“Then the men said to Lot, ‘Have you anyone else here? Son-in-law, your sons, your daughters, and whomever you have in the city—take them out of this place! For we will destroy this place, because the outcry against them has grown great before the face of the LORD, and the LORD has sent us to destroy it.’ So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who had married his daughters, and said, ‘Get up, get out of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city!’ But to his sons-in-law he seemed to be joking. When the morning dawned, the angels urged Lot to hurry, saying, ‘Arise, take your wife and your two daughters who are here, lest you be consumed in the punishment of the city.’ And while he lingered, the men took hold of his hand, his wife’s hand, and the hands of his two daughters, the LORD being merciful to him, and they brought him out and set him outside the city. So it came to pass, when they had brought them outside, that he said, ‘Escape for your life! Do not look behind you nor stay anywhere in the plain. Escape to the mountains, lest you be destroyed.’ Then Lot said to them, ‘Please, no, my lords! Indeed now, your servant has found favor in your sight, and you have increased your mercy which you have shown me by saving my life; but I cannot escape to the mountains, lest some evil overtake me and I die. See now, this city is near enough to flee to, and it is a little one; please let me escape there (is it not a little one?) and my soul shall live.’ And he said to him, ‘See, I have favored you concerning this thing also, in that I will not overthrow this city for which you have spoken. Hurry, escape there. For I cannot do anything until you arrive there.’ Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar.”
You Should Believe That God Was Determined to Destroy the World
God decided to destroy Sodom. It was because the sins of the Sodomites abounded in that land. While God was determined to carry out this judgment, people were slow to put their faith in His Word concerning this and also had little faith. In today’s Scripture passage the angels sent by God visited Lot, Abraham’s nephew, and warned them, “We have come to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah along with their sins. We will destroy this land you are living in. Make haste and take your family out of this land right now.” Lot then passed this message of warning on to his daughters and his sons-in-law who were also living in Sodom. He told them urgently, “God said He will be destroying this land along with the sins of its inhabitants, so we should leave this land right now and escape to the mountains.”
How did his sons-in-law respond to him? They did not believe him. They thought he was joking. It is written, “So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who had married his daughters, and said, ‘Get up, get out of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city!’ But to his sons-in-law he seemed to be joking” (Genesis 19:14).
God’s angels appeared to Lot and his family again. They then forced Lot along with his wife and his two daughters out of that place. God made His mind up to consume that place with fire and brimstone, so His angels took hold of their hands and led them out from that city because they were lingering far too long. God could not wait any longer and have them linger any longer in Sodom because He was determined to destroy that accursed city. Leaving his sons-in-law behind who took God’s Word as a joke, God forcefully led Lot, his wife and his two daughters out by their hands. Because God pulled them out by force to save their lives, his family could escape. But Lot’s wife was unable to give up her attachments to that city, disobeyed God’s Word and looked back and turned immediately into a pillar of salt.
When God told them to escape to the high mountains, Lot pleaded with God, saying, the journey to the high mountains would be too long and arduous. So he asked, “Please God let us rather flee to the small hill over there.” Although God had originally planned to destroy that hill also, He favored them and let them escape there. Thanks to the grace and mercy of God, only Lot and his two daughters were saved. This is the storyline of what we have just read today.
What lesson is God trying to teach us here? It is that we should believe in God and His Word. We should believe in His Word that says He will destroy this world as He did to the land of Sodom. The land of Sodom was overflowing with countless sins at that time. God could not tolerate such a sinful land any longer. And so He rained down fire and brimstone on that land. The Bible records that fire and brimstone rained down from the heavens (Genesis 19:24). The people living in that place were completely destroyed. This biblical account was verified when some renowned archeologists found piles of burnt grain while digging up the ruins of that city while doing their research.
A long time ago an exhibition titled, “The Last Day of Pompeii” was held in the City of Seoul. At this exhibition many of the remains of Sodom such as half-burnt human bones of the Sodomites were displayed. The Sodomites in those days were burned and buried alive when God’s wrath hit that land.
God Never Fails to Do What He Is Determined to Do
Dear fellow believers, we must believe in the Word of God just as it is. Once He makes up His mind to do something, He will do it without fail. God also said He would destroy this world as He destroyed the land of Sodom. He promised that He would rescue the righteous people first and then condemn the rest.
Brother Kwon, one of our gospel believers, was in hospital with an unknown illness, and was in much pain. Some fellow believers visited him before they attended a revival meeting held at our branch church in Seoul. The hospital told his family to take him home for he had little chance to recover. He pleaded with God to take his life quickly so that he would no longer be in such pain. So God took him home last night. Although he is not with us now, I think it is fortunate for him to die after receiving the remission of sins through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. I believe that Brother Kwon is now in Heaven. I am sure he is in the Kingdom where the Lord is. The same thing is waiting for us. Even though our bodies still remain on this earth, our souls have already received this perfect salvation through the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
God who has saved us will destroy this world without a doubt. We truly believe it. We need to hold onto our faith in His Word. God is likewise telling us, “Preach the gospel urgently to our families and everyone else and lead them away from their places that will soon be destroyed. Be sure that no one considers My Word as a joke.”
When Lot delivered the angels’ warning to his sons-in-law they thought that he was joking. This is because they were not born again yet. Because Lot refrained from preaching the gospel to his sons-in-law, they were destroyed. God told Abraham that He would spare the land of Sodom if there had been 10 righteous people there in. However, Sodom and Gomorrah was destroyed because there were not 10 righteous people in these cities. How many righteous people do you think were living in that land where Lot lived? Only Lot, his wife, and his two daughters were considered righteous people. Nonetheless, Lot’s wife turned into a pillar of salt when she looked back at the world. What does this mean? It means that even the righteous can’t walk away from the promise of God. Through this incident of Lot’s wife, God teaches us that even a righteous person can be destroyed when they linger too long in this world.
We therefore need to take the Word of God seriously and believe in it sincerely and we must never regard it as a joke. God appeared to Lot and told him that He would destroy that land because its sins were overflowing. And God fulfilled His promise to the dot. And God still warns us that He will destroy this sinful world. He said He would destroy this world through disasters such as famines, earthquakes, diseases, thirst and wars. God said clearly and specifically that those who receive the mark of the beast (666) will be completely destroyed. But God’s own people will never receive it, and therefore this mark will only be on the worldly people. For this reason, we should believe God’s Word. We must live by faith. We should have faith in His promise that He will indeed destroy this world. Dear fellow believers, do you believe that God will destroy this world? Do you truly believe that this world will be destroyed? Do you also believe that this time of judgment is not too far from now?
God Showed Mercy on Lot
God pulled Lot and his two daughters out of the land of Sodom by force. If it had not been for the mercy of God, all of them would have been burned to death by this fire and brimstone. God is a merciful God, for He delivered them from such disasters. As we have seen here, God will definitely deliver us the righteous from this world of destruction and bring us to a safe place. We can be so certain of God’s will through today’s message.
While Lot received God’s favor, his sons-in-law did not receive such favor. What was the reason? It was because they did not believe what their father-in-law had told them, and took the Word of God lightly as a joke. Nor did they believe their wives. In short, they were devoid of faith and faced the same fate as all the other people in that doomed land. Therefore, the final destiny of those who don’t live by faith is destruction. Those who don’t believe in God or His Word will be destroyed alone and at once, while their believing family members get rescued. Everyone should have their own faith, and it is no use having a believing family member if that person himself does not have faith in God’s Word. God is telling us that this can happen even to your own family. He also reminds us that He shows mercy to those who believe in Him.
In short, you have to believe that God will destroy this world. This world we live in now is about to be destroyed. This is why we should never take God’s Word lightly as a joke. We should never consider the Word of God as a joke or complete nonsense. We must lead our lives of faith believing that His Word will surely come true.
Dear fellow believers, we need to receive God’s mercy. We need His favor. Lot’s wife died at that moment when she could have been saved. God sent His angels to take Lot, his wife, and his two daughters out of Sodom by leading them out with their hands. He warned that they would be destroyed if they looked back. What then did Lot’s wife do? Being worldly minded, she could not help thinking about her possessions and jewelry. As a result, she had left behind as she saw fire and brimstone raining down with a loud noise. Because she was unable to give up her attachment to this world, she disobeyed God’s Word and looked back. As soon as she turned her head doubting that she would ever be destroyed, she immediately turned into a pillar of salt exactly as God had said. Even nowadays, we can see many pillars of salt in the Dead Sea region. People have wildly assumed that a certain human-shaped pillar of salt could be Lot’s wife. Be that as it may, we should never be like Lot’s wife. We need to believe in God’s Word. We should never consider His Word as a joke. We must believe that His Word is the Truth and nothing but the Truth.
As believers in God and in His Word, our tasks for the rest of our lives are to preach the gospel to save people’s souls. This is what we who have received God’s mercy need to do. You and I received our salvation through God’s favor. God loved us because of His great mercy, and we were saved thanks to His love. In other words, we have received salvation through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, which is the kernel of God’s love. Jesus took away all the sins of the world and delivered us from all our sins. We were delivered by believing in the Word of God with our whole hearts. What else can we call this other than God’s mercy? Indeed, God has shown us His true mercy through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. This is similar to God’s mercy granted to Lot who was saved from destruction. I give thanks to God for His mercy.
I Will Preach What This Gospel Truth Really Is All over the World
Some people will take God’s Word as a joke as Lot’s sons-in-law did, while others will take it seriously and receive salvation. It is up to them. All we can do is to just preach the gospel of the Lord to as many people as we can. We need to tell our family by faith that this world will be destroyed. We should tell them to receive their true salvation by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. I have no doubt that there are people like Lot’s sons-in-law and people like Lot’s daughters. No matter what kind of people they are, we need to preach the gospel to them. We must impart the gospel to everyone on this earth. In the end, we must preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit to the Israelis. We are done when our publications are handed out in Israel. By the time our mission books in the Hebrew language are distributed throughout Israel and our ministry workers are sent there to deliver this gospel, then world evangelism can be seen as complete.
As we see the Biblical account of the fall of Sodom and Gomorrah, so we need to put our faith in God’s Word that He will for sure destroy this sinful world someday. We should not be the people who take God’s Word as a joke just like Lot’s sons-in-law. Instead, we should lead a life of bringing souls out from their imminent destruction by faith. Take this into your heart again and again. You and I truly need to lean on God’s Word entirely until we meet the Lord. That is the key point of God’s message for us today. We need to take the Word of God into our hearts, not just into our heads. We must believe in God’s Word just as it is.
We Are Living in the Last Days of the World
Dear fellow believers, do you know what is so rampant these days? It is credit cards. We don’t know how many people have bad credit. There are also many related problems such as lost credit cards or duplicated cards. I seldom use credit cards, but I also have a few credit cards. Including my phone card, I have several plastic cards. They are very convenient to use, but it becomes problematic when I lose any of them. The trouble starts when any criminal uses my cards. Won’t the authorities eventually come up with a way to prevent people from losing their cards? A microchip or responder with all of your information stored in it will soon be injected into your body and this will be the mark of 666 the Bible speaks about. Devices which were originally invented by humans for their convenience, will cross the line and become our rulers. The time will come when humans will serve machines as gods.
This era indeed is perilous. It seems that the end is near. China opened its doors and so did Russia. Almost all the communist countries collapsed and the entire world is becoming as one. Soon God will come back and judge this sinful world. He will first rescue those obedient ones who were saved from this sinful world, and then He will burn the rest by raining down fire and of brimstone upon them. People won’t be able to take any of their possessions with them. As the city of Sodom was completely destroyed, the whole world will be destroyed by fire.
In May of 2008 a devastating earthquake measuring magnitude 8.0 hit the Sichuan Province of China. Over 70,000 people died or were lost by this one time calamity. China still suffers from that severe earthquake because countless people were injured and suffered severe property losses. Mongolia also had a strong earthquake measuring a magnitude 6.5 level. Leading geologists have predicted that there will be frequent super-earthquakes in China and Russia in the near future. Even our country Korea is experiencing small earthquakes. In the past, Korea was considered to be a safe zone from earthquakes, but it seems that the continent including the Korean Peninsula is no longer safe from earthquakes. Since Korea is not ready for such devastating earthquakes, when a strong earthquake hits this country, the country will fall hopelessly. I heard on the news that a three-story house collapsed during its remodeling. When an earthquake with a magnitude of just over 6.0 level hits Korea, most houses will collapse. In other words, Korea will be completely destroyed once the country is hit by such an earthquake. Korean people have not built earthquake-proof houses. Not all houses will stand earthquakes. This means that most houses will be ruined in a time of severe earthquakes. God can do such things easily when He is determined to do so.
You and I believe in God’s Word that He will indeed destroy this world. Therefore, we need to live by faith in God’s Word and preach this gospel of the Lord to everyone in this world. You need to preach the gospel to your family members ceaselessly regardless of their response. They will not continue to turn away from this gospel to the end, if you say to them, “This gospel corresponds exactly with the Word in the Bible. So believe in this gospel.” I am sure most of them will submit tamely to this gospel because they also have become aware that the last days of the earth are imminent. They also acknowledge this fact. In the past, people used to have an aversion towards the message that this planet earth will end according to God’s Word, but now even non-believers know that the world will soon end. They can sense it themselves. Not long ago, Thailand and Malaysia lost some tens of thousands of people during a typhoon. That was an alarming calamity due to a radical weather change. When cold air meets hot air in the ocean, it creates a whirlpool as high as a mountain; if there are any people or any boats, the whirlpool sucks them up and elevates them to a mountain level. Such a devastating whirlwind can break ocean going ships in half and split people into pieces.
Such disasters are becoming more frequent these days. It is quite likely that there will be more and more of such disasters in the future. Meteorologists know that the world climate has become abnormal. People would not believe that parts of the rain forest of the Amazon would become a desert. How about now? Desertification of this region has been taking place increasingly due to El Nino. When we see these dramatic changes in the world’s climate and the change in world’s politics, we can realize that the last days are imminent. We can also be certain that the judgment day of the Lord is near when we see the overflowing wickedness in everyone’s hearts.
Let’s Believe That the Last Days Are Near
Dear fellow believers, we need to live by faith. Where will we the righteous go when the world perishes? The earth will become a new Kingdom. It is written in the Bible that our Lord will renew everything and resurrect the righteous after the earth is completely destroyed. Therefore, we can have true hope only by believing in the Millennial Kingdom that God has promised.
God said He would destroy this world. We believe in God’s Word, which is very detailed and deliberate. We trust in His Word and wait for the Day of the Lord. We will deliver the gospel until the day the Lord returns. I told you at the beginning of this sermon that God took our Brother Kwon to Heaven a few days ago. I was so glad when I heard that his sister also received the remission of sins by believing in the gospel of God during the funeral services. I want you to know this fact that delivering the gospel to people in these last days is a truly rewarding job.
Dear fellow believers, preach the gospel to your family. Deliver it clearly so that no one can take the Word of God as a joke just like Lot’s sons-in-law. Tell them what will happen to this earth and tell them everything that is predicted in the Word of God. Whoever lives on earth must be prepared for that Day. We need to teach them that the only precaution we can take is to believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, through which we can be saved by faith. So deliver them this genuine gospel of the water and the Spirit. Too many people are lingering around waiting to be destroyed. Many family members of our brothers and sisters will be destroyed. Therefore, we the believers need to stand firm first in our faith. God wants us to have a strong faith in Him. God tells us to trust in Him. So we must trust in Him.
God is telling us that the end of the world is imminent. He urges us to deliver the gospel, warning us that He will burn down this world with fire. As these fireballs fell and burned the inhabitants as well as its crops, a similar thing will happen to this earth in this time and age. Fire will rain down from above. This fire rain can be explained scientifically. When the stars collide with each other, its debris will fall to this earth in a form of devastating fireballs. Fire raining down from the sky is then more than possible. It is because some asteroids are moving through the earth’s orbit. For this reason, you and I must believe in God’s Word first and deliver it sincerely to our family members.
We Should Be Prepared for the Last Days by Believing in the Word of God
What should we do to prepare for these last days? First of all, we should have faith. We need faith. God tells us to believe in Him and He wants to receive such faith from us. What is there for us to place our hope in? This world is a tiring and hopeless place. Therefore we must believe in the Word of God that this world will perish by this fire rain someday. If we take this as a joke, we will sink down into this whirlpool of destruction. Or we may turn into pillars of salt while lingering on our worldly possessions. How miserable will that be if one of us goes through such destruction? We may not know what will happen tomorrow, but we still need to live out our faith as we believe that the Lord will surely judge this world with fire. By having this faith, we need to deliver the gospel to our families including the people around the world. We need to live by faith. Even if tomorrow is the end of the earth, we should still do our job. As we go to work or to school with no change, we need to serve the Lord through our possessions and prayers. Keep this in mind always. God will destroy this world with fire. We must believe this as we live out our faith. Do you believe this?
What I want to tell you today is that we need to be ready for the last days by believing in the Word of God. Even if the Lord returns tomorrow, we still should live out our faith and deliver the gospel in union with the Church without wavering. We also need to preach the gospel abroad through our literature ministry; we should preach it equally to disabled and to able people; we should hand out our mission books equally to homosexuals as well as to heterosexuals. No matter whom we meet, we need to deliver this heavenly message to them clearly, “You can be saved only when you believe in this genuine gospel. You can go to Heaven when your heart becomes sinless through this gospel of the water and the Spirit.” This is what I wanted to admonish you today.
I believe in God’s Word. I believe in His Word that says this world will be destroyed. Since I believe this, I want to preach this gospel to more and more people. I don’t have hopes or attachments to this world anymore, because I believe in God’s Word. This is why I don’t heap up my possessions in this world. Instead, I put my treasures in Heaven as my savings. Because I believe in the Word which says, “Where your treasure is, your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21), I give everything to God who dwells in my heart. Because I believe that the world is coming to an end, I can put everything I have in preaching the gospel, and not invest it in this world. I can do this because of my belief.
If you truly believe that the world will end soon, then live fully for the gospel. Don’t have regrets later because of not giving your life for the gospel. Give all you have to God for His gospel. You can’t take any of your possessions with you when the world is destroyed. I tell you this because I believe it will surely happen in the near future. If any one of you still hesitates in believing in what I have said, then stop this madness and put your faith in it even now. It is truly a trustworthy Truth. While this is so very obvious, if you say you can’t believe in what I have said, then you have no right to be a follower of Christ.
If you can’t believe the Word of the Lord that the world will end, your faith in God is good for nothing. God washed your sins cleanly away through the water and the Spirit. Jesus took away all our sins through His baptism and took the penalty in our stead by dying on the Cross. If you believe that Jesus saved you from all your sins and destruction like this, then you should also believe that the end days are approaching fast. And we should live for the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. If you don’t believe the fact that God will destroy this world, it will be less likely that you will keep your faith—this faith that you have received the remission of sins. Therefore, live by faith and defend your faith.
This evening I shared with you from Genesis chapter 19 the work of God that was revealed to Lot, Abraham’s nephew. I’d like to close my sermon with a reminder that God will destroy this world just as He said. I trust that all of you will become genuine believers in Christ. Halleluiah!