A Vacation to Sodom & Gomorrah

Can you imagine a vacation getaway to Sodom & Gomorrah (S & G)? Unlike other destinations, this one offers an array of scintillating vices, absolutely wicked, to satisfy the most eccentric of desires, to fulfill every fanciful dream ever imagined, with satisfaction guaranteed, no questions asked. Sounds deliciously inviting if you are so inclined. So, if you take a trip there, stay there for a couple of weeks and return regularly, chances are you enjoy the instant gratification of those devilish desires. You will identify yourself as an avid fan of  S&G, much like any other theme park, or other favorite destination. It’s not quite the same deal when you enjoy the not so family friendly vacation spots. When it comes to vacation destinations that cater to our most lustful urges, it’s not so much about how you identify yourself, but how others perceive you and, or the particular destinations.

“And the LORD said, “The outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah is indeed great, and their sin is exceedingly grave. “I will go down now, and see if they have done entirely according to its outcry, which has come to Me; and if not, I will know.”…” Gen. 18:20

Most people won’t think negatively of people that visit Disneyland, or take cruises, safaris and such, but take a trip to a strip bar, a gentlemen’s club, or just go bar hopping, and observers, close (friend of foe) or from afar will automatically form an opinion, typically unfavorable and apply a negative label. Well, a vacation to S & G would no doubt raise the eyebrows of most conservatives. If you spend much of your leisure time in such low places what opinion have fellow believers formed of you, or you of them? More importantly, knowing God’s grace is sufficient, and His mercy never ends, what would God think of your choice of vacation spots?

Well, this is what I heard. If you hang in S & G… don’t be offended when others, whatever their spiritual state/or lack thereof, judge you for questionable behaviors, choice of life styles, etc. If the Lord tells us to come out and be separate…well…that’s what we should be doing, separating ourselves…not continuing to satisfy our carnal desires. Whatever they may be, or however innocent/harmless they may seem. More later.

“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Rom. 6:1-2

Therefore … “Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you.” 2 Cor. 6:17

When you just need an ear…

It always seems as if the enemy is gaining in the war on sin. With every attack his only goal is to knock us down, to shake our foundation, to shatter our faith (steal, kill, destroy). When the unthinkable happens my first thought is..why, Lord?

I tell myself it’s not God that makes mistakes. It’s His children that make bad choices, that choose not to be obedient. I inevitably question my own walk, my own committment to the living God. Ultimately, I ask myself…”Did I not impress upon my loved ones the ways of God sufficiently to have avoided this horrible incident?” 

(RM) “Sometimes my life makes no sense!” That’s what I say. When I read that

Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose (Rom 8:26-28).”

Hearing the news…I cry out, Lord, I don’t know what to pray. 

The world does not know what it wants! It’s quite evident in the lives of many individuals. Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed because of the impenitent sin of the people, complete deviation. Our society is heading south very quickly and moral absolutes are no more. 

Rich Mullins sang, “I am ready for the storm…” As I sit and listen to him sing this song, I am telling myself…”NO, I am not ready for this storm! Lord. 

The storms of life can be devastating on so many levels.  As believers we turn to our God knowing full well that the battle has already been won. The enemy has been destroyed. He may try to shake our foundation, but the Lord is our rock and He is not shaken. He is not moved.

We are in this world, but we are not of this world, and though we must confront the enemy we hold on to the promise of God that He will never leave us, nor forsake us. Still, we need to confess our doubts and fears, and our unbelief so that the Lord can minister to us, so the Lord can work in us and through us, so the Lord can meet us where we are and give us peace.  

Oh Lord…guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. 

The Pressure is ON!

1 John 2:18

“Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.”

It seems like today, more than ever, we are being forced to conform, to be accepting, to bow down to the gods of this world. And the gods of this world may be different for all of us, but many are the same and they are so controlled by these three things…the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life.

1 John 2:16

“For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.”

It seems like today, more than ever, we are being force-fed the delicacies of this world via television, cable, internet and print media. In this last hour we should be, more than ever before, taking precautions to avoid this seduction.

2 Timothy 3

“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as their’s also was. But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.

Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; and that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”

If the scriptures tell us that things will only get worse, why do we talk as if anything else were possible?

We can learn much more from reading Genesis 19 and the story of Lot.

“Now the two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them, and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground. And he said, “Here now, my lords, please turn in to your servant’s house and spend the night, and wash your feet; then you may rise early and go on your way.” And they said, “No, but we will spend the night in the open square.”

3 But he insisted strongly; so they turned in to him and entered his house. Then he made them a feast, and baked unleavened bread, and they ate.

4 Now before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both old and young, all the people from every quarter, surrounded the house. 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 know them carnally.”

6 So Lot went out to them through the doorway, shut the door behind him,7 and said, “Please, my brethren, do not do so wickedly! 8 See now, I have two daughters who have not known a man; please, let me bring them out to you, and you may do to them as you wish; only do nothing to these men, since this is the reason they have come under the shadow of my roof.”

9 And they said, “Stand back!” Then they said, “This one came in to stay here,and he keeps acting as a judge; now we will deal worse with you than with them.” So they pressed hard against the man Lot, and came near to break down the door. 10 But the men reached out their hands and pulled Lot into the house with them, and shut the door. 11 And they struck the men who were at the doorway of the house with blindness, both small and great, so that they became weary trying to find the door. 

12 Then the men said to Lot, “Have you anyone else here? Son-in-law, your sons, your daughters, and whomever you have in the city—take them out of this place! 13 For we will destroy this place, because the outcry against them has grown great before the face of the Lord, and the Lord has sent us to destroy it.”

14 So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who had married his daughters, and said, “Get up, get out of this place; for the Lord will destroy this city!” But to his sons-in-law he seemed to be joking.

15 When the morning dawned, the angels urged Lot to hurry, saying, “Arise, take your wife and your two daughters who are here, lest you be consumed in the punishment of the city.” 16 And while he lingered, the men took hold of his hand, his wife’s hand, and the hands of his two daughters, the Lord being merciful to him, and they brought him out and set him outside the city.

And the story does not end there. There are still more lessons to learn. Still, the Lord will pull His people out to safety, even if we piddle. However, peace is the last thing we should be expecting in this world, at least not more than is dependent on us to create as we try to live peacefully with each other.

1 Thessalonians 5:3
While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.

Rich Mullins wrote it well…almost twenty years ago.

The Lord in Heaven laughs
He knows what is to come
While all the chiefs of state plan their big attacks
Against His anointed One
The Church of God she will not bend her knees
To the gods of this world though they promise her peace
She stands her ground
Stands firm on the Rock
Watch their walls tumble down when she lives out His love.

What should our role be as believers…not pursuing the things of this world in whatever manner, that’s for sure.

2 Cor. 5: 17-21 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

Now then, we are “ambassadors for Christ”, as though God were pleading through us: we “implore” you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Be Blessed.