Will being gay send me to hell? I believe in Jesus as my Lord and Savior and I desperately want to please Him and do His will. At the same time, I know that I am homosexual. I believe I was born this way and that nothing will ever change it. Does this mean that I'm condemned for eternity?
First, let's get one thing straight: "being gay" doesn't send anybody to hell. There is only one criterion that God uses to judge the world and determine who is saved and not saved: faith in Jesus Christ. "He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life" (I John 5:12). "For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God" (John 3:17, 18).
The bad news is that we all deserve to go to hell: "There is none righteous, no, not one," writes the Psalmist (Psalm 14:1-3). "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God," says the apostle Paul (Romans 3:23) – who, by the way, refers to himself as the "chief of sinners" in 1 Timothy 1:15. When it comes to our "works" and the way we've lived our lives, everybody stands condemned, whether gay or straight, black or white, liberal or conservative, old or young. The good news is that God loves us in spite of our sin and has sent His Son Jesus Christ to purchase our redemption. This is what the Christian message is all about: we are all sinners, but we can all be forgiven and born anew through faith in Christ.
What your question really boils down to, then, is this: "Is it possible to believe in Jesus and be a homosexual at the same time?" The answer, as we see it, is both yes and no. Here at Focus on the Family, we take the view that there's an important difference between feeling gay and acting on those feelings. As with any form of sinful behavior, the transgression comes not in being tempted, but in willfully engaging in activity that is contrary to God's law. So yes – you can be a Christian and struggle with homosexual tendencies at the same time; but no – you can't be a faithful, obedient Christian while willingly involving yourself in homosexual acts. Anybody who seriously desires to follow Jesus Christ needs to make it his or her goal to abstain from sexual practices that the Bible clearly identifies as sinful.
To go further: the great mystery of the Christian life is "Christ in you, the hope of glory" (Colossians 1:27). Not alongside you, not over you, but in you. This is the deeper reason why a practicing homosexual cannot be a practicing Christian. The same would go for any human being engaged in any sexual sin; just as Paul says in his first letter to the Corinthians, "Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not!" (1 Corinthians 6:15). When we accept Christ as Savior, we also make a decision to live the way He wants us to live – righteously by the power of the Holy Spirit.
If you need additional help understanding these concepts, or if you'd simply like to speak with someone about your personal situation, call our staff of counselors. They'd love to discuss your questions and concerns with you over the phone.
Desert Stream Ministries