By man’s choice, God’s destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah has now become his own aggravation.
As a whole, we mortals remain here on earth as the last moral proving ground in creation, that is speaking for humanity. As Christians, before us, the Throne of God still gives us access by the blood of Christ which also prepares and cleanses our conscience, making the approach possible. (Hebrews 9:14)
But that’s not the scope within those cascading levels of heaven that can weigh in, an unseen world open of blessing from God, or cursing and wrath from God that also exist daily upon the choices we all make. Both of these are sometimes found in scripture before man as a cloud, for both the just and unjust (saved or lost).
It is this cloud as heaven’s stage for man to present him with, signal, alarm, establish God’s will or comfort man with. In scripture, we have seen that this cloud can be enormously visible while sometimes the cloud becomes an invisible hazard, moving more and more glaringly towards man’s rejection of the original warning.
Among such alarms remain intact from their original purpose from ancient times, recalled again in the New Testament and given to us for a specific purpose by God’s mercy to direct us. What cloud? A cloud of reasoning for instance, why the Lord resorted to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah?
The gross lack of this reasoning remains over us today as an immense hazard, and I would say it is rather at the top of the list. As I hope someone would pick up a piece of my point which is still not in my mind an unfit declaration for our time. It is this, an exact reasoning for S&G’s destruction is also described by what happened to the children of Israel (1 Corinthians 10:11). But I believe the Lord omitted referencing S&G for a further reason; Paul and the others undoubtedly could have used the S&G account, but enhanced the remark against it by dealing with lesser iniquity. To use it in my thinking would have been absurd to the hearer of that time. In other words, the destruction of S&G stands just as the others do, an example yet on its own singularly shameful.
But someone might say, ‘but those people of S&G caught up in that didn’t have the benefit of a cache of history to retain that they might have guarded themselves against. But herein is my simple point lost in philosophy, here we are with a treasure trove to recall and what do we rather choose? The same thing they did. In that long forgotten battle of Galatians 5, “the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh”, but we have something better to concern our conduct with don’t we.
We currently may have laws in place to curb deviate activities in public but what about the laws of conscience that have a final say to a once and for all deep-searing on the public’s conscience. Not too much is discussed as relevant when a public’s moral aptitude is in danger of being “darkened”. For as it is described, if at first entrance of the point of being “darkened”, we don’t “lay aside” (Ephesians 4:22), those things representing our former self, we not only cast off His mercy but repeat the warmed-over old man that ultimately frustrates God’s people, Peter describes as “distressed by the depraved” (II Pt 2:7).
So the shift of conscience that continues to dilute man to this day refuses to acknowledge S&G’s demise is actually God’s hard but merciful example to us. That is what I am saying, and Paul’s description is close enough, that they “happened as examples for us”, ,” and they were written for our instruction” (I Corinthians 10:6, 11). The type of thing the foreknowledge of God thought far more beneficial bringing about the destruction of two cities to awaken a whole world to its self-inspecting mind.
What does that leave us, the “distressed” among those who refuse what has been handed down? Proof of an inability to master sound, intelligible dialog. Enter in discussion on the blogs with the S&G wannabies and you will openly observe the twisting of such scriptures:
For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.” (Galatians 5:14)
Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ (Galatians 6:2)
As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. (1 Peter 4:10)
Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. (Ephesians 4:32)
There was reclining on Jesus’ bosom one of His disciples, whom Jesus loved. (John 13:23)
The Same Battle for the Church
In the Church, the two schools of thought therefore continue to grind away to reject the other’s “sins”. Because of the severity of this, each vantage point feels duly justified in complete separation, one comfortable with being accused of self-justified perversion, while the other is not at all. Well, is it time for a church funeral yet and thereby sever for yourself a “new lump” elsewhere, or could we consider one more bit of reasoning?
Before leaving, allow me to the space of your most reasonable frame of mind. For in doing so, I would hope to highlight one other thought for the Christian and present to you a possible plus.
You recall the biblical admonition, “if we would judge ourselves, we would not come under the condemnation of the world” (ICor11:31) sets in place the healthy spiritual environment one allows to be governed by. Still with me? For regardless of the text you have a habit of employing to that advice from the God of love, the two schools of thought are quite likely still present.
At some point we send ourselves into understanding the things of God in the best, most undiluted manner possible. We trust the Lord to invigorate that understanding within us to attend to the very things that please Him, or not. But now, collectively we direct “affection”, “for all”(Ph.1:8) His people but, we begin to see a fork in that old road, don’t we? For some, the entreat upon which to discern is literal, for some cognitive; A rather unhealthy extent of the natural laws of reason which in some cases the Apostle Paul did use for Christian instruction, sparingly (ICor7:2,11:14).
But who is that that would reach only (transgress) for the cognitive? Especially when those decisions are of church decorum of conduct? For if a deliberate and continual effort is made to do what seems right in one’s own eyes for whatever the reason, unknowingly grants “the god of this world” access to blind oneself. Why would we want to grant any measure of a chance to him, our mortal foe? And how deep, and how deceptive is that blindness. Do you know how to spot the signs of being tripped up in your best of logic. One of the most subtle (by way of excusing) yet disastrous for so many is isolation theology, which is just another skill developed to “wrest the scriptures” (IIPet3:16). If it were not possible, He would not have warned us. Help us Lord to understand.
If we find we are continually responding to only the laws of nature without the applicable mixture of faith in all His admonitions, we do so heartily, so easily, throw off and forfeit any shred of a healthy self-examination. No, much worse, we unknowingly delve deeper into self-deception, when that matures, we spring wide the gate to “wrest” our study in the Word to full-blown self-exaltation, a mark left unchecked and unattended results in a spot left on one’s faith while we dredge along in error.
Anyone who has inwardly spent time considering the likelihood of the traditional outlook as being less than applicable, outdated and in need of change isn’t necessarily cause to depart from so quickly. God knows the heart. And His word is most positively for us today. For as it says of our Lord while He was on earth “in all points tempted” just as we are, “yet without sin”. As far as we are concerned, an impossible proposition on our own. But if honest with themselves that just maybe these things are so, the “power” granted since the book of Acts, awaits those who “seek and “ask”.
“Not by might, not by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord” (Zac4:6).