Can Homosexuals Go to Heaven?

For the next few weeks I want to use this space to discuss some “hot topics.” The first one is indicated by the title, although no one ever puts the question in precisely this way. Let’s begin with the words of I Corinthians 6:9-10, “Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” These verses describe an entire category of humanity called “the wicked.” Whoever is in that category will not inherit the kingdom of God. That is, they will not go to heaven. Note that the “wicked” are further subdivided into ten subcategories, two of which involve homosexuality directly-male prostitutes and homosexual offenders.

But aren’t there genuine Christians who commit adultery? And aren’t some Christians greedy and some are thieves? The answer is yes. You can find apparently born-again people committing all the sins mentioned in verse 9. So what does Paul mean? The answer is to keep on reading in I Corinthians 6. Verse 11 says, “And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” This helps us see Paul’s perspective clearly. Every person in the world is born with a nature that is greedy, immoral, idolatrous, corrupt, and adulterous (see Ephesians 2:3). The people Paul is talking about in verses 9-10 are simply lost people who express their sinfulness in particular ways. They are “wicked” because they have never been “washed” in the blood of Jesus, “sanctified” by the Spirit, and “justified” by faith alone in Christ alone. Therefore, such people cannot go to heaven because they have never come to Christ in the first place. This includes homosexuals.

But are there not genuine Christians who struggle with all these sins, including homosexuality? Yes, and we do not make light of the struggle any of us face to become all that God has called us to be. All of us will struggle with various sins until the day we die. But we “struggle” with sin because our natures have been changed. Before coming to Christ we lived in sin; now we struggle mightily against it. Sometimes we win, occasionally we lose, but we struggle because God has called us to something better. It’s the difference between slipping into a mud puddle and deliberately taking a bath in it.

Bottom line: There won’t be any homosexuals in heaven because there won’t be any sin in heaven. But heaven will be filled with former sinners who have been made saints by the grace and mercy of God. This applies to all of us, not just to homosexuals.

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