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(1) - Refuting Five Myths on Homosexuality

July 10, 2015 Pastor: Don Green Series: The Bible and Homosexuality

Topic: Conferences

70-033

This afternoon, I did something that helped prepare me and ultimately to prepare you for our time together here this evening although it seemed like a very simple act at the time. We have a little rock perimeter around our back patio and with all of the recent rains, there were weeds that were growing up in the midst of the rocks and, as you all have done, I reached down and I grabbed one particular clump of weeds and started to pull and yet it was stuck a little bit more so I had to go down and grab a little deeper and pull it up entirely by its roots in order to make sure that it didn't come back and that's a little bit of a picture of tonight's message. Tonight's message is really a preparation for all of the other messages that are to come in the remainder of our conference and for those of you that are familiar with our pulpit ministry here, this message is going to seem very strange indeed because normally we preach verse-by-verse through a passage of the Bible but tonight I need to do something to prepare the ground in your heart so that you are ready and able to receive that in good soil that is uncluttered by the weeds of wrong thinking and so I need to spend time tonight clearing out weeds that have grown into all of our minds and thinking because of the many myths that have been perpetrated on the American public and upon the world at large about the nature of homosexuality.

So we're going to look at 5 myths and we're going to pull them up, as it were, one by one, dealing with them, exposing them and refuting them in a way that is necessary for us to receive biblical teaching about the topic at hand. We are all mindful of the Supreme Court decision of June 26 requiring all states to recognize same-sex marriage and as a former attorney, I would love to engage a discussion of the legalities of that decision but that's not why we are here today. As a student of political science in my younger days, I would be very interested to talk about the politics of how we ever got to this point over the past 30 years but that's also not why we are here tonight. The truth of the matter is that those discussions for the church are fruitless. There is no value in the church debating constitutional issues or the political nature of the situation. Ephesians 6 makes it clear that we wrestle not with flesh and blood but with principalities, with spiritual forces in the heavenly places and the United States Constitution and American politics, as we have seen, are impotent against that kind of deluding influence when it comes to bear on a society. So what we are here to do this weekend is to examine the issue biblically. It is the word of God alone that has power. It is the word of God alone that can bring light into darkness. It is the word of God alone that can convert your unbelieving heart. It is the word of God alone that worked in our hearts and brought us to faith. Scripture says that it is by the word of God, by hearing the word of God that faith comes about in Romans 10. So the only thing that has any power, the only thing that has any relevance to this discussion for the church and, frankly, for the world at large, is what the Bible has to say about this entire matter of homosexuality and that's what we're going to examine here this weekend.

Let me ask you for a favor as we do. There is a reason why we are doing 5 messages including this one here tonight, it's because there is so much that needs to be discussed and so much that needs to be addressed. It is not reasonable to think that we could address all of the different issues in a single message. It's not enough for a pastor to just give a little 5 or 10 minute synopsis and then move on to something else and prepare his congregation and prepare the people of God for what they need in the challenges that lie ahead. We need a lot of help in this area. There is a lot that needs to be said, a lot that needs to be evaluated, and so we are going to take our time and try to do that with some measure of thoroughness over the next 36 hours or so. So the favor that I have to ask of you is this: please bear with me; be patient as we go along and if you have questions that aren't answered tonight or even tomorrow morning, stay with me. Be patient. I believe that most of the questions that you could have come into the room with tonight will be answered by the time that we're finished on Sunday morning and so I just ask you to bear with me as we go through a lot of material in a short amount of time.

Scripture tells us, indeed it commands us, "to examine everything carefully, to hold fast to that which is good and to abstain from every form of evil," that's 1 Thessalonians 5:21 and 22. It is remarkable, it's not surprising, I guess, and it is a little bit wearisome to see commentators spiking the ball as if the whole matter of homosexual marriage and the approval of homosexuality has been settled for all time because 5 lawyers outvoted 4 lawyers on the American Supreme Court in favor of same-sex marriage. That doesn't settle the argument. That doesn't end the discussion. As far as I'm concerned from the perspective of this church and from the perspective of God's word, the discussion is just now beginning. We are just now beginning, at least here at Truth Community Church, to bring the authority of God's word to bear on this situation at hand. We will not be silenced by those who try to preclude it based on an illegitimate Supreme Court decision that over time will prove to be as baseless as the Dred Scott decision in 1863.

So for us here today, Scripture tells us to examine everything carefully. That's what we're going to do. We're going to start by obeying God's word and examining what is said about homosexuality in our culture today and examine it carefully. There is every reason for us to do that, isn't there? Coin dealers dealing with simple metals inspect coins carefully for authenticity and for defects before they would ever begin to buy or sell them. In a similar way, Scripture calls us to examine philosophies and truth claims so that we can accept what is true and reject what is false. The mere fact that something is a prevailing opinion in a godless society says nothing about whether it is true and accurate or not. The fact that perhaps there is a majority of people accepting what Scripture rejects says nothing about whether it's true, it says nothing about whether it's healthy or not. Indeed, quite to the contrary, what did Jesus say in Matthew 7? He said, "The way is broad that leads to destruction. The way is narrow that leads to life and few are those who find it." So I am utterly unimpressed by a majority of the Supreme Court or by whatever polls say about the trends of homosexuality being accepted and approved in our society. One thing matters to the people of God, one thing will survive the judgment of God in the end and that is what is true and in accordance with what Scripture teaches. Jesus said, "Heaven and earth will pass away but my words will never pass away."

So as we examine this issue over the coming weekend, beloved, we and we alone, we who examine Scripture, we who are Christians, we who respect and revere God's word, we alone are the ones who are looking at it from an eternal perspective that will actually stand the test of final time and we make no apology for making that claim in what we say here this weekend because we do not have the authority to diminish the claim of God's word. As Pastor Nathaniel read for us earlier, Jesus say, "All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." And it was Christ himself, it is on the authority of Jesus Christ that we open God's word and that we examine truth claims because he commanded us to do so and no future decisions by any court or any police state or anything like that will ever take away our right to speak because our right to speak is determined by the Lord of the universe. He commands us to go therefore we go and we speak and we teach without fear and without apology. Is that clear?

Now, what does society tell us today? What has our culture been cramming down our throats for the past few decades? We are told that homosexuality is a normal alternative to heterosexual relationships. That it is not sinful. That it is, you know, you might like ice cream, I might like casserole and it's just different strokes for different folks. It's not true. Some people say that even Jesus approves homosexuality, asking what is often an insipid question, "What would Jesus do?" and it's funny how what Jesus would do in their minds conforms to whatever liberal politicians and the politically correct spirit of the day is saying as they fashion a Jesus in their own likeness and in their own image rather than the one who is revealed to us in the holy pages of inerrant Scripture. Beloved, whatever else Scripture says, whatever culture presses upon you here in the days to come and in the lives of your children to come, beloved, whatever else we say about anything else, you still have a responsibility to think. Scripture calls us to test the spirits to see whether they are from God, to examine everything carefully. That means that we have a biblical responsibility as those under the authority of Christ and under the authority of the word of God, to examine what is laid before us and to determine what is true and what is false and God has given us exactly what we need; he has given us all that we need for discernment in the 66 books of the Bible and by the indwelling Holy Spirit. This isn't difficult except for those who want to be approved by the spirit of the age. We don't care about that here at Truth Community Church. The only approval that we care about is the approval of our Lord Jesus Christ when we stand before him and give an account at the end of time. Let the approval of men come and go, let those who snort at that which we treasure the most take note that we haven't moved. Society may have moved but we haven't. We are standing on the word of God and there we shall stand until God calls us home.

So we still have the responsibility to think and in light of what has been foisted upon us, we need to examine the issue of homosexuality here this evening. What we're going to do here this evening is we are going to refute 5 common myths about homosexuality so that you can have clear thinking about these issues; so that you can see through what society is trying to foist upon us; so that you have reasonable answers to the world around you and to those family members and friends and coworkers who come and have questions either hostile or sincere. We're going to know what to say to these things by the time that we are finished here this evening. Five myths. Let's use the word carefully. Myths. Fiction. Falsehoods. Lies. All of which has become the new foundation of our society.

Well, myth number 1. We're going to state the myth, the fiction in their terms and then we are going to systematically dismantle them as we proceed here this evening. Myth number 1. All of these are going to surprise you. Every single one of them. Myth number 1: homosexuality is common. Homosexuality is common. That's myth number 1. It's an utter fabrication. It is not true. If you only saw news reports or movies or only got fed by common media, you might think without anyone saying so that the number of homosexuals in society is approximating that of heterosexuals, after all, we are sure talking about it a lot more. Certainly the theme of a lot more movies and TV shows, not that I follow any of that, but it's just common and it's just so pervasively displayed and there are gay pride parades that walk through the streets and receive all kinds of favorable coverage. You'd think, "Man, this must be a growing dynamic that is overtaking the world kind of like a bowl of yeast that just grows and grows and grows." That's not true. Others think, I saw someone yesterday who quoted this statistic saying that, "Well, one person in 10 is a homosexual," and that was the common line for a long time. One out of 10 and it is insinuated to you that you start to look around with suspicion at the other 9 people around and wonder who fits the bill. It's not true. It's an utter fabrication. It is all demonstrably false and I'm going to show you that right now.

On July 15, 2014, less than a year ago, the Obama administration released a report titled "Sexual Orientation and Health among US Adults." This is the Obama administration's figures, not mine. This isn't off some fringe Christian website. These are government statistics that I'm about to quote to you, specifically the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention just outside of Atlanta stated in their studies and their conclusions that 96.6% of American adults identify as straight. 1.6% identified as gay or lesbian and 0.7% identified as bisexual. Less than 2 1/2%. Those numbers don't add up to 100%. I won't trouble you with what the others say about themselves but, beloved, over 96% of American adults identify as heterosexual, as straight. That has nothing to do, this is in complete opposition to what is portrayed in the media around us. A Gallup poll released on April 24, 2015 just a month ago, 3 months ago, I should say, estimated that the total of adults living in the United States in a same-sex marriage or with a same-sex domestic partner, let me say that again so that you can follow it with me. I know I'm going to be throwing a lot of numbers at you here so I want you to be able to stay up with me. A Gallup poll, perhaps arguably the most respected pollster in America, this year in the wave of homosexual marriage going on, estimated that the total adults living in the United States in a same-sex marriage or with a same-sex domestic partner was 0.8%, less than 1%. In other words, 99.2% of American adults 18 and older were not in a same-sex marriage or partnership. Those numbers are shocking. According to statistics compiled by the Williams Institute at the University of California at Los Angeles in 2011, a generous estimate of those who would identify themselves as lesbian or homosexual in the world population is under 2%.

It's not just one study that says this. You can cross-reference it. Government statistics. The same government that has supported and advocated this. Their own statistics contradict the narrative that is trying to be portrayed. Estimates for homosexuality from the late 1990s were similar. I won't go into quoting those studies but it is not an overstatement to say that our media creates an image that homosexuality is pervasive. It's not. It's not true. Now, admittedly, it may be more common in Hollywood circles. It may be more common in liberal political circles but that says nothing about how common it is in the broader population overall. The US government and Gallup contradict the illusion. Friends, the idea that homosexuality is common is a myth. It's a fiction.

That's not the only myth that we are told. Myth number 2: we are told that homosexual love is like heterosexual love and that was one of the common quotes in the aftermath of the Supreme Court decision, "Love is love." You heard that, right? "Love is love. You love a woman, I love a man. It's all love." It's not true. It's a despicable fiction. The media portrays homosexuality as being comparable to the relational stability of heterosexuals. Hold onto your hats with what I'm about to describe to you because you're used to, just like I am, news agencies that predictably tell stories about older homosexuals who shared a long relationship together, implying that all homosexual relationships are of like kind and so they stand outside the courtroom hand-in-hand and portray an image as if that symbol of one or 2 couples is representative of the entire whole. It's a fiction. It's absolutely false and despicably false, I might add. Listen to these statistics found in multiple sources. Homosexuals average 8 different sexual partners annually. One study found that 43% of white male homosexuals had sex with 500 or more partners over their lifetimes. 28% had 1,000 partners or more. 79% said that more than half of their partners were complete strangers. Under 2%, less than 2% of homosexuals said that they were monogamous to one lifetime partner compared to 83% of heterosexuals. Give that a moment to sink in, huh? It's shocking.

Now, let's be honest, it's not like heterosexuals have a monopoly on virtue. We understand that heterosexuals commit adultery and that fornication and adultery are problems even within the church of Jesus Christ. We understand that but we won't bow before a moral equivalency argument that makes these drastic differences as though they were somehow equal in shame. Many unsuspecting people, maybe even some of you, approve homosexuality on completely false premises and make the assumption, not knowing many homosexuals because, after all, they're not that common and so there are not that many to get to know comparatively speaking, and so based on media portrayals of a camera that always shows you only what it wants you to see, many unsuspecting people approve of homosexuality having no idea what they are assenting to. By any standard, homosexual promiscuity is shocking. It shocks the conscience and I won't go into detail, seeing pictures on Facebook of homosexual men wearing T-shirts advertising their preferred form of engagement, let's say. It's sick. It's wrong. It's sinful. It's not normal no matter what is said to us to the contrary. So the notion, beloved, that homosexual relationships are comparable to heterosexuality is a myth. It is a complete fiction and, of course, it's portrayed that way. Do you think that if it had been portrayed that way consistently according to reality 30 years ago that we ever would have gotten to this point? There had to be a deception at work in order for people to buy it because if they had known the truth, they never would have drunk the poison. They never would have drunk the potion.

Myth number 3: homosexuals are born that way. Homosexuals are born that way. Many people, I'm going to spend a little more time on this, many people think that homosexuality is genetically determined. The media refer to the "gay gene" as if it were an established fact. Now, if homosexuality was genetically determined, that would be a strong argument for not raising a fuss about it. I mean, after all, who fusses about their eye color? You couldn't do anything about it. You just received the genes from your parents and you got the eye colors that were assigned to you by the combination of DNA. That would be a great argument if it were true. But, you know, there is only one problem: it's demonstrably false. The deathblow to this argument comes from studies of identical twins. Now, you know that identical twins coming from the same mother and father share the exact same genetic material; it's one fertilized egg splitting into 2 and they share the exact same genetic material. Australian researchers back in the year 2000 released a study that they did of identical twins in which one of the twins was a homosexual. Now, follow this, it really isn't that difficult, it's not that complicated: if one genetically identical person is a homosexual and if homosexuality is genetically determined at birth, then the identical twins would both be homosexuals because they share the exact same genetic material. What did these researchers find? Only 38% of the time was the identical twin also a homosexual. Stated differently in round numbers, 2/3 of the time he wasn't. Four other studies reached similar results and one writer interpreted the significance of those findings for those of us that are scientifically challenged. He said this and I quote, "Identical twins have identical genes. If homosexuality was a biological condition produced inescapably by the genes, like eye color, then if one identical twin was homosexual, in 100% of the cases his brother would be too but we know that only about 38% of the time is the identical twin brother homosexual." The quote goes on to say, "Genes are responsible for an indirect influence but on average they do not force people into homosexuality." Listen to this next quote, "This conclusion has been well known in the scientific community for a few decades but it has not reached the public. The public increasingly believes the opposite."

Now, that's not all there is to say about that. The American Psychological Association on their website tonight carries an article titled "Answers to your questions for a better understanding of sexual orientation and homosexuality." Can we all agree that the American Psychological Association is not out to advocate a Christian worldview? Can we all agree that they are not concerned about biblical principles in the things that they present to the public so that if there is any bias, it's not filtered through them? What does the American Psychological, Association say about what causes homosexuality? I'll quote it for you straight off their website. In fact, just to enjoy a prop, right here it is. I'm holding it in my hand on page 2, it says, quote, "There is no consensus among scientists about the exact reasons that an individual develops a heterosexual, bisexual, gay or lesbian orientation. Although much research has examined the possible genetic, hormonal, developmental, social and cultural influences on sexual orientation, no findings have emerged that permit scientists to conclude that sexual orientation is determined by any particular factor or factors." Do you know what you just heard? You just heard in academic jargon a psychological association shrugging its shoulders and saying, "I don't know." That's all that says. They're saying, "I don't know." But it's cloaked in so much jargon that it tries to sound like they are saying something significant but what they are saying is, "We don't know what causes homosexuality." Trust me, if they were able to connect it to something genetic, they would because it's consistent with the liberal mindset that they want to portray but there is enough intellectual integrity in the group right now to say, "We don't know." The National Association for Research and Treatment of Homosexuality, a professional organization with members from a variety of medical and scientific backgrounds says this and I quote, "There is no such thing as a 'gay gene' and there is no evidence to support the idea that homosexuality is simply genetic. Numerous examples exist of people who have successfully modified their sexual behavior." Beloved, no one could change their homosexual behavior if it was genetically fixed.

Now, before the upswing of political correctness that forbade studies like what I'm about to describe, before our modern age impinged itself upon academic and medical thought, past secular treatment of homosexuality supports the assertion that it is not genetically determined. Between 1930 and 1986 many, it's in italics in my notes so I know it's a lot, many medical studies were published that documented a composite 50% success rate in producing considerable or complete change from homosexual behavior. That's over 50 years of research that now has been flushed down the commode because of political winds. But listen, beloved, if homosexual behavior is genetically determined now, it was always genetically determined and as shown by the fact that 50% success rate existed in prior treatment shows that it is not genetically determined. What we're seeing here is individual arguments under this third point, the myth that homosexuals are born that way, what you're seeing is a culmination, a cumulative argument that is being made here indicating that this is just not true. The twin studies refute it. The American Psychological Association says, "No, we don't know. We can't say that." A professional organization known as NART says no. In the past, there were medical studies that said 50% change. Gracious. Do you see how massive the lie is that is perpetrated just on this one argument?

Now, let me ask you a question. You're thinking people. You're intelligent, every one of you. Why would they lie if not that they had to misrepresent something in order to achieve another result? This isn't about searching after truth for them, it's about a social goal that they want to accomplish by any means possible otherwise they would be as forthcoming with this information. Look, I feel sorry for you in one sense. I know that many of you are saying, "I never heard this. Where can you find this stuff?" It's not easy to find. It's all there but it's not readily available. You really have to go after it like a detective going after a criminal in order to find the evidence that is right there. They don't want you to see this and yet it is easily documented and I've got all the documentation right here on my table in front of me. I'm not making this up. If the narrative were true, there would be no ex-homosexuals but the narrative is not true. Many Christian ministries exist to help homosexuals change their behavior. Many of the leaders are ex-homosexuals. For those of you who would like a good book to read, a modern account of a homosexual conversion, now I know you're going to write down notes, I encourage you to pick up the book titled, "The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert," by an author know as Rosaria Champagne Butterfield. It's a well-known book in circles that teach on this issue. "The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert." Mrs. Butterfield was a lesbian English professor at Syracuse University who was converted to Christ under the patient ministry of an older pastor and she is now a pastor's wife in a Presbyterian denomination. That would be impossible if the prevailing narrative were true. Homosexuals can change. They do change. The genetic argument is simply a falsehood. It is a fiction.

Myth number 4: homosexuality is physically and mentally safe. Look, if love is love, then what could be harmful about it? I have sanitized what I am about to say to you as much as possible. I don't think it's even rated PG but I want you to know that I have sanitized what you are about to hear as much as possible but I want to say this just by way of start and there is a place for a Christian pulpit to be somewhat prophetic not in predicting the future but in denouncing the wickedness of men and women in leadership: there are people who have gotten rich and been elected to office on the issue of homosexual rights and I want you to know as a way of preface for what we're about to hear that they have gotten rich and they have obtained power on the backs of thousands if not millions of unreported broken lives and it is a shameful disgrace on our nation how much this lifestyle has ruined life after life after life. I understand that people like me are called haters by that so-called community but I utterly reject the hater label. It is the biblically faithful Christian alone who is expressing true love to homosexuals, not just in the spiritual realm by offering them the forgiveness of their sins through faith in Jesus Christ but in being willing to tell them the hard truth about the lifestyle that they are pursuing. I am weary of hearing the argument from professing Christians who attack the kinds of things that we're saying and say, "We just need to love everybody and affirm them and be friendly in the decisions that they make. After all, it's their lifestyle. It's their life. They get to choose." You wouldn't say that about anything else that was dangerous to your health. You wouldn't encourage people down a path of self-destruction. If they said, "Hey, I think I'll put 5 bullets in the chamber and play Russian roulette. What do you think? Spin it and pull the trigger." You'd have a moral obligation to slap the gun out of their hand and say, "Stop it! What do you think you're doing? You're going to kill yourself!" And yet no one would call that person a hater but I'm a hater for what I'm about to say here.

Let me just, this isn't the only study but I just want to...sometimes visual props are nice, aren't they. This report, "Top Health Issues for LGBT Populations: Information and Resource Kit," holding it up for our online viewers. Glad you are with us. Published by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration of the US Department of Health and Human Services, in other words, the Obama administration. In 2010, Obama officials reported and I'm going to give you a string of health statistics here. It is as horrific as the heroine outbreak here in the Cincinnati area. Obama officials reported that men who have sex with men are 44 times more likely to be diagnosed with the HIV virus than the general population. Syphilis rates were 46 times higher than the general male population and 71 times higher than the female population. More generally, homosexuality has been shown to result in a decreased life expectancy of 25 to 30 years. Liver disease which increases the risk of liver cancer, fatal immune disease including associated cancers. Sorry but this needs to be said, for homosexual men, anal cancer at rates 17 times higher than heterosexuals. Multiple bowel and infectious diseases and much higher rates of suicide. Homosexuality, it is a documented fact by the Obama administration itself that it greatly increases suicide, suicide ideation and substance abuse. One study found this: homosexuals and lesbians were twice as likely to have attempted suicide in the preceding year. Homosexual and bisexual men were 4 times as likely to attempt suicide during their lifetimes. Depression and substance abuse were at least 1 ½ times more common in the homosexual community.

Do you ever wonder why they are depressed and suicidal? Listen, it has nothing to do with the fact that there are Christians that uphold a biblical ethic. It has nothing to do with that. I know that we're the scapegoats but it's not true. It's an utter fiction. Try this on instead for an explanation, again, relying on statistics from "Top Health Issues for LGBT Populations," published by the Obama administration. (Sound of papers falling.) That's what I think of that. Try this on: over 56% of lesbian or gay adults report experiencing intimate partner violence compared with 17 1/2% of straight adults. You are 3 times more likely to be beaten up by your intimate partner if you are in that lifestyle than if you are a heterosexual. Who is telling them that? Why isn't that public, front page 1 news? Why do you have to dig through a 100 page report and read the fine print in order to find that? Why isn't someone warning these people before they get enmeshed in the lifestyle, "Look out, this is bad news!" Do you know why? Because the politics aren't good in it. There is not money to be made by protecting people. What is this saying? More than half the time, their own lovers are beating them up. It makes me want to weep. This is horrific.

For those of you who are in the homosexual lifestyle watching over the live stream, I want to assure you, I'm not your enemy. Did I become your enemy just by speaking the truth on statistics attested by your own preferred administration? That doesn't make any sense. I have no ax to grind against you. The ax that I am grinding, the thing that elicits my passionate reaction against it is the fact that people are lying about this. People are not disclosing information that needs to be made and there is this great delusion, there are these rampant myths that are easily disproved. And you may not like me for saying it but, my homosexual friend, I love you enough to tell you the truth. I love you enough to lay out the consequences of what's ahead of you.

There is another aspect of it, you know. I'm a pastor. I have counseled homosexuals in my office. I know the guilt that they feel. I know that some of them feel trapped in a lifestyle that they can't get out of. Some of them said, "But I didn't choose to be this way." We're going to talk about those kinds of things tomorrow but I don't believe for a minute that everyone who has a homosexual inclination or has been engaged in homosexual behavior is a radical like is portrayed in some circles. I don't believe that for a minute. Some of the reason that I am saying this, a big part of the reason that I am saying these things is to let you know that there is hope out of that lifestyle. That change is possible. That Christ does save sinners. He saved me. I wasn't into the homosexual lifestyle, I had my own bank of sins that I was proud of and engaged in an enslaved to. Christ saved me. He'll save you too. I just invite you to come to him and lay yourself down before him and the reason that we need to say these things is that we recognize that there is hurt, deep hurt in the lives of many homosexuals. Why else would they destroy themselves? What's in the traditional use of the word, the historical use of the word, what's "gay" about that? What's happy about that? What's happy about being a slave to your own desires to such an extent that you let strangers abuse you? Who is kidding whom? Who loves whom here? Can you imagine being beaten up after giving yourself over to someone? The hurt? The shame? The anger that must build into their broken hearts over time? I'm not excusing the sin of it but the way of the transgressor is hard. It's difficult, Scripture says. And where is the word that would warn them? Where is the word that would bring a word of comfort and hope and say it doesn't always have to be this way? There is one person that has the power to do that, it's the Lord Jesus Christ. It is only Christ who can redeem us.

When you put these 4 myths together that we have looked at, that homosexuality is common; that homosexual love is like heterosexual love; that homosexuals are born that way; that homosexuality is physically and mentally safe and you see how utterly false all of that is, there are 2 things that we would say about it. First of all is this: on a human level, there has been an astonishingly successful misinformation campaign at work regarding the nature of homosexuality. On a human level from a media and political and legal strategy standpoint, man, they are geniuses to have been able to pull this off in the past 20 or 30 years. It is outwardly successful but it is based on a series of demonstrable lies. That's just on a human level.

On a spiritual level, bringing it back here within the church to those of you, turn over to 2 Corinthians 10. I may have alluded to this on a prior Sunday morning. We need to understand...actually put your finger there and then look over at Ephesians 6 so we'll just have your fingers in a couple of different places here. We need to understand the nature of the battle. In Ephesians 6, the Apostle Paul said, "Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil." Look at this in verse 12. How is it that we are up against this in our day and age? "Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places." Jesus said that Satan is the father of lies. We see a systematic perpetration of lies on a culture and upon a world system and when you trace it back, look past the media campaigns, look past the political action committees, look past the legal maneuvers and realize that we are against and we are coming against tonight and this weekend, against a supernatural deluding influence traced to Satan himself because every lie traces back to him.

I had you put your finger in 2 Corinthians 7, I don't want your finger to get a cramp in it, now turn there if you would. So what do we do? How do we respond to this? What do we say in light of these things? 2 Corinthians 10. How do we engage the battle? 2 Corinthians 10:3 says, "Though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh," in other words, not by human means that rely on lawsuits and politics and a constitutional amendment. No, our weapons are not of the flesh but they are divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. "We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ." Where is the knowledge of God found? Where is the mind of Christ found? Nowhere else except in the 66 books of the Bible. It is God's truth, it is the teaching of God's truth, it is the proclamation of the Gospel which is the cannon ball of fire against these lies that we find ourselves enmeshed around. And if the collapsed society around us on a moral level brings us back to this one fundamental point, this time in history will be marked as a blessing from God to the church to bring us back to the truth. Bring us back to the Scriptures. Bring us back to that which, in the words of the prophets, "were sweeter to my taste than honey and more precious than gold," which Paul says is divinely powerful for the exposing and the contradiction and the refutation of lies and pointing people to the truth that alone can deliver them from their sins.

You see, I know that a lot of people in our day and age in the church are speaking and I understand where they are coming from but they just want to narrow this down to just proclaiming the Gospel on an individual basis and sticking to the Gospel with individuals. That's fine as far as it goes but these people that are advocating that don't recognize the breadth of the battle that we are engaged with. We are engaged with Satanic philosophies that are designed to undermine the truth. It is more than just an individual's salvation. We must bring the full truth of God to bear against this assault on the way people think and the word of God is more than sufficient for it. I wish, in one sense, this is a denial of my love of the doctrine of Providence to speak this way, I'm far enough along in life that maybe I've got 20 good years if the Lord gives me breath. Maybe 20, maybe 25. Do you know what? I wish I had 50 to give to God's word in a time like this. Those of you that are in your late teens and early 20s, you've got those 50 years ahead of you. Give yourself over to Christ. Give yourself to the teaching of God's word. Give yourself over to the church and show yourself a lion and a warrior for truth because we're going to need you in days to come. This has been building up a while for the past couple of weeks, can you tell?

There is a final myth that we need to deal with and, really, this is just an introduction to the rest of the conference. Myth number 5 is: homosexuality is spiritually safe. You are more likely to find today people who in the church believe that you can be a gay Christian than those who would refute and contradict that notion. A gay Christian. They assume that you can be an LGBT Christian. It's not true. That is an oxymoron. It is a contradiction in terms. Turn in your Bibles to 1 Corinthians 6 and we'll close at this passage and one more. 1 Corinthians 6 and all of the Scriptures that we are going to quote for the rest of the conference are contested battlegrounds. I realize that but, do you know what? God's word is clear. It's not difficult to understand when you let it speak for yourself.

1 Corinthians 6:9 says, "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God?" And notice this Spirit inspired warning as if it were written for times just like ours, "Do not be deceived." In other words, beloved, give me your attention for just a moment. Give me your eyes up here for just a moment, if you would. In other words Scripture says that you are prone to deception on this very point. That's why the warning is there. If you were not subject to this deception, Scripture would not warn you against it and so it says, "As obvious as this seems, you need to be on guard so that you would not be deceived by what I am about to say, by those who would contradict what I am about to say. Don't be deceived by it." So the very nature of Scripture puts all of us in this room and Christians watching over the live stream, puts us on notice that this is a point of vulnerability even if we don't think so. If we're lifted up and boastful and proud and think, "Oh, I could never fall for that." Well, "don't be deceived" tells us that this is a prime area for deception.

What does it say? Look back at verse 9 with me. It says, "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." People who are marked by those unrepentant sins will not go to heaven and it is a colossal spiritual crime for Christians to suggest anything to the contrary. It is a cosmic treason against God to contradict what his own word says on this point just for the sake of political correctness here on earth and because we are afraid of what men will think about us by saying, "No, unrepentant homosexuals will not go to heaven." It's a treason against God to qualify that statement and what is more, it is a treason against our fellow men to offer them a false hope that says you can be an unrepentant homosexual and not fear the judgment of God. That God will take you just as you are without repentance, without change, without you turning to Christ. You have to give up your sins.

Now look, those of you that know anything about the homosexual culture, understand that there is a sense in which, at least up until who knows what's going to happen after this Supreme Court decision, but their identity, the identity of many homosexuals is totally wrapped up in their sexuality in a way that is difficult for us to understand. To tell them to forsake their homosexuality is to tell them to deny their very life and that seems too severe to Christians who don't trust God's word enough and think that, "Well, let me help God out here. I'll shave off the rough edges." But do you know what? Denying yourself is exactly what Jesus said the price of discipleship was. He said, "If anyone wants to come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross and come follow me." There came a point where I had to deny my angry, prideful, sinful self and reject it all and say, "That is ungodly and I repent of it." That's what we tell every sinner, at least we should. This is true of every sinner. It's not specific to homosexuals. The Gospel message is the same. No matter what your sinful condition is, you need to deny yourself, repent and put your faith in Christ if you want to be saved. We're not saying anything different to homosexuals than what we say to sinners everywhere.

Now, let's read on in verse 11. My homosexual friend, here is your hope in verse 11 as Paul writes to Christians at the church of Corinth 2,000 years ago. He says, "Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God." You were like that, past tense. You now have been reconciled, justified, declared righteous in the presence of a holy God because Jesus Christ, who is God Incarnate, left the glories of heaven above and came down to earth and lived a perfect, sinless life which he offered up to God the Father as a sacrifice to satisfy the wrath of God against sinners just like you and me. He took the punishment so that you and I could be saved if we would put our faith in him. And homosexuality, my friend, is not the unforgivable sin. Being a lesbian is not the unforgivable sin. We offer you the same Gospel that we offer to sinners everywhere. Jesus came to seek and to save that which was lost and he'll save you too if you come to him in faith. So the Spirit of God had changed those people in Corinth so that they were no longer homosexuals. Change is possible for homosexuals and for those wrestling with those powerful temptations, you're not a prisoner of your genetics.

If we're going to find the truth about these matters having looked at these 5 myths and refuted them, we need God's word to guide us and that's where we're going to turn for the rest of this conference and let's start here and close with this one passage in Matthew 11. Turn in your Bibles to Matthew 11. If you are watching at home, turn in your Bible to Matthew 11. Maybe you are angry, maybe tears of hope are involuntarily running down your cheek but I present to you a gracious, sympathetic Savior who will receive you despite all of your past sins. He will receive you and save you and cleanse you and welcome you into his family. Jesus said in Matthew 11:28, "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest." Are you tired of your sin? Come to Christ, he will give you rest. Look at his promise and he never breaks his promise. Never once has a sinner come truly to Christ and found that he was turned away. Jesus said, "Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls."

I want every sinner to know that rest, don't you? If you're a sinner in this room and you have never come to Christ, look at the promise and take this occasion to receive him. Those of you on the live stream, it's no less true just because you're not here geographically. Christ comes to you and says, "Come to me and I will give you rest." Won't you come? Come to Christ and be saved.

Let's pray together.

Father, we are mindful that we have just made a direct assault on the gates of hell. We ask you to bless that, to bless those that have heard. Bless your church, Father. Bless Truth Community Church. Bless the broader Christian community with courage to trust Christ in the midst of these trying times and help us to see and understand and embrace the fact that you appointed us for precisely this hour in history and that it is the privilege and the responsibility and the duty of your people to rise up and meet the hour and not wish that we lived in a different era where this problem wasn't at the forefront. No, Lord, make us faithful. Make us grateful. Make us strong. Make us courageous because, Father, we look to you and we look to our Christ, the sufficient source of our strength.

Father, for those that react with hostility to what has been said here tonight and what will be said for the rest of the conference, with the words of our Lord Jesus we pray, "Father, forgive them for they don't know what they are doing." And for those whose hearts are yearning after Christ and yearning to be delivered from sin, Father, may your Spirit, as it were, come from above and descend upon them and grant to them that repentance and faith which leads to eternal life. We praise you and we bless you for the glory and the majesty of your word and the glory and the majesty of our Christ. It is through him alone that we approach you and in his name alone that we pray. Amen.