In Part 1, I discussed that when ministering to people who identify as LGBT, it is important to not get stuck in an intellectual argument about sexual sin. Each person is morally accountable to God for all their sin. Each person needs a Savior, and each person must let go of their sinful identity and become born again. In this article I will discuss specific analogies and scenarios I use to help convey the truth that any identity outside of Christ must be given up. The following is what I share in each encounter I have with someone who identifies as LGBT. I have seen these analogies and scenarios be very successful in lovingly conveying the truth.
The first scenario I use is the following.
I will ask the person if they have ever "loved" anyone? The next question is if they have ever come to see that the "love" they felt was not real? I will further ask if they have ever felt like they have misperceived a relationship due to their feelings or emotions that were blinding them? Every person has had these types of experiences. The people I am talking with will often acknowledge that they have had experiences just like what I brought up. The importance of this scenario being raised to their attention is that it shows we are all able to be deceived by our feelings and even by what seems to be real in the present. What seem to be real feelings may actually not be as real as we think in hindsight.
Another good scenario is that of a husband/father who believes he should not remain faithful to his wife and children because he believes he was made for sexual relationships with many women. Because he believes this to be his identity, he would leave his wife and children to do what he believed was in his best interest to fulfill his desires. To himself, his choices would be fine. They would make sense because they resonated with his identity and desires. However, in reality, the decision to embrace this identity would have life-long devastating consequences in his life, his wife's life and his children's lives.
From there, I may share another hypothetical scenario. If someone were a drug dealer, they would believe their identity to be that of a drug dealer. Often, they don't want their identity to change. They believe their means of making money is acceptable. They very likely don't think about how their choices and identity affect those around them. They don't see that their identity is bringing destruction and devastation in people's lives. There have actually been many situations in ministry where I have encountered a person who felt God was perfectly OK with them dealing drugs because it enabled them to provide better for themselves and their families.
The last scenario I use is that of a person who struggles with a drug addiction. I have ministered to many drug addicts. They often truly believe their identity will be one of an addict forever. In the midst of being attached to that identity, they often can't see how this identity is affecting them and those who love them. Their vision is often just focused on themselves and their desires.
There are many examples that can be used, but each one mentioned above conveys an important truth. That truth is that just because a person considers their identity to be OK doesn't mean it really is. Likewise, it doesn't mean their identity is not totally self-destructive and destructive to those around them.
When I use these examples in ministering to LGBT people, the Holy Spirit moves. They will often see themselves from an outside perspective. It can be pretty convicting, but it is the Holy Spirit who did the convicting work. I didn't have to force conviction. All I had to do was share these truths in love.
To finish sharing the gospel, I will then explain to them how Jesus came to set us free from an identity of sin so we could be made totally new. He did this by taking our sins upon Himself on the cross and conquering them. I will tell them that each person in this world has something that will keep them attached to an identity that God does not want for them, an identity that is actually opposed to God and has consequences in their lives and the lives of those around them. Whatever the issue is that keeps a person holding to an identity that is opposed to God must be repented of and given to God.
In my experience, this is the most effective way to minister the gospel to a member of the LGBT community. It does not purposefully single them out for their sin, and neither does it present the gospel in a condemning manner. However, it does make it clear that who we think we are is not actually OK with God due to our sin.
The gospel is that we must be born again. Each person must repent and believe in Jesus Christ. We must repent in a way that results in a change of mind, a change of heart and a change of actions. And we must believe in a manner that affects every part of our lives.
As Christians, we must know that God wants us to stand firm on the truth of His Word and not be apologetic. Sin is sin, regardless of Christians who may have not conveyed the conviction of the Holy Spirit in the best way. Likewise, each soul is accountable to God for their choices. On the day of judgment, no one will be able to tell God, "If only those who named your name had been better witnesses." Each person is accountable to Him, and Him alone, for their choices and whether or not they will repent and believe the gospel.
My hope and prayer is that as you have read Part 1 and Part 2, that you will be able to become more emboldened and equipped to share the gospel. For questions or comments, please feel free to reach out to us
"Jesus answered him, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a man is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God'" (John 3:3).
David Hoffman is an evangelist and the director of Kingdom Enterprises, an outreach and evangelism ministry in Tucson, Arizona. His passions are to reach the lost with the gospel of Jesus Christ, ignite a passion for evangelism within the lives of believers and help equip them to live Spirit-filled and Spirit-empowered lives. For more information or to contact him, please go to HisKingdomEnterprises.
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