Truth Leads to Repentance
Read Romans Chapter 11
Ro 11:19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” 20 Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but be afraid. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, He will not spare you either. 22 Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in His kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. 23 And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.
God is love. That is a statement we hear often in today’s society. In fact, all of us say it from time to time. But many who repeat that sentence do so with a huge misinterpretation of God’s character and His scriptures. Many use that truth to excuse behaviors which are diametrically opposed to the truth. It is the mantra of those who believe that God will eventually save everyone. There are many scriptures which fly into the face of that theology. This is one of many.
There may be other scriptures which warn us of straying from the truth about same-sex actions more than this one, but this one is pretty clear. Unbelief is more than just rejecting Christ, it also includes rejecting His word and truth. In this passage, Paul is writing to those in Rome who had accepted Christ as their Savior. The Jews who did not believe were “broken off” the Vine. While that does seem to refer to rejection of Christ as the Messiah, the part relating to the believers of Rome implies something else. Paul says to the believers, “If God did not spare the natural branches, He will not spare you either.”
I tend to believe “once saved, always saved,” but I remain open to the opposite viewpoint. I could “prove” both beliefs with scripture. No matter which belief we embrace, today’s passage is a stern warning against turning away from truth, whether it be Christ or His word.
“Do not be arrogant, but be afraid.” – This should make us wary of getting cocky about our right-standing with God. Of course we are secure in His arms. Many scripture passages tell us of God’s faithfulness in keeping His children safe in His care. Yet, we cannot go so far as to be so bold as to indulge in willful sin, believing that God is obligated to forgive us because we are His children. Paul’s warning is clear.
“He will not spare you either.” – I really don’t know if this means we can lose our salvation or not. But it shouldn’t matter. Instead, this verse should make us think twice, or think a thousand times, before we abandon the truth about homosexuality. Whether it means we can lose our salvation or if we will be severely disciplined, it is an ominous warning to us. We cannot take the risk either way. We must continue to stand by the truth we learned at first, that same-sex thoughts and actions are sin, and we cannot willfully engage in continual sinfulness. Grace is there to forgive us of our short-term failures, but not for those who live a gay life without any hint of repentance.
God is indeed love, but love does not excuse or cover over willful disobedience unless sincere repentance follows. The best news from this passage comes from verse 23. Anyone who has lived in willful disobedience has hope. They have an opportunity, for as long as they live, to repent, or re-repent, and be grafted into God’s kingdom. Wow, that is great news! Now, THAT is love!!
Prayer: Help us to hold onto truth with the greatest tenacity that is possible. We are weak, and vulnerable to falling away if we take our eyes off You and Your word. Also, we pray for those we know who have drifted away from Your truth. Show them the way back to repentance and belief.