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What Does God Say About Homosexuality?

Disturbing Statistics
According to the study, “Gay Male and Lesbian Youth Suicide.” (from the Report to the Secretary’s Task Force on Youth Suicide, 1989), gay and lesbian youth are two to three times more likely to commit suicide than other youths, and 30 percent of all completed youth suicides are related to the issue of sexual identity. According to the study, “Risk Factors for Suicide among Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Youths.” (1994), of the gay and lesbian youth participants in their study, 40.3% had attempted suicide, and 25.8% had seriously thought about it at least once. According to the study, “Suicidal Behavior in Adolescent and Young Adult Gay Men.” (1989), there a higher prevalence of alcoholism among gay male adolescents.

The simple truth is that young gay people are far more likely to be suicidal than heterosexual young people. Why do you think that is? Is it simply cultural pressure that they feel about their sexual identity? Or is there something deeper? Are they struggling to deny their God given shape and purpose? Many of us know someone who has struggled with homosexual inclinations, and you may be wondering exactly how many people we are talking about in our country. How many homosexuals presently exist in America? Well, for years, we have operated with a mystical 10% figure. If that figure is true, there is a large segment of our population that are homosexual and they would constitute a growing group of people with a growing influence on our world. But the truth is that the percentage of homosexuals is really far smaller than 10%.

The Numbers Are VERY Small
In a “Friend of the Court” brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court on March 26, 2003 in the Lawrence v. Texas, known as the Texas sodomy case. In this case, homosexuals are trying to have the Texas law against homosexual sex declared unconstitutional by the Court. In footnote 42 on page 16 of this legal brief, 31 homosexual and pro-homosexual groups admitted the following: “The most widely accepted study of sexual practices in the United States is the National Health and Social Life Survey (NHSLS). The NHSLS found that 2.8% of the male, and 1.4% of the female, population identify themselves as gay, lesbian, or bisexual. (See Laumann, et al, The Social Organization of Sex: Sexual Practices in the United States (1994)). Now this figure still amounts to nearly 4 million openly gay men and 2 million women who identify as lesbian, but it also indicates that homosexual groups don’t see themselves as anything more than 1 to 3% of the population.

Why Are We Being Asked to Embrace Homosexuality?
So you may be wondering why so much of our media culture seems to reflect a pro homosexual bias. Have you ever noticed that? There seems to be a homosexual character on just about every television sitcom and drama, and the number of openly homosexual programs is growing all the time. From “Ellen”, to “Will and Grace”, to “Queer as Folk”, to “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy”, our media culture seems to be moving in a direction of acceptance and promotion. The recent kiss between Madonna and Brittney Spears is yet another example. So why do you think the number of homosexual shows is increasing every year? Well virtually every survey conducted in the past ten years indicates that the percentage of homosexual men and women in the entertainment industry is far greater than in the general population. And these people have creative access to the programming in our country. And believe this: they have an agenda, the have a goal here.

The homosexual agenda includes desensitizing the public: “The first order of business is desensitization of the American public concerning gays and gay rights…..To desensitize the public is to help it view homosexuality with indifference instead of with keen emotion. Ideally, we would have straights register differences in sexual preferences the way they register different tastes for ice cream or sports games….At least in the beginning, we are seeking public desensitization and nothing more. We do not need and cannot expect a full ‘appreciation’ or ‘understanding’ of homosexuality from the average American. You can forget about trying to persuade the masses that homosexuality is a good thing. But if only you can get them to think that it is just another thing…then your battle for legal and social rights is virtually won” (“The Overhauling of Straight America.” Guide Magazine. November, 1987.)

Part of the homosexual agenda is to get the public to affirm their lifestyle, as one homosexual admitted in the October 1987 homosexual rally on Washington: “We are no longer seeking just a right to privacy and a protection from wrong. We also have a right — as heterosexual Americans already have — to see government and society affirm our lives” (United States Congressional Record, June 29, 1989.) And sadly, part of the homosexual agenda seems to be to turn people from Christianity: “The teaching that only male-female sexual activity within the bounds and constraints of marriage is the only acceptable form should be reason enough for any homosexual to denounce the Christian religion” (Advocate, 1985.)

Stuff We Embrace
Lest you think that homosexuality is the only sin embraced by our culture, let me remind you that we also embrace many other activities that are outside the will of God. We embrace escapism through our growing acceptance of alcohol and narcotics use, we embrace sexual lust of all kinds as we watch sexuality seep into print and television media at every level, we embrace anger and rage and celebrate these attributes in television and movie characters, and we embrace hedonism in general with a culture that is self absorbed with leisure activities. In all of this, we see that when given the opportunity, each of us will submit to our base desire, our fallen desire to serve our own self interest. All of us do it, including Christians!

The truth is that all of us are fallen and are filled with desires that can hurt us and the world around us. I often argue with one of my partners about this truth. He believes that people are basically GOOD. I believe that scripture teaches us that since the fall of Adam, we are steeped in a life of sin and that each of us is fallen at our core. You don’t have to look far for confirmation of this truth. Just look at babies! You don’t have to teach them to be selfish! You don’t have to teach them to take things or steal things for themselves. You don’t have to teach them to be impatient and self serving. These things come naturally. In fact, you have to teach them to be just the opposite. You have to teach them to be loving and patient with siblings, not to throw a fit when they don’t get their way, and to understand that sometimes you have to make a sacrifice to accomplish a greater good. You have to teach them to be something other than what they are naturally.

Because we are fallen from birth, we will find ourselves struggling with a number of predispositions. You know this is true if you simply look at the people around you. We are all predisposed toward one form of sin or another and many people will tell you that they believe these predispositions to be GENETIC or BIOLOGICAL in nature.

A Predisposition Toward Sexual Promiscuity
Many struggle with sexual obsessions and lust. This often takes the form of adultery, but if you really think about it, many of you struggle with sexual desire and impure thoughts.

A Predisposition Toward Anger and Rage
Many struggle with anger problems. You see these folks on the freeway all the time! But don’t you also see this in your own behavior. How often do you lose your temper over little things?

A Predisposition Toward Theft and Larceny
I’ve taken a ton of people to jail for robbery and burglary and seen that these folks have to work pretty hard to commit their crimes. It often seemed like it would just be easier to get a legitimate job! But many of these folks enjoyed the ‘rush’ of the crime! Haven’t each of us experienced that as a young child? Many of us have dabbled with shoplifting and seen that there is a basic desire in all of us to get something for nothing.

A Predisposition Toward Substance Abuse
My family has struggled with this, and we’ve come to believe that the predisposition toward substance abuse may, in fact, run in families and have a genetic marker. My Great grandfather was an alcoholic and my Dad is an alcoholic and I have seen that I have to be careful not to find myself in the same position. That’s why I am committed to drink NOTHING that is alcoholic in nature! But there is a common desire for escapism and leisure in all of us that embraces this activity if given the chance!

Do you realize that our basic nature is responsible for a ton of destructive behavior? If left to our basic nature, we would be in a world of hurt! That’s how fallen we really are! In fact we can trace all criminal activity back to our fallen nature. The California Penal Code is written to protect society from these ‘natural’ desires and inclinations. The Law protects us from the stuff we are predisposed to do!

Homosexuality is a Choice
See, here is my point on all of this. If you want to trace our genetic predispositions, you are going to find that we are genetically predisposed toward a BUNCH of harmful and destructive behavior. But our society calls us to rise above our genetic predispositions. We may be genetically predisposed toward, adultery or narcotics use, or even pedophilia, but we are called to rise above these struggles and do what is right! Homosexuality is no exception. Many people will tell you that homosexuality is a genetic predisposition. They will tell you that homosexuals are born that way. I will not even argue that point. I will simply tell you that all of us are born as sinners, and each of us is predisposed to one kind of sin or another. But we are called to rise above our fallenness.

We need to recognize that while we may feel that we have to act on our desire, that desire is not God’s will for our lives. In fact, we need to be able to tell people that even without a religious foundation, we can demonstrate that homosexual behavior is not beneficial in a naturalistic sense. We need to be able to demonstrate the truth that homosexuality, from even a secular understanding, is deviant behavior. Now when we say the word, “deviant”, it can sound pretty harsh! But that is not our intention here. “Deviant” simply indicates that the behavior deviates from a ‘natural’ order, and I think that we can demonstrate this pretty easily.

Some People Commit Adultery
In order to judge whether an activity or philosophy is deviant or harmful in nature, we can take a simply philosophical approach. Look at the activity or position and ask yourself this simple question: If everyone in the society adopted the belief or participated in the activity, would the society be better or worse as a result? That’s a simple way to determine the value of an activity or position and to determine if we are dealing with something that is deviant!

Let’s take a look at other sinful behaviors for a minute. There are many people who commit adultery in our culture, and let’s face it; adultery is not even against the law. But let’s imagine a world in which EVERYONE committed adultery. Would we be better off as a culture? No, of course not! In fact, if everyone did this, our families would collapse altogether and no one would argue that this would be bad for society. By this simple measurement, we can see that adultery is something that we cannot promote. It is harmful, and while we can tolerate a little bit, we would collapse under too much of its influence on our culture.

We Should Legalize Narcotics
Many people believe we should legalize drug use in this country. They argue that people can legally use Heroin, for example in some European countries. But let’s use the same measurement here. If everyone in our country was a heroin addict, would we better or worse as a culture? Clearly, if everyone adopted this behavior, our society would become very unstable. I’ve worked heroin addicts long enough to know that we can only allow a small number of these folks to exist in our culture, or theft and unemployment rates would quickly reach all time highs.

Some People Are Homosexual
Now, we have to admit that a small percentage of our population is homosexual. But let’s apply our simple rule here and talk about what the world would look like if all of us not only accepted homosexuality, but became homosexuals as well. If all of us were homosexual the result would be far worse than a collapse of our families or the destabilization of our society. If all of us become homosexuals, our species ends right here in this generation! While we may accept some small percentage within the species, we have to admit that this is deviant behavior, a prison, if you will, that if allowed to consume the total population, would lead to our extinction in less than one hundred years. Doesn’t that sound like a natural deviance to you?

See we’ve got to take a stand on the purity of our civilization. How sour are we willing to let the milk turn before we refuse to drink it anymore? Can we put up with a little bit of sour milk mixed in with the rest? Maybe. But we need to understand that we are allowing our milk to be mixed with the sour. We can’t continue to allow the milk to sour to the point that it is altogether worthless.

God Hates the Sin
So what are we supposed to do about it? Are we supposed to go out now and try to eliminate every homosexual we can find? Of course not. Are we supposed to hate all homosexuals and do everything we can to destroy their lives? No, I don’t think so. Are we supposed to judge these folks and harbor hidden resentment? Not at all. We are called to demonstrate the nature of God on this issue. God hates the sin, we will see in a moment that this is true. But God loves the sinner, none the less, and is waiting for the day that the sinner will return to him in repentance. We are called to love these people as well. Sadly, many Christians behave in shameful ways and have made a mockery of the love of God. They continue to demonstrate harsh judgment when they are actually called to demonstrate God’s love. When we are dealing with people who struggle with this sin, we’ve got to behave in a way that DRAWS them to Christ, not REPELS them!

Purity and the Church
Well, many of you may think that it should be obvious how God feels about homosexuality. It is a spiritual no brainer! But, you would be surprised to find that homosexuality is a growing trend WITHIN the Christian Church! DO YOU REALIZE THAT THE BIBLE CAN BE DELIBERATELY MISINTERPRETED TO SUPPORT ALL KINDS OF CRAZY IDEAS? That’s how some Christians are able to justify their ungodly behavior!

I guess it shouldn’t surprise us to find that this is true, considering the fact that so much sin is now accepted and blossoming within the church. How many people ion the church, people who would call themselves Christians, are willing to accept casual recreational drug use, or even participate in it themselves? How many Christians are having sex outside of marriage or indulging in pornography? How many of us allow ourselves to gossip and hold bitter resentment? How many of us see church as simply a place to have our needs met in a hedonistic way? If we are willing to tolerate all of this, why should we be surprised that so many churches and denominations are allowing homosexuality to run rampant within the church? Sound Crazy? Take a look at the homosexual movements within Christianity:

Anglican Church
This United Kingdom church is moving toward ordaining practicing homosexuals. The General Synod is reconsidering traditional teaching on homosexuality.

Catholic Church
Holds its ground that homosexuality is wrong but is fighting pro-homosexual groups such as Dignity/USA from within.

Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
is considering opening positions of Church leadership to practicing homosexuals.

Evangelical Lutheran Church
Includes several ordained pastors who are practicing homosexuals.

Episcopal Church
Many bishops have indicated that homosexuality should be embraced by the church. The Episcopal Church approved a resolution to support and minister to gays and lesbians in committed, monogamous relationships on June 2000. David Anderson, of the American Anglican Council, a more conservative group within the Episcopal Church said “Its a travesty to place cohabiting relationships – either heterosexual and homosexual – on par with marriage.” From Citizen Issues Alert

Mennonite Church
Since 1976, the Brethren/Mennonite Council for Lesbian and Gay Concerns has been promoting homosexuality within the Mennonite church.

Presbyterian Church (USA)
Currently fighting a movement within the denomination to normalize homosexual behavior. Some Presbyterian congregations openly support the ordination of practicing homosexuals. The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) on June 30, 2000 was dominated by discussions over homosexual marriage, however they voted overwhelmingly to prohibit same-sex unions.

United Methodist
Released a letter in early 1997 titled “In All Things Charity,” which states, “The practice of homosexuality is not in itself incompatible with Christian teaching.”

United Church of Christ
1970′s began ordaining practicing homosexuals into the clergy.

We need to take a hard look at what God says about homosexuality so we can see how we should proceed as a community of Christians! What are we to believe?

What God Says
Let’s start by saying that for today, we are going to focus on translations of scripture which give us the truest form of the original language. That’s really important when we are trying to get really serious about the meaning of God’s words, and this is an important topic! While there are many versions to choose from, I believe that the New American Standard is perhaps the truest literal word for word translation of the original manuscripts of the Bible, so let’s use this translation to help us decipher God’s real meaning when it comes to the issue of homosexuality! Let’s start with one of the simplest statements in scripture regarding homosexuality.

Leviticus 18:22-23
You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.

Now that seems pretty straight forward, don’t you think? Scripture even continues to say that the penalty for this sin is to be execution! It seems like it would be hard for any denomination to argue around this clear statement, but many still do. The more liberal of these denominations will argue that this portion of scripture also contains many other instructions that Christians commonly ignore (like obeying one’s parents, and respecting the Sabbath) and the penalty for these other lesser sins is also commanded to be quite harsh. If we seem to be able to pick and choose which commandments we are willing to obey, isn’t it hypocritical for us to get hung up on the homosexual commandment? If it’s acceptable for us to disobey our parents or work on the Sabbath, why can’t we break this commandment too? The liberal denominations will also argue that the law was eliminated when Jesus came on the scene.

But the thinking on this is all wrong. Yes it is true that Leviticus also tells us to obey our parents and to observe the Sabbath. But God is trying to tell us what is important to Him, and he wants us to take this stuff seriously. Obeying your parents and observing the Sabbath is important to Him! We are not to look at homosexuality as something that is as unimportant as obedience and the Sabbath, but to look at disobedience and not observing the Sabbath as something that is as abominable as homosexuality! God hates all of it!

Boot Camp
But why would God be so hard core? Why would He nit-pick details like that and punish these things so severely? Well you have to remember that God was launching and commissioning a new people, the Israelites. And He was preparing them for contact with a harsh, unprincipled and pagan world. A world that denied God, followed their own passion and lust, and refused to live by any moral code. Sound familiar? Sound like the world we are living in?

I can remember when I was being prepared once to face a new challenge of my own. I can remember that I was about to be commissioned as a new police officer and I was paced through an experience ion the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Academy that I will never forget. The training was grueling and the punishment for even little indiscretions seemed to be incredibly severe. But my drill instructors were trying to prepare me to be so self disciplined that I would be able to withstand ANY attack. And it worked. There may be times when you feel like God’s rules are severe, but remember that we are in God’s Boot Camp, and he is preparing us to engage a lost world. If we want to be bullet proof, we are going to need to pay attention to the details and respect the severity and seriousness of God’s desire for our lives. God is constantly trying to call us away from what we are, toward what He wants us to be. We can settle in and live a complacent life of “what is” or step up and live a life of “what ought to be”.

Sodom and Gomorrah
We can look at a couple of other areas of scripture to see just how seriously God views homosexuality. I want to look at these areas because I want you to be able to defend your fundamental hardcore position as Christians. I don’t want you to slip down the slope of Christian Liberalism and end up embracing the sin of our world as a part of the church! Let’s take a look at the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. As you may remember from the Book of Genesis, Abraham and his nephew Lot decided to divide up their land to avoid disagreement between their herdsmen, and Lot decided to move into the valley of Sodom and ultimately into the city. Now this was a city that was filled with people who were disobedient to God. Genesis 13:13 says, “Now the men of Sodom were wicked exceedingly and sinners against the LORD.” Later in the book of Genesis, we learn that two angels visit Abraham and later visit Lot while he is in Sodom. Let’s read together:

Genesis 19:1-14
Now the two angels came to Sodom in the evening as Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground. And he said, “Now behold, my lords, please turn aside into your servant’s house, and spend the night, and wash your feet; then you may rise early and go on your way.” They said however, “No, but we shall spend the night in the square.” Yet he urged them strongly, so they turned aside to him and entered his house; and he prepared a feast for them, and baked unleavened bread, and they ate. Before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, surrounded the house, both young and old, all the people from every quarter; and they called to Lot and said to him, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may have relations with them.” But Lot went out to them at the doorway, and shut the door behind him, and said, “Please, my brothers, do not act wickedly. Now behold, I have two daughters who have not had relations with man; please let me bring them out to you, and do to them whatever you like; only do nothing to these men, inasmuch as they have come under the shelter of my roof.” But they said, “Stand aside.” Furthermore, they said, “This one came in as an alien, and already he is acting like a judge; now we will treat you worse than them.” So they pressed hard against Lot and came near to break the door. But the men reached out their hands and brought Lot into the house with them, and shut the door. And they struck the men who were at the doorway of the house with blindness, both small and great, so that they wearied themselves trying to find the doorway. Then the men said to Lot, “Whom else have you here? A son-in-law, and your sons, and your daughters, and whomever you have in the city, bring them out of the place; for we are about to destroy this place, because their outcry has become so great before the LORD that the LORD has sent us to destroy it. ” And Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who were to marry his daughters, and said, “Up, get out of this place, for the LORD will destroy the city.

And that is ultimately what was done. Now it seems pretty obvious to me that this city was being judged for a grievous sin, the sin of homosexuality. But liberal Christian denominations and sects want us to believe it was something else altogether. They want us to believe that the city was being judged for it inhospitality! Some would have us believe that it wasn’t the homosexuality or inhospitality, but the fact that an act of rape was about to occur! And some are trying to distract us from the truth by saying that the sin was the men’s attempted attack on angels! Now let’s look at the situation in more detail by looking at two other descriptions of the event in scripture:

2 Peter 2:6-10
“and if He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction by reducing them to ashes, having made them an example to those who would live ungodly thereafter; and if He rescued righteous Lot, oppressed by the sensual conduct of unprincipled men (for by what he saw and heard that righteous man, while living among them, felt his righteous soul tormented day after day with their lawless deeds), then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment, and especially those who indulge the flesh in its corrupt desires and despise authority.”

The key here is the fact that the activity is described as “sensual conduct” that lot saw “day after day”. Now let’s look at the Book of Jude:

Jude Verse 7
“Just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example, in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire.”

The key here is the fact that the activity is described as a “gross immorality” that involves “strange flesh”

Sodom Sin Summary
OK, so let’s try to sum up the sin that is occurring at Sodom and then try to figure out what God was so upset about! The sin is described as some kind of activity, that is sensuous in nature, and involves a corrupt desire for ‘strange flesh’, pales by comparison to the rape of Lots daughters, involves victims that the sodomites thought were men, involves men as target victims, and was an ongoing act that deserved death. This much we know for sure. Now let’s look at some options. What other sins could God be talking about here?

Inhospitality?
Is it inhospitality that God is punishing? No, we know it can’t be that because scripture tells us that the sin is sensuous in nature, involves a corrupt desire for ‘strange flesh’ and was an ongoing act that deserved death!

Rape?
Was it simply the fact that the act was going to be a rape that offended God? (in other words, the homosexuality isn’t the problem as much as the fact that it was about to be forced). No, we know it can’t be that because Lot offered his daughters and whatever sin we are talking about here it appears to be more severe than a rape. If they would have raped the daughters the issue would have been resolved, but these men were focused on other men (the angels)

Attack on Angels?
Was it the fact that the attack was aimed at angels? No, it can’t be that, because there is no indication anywhere in scripture that the people of Sodom knew these two men were angels!

Homosexuality?
YES, every description of what happened at Sodom, points to only one sin. Only one sin fits every description! God was judging the city for the sin of Homosexuality. Period

Let’s Read from the Book of Romans:

Romans 1:24-27
“…therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, that their bodies might be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.

Now it seems pretty obvious that God hates homosexual behavior and is describing it as an indecent act here in the book of Romans. But there are several liberal denominations that even try to reinterpret this passage! They argue that God is talking about DESIRE here. And he does not want us to act outside our natural DESIRE. So if homosexuals can argue that they are born this way and that their desire for the same sex is natural to them, then they can argue that they are not violating this passage at all! They are simply acting within their natural desire. In fact, under this way of thinking, they would be in sin if they chased an ‘unnatural’ desire and has sex with the opposite sex!

But take a closer look at the scripture. The key is not DESIRE. That’s not what God is focused on here. He is focused on something that he mentions twice in the passage. God is commanding us not to act against the NATURAL FUNCTION of our bodies! The original Greek word used here is “CHRESIS”. The word is translated here as “Function” and means, (guess what), FUNCTION! Now even though homosexuals may argue that they have a desire to use their bodies in a certain way, they cannot argue that this is not what their bodies were designed to do! They have to use their bodies in unnatural ways in order do this!

Designed for Each Other
God designed men and women to be a perfect fit. We have all the anatomical characteristics that complement each other. Sexually speaking, men and women are a perfect “fit”. We have been designed for each other, and not for other members of the same sex. Part of the problem here is that we don’t want to face our sin or the reality that this kind of continuous rebellion can separate us from God! But let’s take a look at Scripture one last time:

1 Corinthians 6:9-10
Don’t you know that evil people won’t have a share in the blessings of God’s kingdom? Don’t fool yourselves! No one who is immoral or worships idols or is unfaithful in marriage or is a pervert or behaves like a homosexual will share in God’s kingdom. Neither will any thief or greedy person or drunkard or anyone who curses and cheats others.

Now certainly we can see that homosexuality is mentioned here, but did you also see that there are a number of other sins that you and I commit every day that are also on the list. Don’t be too quick to judge homosexuals, because we are in no better position before God if we are engaged in some of this activity! But God wants to encourage us and remind us that Jesus can help us with our sin problem and deliver us into the arms of a loving heavenly father.

1 Corinthians 6:11-13
Some of you used to be like that. But now the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and the power of God’s Spirit have washed you and made you holy and acceptable to God. Honor God with Your Body. Some of you say, “We can do anything we want to.” But I tell you that not everything is good for us. So I refuse to let anything have power over me. You also say, “Food is meant for our bodies, and our bodies are meant for food.” But I tell you that God will destroy them both. We are not supposed to do indecent things with our bodies. We are to use them for the Lord who is in charge of our bodies.

Now if we are ever going to move away from our sin, we are first going to have to wake up to the sin in our lives. Are you ready to wake up to your own sin?

Romans 13:11-14
And do this, understanding the present time. The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.

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