JUDE — SODOM AND GOMORRAH SET FORTH AS AN EXAMPLE
In addition to the examples of Israel and the fallen angels, Jude gives a third example found in verse 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.”
In Jude 4, as the Lord begins to talk about the behaviour of the apostates, He states first that they are ungodly, second, that they have turned the grace of God into lasciviousness, and third, that they have denied the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ. He gives examples of each these things in the following three verses.
When we come to the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah, turning the grace of God into lasciviousness, we know that these sinners, these fornicators in Sodom and Gomorrah, committed the awful sin of homosexuality. God gives this account as an example of judgment. The Bible says that they went after strange flesh. The word “strange” in this context means, “that which did not belong to them.”
There lurks inside every one of us, a beast seeking to get into something evil. It is our old nature. Many people say that they just happened to fall into sin. This is not how we get into sin. We have an evil beast inside of us that searches for something sinful. The most degenerate behaviour among human beings, according to Romans chapter one; is exemplified in homosexual behaviour.
God says in Romans 1:26 that this is “vile affection.” God uses the word “vile.” It is not a lovely couple trying to do something socially beneficial for the rest of the worked; it is “vile affection.” God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah for such sin.
The Bible says in Luke 10:10-11, “But into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you not, go your ways out into the streets of the same, and say, Even the very dust of your city, which cleaveth on us, we do wipe off against you: notwithstanding be ye sure of this, that the kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.”
Our Lord speaks here of going out witnessing and not being received. In this context, notice an amazing statement in the 12th verse. The Lord Jesus says, “But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable in that day for Sodom, than for that city.”
Sodom, as a city, is mentioned twice as many times as Gomorrah, so evidently Sodom was the leading city in fornication and homosexuality. God takes the worst of these two cites and says, “The worst of the cities of the plains, Sodom, will be tolerated more in judgement than that city.”
Here is the point. Sodom never had the light we have. We live in a country with churches all over the place and radio broadcasts going out daily about Jesus Christ. Tens of thousands of gospel tracts are distributed each day. Christ said that their punishment will be more “tolerable,” that is, more easily borne, than that of the people who reject His gospel. The reason is, that they were not favoured with so much light and instruction. (Compare Matthew 11:23-24; Luke 12:47-48). Sodom and Gomorrah are often referred to as signal instances of divine vengeance, and as sure proofs that the wicked shall not go unpunished.
However, if we are going to preach about the judgment of God on Sodom and Gomorrah, we must realize what light we are presently sinning against. Let us awaken to our individual responsibility before God.
In Galatians 5:4-5, Paul reminds the Galatian Christians that while free from the Law of Moses, they were not free from God’s moral law. The Galatians had trouble getting Paul’s point.
Obviously and scripturally Christians are not wrong to point out what God’s Word has to say about sinning. We must, however, be must be careful to apply the same behavioural standard to ourselves as we do to others.
All of these examples in Jude are given to us to drive home the seriousness of apostasy. The Bible says in Hebrews 12:29, “Our God is a consuming fire.” When dealing with the souls of men, we are dealing with an extremely serious matter. It is a matter of heaven or hell. Let us determine to take a clear, compassionate stand for the truth, realizing that, as we stand, we are also going against the grain of accepted religious practices.
“The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished” 2 Peter 2:9.