Will a Christian who has just recently “come out” as a homosexual lose his salvation and go to hell?

In Apologetics on November 12, 2010 at 10:42 am

Recently I was asked this question by a high school senior at an apologetics class I was teaching. The class had ended and several people were milling around asking about truth, reality, reliability of the scriptures and then this young man very sincerely and honestly asks me this. I have to admit this question was very difficult on a moment’s notice to answer. Trying to understand the context and the person who has asked this question having a reasonable, responsible, truthful, and loving answer is paramount. We are charged with the responsibility to tell the truth in love. This young man was seeking a way to talk to a friend who is headed down a disastrous path.

To offer a little context about this particular moment, the young man was a high school senior at a Christian school. His friend who he has grown up with claims to be a Christian and a homosexual. He attends church every Sunday, goes to Sunday school and is involved in the youth group. The young man who asked me this was confused, disappointed and distrustful of the answers he had been given by other well-meaning adults. Typically many in church tend to use the Bible as a weapon quoting Scripture intended like a bullet to kill a particular sin, someone else is having trouble overcoming. Given the political and social pressure regarding homosexuality and its impact on the church, I felt a more responsible answer should be given.

My first response to this question was “Are you asking this honestly or are you looking for an argument?” Before we respond to such important and weighty questions I believe we have a responsibility to establish intent. After establishing the sincerity and honesty of the question at hand I responded with the following. If you disagree that’s fine but more importantly show me your evidence and help me understand your point of view.

The young man responded he cared about his friend was concerned he was misled and doesn’t understand what true Christianity looks like. I felt the obligation to prove biblical authority as our final response to the matter. As I question and visited with him we established they had grown up together go to the same school and are involved in some of the same church activities. One of my first statements no man can know another man’s heart, only the Holy Spirit can view and weigh a man’s heart. However Scripture is clear about how a Christian is to live their life. While homosexuality is in the spotlight it is no more or no less a grievous sin than any other. Our view on the sinfulness of sin comes into play when our friends we care about behave sinfully. Rather than focus on the particular sin of homosexuality I used an example involving a serial adulterer. Both behaviors are condemned specifically in Scripture, both expose the hurt and attitude God expresses about sin and his counsel on repentance.

(1Co 6:9-11 HCSB)  Do you not know that the unjust will not inherit God’s kingdom? Do not be deceived: no sexually immoral people, idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes, homosexuals, thieves, greedy people, drunkards, revilers, or swindlers will inherit God’s kingdom. Some of you were like this; 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.


As Christians we are responsible to rightly handle the word of God, we are commanded to tell the truth in love. Jesus used the illustration of a vine, branch and fruit in describing the Christian life. I took the same illustration and asked this young man about the fruit in his life. My point to him before we can confront others about sin, we have a responsibility to confess ours and seek God’s forgiveness in our own lives. Confession and forgiveness are the fertilizer for the fruit in our own lives. Second when we confront others especially our friends we are tempted to take the offense of the gospel out of the gospel! The gospel is an offense and a stumbling block to those who are rebelling against God. We also have a responsibility and duty to not add any more offense to the gospel. Third you cannot control the other person’s response; give the outcome to God your job is obedience. Four pray for your friend and trust God for what he is doing in that person’s life. God has the responsibility for the outcome we have the responsibility for obedience. I am grateful God designed the Christian life this way, the Father decrees, the Son accomplishes, and the Holy Spirit applies. I am relieved of the burden of outcome so I can focus on the responsibility of obedience. We walk by faith and not by sight; unfortunately sometimes we get this wrong. We want to see results and we want to see them now and it may take years or possibly the person may never yield his will to God’s will. I will not, cannot and fortunately I am not allowed to take responsibility for the success or failure of the truth in someone else’s life. However I am commanded and held responsible for my obedience in my life.

If you notice the conversation focused on a vertical relationship between the believer and Christ not the brother living apart from God’s will. The conversation moved from our vertical relationship to our horizontal relationships and how we approach others. My recommendation was to approach his friend in Christian love and concern, explained his relationship with Christ and his responsibility to confront his friend about this issue in his life. I provided Scripture references made sure he understood their meaning and suggested he use the 10 Commandments as a standard for the Christian life. The law cannot save you but you can point you to the cross. The law is designed to be a burden to the lost and a schoolmaster to the redeemed. I suggested he keep up as best possible his friendship and continue to share the truth of the Gospel with his friend. I pointed out that then eventually the truth becomes such a burden that many run from it and to not get disheartened if that happens. In closing I suggest we provide answers on social issues for people before they are confronted with situations that demand an answer and cause them to doubt their faith. If we in our churches examine the relevant social issues provide some clear thinking and biblical responses can share them and give people an opportunity to think about how relevant the Scriptures really are. The church for so long set the standard and controlled the discourse of social issues we have forgotten that society no longer looks to the church for relevant answers to their lives. My belief is the church can and should be relevant in the discourse and content of our daily lives. As Christians we should be able to discuss any relevant social or moral issue with clear thinking based on scriptural truth. Your thoughts?




  1. I had a buddy, Hank, in HS when we were sophomores he looked up to the middle linebacker and president of our FCA. He really talked the Christian talk. Unfortunately, Hank was hanging out at his apt. when this ‘leader’ took a girl to his bedroom and made ‘hay’ with her. This was just after leading a Bible study. This action sent Hank reeling spiritually and emotionally. Hank never was able to say ‘no’ to temptation after that and eventually his life spiraled out of control. This was not the only bad event that happened to Hank, but, if he had seen true obedience by this ‘leader’ it may have positively impacted Hank’s live instead of negatively. That being said, people will never fail to disappoint, and we all need grace going forward. How many rewards in heaven do we forfeit for eternity for our immediate & fleeting pleasure of the ‘moment’? God & His Word calls us away from sin, but, we are – ‘prone to wander… prone to leave the God we love.’ If we DO love Him, we will be miserable in our wanderings, but, He WILL find us, if we do indeed belong to Him. “None can be taken from His hand.”

  2. From Mike:

    The question here is not necessarily homosexuality as much as it is repetitive sin or unrepentant sin. I think in the Christian & secular world focus on the subject of HOMOSEXUALITY. I believe the issue is repetitive sin. Do we all struggle? Of course we do. Is gluttony a sin? Errr, yes. Do we go all out to help the fat folks? To help them get out of the life style of over eating & not exercising? No. Why not? Isn’t all sin equal?

    My point is we see everything through filtered eyes, we do not see through God’s eyes. Sexual sin & gluttony are the same, yet we do not treat them equal. If we treated the person who is weak in dealing with sexual sin the same as we do a person weak in dealing with gluttony the same, I think we would make great in roads to problems we face in society today.

    Or we can do like most established Church’s and shoot the wounded. Or at least shoot the ones we see as wounded.


  3. Mike, I believe that according to the Bible, that all sin separates us from God, but, not all sin is the same. Just as breaking man’s law makes one a criminal, there are different levels of law breaking. Going 1 mph over the speedlimit may make you a law breaker, but, it is not the same as an axe murderer. Romans 1 clearly states that once people have rejected God and His ways, that offenders are given over to do things that ought not even be discussed and homosexuality is what is stated that people get when they reject God.

  4. Karen wrote:
    “You cannot lose your salvation. There would be a question if you were ever saved in the first place. We are not to judge one another; however, we are to be “fruit inspectors.” What fruit is s/he bearing? If s/he continuously lives in sin, then he has cheapened God’s grace. God will judge. It creates a poor witness and causes confusion. Who is the author of confusion? You guessed it.”

  5. I believe it says that once we commit one sin we are guilty of them all. It would be prideful to look at a homosexual and think any less of him/her as a human being. However, love finds no joy in unrighteousness. We are responsible to take a stand against wrong in society, not with violence, aggression (overt or covert), and insults, but with love. But what does love look like toward a homosexual person? In high school and college, I was acquaintances with homosexuals who constantly made passes at me and tried to convince me to engage in homosexual acts. It was not just one or two of them, but almost every one. Frankly, I felt disgusted and nauseated by their comments. Later on in life, I was constantly harassed with cat-calls, come-on’s, flirting, and gaping at the gym while changing in the locker room by numerous homosexuals. I became so tired of it that I had to quit going to that gym. We are letting too much of this behavior go on in our society and we must take a stand against it. I don’t want a homosexual committing these acts against me or my children any more than I want a drunkard disrupting the peace in a public environment. While we still can, we as individuals must have the courage to speak up after any encounter and report it to the appropriate authorities, even though it is becoming harder and harder to do anything against it with changes in legislature.

  6. Would a man who was saved that decided to become a life-long “player” or pedophile lose his salvation and go to hell?

    • A true believer CANNOT decide to become a life-long “player” or pedophile. Why? Because:

      9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. 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 (English Standard Version)

      A Christian IS A SAINT and cannot BE otherwise. Now it is true that a Christian can and will sin because we are saints, but not yet fully sanctified; but a Christian will hate this sin.

      15 For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. 17 So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.

      Romans 7:15-20 (ESV)

      For one to be a Christian to begin with, they have to receive Jesus fully into their lives, believe in His name, be given the right to be a child of God, and be born of God. (John 1:12-13) It is not possible for one like this to BE a “player” or pedophile, though at times he/she could potentially fall to this sin and act like this, it cannot be their lifestyle. He/she would not be a Christian if it were so.

      Now, it seems the real question is on lose of salvation. Can one of the elect loose it. In short, NO! “6 And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6) “For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform signs and wonders, to lead astray, if possible, the elect.” (Mark 13:22)

      The Mark 13:22 passage is interesting because the language agrees that the elect cannot be lead astray, but it also agrees with warnings about falling away. While the elect will persevere to the end by Gods Grace, there will be those who appear to be Christians (elect) that will fall and become apostates. Yup, I said it, apostate. They do exist, and though they were never saved, they have been shown the truth (light) more so than the average unbeliever and are therefore in a worse state than the average non-believer. They are less likely to ever to be saved (Hebrews 6) and will most likely be under a “strong delusion” by God (2 Thessalonians 2:11-12).

      It is a good thing for a Christian to remember and live by this passage:

      1 Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ,

      To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:

      2 May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.

      3 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence 4 by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. 5 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. 8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. 10 Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. 11 For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

      12 Therefore I intend always to remind you of these qualities, though you know them and are established in the truth that you have. 13 I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to stir you up by way of reminder, 14 since I know that the putting off of my body will be soon, as our Lord Jesus Christ made clear to me. 15 And I will make every effort so that after my departure you may be able at any time to recall these things.

      16 For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,” 18 we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain. 19 And we have something more sure, the prophetic word, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, 20 knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. 21 For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

      In Christ,

      Stewart Allen

  7. Stew its great to have you adding great insight. Thanks. Dealing in truth we must compare ourselves to the standard set by Scripture. God bless you bother hope to see you back soon.

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