I’m not usually a “fire and brimstone” type of preacher. But if there was ever a time to preach a message on fire and brimstone, it’s today, because today we’re going to look at the time when God rained fire and brimstone down from heaven on the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah because their wickedness had become so great. To find out what happened there, take a look at this short video below, then read on below to learn how powerful God really is, and how God can use that power in your life today.
So what happened at Sodom and Gomorrah? God destroyed them completely. The destruction that took place at Sodom and Gomorrah was so complete that nothing has grown again in that region for thousands of years.
Compare that to the most powerful destruction men have invented, such as the atomic bombs which destroyed the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during the war with Japan, and you’ll see just how powerful God really is.
When the bombs were dropped on those cities, they were almost completely wiped out within seven seconds. But if you visited those cities just forty years later, although you would have found those cities had changed, you would have also found that they were teeming with life again. Buildings, trees, and people had grown up all around them. I’m told that except for the monuments that were erected to remind people of the horrific destruction that took place there years ago, visitors may not even realize the cities were once destroyed.
Sodom and Gomorrah, on the other hand, have never come back to life, and it’s not been just forty years, or four hundred years, but more than four thousand years.
While the cities themselves no longer exist, the memory of what happened there is often repeated. Abraham talked about Sodom and Gomorrah, as did Isaiah, Paul, Peter, John, and even Jesus. As for the condition of the land beforehand, we’re told that it wasn’t always a barren wasteland, but it was at one time “well-watered, like the garden of the Lord” (Genesis 13:10). It was such a desirable land that Lot chose to live there when Abraham gave him his choice of where to live.
But as desirable as the land may have been, the people of the land left much to be desired. Their wickedness had become so great that God sent two angels—in the form of men—down to Sodom to destroy it.
Although God’s patience is longer than ours, even His patience runs out. And that time had come for Sodom. God didn’t want to have to destroy it. He even told Abraham He would spare the entire city if He could find even ten righteous people living there. But when the angels arrived and went to spend the night with Lot and his family, the men of the city showed how far their wickedness had gone. The Bible says:
Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom—both young and old—surrounded the house. They called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them” (Genesis 19:4-5).
Lot pleaded with them not to do this to his guests, but the men of Sodom persisted, saying:
“Get out of our way. This fellow came here as an alien, and now he wants to play the judge! We’ll treat you worse than them.” They kept bringing pressure on Lot and moved forward to break down the door (Genesis 19:9).
No matter what you might think about the topic of homosexuality, the idea of men forcibly having sex with other men goes against God’s beautiful design for sex.
Through a miraculous intervention of the two angels, God whisked away Lot and his family, and finally did what He hoped He wouldn’t have to do. Genesis 19:23-26 says:
“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. But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt” (Genesis 19:24-26).
Although Lot and his two daughters escaped, Lot’s wife looked back, against the clear instruction of the angels who helped them to escape. Perhaps she hesitated and looked back to take one last look at the city where she had spent so much of her life. Or maybe she was just curious and wanted to see for herself just how what such destruction might look like. But whatever the reason, her looking back caused her to suffer the same fate as those who had also so deliberately gone against God’s commands—commands that were not designed to restrict or limit them, but commands that would help them to live, and live abundantly.
When Jesus talked about the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, He warned people:
“Remember Lot’s wife!” (Luke 17:32).
I want to encourage you today to do the same: Remember Lot’s wife!
I know that some of you are playing with fire. You’re doing things that you know are against God’s will for your life. Whether you’re doing them because you’ve always done them, or whether you’re just curious and want to see what it’s like, you’re still playing with fire. And God’s fire can burn you seriously—and for eternity.
God may have been patient with you this far and not yet brought the complete destruction upon you that He could bring at any moment. But don’t mistake God’s patience as His approval of what you’re doing. The purpose of His patience is to give you time to turn from your sin so that you can save yourself from the destruction that’s coming upon you if you don’t.
Remember Lot’s wife! Turn from the coming destruction while you still have a chance. Do it today. Don’t hesitate. Don’t look back. Don’t let curiosity kill you. If you’ve been looking at pornography, stop it today. If you’ve been considering, or engaged in, and adulterous relationship, end it today. If you’ve been abusing drugs or alcohol, stop it today. If you’ve been using God’s gift of sex in ways that are selfish instead of ways that lead to an abundant life, stop it today. Remember Lot’s wife, and live!
Father, thank You for reminding us of Your incredible power and Your incredible patience with us. Lord, help us to throw off everything that hinders us from beautiful relationship with You and with those around us. Fill us with Your power to do all that You’ve called us to do today. In Jesus’ name, Amen.