1. Idleness and riches, enjoyed by the people of Sodom, make the heart hard. “Idleness is the greatest curse that can fall upon man, for vice and crime follow in its train. It enfeebles the mind, perverts the understanding, and debases the soul.” PP 156
2. The people of Sodom knew about the God of the Flood and didn’t care. “The people openly defied God and His law and delighted in deeds of violence. Though they had before them the example of the antediluvian world, and knew how the wrath of God had been manifested in their destruction, yet they followed the same course of wickedness.” PP 157
3. The people of Sodom knew about the God of Abraham and didn’t care. “Abraham was not a stranger to the people of Sodom, and his worship of the unseen God had been a matter of ridicule among them; but his victory over greatly superior forces, and his magnanimous disposition of the prisoners and spoil [in rescuing Lot from warring kings], excited wonder and admiration.” PP 157
4. By teaching hospitality to Lot, Abraham helped save his life. “But there was one man who manifested kindly attention toward the strangers and invited them to his home. Lot did not know their true character, but politeness and hospitality were habitual with him; they were a part of his religion—lessons that he had learned from the example of Abraham. Had he not cultivated a spirit of courtesy, he might have been left to perish with the rest of Sodom. Many a household, in closing its doors against a stranger, has shut out God's messenger, who would have brought blessing and hope and peace.” PP 158
5. God smiles on our small acts of faithfulness. “Every act of life, however small, has its bearing for good or for evil. Faithfulness or neglect in what are apparently the smallest duties may open the door for life's richest blessings or its greatest calamities. It is little things that test the character. It is the unpretending acts of daily self-denial, performed with a cheerful, willing heart, that God smiles upon. We are not to live for self, but for others. And it is only by self-forgetfulness, by cherishing a loving, helpful spirit, that we can make our life a blessing. The little attentions, the small, simple courtesies, go far to make up the sum of life's happiness, and the neglect of these constitutes no small share of human wretchedness.” PP 158
6. Lot could have prevented his wife’s death. “If Lot himself had manifested no hesitancy to obey the angels’ warning, but had earnestly fled toward the mountains, without one word of pleading or remonstrance, his wife also would have made her escape. The influence of his example would have saved her from the sin that sealed her doom. But his hesitancy and delay caused her to lightly regard the divine warning. While her body was upon the plain, her heart clung to Sodom, and she perished with it. She rebelled against God because His judgments involved her possessions and her children in the ruin. … Her sin showed her to be unworthy of life, for the preservation of which she felt so little gratitude.” PP 161
7. Don’t be like Lot’s wife. “We should beware of treating lightly God's gracious provisions for our salvation. There are Christians who say, ‘I do not care to be saved unless my companion and children are saved with me.’ They feel that heaven would not be heaven to them without the presence of those who are so dear. … The very fact that others are ignoring His just claims should arouse us to greater diligence, that we may honor God ourselves, and lead all whom we can influence, to accept His love.” PP 162
8. We can commit two greater sins than Sodom. “The Redeemer of the world declares that there are greater sins than that for which Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed. Those who hear the gospel invitation calling sinners to repentance, and heed it not, are more guilty before God than were the dwellers in the vale of Siddim . And still greater sin is theirs who profess to know God and to keep His commandments, yet who deny Christ in their character and their daily life. In the light of the Saviour's warning, the fate of Sodom is a solemn admonition, not merely to those who are guilty of outbreaking sin, but to all who are trifling with Heaven-sent light and privileges.” PP 165
Friends, God is calling His people, as in the days of Lot and Noah, to separate themselves from the prevailing iniquity of the world. The heritage that God has promised to His people is not in this world. Will you join me in pledging today to keep your eyes lifted to heaven?
(Incidentally, this (thumbnail) painting "The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah" (1852) by John Martin is not accurate. The Bible says the brimstone fell after Lot and his daughters had already reached Zoar: “‘The sun was risen upon the earth when Lot entered into Zoar.’ The bright rays of the morning seemed to speak only prosperity and peace to the cities of the plain. The stir of active life began in the streets; men were going their various ways, intent on the business or the pleasures of the day. The sons-in-law of Lot were making merry at the fears and warnings of the weak-minded old man. Suddenly and unexpectedly as would be a thunder peal from an unclouded sky, the tempest broke. The Lord rained brimstone and fire out of heaven upon the cities and the fruitful plain; its palaces and temples, costly dwellings, gardens and vineyards, and the gay, pleasure-seeking throngs that only the night before had insulted the messengers of heaven — all were consumed. The smoke of the conflagration went up like the smoke of a great furnace. And the fair vale of Siddim became a desolation, a place never to be built up or inhabited — a witness to all generations of the certainty of God's judgments upon transgression.” PP 162)
From a friend’s Facebook page.