Last updated on October 11, 2020
Is it true that gay people go to hell? I’m not gay, but a lot of people are, and it’s not out of choice. They are just born attracted to men. So if it’s not an option, why should they get punished for it?
“Attraction” just means what you find appealing. Some people find flowers appealing, others drool over a shiny sports car. But even if I find a sports car appealing, it doesn’t mean I own one or want to own one (I might find the cost of ownership too high).
Sexual attraction is also in the eyes of the beholder. Some find long hair or the shape of a woman or even a part of a woman’s body attractive. Some see some men as attractive — not because they want to have sex with them but because they find the male shape, in general, to be attractive.
There are so many factors that go into an attraction that it is hard to pinpoint the origins of any attraction in a particular person. But what we do know is that Satan uses our desires against us to tempt us to sin. “But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death” (James 1:14-15). You have built-in desires to eat, to sleep, to have sex, to be liked by others, etc. Each of those desires has a purpose to help us survive as human beings and none of those desires are wrong in and of themselves. But they can be satisfied in the wrong ways. I can satisfy my desire to eat tasty food by eating when I am hungry. I can misuse that same desire by eating even when I’m not hungry (which is gluttony). I can satisfy my desire for sex by getting married to a nice woman. I can misuse that same desire by having sex with a woman I’m not married to (which is fornication). Satan takes our desires and says, “See, you can have it. All you have to do is …”
John tells us that there are three routes Satan can take to sell sin: “For all that is in the world — the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life — is not of the Father but is of the world” (I John 2:15). Lust of the flesh refers to all the desires that arise from the fact that we are in a physical body. Lust of the eyes refers to our desire for pretty things. And the pride of life arises from the fact that we want to think well of ourselves.
Having a desire is not a sin. Being tempted is not a sin. However, accepting that sin is justifiable is now a problem. “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness. All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man” (Mark 7:21-23). Of course, acting on a temptation, doing what is being offered, is what we call “sin.” It is the breaking of God’s law. “Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness” (I John 3:4).
No one is born homosexual. Even science currently agrees. See:
- Study of Identical Twins Show Homosexuality Is Not Genetic
- Homosexuality and Transgenderism: The Science Supports the Bible
People choose who they decide to have sex with. When they choose to follow God’s law and only have sex with their wife, they are righteous — even if they are tempted by the attractiveness of the male body. Everyone is able to choose to reject any temptation. “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it” (I Corinthians 10:13).
From the Bible’s point of view, there is no “being gay.” That was something made up to try and convince a gullible population that homosexuality is more common than it really is. What the Bible talks about is the act. If you have sex with someone of the same gender, then you are committing the sin of homosexuality. If you think it is acceptable, even if you don’t do it, then that is the sin of lust. But being tempted by homosexuality or just seeing the male form as attractive (in the same sense as a flower is attractive) is not a sin.
With that clarification, people who have sex with anyone they are not married to, no matter the gender is committing a sin. If they remain in that sin and stubbornly refuse to acknowledge that it is wrong, well, rebellion against God’s law is not going to get you into heaven. “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God” (I Corinthians 6:9-10). People can and do change. When they do change, they can have salvation. “Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God” (I Corinthians 6:11). But if you refuse to change, you leave God no other choice but to carry out His justice.