In the past, I have lived a gay lifestyle, including drinking, and smoking and taking prescription drugs. For a year now, I have given up all of these things, and am attempting to live more Christian lifestyle. I am reading my bible daily, praying and asking for God's forgiveness. It is very clear in the Bible that homosexuality as many other sins are punishable by death. Therefore are we forgiven if we repent and turn our back on this lifestyle? Or once we have lived this way are we beyond forgiveness? Any verses of scripture would be appreciated.I know that Christ died for our sins, and I have asked God into my heart. Could you give me some further direction on what I should be doing?
My answer follows:
Greetings to you in Christ.
From the beginning, man's first sin, the sin of Adam in eating the forbidden fruit was punishable by death. God said to the man, "From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day you eat from it you shall surely die" (Genesis 2:16-17). The Scriptures teach that as a consequence of Adam's original sin, death has come upon all mankind. Romans 5:12 says, "Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned." This squares with the words in Romans 3:23 which tells us that "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." And "the wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23); thus, all men (all mankind) are worthy of death, and indeed all die.
The Christian life is a life of repenting and believing in Christ, believing and repenting. These are not one-time things. We are to keep on believing and keep on repenting. Knowing that we need the power of God through the Holy Spirit we are to keep on praying for wisdom and strength to know and to do God's will. Ask the Lord to help you understand His word. But know, too, that you are not alone. The Lord promises not to forsake His people (Hebrews 13:5-6); He will be with you. Further, as Christians joined to Christ, we are also to be joined to Christ's body, which is the church. Christ gives gifts to men for the building up of the body (Ephesians 4:11-12). We have the words of the apostles and prophets in the Scriptures. We have pastors and teachers and evangelists in the church to help us in our understanding of the word and will of God. The body of Christ has many members, each with his or her own gift for the good of the body, and we are to help and encourage one another. That includes pastors and elders who are to lead and govern in the churches. Therefore, Hebrews 13:17 says, "Obey your leaders, and submit to them; for they keep watch over your souls, as those who will give an account."
Yours in Christ,
R. Daniel Knox, Pastor
Grace Orthodox Presbyterian Church