In this sermon, Pastor Joseph Babij presents God’s judgment on Sodom and Gomorrah as a third example of God’s judgment in the past proving the surety of God’s judgment in the future. Pastor Babij also explains why homosexuality is a uniquely heinous sin and why Christians must guard against popular pressure from American culture on LGBTQ issues.
Let’s take our Bibles this morning and turn to 2 Peter as I continue in this book. We also are going back to the Old Testament. I’ve been preaching on acknowledging the judgment of God, and of course this context in Scripture is about false teachers. The reason why that title is because false teachers do not acknowledge the judgment of God or the righteousness of God, or do not live according to it. So therefore this section of Scripture is put there for us to realize God’s justice is real. It is not a sleep. It will take place in God’s timing, both past, present, and future.
There was a supreme court justice, Justice Gray, once said to a man who had appeared before him in one of the lower courts and had escaped conviction by some technicality. He said – I know that you are guilty and you know it. And I wish you to remember that one day you will stand before a better and a wiser judge, and that there you will be dealt with according to justice and not according to law. Now that’s a human example, but there’s a lot of people who get away with things. Because of that, some people say – well, where is God in that? How come God let that person go? God’s justice sometimes is delayed but it is coming. That’s why we look at this passage of Scripture and we see that the main idea here is the justice of God. God’s justice is part of His character. As it already said in Deuteronomy, all his ways are just. The habitation of his throne is righteousness and justice. His judgments is judgments are just and right. He does deal justly. Of course God determined to fulfill His justice in the future.
In verse 3 of chapter 2, we see their judgment from long ago was not idle and their destruction is not asleep. That is the false teachers. The end of false teachers is certain. False teachers may feel secure in their message of peace and their big crowds and their rich ministries. However, the Lord is not asleep on His throne. He knows exactly what is going on. And He will act decisively and quickly. In fact, the sentence is already in his purview pronounced upon them. It’s just a matter of time. The Lord is not limited by time like Dave was praying this morning. So the endemic problem with false teachers and false prophets is that they do not really look to the future and have a good future theology. And they don’t have good ethics because they believe that somehow maybe future judgment can be passed over by them. They also believe that because of that, their behavior will not be called into account in God’s final judgment someday because they think they’re doing what is righteous.
So our passage of Scripture has already been demonstrating plenty of historical precedents that God is acting, that God acts in judgment. We saw that first of all three examples demonstrated his justice in the past, and that’s what Peter brings out. The first example is the false angels in verse four. God did not spare the angels who sinned, but God held judgment upon them, these heavenly beings. So God deals with His justice in the heavenly realm that we don’t know really anything about. And God judges fallen angels who sinned. They rebelled against His authority and these angels perverted God’s way, and God refuse to spare them because of their wicked sin. And what did He do because of that? It says in verse four He cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment. So that’s what He did. We mustn’t forget that these demons still work ceaselessly to hinder God’s redemptive purposes. These mighty being harbor strong malice against God and His people, His church.
So God’s wrath in the past did not linger in slumber. It finally came. God’s judgment was swift when it came, and it came on this group of demon violated the order of their being in order to commit wicked and corrupt acts in the world of Noah’s day. So the judicial activity of God is evidenced.By God acting in judgment in the past, and He will do so also in the present and the future. So when wickedness reaches its extreme proportions, God holds judgment to a greater or lesser extent, totally within His prerogative to do so. Immediate past and present judgment is only a preview of future judgment. It says in the gospel of John that the Father has given Jesus the authority to judge in the future, and He will do so.
So the warnings of future judgment are all for the purpose to help the faithful, to prod them on to go on in the straight and narrow path that we’re call to, and it also for the purpose of providing or producing fear within the ungodly so the ungodly would come and receive the message of Jesus Christ and be saved. It’s also for the cause that we can examine what are we actually believing, who are we actually following. What are we willing to stand up for? Are we adding to our faith what it says in chapter 1 of 2 Peter – moral excellence and knowledge and self-control and perseverance and godliness and brotherly kindness and love. Are those things evidence, are those fruit in our life? That’s what it will look like if we are growing in the true knowledge of Jesus Christ. Those virtues will be increasing in our life every single day.
The second example is Noah’s world. It says in verse 5,
and did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a preacher of righteousness, with seven others, when He brought the flood upon the world of the ungodly;
What the Bible is saying here is that that world did not escape their gross and abominable and accursed practices. Only Noah and his family survived. So what the Bible means by world is this organization in the mind and outlook of mankind as it ignores God and does not recognize Him as it lives its life independent of God. So God will not spare the ancient world, but He will destroy by flooding. He did that. He judged and condemned it. The people of the ancient world didn’t take the righteous preacher’s word to heart. And what happened is that it came upon them. See, they were living like Jesus mentioned in Matthew. It says,
For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark,
And they did not understand until the flood came, until it was too late. They didn’t listen to what God said and it was too late. They just went about the regular activities of life thinking life will just go on as normal. the sun will rise. The sun will set. And we’ll just go on, never considering that future judgment would come, the kind that Noah was preaching and the kind that preachers who are filled with the word of God are preaching today. It’s coming. Even in the passage in Matthew, it says that it will come when the son of man comes. So the prospect of judgment does not really make a serious impression on those thinking that life is just for the here and now. See, God did not spare the ancient world but brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly. So because of past judgement, future judgment is coming. So for the church, it should be – are you ready? Are you ready for what’s coming, because things could get a lot worse than they are right now. We are heading in that way.
And what was it that brought the world into such a state of the justice of God at the fall and in such a catastrophic wave both with the demons in both with the world in Noah’s day? Well I answered that question last time. Mankind had departed and had turned their backs on God and had fallen away from God and from His teaching. Mankind started living according to their own ideas. Departure from God and His teaching and the consequences of lawlessness were the cause that led to the flood, were the cause that led to the judgment of the demons, and it will be the cause that leads to all other judgments. The ancient world and the world in which we live now ignores God and lives a life independent of Him, a life that is based upon this world and this life only. This world and our country are ripe for judgement. For what reason? Well for the same reasons that justice fell in the past, that mankind has departed and has turned their backs on God and has fallen away from God and from His teaching. Mankind again has been living according to their own ideas.
So departure from God and His teaching and the consequences of lawlessness will be the cause of the justice of God when the justice of God falls, which will really lead to the destruction of the earth by fire, as Peter’s going to mention later on in this epistle. So the fact remains that when mankind turns their back on God and His teaching, it ultimately leads to moral and political and social and economic chaos. And I believe that we’re seeing all of that right now in our world. I mean, it seems like the level of corruption that has risen to the highest parts of our government, that if they can rig an election. And if that’s what is happening, then we no longer have a country. If there is not free fair and honest elections in any country, it’s already gone. It’s just a matter of time before it slides completely away.
So it seems that the sin that rises to the top of the pile and brings God’s judgement falling down upon wicked people is the sin found in the next passage of Scripture. Look at verse number six. This is the sin found the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. Now let’s move and look at this third example of God’s justice being meted out on wicked sinners. It says in verse number 6. Remember that if, it’s a situation of reality. It’s not something that’s not going to happen. It’s something that has happened.
and if He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction by reducing them to ashes, having made them an example to those who would live ungodly lives thereafter;
The Greek term for destruction is really the word that we get the word catastrophe from. It means to be ruined. It means to be overthrown. It further gives the picture of the city becoming extinct. The example of the extinction of Sodom and Gomorrah has a lasting validity that brings a force in our time of the reality and the finality when God’s justice is meted out and no one could stop it. No one could hold it back when it gets to that point. The Old Testament narrative supports the view of extinction where it reads in Genesis 19,
Then the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven, and He overthrew those cities, and all the valley, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground.
If you go to Israel today, you will still find the place that Sodom and Gomorrah was an the extinct place, dried ash, and brimstone would be in its soil. It’s a riddled landscape where nothing grows and no one lives. Hopefully in October of this year we’ll be able to go to Israel and David may be going in May if they open up Israel finally and let us go. I would like to see that happen. And of course that’s open up to you if we have other places that if you’d like to go too. So the ESV translates it like this,
if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly;
So again divine judgement fell on Sodom and Gomorrah, teaching that unbridle sin leads to ruin. God reduce them to ashes. The judgment of God on Sodom and Gomorrah is a reminder that God’s view on sodomy and the proper understanding of sexual relationships, that is a relationship between a man and a woman, are up against what’s going on here. It says in the epistle of Jude, which Jude brings up the same issue of Sodom and Gomorrah and it says this,
just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire.
Now what has been a revealing indicator of what young people between the ages of 18 and 24 think about certain sexual behavior such as sodomy is alarming. They really don’t think homosexual issues are real issues. We learned this in our mall ministry because the second question often in our mall ministry is either they would say I’m a homosexual or what do you think about my friend being homosexual. So it’s on their mind, but they have a whole different view of looking at it. And I’m not just talking about people in the world. I’m talking about young people in the church. The culture has continually bombarded the minds of people with the thought that certain alternate lifestyles are normal and even acceptable behavior. They think that people should no longer question it but accept it, especially if it is accepted by the masses. Like why go against the stream. And for some who holds to such views, they’ll punish you if you don’t agree with them. They say they are tolerant and accepting people, but are not at all tolerant of accepting God’s truth found in the Bible. God’s standard, you know, the Bible that is reliable and illuminating and revealing and trustworthy because its source is God. So for the most part, a certain group think this way and have no tolerance for these things. They say we will not have a standard to live by from a God we do not believe in. We will live by our own standard. See there is the dilemma. That’s what happens.
Now, let’s pick up the narrative back in Genesis. Take your Bibles and turn to Genesis chapter number 19, because I want you to see in Genesis 19 that there is where all this is coming from. Let’s go see what happens back there. Now Genesis 19 look at verses 1 through 3 first of all, then we’ll go back up to Genesis 18 and pick up the narrative there. It says in verse 1 of Genesis 19,
Now the two angels came to Sodom in the evening as Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground. And he said, “Now behold, my lords, please turn aside into your servant’s house, and spend the night, and wash your feet; then you may rise early and go on your way.” They said however, “No, but we shall spend the night in the square.” Yet he urged them strongly, so they turned aside to him and entered his house; and he prepared a feast for them, and baked unleavened bread, and they ate.
When the Lord made known to Abraham back in Genesis 18 that a dreaded visitation of judgment was coming on Sodom and the other cities of the plain for their awful iniquities, Abraham humbly petition the Lord and asked whether the Lord would deal with the righteous and the wicked in the same way. Abraham asked that Sodom would be spared. Lord, if you find a certain amount of righteous people there, please spare it. That was his request.
Now, righteousness obviously does not just mean morality nor does it mean living a good life. There are plenty of people who, for example outside the Christian church today, who deny the elements of the Christian faith and who are quite moral and decent people. They are quite good in philosophical terms. However, they are not righteous in the Biblical sense of the term. They do not conform to Biblical righteousness. Righteousness means the quality of life that is exemplified in God’s character and then that character given to God’s people. That’s the whole thing about sanctification. When you become a believer, God is sanctifying you to become conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. That means the level of righteousness is going to go up in your life. You’re not going to be the person you used to be. You’re going to be different. If you look in the New Testament, the quality of life that was lived by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself will be the quality of life the Spirit of God enables us to progressively live while we are left here on earth.
How many of those kind of people were in the city of Sodom and Gomorrah – how many righteous people were there? Now look at chapter 18. Go back to chapter 18:24-26. And if you notice in verse 24 Abraham’s conversation with the Lord, he says in verse 24,
Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city; will You indeed sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of fifty righteous who are in it? Far be it from You to do such a thing, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous and the wicked are treated alike. Far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth deal justly?
Now that’s the main premise there, that if there was 50 righteous people in the city that followed God’s standard of living and lived a certain quality of life. And remember that they didn’t have the Ten Commandments here. So that wasn’t the standard at least now because it wasn’t written down. The standard here was the natural laws God put into place and the law of conscience was in place. If a person is breaking the creative order of nature and violating the law of conscience and they are living in sin, they cannot claim to be a follower of God or they cannot claim to be righteous. In the New Testament, you can’t claim to be a child of God if you are not living with a certain level of righteousness within your life. A child of God must be living a different type of life.
Now just for your information for 2500 years, man lived without the Ten Commandments on this earth. What governed them before Mount Sinai, before Moses got the law? Well, the Bible tells us in Genesis chapter 2, it says:
The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day you eat from it you will surely die.”
Some have called this the law of conscience, that Satan tempted them with the promise that they would have a conscience, where it says in Genesis 3:5,
For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.
Doesn’t a conscience inform whether something is good or evil? Yes. And as soon as they disobeyed God, Adam and Eve became aware of their sin against their creator and the inner monitor called conscience accused them. And that’s why in the narrative in Genesis, what did God say to Adam and Eve? He says,
Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked;
How did they knew they were naked? That’s what God says. who told you you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree which I commanded you not to eat? See, their conscience told them they were naked. In order to hide their guilt, they tried to cover their nakedness and avoid meeting God. So the voice within them, the conscience, told them that they had done wrong. So their sin brought in a curse and separation between them and God their Creator.
Some theologians have called this the law of conscience, which condemn those who did not have the written revelation of right and wrong. And this is what exactly what Paul was referred to in the book of Romans chapter 2 verse 14 and 15 where he says,
For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them,
so Scripture tells us God has created human beings universally with an inmate known truth about the character of God, a basic knowledge of what is right and wrong. Go anywhere in the world and you’ll find that, a sense of what is good and bad. And that’s what it says in Romans 1:19,
because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.
So we see here sinners have successfully hushed their own conscience. Paul brings out the Romans – how have they done that? By fully speculation – verse 21, by the death of common sense – verse 22, by corrupt religion or self-deification, by uncontrolled lust, and then of course by sexual perversion. So here is a description in Romans 1 of a seared and a deadened conscience. The evidence knowledge of God is suppressed by them and withheld by them. And what’s the end result of that? And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer – there it is. God is abandoned, and when God is abandoned anything will take place in any culture. So the conscience, remember, is not infallible because it is informed by many things – different types of traditions, philosophies, societal factors, religious doctrine whether true or false, and the culture itself.
The conscience to operate fully and with true holiness and to grow in godliness must be informed by the word of God. And that’s what happens to a believer. When we become believers, our conscience is now being retrained, re-taught on what pleases God. In fact in Scripture also on the day of judgement, your conscience will side with God the righteous judge. The worst sin harden evildoer will discover before the throne of God that he has a conscience which testifies against him. As Paul said in Romans 2:16,
on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus.
Saying all that, let’s get back to the conversation with Abraham. Abraham said if there was 50, if 50 are your followers who are sensitive to the laws of nature that You put in place and the boundaries and Lord of the conscience that they have about being guilty of right and wrong. If there’s 50, Lord, will You spare the city? and then he goes on in verse 27 to 28 of Genesis – Lord what about 45 righteous people? Lord, what about 40? What about 30? Lord, what about 20? And then he goes all the way down in Genesis 18:32 – Lord, what about ten righteous people? If there’s ten righteous people, will you spare the city of Sodom and Gomorrah and not destroy it? See, the Lord freely granted to show mercy if there were ten righteous people in Sodom and Gomorrah. So that intercession Abraham and God has power with it because God listened and it would have prevailed, but Abraham didn’t know the whole story. Abraham for sure was mindful of Lot and his family living in Sodom and Gomorrah. He was mindful of that, his own family. Maybe because Abraham also knew that Lot seemed to be a character in Scripture that was weak, that was a selfish person, that Lot settling in Sodom, offering his daughters for rape, fleeing Sodom in fear rather than faith don’t seem to be behaviors or attitudes that are attributed to righteous people.
But remember, righteousness is not the absence of sin and failure. True righteousness in Scripture is a result of faith in God, because our righteousness don’t come from ourselves. It comes from God Himself. That’s when we believe in Christ. Christ nails our sins to the cross and He gives us His righteousness. That’s what saves us. We can’t do anything to save ourselves. We’re under God’s judgement.
So Lot was still a good man but have been severely weakened by the daily interaction with the ungodly people of Sodom. The question is – would Lot and his family be counted as righteous. Will he at least be delivered? According to 2 Peter, Lot’s character was still substantially true. 2 Peter 2:7, this is what it says,
and if He rescued righteous Lot,
He calls Lot righteous. And then pressed by the sexual conduct of unprincipled men. All right saying that, Lot had a sensitive conscience. He demonstrated his faith in this passage by recognizing and hating the immoral behavior that was going on all around him. It really convicted him. It weighed heavy on him. He also shows his faith by protecting the visitors that came into the city. He knew what the city was like. He was waiting at the gate if anybody comes in – hey mister, you better to come to my house. You can’t stay out here and sleep in this place. This is a wicked place. So he showed his faith by doing those things. And we should really take care to think that with a righteous profession, that you may live in in the world and pursue its profits, its desires, and its pleasures without some kind of danger. There’s danger in the culture. The culture will and has in many way affected all of us. If we be indeed God’s people, we have to come out from the world, and as the Scripture says, touch not the unclean thing. That’s what we ought to be, remembering that the church of God is not to be wrapped up in the world where it is left undistinguishable from it. It’s got to be the light of the world. It’s got to be the salt of the earth. It’s got to be different. If we’re just like them, then what’s the point? Something’s gone drastically wrong if we’re just like everything else going on around us.
In fact to soothe the conscious of young people, there have been religious leaders and organizations who have concluded the issue in this narrative, Genesis chapter 19:1-11, is hospitality. Lot was acting according to the laws of hospitality in the east, they say. That’s the issue here. But I’m sure the laws of the east did not include the giving away of your virgin daughters. Now, where do they get that from? They conclude from actually the prophet Ezekiel chapter 16:49-51. This is what it says, and listen to what it says about Sodom and Gomorrah.
Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had arrogance, abundant food and careless ease, but she did not help the poor and needy. Thus they were haughty and committed abominations before Me. Therefore I remove them when I saw it. Furthermore, Samaria did not commit half of your sins, for you have multiplied your abominations more than they. Thus you have made your sisters
That’s the sister cities,
appear righteous by all your abominations which you have committed.
So in other words, Sodom’s sin was so gross when compared to other sinful cities, Sodom made those cities look righteous, look like they were doing the right thing. No, the issue is not that the people of the city were not following the rules of hospitality. What he’s saying is that Sodom’s sins included more, not less than sexual sins along with gross sexual sin. The people of Sodom were filled with pride. They were filled with greed. They were filled with selfishness. And of course the oppression of the poor and stranger goes along with that. So along with these sexual sins, especially this sin, many sins go along with it.
So the people were not driven by this. They were driven by sinful lust. And the sin of Sodom is the sin of what we refer to today at sodomy. We refer to it more commonly of course as homosexuality. So then hospitality is not the issue. The crowning sin that brought judgment was homosexuality. Now let’s go back to Genesis chapter 19 and pick it up in verse four. I want you to see the details on what’s going on in this city. Genesis chapter 19 verse 4. Before I read that, the sin that was being committed permeated this city and every group and every part of the town. The sin of Sodom was pervasive to the last man. It affected everyone in the culture. Lot was affected by suffering at a level of physical and societal oppression, that by trying to live righteously in the middle of a cesspool of sin. Notice verse 4 of Genesis 19:
Before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, surrounded the house, both young and old, all the people from every quarter;
They’re coming to the house, all these men. Also in verse 5 to 7, the men were wicked and wanted to have sexual relations with Lot’s guests. Notice what it says in verse 5:
and they called to Lot and said to him, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may have relations with them.” But Lot went out to them at the doorway, and shut the door behind him, and said, “Please, my brothers, do not act wickedly.”
They didn’t think they were acting wickedly, but Lot knew better what God’s standards were. They were acting wickedly. And what strange offer that Lot in verse 8 offers them. Look at what it says in verse eight:
“Now behold, I have two daughters who have not had relations with man; please let me bring them out to you, and do to them whatever you like; only do nothing to these men, inasmuch as they have come under the shelter of my roof.”
Now you thinking, you read that passage. I know you read through the Bible and you comes to that passage – woah, this is strange. But there’s a possibility that Lot knew the culture of Sodom and its male residents so well that he knew the homosexual men would never take him up on the proposal. Now we don’t know, but in any case it was an unlawful remedy for the lack of wise advice. But if you notice, they did not take him up on the offer. So these wicked men in this city will have their lustful needs met no matter what. And they’ll have no one like Lot judge them for it. Look at what it says in verses 9 through 11:
But they said, “Stand aside.” Furthermore, they said, “This one came in as an alien, and already he’s acting like a judge; now we will treat you worse than them.” So they pressed hard against Lot and came near to break the door. But the men reached out their hands and brought Lot into the house with them, and shut the door. They struck the men who were at the doorway of the house with blindness, both small and great, so that they wearied themselves trying to find the doorway.
You see the strength of the wickedness of this sin. They were going to have their way. And of course if they didn’t get struck blind by the angels, they would have overcome him and his home, but they didn’t. See brethren, there are some sins that are greater than other sins. Not all sin is equal. Homosexuality is a particularly wicked and heinous sin. Culture don’t see it that way, but the church ought to because that’s what the Bible says. Now why is that? Well here are some reasons, not all the reasons.
First one is because it is a twisting of the created order. That’s not how God created things. That’s what it says in Genesis:
God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
And then He goes on to say,
For this reason a man hall leave his father and mother, and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.
So homosexual and lesbian relationships twist to distortion the divinely instituted paradigm for sexual intimacy, ie a heterosexual marriage. The importance of the gender distinctiveness of Adam and Eve cannot be overlooked. God in His relationship creates man in relationship male and female. Gender is rightly exhibited in the institution of marriage. So it’s a twisting of God’s original created order.
Secondly, it’s heinous because it falsifies the procreation order. The mandate given in the beginning to Adam and Eve was be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it. The mandate was not given to two men or to two women, but to a man and a woman. See, without artificial means, homosexual and lesbian couples cannot procreate to fulfill God’s command. Such can only be naturally and righteously fulfill through the monogamous heterosexual marriage between a man and a woman. It says in 1 Corinthians:
Now concerning the things about which you wrote, it is good for a man not to touch a woman. But because of immoralities, each man to have his own wife, and each woman is to have her own husband.
So marriage leads to procreation within the proper sexual relationship that exists between a man and a woman. That’s the normal way of doing that God created things. Now if homosexuality is allowed to permeate any culture or country, it will render that human existence extinct. You can’t procreate man man or woman woman. It can’t happen. It’s not going to happen. So see, it’s a falsification of the created procreation order that God’s put in place that is still going on.
But there’s also another reason. It’s because of its perversion of the promise. And what is the promise? That through the seed of man, through the seed that there would come a Messiah, through David and all the way down. Satan is trying to kill the seed men with men, women with women, to avoid the fulfillment of the coming of Messiah. Satan is involved with all this behind the scenes. He is causing havoc, destruction, confusion in all kinds of ways, but the Scripture is very clear from the beginning of the Bible to the end of the Bible. It says in Leviticus:
You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female. It is an abomination.
In Leviticus 20:
If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death.
And of course we come to Romans, and what do we find in Romans right in chapter one. We see that he says there:
For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.
So this is all part of God’s judgement. God gives a nation over to this sin that seems to be on the top of the pile before God’s judgment comes. And it permeates the culture. Come on, if you can’t recognize it’s permeated our culture to the highest levels of government and educational systems, then maybe we’re not seeing clearly. Now I do want you to turn to another passage of Scripture before I bring this to an end. It’s 1 Corinthians 6:9-11. The reason why I bring this passage of Scripture up because I’m only talking about the one side of God’s justice. There’s another side of God’s justice. You know what that is? God rescues people. He rescues people from their sin. See, He’s the solution. He’s the answer. So in this next passage, I want you to notice that the justice of God is barring unrighteous people from the kingdom of God alongside this condemnation. The justice of God is freeing those from His judgment on sin by those believing in Jesus Christ for eternal life and entryway into the kingdom of God. Notice in 1 Corinthians 6 verse 9:
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.
But then notice verse 11,
Such were some of you;
Corinthians, you committed all these sins. But notice what he says,
but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.
See, that is the hope of God’s justice, that God sent Jesus to the cross. He pours His justice upon Jesus Christ. He pays the full justice of the Father. And so when someone believes by faith in Christ, they can be saved, they can be forgiven, and they can have a relationship with God that they could never have in any other way.
Now in this passage of Scripture, you may notice the word effeminate there. You may have come across that word and say, I don’t know what that word means. Well actually the literal Greek word meaning soft. It’s usually a word used to describe soft cloth or clothing, but in a bad sense. It means unmanly of a man or a boy who submits his body to homosexual lewdness. It’s the passive partner in a same-sex relationship. Every same-sex relationship has a dominant male role and a submissive female role, ie the unmanly or the effeminate part of homosexuality, whether it’s a lesbian or homosexual.
So all of those have hope in Christ. We have hope in Christ. And that should be the job of the church, not to go out and condemn people, but respect them and then to give them the gospel of Jesus Christ, which they in a very real way will reject. Anytime you talk to somebody who believes that way, they’re always talking about what the Bible condemns but they don’t ever hear how you can be rescued from it, how you can be delivered from it, how you can be set free from it. That’s what we ought to be communicating to them and to all people, all the sins listed in that passage of Scripture, not just that one sin. All of us have to be saved from our sin if we want to enter the kingdom of God.
So that’s what we’ll examine next time. That’s the other side of God’s justice, God’s rescue of his people. Now, the Lord has said three examples of sudden judgment so that all the world may take warning at what godliness must actually surely meet in the future. That’s why 2 Peter 2:6 says this:
and if He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction by reducing them to ashes, having made them an example to those who would live ungodly lives thereafter;
Brethren, our country needs prayer for God’s mercy to spare us. If there are ten righteous people in Sodom by the Potomac, we should pray that our nation’s governmental leaders would stop slouching towards Gomorrah, that our nation will become more and more like Sodom. Of course the judgment may be already in.
Actually, there was a book by that title written by Robert Bork in 1996 called “Slouching Towards Gomorrah”. He was evaluating the situation in America. I don’t know if he was a believer or not. But Bork while writing on defeating modern liberalism, which he called in his book today’s barbarians, barbarians who, he said, impose their entitlements, their entertainments, their laws or regulations, their court degrees, and whatever parts of society they wished. He said we must take very seriously that perhaps nothing will be done to reverse the direction of our culture, that the degeneracy we see all about us will only become worse and worse. Now he wrote that 24 years ago. Has it become worse and worse? Yes, it has. But he continued writing. Distance to it’s interesting at least my my own reading. He said, a bunch of friends got along and kind of stormed that thought about how can we prevent the forward movement of this degeneration of morality. And he says what may be feasible in a moral regeneration and an intellectual understanding capable of defending modern liberalism in a discussion that possibly went with friends, we came up, he said, with four events that could produce a moral and spiritual regeneration. He said number one, the first event would be a religious revival. I don’t know what he meant by that, but people would, if he was considering the historical revivals we had in our country, people would hear the gospel. They would be saved. They would repent, and their life will change. That’s the first thing. The second thing he said is that there would be a revival in public discourse about morality, that we would sit down civilly and discussed it and how we can improve things. A third thing he said that if it was a cataclysmic war, that it would change things. War always does. And then the last thing he said is that if our country went into a deep deep economic depression.
Now we’re all right on the edge of that right now in our country. We’re trillions and trillions and trillions of dollars in debt. So because of this, the moral fiber of our nation has been rigorously declining. Everybody can see that who has eyes to see. So we need prayer that God would extend mercy to us, to His church and to our country and hold off, that He would hold off giving us what we deserve. That’s what we ought to pray. Everyday of our lives we ought to pray that. And we ought to be the solution to the problem. And what is the solution? Preach the gospel and live the gospel before people. Be the light in your family. Be the salt in your family. Be the salt and light to those who are caught in all these kind of sins, especially this sin I’m talking about this morning. Because the only way they can be delivered is by the gospel of Jesus Christ.
So in all this, it should awaken us. It should awaken the church to be ready. And for the ungodly, it should cause them to beware that God’s judgment is on its way. It’s already coming. The only hope that they have is Christ. And I pray that it would be what we do in our church, that we would always be concerned that people are dying everyday and slipping off into a lost eternity. That’s a horrible thought. I want to see people get rescued by the truth of the gospel of Christ. And that’s why He came. He came to save and to seek the lost. That’s you and I. Now let’s take it to the people who haven’t heard it yet.
Let’s pray. Heavenly Father, there is none like You, a God filled with compassion, lovingkindness, tender mercy. Lord, You have been long-suffering with us, for which we are tremendously grateful. Today on this Lord’s day, our faith is in You. Our love goes out towards You. We believe You, Lord. We accept and want to receive Your word everyday. We want to acquiesce to You, to Your will. We want to rely on Your promises, trust in Your providences. We cast our anchor in the port of Your peace, knowing the present and future are in Your hands. And because of Your nail-pierced hands, our eternity is secure in your grasp. You are so good and wise and just and holy that no mistake is possible for You, Lord. You are the fountain and source of all truth. So what You command is ours to obey. You are sovereign over all that we are and all that we have. So Lord, do with us as You see fit. Forgive us when we murmur and complain and find fault with Your secret providences. When we sin and are rebellious, help us to repent. Remove our sin and adorn us with the beauty of Christ. Take away our sadness and fill our heart with joy and our mouths with songs of praise. Lead us this Lord’s day wholly and completely rest upon you, Lord, and trust you in all things. And I pray this in the precious and the holy name of Jesus Christ. Amen.