- Ungodliness and Unrighteousness of Men – The men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly. We learn that God did not save Sodom and Gomorrah, even though God promised Abraham that He would if there were at least ten true believers – sadly there were only three. We see the extent of unsaved man’s sinfulness and depravity, in these last days, that God outlines in this passage in Rom 1:18-32.
- In verse 18 “the wrath of God” is in view.
- In verses 19-20 we learn that man is “without excuse” as He sees God’s eternal power and Godhead demonstrated in the world around him.
- In verses 21-22 we see unsaved man’s ingratitude and unwillingness to glorify God, a manifestation of his spiritual deadness beginning with our first parents, Adam and Eve.
- Verse 23 chronicles man’s wickedness in changing the glory of God and debasing it to the level of sinful man and other creatures, which man seeks to ignorantly worship.
- In verse 24 God speaks of giving “people up to uncleanness” leading to every imaginable “lust of the flesh” at the expense of defiling their bodies.
- In verse 25, we learn that man has changed the truth of God’s Word into “the” lie (of Satan) leading to creature worship – rather than the worship of the true and living God.
- In verse 26 we learn that: “God gave them up unto vile affections” highlighting man’s evil inclination to delve into all manner of sexual perversion.
- In verse 27, God pinpoints the sin of homosexuality and lesbianism.
- In verse 28 we learn that God gives people “over to a reprobate mind”.
- In verses 29-31 God further lists 24 sins.
- Finally, in verse 32 God makes the point that man knows he deserves to be damned because he commits such sins; nonetheless, he not only persists in his sin, he also delights in the fact that others do as well.
Gen 13:10-13 “And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar. 11Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other. 12Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom. 13But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly.”
Rom 1:18-23, 28-31 “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 19Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 20For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 21Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. 28And 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; 29Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 30Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: 32Who 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.”
- Thou shalt Not Lie with Mankind, as with Womankind – Homosexuality is a grave sin just like fornication and adultery and God punished the people of Sodom and Gomorrah with eternal fire. The sin of homosexuality is prominently featured in Romans 1 and was very much in view in Sodom and Gomorrah, as indeed it is considered an “alternative lifestyle” in our day. God pinpoints the sin of homosexuality and lesbianism in Rom 1:26-27. God, in turn, allows man to go deeper and deeper into their sin by giving people up, “God gave them up unto vile affections”, thereby causing sin to multiply like a very aggressive cancer in the human race in these last days. On the other hand, true believers will be motivated to obey the Bible implicitly and to not take their salvation lightly or for granted in any way, according to 1 Cor 9:27, “But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” Given the reality that unsaved man rejects God’s Word in his reprobate thinking, in his vain religiosity, and in his futile works, it behooves those of us who claim to be His people to indeed, “Examine [ourselves], whether [we] be in the faith; prove [or test] your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” May God, by His mercy, enable us to do this.
Lev 18:22 “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.”
Lev 20:13 “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death [eternally damned, just for like any other sin]; their blood shall be upon them. [unless blood of Christ cover them]”
Jam 1:13-15 “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: 14But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. 15Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.”
Jude 1:7 “Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.”
2 Tim 3:1-5 “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.”
Rom 1:24, 26-27 “Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 26For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 27And 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 recompence of their error which was meet.”
- Do not be caught up in the Cares of the World – A very real and insidious problem of life on this sin-cursed earth is that we can became captivated by “… 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”, according to 1 John 2:16. 1 John 2:17 also indicates that this present situation is only temporary: “And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever”. Col 3:5 points out the very important principle that lust or covetousness is actually idolatry: “Mortify [put to death] therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry”. There are a number of important truths that we can glean from Luke 17:26-37: During the days preceding the Flood and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah by fire, it was “business as usual” for the vast majority of mankind, (albeit these activities are to be understood spiritually). There was a dramatic change as soon as the rain began to fall [once Noah and his family was safely within the confines of the Ark (a picture of salvation)]; likewise, after Lot and his wife and two daughters had left Sodom, and had entered Zoar, God poured out His judgment on Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboim. When Christ returns as “a thief in the night”, this world will likewise be engaged in the various activities of living – eating, drinking, marrying, giving in marriage, buying, selling, planting, building – in a physical sense as well as spiritually. According to the Matthew, Mark and Luke accounts, believers who are on the “housetops” or “in the field” (places associated with intense spiritual activity) are not to come down, nor enter into the “house”, nor take “anything” or “stuff” out of the “house”. One also encounters the following parallel accounts related to Luke 17:31b, which include the idea of “returning back” to “take” one’s “garment” or “clothes”; this is not speaking of physical clothing, but rather of spiritual attire. In other words, to “turn back” would indicate that a person is seeking a man-made righteousness, instead of the “robe of Christ’s righteousness” which is what all genuine believers possess. Luke 17:31b also adds a further admonishment, “…and he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back”. It is against this backdrop of “not returning back” that we find our next theme verse : “Remember Lot’s wife”.
Luke 17:28-31 “Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; 29But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. 30Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.”
Luke 21:34 “And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.”
Luke 12:29-34 “And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. 30For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. 31But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. 32Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. 33Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth. 34For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
- Remember Lot’s wife – The Bible gives us very little details to go on regarding Lot’s wife. However, the little that we do know – “Remember Lot’s wife,” speaks volumes. Whatever is of utmost value to a person will receive the greatest amount of attention in terms of time, labor, and money. It is that which consumes our thoughts, is the object of our words, embodies our hopes, shapes our goals, molds our future, and ultimately gives meaning and purpose to life. In essence, one will either be serving Christ in the Kingdom of God or Satan and his kingdom. Lot’s wife comes to mind as an example of one whose heart was still anchored in Satan’s kingdom as she violated God’s command to not “look back”. In Jam 4:4 God pronounces a fundamental Biblical axiom: “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God”. A believer should be focused on advancing the Kingdom of God, and not become “captivated” by all that is in the world. When one “looks back” – as Lot’s wife did – one is effectively despising the Word of God. The danger of “looking back” is to invite certain destruction, because the world is fueled by the lusts incorporated in 1 John 2:15-17: “… the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life …”. No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God, warns Luke 9:62 and Luke 17:32 ominously warns, “Remember Lot’s wife”. Lot’s wife followed in the footsteps of King Saul, Jehu, Eli (the high priest), Judas Iscariot, Demas, Esau, Cain, Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, Solomon, and countless others who drew “back unto perdition” (or destruction). Additionally, Heb 10:38-39 emphasize the hope of salvation which all of God’s saints possess. Could it be that you and I will not be one of those who “look back” or “draw back unto perdition” – as Lot’s wife did – during this time of intense testing. These “tests” will, by God’s grace, serve as guideposts for those of us who consider ourselves to truly be children of God, as 1 Cor 10:12 carefully reminds us: “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.”
Gen 19:26 “But his [Lot’s] wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.”
Luke 17:31-33 “In that day, he which shall be upon the housetop, and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away: and he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back. 32Remember Lot’s wife. 33Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.”
Luke 9:62 “And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”
2 Pet 2:20-22 “For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. 21For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. 22But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.”
Heb 10:38-39 “Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. 39But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.