Does God consider the sin of homosexuality to be worse than the sin of fornication among heterosexuals?
Categorically, no, and I will tell you why. Because when you have any listing of sins in the Scripture, for example, in 1 Corinthians, chapter 6, he says, in verse 9, “Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God” [1 Corinthians 6:9-10]. Categorically, you have got everything in the same list. Probably when you compare sodomites to homosexuals, some would say that homosexuals could refer to what were called Catomites, those who submitted to homosexuals, maybe the younger boy who submits to the pedophile—that kind of thing, so you have two different terms used for homosexual activity. Some would even use those words to refer to people like transvestites or what they are called today “transgender” people. But when you look at a list like that you see that they are all outside the kingdom. So categorically they are all in the same situation—they are defined by their sin. Verse 11, then says, “and such were some of you,” so, the point being, that those are all sins that are characteristic of people outside the kingdom, but they are all forgivable—right?—because, “such were some of you.” He’s saying to the Corinthian church, “you know, that list is a list of what you used to be and some of you were here, and some of you were here, and some of you were here, and so forth.” So, if it is true that that sin along with many others defines life outside the kingdom, but that that sin is forgivable, then in that sense it is no worse a sin than any other.
Having said that, I would say, however, that when you look at Romans, chapter one, and you have to look at Romans, chapter one to understand this: When “the wrath of God (in verse 18) is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness...” The “wrath of God” follows a sequence. In Romans, chapter one, you look first of all at verse 24, and here is the defining of God’s wrath—let me kind of sum this up for you. You read Romans 1:18 about “the wrath of God” and we say, “Ok, ‘the wrath of God,’ what are you talking about? Well, there are five kinds of wrath:
1. There is Eternal Wrath - That’s Hell.
2. There is, I guess what we could call, Eschatological Wrath, or the wrath of the last days. The wrath described in Revelation 6-19, all the Seal Judgments, Trumpet Judgments, Bowl Judgments—the final wrath. So there is Eternal Wrath, there is Eschatological Wrath.
3. There is also, what I could call, Cataclysmic Wrath: the flood; the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah; the destruction of the cities of the plain; the destruction of Capernaum; the judgment of God on Korazin, Bethsaida—and in history God has judged whole civilizations through cataclysms that took unbelieving people and catapulted them into eternity, such as Pompeii, which was a city literally notorious for its vice. So you have Eternal Wrath, you have Eschatological Wrath, you have Cataclysmic Wrath.
4. Then you have, what I would call, Natural Wrath. That is the wrath of God that comes in a sowing and reaping fashion. If you are a drunkard all your life, you may die of cirrhosis of the liver; if you live in sexual sin all your life you may shorten your life and die of some venereal disease including AIDS. So there are certain things built-in, “Whatever a man sows he reaps,” that’s another kind of wrath. But the wrath being spoken of here is the fifth kind.
5. It is the Wrath of Abandonment. It is that judicial act of God whereby He lets the sinner go. In other words, He stops convicting, He stops calling, it’s Genesis six, where God says, “My Spirit will not always strive with man.” There comes a point when God says, “That’s it—I’m letting you go.” And when God lets a society go, verse 24 says, “He gives them over to uncleanness”—that’s sexual sin. Then verse 26, “He gives them up to vile passions, and women exchange the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful.” So you have lesbianism and homosexuality. When God gives a society up they plunge into sexual sin and then they sink deeper into homosexual sin.
So while homosexuality is a forgivable sin, and categorically no worse than others, when it happens on a societal level, it is evidence that when a society affirms it, when it becomes normal in a society, that is evidence that God has turned that society over. If you look at America you can look back to the sexual revolution of the 60’s, which has now become a homosexual revolution of the 90’s in which the homosexuals have redefined themselves as a minority, like a racial group of people demanding rights. So I think as far as individual sin goes no more damning than the other sin and as forgivable as any other sin. When it becomes the pattern of a society it is evidence that God has turned that society over to that sin, it may be at that point an evidence that many in that society are not redeemable because they have gone past the “age of grace.”
There are many who believe that when God destroyed life in what is referred to as Noahs flood, a primary reason was because of homosexuality. If one was just to read the account in Genesis, it would seem that it was all about general wickedness... but a wickedness that transcended just actions and permeated peoples minds such that it essentially took them over i.e. Genesis 6;5 And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. Hmmmm... sounds like a sexual sin, no?
Matthew 24 is referred to as the Olivet discourse as it is the time when Jesus sat down with his disciples on the Mount of Olives to answer their question (and I summarize) of when would He return. In verses 37 to 39, Christ lays it out for them... 37) But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 38) For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, 39) And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
In Luke 17, there is a very similar sounding passage to the Matthew one.... 26And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. 27They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. 28Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; 29But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. 30Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.
In both the Matthew and the Luke passages, the return of Christ is compared to what it was like at the time of Noah....there were lots of warning signs of the impending event but everyone just blissfully carried on with their lives until it was upon them in an instant. The Luke passage however, adds one very interesting detail. It first compares the time of Noah to the time of Lot in Sodom and Gomorrah...what was that time like? Well as we know, this is where the word sodomy comes from. Is it a stretch to suggest that it is no accident that the example of the destruction of Sodom was what was used for comparison to the time of Noah? There are other examples of sudden destruction that could have been chosen. If it was meant to convey the thought of rampant homosexuality existing in both case, then it would seem that the societal acceptance of homosexuality is the hallmark of two earth shattering events - the flood which has already happened and the return of Christ to gather his own which hasn't....yet.