Summary: Paul focuses on the fact that if anything, or anyone, sits on the throne of your life other than Jesus that is called idolartry.

American Idols (04-02-06)

Romans 1:22-31

Pastor Jeff Williams

American Idols?

How many of you watch American Idol? Do you get angry when your favorite performer is voted off? Would like to sing in front of Simon Cowell? Me neither!

In our country, there are a lot of American Idols. I’m not talking about Kelly, Rueben, Fantasia, or the next American Idol, Mandisa. Can anyone name some idols that we Americans worship? [Money, power, success, sex, sports, relationships]

This morning, the Apostle Paul is going to challenge us to not let anyone, or anything, take priority over our relationship with Jesus Christ. As the commercial says, “Anything less would be uncivilized.” Actually, the Bible calls it something worse – idolatry.

That’s the main point. Let’s read it together: When anyone or anything sits on the throne of our lives other than Jesus, it is idolatry.

We come to one of the most descriptive sections of Romans. Because of the sensitive nature of the material, you may want to take your young children upstairs to Promise Land. If it had to be rated, this sermon is PG-13. As I pray, feel free to act accordingly.

The Great Exchange

Several years ago I gave a friend a purse. What she didn’t know was that I had included a check for an upcoming mission trip. Some time after that, I asked her if the money helped her meet her goal. She admitted, somewhat embarrassed, that she had exchanged the purse without ever looking in it. She exchanged a very valuable object for something quite ordinary.

How many of you exchange presents after Christmas? How about re-gifting? Tell the truth! Humans love to exchange, don’t we? That is Paul’s point in the verses we will look at this morning. He describes three great exchanges:

• They exchanged the glory of immortal God for a mortal image (v. 23)

• They exchanged the truth of God for a lie (v. 25)

• They exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural sexual relations (v. 26b-27)

Because of these three decisions, Scripture says “God gave them over.” The actual Greek word means “to abandon.” This is the act by which God hands over the human race for judgment because of their sins. It is as if God said, “Do you really want to do life without me? Okay, I’ll respect your free will but I’ll tell you upfront, the end result is not going to be pretty.” As we will see, the human race enters a downward spiral when it rejects God and tries to do life on its own.

Image is everything

Paul was brilliant in the way he laid out his arguments in the book of Romans. He is so logical, so precise with his language. Please turn with me to chapter one of the book of Romans. We’ll start in verse 21:

“For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.” (Romans 1:21-23)

* For they knew God

Notice Paul says that they “knew God.” Last week we learned that God has revealed Himself in such a clear and understandable way, that we are without excuse for our sins. God’s invisible qualities, his eternal power and divine nature, are so apparent that only a fool would reject such a revelation. And that is exactly what we become when we reject God.

* they neither glorified Him as God or gave thanks to Him

In Paul’s mind, there are two natural responses to “knowing God.” The first is to “glorify Him as God.” To glorify means “to praise, extol, celebrate, honor, to make glorious.” Isaiah 26:8 says it this way:

“Yes, LORD, walking in the way of your laws, we wait for you; your name and renown are the desire of our hearts.” (Isaiah 26:8)

The second response is giving thanks to Him. Paul concludes that a sense of gratitude for all that God has giving to us and a holy appreciation for all that He did for us through Christ on the cross, should be at the very center of our lives.

These two responses can be summed up in one word – worship. The natural response of a human heart to God’s greatest and glory, at least in Paul’s thinking, is to break out into praise and worship. The Psalmist writes:

“Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations. (Psalm 100:4-5)

Because of their rejection of the truth of God and their refusal to worship Him as God, they experienced the consequences of their actions. There are three results:

* their thinking became futile

The Greek here literally means “empty in their doubting dialogue.” Eugene Peterson captures this well, “they trivialized themselves into silliness and confusion.” When we divorce ourselves from God, the first thing to go is our intellect. Don’t believe me? Watch television for an hour. Our minds become muddy and our thinking worthless.

* their foolish hearts were darkened

The heart in the Bible is the center of all thoughts, passions, desires, appetites, affections, and emotions. Because of our refusal to grant God his proper place in our lives, our hearts become darkened. When we dismiss God’s light from our lives, our emotions become warped and our passions, as we will see in the verses that follow, become insatiable.

* Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools

In our arrogance, we boast about being wise but Scripture says we become morons. That’s what the Greek word is for fool. Actually, to be a fool does not mean to be intellectually challenged. David could not have said it any clearly:

“The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’” (Psalm 14:1)

When a finite human being, whose knowledge of things is so limited and small, says with absolute certainty that there is no God, the only word fitting for them is “fool.”

Remember the main idea? If anyone or anything sits on the throne of your life other than Jesus, it’s called idolatry.

The First Exchange

Paul’s logic brings us to the first exchange. When human beings reject God, they become foolish, and exchange “the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.”

Paul was writing to a first century church that was very familiar with idols. The Romans and Greeks made idols that looked like mortal men. Egyptian and Oriental cultures made idols that were in the form of animals. On his visit to Athens, Paul was overwhelmed at how many idols there were in the city (Acts 17:16). But that is to be expected, they were pagans who did not know the true God. Peterson is helpful here again: “They traded the glory of God who holds the world in His hands for cheap figurines you can buy at any roadside stand.”

In one of my favorite stories in the Bible, the Ark of the Covenant is captured by the Philistines and placed inside their idol Dagon’s temple. The next morning, they found the statue of Dagon on its face before the Ark. They prop the idol back up but the next morning the statue of Dagon is again on the floor, with its hands and feet broken off. The moral of this story is: if you have to super-glue your god back together your god has issues! (Read I Samuel 5:1-5 for the whole story)

Paul also knew the history of his own people. God had made it very clear that the Israelites were to worship Him alone. In His top ten list, God places idol worship as the number one enemy of true worship. (Ex 20:3-5)

In Romans one, Paul is thinking back to the time when Moses was on the mountain receiving the Ten Commandments. The people grew restless and challenged Aaron to make them gods. He made a golden calf and the people bowed down and brought sacrifices to it. Luke records what happened as a result:

But God turned away and gave them over to the worship of the heavenly bodies.” (Acts 7:42)

Even though Deuteronomy 7:25 says that idolatry is an “abomination to God,” the Israelites continually left God to “scatter their favors to foreign gods under every spreading tree…” as Jeremiah put it. (Jeremiah 3:13)

This is just a natural outcome of rejecting God. Worshiping God requires commitment and sacrifice. It is much easier to make gods in our own image that do not require as much out of us.

As we read these verses, it becomes apparent that humans seem to have a hard time keeping their eyes fixed on reality. I am glad that things are different now, aren’t you?

O Worship the King

Two years ago, we took a group of students on mission to Memphis, Tennessee. We repaired a house, worked in a soup kitchen, and had great times of fellowship and worship together. Being from Memphis, it was my pleasure to take them sight-seeing. They fell in love with The Peabody Hotel ducks, had burgers at B. B. King’s restaurant, and saw where I grew up and went to school. But no visit to Memphis would be complete without a trip to Graceland.

We walked the outside wall of Graceland and read what fans from all over the world had written. Some messages were funny, others were moving, but one caught all of our attention. As we gathered around to read what this Elvis fan had left behind for us, the whole group got very quiet. Written in black ink – “Elvis is my personal Jesus!” Several students began discussing the theological implications of what they were witnessing. Kenny Hinds finally spoke up and said, “This is idolatry plain and simple. I’m leaving, who is with me?”

They marched back to the van and begin asking me why I even brought them to such an ungodly place. I reminded them that I was their student pastor and they needed to “Love me Tender.”

“Elvis is my personal Jesus!” Kenny was right. It was idolatry. It was exchanging the King of Kings for the King of Rock n Roll! And it is exactly what Paul said would happen.

What’s the point? If anyone, or anything, sits on the throne of your life other than Jesus, that is called idolatry.

So God Gave Them Over

Because we so easily abandon God, God in his righteous indignation abandons us. Look at verse 24:

“Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another.” (Romans 1:24)

Interestingly, Paul focuses in on our desires and how idol worship affects our sexuality. Once humans exchanged the real God for false idols, and created gods in their own images, then the rules of worship were re-written.

Sexual immorality was nearly always associated with idol worship in Paul’s day. In fact, at many of the pagan temples there were male and female prostitutes that helped you in your “worship.” In Deuteronomy 23:17-18, Moses made it clear this practice was unacceptable for Israelites.

Paul calls this version of sexuality “degrading.” Sex is a gift given by God to be used to communicate at the deepest levels with the covenant of marriage – one woman, one man, for life. Sex is like fire; its effects depend on the context. Put fire in a fire place and it make a room glow with warmth. Put it in a forest and it’s destructive nature become quickly evident.

You Can’t Handle the Truth!

Look at verse 25 and you will notice the second exchange:

“They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator-who is forever praised. Amen.” (Romans 1:25)

When we reject God, we trade truth for a lie. Interestingly, that is not exactly how the Greek reads. The literal rendering of verse 25 reads, “they exchanged the truth of God for the lie.” What is “the lie?” The ultimate lie is that you can ignore God and still find fulfillment in your life.

Louis Giglio said it this way when addressing twenty thousand college students, “Stop sinning by believing the lie that anything is better than Jesus.”

How relevant is this verse today. In our culture, truth is relative and situational. But there is truth and His name is Jesus (John 14:6) and there is a Liar and his name is Satan (John 8:44). The difference between the truth and the lie is so great that Paul can not help but break out into praise.

When we trade in the amazing, awesome God of the Bible for idols, God gives us up to be controlled and ruled by our passions. When we forfeit the truth to believe in a lie, the consequences become even more severe and our passions become distorted.

Remember the main point? If anyone, or anything, sits on the throne of your life other than Jesus, that is called idolatry.

Hot Potato Topic

These next verses are some of the most debated in the entire Bible. It is one of the hot potato topics that church must deal with today. But it was also one of the main issues facing the believers at Rome so many centuries ago.

I believe it is important to address the topic of homosexuality because the Bible does and our culture is confused.. This issue touches many of our lives.

I want to avoid two extremes that I see prevailing in our culture right now. The first extreme is “pro-gay theology.” This is the idea that homosexuality is a gift from God and is preached at Metropolitan Churches throughout the nation. Pro-gay theology is deceptive and does exegetic gymnastics with the texts to make a case for their position. No where in the Scriptures is homosexuality celebrated or even condoned. As we will see, it is clearly, and universally, condemned.

The second extreme can be best illustrated by the story of Matthew Shepherd. Matthew Shepherd was a college student living in the gay lifestyle in Wyoming. He was picked up at a bar by two men who tortured and killed him, leaving his body on a barbed wire fence. At his funeral, his parents were yelled at by a pastor and several “Christians” who held up signs that read, “God hates fags,” “Fags will burn,” and “Matthew is in hell.”

Let that sink in for a second. They were devastated and needed tenderness and compassion and, instead, had to put up with mean-spirited, self-righteous religious people. This is an extreme we must avoid at all cost.

In doing research for this message, I read dozens of sermons on this issue, many by well known pastors. I was struck by the harshness of their language and the lack of compassion for people caught in this trap.

Somewhere between “stone them” and “ordain them” lies the Biblical view. I think it is vitally important that we speak truth and grace, like Jesus did in John 1. Some of you will not like the truth. Others of you will chafe at the grace the Scriptures offer. Either way, we must know what the Bible says about this issue.

John (not his real name)makes a confession

When I was working at Red Lobster during seminary, I had a friend named John. One night John asked if he could talk to me after the shift. He seemed upset and uncharacteristically serious. At the end of the night, we sat down and he looked at me intensely. He spoke very slowly and said, “I had a one night stand.” I had talked to him about Jesus many times and so I simply responded that only Jesus would fill the hole in his heart. Seeing that I did not freak out on him, he spoke again, “Okay, I had a two night stand…with Josh.” He waited anxiously, eyes filled with fear, as to how I would respond.

I didn’t miss a beat, thank God, and said that we needed to talk about this and look at what God says. He invited me back to his apartment and for the next three hours I showed him God’s plan for his sexuality, answered his questions, and begged him to reconsider this lifestyle. At about four in the morning, I put it all on the line and challenged him to surrender everything to Jesus. I was devastated when he basically replied, “No thanks. I don’t want Jesus, I want Josh.” As far as I know, he is still living in the gay lifestyle. He has traded the truth for a lie.

Four Observations

Let’s go to verse 26:

“Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.” (Romans 1:26-27)

Homosexuality was practiced openly in Roman culture. The Roman church would be filled with people who knew of homosexuals or were involved in that lifestyle themselves. Paul took this opportunity to address the topic for them and for us. Let’s look at a four observations from these verses:

* Homosexuality, in thought, word, or deed, is a sin.

Throughout the entire Bible, homosexuality is condemned. Look at the words Paul uses: “shameful lusts,” “unnatural relations,” “indecent acts,” and “perversion.” It is difficult to understand how someone could claim that Paul was a homosexual when these two verses clearly portray homosexuality as a behavior outside the norm and as something that brings judgment. Paul is just echoing the other inspired writers of Scripture:

- In Gen 19:1-28, the men of the city of Sodom nearly start a riot trying to get at two angelic visitors to Lot’s house. God destroyed Sodom because of their sexual sin. Jude 1 says, “…Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.” (6-7) That is why we call homosexual behavior “sodomy.”

- In the book of Leviticus, we see four behaviors worthy of capital punishment: adultery, incest, polygamy, and homosexuality. Turn to Lev 18 and let’s read verse 22: "’Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.” (Lev 18:22). Now turn to Lev 20:13: "’If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.” (Lev 20:13).

- In I Corinthians 6, Paul gives a catalogue of sins that bring judgment and homosexuality is one of them.

* Homosexuality is a willful choice, not a biological imperative.

Out of everything I say this morning, the idea of choice is by far the most explosive. If I were to ask you if homosexuality is a choice or if people are “born that way” how would you respond? And on what evidence what you base your response?

Look at the verse again. The women “exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones” and the men “abandoned” natural relations with women and became inflamed with lust for one another.” This language “exchanged” and “abandoned” implies an active, willful choice.

I have looked at the latest and best research and can tell you that there is no current research that proves there is a “gay gene” or that homosexuality is purely genetic. Synclair Rogers states, “In spite of the many theories and recent but inconclusive genetic and brain-related research, there is still no scientifically accepted evidence proving that homosexuals are ‘born gay’” Are you surprised by this news? How is it that an entire culture believes something to be true that has no basis in science?

Please hear me. Homosexuality is very complicated. Many factors can contribute to a person feeling same-sex attraction.

Ray Pritchard puts it this way:

“You can talk about genetics, your [brain chemisty], absent fathers, overprotective mothers, early sexual confusion, and sexual abuse. Some of these things may indeed create a disposition to this sin. But the fact remains – every act of homosexuality – word, deed, or lustful thought – every single act is a personal moral choice.”

This is actually good news because if it is a choice then…

*homosexuals can change

If you believe that homosexuality is genetically and biologically determined, then to imply a person can change is equivalent to telling me to stop using my left hand so much. But, if it is a moral choice then to not tell someone there is potential for change would not be hate speech but love in action. Let’s look at I Corinthians 6:9-10 again:

“Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (I Cor 6:9-10)

Notice two things about these verses. First, that homosexuality is one of many sins. It is not listed first or last. It is in a list of sins that grieve God’s heart. Some of us in the church really need to understand that homosexuality is not a worse sin than being a gossip.

Second, notice the little phrase “and that’s what some of you were.” Paul knew people in Corinth that had turned their backs on worshipping idols, gone back to their wives or husbands after committing adultery that had found freedom from alcohol, and had come out of the homosexual lifestyle. All of these people had found their freedom in a personal, powerful relationship with Jesus Christ – “but you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” This idea of washing is not just a Pauline idea. Listen to John:

“If you confess your sin He is faithful and just to forgive you of your sins and cleanse you of all unrighteousness.” (I John 1:9)

It is easy to argue theology but it is difficult to argue with a changed life. On Feb 26, Cross Training, our high school ministry, welcomed a very special guest Eric Elder. Eric is the head of a ministry to men on the internet called Eric is married and has six beautiful children. Eric also, in his own words, used to be in homosexual lifestyle. You could have heard a pin drop as he described his deep need for male attention and his feelings of inadequacy. In college, he finally surrendered to his secret desires and plunged head first into the homosexual lifestyle.

Many years later, while attending a Bible study in Texas, he read the verses we are studying today out of Romans. He told our group that he knew he had a choice to make. He stood on a dusty road by himself and held his Bible up and said, “God, if this is true, and this lifestyle leads to death, help me change.” That was eighteen years ago. God brought him out of the lifestyle and he now ministers to men struggling in this area.

Eric Elder is just one of thousands of individuals who have found freedom from homosexuality through the power of the Gospel. If you are struggling, listen to me - coming out of homosexuality is possible! It is not easy, but coming out of any sin is difficult. There are several organizations that help individuals seeking to come of out of the homosexual lifestyle. Check out for more articles, books, and counseling opportunities.

* Homosexuality leads to death

One of the main points that Eric Elder made was that the homosexual lifestyle leads to death. Paul says they “received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.” A good way to understand this phrase is that homosexuality is a “self-punishing sin.” The physical, emotional and spiritual consequences are devastating and as with any sin, it’s “wages” are death (Romans 6:23).

Jesus said, “The thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy, but I have come to give you life, abundant life.” (John 10:10) Following God’s plans bring life and freedom. That’s the reason Jesus came – to set prisoners free (Isaiah 61:1; Luke 4:18; John 8:36). The homosexual lifestyle is a life of bondage. It leads to death, physical and spiritual. Satan wants to steal our hopes, kill our bodies, and destroy our souls. But Jesus said, “If the Son has set you free, you are free indeed.” (John 8:36) Chose life! Chose life! Chose life!

What’s the point? If anyone, or anything, sits on the throne of your life other than Jesus, it is idolatry.

Responses from the church

It is imperative that we send the homosexual community signals of grace. In fact, that is our great asset.

• Tell the truth seasoned with grace. In an article by an ex-homosexual, this point was driven home. A Christian couple took care of him while he was sick and loved him enough to share with him the truth of the Scriptures. He said the combination of love and truth was irresistible.

• Examine your own heart. Don’t tell jokes that make fun of homosexuals. You may be talking to someone affected by this sin.

• Welcome them into the church. Ask the Lord for an opportunity to invite them. It is only through the Word and a safe environment to seek after answers that real change happens. On Christmas Eve two years ago, a gay couple visited our church. After the service, I made a effort to find them and asked them about the service. They enjoyed being in church and said they really liked the music.

• Don’t be afraid of homosexual people. They are not the enemy (see Ephesians 6:12 and Romans 3:23). At the core of the homosexual struggle is a deep seated rejection. Most homosexual men do not have any real non-sexual male friends. I recently read of an ex-homosexual who said that the event that helped him to start coming out of the lifestyle was an invitation, by “the guys,” to play on the church volleyball team. Pray for an opportunity to reach out.

Be careful that you stand…

Just in case Paul’s readers thought they were superior he goes one step further.

“Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done.” (Romans 1:28)

Once humans reject God, idolatry, sexual immorality, and open homosexuality are the result. But Paul is not done. There is one more step down – into complete moral chaos.

Paul launches into a long list of sins that result from our final rejection of God.

“They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. (Romans 1:28-31)

Paul doesn’t want his readers to focus on the “major sins” like sexual immorality and homosexuality. It would be easy to sit back and smugly say, “Well I’m not like those people.” In his teaching about temptation to the church at Corinth Paul gives this warning:

“So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! (I Cor 10:12)

We would do well to heed his words today. You may not have an idol in your basement that you bow down to but do you battle greed and envy in your life? You may not be involved in outright sexual sin, but do you whisper? That’s what the Greek word for gossip is – whispering about someone. You may not have ever been involved in homosexual behavior, but have you disobeyed your parents? You may not like this but Paul equates rejecting your parents with rejecting God.

Paul’s words are like buckshot that spreads out and hits all of us. We are all messy and struggle in certain areas. We all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23) Remember, we don’t like people who sin differently than we do.

What’s the point? If anyone, or anything, sits on the throne of your life other than Jesus – that is idolatry.

The Applause of hell

Paul concludes this section with a startling statement. Look at verse 32 with me.

“Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.” (Romans 1:32)

Andrew Murray writes, “We are not only bent on damning ourselves but we congratulate others in the doing of these things that we know have their issue in their damnation.”

This is what I call the applause of hell. One example will suffice.

One of the most celebrated films of the year was “Brokeback Mountain.” The basic premise is two ranch hands meet in the 1960s and have a torrid sexual relationship. They both go their separate ways. They both marry and have children. Years later, they resume their love affair, commit adultery on their wives and eventually destroy their families. The film ends in emptiness and death. This film was described as the most intense love story in the past twenty years. It won multiple awards and won praised from nearly every major critic.

I have not seen the movie nor will I. I do want to challenge you not to be afraid of movies like Brokeback. We are called to change our culture, not hide from it. Familiarize yourself with the main ideas and then pray for opportunities to interact with people about its themes.

Movies like Brokeback Mountain are to be expected from the world that rejects the knowledge of God. But what are to make of entire denominations that have decided to not only approve of homosexuality but to actually ordain open homosexuals to be pastors?

The church stands at a cross road. While we must reach out in love and compassion to homosexuals, we must stand for the truth in a culture that is tolerant of everything but the truth. Conservative columnist Cal Thomas wrote, “Open homosexuality is the final disconnect from a personal God.” Where the Scriptures are clear, we can not be silent. We must reach out to people struggling with this sin in compassion and love, and offer the truth, hope, and healing found in Jesus Christ. They will know we are Christians by our…


While it is true that God gave us up to our sins, it is equally true that God never gave up on us. The entire story of the Bible is of pursuit. In chapter one and two God creates humans to be with Him in perfect relationship. In chapter three, Adam and Eve stick their tongues out and said, “Thhhhhhpt.” The rest of the Bible is God pursuing us, chasing us, calling us back to Himself.

As we come to the communion table let’s remember “that God demonstrated His love in this that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:6)

A couple of weeks ago, we learned that the Gospel is the “dynamite” power of God. Let me give you a very simple acrostic that will help you understand:

- God created us to have perfect fellowship with Him

- Our sins separate us from God

- Sin can not be atoned for by good deeds

- Price was paid by Jesus on the cross

- Everyone who puts their faith in Jesus for the forgiveness of sins will have eternal life.

- Life eternal begins when you are born again and means you will live with God forever in a place called heaven.

That is the Gospel. By responding to this invitation, you are saying that you are kicking everyone and everything else off the throne of your life to make room for the rightful King.

Mercy Fund

We are going to end this morning with a song called, “Give us Clean Hands.” Let the words be a declaration to the world that Jesus sits on the throne of your heart.

“We bow our heart, we bend our knees, o Spirit come makes us humble

We turn our eyes from evil things, O Lord we cast down our idols

Give us clean hands, give us clean hearts

Let us not lift our soul to another.

Give us clean hands, give us clean hearts

Let us not lift our souls to another

O God let us be the generation that seeks

That seeks your face, O God of Jacob.”

Additional Resources

My first draft of this sermon was over 19 pages long! I am not sure you, or your posterior, would have appreciated so much information. I would like to provide you with additional resources for you to explore. Many of these resources have links on Focus on the Family website.


* Exodus Internal (

Exodus is a worldwide coalition of Christian ministries that offer support to men and women seeking to overcome homosexuality. Many of the ministries have specialized services for family members and friends, including support groups, one-on-one counseling, and literature. For a free packet of literature on the work of Exodus, including a complete list of referral ministries, contact:

Exodus North America (

P.O. Box 77652

Seattle, Washington 98177


Exodus has developed an extensive library of practical booklets on issues relating to homosexuality. Many will offer specialized information for parents, friends, spouses, pastors, and counselors. Resource categories are:

Church and Theology

Counseling and Ministry

Family and Friends

Homosexuality and Society

Prevention and Recovery

Also, for students struggling with same sex attraction there is exodus youth. Visit their website at

*National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH)

NARTH is an organization of nearly 700 professions across the country who treat homosexuality from a variety of perspectives. NARTH has an entire library of articles, CDs, and DVDs by researchers on the issue of homosexuality. While this site is not specifically Christian, this site is a good resource for scientific research on brain-research.

Contact NARTH by visiting their website or writing them at


16633 Ventura Blvd. Suite 1340

Encino, CA 91436


* Eric Elder Ministries. This is the website I referenced in the sermon. Visit for articles and forums.

* Ex-Gay Testimonies

Read testimonies of men and women who have overcome homosexuality. Visit

* Love Won Out

These are dynamic one day conferences for people struggling with homosexuality put on by Focus on the Family. Visit


Regeneration Books has many excellent books to help you understand the issues surrounding homosexuality. You can receive a catalogue by visiting

Some titles to look for:

“Setting the Record Straight – What Research Really Says about the Social Consequences of Homosexuality.” By Dr. Larry Burtoft

“Unwanted Harvest?” by Mona Riley and Brad Sargent

“Someone I Love is Gay – How Family and Friends Can Respond” by Anita Worthen and Bob Davies

“A Strong Delusion – Confronting the ‘Gay Christian’ Movement” by Joe Dallas

“Coming out of Homosexuality – New Freedom for Men and Women” by Bob Davies and Lori Rentzel

“Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth” by Jeffrey Satinover

“Pursuing Sexual Wholeness” by Andrew Cominski

“Desires in Conflict” by Joe Dallas

“Helping People Step out of Homosexuality” by Frank Worthen

“You Don’t Have to be Gay” by Jeff Konrad