Any parent, no matter how wonderful, can be made to sound like a monster should their words be edited with that purpose. That’s what many do with the Bible. Despite the clear message of God’s unconditional love for every single person, some choose to exclusively focus on the most negative, the most condemning passages they can find. The problem is these passages can’t be properly appreciated pulled out of their context.
While it’s true that the Bible expresses God’s strong displeasure on a host of lifestyle choices that many deem completely acceptable today, i.e. homosexuality, sexual promiscuity, etc., the overriding message is clear—“God is love” (1 John 4:16). That means God doesn’t need us to perform in a certain way before He can love us, it is His nature to love. To love us, all God needs comes from within Himself.
So the question is never whether God is willing to love us—the question will always be are we willing to receive His love.
This is where those harsh passages in the Bible come into play. Like a loving Father, God expresses condemnation for certain lifestyle choices, not because they diminish His love for us, but because they bring distance between Him and us. While this is true of all violations of God's moral will, it is especially true of sexual transgressions.
That’s why God pronounces a death sentence on such violations. But if you leave the Bible on that note, you'll miss one of its most powerful lessons. For, while these strong words of condemnation were intended to communicate the seriousness of the situation, they also set the stage for something wonderful ... for God to don flesh and die on a cross to take our death sentence away!
It’s true that the Bible expresses hatred for the things that draw our hearts away, but it is just as true that God loves each and every one of us, no matter what our lifestyle choices are or have been. God proved this by taking the very sentence He pronounced against us upon Himself. Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends” (John 15:13). And that's exactly what Jesus did! The Apostle Paul wrote, "God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners" (Romans 5:8).
How ironic that some have turned away from God because of His judgment of certain choices when Jesus has stepped in and taken that judgment upon Himself! Instead of a cause to question God's love, these harsh judgments have been transformed into the greatest proof of God's love!
One final very important thought: If you’re gay or sexually active outside of God’s prescribed bonds of marriage, and you reject the idea that there is anything wrong with your lifestyle, please understand that whether you're right or not, it doesn’t absolve you of your need for a Savior. That’s because we ALL violate God’s will in a multitude of ways, most of which have nothing to do with our sexual orientation.
We are ALL broken and in need of reconciliation with God. If it’s not our sexual behavior, it’s greed or pride or hate, or a host of other possible violations in our attitudes and actions. We ALL need a Savior. So, if you don’t like one reason for coming to Jesus, pick the one you prefer. Just make sure you come!
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
“This is real love--not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins” (1 John 4:10, NLT).