Program Air Date - 7-29-01



Welcome to the Living Word Program on this wondrous Lord's Day morning. It is always an honor and privilege to have you with us. We are thankful you have chosen to be with us as we commit this time to the things of God.

May we each participate and do our part to make this time acceptable before Him and according to His Word. Now let's begin by talking to God through prayer!

This week we would like to mention another congregation which helps in making the Living Word Program possible - each Lord's Day morning. The Gainesville Church of Christ in Gainesville, Missouri, has been a partner in this effort for Christ for many years. We really appreciate this fine congregation for their like-desire to see the gospel of Christ taken to the whole world.

Please take advantage of the opportunity this morning to meet with this family of God. Beginning at 9:30 a.m., these brethren will begin with a Bible study and then at 10:30, they will have a morning worship assembly. On Sunday evening at 6:00, they will again come together for a worship service. This congregation also offers a mid-week service at 7:00 each Wednesday evening. I hope you are able to visit with them very soon.

If you have any questions or need further information about this congregation, please feel free to contact me or their minister, brother Halbert Smith. Their telephone number is: 417-679-3729.

This morning we want to begin our songs of praise by singing a song which stresses the great joy we have as Christians in our walk with Christ. So, at this time, won't you join in with the congregation as we sing together, "Their Is Sunshine In My Soul."
(SONG # 1)


Have you ever played that game before where you sit in a group and at one end someone whispers something in the ear of the person next to them. Then that person has to whisper what they heard to the next person in line. What happens when you get to the end? You guessed it, some crazy sentence come out that isn't remotely similar to what you started with.

When I think of this game I think of how important words are in our life. Not only words, but also how we say the words and how they are perceived. As Christians, we must realize how important it is to say what we mean and mean what we say. It really does matter, what we say and how we say it.

Let's go to the book of Colossians and read verse 6, of chapter 4. There Paul said, "Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one." There are several points made here which I would like to expound on.

First, we see that grace is necessary in proper speech. This would mean that we really think about what we want to say and that we say it in the right way. If we extend grace to another we are striving to do that which is favorable toward them - whether they deserve it or not. Treating others as we wanted to be treated.

The next thing Paul mentions is a speech seasoned with salt. If you are like me, you love salt and probably use to much. But why do we use it? Because it tastes good and enhances the flavor of the food. Well, Paul told the Colossians that their speech should do the same thing. Encourage, enhance and build up - not hurt, harm or tear down. Notice a similar statement made by Paul in his letter to the Ephesians, "Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers," 4:29! Again, our speech must be for good and do good! Finally he stated that our speech must be with consideration of how to answer someone else. Again showing the need to think about what we say or what we are going to say to make sure it is going to accomplish that which is pleasing to God.
Are you using a speech that will honor and glorify God? Do the things you say encourage and help those who hear them? May we all strive more to speak as the oracles of God!

This morning, we will continue with our series called, "Accepted Social Sins Of Today!" Our specific topic today is, "Homosexuality?" So, please continue with us this morning, and after our next song together I will return with this study from God's Word. The name of our next hymn is, "We Praise Thee O God!"
(SONG # 2)


Speaker: Ray Sullins

Thanks for continuing with us this morning. We've had a good discussion already on sin and trying to understand more about sin and it's such an important topic as we saw several weeks ago because we all are plagued with sin and we have problems in our lives with sin. When you think about sin and how it affects us, we know that really our society is greatly affected in so many ways. It seems like that more and more every year that we live that people are becoming more and more prone to do those things that are contrary to the will of God. That's why it's so much more important that we understand what God has said to us from His word so that we might do what He has said and not follow what man is doing. It's so easy sometimes to go along with a crowd and to feel like you want to just do what everybody else is doing but again the purpose of this series is to understand that there are sins that are now becoming more socially acceptable and more well-known, but that doesn't mean that they're acceptable to God and that doesn't mean surely that Christians can participate and be acceptable before Him.

When you think about our society and you think about our topic this morning, we see that homosexuality is something that has become a great problem not only in America but throughout the world. Our purpose this morning is not to offend anyone but really just to look to the Bible, to God's word and understand what it has to say. We are not going to be saying what I think, or my opinion, or maybe what some people here or some group or church thinks. But we're going to say exactly what is out of the Bible and we're going to read many passages together in relationship to that.

It is a problem. Why? Because we find states which are legalizing marriages, countries which legalize marriages between two men or two women. Adoptions taking place, the threat of Aids that is really plaguing our nation now as well as so many nations throughout this earth. TV shows, magazines, the radio, every time you turn something on or talk to anyone, it seems like that homosexuality is being thrown in our faces. Well again, this is contrary to God's will, not my will, but God's will. On the other hand, we might consider that when our society says it's okay, once again it doesn't mean it's okay if it's according to the works of unrighteousness.

So what is homosexuality? I think the best place we can start is in the book of Genesis if you'll turn with there with me because we want to understand a story that took place. One of our very earliest exposures to this problem and again showing us that homosexuality isn't something that's new. It's not something that has just come about in the last few years. It's something that's been around from almost the beginning. From the beginning we find the wickedness of this desire, this carnal desire that has nurtured and come about so that a man again has desire for a man rather than the natural desire for a woman, or again a woman having a desire for a woman rather than the natural of her having a desire for a man. Well here in Sodom and Gomorra that was the greatest sin it seems here of this city.

And if you'll look with me in Genesis chapter 18, you might recognize verse 20 and following with me, and it says, "The Lord said, 'Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorra is great and because their sin is very grave, I will go down now and see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry against it that has come to me and if not, I will know.' Then the men turned away from there and went to Sodom, but Abraham still stood before the Lord." Here is an occasion taking place where evidently the Lord and it seems some angels actually came to Abraham and there was a discussion taking place about this city of Sodom. God saw the great wickedness. He had heard of these things that were taking place here and if we hear of these things in a moment, we also would wonder how on earth could these things be taking place in a city such as Sodom. But not only that but as we continue on we see that these angels actually went into the city. They went there to find Lot and to find what was taking place at this city, again Sodom. Another city that also is so closely related is that of Gomorra that also must have been very, very wicked in it's own right. As we continue on though, we find that the story goes that Abraham was discussing with the Lord and he was talking there and he said, "Lord if you find fifty righteous would you spare the city?" Well the Lord said, "If I find fifty, I will." And then there's a continual discourse that takes place and he says, "What about forty-five and thirty and twenty?" He just goes on down the list. "What if you find ten that are faithful, would you destroy the city?" The Lord said, "Well if I find even ten faithful, I will not destroy it." Again, the point being the great wickedness of that city. People were so corrupt that the Lord God in heaven couldn't even find ten people, ten people that were not corrupt, in order that He might spare the city.

In chapter 19 if you'll look on with me, notice what took place there as the angels arrived. It said there in verse 1, "Now the two angels came to Sodom in the evening and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom and when Lot saw them, he rose to meet them and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground. And he said, 'Here now my lords please turn into your servant's house and spend the night and wash your feet and then you may rise early and go your way.' And they said, 'No, but we will spend the night in the opening square.' But he insisted strongly so they turned into him and entered his house then he made them a feast, and baked unleavened bread and they ate. Now we see here that as these angels came, Lot was there, a very hospitable man as he again sees these strangers being alone, as one who was striving to be righteous. He saw the strangers and wanted companionship. He wanted to get to know them better, to help them in some way, not only that but he also knew if they slept out, they were in danger of their lives. Danger why? Because as we continue on in verses 4 and 5 it says, "But before they laid down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom both old and young, all the people from every quarter surrounding the house and they called to Lot and they said to him, 'Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may know them carnally.'" There is no question here as to what sickness there was taking place in this city. These men were coming because they heard new men were in town. They were sick of one another and now they were wanting to carnally do things, do things against the will of God. The great abomination, the great sin of Sodom we see here had turned into again men desiring men and women desiring women. As we continue on, as you look down into verse 11 through 13 we find here's what finally took place. It says, "They struck the men who were at the doorway of the house with blindness, both small and great, so that they became very weary trying to find the door. Then the men said to Lot, 'Have you anyone else? Son-in-law, your sons, your daughters and whomever you have in the city? Take them out of this place for we will destroy this place, because the outcry against them has grown great before the face of the Lord." God will destroy it. Why? Because of the sin. What was it's sin? One clear example is that of homosexuality. It was unaccepted by God. It was something that He did not condone and that He did not accept in any way. In fact if you'll notice here the concepts that are given here. It really refers to the great wickedness again, how that even they were trying to beat their way through the door and they had to even be struck with blindness because of their wickedness. God said, "I will destroy that city because of this thing."

I want you to turn then with me to the book of Peter because we're going to look back and forth in the Old and New Testaments trying to understand again that this isn't just something that was from the beginning. This is something that also was in New Testament times. Again, about a two to three thousand year window where it was still the same in the eyes of God, still unacceptable. But in 2nd Peter chapter 2, notice with me there in those verses if you will, verses 4 through 8. It says, "For if God did not spare the angels who sinned but cast them to Hell and delivered them into the chains of darkness to be reserved for judgment, and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness bringing in the flood on the world and the ungodly and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorra into ashes, condemn them to destruction making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly and delivered righteous Lot who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked." He goes on to say that, "There was sin, there was lawlessness, there were deeds that were unacceptable." But notice here again in verse 6 the concept of how that they were living ungodly, the example of these cities were unacceptable because they were contrary to the will of God. I also like what it says there in verse 7 because it says "their conduct was filthy." What was one of those conducts that was filthy? Again, the example is clear. It was that of homosexuality.

So again we say then, "What is homosexuality?" It's clear to see that the Bible addresses it as an unnatural desire, a desire that one man again will have for another man in a sexual way, a desire that a woman will have for another woman in a way that is sexual. These are not my words. Again, we are looking to the words of God.

I want you to turn now with me to the book of Leviticus because again we have addressed in the book of Leviticus this very same thing as we try to understand this concept of homosexuality, as we try to understand what God says to us from His word. In chapter 20 and verse 13, read the words that Moses recorded here. He says, "If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them." Here clearly again, "if a man lies with a man rather than that which is natural," the very, very clear wording is here, "it's an abomination." And what was the punishment for this abomination of homosexuality? Death. "Oh but Ray, that was back then. That was in the old days. Man, you're just a stick in the mud. You don't know really what the Bible says. That's not what it's about today. We're in a different world, a different culture. This is 2001 man, we can do what we want." Is that what the Bible says? Is that what Jesus said when we read again in the Old Testament what was required there in the Law of Moses and God said it was an abomination and they would be put to death.

Let's go over to the New Testament then and find out exactly some things that are said. Beginning in the book of Romans because again the book of Romans very, very clearly helps us not only with this topic but with others that we will discuss. In Romans chapter 1 beginning in verses 24 through 27, we see the following. "Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness in the lusts of their hearts to dishonor their bodies among themselves who exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshipped and served the created rather than the creator who is blessed forever. For this reason, God gave them up to vile passions for even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also men leaving the natural use of the women burned in their lust one for another. Men with men committing what is shameful and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due." Notice here in the New Testament to the Roman church, Paul was addressing the same thing. Why? Because Rome was infested with the same sickness, the same sin. And as we see here, he clearly says men and women had turned on their natural uses, what God had designed from the beginning that a man leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife and the two become one flesh. And notice here that he says they will be penalized. If you go on down like in verse 29, we see other ideas of "sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness," and on and on and on. "Backbiters, haters of God," a whole list of things that are mentioned there. But look with me if you will in verse 32. "Whom knowing the righteous judgment of God that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them." The Romans and the church there were not only guilty of the sin of homosexuality and these other things, but they were also guilty of treating others with those sins as if it was no big deal. They were taking part in these evil deeds, in these evil things and because of that, we read on in verses 1 and 2 of chapter that "those who practice such things against the truth of God will receive the judgment of God." They will be condemned. They will be put into a judgment that is again according to what God has stated from the beginning.

I want to look at another verse this morning over in the book of Corinthians. Again Paul dealing with this issue, showing us that this was something again from the beginning thousands of years later we find Jesus, his apostles as they taught according to the Holy Spirit said the very same things as we read in 1st Corinthians chapter 6. In verses 9 through 11, we see a lot of different sins again mentioned. I want to look in verse 9 because it says there again, "Do you not know that unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God?" Now unrighteous, those who are doing contrary to God. God is righteous and if you do the opposite, unrighteous. What are those unrighteous things that will cause us to not inherit the kingdom? Well, there are many mentioned here. "Fornicators, idolaters, adulterers." Again in verse 9, "Homosexuals." It goes on to not only mention that but "Sodomites, thieves," those who are doing those things that are contrary to God's will. And notice in verse 10 it says also, "They will not inherit the kingdom of God." Twice now, he says that one's who participate in such things will not inherit the kingdom. What kingdom? The church. This is being written to the church. Corinthians, that kingdom of God that was established by our Lord. He goes on there in verse 11 to say, "Some of you were this but you were washed and sanctified." You see, that's the good thing. That's the great news that I can bring before you this morning as we discuss this topic because homosexuality is no different from these other sins. Somebody can repent. Somebody can turn, but they must truly repent as we read about repentance in the Bible, the repentance that tells us that "an individual has moved", as we read in 2nd Corinthians 7, verses 9 and 10, "moved by a godly fear, a desire to have sorrow about what they are doing contrary to the will of God." That's what repentance is. And I really like how it is added to in the book of Acts 26 and verse 20, because there we are talking about works that are befitting repentance, telling us that repentance requires some kind of an action, that an individual has to say, "Yes, I'm in sin. Yes, I want to be washed in the blood of Christ. But just as a murderer has to repent of murder and no longer murder, just as a drunkard has to repent of drunkenness and no longer be drunk, just as a fornicator has to repent of fornication and no longer be involved in fornication, the homosexual must come out of homosexuality and no longer participate in such if they will inherit the kingdom of God."

Those aren't my words. Those are God's words. Those aren't the churches words. Those are God's words. If you hate what's being said, don't hate me. Don't hate the church. Hate God. But remember, those who hate God as we are mentioning here will not inherit His kingdom. Will not inherit eternal life. Do you want to be a part of those that are of that family? Do you want to be a part of that glorious city, heaven that will be yours someday or have you chosen to remain in some type of sin, to be satisfied in what the world has to give you? Choose to serve your God today.

(SONG # 3 - "Rock Of Ages!")


Again, let me thank you for choosing to be with us this morning. I hope we all have been encouraged through our time spent together. Please remember, you are invited to join us every Sunday morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this service of God.

Now let me ask if you have any questions or comments about today's lesson? Maybe, you would like a free transcript or a free cassette tape of this program? Possibly, we could assist you with free Bible materials or free Bible correspondence courses? No matter what your need is, please contact us at the following address:

The Living Word
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May we all study God's Word more to understand what type of lifestyles He approves of according to His Will - May we stand with God's Will and not mans!
(Program closing)