A Man Stole a Horse…

There are three examples given of a man committing a particular sin. The reader is encouraged to read them and consider them in light of the scriptures, answering the questions that are asked, honestly and sincerely.

Example one:

  1. A man stole a horse.
  2. His original act of theft was sinful and keeping the horse is sinful, but he kept it anyway.
  3. Years later, he was taught the gospel and was baptized.
  4. Would he be forgiven of stealing the horse at this point?
  5. Should he return the horse?
  6. Or is the horse his to keep because he was baptized?
  7. It was sinful to have it before he was baptized because he got it unlawfully (scripturally and civilly), and it is sinful for him not to return it its owner.
  8. What would make it not sinful after he was baptized?
  9. Only repentance can now make it right, and he must give back the horse.

Example two:

  1. A man “marries” his homosexual partner.
  2. He committed a sinful act in his first homosexual encounter and continued doing so by remaining in the relationship.
  3. Later, one or both heard the gospel and subsequently submitted to being baptized.
  4. Would he/they be forgiven of committing (continuing action) his/their homosexuality acts at this time?
  5. Can he/they continue in this homosexual relationship?
  6. Is this relationship now justified because one or both were baptized?
  7. It was sinful before and it is still sinful. If not, why not?
  8. Only repentance can make this right, and the relationship must be ended!

Example three:

  1. A man marries a woman who is divorced for reasons other than fornication/adultery, and the scriptures clearly teach this to be adultery.
  2. In fact, according to the original Greek, it is a case of did commit and is continuing to commit exactly as is the case of the second example.
  3. Sometime later, he was taught the gospel and was baptized.
  4. Would he be forgiven for committing (continuing action) adultery at this point?
  5. Can he stay in this adulterous relationship?
  6. Is it now justified because he was baptized?
  7. It was sinful before and it is still sinful. If not, why not?
  8. Only repentance can make this right, and the relationship must be ended!

There is probably not one of us who have obeyed the gospel of Christ who would say that the man in example one can keep the horse and be forgiven of the sin of stealing it! I would seriously doubt that anyone who is a Christian would disagree that the man in the second example absolutely must forsake the homosexual relationship in order to be forgiven of it. If anyone disagrees with that, then it must be said that they and the Bible have a serious disagreement about the meaning of the word “Christian.”

Why then is it so difficult for so many Christians to understand that the third example is no different than the two before it? Jesus stated in Luke 13:3 (and 5), “I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” He was showing those in His audience that they would suffer a fate similar to that of the Galileans. They were telling Him about those who had apparently gone to Jerusalem to make sacrifices, and been murdered by Pilate who then mixed their blood with the sacrifices they had come to make. He told them twice that they would face eternal death if they refused to repent. They were no better than the Galileans who had died at the hand of Pilate.

Is this an easy subject to face? Absolutely not! Is it necessary to address it so that some might repent in order to be forgiven of their sins? Definitely! Do we have a choice in it? Not if we want to go to heaven! We absolutely must continue to teach the truth on this subject and all others that are relative to our salvation. Those who are in a sinful relationship, or still holding onto that horse, must repent. That means giving back what is not lawfully theirs in the first place. No sin is forgiven if repentance is not shown. God loves you and so do I! ~ B.W.P.