Next he points to the tragic example of Sodom and Gomorrah, which passage ought to be a stark warning plastered over the doorpost of every liberal church that invites the filthy practices of the world not only into its fellowship, but even into its pulpits.   Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighboring cities, Jude reminds us (proving his conviction of the genuine historicity of Genesis 19), were destroyed by fire and brimstone from out of heaven.  But the destruction of those people was not simply the conflagration that God rained down upon them.  This in itself was an awful spectacle, which Abraham witnessed when he arose up early in the morning and saw the smoke of the cities rising like the smoke of a furnace.  But Jude points to the even grimmer reality, to which the overthrow of the cities of the plain pointed: namely, that they were given over to suffer the vengeance of eternal fire.  The cities themselves ceased ultimately to burn, as they sunk into sulfurous pits, and under the waters of the Dead Sea.  But the torment of the inhabitants has never ceased from that moment forward.  God’s judgment upon them did not consist only in the destruction of their towns and their bodies, but in the final destruction of hell, an unquenchable flame from which none can escape.  Jude would suffer none of those foolish doctrines which seek to mitigate the wrath of God against sin.  Nor for a moment does he countenance a denial of hell, nor do his words leave any room for annihilationism.  The fire in which the evil men of Sodom suffer is an eternal fire, and it is God’s just vengeance upon them for having turned their back on Him to serve beastly lusts.

Jude also sets forth with great clarity the reason for this dreadful punishment: “… giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh…”  Jude was not under the common delusion of our day, by which pretended Christians attempt to escape the reality of God’s hatred of fornication and sodomy.  They love to point back to the passage of Ezekiel 16:49, where we find God saying to adulterous Israel, “Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom: pride, fullness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.”  And so now our modern churchmen, who seek to make sexual immorality something harmless or even virtuous, say, “Ah ha!  God had no issue with their sexual predilections, He was only displeased because of their inhospitality to the angels.”  Of course, they neglect to mention that their inhospitality towards the angels was witnessed by their determination to sodomize them.  But they also forget to continue reading into verse 50, where God tells the prophet, “And they were haughty, and committed abomination before Me: therefore I took them away as I saw good.”  Thus, these modern apostates make the causes of Sodom’s moral declension into the cause of their destruction.  The true case is that the causes of Sodom’s moral declension, mentioned in verse 49, are what led to the “abomination” spoken of in verse 50, which was the true cause of their destruction.  And I find it more than a little ominous to witness the same scene being played out in affluent modern America.  Sodom was full of pride, as is our nation in its own strength and alleged virtue.  She was also greatly wealthy, and had abundance of good things to eat.  Again, this is a perfect description of American society, which has been greatly blessed by God with an abundance of the delicacies of life that perhaps no other society in history has enjoyed to such an extent.  Sodom likewise showed no regard to the poor and needy.  This too could fit our society, for in spite of its claims to being a system of Christian magnanimity, the welfare system helps to keep slothful people in stations of poverty, and the entire economic system has been designed to fatten the wallets of the politicians and the wealthy men who buy the votes that put them into office.  The point is this: it was this idleness and wealth, which gives men an abundance of free time and the means that they use to chase carnal pleasure, which led Sodom to commit abomination.  Those who are having to work nearly round the clock to provide for their families do not have the time to figure out ways to entertain themselves, nor the wealth to spend on personal pleasure.  But when men have those means and that time, unless greatly restrained by the Spirit of God, they will use it in the pursuit of pleasure.  And as one pleasure wears out, they seek something new and more thrilling, and so on and on down the slippery slope.  Ultimately, the pursuit of the thrill leads into horrible and unnatural crimes such as sodomy.  This is what led to Sodom and Gomorrah’s downfall, and it is what is leading to the destruction of our American society.

This is important, not just because it characterizes the society we live in, but because so many of the churches have bought into it.  Even most conservative churches have little to say about men being lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God, and warning the people against allowing the wealth and freedom we have to entice us into living for the entertainments we enjoy.  Sadly, most who have much free time do not use much if any of it in the service of God, or in studying His word.  And we see on every hand the liberal churches embracing the same sins which led to Sodom’s destruction, and claiming with trumpet-like voice that God approves.  Jude would have us to be warned against such apostates, and to know for a certainty that such vile traitors against Christ’s cause and kingdom will, along with their ancestors in Gomorrah, suffer the vengeance of eternal fire.

 

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