Sodom and Gomorrah

Chapter 1. Judgement by Fire

One of the great Judgements in the Bible is the dramatic destruction by God of the sinful cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, recorded in Genesis 19:24,25: “The Lord rained upon Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire (burning sulphur balls) from the LORD out of the heavens. So He overthrew the Cities and all the Plain and all the people of the Cities and whatever grew on the ground.” 

Although this took place almost 4000 years ago in about 2000 BC, during the time of Abraham, we are going to show you amazing evidence from the Land of Israel that that this really happened exactly as the Bible claims. 

Now despite the terrible and continual sinning of mankind in His rebellion against His Creator, God has demonstrated great long-suffering and mercy to man, moving in love and grace rather than judgement, in order to give us every chance of repenting and receiving His Salvation. However, there there is a great danger of man misinterpreting all this mercy as a sign of Divine weakness, thinking that we can do whatever we want because He will never judge. Man can easily deceive himself that there will be no consequences to his sinning, because God is love, and He will just forgive us in the end. Yes, God is Love, He is surely Merciful and 

He wants to forgive us. He does not want to punish us. But the same Bible that tells us that God is love also tells us that God is just and must punish our sin! Out of His great love for us, He has delayed His judgement in order to give us opportunity to repent and receive His forgiveness and life. However delay is not denial. 

The Bible is clear that one day soon God will start moving in Judgement and that there will be no escape for those who have hardened themselves in sin and rebellion against God. As Paul says in Romans 11:22: “Consider the goodness and severity of God.”

We are living in a time of grace called: ‘the Acceptable Year of the Lord’, but it will soon come to an end, and then it will be the ‘Day of Vengeance of our God.’ In patience and kindness, God presently holds back His Judgement, but if we abuse His Mercy by using it as an opportunity and excuse to sin all the more, then we are just storing up a greater Judgement for ourselves when that Day comes:

Romans 2:4-6: “Or do you despise the riches (abundance) 
of His goodness, forbearance, and long-suffering, 
not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? 
But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself Wrath in the Day of Wrath and revelation of the Righteous Judgement of God, Who: “will render to each one according to his deeds.”

Although at the moment, God is generally moving towards man in Mercy rather than Judgement, we must not assume that it will always be this way. He wants us to know that although in mercy He is delaying His Judgement, a fiery Judgement is surely coming!

2Peter 3:9: “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise 
(to move in Judgement), as some count slackness, but is long-suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, 
but that all should come to repentance.”

2Peter 3:10: “BUT the Day of the Lord (of Judgement) will come (suddenly) as a Thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will MELT with fervent HEAT; both the earth and the works that are in it will be BURNED up.” It will be a Judgement of Fire.

2Peter 3:11-13: “Therefore, since all these things will be DISSOLVED, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening towards the coming of the Day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on FIRE, and the elements will MELT with fervent HEAT? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.”

In order that we might know that as well as being a merciful Saviour, He is a Just Judge who must punish all sin, God has declared it plainly in His Word again and again. Moreover, 

He has made certain EXEMPLARY JUDGEMENTS in history, 
in order to show that He does and will judge. Although for most people, He reserves His Judgement until the final Judgement, 
He has also chosen to make a public example of certain people, so that we might know that He will Judge with a righteous and strict judgement. Sin is unacceptable and He will have the last word. 

One of these Judgements was by WATER - Noah’s Flood. 
But after that He promised that He would not judge that way again, because He would ultimately judge with FIRE and BRIMSTONE. 

That is why His next great EXEMPLARY JUDGEMENT, 
the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, was by FIRE. 
In Judging these Cities by Fire, God was also using them as an EXAMPLE of how He will ultimately judge all wicked men.

The New Testament confirms God judged and destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah as an example and warning to all mankind, a picture of His coming future, final, eternal judgement by fire and brimstone. 

2Peter 2:6: “Turning the Cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ASHES, condemned (judged) them with an overthrow, making an ENSAMPLE (a visual example, an exhibit for warning) for those who afterwards should live ungodly.”

Peter tells us that these Cities were so completely destroyed by Fire that they were turned into ASHES, and that preserved the remains 
as a visual reminder to all that God will surely judge the wicked. 

The Cities of the Plain were destroyed as a warning for all that this same event will happen again one day to all the wicked. Notice that Peter tells us that these Cities were turned into ASHES. Now when a City is set on fire by men, the fire causes devastation, but it does not turn the whole City to ashes. They contain some burnt artefacts, but they also contain foodstuffs and other articles that are still intact. Clearly, this was no ordinary fire that totally turned Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, as a demonstration of how God will thoroughly and completely judge the wicked and their works. Clearly, any cities found that had simply experienced a normal fire could not be Sodom and Gomorrah. 

Peter said they were turned into ASH, ASHEN CITIES, and he also stated that the Cities were an "ensample" to those "that after should live ungodly." The Greek word translated "ensample" implies something "that is shown or visible" to all. This implies that these Cities of Ash could literally BE SEEN in Peter’s time (after 2000 years). God is also capable of preserving this ancient lesson for us (after another 2000 years) to see and to learn from!

Apparently God had preserved them in ashen form, as a visual aid, a reminder and warning of His coming Judgements. God preserved the ashes of Sodom and Gomorrah as a permanent sign and reminder of the result of turning from God. Many wicked people have lived, died and have not been judged during their lifetime.



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