Thursday, January 20, 2011

Convo with Pastor - Jude 1:7a, 2 Peter 2:6

Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns
gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion.
[God] turned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into
heaps of ashes and swept them off the face of the earth.
He made them an example of what will happen to ungodly people.
Jude 1:7a, 2 Peter 2:6
In Genesis 19, we are told that "24 the Lord rained ... sulfur and fire ... out of heaven." This is definitely NOT one of the happiest chapters in the Bible. Yet it remains an important story.
Throughout scripture -- including today's readings from the apostles -- Sodom and Gomorrah are used as symbols of immorality and judgment. In the writings of the prophets, these cities are a symbol of those who "[do] no[t] turn from wickedness" and "br[ing] evil on themselves" (Jer 23:14 and Isa 3:9). When Jesus talks about those who reject the Gospel (Mt 10, Mt 11, Lk 10), he compares the judgment they will receive to the fiery judgment received by these ancient cities.
I don't know about you, but I'm not a big fan of the word "judgment." I'd rather focus on words like "love," "mercy," and "grace." And God's gentle generosity is, indeed, the overwhelming and dominant themes in scripture. But we must not forget the undeniable theme of consequence.
Now, I don't like the word "consequence" much either. But that too is a repeated theme in scripture. Our actions have consequences. But when Jesus Christ came to save us from our sins, it is clear he also wanted to save us from the consequences of these actions too. Rather than having us continue to wallow in our "wickedness" or "br[ing] evil on [our]selves," the whole Gospel is his God's desire to set us free -- free from sin, free from consequence, and free from judgment.
Love, mercy, grace, and peace are the natural and sulfurless fruits of turning away from sin.
In Christ's Love,
a guy who's calling a moving truck
(I don't want to live anywhere near
Sodom and Gomorrah anymore)

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Speak gently. carefully. thoughtfully. graciously. humbly.

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