Sodom and Gomorrah

Chapter 6: Lot and the Rapture

In the Bible, Sodom is often used as a standard picture and example of both man’s sin and God’s Judgement (Isaiah 1:9,10, 3:9, 13:19,20, Jeremiah 23:14, 50:40, Lamentations 4:6, Amos 4:11, Hosea 11:8, Zephaniah 2:9, Matthew 10:15,11:23-24, Luke 10:12, Mark 6:11, Romans 9:29, Jude 7, 2Peter 2:6, Revelation 11:8). 

Sodom and Gomorrah are used as the classic examples of when man’s sin against God reaches its fullness, making him ripe for Judgement. God is saying that if He judged Sodom and Gomorrah for their sin, He will also surely judge all those given over to sin:

Jeremiah 23:14: “I have seen a horrible thing in the prophets of Jerusalem: they commit adultery and walk in lies; they also strengthen the hands of evildoers (calling sin ‘good’ - see Isaiah 5:20) so that no one turns back from his wickedness. All of them are like Sodom to Me, and her inhabitants like Gomorrah.”

Matthew 10:15 (also Luke 10:12, Mark 6:11): 
“Assuredly, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the Land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the Day of Judgement than for that City!”

Matthew 11:23-24: 
“You, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, will be brought down to Hades; for if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say to you that it shall be more 

tolerable for the Land of Sodom in the day of Judgement, than for you.”

We have also seen that the way God judged Sodom and Gomorrah was an example and warning to all mankind (2Peter 2:6, Jude 7). It was a prophetic picture of His coming future and eternal Judgement by Fire, that is coming upon all those who reject God. 

All this tells us that God designed the story of Sodom and Gomorrah to incorporate universal principles of how God responds to sin. It reveals both His Longsuffering, Salvation and Judgement.

This Story tells us: 
(1) God does judge, and when He does it, He does it thoroughly. 
He hates sin and He will ultimately use Fire to destroy it. 

(2) God’s Mercy always comes before His Judgement. He does not want to judge, but Justice requires that He has to. He loves man and shows as much Mercy as possible to anyone ready to receive it. However, before His Judgement falls, in His Longsuffering, He delays His Judgement and extends His Mercy to sinners, giving them a opportunity to repent and be saved. Before the Flood fell, Noah preached to his generation for 120 years, warning of the coming Judgement, and pointing to the Way of Salvation (the Ark). Likewise, in the years before the Judgement of the sinful Cities of the Plain, God showed mercy to them by dramatically rescuing them from total defeat destruction, by the hands of Abraham and 

his 300 men (Genesis 14). This was a witness to them to the power and saving-grace of the God of Abraham, for He gave glory to God.

Moreover, Lot was well-known in Sodom for warning them about their sinning (Genesis 19:7,9, see also 2Peter 2:7,8). He would have given them a witness. Moreover, he gave a final opportunity to his sons-in-law and possibly others he knew well (Genesis 19:12-14).
God gives man every chance to repent and be saved before judging. 
This is the Principle of God’s Mercy coming before His Judgement: Before He moves in Judgement, He always provides a chance to be saved, and so be delivered from, and escape the Coming Judgement. God is longsuffering towards you, so you may repent and be saved!

(3) Salvation. Those who trust in God are the ‘saved’, and so they are not under the Judgement of God. This means that God will always provide an escape for them when Judgement falls. He delivers them from Judgement. Thus God provided the Ark for Noah. Just before the Flood fell, God caused Noah to enter the Ark where he was safe from the Judgement. He was lifted up above it. Likewise, God sent angels to rescue Lot from Sodom just before Judgement fell. They pulled him out of the Judgement Zone, so that he escaped, and was delivered from all Judgement. You too can escape the coming time of Tribulation and fiery Judgement, if you will accept God’s offer of Mercy and Salvation that He offers you through His Son, Jesus Christ. Receive Him before it is too late!

The rescue (salvation) of Lot just before Judgement fell upon Sodom is a major and important element of the story:

Genesis 19:29: “When God destroyed the Cities of the Plain, He remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow when He overthrew the Cities in which Lot had dwelt”

We have seen that God used these events to reveal how He will generally act in Judgement and Salvation. He will surely judge the wicked, and just as surely He will deliver (save) the righteous from the Judgement, removing them to safety before the Judgement falls.

In its interpretation of this story, the New Testament also emphasises the rescue of Lot, teaching that it is a picture of how God generally rescues (delivers) the righteous from Judgement:

2Peter 2:6: “Turning the Cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ASHES, condemned (judged) them with an overthrow, making an ENSAMPLE (a visual example, an exhibit for warning) for those who afterwards should live ungodly.”

2Peter 2:7-9: “God delivered righteous Lot, vexed with the filthy lifestyle of the wicked (for the righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds).The Lord knows how to deliver (save) the godly out of tribulation, and to reserve the unjust for the day of Judgement to be punished.” 

It is a Principle of God’s Righteousness, illustrated in the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, that the righteous are delivered (saved) from the Wrath (Judgement) of God, for God would not be just if He judged the righteous along with the wicked. As Abraham pleaded with God: “Would You also destroy the righteous with the wicked? Suppose there were 50 righteous within the City; would You also destroy the place and not spare it for the 50 righteous that were in it? Far be it from You to do such a thing as this, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous should be as the wicked; far be it from You! Shall not the (just) Judge of all the earth do right?” (Genesis 18:23-25). 

Believers (the true Church) are saved from wrath: “Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from Wrath through Him” (Romans 5:9; also Romans 8:1, John 5:24).

Obviously this applies to the Salvation of the righteous from the Wrath of God, as revealed in the eternal Judgement of Hell-Fire. However, it also applies to all expressions of God’s Judgement, including the events on earth at the End of the Age. Jesus taught that this Principle (of God removing all believers before Judgement falls) will apply to the Judgements that will come upon the earth at the End of the Age, and He illustrated this by comparing it: (1) to the time of Noah and his salvation from the Flood, and (2) to the time of Lot and his salvation from the judgement on Sodom.

These 2 classic pictures of the end-time wrath are in Luke 17:26-30:

1. NOAH (Luke 17:26,27): 
“As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the Ark, and the Flood came and destroyed them all.” 

*1. Before the Judgement of the Flood fell, people were carrying on in their normal materialistic lives ignoring God. The world then was full of violence, immorality and occultism, just as it is today. Jesus is saying that the world will again be like this in the time just before He will come to judge it. It will be ripe for Judgement. Conditions today perfectly fit this description, confirming we are near the End.

*2. The Flood was a world-wide Judgement. Likewise, the Judgements at the End (Consummation) of the Age. This time, also called ‘the Tribulation’ and ‘the Day of the Lord’ (the time of God’s intervention to bring everything to its climax) is a time of world-wide Judgement This is seen in the Book of Revelation. When the 7 Seals are opened in the Throne-Room (Revelation 5), God’s Judgements are released on the earth over the final 7 years leading up to the Second Coming of Christ (Revelation 6-19).

*3. As the Flood was about to fall, NOAH was removed from the earth, into the Ark, a place of perfect safety from the Judgement. 

He disappeared into the Ark and God closed the door, before the Judgement fell. This again shows how God delivers believers from Judgement, removing them to safety before it falls. Notice: “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be in the days of the Son of Man.” This means that God will provide an escape for believers from the world-wide Judgement of the Tribulation, just as He did in the days of Noah. The pre-Flood disappearance of Noah into the Ark, lifting him above the Judgements is a perfect picture of the pre-Tribulation Rapture of the Church, when they will disappear into Christ and be raised up above the Judgement Zone, just before the world-wide ‘Flood’ of Tribulation Judgements strike the earth. 

This is perfectly confirmed by the parallel passage in Matthew: 

Matthew 24:37-42: “As the days of Noah were, so also will the Coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days BEFORE the Flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the Ark, and did not know until the Flood came and took them all away, so also will the Coming of the Son of Man be. Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken (to be with the Lord in the Rapture) and the other left (to go through the Judgements of Tribulation). Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken (in the Rapture) and the other left. Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming.” Before He releases 

Judgement upon the world, He will first come (as a Thief in the night) to rescue His own (the precious valuables) from the earth.

Luke 21:34-36 (which is part of this prophetic teaching of Jesus 
comparing the events at End of the Age with the days of Noah) confirms the Tribulation will be world-wide, but that God will save the believers from it before it starts: 

Luke 21:34-36: “Take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day (the start of the Tribulation) come on you unexpectedly. For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth (like the Flood). Watch therefore and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape (like Noah) all these things that shall come to pass (in the Tribulation), and to stand before the Son of Man (in the Rapture)."

2. LOT (Luke 17:28-33): “As in the days of Lot; they ate, drank, bought, sold, planted, builded; but the same day that Lot went out of Sodom, it rained fire and brimstone (burning sulphur) from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even so shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed. In that day, let him on the housetop, with his stuff in the house, not come down to take it away; and he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back. Remember Lot’s wife. Whoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.” 

Jesus compared the Judgement of Sodom to the time of Judgement at the End of the Age when He will be revealed. As with the analogy with Noah, the parallels are: (1) to life on earth just before 
the Judgement, (2) the Judgement itself, and (3) the deliverance (rescue) of believers from the Judgement Zone just before it falls. 

*1. BEFORE the Judgement fell on Sodom, people were carrying on in their normal materialistic lives ignoring God. The society was characterised by the throwing off of all moral restraint, resulting in 
open immorality and violence, as revealed by what they wanted to do to the angels. In particular, it was marked by open, militant homosexuality: “The look on their countenance witnesses against them, and they declare their sin as Sodom; they do not hide it. Woe to their soul! For they have brought evil upon themselves.” (Isaiah 3:9). “Woe (Judgement) to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20).
 

Jesus said that in the days just before He returns to judge the world, it will be like Sodom in the days of Lot. Thus it will be ripe for Judgement. This is one of the signs of the last days. Conditions today perfectly fit this description, confirming that we are near the End of the Age, showing us that Judgement is close. 

*2. The Judgement of Sodom came down from Heaven, devastating the whole area. Likewise, the Tribulation Judgements will come 

down from Heaven, devastating the whole earth (see Revelation). 

*3. Immediately before Judgement fell upon Sodom, LOT was removed from it, to a place of safety. This again shows how God 
delivers believers from Judgement. Notice: “As in the days of Lot...so shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.” This means that God will provide an escape for believers from the Judgement of the Tribulation, just as He did for Lot. The pre-Judgement evacuation of Lot from Sodom by the Lord and His angels is a classic picture of the pre-Tribulation Rapture of the Church (by the Lord and His angels, 1Thessalonians 4:16,17) removing us from the Judgement Zone, just before the ‘fiery’ Tribulation-Judgements come down from Heaven upon the earth. 


Just as God provided a way of escape for believers before the Judgement of Sodom, saving (removing) Lot out of destruction (2Peter 2:9), so we will escape the coming Judgement (Tribulation) if we trust in the Lord. As Lot was delivered, so we too will be raptured before the Judgements of the Tribulation fall on earth. 

The very day Lot escaped, Judgement fell. Jesus said it will be the same at the Rapture. As soon as His people are removed, the Tribulation Judgements will begin. There will no longer be any-thing to stop God moving in Judgement. But Judgement could not fall until Lot was removed (Genesis 19:22). If one man stopped God’s wrath falling upon Sodom, how much more must the Church 

be removed before God’s Tribulation Wrath can fall upon the world? 
This answers the question: Does the Church go through the Tribulation, or does God remove her in the Rapture before it starts? Thus the Pre-Tribulation Rapture is confirmed by the story of Sodom and Gomorrah.

One promise of Jesus to all true believers is: “I also will keep you from the hour of Trial (the Tribulation) which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth” (Revelation 3:10). He does not just promise to keep us from the trial, but from the ‘hour of trial’, that is, from the whole time-period! 

Thus our expectation is not Wrath, but Christ, for we: “wait for His Son (to come) from Heaven whom He raised from the dead (we await the Rapture), even Jesus who delivers (not ‘delivered’) us from the Wrath (the Tribulation) to come” (1Thessalonians 1:10).
This means we are to look for the Rapture, not the Tribulation, and His Coming for us at the Rapture is a deliverance from a time of Wrath (this can only mean that He delivers us from the Tribulation). 

For the world, the Day of the Lord (the Tribulation) will come as a Thief in the night, with the Lord coming suddenly to secretly take the precious things from the earth (His people) in the Rapture: 

1Thessalonians 5:2: “You yourselves know perfectly that the Day of the Lord (the Tribulation) so comes as a Thief in the night.” First the Rapture of the Church, then the Tribulation. The world, 

taken by surprise, will be plunged into the Tribulation. 

Notice the contrast between they (unbelievers) and you (believers) in the next verses: “For when they (the world) say, Peace and safety! then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labour pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape (the Tribulation) (v3, see also Matthew 24:8). But true Christians have a different destiny. We should be alert and ready for take-off! “But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a Thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of(future) Salvation (in the Rapture)” (v4-8). Rather than fear the Tribulation, we wear “as a helmet the hope of Salvation.” This is the future Salvation of our body in the Rapture and Deliverance from the Wrath of the Tribulation: "For God did not appoint us to Wrath (the Tribulation), but to obtain Salvation through (the Coming of) our Lord Jesus" (v9). Thus 1Thessalonians 5:1-10 confirms that God will deliver believers from Tribulation Wrath.

God always makes a way of escape for believers and the only escape from the Tribulation coming upon the whole earth is the Rapture. 

Daniel’s 70 Weeks (Daniel 9:24-27) also supports the Pre-Tribulation Rapture (see Appendix 3). God allocated 490 years to Israel (from about 458 BC) after which the Messianic Kingdom would be established (v24). However, more than 490 years have already passed. Moreover, v27 indicates the last (the 70th) Week (7 years) is yet future! The only explanation is that since Israel rejected the Messiah, His Kingdom was postponed, and the Mystery (Church) was introduced instead. During the Church-Age, God is working through the Church rather than Israel as His Representative on earth, and so God has stopped Israel’s Clock for now. It must have 7 years yet to run on it (Daniel’s 70th Week), but it can only start ticking again after the Church-Age ends. Thus, when the Church is removed in the Rapture, Israel will again take the place of being God’s Representative, and the last 7 years (of the 70 Weeks) will run on her Clock (the Tribulation). Thus, a literal fulfilment of Daniel’s 70 Weeks requires a Pre-Tribulation Rapture.


*God has preserved the Cities of Sodom and Gomorrah as a Sign of His Coming Judgements (including the Tribulation). Jesus specifically used the Lifestyle and Destruction of Sodom (and Lot’s Salvation) as a picture of what would happen in the End-Times when He will judge the world. This warning especially applies to us who are living in the End-Times, just before His Coming. That is why He is now bringing these Cities again to the world’s attention!

Home

Books

About Us

Events

Teachings

Bible Commentary

Media

Shop

Donate

Contact

Print

OBC Office

363 Banbury Road
Oxford - England - UK
OX2 7PL
Telephone: +44 (0)1865 515086
Fax: +44 (0) 8721 107068
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Print

Sunday Services

Sundays at 11am and 6pm
Cheney School Hall
Cheney Lane - Headington
Oxford - England - UK
OX3 7QH