“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
There is no doubt that John 3:16 is the most popular, most well-known, and most memorized Holy Scripture in the world. Anyone you ask will quickly recall the hearing of this verse. Marveling at its popularity I want to think that God has had His hand in making this verse universally known to His creation, and appointing His Church to make it universally understood.
As I had entered into the homosexual lifestyle and away from God, the Church, and their Christ this verse meant absolutely nothing to me, its inherent meaning. I held onto this verse and most certainly gave a rendition of the engrained Biblical passage. Perhaps I didn’t understand the depth of its meaning, its love, or its place in my life? A million excuses were used when treading out a homosexual lifestyle that included every mix of drug and drink. It was Truth that had brought me back from the brink of destruction.
Although many in the world consider homosexuality a normal part of a human existence, I have decided to loosen my fight against those who have concluded such things. The reason? Reflecting on my own past ignorance, they too have no understanding of John 3:16, but I hope, someday soon, they will.
Typically, I meet those who soar high on intoxicants, boasting of their achievements and well-appointed retirement aspirations, as they climb temporal corporate ladders. There is nothing wrong with achieving prosperity, but those who I refer to are more in the world while doing so than those who care not to believe. They utter their Christian confession’s saying, “Sure, I know Jesus.” Or “I believe!” Their well-rehearsed response soon flutters back into ignorant bliss just in time for Saturday night drinks at the dog track. Some would call me judgmental or legalistic, and that would be okay if I were but focusing on John 3:16 brings me to an unsettling question? Do they or I truly believe? With fear and trembling I must bring myself to the table of this conversation.
Do I believe? Our programmed response is yes, but is salvation a one-time event, and what is it about Christian life that sets us apart? Is the assumed consecration of a priest, whose collar separates him from the heathen, enough to enter into the Holy of Holies? For some it is. Honestly, I use to gage my salvation based on the style, flavor, and tenacity of Kingdom work. But being busied in Kingdom work while being obedient to our risen Savior orders the steps of my journey which has taken me into a very simplistic pattern. It is every day that I surrender and believe. Belief for me is no longer mental assent, Jesus being the main character of a sold out Broadway play. His one man show has become my script and my daily rehearsal of His “part” is bearing fruit.
I have often said that those who are delivered from the darkest places make for the best witnesses to God’s amazing grace. Such as thousands of men and women who no longer identify LGBTQ. Empirically documented is a 25 year window of miracles that is currently demonstrating the power of God and the deconstruction of sexual misperception. You can read a report that has been put together by Pastor Stephen Black of First Stone Ministries, please google it!
When Life is put on, death cannot be an accessory. This is my point entirely. My fifteen years of homosexual living was one of wearing an assumed robe of righteousness but also an invisible fabulous broach that metaphorically read “same sex attracted.” Again, when Life is put on, death cannot be an accessory. When Jesus sets you free, you are truly free! And that is exactly what I had missed all of my life until I turned from sin, unto God where He began to disciple me in His Truth.
Here is the avoided reality of some. When you are in Christ, you are in Him. When His life’s blood covers your life, sin no longer has dominion. Thusly, your heart is changed and made clean. Eventually you will walk as He did, in the drunkenness of the Spirit of God changing the world one soul at a time. This explains my exodus from the homosexual lifestyle. I had put the fantastic broach at His feet and received His gift of righteousness, a robe that separates me from the world, for which the world cannot understand.
Where there is belief in Jesus Christ, there is freedom from sin. Although I have, at times, fallen back into once destroyed patterns of sin, it is His life that will not let me fall. Repentant, I am picked back up, dusted off, and once again fully walking in His righteousness.
“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:” 1 John 1:1-6