Worse Than Sodom|
Sodom and Gomorrah were places of such immeasurable evil and sin that God utterly destroyed both cities (Gen. 19). In those cities were all types of wickedness, including the predominant sin of homosexuality. Their sinfulness was so complete that not even ten righteous souls could be found there, for which God would have spared the cities.
With that event of God's wrath, Sodom and Gomorrah became synonymous with sin and judgment. The writers of the Scriptures often made references to these cities in their efforts to illustrate the wickedness and destinies of those who sinned against God (Deut. 29:23; 32:32; Isa. 1:9-10; 3:9; Jer. 23:14; Lam. 4:6; Ezek. 16:46-63; 2 Pet. 2:6). Comparisons were made between Sodom and sinful nations, cities, and individuals that stood in opposition to God.
Jesus also made such comparisons, but He identified wickedness that exceeded even that of Sodom. In particular, Matthew records that Jesus sent out His twelve apostles with very specific instructions. He told them to go and preach the message, "The kingdom of heaven is at hand" (Matt. 10:7). He empowered them to perform miracles of healing, raising of the dead, cleansing of lepers, and casting out of demons (Matt. 10:8). And for any city that rejected the Lord's apostles, Jesus said, "It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment, than for that city" (Matt. 10:15). Likewise, Jesus said of the city of Capernaum, which had rejected Him and His message, "You shall descend to Hades; for if the miracles had occurred in Sodom which occurred in you, it would have remained to this day. Nevertheless, I say to you, that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for you" (Matt. 11 :23-24).
We must appreciate the gravity of the Lord's words in these passages. For the cities that Jesus identified, their offense was considered worse than that of Sodom. If Sodom's sins were so grave that the wrath of God destroyed the city from the earth, then what punishment must await those who have committed the offenses of Capemaum?
Exactly what did Capernaum do that deserved such a stern rebuke? The answer is that the people rejected the Son of God and His message. This is the offense that the Lord declared to be less tolerable than the reprehensible sins of Sodom. Those cities that rejected His apostles likewise rejected the Lord, for "it is not you who speak, but it is the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you" (Matt. 10:20). Also, when Jesus sent out the seventy, two by two, He said, "The one who listens to you listens to Me, and the one who rejects you rejects Me; and he who rejects Me rejects the One who sent Me" (Luke 10:16).
Consider this: Could there be anything worse than rejecting the Son of God? He is the Almighty (Rev. 1 :8), the Preeminent One (Col. 1:15-18), the fullness of God (Col. 1:19; 2:9), and the One through whom all things were made (John 1:1-3)! He is the revelation of grace and truth (John 1:17), the declaration of God to mankind (John 1:18), and the greatest extension of God's love to the world (John 3:16)! He is the One who allowed the shedding of His own innocent blood so that we, being guilty of sin, could live in His glory for eternity! I could go on and on with descriptions of His glory, but the point is this: Who are we to reject HIM?!? I realize that all sin carries the weight of eternal condemnation, but to have rejected the generous offer of God's love through Christ will haunt lost souls for eternity.
So then, considering the glory, grace, and love of the Lord, can we not still rightly say that to reject the lord Jesus is worse than the sins of Sodom? Indeed, it is, and the punishment of those who reject Him is a fearful thought. Therefore, let us hear His word and accept it, receiving as the benefit the salvation of our souls with the Lord for eternity.
Stacey E. Durham
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