I met someone online a while back and we got to chatting. Over a few weeks, I learnt he was also a Christian, and we had lots of conversations about God and Christ; it was clear that this person was serious about perusing Godliness and Jesus.
Then one day, he asked me — very genuinely — if I thought he was going to hell because he was transgender.
And that broke my heart right there.
Christians, what are we doing wrong that the message of forgiveness and mercy and grace that Christ so freely gives has been distorted to exclude people of a certain sexual orientation? Who are we to pass judgement? To say “you cannot enter into these gates”? To tell them that they can knock, but the door will remain closed to them?
Do we really think that just because we are heterosexual — that we like the opposite gender — that we are automatically safe? Jesus Himself was clear on what He considered sin, and I don’t know about you, but I’m guilty of murder — I mean, surely you have also looked at your brother or sister with hatred. And wasn’t that what Jesus said was equivalent to murder?
My question to him — and to every single believer out there — is simple. Do we believe that Jesus, as the Son of God, willingly suffered and died for our sins, only to raise to life on the third day? Are we willing to give up our lives to serve and follow Him?
It is not a question of what the sin is; it is merely the question “Do we sin?” And without a doubt, we are all guilty.
At the end of the day, do we believe that Jesus’ work on the cross is a FINISHED work? If yes, then we are safe if we but believe and obey; if no, then no matter what we do, we are still condemned.
Do I believe that, without God’s mercy, he would go to hell? Yes. As would I, and you, and every. Single. Person. In. This. World. Jesus Himself has said so on multiple occasions; hell was not a topic He avoided. So why do we skirt around it, as though it we but mention its name we lose the message of the gospel?
We lose the message of the gospel, I believe, when we don’t mention hell; what did Jesus die for if not to save us? (And save us from what, at that? Sin? Why does sin matter if there’s no punishment? “For the wages of sin is death.”)
Do I believe that, as someone who seeks God and follows Christ, he is going to hell, for being transgender? No, because he’s God’s. And Christ’s dealt with all his sins – past, present, and future.
To say he will go to hell despite believing and serving God because he’s gay would be like saying someone serving God is going to hell for still being a liar, in which case we are all damned.
Yes, sin remains.
Yes, it’s a fight.
Yes, we will constantly struggle.
Yes, until God comes to reconcile heaven and earth and remove hell’s grasp from us entirely.
But under no circumstance does it mean we are all doomed. Has not Jesus already taken care of that for those who believe?
I beg you on the behalf of people like him — do not distort the message of the gospel to fit certain categories of people. Jesus came for everyone — lame, beggar, rich, poor; or, to put in terms that might hurt our delicate minds, transgender, homosexual, heterosexual, bisexual, and all the in-betweens.
We have confidence in our salvation not because of who we are or what we have done, but rather, who Christ is and what He has done; why should we make it any different for others, who struggle with things differently from us?