Tag: Sodom and Gomorrah
Scripture reading for December 21st: 2nd Peter 1-3, 1st John 1
Key Scriptures: 2nd Peter 2:6-9 “. .if He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the filthy lives of lawless men (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)-if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment while continuing their punishment.”
Peter, writing to the church, encouraged them in the suffering that they were then enduring. He used the example of Sodom and Gomorrah. God rescued Lot and his daughters from that wicked city and then burned it to ashes. God is powerful, yet just and punishes the wicked, keeping them for the final judgment at the end of time! Believers can rest secure in God’s justice and His mercy toward His own!
God’s mercy towards Lot: “When he hesitated, the men grasped his hand and the hands of his wife and of his two daughters and led them safely out of the city, for the Lord was merciful towards them. . . .Then the Lord rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah–from the Lord out of the heavens. Thus He overthrew those cities and the entire plain, including all those living in the cities–and also the vegetation in the land.” (Genesis 19:16, 24-25)
Scripture reading for November 28th: 2nd Peter 2:1-22
Peter warned his flock about the false teachers who would come into their midst. These teachers secretly introduced destructive heresies, some that even denied the sovereign Lord who bought them. These teachers were greedy for money and used ear-tickling methods to divide off the weaker sheep and destroy them.
Peter made a case from church history emphasizing God’s dealing with false teaching and rebellion. The first example he used was that of Noah and his family. Noah preached righteousness by faith and built an ark to protect his family. God used a world-wide flood to judge the world of that day that had been corrupted by the false teaching of some wicked beings who were indwelt by fallen angels. These angels were also locked up in hell awaiting the judgment. (2nd Peter 2:4-5)
Next Peter cited the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. God rescued the righteous Lot and his family, but judged the wicked that had rebelled against Him. Peter plainly stated that God would judge the false teachers who promoted immorality and heresy and would rescue those who stood firm in His word! (2nd Peter 2:7-9)
Peter went on to expose these false teachers for who they were. They were arrogant men who blasphemed God and His truth. They were ‘brute beasts’ who operated out of their instincts and fleshly desires. They were immoral and open about it. They were adulterous and greedy for money and sin. They seduced the weak and unstable among the believers. They enticed people who were just escaping from living in sin and took them back into bondage! Peter stated that they were “slaves of depravity”. (2nd Peter 2:13-19)
I think today about ministers and churches who openly embrace the sin of homosexuality as something ordained by God. I think of others who willingly promote “pro-choice’ politics and the murder of the innocent and do that while naming the name of Christ! Often this is done to attract those who so believe and gain monetary support from them. They tell them that God loves them and that they can go on living “as slaves of their depravity’. God’s word plainly states that those who live like this will not inherit the Kingdom of Heaven! (1st Corinthians 6:9-11) God wants to save them, but without repentance He can not!
Scripture reading for December 8th: Jude 1-25
The short letter of Jude, a brother of James and half-brother of Jesus, is a call to spiritual battle against false teachers and deception. Where the truth is taught, the enemy of God’s people will send opposition. We are in a spiritual war and the battle is sometimes within the church!
“Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write to urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints. For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.” (Jude 3-4) Jude’s letter is a call to battle! This battle is for the believer’s faith. Satan has sent false men into the church to try and get the church to deny their faith in Christ and His word by seducing them with immorality! This was warned of long ago!
God has judged immorality severely in the past. Jude cites the Israelites who died in the desert because of God’s judgment on their idolatry and immorality. (Jude 5-7) He reminds them of the destruction by fire of Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns because of their perversion. “They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.” Jude plainly warns the church of God’s wrath against sexual sin. He is the Lord who does not change!
“But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” These are men who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit. But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in you most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit.” (Jude 17-20) A good way to counteract the false teachers is to stay close to the words of the apostles–the Holy Scriptures. Along with this, praying in the Holy Spirit also builds up the spiritual man and keeps us in the faith and love of Jesus Christ. Jude’s advice is a good word for us today! We are reading God’s word, now let’s pray in the Spirit!
Scripture reading for July 17th: Isaiah 1-4
Isaiah is one of the major prophets of the Old Testament and his writing contains a rich treasure of revelation concerning God’s plans to redeem His people and send the Messiah. He spoke and wrote these words from about 722 BC to 681 BC. As we begin this book, it would be helpful to take a moment to ask the Lord for His guidance in understanding and applying it to our lives as 21st century followers of Christ.
The first vision of Isaiah recorded in today’s readings concerned Judah and Jerusalem. “Ah, sinful nation, a people loaded with guilt, a brood of evildoers, children given to corruption! They have forsaken the Lord; they have spurned the Holy One of Israel and turned their backs on Him.” (Isaiah 1:4) People reap what they sow and God does nothing without warning His people by the prophets. (Amos 3:7) God sent Isaiah various visions to warn these backslidden people of the coming wrath. He told them of the desolate land and burned cities that would result. (Isaiah 1:7-9) He warned them that only God’s mercy could save them from becoming like Sodom and Gomorrah!
These people attended to the temple and sacrifices, but God was not honored or pleased! They offered prayers and sacrifices, but did evil in His sight. They oppressed the widow and orphan and shed innocent blood. Religion without repentance is hypocrisy and only wearies the Lord. (Isaiah 1:11-15) God’s warning was clear and concise!
“Come now, let us reason together,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best from the land; but if you resist and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword.” For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” (Isaiah 1:18-20)
God’s people needed to listen and use their heads. God offered cleansing from these deep stains of sin if they would be humble and willing to change. If they refused and rebelled, they would be devoured by the sword. God is offering to reason with people today as well. Many need to heed His offer of grace through Jesus Christ. The way is narrow that leads to life and blessing but broad that leads to destruction. Let those crimson stains be made white as snow!