By Mike Willis
The book of Genesis records the destruction of the cities of the Plain Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboim (Deut. 29:23). The wickedness of Sodom and Gomorrah rose up to heaven. The Lord decided to pass judgment against these cities “because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous” (Gen. 18:20).
The wickedness of those cities was so great that, when the angels from God visited the house of Lot, the homosexuals of that city attempted to gang rape them. The angels blinded the sodomites to prevent their abusing them. The next day, the Lord rained fire and brimstone from heaven to destroy the wicked cities (Gen. 19:24). Only righteous Lot and his two daughters escaped the cities.
After the destruction of the cities, the prophets of the Lord used what occurred to Sodom and Gomorrah as a reminder of God’s judgment of the wickedness of nations. When a nation became corrupt, they were compared to Sodom and Gomorrah (Jer. 49:18; Lam. 4:6). When God determined to completely overthrow a nation so that they would be completely destroyed, their destruction was compared to the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah (Jer. 50:40).
In the New Testament, the Lord’s punishment of Sodom and Gomorrah is used to remind us of the torment of hell.
Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire (Jude 7).
The destruction of these cities serves as a constant reminder to us that God will punish the wicked in the everlasting torment of hell. We sometimes witness the immoralities around us and forget that God will punish the wicked. After all, the wicked are having such a good time and experiencing so much prosperity. The righteous are on the outside looking in at others enjoying themselves, castigated as oddballs, mocked, belittled and persecuted. We need to remember that God will indeed judge the wicked and punish them with everlasting destruction. The Lord governs the world today on the same moral basis as he governed it in the days of Abraham. “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people” (Prov. 14:34).
Among the things that provoked the Lord to this judgment was their “giving themselves over to fornication.” Is there any doubt that our own nation is given over to fornication? Instead of fornication being a repulsive sin that brings suffering to men, we have glamorized fornication. Fornication is used to entertain us when we go to the movies or watch TV. We are being told that it is the natural expression Remember Sodom and Gomorrah .. .of teenagers who experiment with sex. But the Lord said that it is sin and brings the judgment of God. Most Americans have accepted fornication as a legitimate pursuit of pleasure. The odd person in our society i s the one who would keep himself sexually pure until marriage.
The Sodomites were judged even more perverted in their sin because they went after “strange flesh.” They left the natural use of the woman and men with men burned in their lust toward one another. They were guilty of homosexuality.
When I read of the angels visiting Sodom, I do not read of them uttering any rebuke to righteous Lot for his sinful “homophobia.” The homosexuals condemned Lot saying, “This one fellow came in to sojourn, and he will needs be a judge: now will we deal worse with thee, than with them” (Gen. 19:9). The homosexuals in America are saying the same thing. They condemn “fundamentalist Christians” for their judgment of their “lifestyle” as sinful. They are bent on reshaping the thinking of us and our children about homosexuality. They detest anyone judging then as being guilty of sin. Despite what the homosexuals in Sodom thought, the angels never rebuked Lot for his judging their sin. He is described as “just (righteous) Lot” (2 Pet. 2:7). The Lord plainly described the deeds of the Sodomites as ungodly (2 Pet. 2:6-8). The Lord knows nothing of the modem sin of “homophobia.” It is a recent invention of ungodly men who are trying to make wickedness righteous and righteousness wicked (cf. Isa. 5: 20 ”Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!”).
The judgment of God against Sodom was a preview of his eternal condemnation in hell. He set them forth “for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire” (Jude 7). The fire and brimstone that rained down on their wickedness was a type of the everlasting torment of he].
Sodom and Gomorrah are reminders of these facts: (a) God will punish the wicked; (b) God hates homosexuality; (c) There is an everlasting punishment in hell; (d) God knows how to punish the wicked (the Sodomites) and deliver the righteous (Lot).
Guardian of Truth XXXIX: 10 p. 2
May 18, 1995