Speaker: Tim Bollinger
Scripture: Genesis 19:1-14

From the series Part 3

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Good morning Good to see all of you today. It looks like there’s a little bit of extra elbow room in your chairs I don’t know why that is It might be because it’s a little snowy and cold out there and so here you are the brave Michiganders that have Endored the first Michigan winter. Do you ever notice in Michigan? It’s we have to get through the first snowstorm and like in a couple weeks from now people will be flying a hundred miles An hour over snow banks, right? It’s like you just gotta get through that first step. So we’re so glad that you’re here. My name is Tim I get the privilege of being the lead pastor We know there’s a ton of people that are joining us online from the comforts of their couches whether they’re their Couches here in Michigan, or I also always love to give a special shout out to our snowbirds Who are shoveling the sunshine and you still tune in each and every week with us?

So we’re glad that we have the staff and the volunteers and the capability to do that. We are in a series on Genesis This is actually Genesis part 3 and this is the second week in Genesis part 3 we started last week And so we have some topics as you’ve heard the next three weeks that we’re going to be diving into that do have a PG 13 Rating so parents once again Just want to make you aware of that and part of our heart just so you know here as a church We love to do books of the Bible and when you do a book of a Bible You go chapter by chapter verse by verse You don’t skip any of the texts that are in there even the ones that that maybe confuse us or make us uncomfortable Or maybe ones that just need further explanation And so that’s going to be the case not only today But it’s going to be the case the next three weeks and because of the sensitive nature of the topic that we’re talking about Today which we’re going to be talking about sexual sins.

So I’ll just let you know that up front I want to reference a couple messages that I gave last year in the month of January As part of the Genesis series and it’s the second sermon and the fifth sermon and so I specifically talk about male and female And the second sermon and there’s a whole Kind of unpacking of gender gender confusion those kind of things transgenderism in particular and then week five on husband and wife And going through the scriptures of what the Bible says about marriage And so if something piques your interest today and you want to dig it dig into even more what our church Believes and you haven’t been here. Maybe you only come the last couple of weeks or a couple of months I would just refer you back to those messages as well. But as I kicked off last week, I said here’s here’s What we’re going to be doing as a church because when it comes to difficult text in the Bible pastors really only have three options and I want you to think about this because at the end of the day it’s the pastor that not only writes the sermon but has To be the one that delivers the sermon and so You can obviously ignore certain texts in the Bible You can have a whole career as a pastor.

You can have a 40 year career 50 year career and and then just avoid certain passages of Scripture It’s actually not that hard to do and you just remain in a certain light and everybody loves you and you don’t really ever You know make people uncomfortable or maybe make people uncomfortable with some of the text that you have to grapple with as a Christian The second option is this you can dismiss it. You’re gonna say okay Well, there’s these passages of Scripture and those are for a particular people at a particular time And so they don’t apply to us anymore or you can say oh well the scriptures They’re actually they’re you know For us as a pastor that you can then go to them and it’s up to you on how you want to interpret them according to your congregation and the culture at the time.

And Actually, we’ll be getting more into that next week and what we’ve seen in denominational trends specifically here in America Or the third and this is kind of what we’ve adopted here at Shepherd’s Gate And obviously what I’ve adopted being in the one in the role that I’m at is that we just believe that God has called Us to speak the truth in love Now when I say that I will recognize there are pastors or our churches out there that Stop at truth and they will speak the truth and they will hammer down the truth and they will tell everyone they’re sinful awful People and they’ll specifically point to certain groups of people or certain sins and then that’s it. That’s the end of the message But it’s actually not what Jesus told us to do. He told us to speak the truth in love Now I’ve also seen it where the focus becomes on the love part and we go so far into the love Category that we forget that there’s also the truth of God’s Word.

And so what we said we’re gonna commit as a church is living in the tension between truth and love That these are hard topics and sometimes they’re difficult to to talk about given the culture that we live in and The people that God has placed in our lives And so we cry out to God and we ask God God will you help us navigate? What your word says because this is a Bible believing Bible teaching church We believe in the inerrancy of Scripture, which means the Bible does not contain errors We believe that God actually inspired all of the people that wrote the Bible from Genesis to revelation and that all of Scripture is profitable for us That it corrects us that it rebukes us that it trains us in how to be the righteous people that God has actually called us to be. Now I will say this because I know the next generation coming up and maybe you’re part of that and you’re here today.

That what we talk about today is very important to your generation if not the most important issue That you’re grappling with And I want you to know as your pastor that I want to hear from you But I want to I want to know what it is that you see and you hear and that you’re kind of Experiencing as God has placed you in a strategic generation and as you try to grapple with these things as well I’ll tell you this no matter what generation you’re from. Maybe you’ve done some research. Maybe you’ve dug into different passages Maybe you have a different belief system. I do not want to lose a relationship with you I would love to engage in those conversations and together Let’s continue to figure out who it is that Jesus has called us to be Does that make sense? So make sure we’re all on the same page and especially I’ll say it again for the next generations coming up If today like you leave here and you’re angry or you’re watching online and you’re like, I’m never tuning in I’m never listen to that bald guy ever again Just give me the next three weeks.

Give me the next three weeks as we literally slow this portion of scripture down to a snail’s pace and we go over these passages of scripture with a fine-tooth comb and at the end of The next three weeks if that’s where you’re at, I get it. I understand it But just know it doesn’t change how I feel about you It doesn’t change on in wanting to be in relationship with you whether you believe like I believe Or you interpret scripture in the way that I interpret scripture Most importantly is keeping that relationship with you and you’ll hear more about that at the end So last week what I said was these are kind of the three questions that are overarching in this series The first one is this how does God deal with continual unrepentant sin? And those words are in there on purpose because you can actually be in continual sin and repent See repenting of sin is different than continual unrepentant sin The second question we’ve been asking is this when does God decide his mercy has come to an end? Are there other times in scripture?

Are there times throughout the Bible or other times even in our day and age when we just see that God just says that’s it I’m done. I have no more mercy. I’ve given you chance after chance after chance Clearly you do not want to change your ways and so my mercy comes to an end and the last one is this well What is it we’ve been called to do? With those in our lives that we present Jesus to because we believe he is the way of the truth and the life we talked about This last week no one comes with the father except through him who reject Jesus and they reject his teachings They reject the Bible and they want nothing to do with it. How do we navigate those relationships? Now before we get into Genesis 19 We do have to rewind to Genesis 18 because we believe so firmly in giving you things in Context in fact last week we started in Genesis 18 And so we’re gonna go back and look at some of the same passages of Scripture Genesis chapter 18 verse 1 starts this way.

The Lord appeared to Abraham near the great trees of mammary while he was sitting at the entrance of his tent in the heat Of the day remember I told you this last week. Here’s the part I didn’t tell you Abraham looked up and he saw three men standing nearby and When he saw them he hurried from the entrance of his tent to meet them. Look at what he does He bowed low to the ground Well, they have the conversation and when the men get up to leave they look down towards Sodom and Abraham walked along with them To see them on their way. So he’s been a hospitable go get a host He’s a seeing them on their way out and it says in verse 22 that the men turned away and they went toward Sodom and as these two men go towards Sodom Abraham turns toward the Lord and this is when Abraham and the Lord have a conversation on whether or not God is actually going to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah and what he’d do it if there was 50 righteous people 45 righteous people 40 30 20 all the way down To 10 and that’s how we ended last week So here it is Genesis chapter 19 verse 1 if you got your Bible, you want to follow along?

This is great. It says this the two angels arrived at Sodom in the evening Now these two angels just didn’t appear out of nowhere The two angels are the two men that just spent time with Abraham and his wife Sarah now all of a sudden lot is on the scene and lot is sitting in the gateway of the city and Whenever you sit in the gateway of the city, it shows us that you’re a prominent person. That you’re a person of influence And it says when he saw them he got up to meet them. He does the same thing Abraham does he bows down with his face to the ground. Now, isn’t it interesting that when we talk about angels in church. Usually there’s only two times a year that we talk about angels Does anybody know when that is?Christmas and Easter Which people that only come on Christmas in Easter probably just assume we talk about angels every single week because that’s all they ever hear Christmas in Easter we talk about angels, but here we have actual angels.

That are at work in our account We believe that angels are real We believe that angels are actually still among us to this day and it’s because of Hebrews chapter 13 where we’re told Make sure that you show hospitality to strangers. Because for by doing some so or by doing so some people have shown hospitality to who? Without knowing it now, I know people in our church that will tell me stories They’ll tell me of accounts where they were in a crisis and all of a sudden There was a person or a group of people that were there to minister to them and to help them through that crisis And then once the crisis was what came was came to an end and they went back to try to figure out who the people Were to thank them. They couldn’t figure out where the people came from See I do I believe and I know our church believes that the angels still exist today and they exist for our good Well, this is what it says my Lord’s Lot said he said, please turn aside to your servants house He’s talking to the angels you can wash your feet and spend the night and then go on your way early in the morning No, they answered we will spend the night in the square.

But lot insisted so strongly that they did go with him and entered his house He actually prepares a meal for them baking bread without yeast and they ate it Angels can take on the form of a human being and can even actually eat food Well before they had gone to bed all the men think about this all the men from every part of the city of Sodom both young and old Surrounded the house. They called a lot. Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them and Here it is Here’s the verse That so many point to Here’s the verse here. This is the key phrase and this whole thing of what is it that this passage means? What is it that this passage is pointing to and I want to go ahead so you can see this because a lot went outside To meet them. He shuts the door behind him and he says no my friends And the reason that he’s friends with these people is because he’s lived in Sodom for a long time.

Don’t do this wicked thing He calls what they’re about to do wicked Now go back because here’s here’s kind of a couple options that you have when you read this text Someone point to this tax and they would say this shows you that homosexuality is wrong a Man with a man is wrong and here’s the tax. Here’s the proof. Here is the sentence in Scripture Others would say no. No, that doesn’t actually explicitly say that in this text In fact, what’s what’s wrong in this tax what the sin that’s being committed in this test tax? The wickedness is rape that they’re trying to force themselves on these two men the angels Others still would say no, you’re missing it all together. That’s not it at all. It’s the fact that they’re not being hospitable It’s the fact that they’re shutting them out. And so those are the three main things that I’ve heard as I’ve researched this So again, he goes out he tells them don’t do this wicked thing.

Then what says this? Look, I Have two daughters who have never slept with a man Let me bring them out to you and you can do whatever you like with them But don’t do anything to these men for they have come under the protection of my roof How many would say that this is very bizarre Every hand in here should be up Abraham pleaded with God to save ten Abraham pleaded with God to save his family the righteous people. This is righteous a lot and Yet here he is turning to the men of the village Trying to protect these guys that he just met and willingly giving up his daughters Fathers in here that have daughters This hits you at a different level You can’t even imagine Like how someone could come to this point and have this much Sinfulness in them to be able to even do something like that But even in the context of this passage you have a few options One is some will tell you like oh, well, well, wait a second here.

Maybe he was just being facetious Maybe he was just saying oh, hey, you don’t want these guys I have these virgin daughters and you can have these virgin daughters and everyone laughs and parts wakes. That’s option one Option two is this is that he knew that they wanted to sleep with men and they weren’t attracted to women So he was offering them something that they knew that he wouldn’t they wouldn’t actually take up That’s the second option. The third option is this and I want you to think about what we’ve been talking about As we’ve looked at the book of Genesis when Abraham and Lot when God was blessing both of them and they had a split up from each other in order to be able to Manage their household lot chose property north of Abraham He chose the best property and scripture tells us that he pitched his tents near Sodom and Just a few verses later We find that that because he’s near Sodom all of a sudden now he’s living in Sodom so much so that these kings came and actually took lot and in his family in his possessions captive He became a prisoner of war.

They took them out of Sodom Abraham finds out has to actually assemble an army to go and fight back these kings to bring back lot and his family and all His possessions and you think this would have been a clue for lot Why didn’t why go back to at least being near Sodom or why didn’t why go back and talk to Abraham and say hey? Is there any way we can share the land that’s around you? No, what does he do? He goes right back? living in Sodom Because here’s the reality He was living in Sodom but Sodom was also living in him and When you put yourself in a sinful situation when you were 24 7 surrounded by wickedness Which again the scriptures tell us over and over again Sodom is a wicked place Sodom is a wicked place Sodom is a wicked place There’s other scriptures that point to Sodom and tell you that it’s a wicked place When you put yourself in a simple situation over and over and over again You become numb to it All of a sudden it doesn’t actually seem like it’s that big of a deal anymore This is how affairs are started. This is how pornography begins to take over people’s lives You name the sexual sin whatever the perversion is it starts off small and slowly but surely like a frog in a kettle You become accustomed to it you become used to it and I would even say in our day and age because obviously We know the city is corrupt.

We know the city is full of sin We actually can do it so much easier than they could back then We have technology all of you have Access whether that be you have a Netflix subscription You have a Hulu subscription you watch HBO if you pulled out your cell phone if you have your cell phone here It would take you less than a second to pull up a porn site all of us have access to incredible amount of sexual sin in our day and age and What is it that God would be speaking to us? What are the guardrails that we should have up in our lives? How do we keep ourselves from being sucked into this vortex in this culture that we find ourselves in? Hold on to that for a moment Verse 9 says this get out of our way. They replied this fellow came here as a foreigner now He wants to play the judge. So here’s the men of the city Telling lot you’re a foreigner. You’re not going to tell us what to do. We’ll actually treat you worse than them Hey, once we get in there and do what we want to do. We’re gonna come back We’re gonna find you lot and we’re gonna make we’re gonna do things that are even worse.

Which I don’t even know what that means and they kept bringing pressure on law and they move forward to break down the door and so here’s why literally trying to defend his family literally trying to defend his home and It says the men inside the angels are the ones that reached out and they pulled lot back into the house and they shut the door Then they struck the men who were at the door of the house both young and old with blindness so that they could not find the door and You think that would have ended it? You think they would have gotten the clue is this miracle is taking place as God is using these angels to actually perform a Miracle on earth causing blindness to all of them And now you have these men that are literally blind trying to find this door trying to break into this house Well, the two angels said a lot do you have anyone else here? sons-in-law sons or daughters or Anyone else in the city who belongs to you get them out of here? Here’s your warning because we are going to destroy this place The outcry of the Lord against his people is so great that he has sent us to destroy it And here it is. It’s not a it’s not a question anymore This isn’t a question between God and Abraham of should I destroy him? Should I not destroy him?

Maybe I’ll destroy him No Now they are telling lot this is actually truly going to happen And so a lot goes out and he spoke to his son-in-laws who are pledged to marry his daughters And he said hurry and get out of this place because the Lord is about to destroy this city But his son-in-laws thought he was joking Now, you know that ain’t gonna happen come on lot There’s no way that this city would be destroyed and that God would do that See when you study Scripture And you study certain passages of Scripture One of the key elements that I can tell you that you have to do as you study The Bible is this you have to know this principle that Scripture interprets Scripture And so to look at this text to look at this exchange between lot and the angels and the men of the city It’s important to go to other places of Scripture and to say okay God, okay This is what you’re saying in this context at this time in this place What are the other scriptures that speak specifically to what is taking place in Genesis chapter 19? and so what we’re gonna do is we’re gonna go to Romans chapter 1 and This is a letter that God inspired the Apostle Paul to write to the church in Rome but I want to give you the context of what was taking place at Rome as Paul is writing this letter and as the church is reading this letter out to the gathered assembly of God’s people Rome was a place that was very focused on masculinity They loved going to war.

They loved creating men who were warriors and the men who were warriors were not only warriors on the battlefield they were warriors in the bedroom and If you were the head of the house and you had a wife and you had a family and you had slaves because that was popular That was normal back then you could sleep with whoever you wanted in In fact, this is the culture norm at the time was for men to sleep with boys And so you have a whole generation a whole culture of people where the men are sleeping with the boys And of course as the boys grow up, they don’t know any difference So they turn around now as they become men and they began to sleep with boys Rome at the time was anything but peaceful Rome at the time was anything but godly and yet somehow God calls people to go to Rome to plant a church to be light where there’s no light to be salt where there’s no salt and Then God inspires Paul to write a letter to encourage them And so this is what he says he says first I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you because of why Your faith is being reported all over the world the fact that you’re Rejecting culture that you’re pushing back that you have decided to follow God as your creator and here you are living differently than Everybody else and do you know everyone knows the intense pressure that you’re under and because of that intense pressure and because you’re standing on the firm Word of God It’s actually being reported all over the world Paul in the same chapter.

He says I’m not ashamed of the gospel I’m gonna tell you the truth because you need to hear the truth It is the power that brings everyone to salvation to everyone who believes We want all of Rome to be saved. We want everyone that is lost and broken What are they whether they commit, you know lying or stealing or whether they’ve committed the most heinous of sins We want everyone to come to a saving knowledge of Jesus But he says these words Which are the same words we find in Genesis the wrath of God is being revealed from heaven Against the godliness and the wickedness of people It’s that mercy and wrath tensioned God’s wrath is about to come because he’s given people over and over and over a chance to repent a chance to come To their senses a chance to realize the error of their wicked ways And he goes on to say for although they knew God they neither glorified him as God nor they gave thanks to him It is completely reject God and because they completely reject God because they’ve made themselves their own God Their thinking has become futile their foolish hearts are completely darkened they live for themselves and for their own gratification and because of that therefore God gave them over to sinful desires of their hearts and From the heart it led to their bodies sexual impure and purity for the degrading of their bodies with one another.

They exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worship and serve Created things rather than the Creator who was forever praised. Amen And do you know that when you completely reject God and you want nothing to do with him? You will not only worship idols on this earth. You will find something to worship. You can also worship other human beings Including physical bodies you can worship your own physical body You can worship the body of other people and trust me. We see this in our culture We see how much the human body is glorified in our culture today in the sex symbols and how sex cells And all the other things that we get to experience in our day and age He goes on to say because of this so because of this they reject God God gave them over to their shameful lusts even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones in the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and Were inflamed with lust for one another Men committed shameful acts with other men and receiving themselves the due penalty for their error Or they received the due penalty for their sin And as a Bible believing church, we would look at this scripture and we’d say here’s the guidelines.

Here’s the boundaries that God is not only given to the church in Rome He’s given to us today because he knew 2,000 years later We would have access to this and we would be reading this And we point us all the way back to what we looked at last year that God has put us on this earth first There’s two genders male and female and number two He is he has called us and compelled us into Marriages with a man and a woman in the covenant of marriage and what it is that God has ordained and that no one should ever Break the covenant that God has brought together Will you look at that? We know that to be true. We believe that to be true And again, that’s where it gets sticky. That’s where people are like, yeah Let’s not let’s not read Romans 1. Let’s just go to Romans 2. There’s some really good stuff later on in Romans Why do we got to talk about this? and I’ll tell you this because I firmly believe the only two places where truth is preached in 2024 in our day and age is in our homes and in Bible believing churches You’re not going to get it on the television You’re not going to get it on the computer.

You’re not going to get it on your cell phone In fact, they’ve already proven it in some of the bigger companies, which I won’t even name them Whatever browser you use to search the internet. They’ve already developed algorithms where they were they will hide things from you Well, they will twist and distort and manipulate what truth actually is And so if you’re not preaching truth and passing down truth in your home, or if you’re not going to a church That’s preaching truth. You’re not going to get it anywhere else And we will live in a version of our own Sodom here on earth But I’m thankful that it doesn’t end in Romans See Paul writes another letter to a church in Corinth And let me give you a little context before I read the passages in 1st Corinthians As God is inspiring Paul to write these letters There’s a guy named Nero Who’s the ruler and he has also These sorts of sectional Dysfunctions go home today. You can research this guy. There’s proof of this in fact after he had all these failed relationships and marriages he decides to go find a young boy and He has this young boy castrated and then he marries this young boy and he turns this young boy that he’s castrated into his wife That was what was going on when Paul wrote the letter to the church in Corinth And so these are the words that he tells the church in Corinth Do you not know that unrighteousness will not inherit the kingdom of God do not be deceived?

Neither the sexually immoral Nor idolaters Nor adulterers Nor men who practice homosexuality nor thieves nor the greedy nor the drunkards Nor rivalers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God The culture that you live in all the things that you see the evilness of man that is existing in and around Corinth at this time If they do not repent of their ways if they refuse to turn to the one true and living God They will perish And that’s a harsh reality But what’s so beautiful about Scripture again the tension between God’s justice and God’s mercy is what Paul writes in the very next verse Because he’s writing this to the church He didn’t write this to the community in Corinth and somebody went out on the street on the city street and read this in an open Public forum he wrote this letter to the church so that we read in the church and he says these words to him He says and that is what some of you were.

The church at that time full of People who had done horrible awful sins People that not only maybe got themselves involved in affairs or they got themselves involved and who knows what kind of sexual perversions people that were Addicted to alcohol people that were addicted to finances and swindling people people that were habitual liars This is the church when they sent people to plant the church in Corinth The church was made up of people that were in the darkness and the Holy Spirit got a hold of their lives and brought them into the light and now they’re living in the tension of the culture that they’ve grown up in the culture that they live in and yet they know the truth because Of what God has done in their lives And he’s telling them this is what some of you were And so as I look at these things and as I look at our church here at Shepherd’s Gate. I Know for a fact that nobody in here Would want to go back in time and tell everybody else in the church their sins Is that a safe assumption here this morning?

Nobody wants to rewind back to their past and Some of the things that people at Shepherd’s Gate have gotten themselves caught up in things They never thought they could ever do or say or think But yet look at the mercy and grace of God you were washed You were sanctified you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of God Here’s the gospel you were washed by the blood of Jesus when Jesus hung on a cross it was his blood that was shed an Innocent man that came to this earth to die for you and for me for our sins all of our sins including our sexual sins That were actually justified And if you don’t know this word the simplest definition is this is that it’s just as if you hadn’t sinned That when you recognize God as your creator that you realize you’re a sinner and you confess your sins to him that he forgives you Instantaneously and when God the Father sees you he doesn’t see you and your sin anymore He sees what it is that Jesus has done for you.

You are justified as if you had never sinned and Then what he does is he sanctifies you and he puts you on this road So that now each and every day that you wake up and go to bed every day you wake up go to bed every day You wake up and go to bed through the Holy Spirit that lives inside of you because he’s given you that faith To help you stay within the parameters and the boundaries that God has for your life because he knows what’s best for you Because he’s the creator and you’re not This is why church is so important. Did you know that? This is why coming weekly to church and being in Bible studies and being around fellow Christians is so important Again, we’re going into times that we’re not even sure what this is all gonna look like We don’t know what the culture is gonna look like in five years ten years fifteen years twenty years And I know this because I hear your hearts those of you that are raising kids You’re worried and you have a right to be worried because you’re like, okay.

This is where it’s at now What’s it gonna look like ten years from now? And how do I have these conversations with my kids and how do I help them navigate all of this? Be connected to a Bible believing Bible teaching church That’ll give you the resources and to help you and to lock arms with other people that have kids as well That are trying to navigate how to be salt and light in the community and the world and the time that we live in See when you read this sentence and it says that is what some of you were What we should see today all over the world our testimonies of people that have come out of Maybe some of the strongest holes that the devil has had on people And believe it or not. I’ve done a ton of research on this. I’ve watched so many different testimonial videos And I have some that I want to share with you today because I want you to hear it from people From their own lips their own experience and so the first clip you’re gonna see is from a woman Who was a lesbian and she was in several lesbian? Relationships and what it was that God did for her and how God rescued her from that lifestyle The second clip you’re gonna see this young man who’s now a street preacher But he grew up in a lesbian home with two lesbian moms and you’re gonna hear really important things What I want you to what I want you to really hone in on on these clips is How they challenged the church to respond in our day and age?

So let’s watch this together I did discover the truth that when you take what’s in the dark and bring it into the light it Breaks the power of the enemy to energize that sin in your life but when we keep sin quiet and hidden and silent it actually energizes the enemy and We are naturally going to be opposed by God because God opposes the proud When we’re too proud to get our sin into the light because we’re afraid of what other people would think of us and we wear A mask and we pretend like everything’s okay. You will stay in bondage in those areas But you know what the scripture says he opposes the proud but he gives grace to the humble When we humble ourselves and we take what’s in the dark and we bring it into the light and we say, you know What I’m you’re gonna you might think crazy things about me and this made me change your opinion of me and all of that But I’m desperate enough to know God and to be real and to be honest and I need the grace of God in my life His power and his desire to do his will that’s the grace of God. I need his power I need his desire to do his will so I was willing to take a risk So I asked my campus pastor if we could talk.

I was 21 years old at the time I had never told a single person on planet earth what I was struggling with I honestly thought I was the only person dealing with what I dealt with because nobody was talking about it back in 1994 So I talked to my campus pastor and I’m cringing inwardly. I’m waiting for him to like rebuke me Expose my sin to the group kick me out of the community for being such a wretched sinner And so when I told him my deepest darkest secret that I had never told any human being He looked me straight in the eyes and he said Linda. Thank you for sharing that with me. I Know that took a lot of courage And I want you to know that doesn’t change our opinion of you We love you. We see the hand of God on your life And we’re gonna get you the help that you need That was not the response I was expecting from my campus pad my brain is like tilt tilt tilt does not compute that wasn’t supposed to happen I’m walking away from that conversation and I’m praying in my heart I’m like what was that Lord and I sense the Lord speak to my heart what you just saw Was a picture of my heart and how I feel about you.

I Love you. I’m sad that you’re hurting and I want to get you the help that you need Now I’m so glad my campus pastor didn’t respond the way some of the body of Christ are responding today We are in a dilemma today because culture has so shifted back in 1994. Nobody was endorsing celibate gay Christianity and saying you can be gay just don’t act on it But take it as your identity and all of that and we feel like in our culture today That if we love people we have to affirm them Love is not equal to affirmation Jesus loves us, but he doesn’t affirm every desire and decision that we make right the scriptures tell us to speak the truth in love and Sometimes the truth is hard for us to hear Sometimes the Holy Spirit comes and he convicts us of sin of righteousness and of judgment But he does it in such a way that it doesn’t destroy us. It doesn’t condemn us It convicts us and draws us closer into God’s presence And that’s how God wants to use us as agents of healing agents of salt Agents of light in the world today where we speak the truth with compassion without Compromising the message of the gospel Where in LA did you grow up? So I grew up in a small town called Dwardy, California So nobody knows where that’s at.

So it’s about 10-15 minutes east of downtown Los Angeles That’s the city I grew up in. Okay, and you had two moms growing up. So tell me your family dynamic How did your moms meet? Yeah Well, I think what was really interesting is when you think of my family dynamic a lot of people asked the question Well, how was it right? You got to understand it was normal for me It’s all I knew and I remember my mom told me this story probably when I was around 14 or 15 years old because you know Obviously, I wasn’t gonna understand it when I was younger and the lady that she was with when I was born They actually just met through some mutual friends and my mom had always desired to have a child and so she started to notice Okay, I’m getting older here My body has a certain age limit for having children and she said, you know what? I’m gonna have a child and so she decided to go get artificially inseminated and then that’s how I was born How is she taking this change in you? well I think my mom had probably seen that the last three four years of my life that my life was not exactly looking like What it looked like when I first got saved just because when you’re not walking with God your language changes your demeanor changes your actions Change so then all the sudden my mom’s probably sitting there going.

Okay 2020 comes my son all the sudden I haven’t heard him talk about Jesus for a few years now. He’s telling me he wants to go to the streets He wants to preach the gospel like what is going on? But here’s the amazing thing about my mom because when we think of the LGBTQ community and the church We think of a long history of tension which there’s a lot of tension there But with my mom, it’s this interesting dynamic where she loves me to such a place that she always even to this day Respects and honors what I do. She’s even one of my financial donors on a monthly basis. Really crazy. Okay So you grow up with parents in the LGBTQ lifestyle and then you grow up you publicly disavow it How did she take it then when you obviously had to have a sit-down conversation with her and say mom I’m a Christian I don’t agree with this lifestyle even though I still love you. Yeah, well when I first got saved I didn’t really know like how to share my faith. I just knew like that’s right. That’s wrong, you know So I remember just having conversations with my mom just saying mom like I love you But like I believe that Jesus is real and what he said is true and the Bible is true And so we never really had any arguments.

It was just kind of like okay Ross like you believe that This is the lifestyle I live and that’s just kind of how it is now Obviously as I matured in my walk with God, I’ve had more real conversations Just sharing the reality of who Jesus is so the point is I’m Believing for my mom to have an encounter with Jesus where it goes from my head knowledge to a heart revelation That’s what we all need does she just listen to you or does she ask you kind of follow-up questions when you try to Share the gospel with her. I love my mom because she’ll literally know what I’m gonna go preach somewhere And she’ll text me and she’ll go go get them. I’m like, I like this this breaks every single box, right? But don’t get me wrong there’s definitely people a part of the LGBTQ community who do not respect Christians and Even worse talk bad about them But when it comes to my personal relationship with my mom and I think this is why Relationship is so key to what God is doing right now is because when you actually build relationship with people They don’t just see you as someone who has a set of beliefs or ideologies.

They see you as a person and when they see you as a person then they’re actually willing to have a conversation This is what we’ve committed to do as a church that in one hand God has called us to hold on to his word To preach his word to teach his word to pass the truth on to the next generation To allow God to create the boundaries and parameters for our life While simultaneously we are called to hold on firmly to those that God has placed in our lives You do not have to let go of one or the other you can live in the tension of both of these realms And that’s what we’re gonna continue to do as a church. Amen