Summary: This is the 6th Sermon in my Series "Our Favorite O.T. Stories." In this sermon I look at God's judgment of sin. We need to understand that sin brings about God's judgment. Why? So that we will, like Abraham, do everything in our power to save others.
Our Reaction to Sin
What is our reaction to sin? People react to sin in extremely different ways. There are some radical groups like the Westboro Baptist Church that not only condemn sin, but condemn innocent people in the name of sin. For example, those Westboro nuts go and protest at the funerals of our servicemen all in the name of condemning homosexuality.
Others go to the opposite extreme and completely accept sin. Some even do so in the name of God. And they too will go out and carry signs condemning other Christians as evil because they don’t accept that sin. But most of us fall somewhere in between the extremes. We are not out there protesting, but neither do we accept sin.
What is the proper response to sin? And how should we react to those who are in the midst of sin? Do we condemn them? Accept them? Or just ignore sin altogether? The story that we are going to be looking at today in the book of Genesis goes a long way in helping us develop a right attitude towards sin and those involved in sin.
I. God Hates Sin.
First, let’s look at what God’s response to sin is.
Genesis 18:20-21 (NLT)
So the LORD told Abraham, “I have heard a great outcry from Sodom and Gomorrah, because their sin is so flagrant. I am going down to see if their actions are as wicked as I have heard. If not, I want to know.”
Genesis 19:1-13 (NLT)
That evening the two angels came to the entrance of the city of Sodom. Lot was sitting there, and when he saw them, he stood up to meet them. Then he welcomed them and bowed with his face to the ground. “My lords,” he said, “come to my home to wash your feet, and be my guests for the night. You may then get up early in the morning and be on your way again.” “Oh no,” they replied. “We’ll just spend the night out here in the city square.”
But Lot insisted, so at last they went home with him. Lot prepared a feast for them, complete with fresh bread made without yeast, and they ate. But before they retired for the night, all the men of Sodom, young and old, came from all over the city and surrounded the house. They shouted to Lot, “Where are the men who came to spend the night with you? Bring them out to us so we can have sex with them!”
So Lot stepped outside to talk to them, shutting the door behind him. “Please, my brothers,” he begged, “don’t do such a wicked thing. Look, I have two virgin daughters. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do with them as you wish. But please, leave these men alone, for they are my guests and are under my protection.”
“Stand back!” they shouted. “This fellow came to town as an outsider, and now he’s acting like our judge! We’ll treat you far worse than those other men!” And they lunged toward Lot to break down the door.
But the two angels reached out, pulled Lot into the house, and bolted the door. Then they blinded all the men, young and old, who were at the door of the house, so they gave up trying to get inside.
Meanwhile, the angels questioned Lot. “Do you have any other relatives here in the city?” they asked. “Get them out of this place—your sons-in-law, sons, daughters, or anyone else. For we are about to destroy this city completely. The outcry against this place is so great it has reached the LORD, and he has sent us to destroy it.”
At first glance, God’s response to sin seems to be very cut and dry. These people sinned so God destroyed their city completely. But that is not the whole story here. Now it is true that God hates sin.
Romans 1:18 (NLT)
But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness.
God hates evil. And I am not going to pick out any one sin as some do from this story. God hates all sin. In the New Testament we have several lists of sin let me read just a couple of them to you.
Galatians 5:19-21 (NLT)
When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (NLT)
Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God.