Israel Folau explains why he said gay people are going to hell

Embattled Australian rugby star Israel Folau has clarified why he wrote that gay people are destined for hell a fortnight ago.

The husband of Silver Ferns star Maria Folau (nee Tutaia) attracted widespread condemnation after telling an Instagram commenter that God's plan for homosexuals is "HELL... unless they repent of their sins".

The situation cooled after Rugby Australia's CEO Raelene Castle said she was proud that he holds so strongly to his Christian beliefs.

But Folau has now rekindled interest in the story with a blog post explaining just why he wrote what he did.

The Wallabies centre said while he believes "people's lives are not for me to judge", he felt he had the opportunity to save someone with what he wrote.

"In the comments section of that post, I was asked a question by somebody about what God's plan is for gay people," Folau said.

"My response to the question is what I believe God's plan is for all sinners, according to my understanding of my Bible teachings.

"I do not know the person who asked the question, but that didn't matter. I believed he was looking for guidance and I answered him honestly and from the heart.

"I know a lot of people will find that difficult to understand, but I believe the Bible is the truth and sometimes the truth can be difficult to hear."

Folau went on to explain that being openly gay is akin to a "walk into a hole".

"I think of it this way: you see someone who is about to walk into a hole and have the chance to save him," he wrote.

"He might be determined to maintain his course and doesn't want to hear what you have to say. But if you don't tell him the truth, as unpopular as it might be, he is going to fall into that hole.

"What do you do?"

Folau says suggestions he is "homophobic and bigoted" could "not be further from the truth". He also wrote that some of the criticism he's faced since making the comment has been "pretty heavy".

Later in his blog post, Folau opens up on his meeting with Rugby Australia, losing and rekindling his Christian faith, and his decision to swap from rugby league to AFL.

You can read it here.

Newshub.