’s love for the sinners and intolerance for sin are displayed at the very same moment. So how is it that Fuller Seminary is embracing a LGBT group openly on it’s campus? Today many denominations ordaining homosexuals and performing same sex marriages! Let’s look at one of Fuller’s star pupils of dysfunctional theology, Rob Bell.
“Yes, I am for marriage. I am for fidelity. I am for love,” he said, going on to get more specific.“Whether it’s a man and a woman, a woman and a woman, a man and a man — and I think the ship has sailed and I think the church needs to just — this is the world we’re living in and we need to affirm people wherever they are.” -Rob Bell
Note, what I highlighted in Red. It’s what Rob and many others think, because it is now culturally acceptable even hip to be a”affirming” pastor. But what does God say? He has spoken on this issue. Here are just a few. Leviticus 18:22, 20:13, Romans 1:26-27, and the good news is here! 1 Corinthians 6:9-10. Let’s look a bit closer to the word of God and not the me or Rob for a moment.
Inheriting the Kingdom of God
The verse below describes various sins and those who have been washed, but there is a warning also to the Corinthians. There is also comfort for those who “repent”, the next verse does say that homosexuals can inherit the kingdom if they come to the Lord, Jesus Christ. It indicates a past action, ie repenting and changing ones mind about what God calls sin.
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. 1 Corinthians 6:11
This passage in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 speaks on inheriting the Kingdom of God. It lists many sins here in vs. 9 & 10
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 extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. That’s ten different sins that the Apostle Paul lists by the Holy Spirit here. Repentance (A changing of the mind away from these sins is required to enter into the Kingdom of God.)
Vs.11 speaks “And such were some of you:” of an action “were” in the Greek as Tense: Imperfect Mood: Indicative It is an action by the some of the Church where involved in these sins listed. But they repented, washed by the blood of the Lamb only comes by repenting Revelation 1:5, 7:14. But we don’t here of the blood of Jesus by most of this crowd, hence the warning from the Holy Spirit “Be not deceived”.
Matthew Henry sums these passages up this way,
The Corinthians are warned against many great evils, of which they had formerly been guilty. There is much force in these inquiries, when we consider that they were addressed to a people puffed up with a fancy of their being above others in wisdom and knowledge. All unrighteousness is sin; all reigning sin, nay, every actual sin, committed with design, and not repented of, shuts out of the kingdom of heaven. Be not deceived. Men are very much inclined to flatter themselves that they may live in sin, yet die in Christ, and go to heaven. But we cannot hope to sow to the flesh, and reap everlasting life. They are reminded what a change the gospel and grace of God had made in them. The blood of Christ, and the washing of regeneration, can take away all guilt. Our justification is owing to the suffering and merit of Christ; our sanctification to the working of the Holy Spirit; but both go together. All who are made righteous in the sight of God, are made holy by the grace of God. -Matthew Henry here
So back to the cross. The cross is the best picture of both God’s Justice and Mercy at the same moment in time. God’s Love, Intolerance, Justice, & Mercy are demonstrated for us at the cross. God’s Love sent His one and only son to die for our sins. 1 Cor 15:1-4 That sin God cannot tolerate Ezekiel 18:20, Romans 3:21-27. Justice as the others is one of God’s immutable attributes. Way back in the Garden of Eden, God Himself sacrificed an innocent animal to cover Adam & Eve’s sins by the shedding of blood. Genesis 3:21, Hebrews 9:22 Soteriology is the study of Salvation. Oh, an Mercy is getting Grace instead of Justice. We all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23 But God who is rich in Mercy as the Apostle Paul expounds for us.
And you [He made alive], who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.
But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised [us] up together, and made [us] sit together in the heavenly [places] in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in [His] kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; [it is] the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. Ephesians 2:1-9
These scriptures are replete with love, grace & mercy for all who have sinned as we have highlighted. It is folly to try and justify sin before a Holy God who extends His Grace. When John the Baptist came who was the end of the law & prophets Matthew 11:11 preached repentance! Matthew 3:2 His first words recorded as was our Lord Jesus. Matthew 4:17 “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
What is Repentance?
Here is a brief description of biblical repentance, In the Bible, the word repent means “to change one’s mind.” μετανοέω metanoeō The Greek is very specific here. Repent from our Lord Jesus is in the Tense: Present Voice: Active Mood: Imperative. It means changing your mind in the present (now), it is an action we need to continually perform. The imperative expresses a command to the hearer to perform a certain action by the order and authority of the one commanding.
While repentance is not a work that earns salvation, repentance unto salvation does result in works. It is impossible to truly and fully change your mind without that causing a change in action. In the Bible, repentance results in a change in behavior. That is why John the Baptist called people to “produce fruit in keeping with repentance” (Matthew 3:8). A person who has truly repented from rejection of Christ to faith in Christ will give evidence of a changed life (2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 5:19-23; James 2:14-26). Repentance, properly defined, is necessary for salvation. Biblical repentance is changing your mind about Jesus Christ and turning to God in faith for salvation (Acts 3:19). Turning from sin is not the definition of repentance, but it is one of the results of genuine, faith-based repentance towards the Lord Jesus Christ. (Source)
I personally have a gay friend. We dialogue about it. Some things we agree on and others like repenting now we disagree. Never under estimate the humans heart to justify our sins. Jeremiah 17:9 I do it (justify) and so do you. As our original scripture indicates, the homosexuals as well as all other sexual sins outside of marriage between one man and one woman is sin. We are commanded to repent to enter into the Kingdom of God. Anything else is deception. By affirming and not preaching the full gospel message and the dangers of sexual immorality in all forms gives false hope to those who are seeking.
Paul had said above, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in [His] kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2 It’s that important, a life or death issue and the Church of Jesus Christ has far too many cowards in the pulpits. Speak the truth in love and pray that God would grant Rob Bell, Fuller Seminary and all those who have been deceived would repent.
Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins. James 5:19-20
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