[We are] not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. (Romans 1:16)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Destruction of Sodom


by Matthew



Sodom was a wicked place. Yet God did not allow the wickedness of Sodom to continue forever. Sodom was destroyed by fire from heaven.

God is holy. Holiness is a fundamental part of His nature and He cannot suffer evil to go unpunished. Hence, the Lord demonstrated in history His abhorrence of sin by destroying Sodom and Gomorrah.

I knew an unbelieving girl who insisted to me that Sodom must have been destroyed by a volcano, an occurence which the Biblical writers must have interpreted as God's judgment. She gave absolutely no evidence whatsoever for Sodom's being destroyed by a volcano. Her interpretation of this event was entirely due to her naturalistic assumptions. She did not believe in God or at least doubted His existence, so she could never accept the idea of God destroying cities. Such scepticism is entirely irrational.

Men will always doubt the reality of God's judgment.

Romans 1
18: For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
19: Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
20: For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:



Men and women will ever deny or ignore God, yet God's wrath is revealed against them. They shall be without excuse when that wrath is poured out.

Just as God's wrath was poured out on Sodom, God's wrath will be poured out on the sinful world in which we live in the future.

2 Peter 3
3: Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
4: And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.
5: For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:
6: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:
7: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
8: But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
9: The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
10: But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.


People scoff at the idea of God's judgment, just as people scoffed before the flood. People assume that things have always been the way they are, yet they have not, for God intervened dramatically in the flood and changed the very face of the earth. The world before the flood perished utterly.

Likewise, the world is scheduled for another cleansing. The earth is reserved for a fiery transformation. All of the sinful system and order of Satan that governs this world shall be dissolved. It is not the physical creation that burns; no the earth was created to be inhabited. Rather, the sinful things upon it shall be burned up.


This wrath is poured out during the trumpet and vial judgments that we read about in the book of Revelation, judgments that are concluded with the battle of Armaggedon and the final destruction of sinful human government. This period of judgment is the Day of the Lord, which begins after the openning of the sixth seal:

Revelation 6
12: And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;
13: And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.
14: And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
15: And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;
16: And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:
17: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?


As an advocate of the Pre-Wrath rapture, I believe that those who are in Christ are translated and glorified at this point. God's wrath is stored up to be outpoured on the sinful world system, not the believer (though the works of believers shall be judged by our Lord at His coming).

We read in Luke 17:

26: And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.
27: They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.
28: Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded;
29: But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.
30: Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.


As soon as Lot went out of Sodom, immediate destruction was poured out upon the city. Likewise, the rapture of the church shall be followed by the outpouring of God's wrath upon the nations that have rejected Him.

Knowing that judgment will be poured out on the world, we need to live in expectancy of the coming of Christ. In this time before the Day of the Lord, we need to make known the Gospel message to a sinful world. God commands all to repent and we need to call people to that position.

Knowing that the world is reserved for judgment means that we must not love it. It so easy to love the things of this world and to be occupied with them. Lot dwellt in Sodom, desiring to enjoy its riches. Yet in the end, he was left with nothing. All that wealth was burned up. Let us think on things above, not the things of this world.

Luke 17
32: Remember Lot's wife.


One of the shorter verses in Scripture and a stark warning.

Lot's wife looked back at burning Sodom. She had forgotten the warning she had been given. Her heart was still in Sodom.

There is danger in having our heart in the world. If we fail to watch for Christ's coming and become attached to this world, we shall fail to show the faithfulness that our Lord calls us to. Just as Lot's wife was turned to a pillar of salt, there is judgment for the believer who fails to overcome. Not loss of salvation, for the believer posesses everlasting life. To fail to overcome means to forfeit the great inheritance and privileges that our Lord would bestow upon those who follow Him.

Sodom burned and this world shall burn, yet we look to a new heavens and a new earth and the establisment of God's kingdom within them.

14 Comments:

  • Where in Scripture are we told that Lot's wife is a believer being judged for her sinful lusts at the final judgment seat of Christ?

    We are told that Lot is just and a bad example as a believer who is saved, yet so as by fire, but where do you find this liscense to use Lot's wife as an example of a believer. The verse you mentioned was a warning given the Jews concerning the day of the abomination in telling them to run to the mountains. Something clearer must be given.

    Do you think Lots wife was a believer? Can you give us a verse showing us that she is a believer and an example of a believer at the Judgment seat of Christ?

    Otherwise, the message was good up until that analogy...unless you can find a verse like that spoken by Peter talking of "Just Lot" and the Lord knowing how to deliver the righteous but reserve the others for the day of punitive and judgemental wrath who are even this day being kept for that final day.

    To me it appears that Lots wife is chaff being seperated from the wheat and the fine hair that exists there between the believer and the unbeliever.

    Do you have a verse showing us that Lot's wife was righteous?

    By Blogger Bhedr, at Thursday, December 13, 2007 1:33:00 PM  

  • Actually it appears that Jesus was warning of the final bowl being poured out, but it does seem to coincide with his similar warnings to flee at the revealing of the abomination as well as His revealing towards the end, but you still need to come up with a verse that says Lot's wife had the same positional righteousness of Lot.

    I agree there will be many Lots who lose reward, yet their heavenly inheritance will be a tremendous joy to them as the doorkeep in heaven while others serve at a higher chair, but to use Lots wife here in this way is unwarranted, unless of course you have a verse providing us with proof that she also possessed the righteousness of God in Christ. Unless you do, then tying her to the Judgment seat of Christ instead of the Great White throne is a stretch...quite a big stretch.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at Thursday, December 13, 2007 1:43:00 PM  

  • Brian, we do not know that Lot's wife was a beliver. Perhaps she was not.

    However, if we take Lot's removal as a type of the rapture or at least deliverance of believer's, Lot's wife seems to be included.

    This part of Luke 17 is addressed to our Lord's disciples and its contents have many similarities to other messages given to disciples.

    I think it is an edifying warning to think about, anyway.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Thursday, December 13, 2007 1:45:00 PM  

  • I don't think so. Truly he spoke to his disciples as he included those around him to listen. The benefit of his disciples listening is that they were being taught how to teach others.

    You don't find this misleading in appropriating her as an example of a believer? The whole point of that whole story is to awaken the world and awaken those rubbing shoulders with Christianity; yet unbelieving with hearts fully and totally in the world even while hell is dragging them to hell and they continue to look back at hell with sensual lusts never wanting to look to Christ alone.

    You are sort of using artistic liscence here that is not warranted in assuming that she is a believer when all the scriptures are strongly pointing toward her as a clear picture of the unbeliever who sleeps near the believer like those virgins without oil and when the master comes having no oil or presence of God within them.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at Thursday, December 13, 2007 1:51:00 PM  

  • Thankyou for sharing your view, Brian.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Thursday, December 13, 2007 1:53:00 PM  

  • Lot's losses were too hard to bear on this earth. In eternity he will see how his sins wreaked havoc from generation to generation through the Moabites and others. His vexed righteous soul will find relief in the tender arms of Jesus. God will not have to punish him. His losses will speak for themself as Christ takes him into His bosom to comfort him. I am sure the shame was great on this earth and going home was a great relief, but he will see the lost at the great white throne go to hell perhaps for some of his sin in the same sense of Adam and Eves ruining the earth, but it will be over at last and though the loss be great there will still be some reward in that his life still may encourage others to get back up in spite of the losses and know that in spite of them God is still with us. Chastening only occurs in this life. He will not be turning men and women into pillars of salt at the Judgment seat. The time for Judgment ended at the cross for the believer. No more judgment, only hope and encouragement in Christ in spite of our failures and a tender hand that chastens us and teaches us that obeying Him is the better way, because if we dont we are at the mercy of Satan in this life, but never the next.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at Thursday, December 13, 2007 7:41:00 PM  

  • Brian, I am certainly not suggesting that some believers are turned into pillars of salt.

    Nevertheless, in some sense, th eexample of Lot's wife is given as a warning.

    I think there are good reasons for taking that warning to heart and not applying it solely to the future Jewish remnant.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Friday, December 14, 2007 12:46:00 AM  

  • Hi Matthew,

    Interesting post.

    I find it interesting what Jesus says about Sodom in Matthew 11:23.

    "And you, Capernaum, will not be exalted to heaven, will you? You will descend to Hades; for if the miracles had occurred in Sodom which occurred in you, it would have remained to this day."

    Sodom was an incredibly wicked place. Yet Jesus that they would not have been destroyed if He had done the miracles in Sodom that He had done in Capernaum. So at least 10 would have believed, because that was what God told Abraham. He wouldn't destroy the town if He found 10 righteous people in it.

    Definitely gives us pause to examine ourselves and then to look to Christ to be faithful to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Blogger Soldem, at Friday, December 14, 2007 5:35:00 AM  

  • Ten Cent, thanks for your thoughts.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Friday, December 14, 2007 5:42:00 AM  

  • As soon as Lot went out of Sodom, immediate destruction was poured out upon the city. Likewise, the rapture of the church shall be followed by the outpouring of God's wrath upon the nations that have rejected Him.

    Yes, but not immediately as it was with Lot's departure. ;~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at Friday, December 14, 2007 12:14:00 PM  

  • Great post, Matthew! I do love your devotional posts like this.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Friday, December 14, 2007 12:16:00 PM  

  • "Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed."

    Luke 17:30

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Friday, December 14, 2007 12:17:00 PM  

  • Thanks, Rose.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Friday, December 14, 2007 12:18:00 PM  

  • Ten Cent does raise a good point. We are all like Lots wife in that we are all like Sodom and Gommorrah. Lot just had the angel take him by the hand and force him out until he was compelled to quit lingering. There was divine intervention.

    God chose not to do things that would have awakened Sodom and Gomorah that he did in Capernum. For his reasons alone and His purposes for which we will never fully understand.

    So Ten Cent actually makes a case that you can use Lot's wife in that sense, because if God had not left his Holy Spirit we would all have been like Sodom and Gomorah.

    These are good posts your doing.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at Saturday, December 15, 2007 3:02:00 PM  

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