Can homosexuals enter Heaven?
The entire human race is guilty of sin in its various forms and expressions. The fact that we highlight the sin of homosexuality is due to the shift in the way we view sexual behavior. Bowing to a general moral laxness, the current culture no longer considers homosexuality a sin. Almost any type of sexual expression has become a lifestyle issue, based on individual preference. Societal values have also been swayed by intense pressure from gay activists and the media to view homosexuality as normal human behavior. Religious views that condemn homosexuality are regarded as out of date, discriminatory, intolerant, and evil.
Nevertheless, the Bible clearly categorizes homosexuality as sin, a deviation of God’s original purpose for sexual expression (Leviticus 18:22; 20:13; Romans 1:26-27; I Corinthians 6:9-10; I Timothy 1:10; Jude 7). At the same time, adultery, greed and pride are also expressions of sin. While we recognize the perverse nature of homosexual behavior, we also understand that human sin includes much more. Everybody needs grace to enter heaven.
So the question whether homosexuals can enter heaven is easy. The answer is yes, provided they have had their sins forgiven by the saving blood of Christ (II Corinthians 5: 17). When homosexuals repent of their sin and embrace Christ as their only hope for salvation, then God does forgive them and promises them eternal life (Romans 10:9-13).
This even holds true when some individuals struggle with sexual temptation and may occasionally fall. God treats them as He treats heterosexual believers who fall. He graciously forgives them (I John 1:9). And the empowering work of the Holy Spirit will help them on the road to living chaste lives before God either in a heterosexual marriage relationship or in celibacy. There is no other alternative for the true Christian.
More problematic is the practicing homosexual who claims to be a ‘born-again’ Christian and regards the homosexual lifestyle as having God’s approval. Such religious experience mocks God’s intent to re-shape us according to Christ’s image and to conform us to his holy will. If the words of the Bible means anything at all, we know that homosexuality is automatically ruled out as God’s will for the life of the Christian.
So there can be no genuine assurance of salvation for those who continue to engage in homosexual sin. God may progressively and graciously help those entrapped in sexual sin, by convicting them and warning them even while they are in its clutches. But assurance of the Holy Spirit is only given to those who are repentant of sin, not those who practice it and approve it (I John 2:4-6). Such bondage to a pattern of sin shows no evidence of a transformed life and of an authentic faith in Jesus. As Paul says, “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.” (2 Timothy 2:9) In such cases, a practicing religious homosexual can have no assurance of heaven.