Today’s sermon is called “The Sin of Sodom”. As soon as I say that title I suspect many of you will assume I’ll be preaching on sexual sin. Though I’ll touch on that, that is not the main point of the sermon today. The sin of Sodom might have been outwardly sexual in nature, but this was not the sin of Sodom. Turn with me in your Bibles to Genesis chapter 18. The chapter starts with a man named Abraham.
1 Abraham Is A Pattern Of What Salvation Should Look Like. Abraham has been following the Lord.
Saved people follow the Lord. If you’re saved Christ is more than just a passing fancy – He is your Best Friend, your Savior, your Lord.
Abraham has been following Christ. The Lord came to him when he was just Abram in Genesis chapter 12. The Lord told him “Follow Me and I will bless you”.
That’s what salvation is.
It is following the Lord, loving the Lord, doing what the Lord says.
So Abram follows the Lord until he becomes Abraham, for following the Lord will change you. Abraham has been traveling, but when he gets to the plains of Mamre he loses the Presence of His Father God. Rather than wander aimlessly Abraham stops, sets up camp, and waits on the Lord.
Psalm 27:14 (KJV) Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.
Oh Beloved, if we would wait on the Lord – seek His Face at this altar – seek Him in our prayer closets – how He would bless us. God comes to those who wait on Him.
Isaiah 40:31 (NKJV) But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.
Abraham waited. And the LORD appeared. The great I AM comes to those who seek Him. Read with me …
Genesis 18:1-5 (KJV) And the LORD appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day; 2 And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground, 3 And said, My Lord, if now I have found favour in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant: 4 Let a little water, I pray you, be fetched, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree: 5 And I will fetch a morsel of bread, and comfort ye your hearts; after that ye shall pass on: for therefore are ye come to your servant. And they said, So do, as thou hast said.
The LORD (the great I AM) appears to Abraham, but Abraham, sees three men. He says “my Lord (not my Lords but my Lord) if I have found favor in YOUR sight pass not away from thy servant. Lord you are here with me. Father, Son, and Spirit, Please abide with me. I will wait on YOU. I will wash Your feet. I will attend YOU. What a beautiful picture of salvation! Abraham waiting on the Lord, and the Lord communing with His Child. And THEY said, so do, as thou hast said.
- Abraham is meeting with the Triune God. What a mystery this is, the Three in One. Our God has one state but He is in three Persons. I cannot comprehend it, so do not ask me to do so. The Triune God is fully revealed in the New Testament. Christ is baptized. The Spirit descends to Him. The Father speaks from the Heavens, “This is My Beloved Son, hear Him!”
- Abraham runs to serve His Lord. He does not have to be begged to serve. I suspect dear friends that those people that expect the preacher to chase them to get them into the flock are not where they need to be spiritually. God didn’t have to chase down Abraham. Abraham loved the Lord, and the Lord loved Abraham.
After Abraham’s visit with God we read …
Genesis 18:16-20 (KJV) And the men rose up from thence, and looked toward Sodom: and Abraham went with them to bring them on the way. 17 And the LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do; 18 Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? 19 For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.
God does not hide His purpose from Abraham. He came to see Abraham, but He also came for another reason. God came to judge sin. Now Abraham is saved. Look what God says about the saved. Look in verse 19 what God says about Abraham.
- “For I KNOW Him”. God knows Abraham. Abraham has a relationship with God through faith. What is it that will condemn people to eternal hellfire? Jesus tells us in
Matthew 7:19-23 (KJV) Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. 21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
God knew Abraham and Abraham knew God. There was a relationship between the two, and Abraham lived to please the Lord. Those who are cast away from the Kingdom of Heaven are those who – as Jesus clearly states – have no relationship with Him. They are WORKERS OF INIQUITY. Pastor Shane Idleman of Westside Christian Fellowship in Lancaster California writes:
“If you sense that your relationship with Jesus is shallow and incomplete, it probably is. I encourage you to revisit your commitment and understand that believing in Jesus Christ isn’t the finishing line; it’s the starting point. When we genuinely repent and embrace God’s gracious gift of forgiveness via the cross, there is a complete change in the way we live our lives, or, at least, a strong desire to do so. If there isn’t a significant change or a desire to serve Him, our relationship may be superficial, and that is a scary place to be. This is why I often say, “Don’t live your life with a question mark here.”
- “For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD”. Abraham had his household in order. He kept the way of the Lord and those who resided in his home kept the way of the Lord.
The Way of the Lord is to put yourself in its rightful place – obeying God. What God has said is right is right, and what God has said is wrong is wrong. It doesn’t matter what others say. God is in control. God is always right. God was going to bless Abraham because Abraham loved Him. God will not bless sin. God will not wink at iniquity. God despises sin, because sin is a curse upon God’s best for you.
2 Sodom Is A Pattern Of What Sin Looks Like. God tells Abraham:
Genesis 18:20-21 (KJV) And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous; 21 I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know.
Sin is an offense unto God. God hears the cry of sin, and if that cry is loud enough God will destroy it just as a surgeon will cut out cancer!
Sin hurts creation.
Sin hurts people.
Sin hurts marriages.
Sin hurts families.
The wages of sin is always death.
It is sin that causes a mother to abort her baby.
Sin steals and kills.
Sin is not a trifle. I’m sure you’ve heard of the man who cheated on his taxes. He wrote the IRS “Last year I cheated on my taxes and I can’t sleep. Enclosed is $500.00. If I still can’t sleep I’ll send you the rest”.
The sin of stealing robs a person of their property.
The sin of adultery robs a spouse of his or her lover.
The sin of murder robs a person of life.
Sins of slander and gossip robs someone of their good name.
Sexual sins damage the souls of men and women.
Sin hurts others, people created in the image of God. And sin grows if unchecked. King David enjoyed the sin of sloth, hiding out in the palace when he should have been working. Sloth led to lust as he looked on another man’s wife. Sin led King David to rob another man of his wife’s love. Sin led King David to murder Uriah, husband of Bathsheba, to cover up his evil. And sin caused the child born of this union to die. Sin is a snake that hurts others. But sin primarily hurts God. Sin is a slap in the face of the Creator. When David was confronted with his sin he cried out to God:
Psalms 51:1-4 (KJV) … Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. 3 For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. 4 Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.
Though David’s sin hurt Uriah, hurt Bathsheba, and hurt his unnamed infant child, sin primarily is an offense against God. Sin says what God has said is right is wrong, and what I have said is right is right.
God is going to Sodom, and God is going to judge Sodom.
a Sodom Rejected The Way Of God. God was going to Sodom to judge it because they were living in an ungodly way. This is what we are told in:
2 Peter 2:4-6 (KJV)4 For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; 5 And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; 6 And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly;
The Angels who rebelled against God were UNGODLY.
The world in Noah’s day was UNGODLY
Sodom and Gomorrah were UNGODLY
They were the opposite of what God said.
God told Adam “eat anything you want, but the Tree of Knowledge of Good and evil do not eat it”. The Serpent told Adam “Oh, God is just trying to deprive you. Eat! Enjoy!” Ungodliness cost us Paradise.
God made an example of Sodom and Gomorrah. Why? Because they lived ungodly – in a manner that was not honoring to God. The angels who rebelled in Heaven were punished for walking away from God. The whole world drowned in Noah’s day because:
Genesis 6:11-13 (KJV) The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. 12 And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. 13 And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.
Sodom rejected the Godhood of God. We as a nation were at one time “One nation under God indivisible”. But now as a nation we reject God. His Way is ridiculed. God designed this earth.
Psalms 24:1-2 (KJV) The earth is the LORD’S, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. 2 For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods.
God made this creation, but man, rejecting God, is destroying that which He has made. No nation has drifted as far away from God as Sodom has and has not de-evolved. The Roman Empire ruled the world. But rejecting Christ and embracing evil that empire fell, and it’s fall was heard all over the world. Rome burned while it’s perverted ruler fiddled. It is no more. Rome. Egypt. Sodom. Gomorrah. Babylon. Every people who have rejected the way of God their Creator has eventually crumpled under the weight of sin and the judgment of God.
b Sodom Exalted Herself in Pride. Rather than glorify God Sodom was puffed up with pride. God speaks to Samaria just before He destroys that nation, saying:
Ezekiel 16:48-50 (KJV)48 As I live, saith the Lord GOD, Sodom thy sister hath not done, she nor her daughters, as thou hast done, thou and thy daughters. 49 Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fullness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. 50 And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good.
Sodom’s chief sin was PRIDE. This is the first sin mentioned. There are seven particularly deadly sins listed in Scripture, and the first of these sins is PRIDE.
Proverbs 6:16 (KJV) These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: 17 A proud look…
It is pride that caused Lucifer to become Satan. It is pride that caused Adam to fall. Jesus told the Pharisees “you should have no sin. But now you say, we see, therefore your sin remaineth” (John 9:41). Many people today puff out their chest before God, and strut to hell like Peacocks.
- Sodom was not only prideful, but they were experiencing fullness of bread. They were more concerned with the physical than the spiritual. I have heard this among even those who profess Christ. They say “I know that this candidate believes in partial birth abortion, but I believe he or she can fix the economy. That I am FULL is what matters most!” Sodom was filled with people who had no care for their neighbors, but only for themselves. There was no “love your neighbor as yourself” – just “love thyself”.
- Sodom Was Filled With Idleness. The Scripture says “abundance of idleness”. There is an old saying that
Idle Hands Are The Devil’s Workshop
Though this quote is not found in Scripture (I suspect Benjamin Franklin said it in his Poor Richard’s Almanac) it has its roots in Scripture. The Apostle Paul noted that those who did not work as God intended:
2 Thessalonians 3:10-12 (ESV) If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. 11 For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. 12 Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living.
God made us to work, and to work for HIM until the day we die. Adam was created perfect and put in a perfect Eden, yet even there he was to cultivate the Garden. One might wonder if Adam had been busy instead of listening to a Serpent if we would be in the mess we’re in today.
- Sodom was self absorbed. They had no care for those who were genuinely in need. We are told “neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy”. Those who have been blessed by God are called to help those who are in need. We are to strengthen their hands. That doesn’t mean to give someone a hand OUT but a hand UP. We are not to promote idleness, but are to help those who have stumbled get back on their feet.
Just as Jesus Christ always did
Jesus was always reaching out to those in need, lifting them up, encouraging them. He never endorsed sin but He offered forgiveness to the sinner. Go and sin no more, lest a worst thing come upon you. Jesus pointed others to godliness.
- Sodom committed abominations before God. When people draw away from God and become self absorbed, it is not long before they engage in activities that God called “abominations”. It is an abomination to do that which you were not designed by God to do. You were created to glorify God. You were created to be in God’s image. Nations die when they drift into abomination.
Isaiah 3:8-11 (KJV) For Jerusalem is ruined, and Judah is fallen: because their tongue and their doings are against the LORD, to provoke the eyes of his glory. 9 The shew of their countenance doth witness against them; and they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not. Woe unto their soul! for they have rewarded evil unto themselves. 10 Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him: for they shall eat the fruit of their doings. 11 Woe unto the wicked! it shall be ill with him: for the reward of his hands shall be given him.
Sodom committed abominations – sexual sins – before God. Heterosexual sin, Homosexual sin, Bestial sin. God made man and made woman from man and said “It is very good”. Sodom said “That’s not good enough” and pursued what God said do not do.
Romans 1:26-32 (KJV) For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet. 28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; 29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: 32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
3 What Abraham Did Is A Pattern Of What Every Church Must Do. When Abraham realized what God was going to do the Bible tells us that:
Genesis 18:22-23 (KJV) And the men turned their faces from thence, and went toward Sodom: but Abraham stood yet before the LORD. 23 And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked?
Abraham stood in the gap. Abraham stood before the Lord. He approached the Eternal and Loving I AM. He drew near to God in prayer – and Abraham interceded. Abraham prayed. Abraham was not arrogant before God, but humbled and broken. He drew near to God, and God drew near to Him. The Scripture says:
James 4:8-10 (KJV) Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. 9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
Too many Churches today have decided to fight ungodliness by becoming ungodly. Popular opinion says that this is now no longer ungodly, so we will go which ever the way the wind blows. We will draw near to ungodliness and hope for the best. But the Church must draw near to God. When it is cold and dark and you are outside in the chill you do not run to the darkness. No, dear ones, you run to the Light. You draw near to the Campfire, and huddle together in its light and heat. Abraham drew near to God. And Abraham prayed.
God is looking over our nation. Two have gone down to see what is going on in Sodom, and will Abraham pray? Will His Church pray? Will His people pray? In the days of Ezekiel the Lord cried out ….
Ezekiel 22:30-31 (KJV) …. I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before Me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none. 31 Therefore have I poured out Mine indignation upon them; I have consumed them with the fire of My wrath: their own way have I recompensed upon their heads, saith the Lord GOD.
Our nation heads toward destruction. We are too busy to pray. But Abraham was not too busy. God looked for an Intercessor, and Abraham stood up. Lord, will you destroy the righteous with the unrighteous?
Will You destroy if there are fifty righteous in the city?
Will You destroy if there be forty-five righteous?
What if there are thirty righteous?
Oh Lord, what if just twenty?
Oh Lord, what if there are just ten?
And God said “I will not destroy it for ten’s sake”.
Our pattern, dear Church, must be Abraham’s pattern. We must not compromise with the spirit of Sodom that is crossing our land. But we must pray that the righteous will stand. We must pray that God’s Word and His Gospel still find a place in the hearts of our country. We must not be lukewarm like Laodicea, but must be passionate in our love for Him Who loves us. The same day Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from Heaven and destroyed them all (Luke 17:30).
Proverbs 14:34 (KJV) Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.
May God lead you to a deeper, more Godly walk with Him.
Pray with me for our nation.
Stand with me for our Lord.