Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 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.
1 Corinthians 6:9-11
Tough conversations about sexuality
“I am straight.” “I am gay.” “I am lesbian.” “I am bi-sexual.” “This is who I am. This is what I do.”
These are the days when people are more proud than ever to say these kinds of things. You’ve likely heard people say these things with pride before; maybe you’ve even said them yourselves.
Paul has something to say, “These people who claim this identity and live this life will not inherit the kingdom of heaven.” Paul actually enlarges this group to those who also say: “I am a thief.” “I am greedy.” “I am a drunk.” “I am a swindler.” “I am a slanderer.” “This is who I am, and this is what I do.”
If you—or if anyone else—want to claim an identity and live a life that God calls sin, then you are asking God to leave you out of heaven. Paul is clear. “These people will not inherit the kingdom of heaven.”
But that’s not the only answer here. He is talking to you, dear Christian, who is struggling with what to think about your sexuality. For you who refuse to be identified by your sexuality but instead by your repentance, something else is true. For you, who struggle daily with what God says is sin, who grieve because you know the good you ought to do but don’t do it, Paul says something else to you. “That is what some of you were.”
You were identified by sin, but now you’re not. Now you are identified by your Savior Jesus. You are cleansed by his blood. You are justified and not guilty in his sight. You are washed. You are not who you used to be. You are forgiven.
If you’re struggling with your sexuality, reach out to a Christian friend and lean on God’s Word and Jesus’ blood for salvation for help. If you’re struggling with the sexuality of your family or friends, seek God’s wisdom in his Word and some counsel from your pastor. Tough conversations about sexuality do not have easy answers.
But there is always this: Jesus takes us as we are and makes us someone new. He always forgives. He always helps us in our struggle with sin, whatever that sin happens to be, even in our sexuality.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, give me your words and your wisdom as I talk to people in my life about their sexuality. Give me a broken heart when I see how I have sinned against you in my own sexuality. Lead me to find my identity and my salvation in what you have done. Amen.