Summary: This is a sermon that was written to respond to certain self-righteous people in the church
But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
Recently, in he interactive part of Bible Study, the discussion turned to a member of this church who has recently made a “lifestyle choice.” The member who started the discussion made it clear that she was thoroughly disgusted by what the other member is doing. My response was to take us to two passages in the New Testament.
The first passage was in John 8:1-9, where the Pharisees brought a woman to Jesus who had been caught in adultery – expecting Him to condemn the woman. Naturally I chose this passage because the woman who brought up the discussion was intent on getting me to condemn the member she was talking about.
I then turned to Luke 7:38-50, and we read the story of the woman – known to be a sinner – who showed up at the house of a wealthy Pharisee, when she learned that Jesus was dining there. The Bible says the woman began to weep, wiped His feet with her tears, and then rubbed them with an expensive ointment she’d brought with her. The owner of the house became very indignant, and said, “This man is a phony! Otherwise He’d have known [that this woman touching Him is a tramp!] (I used brackets here to indicate that I paraphrased the verse)
In other words, how could somebody who calls Himself a Holy Man, or a Prophet, or a Pastor, let Himself get entangled with a woman like that?
WHAT I SAID
Now let me tell you what I said – at the conclusion of the matter – because some conversations that have taken place since then suggest that folks might have got it twisted. I said Sister One is caught up in a Lesbian lifestyle, and I don’t condone that. But I have two members sitting here today (referring to the woman who brought the accusation) who are living with men they are not married to, and I don’t condone that, either!
It has been reported that I openly condemned the two women living with men they are not married to; but the truth is I did not. I simply refused to condemn the other woman – Sister One. Why?
In the first place as the Senior Shepherd of this house I don’t have the luxury of taking sides with one member against another – I am the shepherd to both women, and my role is to help both of them bring their lives into harmony with the will of God.
Secondly, my role as Pastor is not to condemn the people that I have been given to shepherd. My role is to teach against the SIN – but in doing that I must also point out that there are no ‘big sins’ and ‘little sins.’ In the eyes of God all sin is Sin.
And so it was incumbent on me to say unequivocally to this precious lady that the fact is,
GOD DOES NOT HATE LESBIANS!
God hates SIN. And there is no point trying to categorize it, sin is SIN, and all of us have sinned, and come short of the Glory of God (Romans 3:23)
I found myself immediately thinking about how God’s love comes to the forefront in a conversation like this – and the Spirit dropped in my spirit what a wonderful Valentine’s message this would be. I want to be quiet for the most part and let the Scriptures speak for themselves, but to interject at certain places to tie it all together to this week’s theme.
So our lesson is very simple. GOD HATES SIN, but God does NOT hate the sinner. In fact the Bible says God LOVED the world so much that He gave His only Son, that everyone who believes in Him will not perish, but will have eternal life. (John 3:16) This is a very common memory verse – one that many or you learned as a child, in Sunday school. When I started preaching I found myself struck by the fact that we typically stop at John 3:16 – and in the process completely miss the point of the very next verse:
For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. John 3:17 When God got through giving me the revelation about John 3:17, I made Him a promise, that,
“Lord, from this day forward, I’m not preaching another soul into hell! Anoint my message, Lord, so that I’ll be able to preach the Hell outa them!”
He said, “OK, but you’ve gotta promise that you’ll still tell them the truth about Sin!”
So I said I was gonna leave it to the Bible to teach this lesson: I want to make sure, this time when I finish, that you will understand that whatever I say didn’t come from me, it came from God.