The Sin of Sodom

The Sin of Sodom

May 19th, 1985 @ 10:50 AM

Ezekiel 16:48-50

As I live, saith the Lord GOD, Sodom thy sister hath not done, she nor her daughters, as thou hast done, thou and thy daughters. Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good.
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THE SIN OF SODOM
Dr. W. A. Criswell
Ezekiel 16:48-50

5-19-85    10:50 a.m.

 

 

And may God no less bless the multitudes of you who share this hour with us on radio and on television.  During these many days we are listening to the Word of God as He speaks to us through the prophet Ezekiel.   And the message this Lord’s Day is from the sixteenth chapter of Ezekiel beginning at verse 45.  It is entitled The Sin of Sodom.  In addressing the dereliction and the depravity of his own people, Ezekiel the prophet says beginning at verse 45 in chapter 16:

Your mother was a Hittite, and your father an Amorite.  Thine elder sister is Samaria, she and her daughters that dwelt at thy left hand:  and thy younger sister, that dwelleth at thy right hand, is Sodom and her daughters.

Yet hast thou not walked after their ways, nor done after their abominations: but, as if that were a very little thing, thou wast corrupted more than they in all thy ways.  As I live, saith the Lord God, Sodom thy sister hath not done, she nor her daughters, as thou hast done, thou and thy daughters. 
Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fullness of bread, abundance of idleness . . . neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.

They were haughty, and committed abomination before Me: therefore I took them away when I saw it.

[Ezekiel 16:45-50]

 

There are several ways to deliver a message from God’s Holy Word.  There are several kinds of sermons.  There is a topical sermon, in which a man chooses a subject and he develops the subject.  My great, far-famed, illustrious predecessor, Dr.  George W.  Truett, was a topical preacher, preaching on repentance or on faith or on the need for comfort.

There is a sermon designated as a textual sermon, taking a text out of the Bible and delivering the message of God presented in that text.  Charles Haddon Spurgeon, the greatest Baptist preacher – and, I think, the greatest preacher who ever lived – Charles Spurgeon was a textual preacher.  Every sermon he ever delivered was from a text.

Another type of preaching is expository, an exposition, taking a passage out of the Bible, a paragraph, a chapter, two chapters, half of a book and expounding the meaning and message of God from that passage.  Your pastor, this present pastor, is an expository preacher.  He preaches sections and pieces and paragraphs out of the Word of God.

There is a type of sermon that is a character study, preaching about Noah, or Abraham, or David, or Isaiah, or Peter, or John, or Paul.  Then there is another kind of a sermon: an exegetical sermon, exegesis, taking what God says and looking at the very words that  He uses and finding the ultimate and final meaning of those words of God, an exegetical sermon.  The sermon today is an exegesis.  I rarely ever present, preach a sermon exegetical, but once in a while I do, and today is that: taking the Word of God and seeing what that Word means and how it applies to us today. 

So this message on the sin of Sodom; the judgment of God upon Sodom made an everlasting and indelible impression upon the writers of the Bible.  The story, as you would know, is told in Genesis 13 and Genesis 18 and 19.  But throughout the Bible, the story of that judgment upon Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities of plain is mentioned again and again.  The sin of Sodom is described in:  

 

·         Isaiah 3:9,

·         in Jeremiah 23:14,

·         in the text in Ezekiel I’ve just read [Ezekiel 16:45-50],

·          in Luke 17:29,

·         and in 2 Peter 2:6

·         and in Jude 7.

 

But that’s not all.  The sin of Sodom is mentioned:

·         in Deuteronomy 32:32,

·         in Isaiah 1:9-10,

·         in Isaiah 3:9,

·         in Isaiah 13:19,

·         in Jeremiah 23:14,

·         in Jeremiah :18

·         in Lamentations 4:6,

·         in Amos 4:11,

·         in Zephaniah 2:9,

·         in Matthew 10:15,

·         in Matthew 11:23-24,

·         in Mark 6:11,

·         in Luke 10:12,

·         in Luke 17:29,

·         in Romans 9:29,

·         in 2 Peter 2:6,

·         in Jude, verse 7,

·         and in Revelation 11:8.

 

I repeat, the judgment of God upon Sodom made an indelible and everlasting and unforgettable impression upon the men to whom were revealed the Word of God.  So, we’re going to take this message from the sixteenth chapter of Ezekiel and present it exegetically: what God said about Sodom, the sin of Sodom.

This was the iniquity of Sodom: pride, fullness of bread, idleness, not strengthening the hand of the poor and needy, haughty, and committing abomination [Ezekiel 16:-50].  So the first one here is pride, ga’on, pride.  It can be translated arrogance or conceit, ga’on.  Listen to the use of that word in the plea of Jeremiah 13:15-17: "Hear ye, and give ear:  be not ga’on,  proud":  arrogant, conceited, "for the Lord hath spoken.  Give glory to the Lord your God, before He cause darkness . . . But if you will not hear it, my soul shall weep in secret places for your ga’on" – because of your conceit, proud arrogance.  "Say unto the king and the queen, Humble yourselves . . . for your crown of glory is coming down" [Jeremiah 13:18].  Conceit, arrogance, the refusal to bow and to humble ourselves before the Lord God: "Do you think I would come down this aisle before this people? Do you think I would kneel here before the Lord God? Not I."

One of the richest men here in the city of Dallas, to whom appeal was made in behalf of Christ, answered, saying, "Religion is a crutch, and I am no cripple.  I don’t need God, and I don’t need religion, and I don’t need Jesus Christ, and I don’t need the church." Well and good.  Able, self-sufficient, imperious, arrogant, conceited.  But what is he going to do in the day of his age? And what is he going to do in the day of his death? And what is he going to do when they bury him in corruption in the ground? And what are they going to do when they stand at the judgment bar of Almighty God and face an everlasting eternity that presses upon us? [Revelation 20:11-15].

I cannot enter into the spirit of a man who sees in himself all self-sufficiency.  "I don’t need God.  I don’t need anything.  I’ll stand on my own two feet, and I’ll be chargeable for my own destiny." Listen to that word ga’on once again.  Proverbs 16:18: "Ga’on," pride, conceit, arrogance, "goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall." Everyone that is ga’on , that is conceited, and arrogant, and imperious, and self-sufficient is an abomination to the Lord.  How much better to be honest with ourselves: "I am not self-sufficient.  I am not able even for the great destinies of this life, the exigencies of this life, the imponderables of this life, I’m not equal.  And when time comes to die, Lord God, who shall help me when I can’t help myself? And who shall stand by me? My mediator and intercessor and savior in the day before the great judgment of Almighty God." The sin of Sodom: ga’on, proud, self-sufficient, arrogant [Ezekiel 16:].

 The second sin he says of Sodom: fullness of bread [Ezekiel 16:], siv’ah, fullness translated here – it refers to an insatiable desire for gain and for ease and for affluent living.  You’ll see that in Isaiah 56:11:  decrying the sins of his own people, Isaiah wrote: "They are greedy dogs which can never have siv’ah," they’re never satiated, they’re never satisfied.  "They never have" – translated here – "enough." They all look to their own way, everyone for gain.  "Come ye, say they, I will fetch wine, and we shall fill ourselves with strong drink; and tomorrow shall be as today, only much better, much more abundant" [Isaiah 56:12].  Lord, You would think that Isaiah is talking to our present generation.  "What I want is what I can grasp.  And this I do today is just a portent and an earnest and an harbinger of what I’m going to do tomorrow, only more, only more."

Ezekiel uses that same word, siv’ah, in the same chapter in verse 28.  Speaking of the insatiable carnal desire of his people, he says: "Thou hast played the whore with the Assyrians, because thou was siv’ah, unsatiable; yea, thou hast played the harlot with them, and yet couldest not be satisfied" [Ezekiel 16:28].  Now that is a tremendous and dramatic and tragic picture of his people, situated on one side the Assyrian empire and on the other side the Egyptian empire.  And for all of the centuries and centuries, those two empires were in a death struggle with each other.  What Ezekiel says here his people did: they played both sides against the middle.  They placated and were sycophantic  before both empires in order to gain for themselves.  They took all of the gods of Egypt, and in order to placate the Egyptian, they worshipped all the Egyptian gods.  Then they took all the gods of the Assyrians, and to placate the Assyrians, they worshipped the Assyrian gods.  That’s what Ezekiel says.

If you read in the Book of 2 Kings about Ahaz, Ahaz the king of Judah – Ahaz took the great altar, the altar of sacrifice, out of the temple court and placed in its stead the altar of the gods of Assyria and bowed down before them, all for the sake of gain [2 Kings 16:10-18].  What we want is to be prosperous and to be affluent and to be full, this word siv’ah, fullness [Ezekiel 16:].

I think of the church of Laodicea, the seventh one of the churches of Asia, the only one concerning which our Lord had no word of commendation.  The church at Laodicea said, "We are full, and we are affluent, and we have need of nothing." And the Lord said, "And you do not know that you are poor and naked, sterile and have need of everything" [Revelation 3:17].  How easy it is to be, to struggle to be, at ease in Zion [Amos 6:1-6].  "Don’t bother me.  What I want are the things that placate all of the carnal desires of my life.  And when I have that, that is the great goal and aim of my life: things and things, a fullness of things" [Ezekiel 16:]. Finally, we become so surfeited and maybe insatiably asking for a satiation until we’re interested in nothing else.  I think of our own church and of the spirit of our people in our church.  And I don’t mean by this to be caustic or to be critical of us.  But my idea, my persuasion about our people is: "Pastor, don’t stand up there and ask us to do anything above what we’re now doing.  Don’t ask us to build a building.  Or don’t ask us to add to our facilities.  Or don’t ask us in a great challenge to do something good for God.  We want to be left alone.  We want to be at ease in Zion." We want to be seated here, and consequently, we don’t plan anything great.  We don’t reach out for anything noble, and we don’t make any great sacrifice for anything! And that will ruin our own spirits and our own relationship with God.  There’s no doubt about it.  What we do for God are always to have in it somewhat, something of a sacrifice; it costs [2 Samuel 24:23-25].

Most of us, we bring some gift to the church.  It doesn’t matter to us one way or another; it doesn’t cost us anything.  We take out of our sufficiency and out of our abundance and give a token to the Lord.  But there’s no blood in it; there are no tears in it; there’s no sacrifice in it.  And there’s not any spirit in our church that the pastor will stand up there and lead us in some great sacrificial program that will cost us.  Don’t you do that, preacher, we’re at ease.  We go this thing going.  We got these debts paid.  We got these buildings all set.  And we got other things prepared.  We got it all arranged for.  Now don’t trouble us, don’t trouble us." That was the sin of Sodom, God says; fullness, at ease, the sin of the Laodiceans: "Don’t bother us."  He’s not through: "pride, fullness, and abundance of idleness" [Ezekiel 16:]; shaqat, careless ease.  The prime root of shaqat is to repose, to be undisturbed, to be inactive, and here in Ezekiel, it refers to presumptuous security.

The sin of Sodom, shaqat;  I want us to look at that, because what a word God has for us in America!  In the eighteenth chapter of the Book of Judges, in the seventh verse, you’ll find that shaqat.  It’s the story of the Danites.  The Danites were not happy with God’s allotment for them in the Promised Land.  So they went north, and they found there a people and a city in Laish.  And listen to his description of them: he says, "They came to Laish, and saw the people therein, how they dwelt careless, quiet and secure," shaqat, careless ease [Judges 18:7].  And what they did, they took those people by storm and destroyed them.  And they chose their own allotment in the land of Israel and built there Dan.  And when you hear the praise from Dan to Beersheba, that’s where Dan was built, "and the people were shaqat":   they made no provision for their defense, and these cruel Danites saw them and destroyed them [Judges 18:7-31].

Now another instance of that word: in Ezekiel 38:11, he’s speaking of a prophecy concerning Gog of the land of Magog.  Now when I come to that chapter, that thirty-eighth chapter in the Book of Ezekiel, we’re going to read what God says Russia is going to do.  That refers to the land of Russia.  And he says, "Thou shall say" – talking about the land of Magog – "thou shalt say: I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest" [Ezekiel 38:11].

These are shaqat that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls and having neither bars nor gates.  And they take that country and these countries and destroy them.  That’s what God says about Russia and about the land of Gog and Magog and the future – finally, when I’ll get to it, it will refer to the ultimate and final battle of the world.  Well, what does that word refer to? It refers to the tendency on the part of people not to pay the price for their defense.  Cost too much money.  Takes too much power.  It takes too many men.  And we are not willing to pay the price for our defense.  Consequently, the country up there that the Danites took, they overran it, and consequently, ultimately, the Bible says, Russia will finally plunge this world into an Armageddon, because the people let down their defenses.

Now I’m not saying anything other than what I read in the paper.  America is increasingly like that.  We don’t want to pay the price for a strong defense, to build a great wall of security around our nation.  We’ve got other things we want to do.  And that money that is spent for the building of a great power that would confront the Russian army and the Russian military outlay is too great for us.  And we don’t want to pay the price for it.  Now that is going to increase.  You’re going to see that spirit more and more and more in America.  And you’re going to see Russia reach out and reach out. 

What is the Monroe Doctrine? The Monroe Doctrine is that no country outside of the hemisphere of the Americas is to reach over here and have an influence and mold or make the destiny of our people and our nation and our continents.  What is happening today?  There is more and more and more of Russia in our hemisphere.  They already have Cuba.  They already have Nicaragua.  And they’re getting ready to take over Salvador, and they’re down there in South America, and they’re working in Mexico.  And more and more you’re going to see that in our hemisphere, violating our great Monroe Doctrine.  And what do our people do about it?  "Too much trouble.  Too costly.  Remember Vietnam.  Remember all of these things that – and after all, why, communism isn’t very bad."  It just destroys all your churches.  It just locks up all your free people.  It puts the people in a vise.  They lead a regimented life.  It makes them poor.  It makes them poverty stricken.  It makes them dull of mind.  It makes them impossible in face, and in life, and in action.  They become robots.  They’ve lost all hope, they’ve lost all incentive, they’ve lost all ambition, they just live and that’s all – but that’s not bad?

Man alive, I don’t know what’s the matter with our country! I don’t know what’s the matter with our people.  I don’t know what’s the matter with about half of our Congress.  I don’t understand it! That is exactly what was the sin of Sodom, God says.  They didn’t have any inclination.  They didn’t have any – any will to build a great defense for themselves.  They were shaqat, fullness [Ezekiel 16:].

I think of an overtone of that word that is translated here idleness [Ezekiel 16:].  There’s an overtone in it.  And I haven’t time to play on it, but shaqat; man, we have time for all kinds of entertainment, and we have time for recreation, and we have time for all kinds of things, but we don’t have time for God.  There were days and days and generations in America when the Lord’s Day was a holy day.  The day has come when the Lord’s Day now is a holiday.  If you’re going to have a tremendous golf contest, put the climax of it on the Lord’s Day.  Sunday, that’s the day for it to reach its climax.  If you’re going to have a baseball game, play it on Sunday, the big game.  If you’re going to have any kind of an athletic contest, see to it that it is arranged in its climax on Sunday.

And to my great amazement, the Puritan who came here to this nation and the Pilgrim who came here to this nation kept the Lord’s Day sacred and holy for God.  Our legislature this last week said:  we’re now going to open all of our stores on Sunday.  The whole thing is going to be like Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday, Monday, Thursday, Wednesday, all of them are going to be alike. 

Where is America turning to? Where is she going? Where is her destiny? God said Sodom did that.  And we’re doing the identical thing.  We must hasten.  "Pride, fullness, idleness, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and the needy" [Ezekiel 16:].  Strengthen the hand of the poor and the needy, shaqat chazaq, to repent, to build, to help, to mend, to strengthen.  Now sometimes the word is used to strengthen that which is bad.  Ezekiel uses it that way, 13:22: "Because with lies you have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad; and you have chazaq,  you have strengthened the hands of the wicked, that he should not return from his wicked way, by promising him life" [Ezekiel 13:22].

Same thing in Jeremiah 23:14: "I have seen in the prophets of Jerusalem a horrible thing . . . they chazaq, they strengthen, the hands of the evildoers." And in a tragic way they use that word to describe those who don’t help.  And in Ezekiel 34:4 he says: "The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost."

So many times when you find that word in the Bible; you didn’t help, you didn’t try, you didn’t minister, you didn’t reach these that are desperately needy.  When I accepted my first church out of the seminary, in Oklahoma, in the days of the deepest Depression, deepest Depression, I was ten years, as you know, out in the country, and I lived with the people.  I was single practically all that time.  And I – and I grew to love ministering to people, living with the people, just trying to help the people.  But as I walked and ministered in that county seat town, there were so many poor, hungry and cold and desperate, so I organized there in that church the Good Shepherd Mission.  You call it a chapel in our church, a ministry to the poor.  And the Lord only knows how much food and clothing and help by which we poured our very strength into those ministries. 

Well, when I came here to Dallas, I started the same thing.  Hard to get away from how you are, deny the way your heart is.  So when I came here to Dallas, I started the same thing.  And it has grown and grown and grown through the years until now we have twenty-four of those chapels in our dear church.  And when I am abroad, I’ll always be asked and especially by the media, "What does your church do for the poor and for the needy and for the people who need help?"  And I always reply, "One of the great ministries of our church, one of the great outreach, hands of helping, in our church is to these who desperately need us."  We hardly realize it: we come down here, but at the same time we’re here, there are twenty-four chapels sponsored by this wonderful church.  And they are ministering twenty-four hours a day.  They are giving out food, they are giving out clothing, they are taking to the doctor, they are helping.  That goes on in this church day and night, twenty-four hours every day of the year.  Our church pours into those ministries something like $800,000 a year.  Whenever we bring a gift to the church, a tithe, an offering, a part of it goes for those people.  I wouldn’t have it otherwise, nor could I rest in my heart if we didn’t do it.

Some people are poor not because they are bad.  Some people are poor, they are not able to make money.  They’re not gifted.  My father was one of them.  He had no gift at all for making money.  We barely lived.  But he’s one of the best men I ever knew.  Because a family is poor does not mean that they are wicked or iniquitous.  There are differences in families.  There are differences in people.  And some are gifted to be strong.  Some are sick and can’t help it.  There are some who are affluent, they are blessed.  There are some who are needy and somehow have difficulty overcoming it.  There are some who are well, hardly ever sick.  There are some who are ill and cannot help it.  What God says for us to do is the affluent is to help the poor, and the well is to help the sick, and the strong is to help the weak.

That is an assignment from God in heaven.  And when I see our church enter into those ministries, I rejoice and am glad.  It is a wonderful facet of our wonderful church.  And it’s growing, growing.  For years, we had one chapel, two chapels, three chapels here, now it is increasing more and more.  Think of our one church having twenty-four chapels, twenty-four missions, twenty-four chapels already.  And that’s going to continue to grow.  And I love the thought.  It is a sign of the blessing of God upon us.

He says here: they are not only proud, and full, and idle, and failed to strengthen the poor, but they were haughty; haughty, gabah, haughty, insolent, arrogant, scornful, disdainful [Ezekiel 16:].  Ezekiel speaks of that concerning the prince of Tyre, and the word is translated "lifted up" in Ezekiel 28:2.  And in one of these sermons that I’m going to preach – I think it’s next Sunday – it’s going to be on the origin of Satan.  That was the sin of Satan: he was haughty, and he was scornful, and he was proud, and he was lifted up, and he was insolent [Ezekiel 28:17].

Now, I don’t know whether I’ll do this or not.  I looked at it and I thought, law me, what will the women in our church think if I read what God says to the haughty woman? Well, in Isaiah 3:16-24 – and after this, I’ll apologize to each one of you.  I will, I will just ask you to forgive me – but this is what God says about a haughty woman.  He has a blistering condemnation of her.  All right, here’s what He says: "Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with flirting eyes, tripping along with ornaments, therefore the Lord will make their scalps bald.  The Lord will take away their finery, scarves, pendants, bracelets, head dresses, perfume boxes, rings, jewels, festal apparel, purses, mirrors, fine linen and robes.  And it shall be instead of a sweet smell there shall be a stench.  And instead of a sash a rope.  And instead of a well-set hairdo baldness.  And instead of a rich robe a girding of sackcloth." Now, what do you think about that? That’s what God said He is going to do, He said, with a haughty woman, a haughty woman.

Good night!  Why, I look, there are women who dream of the goal of being accepted as a socialite.  "O Lord, if I could just enter that circle and if I could just live that life" – I don’t exaggerate it when I say that is the emptiest of all the lives in the world.  And I’ve never understood why a woman would aspire to enter a worthless life like that.  While you’re circulating around in social circles and in all of the waste of the hours of the days and of the years, think of what you could do for Jesus.  Think of what you could do in one our missions.  Think of what you could do down here with our children.  Think of you what you could do with the poor.  Think of you what you could do with the sick.  Ten thousand ministries cry for help, and these wonderful and gifted women are socializing in circles where they can be imperious.  I don’t understand.  Anyway, that was a sin in Sodom.   

Now the last, and I don’t have time even to discuss it.  The last here is, "And they committed abomination before Me; therefore I took them away when I saw it" [Ezekiel 16:50].  To’ebah, to’ebah: it means unchastity, something corrupt, disgusting, morally abhorrent.  The word is used all through the Bible, so many, many times.  In fact, it is used forty-two times in Ezekiel alone.  Deuteronomy 14:3 says, "Thou shalt not eat anything to’ebah,  an abominable thing."

In Deuteronomy 12:31 concerning the Canaanites, "Every to’ebah thing which God hates, they did, including offering their sons and their daughters in the fire to their gods." Can you imagine that? Deuteronomy [27:15]: "Cursed be the man that maketh any graven or molten image. It is a to’ebah before the Lord."

In Leviticus 18:22: "Thou shalt not lie with a man as with a woman; it is a to’ebah,  it is an abomination, before the Lord.  Neither shalt thou lie with any beast to defile thyself [Leviticus 18:23].  It’s a to’ebah before the Lord.  For whosoever shalt commit any of these to’ebah, even that soul shall be cut off" [Leviticus 18:29].

Leviticus 20:13: "If a man lie with a man, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed to’ebah; they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be put upon them." Now, if I live ten thousand lifetimes, I’d never be able to understand that.  I cannot enter into it.  That’s the story in Genesis, part of which we read.  Two angels came, and Lot was the mayor of the city of Sodom, and he sat in the gate.  And when these two angels came, men, they were invited to be guest in the home of the mayor [Genesis 19:1-3].

And that night, that night, the men of Sodom – and it says the great and the small, the young and the old, can you think of that?  They pounded on the door of the house of Lot and said, "Bring out these two men that we may have sexual relations with them" [Genesis 19:4-5].

And Lot came out and said, "I have two daughters who are virgins.  You take them and you have sexual intercourse with my two daughters, but not with these two men" [Genesis 19:6-8].   And they said, "Who made you a judge over us?" And they began to press upon Lot and those angels seized him and pulled him inside the house and shut the door, and when they began to storm the door, the angels struck blindness over the eyes of the men of Sodom, young and old [Genesis 19:9-11].

And of course you remember the deliverance of Lot and the – and the judgment of God and fire and brimstone that fell upon Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities of the plain [Genesis 19:12-29], which is now a part of the southern part of the Dead Sea.  When you look at the Dead Sea, you can’t think but what an awesome judgment of God ever since.  Now, what do you think of that? There are two hundred fifty thousand sodomites in San Francisco alone.

I have seen them parade through the city on television, and I have seen pictures of them in the daily paper; two hundred fifty thousand sodomites in one city.  And, of course, having expatiated on that at the early service, one of the men, one of the fine men in our church came up to me after the early service and said, "Pastor, did you know the third city in America in the number of sodomites in it is the city of Dallas? Did you know that?" And he said, "Not only that, but did you know that the third city in the United States in the number of AIDS, the disease, the blight, the curse, the judgment of AIDS, is in the city of Dallas, did you know that?"

I said, "No, I did not know that.  I did not know that." I cannot enter into it.  It is absolutely beyond me.  Why would a man want to lie with another man as a man lies with a woman? How is that? And they say, you’re born that way.  You’re made that way.  Most of your doctors and psychologists will say that’s not so.  It’s a learned response.

But however it is, if a man had a tendency to lie with another man, like any other sin, you repulse it.  If you were tempted to steal or to embezzle, you’re not to do it.  You’re not.  If you’re – if you are in your heart drawn to a woman that you work with in your office, just like any other temptation, you’re not to do it.  I cannot enter into it.  But what I see in this sin of Sodom that incurred the judgment of Almighty God, I see that promiscuity pervading all of American life.

Last week – and I don’t look at television, I’d rather read; I’d much rather read than to look at television.  I will look at the news, and once in a while passing by, I will look for a moment.  Last week, on a national network, I was passing by in the room where our television is located, and I happened to look at a program, and I stopped and watched it.  The program was this: it was a discussion, an hour’s discussion on a nationwide network over one of the tremendous channels here in Dallas.  It was a nationwide discussion on:  should a girl go to bed when she has her first date, or should she go to bed with him on her second date, or should she go to bed with him on her third date, or should she go to bed with him on her fourth date? Or what date? What date is it that she goes to bed with her date? What, what, which one of those numbers?

Well, they had a woman who was a doctor of psychology and a doctor of relationships, and she was the one who had the recourse and all of the answers that were brought up.  And she said, and repeated it, she said: the girl can go to bed with that date, and any number of them, on the first one, or the third, or the second or the fourth, any time, just so she likes him.  Just so she likes him.   Now that on a national television, on a national network, without one hint of a suggestion that it might be better if she didn’t go to bed with him until they were married.  That is America.  It is modern America.  And we’re becoming increasingly, increasingly, increasingly that way, which is not God’s way.  I do not know what is the destiny of our nation; and I don’t know what is the ultimate of God upon our nation.  All I know is we need a great turning to the Lord.

We need a great revival.  We need a great Pentecostal intervention.  We need an outpouring of the Holy Spirit of God.  And it ought to begin in us.  If we could have a marvelous turning to God in our church, it would be caught like a flame of fire in thousands of other churches in America.  And it might mean the salvation of our nation.  The difference between the judgment of God upon us and the deliverance of our people could lie in this very congregation.

O God, that there might be a wonderful willingness on our part to turn from our wicked ways, to seek the face of the Almighty, to bow in humility in His presence and to call upon His saving name.  What would be wrong in our doing that? What is wrong with kneeling before the Lord? What is wrong with confessing our need of God?

What is wrong with saying, "O God, help me to rear these children in the love and nurture of Christ Jesus [Ephesians 6:4].  Lord, You bless, and help, and direct, and save, and keep."
What would keep a man from doing that, bowing before the Lord, asking God’s blessings, except his pride, and arrogance, and self-sufficiency? Lord, take it away from us.  And instead give us the spirit of leaning, of yieldedness, of surrenderedness, of humility, of bowing.  Do it, Lord.  Do it now.  Do it now.

In this moment we are going to sing our hymn of appeal and while we sing the song, to accept the Lord Jesus as your Savior, to come into the fellowship of our dear and wonderful church, to look up to God in love and grace and in blessing, "Pastor, this is my wife and these are children, all of us are coming today."  Or, "This is my friend."  Or, "This is my husband.  The two of us are coming," or just that one somebody you.  In the balcony there is time and to spare, down one of these stairways, in the press on this lower floor, down one of these aisles, "Pastor, this is God’s day for me, and I am on the way."  May angels attend you.  God bless you as you come, while we stand and while we sing.