Israel Folau has explained the “temptation” to take up Rugby Australia’s offer to play again by deleting his homophobic posts, describing it as “the way Satan works”.
Speaking at a church service on Sunday, the rugby union star said while he could step back into his role on the team it is “always the will of God that comes first”.
According to The Daily Telegraph, Folau was offered the opportunity to rejoin the team, if he removed the posts immediately. However, the rugby star has denied the offer.
In a video shared from The Truth of Jesus Christ church service Folau said: “There have been many opportunities to potentially make the situation a little bit easier. I could go back and play the game, get everything back to the way it used to be.
“The way Satan works is he offers you stuff that could look good to the eye and makes you feel comfortable, and if you follow that path all the worries and troubles will go away.”
He added: “(But) it is always the will of God that comes first.”
The 30-year-old, who is a devout Christian, took to Instagram in April and shared an image which said that sinners including “drunks, homosexuals, adulterer, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists, idolators” would be going to hell.
Rugby Australia found he committed a high-level breach of Rugby Australia’s player’s code of conduct, with his $4 million contract now on the line.
During the service on Sunday Folau said the last few weeks have been a challenge, but he has not given up.
“I got stood down with obviously, you know, by, posting up with what I did on social media and you know we’re at a stage at the moment, it’s not finished yet, but the outcome is yet to be known,” he told his fellow Pentecostal worshippers.
“It’s been really challenging but also it’s been encouraging to myself to see what my God is actually doing.”
Folau then quoted the Book of Mark Chapter 8, Verse 36: “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”
The rugby union star went on to explain how his sporting career could come to an end meaning financial hardships could occur.
“Potentially I could get terminated which means there is no more playing contract and therefore no more finances money coming in,” Folau said.
“It would be the first time it has happened to me in my life.
“All the materialistic things I have been able to have over the last number of years are slowly being taken away from me.”