Sodom and Gomorrah Needed 10 Righteous People, What if the USA Did?

In Genesis 18-19, we have the account of a very sad situation. To better understand what was going on, we need to go back to Genesis 14, which describes a problem between Abram’s and Lot’s herdsmen. Their herds had grown so large there was not enough grass and water for them. Abram met with Lot and said, “Choose where you want to live with your family and herds. I will go in the opposite direction from you.” Lot looked at the Plain of Jordan that had plenty of grass and was well watered. Lot chose that direction and pitched his tent toward Sodom and Gomorrah.

Sodom and Gomorrah were cities founded and developed by the wicked Canaan and his descendants. The Canaanites were known for their sexual debauchery, their vile sex gods, and their licentious worship services. If you recall, Noah placed a curse on Canaan for his despicable sin against him. Jude 7 says, “Even Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like manner; giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh. Are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.” There were other sins in addition to sexual ones. Ezekiel 16:49-50 says, “They were prideful, abundance of idleness; they were selfish and did not help those that were poor and needy. They were haughty, and committed abomination before me.”

The Lord sent two angels down to Sodom and Gomorrah. In Genesis 18, we have an account of the angels visiting Abraham on their way. The Lord also appeared to Abraham and tells him of the mission of the two angels. Genesis 18:20-21 says, “And the Lord said, because of the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great; and because their sin is very grievous I will go down now and see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry against it, that has come to me; if not I will know it.” Abraham asked the Lord, “Will thou destroy the righteous with the wicked.” It is quite possible Abraham was thinking about his kinsman, Lot and his family.  Abraham started negotiating with the Lord. He said, “If you can find fifty righteous people will you spare the city.” “The Lord said if I find fifty righteous people in the city I WILL SPARE ALL THE PEOPLE FOR THEIR SAKE” (Genesis 18: 26). Abraham continued to negotiate with God. He dropped the number of righteous people to forty, then to thirty, then to twenty. In Genesis 18:32, Abraham said to the Lord, “If I can find Ten righteous people In Sodom and Gomorrah will you spare the cities?” The Lord said He would not destroy it for the ten’s sake. Just think, ten righteous people could have saved the lives of thousands of people, not to mention all the buildings with the city. The very sad part of this story is not even the tiny number of ten righteous people could be found in these cities. The only righteous people to be found were Lot and his small family. The angels told Lot and his family to get out of Sodom as quick as they could. Unfortunately, as they were leaving, Lot’s wife disobeyed the Lord by looking back at the city as it was being destroyed by fire and brimstone. As punishment she was turned into a pillar of Salt. Only Lot and his two daughters escaped the destruction of the city.

The remainder of my article is going to be hypothetical.  Suppose the Lord sent two angels to the United States to determine how wicked and corrupt this country has become. The purpose of the visit is to determine if he is going to have to destroy the United States because of their unrighteousness. The angels discover that the citizens of the country have become sexually immoral people. They love pornography in their movies, books, and television shows. They live together without being married; young people frequently participate in premarital sex. They find that some states recognize same sex marriage. The Lord’s name is consistently being taken in vain. Many people in leadership positions are corrupt, and work to take Bible principles out of the government. Prayer has been removed from the schools. People have become extremely materialistic. Many of them are more interested in the pursuit of pleasure over service to the Lord.

The Lord decides that the United States is so corrupt he is going to have to destroy it. Jesus comes to the country’s aid, he says, “Father if I can find ten righteous people will you save the country for their sake.” The Father agrees to this request. Jesus finds nine righteous people, now he comes to you. The question is ARE YOU RIGHTEOUS ENOUGH TO BE THAT TENTH PERSON THAT CAN SAVE THIS GREAT COUNTRY???


4 Keys to Pursuing Purity in All Things

Today’s card for our Zealous for Good Deeds Fall Focus highlighted Titus 1:15-16:

“To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled. They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work.”

This passage is not saying that pure Christians can be involved in impurity and immorality but it is still pure for them. The point is that those who are pure only involve themselves in pure pursuits. Further, as they talk with others and experience life, they look toward the pure instead of the impure. 

Some folks pride themselves on double entendre. That is, they can say something that at one level is harmless but on another is filled with immoral innuendo. Interestingly, you can even find this in some kid’s movies as movie makers think they can slide something in that will go over the children’s heads but entertain the adults.

Paul’s point is the pure miss out on this kind of thing. Because their mind is focused on the pure and their sights are focused on the pure, they miss out on the innuendos and the double entendres. To folks in the world, this is classed as naivete. They look down on the pure as inexperienced, foolish, stupid and ignorant. But God classes this as honorable. In fact, I Corinthians 14:20 says, “Brothers, do not be children in your thinking. Be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature.” God wants us naive about evil. He doesn’t want us to be able to immediately jump to the immoral thought behind much of modern conversation and entertainment.

If we can immediately see the impurity behind statements, pictures, jokes, etc. we have some work to do on our personal purity. We need to work on training our minds in godliness and purity. Keep in mind we are working on progress not perfection here. I’m not saying if you ever catch some joke you are evil and hopeless. I’m just saying we need to work on this. Because, if we don’t and if we just plug away, Paul said we will be unfit for any good work. In other words, we cannot be zealous for good deeds and filled with bad thoughts all at the same time.

Here are 4 keys to help us pursue purity in all things:

1. Keep Good Company

I Corinthians 14:33 says, “Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company ruins good morals.'” If we want to pursue purity in all things, we need to make sure the companions with which we spend our time are pursuing purity. If our best friends, the one’s on whom we rely for strength and encouragement, are impure, speak impurity and pursue impurity, we will never overcome. This company may be real live people, but then again it may be the deejays we listen to on the radio, the characters we follow on television, the bands we listen to in our mp3 players. If you want to pursue purity in all things, make sure you are keeping good company.

2. Read Good Words

In Acts 20:32, Paul told the Ephesian elders, “I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.” If you want to pursue purity in all things, then you need to be in God’s book. Obviously, you can read other things. Christians are not limited to only reading the Bible. However, reading and studying God’s good words should take precedence over all other reading. Only by hiding God’s word in our heart can we chase away the impurity that may have residence there.

3. Meditate on Good Thoughts

Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” I’m told the word translated “think” in this passage is not the idea of fleeting thoughts, but purposeful consideration and meditation. If we want to be pure, we need to think about pure things. We need to meditate on pure things. No doubt, we have all messed up our purity at some point. Therefore, it is a pipe dream to think we can never have fleeting thoughts of impurity. But we can choose where we allow our minds to dwell. We need to work on purposefully focusing our minds on the positive and pure. We must not merely read God’s good word, we must focus our mind’s attention upon it and dwell there.

4. Pursue Good Actions

Paul told Timothy to “flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness” (II Timothy 2:22). If we really want to pursue purity in all things, we have to let the purity rubber hit life’s road. Whether we feel like it or not, we need to just make ourselves do some good things.  Then we need to do some more. Then we need to do some more. The more good actions we take, the more good our mind has to dwell on, the more fulfillment from good things we receive, the more purity will take over. 

As I said, remember this is about progress not perfection. Let’s work today on growing in the pursuit of purity in all things. I’ll help you if you’ll help me.