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March 18, 2021 8:00 am
Today on Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhardt challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ gone toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the Valley and he saw, and behold, the smoke of the land ascended like the smoke furnace that came about when God destroyed the cities of the valley that God remembered Abraham and sandlot out in the midst of the overthrow when he overthrew the cities what is Abraham's motion for joining us today on this addition of fellowship and the word pastor Bill Gebhardt Fellowship in the Words the radio ministry of Fellowship Bible church located in Metairie, Louisiana. Let's join Pastor Bill Gebhardt now is once again he shows us how God's word meets our word of God that there are certain sections that I feel uneasy reaching and teaching. Genesis 19 is one of those sections. It deals with sin that is so graphic, it seems almost unspeakable.
It describes the outer destruction as best as we can determine our five cities, two of which have become infamous thousands upon thousands upon thousands of people destroyed completely. It would've been easier to skip this chapter and continue with the series of the life of Abraham, the friend of God and Abraham only makes a cameo appearance in Genesis 19 he is 20 miles west of the catastrophic event with this chapter is filled with so many insights so many principles so many warnings for you and for me that it would be impossible in good conscious skip this chapter is so sad that I decided to title this message.
When the cesspool overflows. Would you open your Bibles to Genesis chapter 19 we give a little bit of background. I think they can be helpful, especially among evangelical Christians.
I think that we often have strong presuppositions about this chapter and about Sodom and Gomorrah, and there's no question that this chapter contains homosexuality and sodomy. Sodom and Gomorrah in the region around there had a lot more than simply homosexuality and sodomy going for in Ezekiel chapter 16 Ezekiel writes that the people of those cities. They were arrogant and prideful they live lives of careless ease they were affluent they had abundant food and yet they did not have any interest in helping the needy or the poor. They were morally bankrupt and they committed unlimited abominations before the Lord, that's awful, but I think the do it justice. Listen to these words. Isaiah chapter 1 God tells Judah that they are just like Sodom and Isaiah chapter 3 God says they display their sin.
Just like Sodom, displayed the errors in Jeremiah 23 Jeremiah writes that you will become like Sodom and limitations for Jeremiah writes this speaking for God. The iniquity of my people is greater than the sin of Sodom so we have to have some sense of perspective here Jesus speaking to Israel to the cities in which he had performed so many miracles in Matthew 11 says this for if the miracles had occurred in Sodom, which occurred in you. It would have remained to this day. So let's get some sense of perspective. And with that in mind, I want to approach this chapter is a four act play and is a tragedy and that's all it is, but I want to approach it in the sense that Sodom is our world. The world that we live in. So the first act of the play is verses one through 14, and in this act, God warns us that he will destroy our world because of its previous sin.
Moses writes now the two angels came to Sodom in the evening as lot was sitting at the gate of Sodom. The two angels are from chapter 18.
The two angels in the Lord had visited Abraham at his tent.
20 miles away and now the angel show up at Sodom and lot is there. It's very important to understand this. He is sitting at the gate sitting at the gate is a place of prominence in any ancient city. That's where the judges of the city set that's where the elders made decisions. That's where business was conducted. In fact, the city gate of the ancient city is like City Hall today in our cities and towns that tells me the lot was no ordinary man.
He was not a regular citizen.
He was a man of prominence probably doing to do with his great affluence that he had he had tremendous political and businesslike influence, but as you see in the chapter he had no spiritual significance of all.
So lot then offers hospitality and think of the parallel between this and what Abraham did last time. Susan wants all that he rose to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground just like Abraham and he said now behold, my lords, please turn aside and be your servant's house and spend the night and wash your feet and then you may rise early and go on your way just like Abraham's little different, they said.
However, no reason to spend the night in the square would just sleep out here the testing they know exactly what they're walking into now. Lots mind is working. Should I tell them now how unsafe this would be how terrible this would be for them if they try that.
So lot presses on, and yet he urged them strongly and so they turned aside to him and entered his house and he prepared a feast for them. Just like Abraham and baked unleavened bread in the eight and before they lay down the men of the city. The men of Sodom, surrounded the house. Both young and old, all the people from every quarter and they called out a lot and said to him, where are the men who came to you tonight.
Bring them out that numeric and standard that we may have relations with them. It's interesting to note in the culture in which we live that I have read some commentators have said the only sin of Sodom and Gomorrah was the men of Sodom and Gomorrah were very hospitable and I'm sure they weren't, but this is in the sin of hospitality as it becomes abundantly clear at all. You see, when it says that we may have relations with him depends on your translation, but the Hebrew word is really the Hebrew word is saying that we may get the know them and this means knowing a relational way. In fact, Moses uses it in Genesis earlier when he says Adam knew Eve and she conceived a son okay. She conceived a son by him. Knowing her in a carnal way. Not because he knew her name. After all she was the only other person on the planet. He had to know who she was.
It means the know in that sense like verse six he went out to them at the doorway and he shut the door behind you can just imagine the scene see lots trying to protect his guest. He thinks no one you got a note, these messengers don't need protect his or angels of God and therefore judgment but they're letting why do this and then something tragically happens and he said please my brothers do not act wickedly now behold, he said, I have two daughters who had no relations with men. Please let me bring them out to you and do them. What ever you like. Only do not nothing to these men and is much as they have come under the shelter of my roof while the compromising life of a carnal believer. It's unimaginable that you could save. I love a Chuck Swindoll writes here, Chuck says lots offer makes me sick to my stomach as a father I would use any necessary violence to protect my daughters from poor, to which lot had just condemned his no customer law would convince me to sacrifice my girls for anyone, least of all to strangers. His bizarre, deranged proposal illustrates just how twisted his brain had become. After living for so many years in this moral sewage. I can't determine which disgust me more the vileness of Sodom citizens or the depraved hypocrisy of what while as we continue.
He said they said stand aside. Furthermore, they said this one came in as an alien and already he's acting like a judge. Now we will treat you worse than them while, by the way, if we are to be salt and light in the world.
How much spiritual influences lot have none.
They have no respect for him at all. Zero except that they are saying the creed that almost all civilizations say at a certain stage in their decline is who are you to judge us every year that who are you to judge us.
And that's with her saying who appointed you to be a judge and so the real rescuers show up in verse 10 but the men reached out their hands and brought Lot into the house with him and they shut the door and then they struck the men who were at the doorway of the house with blindness, both small and great, so they wearied themselves trying to find the doorway. That word is not the typical work blindness.
It's a word for a dazed condition kind of an interesting perspective they could see anything you want to astound me.
They didn't give up.
They didn't give up now.
I mean, obviously if you got a lot of people lining awestruck sort of blinding days you think someone is a all we gotta get out of here. Their view is they were still determine what to get in this house and when I get these guys so much for the culture and what it was like using the Angels are not victims at all. There are the messengers of God, they're here for judgment, then it says in verse 12. The two men said the lot whom else have you had here your son-in-law and your sons and daughters, whomever you have in the city bring them out to the place, whomever you influence whoever you led to saving faith in God. Whoever you got in your posse whomever you have. Let's bring about. Let's get him all how much influence that he had will see he says.
Then the two men after they had said that said, for we are about to destroy this place because their outcries become so great before the Lord of the Lord has sent us to destroy it, and Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law who were to be married to his daughters.
Probably an arranged marriage for financial advancement and he said to them up, get out of this place for the Lord will destroy the city, but he appeared to his sons-in-law to be jesting, it's a joke to them. Why would that be the case as a never heard lots say anything spiritual in his whole life. They never heard him say anything.
They never even heard and probably everyone talk about God lot was just one of them and he said to God's going to judge the whole place among extremities is nothing funny about this though. You see when you see this particular back what you see as God warns us that were going destroy our world because of its previous sin Thursday morning warned all the way through Scripture you can be wondering all the prophets about the world eventually being judged by God to be worn by all of the discourse of Jesus Christ. The warning to the church in the book of Thessalonians. Clearly the warning in the book of Revelation will God warns us. Now the ideas the warning then should and us should produce something it should produce in our case, a character of salt and light in a sense of urgency to the people we live with with what none of that happened all he never developed his character at all and he really had no spiritual concern for them back to Act II within a find something out. It's just a little bit different in Act II were going to change this idea that the influence of the world can be alluring to us, but it's contemptible to God.
Verse 15 when morning dawn. The Angels urge lot saying up to your wife and your two daughters were here or you will be swept away in the punishment of the city and is says he hesitated well not about you, but when you start seeing angelic beings coming in angelic beings Tony were here to judge the whole place entertain us get up this movie a sense of the urgency. The word order in Hebrew is sort of like!
Let's go, let's go one thinking about see hesitated. You see, what is it about what is so disturbing. He has no convictions lot has no spiritual convictions. A lot of us like that we live in the world world the world that we don't even have any spiritual convictions. Just a few observations. One convictions must clearly be established before God or they will be weak before men see if you have strong convictions in your relationship with God. When you get out among people. You will have convictions at all. Secondly, convictions must be affirmed and modeled in the home or I guarantee they will be compromised in street wanted no convictions in his home and that the stories going to get a lot worse because of his home and convictions must mean everything to us personally or though mean nothing to us when were under pressure lot was a man without conviction he'd inhabited all and so he finds himself this alluring idea. He hesitates now watch the grace of God. So the man sees his hand in the hand of his wife in the hands of his two daughters for the compassion of the Lord was upon him. That's amazing you see diamond God's compassion. He said gravel I'm going to take him out. Compassion of the Lord was upon him and is is and they brought them out and they put them outside the city, and it came about when they had brought them outside that one said escape for your life. Do not look behind you and do not state anywhere in the valley.
He says escape to the mountains.
You'll be swept away.
Now it is very specific, run for your life.
Don't look back. That's what they were told, is only for the two daughters, a mother and lot know what you like us and lots of them all know, my lords now behold, your servant has found favor in your sight and you have magnified your loving kindness which you have shown me by saving my life hey thanks a lot for saving me from the judgment, but I've got a couple selfish little ideas of my own here, he says, but I cannot escape to the mountains for the disaster will overtake me and I will die, and behold this town is near enough to flee to, and it is small.
Please let me escape.
There is not small that my life would be really saved and he said to them, behold, I grant you this request also not overthrow the time to which you have spoken.
He says hurry escape there for I cannot do anything until you arrive there and therefore the name of the town was called so are so are means little to. That's what sorbets in Hebrew means little time. This is the first small town in the book of Genesis.
He's going to sewer what's going on here.
You have to understand more sophisticated people were cosmopolitan type of people you can ask us to go live in the mountains see what is really saying this is what I'm willing to leave Vegas but let me go to Reno to see that's what you're saying. I'm willing see with his carnal Christianity is so tragic here the great German scholarly bold says it almost taxes the readers patience to bear with this long-winded plea at a moment of such extreme danger lot appreciated almost nothing that was being done for standing shows what his character was really like. God warns us that there will be that he will destroy our world because of its previous sin. The influence of our world can be alluring to us, but it's contemptible to God. Acts three. The Lord will preserve us from the destruction of the world. That's we find becomes the judgment of God. He says the sun has risen over the earth when Lot came to so are and then the Lord rained upon Sodom and Gomorrah, brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven, and he overthrew the cities and all the valley and all the inhabitants of the cities and what grew on the ground while what happened there again. He pulled says the means causing the destruction are said to be sulfur and fire which Yahweh brought on so plentifully upon these places that he is said to have reigned them on Sodom and Gomorrah on this point the account is very concise whatever attempt is made to discover more and more nearly the details of what transpired such an attempt must stay strictly within the limits of the textural statements. Nothing points directly to a volcanic eruption, he says, nor do live up this novel remain there today and of the many immediate vicinity notice.
The expression overthrew necessarily mean there was an earthquake. The fire which rained down from heaven may have been lightning. The sulfur may have been miraculously wrought and so Randy said down together with the lightnings, although there are other possibilities of a huge explosion. The by these inflammable materials.
We don't know.
I have someone after the first service tell me they had seen it on television.
They had fond a disk on that disk was an ancient inscription that said that the there was a comment or a meteorite that actually came and hit the exact region of the world where the Sodom and Gomorrah are. I can verify that they said it was on television. Is that possible yes, but the question is if God wanted to tell me if it was a common metering reset so he just simply said is a devastating judgment is beyond belief. You think about this the surface of the water at the Dead Sea now is 1400 feet below sea level and it's 1200 feet. More to the bottom of the Dead Sea. Just think of how devastating that is all the people died. All the animals died, all the plants died in mean it is an amazing complete and total judgment. The reason for it is it becomes the example judgment for the end times in the whole world is skip one verse just to look at it for a moment. It's a diverse 26 it says, but his wife from behind him, look back and she became a pillar of salt.
That word look back. By the way, she wasn't climbing away and just look back over her shoulder and that word in Hebrew means. She gazed intently wanted to stop and gaze down she want to go. This was a life she was somebody in Sodom, her husband set the gate. I love that place. She was told specifically not to. Meanwhile, by the way, part of the story.
Notice verse 27 now Abraham arose early in the morning and went to the place where he had stood before the Lord and pleaded with God through prayer which you spare the cities if there were 10 righteous there.
And God said he would and he looked on toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the valley, and he saw, and behold, the smoke of the land ascended like the smoke furnace. Thus it came about when God destroyed the cities of the valley that God remembered Abraham, and sent lot out in the midst of the overthrow when he overthrew the cities which Lot was Abraham see the mushroom bathroom never on the radio ministry of fellowship in the Lord. If you ever missed one of our broadcast or maybe you disable the sum of the method one more time. Remember, you can Google a great website called one place.com that's one place.com and you can listen to Fellowship in the Word online at that website you will find on with today's broadcast but also many of our previous audio programs as Fellowship in the Word.
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