SIGNS OF SODOM
Arthur E.Jones (U.SA)
"WHEN the Son of Man comes, shall He find faith on the earth?" - (Luke 18:8). All who study the Holy Scriptures know that we are at the end of an age or era. A new age is soon to commence by the revealing of the Son of Man, Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God.
"Now when the Pharisees enquired of Jesus Christ when the Kingdom of God is coming" - (Luke 17:20), He gave them various signs to watch for. Among these signs He stated.
"As it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; but the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed" - (Luke 17:28-30).
Abraham and Lot had each become very wealthy and could no longer live together (Genesis 13). Abraham said they had better part company, and he gave Lot first choice regarding the country in which to live. Lot, being selfish, and unmindful of his uncle's generosity, chose the best land, the fertile plains of Sodom. The fact that "the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the Lord exceedingly" did not cause Lot to avoid the area!
It is true he vexed his soul with the wickedness around him (2 Peter 2:7), but his desire for material gain was stronger than his aversion to wickedness. At last a set time came when several great historical facts occurred, and a deep parable was enacted and recorded for our instruction (Genesis 18).
A careful study of 1 Peter 1:9-12 shows that what was revealed by the prophets to the Chosen People before Jesus Christ came, was not ministered unto them, but unto us the Christian people, the believers in Christ Jesus. The things that happened were types for our consideration (Luke 17:28); they were allegories to teach us (Parables) (Galatians 4:24), and every Christian should study the cause and result of these examples very seriously (I Peter 1:12).
The two angels went on towards Sodom but Jehovah, the Divine Presence, still stood before Abraham (who was to become a great nation) and revealed to him that He had judged Sodom as foully corrupt and only utter destruction by fire could cleanse the place.
The kind and righteous Abraham now took the place of intercessor between God and man - the type of Jesus Christ at the present time. God harkened unto the voice of Abraham. Unknown to the people of the world of Sodom, the intercessor pleaded for Sodom to be spared if only ten righteous men could be found! Remember the allegory is for our warning in the world of today (Luke 17:18 and I Peter 1:9-12). Peter is emphatic, "to you", to Christians.
If Sodom is a warning for the Christian world of today, what exactly was wrong with the people of Sodom, so that we can avoid their error? The Holy Bible provides the answer to every question concerning the HolyScriptures if searched for sincerely and in truth.
The Prophet Ezekiel states plainly: The sin of Sodom was pride, fulness of bread, and an abundance of idleness, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty, and committed abomination before Me (Ezekiel 16:49-50). Every Christian should study this statement. Does it apply to the Western world with the Welfare State of today?
Go out on our highways. Look and consider. Palatial homes. Families of three and four with mansions, private swimming pools, lawns and gardens, ostentatious cars for each member of the family. Another palatial "cottage" on a lake. Shooting lodge in the mountains. A great house-trailer for travelling by road. A small runabout hitched to the back of that. A boat for the lake. A yacht for the sea. A resort in the East or West Indies. A private 'plane. Expensive and very exclusive clubs. All those not so rich doing their best to ape the ostentatious very rich.
Pick up a high society magazine and look at the advertisements. Lordly estates, expensive cars, horses, stables, dogs, houseboats, lackies, travel scenes, exclusive beaches, furs, hats, gowns and pride oozes from every page.
FULLNESS OF BREAD
That means an abundance of the things that make life easy and comfortable. There is no need for pennypinching care and poverty. Often tons of fruit are destroyed deliberately to keep the price high. Potatoes have been bought by government by the hundreds of tons to keep up the price by destroying them. A government has been known to dump tons of butter into the Atlantic and sugar cane crops have been ploughed under for the same reason.
To follow the whole list through is a terrible indictment against our commercially-minded, moneymad governments and commercial classes, when millions of people go to bed hungry every night. The Twentieth Century saw the Western world with thousands of tons of surplus foodstuffs every year.
ABUNDANCE OF IDLENESS
Western peoples have seen the seventy-two hour work-week decline to a forty hour week. There are many thousands who work less hours than that, even to a twenty-five hour week.
In homes and offices labour-saving devices are multitudinous and marvellous. In many ways a man can do more business in a week than his great-grandfather could do in a year. The housewife with her gadgets does in an hour what her great-grandmother would take all day to do.
The abundance of idleness is attested by the daily golf course, the parks, the camping grounds, the boat basins, the ball games, the arenas, exhibitions and other recreation places. What is wrong with the pleasures of recreation? Nothing. It is the selfishness of the pleasure seeker's that causes the trouble.
NOT STRENGTHENING THE HAND OF THE POOR AND NEEDY
That is the accusation! These proud, prosperous pleasure seekers care for nothing but the gratification of their own desires; they become depraved before God and haughty. Does the proud, extremely rich, abundantly idle civilization strengthen the hand of the poor? Does it enable poor people to live independently standing on their own endeavours? Then follows the shameful indictment of these proud:
"They depraved themselves before Me" ... "they committed abomination before Me".
Have they? Have they? Think! Homosexuality legalised, and, "the wicked walk on every side when the vilest men are exalted" - (Psalm 12:8).
The Prophet Ezekiel says: "They are haughty",. Yes, they are shameless. They defy God. They flout God's law. They cast out the Ten Commandments. They decide to revel in their lust. Mobs, marchers and disorders erupt viciously (Genesis 19:4) .The heathen rage. The kings of the earth set themselves against Jehovah and against His Anointed. He that sits in the heavens shall laugh. Jehovah shall have them in derision (Psalm 2).
What happened to Sodom? The righteous who vexed his soul at the depravity was taken away, nothing but complete destruction by fire could cleanse the land they had occupied. The history book and the Dead Sea both bear testimony to the truth of what happened to Sodom, the type!
Various Prophets and our Lord Jesus Christ Himself declare this will happen to the present world the Western Civilization "when the Son of Mankind is unveiled" .
When Lot warned his relatives that "the Lord will destroy this Sodom", they thought he talked nonsense! (Genesis 19:14). So do the people of today in this modern Sodom, but, the careful Bible reader knows that our Lord is to appear soon, for we are at the end of this age! Christian, be ready!
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