I shared the following in the comments section:
There is no question about homosexual behavior being sin in God's eyes. We know this to be true, but those who don't know God's Word apparently do not. All we can do is witness and share God's truth, pray for them, and hope that one day their eyes will be opened and they will realize the deception they are currently living under.
You have been steadfast in your loving witness towards Deb here. I haven't read all of the posts, but the ones I have read show the agape love of Christ in you while pointing out the dangers of impenitence.
As Christian believers, willful sinning is not to be on our radar screen! This is where we get the saying, "God forbid" from. Jesus said, "If you love me, you will keep my commandments." Jesus did not come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it. Not one jot nor tittle shall pass from the law until all is complete. The salvation, mercy and grace of Jesus Christ is not to be used as an excuse to continue sinning!
There are many verses that share this concept. Here are just a few:
1Cr 6:15 Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make [them] the members of an harlot? God forbid.
Gal 2:17 But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, [is] therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.
Rom 3:31 Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.
Rom 6:2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
Rom 6:15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.
All we can do is plant such seeds of God's Word. Ultimately, it is up to the Holy Spirit's prompting to convict the heart of a person to turn from their way(s) of sin.
In Ray Pritchard's book called The ABC's Of Wisdom there is a chapter all about confession. He makes the point that as fallible, sinful human beings, we tend to want to conceal our sin.
Proverbs 28:13 - He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.
The last words of each clause contain the most important truth. If you conceal your sin, you will not prosper. If you confess it and forsake it, you will find mercy. How hard it is to believe these words and to take them at face value. When we sin, everything within us screams out, "Cover it up. Turn off the lights. Bury the evidence. Destroy the tapes. Make up an alibi. Leave the scene of the crime. Run! Run! Run!
[Note from Christine: Have you been there and done any of that? I know I have!]
Something in our spiritual bloodstream causes us to run from the pain of confession. When God confronted Adam with his sin, the first man made the first excuse in history: "The woman you put here with me - she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it" (Genesis 3:12). Not a very noble answer. In the end he grudgingly confesses, but not before blaming Eve and, by implication, God.
Two key words deserve special attention. The first is confess, which means "to tell the whole truth." when we confess, we are not only admitting our sin; we are also agreeing with God's assessment of what we did. True confession begins with the notion that God is God and that we have knowingly violated His standards. The second word is renounce, which means "to abandon, forsake, desert, turn away from." True confession always leads to renunciation. If after confessing our sin we quickly return to it, or if we long to return to it, then we have missed the teaching of this verse and we will not find God's mercy.
Several years ago one of my brothers sent me some material from a Christian counselor. On one of the sheets he had done a takeoff on the words of Jesus in John 8:32, "You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." The counselor had added the phrase: "The truth shall make you free...but it will hurt you first."
[Note from Christine: Can anyone say Amen to that!!?? Sometimes the truth does hurt!!]
That strikes me as an extremely important insight. This explains why so many people struggle with their problems for years. They don't want the truth to hurt them...so they avoid the truth at all costs.
Do they want to get better? Absolutely.
Do they know the truth? Intellectually, yes.
Then why don't they get better? Because they won't let the truth get close enough to hurt them. Instead, they erect a thousand defense mechanisms that deflect the truth before it hits home.
Which explains why you can go to church for years, listen to sermons for years, read the Bible and pray for years - and still not get better. "The truth will set you free, but it will hurt you first." When you are finally willing to be hurt by the truth about yourself, then - and only then - will you be set free.
Most people don't enjoy confessing their sins, so they avoid it whenever possible. But when we dare to take God at His word, we discover the joy of forgiveness. If you are willing to tell the truth about yourself, you can be set free.
Heavenly Father, give me the grace to tell the truth so that Your grace might make me clean. Amen.
Questions of self-examination to ponder:
Is it getting easier for you to say, "I was wrong"?
Why is confession such a crucial part of the spiritual life?
What happens when we refuse to confess our sins?
What sin do you need to confess right now?