The Rainbow Is God’s Symbol Of Forgiveness Not Acceptance

The Rainbow Is God’s Symbol Of Forgiveness Not Acceptance June 3, 2023



June is gay pride month. The homosexual community has adopted the rainbow as their symbol of God’s acceptance of their actions and lifestyle, but what does the Bible say about this?


The only place in the Bible that addresses the rainbow is in Genesis 9 after the Noahic flood where God destroyed the earth because the world had become so violent and sexually promiscuous in Genesis 6.


After the flood, God re-established his covenant with humanity through Noah and his family. The Message Bible says it like this,


Genesis 9:1-4 God blessed Noah and his sons: He said, “Prosper! Reproduce! Fill the Earth! Every living creature—birds, animals, fish—will fall under your spell and be afraid of you. You’re responsible for them. All living creatures are yours for food; just as I gave you the plants, now I give you everything else…


The Noahic covenant consisted of the following: 1) Prosperity, 2) Reproduction, 3) Dominion, and 4) Diet Expansion


God reiterates and emphasizes components of the covenant again in Genesis 9:6-7,


Whoever sheds human blood, by humans let his blood be shed, Because God made humans in his image reflecting God’s very nature. You’re here to bear fruit, reproduce, lavish life on the Earth, live bountifully!”


He reminds humanity again He wants us to bear fruit and reproduce. Something two homosexual people cannot due apart from a heterosexual design or component or practice being involved in some capacity, meaning two same sex people cannot reproduce a human.


Heterosexual reproduction is Gods’ plan. Without it humanity becomes extinct.


God also addresses murder in this passage because the world had not only become sexually promiscuous but extremely violent. Interestingly enough these two components seem to always go hand in hand throughout Scripture and these two components can be seen sadly increasing at alarming rates in our society and world today. When we don’t abide by God’s moral code for sexuality, our propensity as a people for violence increases too. When we throw off restraint in our sexuality, we then feel greater freedom to do the same as a society in the areas of violence as well.


God then re-establishes His covenant with humanity and says to Noah and his family in Genesis 9:8-16,




8-11 Then God spoke to Noah and his sons: “I’m setting up my covenant with you including your children who will come after you, along with everything alive around you—birds, farm animals, wild animals—that came out of the ship with you. I’m setting up my covenant with you that never again will everything living be destroyed by floodwaters; no, never again will a flood destroy the Earth.”

12-16 God continued, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you…I’m putting my rainbow in the clouds, a sign of the covenant between me and the Earth. From now on, when I form a cloud over the Earth and the rainbow appears in the cloud, I’ll remember my covenant between me and you and everything living, that never again will floodwaters destroy all life. When the rainbow appears in the cloud, I’ll see it and remember the eternal covenant between God and everything living, every last living creature on Earth.”

The rainbow is the reminder of God’s eternal covenant between God and every living creature on earth, human and animal. It is His reminder to Himself and to us that He forgives sin. It is a reminder that God will not again destroy the whole earth due to sexual sin and violence. He will remember His covenant with us. He will remember His love for us despite our sin. He will remember His goodness to us despite our wickedness. This is the promise that He won’t destroy the whole world just because of a people group’s sinfulness. This is encouraging to know God is not going to look on the world and judge everyone because one group believes it is okay to violate God’s covenant.


Sadly, there is a massively growing trend in our evangelical Christian world to look at same sex attraction as something God accepts, and the rainbow is used as the symbol to denote this. I understand that many in the same sex attraction movement care little for Jesus, but I am addressing the many evangelical Christians who see homosexuality as an acceptable means of love for two humans.


Nowhere in Scripture does God give a positive example of homosexuality.


Marriage between two humans is intended to model the relationship that Jesus shares with His bride, the church. The Apostle Paul tells us this in Ephesians 5.


Sadly, I see evangelical Christians and Christian leaders who want to be loving, turning a blind eye to the Scriptural prohibition of same sex marriage. They must ignore the Bible and change what the rainbow represents.


The use of God’s symbols to promote a nonbiblical world agenda will not end well for Christians.


I realize in my own life and in those I lead that this is a very difficult tightrope to walk because we love our friends and family who see it differently. We want real relationship with them, but if we are not careful it will be at the expense of real relationship with Jesus who died for our sin so we could be forgiven, not so our sin could be accepted.


Jesus is the fulfillment of the eternal rainbow covenant. He came to satisfy the wrath of God against our sin.  In Him all sin is forgiven not accepted. The love of Jesus for us is born out of forgiveness first and acceptance second.


Every time I see a rainbow, I think of God’s forgiveness for my sin fulfilled through Jesus, not His acceptance of my sin.


We as Christians can change the symbols of God to make them mean what we want them to mean to us, but we can never change God’s view. Be careful tampering with that which you don’t have the authority to forgive to show acceptance that won’t change the eternal outcome of a human’s life, only Jesus has that kind of authority.


The next time you see a rainbow say, “Thank you Jesus for your forgiveness of my sin that makes me accepted by God the Father.”



Pastor Kelly

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