The Apostle Peter reminds his readers that God used the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah as an object lesson for the future of humanity. The text states that God turned the cities into ashes, “making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly” (2 Pet. 2:6). In other words, if individuals, cities, or even whole nations, choose to live in a manner that flagrantly violates the moral law of God, they can expect similar treatment. Now, as the Creator, God has many means at His disposal. In the case of these two cities, He used fire and brimstone. In the case of the Canaanites, He used Israel’s army. Upon His own people, He used a plague of disease. The means is inconsequential. The divine purpose in doing so is unambiguous: to drive humanity to fear the Lord and to walk in His ways. We cannot devote ourselves to sinful lifestyles without suffering inevitable consequences.
In America today there is an urgent need to reconsider the lesson of Sodom and Gomorrah. Recently a random sample of 1,000 adults was asked about certain family-related behaviors. Large majorities endorsed such behaviors, either because they regard the actions as “morally acceptable” or because they don’t even rise to the level of being a moral issue. In the latter perspective, the thinking is that each person can define right or wrong for himself as there is no absolute standard.
Examples include the following: getting a divorce is acceptable to 77% of the respondents; sexual intercourse between unmarried male and female adults was approved by 71%; having a baby outside of marriage was acceptable to 69%, and viewing pornographic pictures and videos was unobjectionable to 58%.
George Barna, who directed the research, further noted that at least 15% and as much as 40% of American adults do not consider such behavior a moral issue at all. These people believe they are free to do whatever is right in their own eyes, with no divine disapproval to be concerned about.
Beyond the concrete example that the destruction of these two cities presents is the general warning in Galatians 6:7: “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.” God has revealed His mind in the Scriptures for our benefit. Let us take heed and proclaim this truth to our land while God grants us more time to repent and turn to Him for forgiveness and salvation through Christ.