These days, ask someone, “Why did God destroy Sodom & Gomorrah?” and you will probably get one of two very different answers (depending on who you ask).
First, there is the traditional and obvious answer: God destroyed the cities of Sodom & Gomorrah because of their great wickedness and abominable actions (cf. Eze. 16:43-58), particularly their open practice (cf. Isa. 3:9) of homosexuality and acceptance of other sexual sins (Gen. 19:4-11; Jude 7). Sodom & Gomorrah were deeply wicked cities. This is the correct answer.
Second, there is the silly answer. Not only is it wrong, misleading, and insufficient; it is also intellectually insulting. Modern advocates of homosexuality, in an effort to make the Bible more ‘politically correct,’ argue that God destroyed the cities of Sodom & Gomorrah because they failed to exercise hospitality. They argue that the word “know” in Genesis 19:5 simply means to “become socially acquainted” with Lot’s angelic visitors. Perhaps they wished to treat Lot’s guests to a cup of tea and engage them with lively conversation about kittens! (For a fuller discussion on this topic, read, “Sodom – Inhospitality or Homosexuality?”)
Why did God destroy Sodom? Because of its wickedness, yes. But there is another way to answer the question: Sodom was destroyed because of a lack of righteous people. There wasn’t a remnant.
Recall Genesis 18, when Abraham interceded for the city of Sodom (v. 22-33). Abraham asked God if He would spare the city if there were fifty righteous people in the city. When God agreed to spare the city, Abraham asked, “What about if there are forty-five?” “Forty?” “Thirty?” “Twenty?” “Ten?” God answered, “For the sake of ten I will not destroy it.” Despite the city’s wicked and sexually perverse sins (or their failure to be ‘polite’), God would have spared the city if there were only 10 righteous people.
Tragically, ten were not found.
Here’s the lesson: Christians – righteous people (cf. Phil. 1:11) – live in an increasingly wicked world, surrounded by evil people. God may be sparing our sinful society because of the presence of a few righteous people.
We engage the culture war. We play the game of politics. We think of ways to influence our wicked world. And in so doing, we are tempted to make compromises with the world.
“I will be entertained by the same sins and sexual perversions that my friends enjoy so I can influence them.”
“I will wink at some sins so the world doesn’t think I’m too radical.”
“I will mock that which is pure and holy so I will be accepted.”
“I will dress and talk like the world so they will listen to me.”
We want a place at the world’s table so we can save the world. Yet we are not commanded to accommodate the world. We are commanded to “seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Matt. 6:33). We are not called to comply with society’s values. We are called to holiness (1 Pet. 1:15).
How many Christians are actually pursuing the righteousness of God? Or instead, how many are trying to be friends with God while still trying to be friends with the world (Jas. 4:4)?
Christendom has made up different words to justify retreating from our battle with the world. Worldly Christians are called “missional” Christians. Worldly worship is called “seeker sensitive” worship. Approval of sin is called “tolerance.” Hogwash.
Rescue your home. Rescue your church. Rescue your neighborhood – city – nation. You are called to righteousness and holiness.
Be one of the 10 righteous people. Be the remnant.