What does the Bible say about same sex marriage? Is it sin to marry someone of the same sex? Does the Bible have Scripture about this subject and if so, is it out of date for our modern culture?
The Word of God Endures Forever
I have heard many liberal theologians say that the Bible is out of date and not relevant for today. Recently I heard that 42% of seminary students did not believe the Word of God was without error. Since it was written so many years ago, people argue that what was then sin is not sin today. Are the liberal theologians correct to say that the Word of God is no longer pertinent to this day and age? The Word of God actually talks about whether the Scriptures are constrained by times and cultures. God has said that His Word abides forever and Jesus said that “heaven and earth will pass away but [His] words will never pass away” (Matt 24:35).
The Bible on Marriage
Let us rely on Scripture when we are defining marriage. Neither should we depend upon human opinions, liberal theologians, sociologists, modern philosophies or on new state laws and constitutions. God’s law are a higher moral standard than that of mankind and even governments and states. If we rely solely on Scripture, we will know the truth. Since the Bible is the Word of God, we must believe what it says and we care not that it’s not popular because it’s more important to believe what God says than what humans think. What is popular is not always the right thing and what is the right thing is not always popular, so let’s read the Word of God to see what He says about marriage, same sex marriage, and homosexual relationships.
When Jesus was speaking about marriage and grounds for divorce, He actually gave God’s definition of marriage saying, “But from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother, and the two shall become one flesh; so they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate“ (Mark 10:6-9). Jesus is quoting from the Book of Genesis, where the very first, God-ordained marriage originated, “So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them“ (Gen 1:27). Here we see that God not only performed the first marriage ceremony, He was the originator of marriage and it was – in the beginning – between a man and a woman. God knew that it was not good for a man to be alone, so he made a woman for Adam. In fact, God did not make man to be joined with men or women to be joined with women, but to be joined with someone of the opposite sex. Even biology teaches us that it would be a little difficult to have and raise children if the marriage partners were of the same sex. It would have been impossible to “Be fruitful and increase in number, [and] fill the earth” (Gen 1:28). Children receive better balance on how to be men and women when there are both a male and female in the home. Same sex marriage may be fashionable today but that doesn’t make it right in God’s eyes. He see’s it as sin as we will later see from the Scriptures. Paul clarified that sex outside of marriage is wrong but indirectly said that sex should be between men and women. He wrote that, “each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband” (1 Cor 7:2). There is no clearer definition of marriage in the New Testament than in I Corinthians chapter 7 and it is always between a man and a woman.
To be a pastor or a church official, one of the first qualifications was that he should be the husband of one wife, not another man, and so if someone is called into the ministry, they are literally not qualified if they have a marriage partner of the same sex or if they have more than one wife. This is made clear in 1 Timothy. A pastor has to be “a husband of one wife” (1 Tim 3:2). This is repeated in Titus 1:6 and elsewhere. Paul was very familiar with homosexuality in the culture that he lived in since he wrote two corrective letters to the Corinthians about this. He could have made the exception to a man having another man or a man having more than one wife but he did not. We see that Paul’s writings on this subject are no different from that taught in the Old Testament.
The Bible on Same Sex Relationships
There is no room for error when we read the Scriptures in both the Old and the New Testament about men having sexual relationships with men and women with women. There is no grey area at all. Even the Old Testament said that this was an abomination to God as Moses wrote, “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination“ (Lev 18:22). Just how serious did God take the sin of homosexuality? In Leviticus 20:13 He says, “If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.” We realize that the same thing applies to women having sexual relationships with women, for God has no double standards. Just as He is no respecter of persons, neither does He regard treating sin with a man any different from that of a woman.
In case you are thinking that this was the Old Covenant, think again, for the New Testament actually has more Scriptures condemning same sex relationships than the Old Testament does. Paul wrote, “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God“ (1 Cor 6:9-10). He continued in the Book of Romans, writing, “For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 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” (Rom 1:26-27).
Paul instructed the young pastor Timothy about sins that were contrary to biblical doctrine, telling him that “the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine“ (1 Tim 1:9-10). Sodomites are referring to same sex partners and the association is easy to see when you read the story of Lot in Sodom which was destroyed by God for such abominations.
God’s Judgment on Same Sex Relationships and Marriage Partners
What is the final fate of such who disobey the Word of God and marry or have sexual relations with someone of the same sex? It is not good to say the least, but this is not my opinion and it is not politically correct, but it is the Word of God. In Revelation 21:8 it says, “the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” To make it crystal clear, Paul writes that this lake of fire is the final destiny of those who have same sex relations, “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” (1 Cor 6:9). There are only two places that people will go after they die or at Christ’s return; to the Kingdom of Heaven or to the burning lake of fire. There is only one or the other. God does not care that His Word doesn’t seem relevant to this culture or that liberal theologians and the unbelievers feel that the Bible is out of date. The fact is “the word of the Lord stands forever” (1 Pet 1:25) and David wrote, “Your word, O LORD, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens” (Psalm 199:89).
If you have struggled with homosexuality, you are certainly not alone. God is ready to extend His mercy to you and His grace is freely offered. It may be a titanic struggle, but many Christians have successfully come out of this lifestyle. With God all things are possible. Nothing is too hard for God and God will always provide a way out of your temptation. Paul’s words give all who struggle with this some great hope, “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it” (I Cor 10:13). Here is a rock-solid promise of God. He can make a way of escape. He can send the Holy Spirit to give you the power to overcome this abominable sin. God desires that none of these who struggle with this perish. He says, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Pet 3:9). Believe Him. With His help you can overcome the sin of homosexuality. God can not lie (Titus 1:2) and His promises are surer than the sun rising tomorrow, but neither will He compromise on same sex marriage and the sin of homosexuality. Where will you go to after you die? The choice is up to you.
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