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As It Was In The Days Of Lot
Luke 17:28-29 Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; 29 But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. (KJV) . . . Jesus' words.
Matthew 11:23-24 And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. 24 But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee. (KJV) . . . Jesus' words.
And thou Capernaum . . . this city is singled out from all the rest, and spoken to particularly, because of its unusual advantages.
Which art exalted unto heaven . . . this city had a tremendous privilege. It was the place where Christ chose to live and where He first began to preach. It was where He had done a long list of miracles: He cured the centurion's servant, recovered Peter's wife's mother from a fever, healed the man sick of a palsy, raised Jairus's daughter from the dead, made whole the woman that had a bloody issue, opened the eyes of two blind men, and cast out a devil from a dumb man who was possessed with one . . . ALL these and more He did in this one city, and therefore He might justly chastise them.
Shalt be brought down to hell . . . Isaiah 14:15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. (KJV) . . . it would end with very humbling destiny, be destroyed and laid waste as a city, as it was in the times of Vespasian; and the inhabitants of it not only punished with temporal worldly destruction, but everlasting destruction.
For if the mighty works which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day . . . the sense of these words is the same as verse 22, but this may be observed, that while Capernaum was superior in privileges and advantages than the other cities, they acted in a vile and ungrateful way, causing its impenitence and unbelief to be more aggravated, so a still viler set of men are picked . . . the men of Sodom, to compare them with. As wicked as the men of that Sodom were, so infamous for their unnatural lusts (Gen.19) . . . BUT, had they had enjoyed such a ministry as Christ's, and had had such miracles done among them . . . in all probability they would have repented of their heinous crimes; at least in an external way, to escape that dreadful judgment which laid their city, and several bordering ones, in ashes.
But I say unto you . . . He is speaking to Capernaum, and the inhabitants there.
It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom, in the day of judgment, than for thee . . . although the punishment of the men of Sodom will be very great, because their iniquities were horribly dreadful and enormous . . . yet Sodom’s last day judgment will be more easy to bear than the vengeance of the Judge (Rev.20:15), which in the last and universal judgment, will fall upon Capernaum, who have had the Means of grace right there among them, and had despised them, for they had had the personal Presence of Jesus, His ministry and His miracles were right there among them, and turned their backs on Him, rejecting Him completely. Such a way of expressing and setting forth the more severe punishment of others, by that of Sodom, is not unusual in the Old Testament. Lamentations 4:6 For the punishment of the iniquity of the daughter of my people is greater than the punishment of the sin of Sodom, that was overthrown as in a moment, and no hands stayed on her. (KJV) . . . A far heavier punishment for Israel than the punishment of Sodom, because Israel abounded with prophets who warned them to repent, whereas Sodom had no prophets to warn them. But what about today? Do we have “prophets”? YES! The Bible, which graces the homes of the vast majority of people, and good pastors who bring the Word of God. In today’s time, anyone who brings the Truth to people are “prophets”. This is the harshest language of all that came from the lips of the gentle Jesus. He speaks here as the Judge and King. Does this strong language make you sit up and listen? It would be better for someone who never heard the Gospel than to be one who sits in a pew in one of our modern churches, having a Bible but has never accepted Christ as Saviour.
2 Peter 2:21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.(KJV) . . . NOT that ignorance is good, or is it to be excused; but it is a lesser evil. Peter says that their sin would have been less if they had NOT heard or known the Truth . . . but now, he says, they sin against knowledge, so their apostasy is much worse than their ignorance would have been (Mat.11:23-24; Luke 12:47-48). John 12:48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. (KJV) . . . Jesus' words.
It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you . . . Tyre and Sidon’s punishment that shall come in the day of judgment will be more mild and moderate than it would be for Chorazin and Bethsaida. These words suppose, that the men of Tyre and Sidon will be punished for their many abominable sins, committed against the law and light of nature; but that the inhabitants of Chorazin and Bethsaida, having rejected the Messiah, and the doctrines of the Gospel, against all the evidence of miracles, and convictions of their own minds, and probably sinned the sin against the Holy Ghost (Mat.12:31-32). Light creates responsibility. The Lord never had a ministry in Tyre or Sidon, but He spent a lot of time in the area of Chorazin and Bethsaida, and He holds them responsible for the light which He gave them. It is my understanding that there will be degrees of punishment as well as degrees of reward at the time of God's judgment. Even in our own day, there are many people who have had a perfect opportunity to receive Christ, but they have turned their backs on Him. I do not know what God will do with that person who has never heard the Gospel and bows down and worships an image, but I do know what God is going to do with that person who comes and sits in church Sunday after Sunday and hears the gospel and does nothing about it. Romans 1:20-22 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, (KJV) . . . This tells me that God gives everyone enough light to see God. ALL persons COULD see God in ANY of His Creation IF they would just open their eyes and heart.
Wickedness all around us! Wickedness is worsening continually, just as it did in the days before the Flood!
1 Thes. 4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. (KJV)
In reality, there are some (a few) now living who will never die (TRUE believers) . . . while on the other hand . . . there are millions now living who are already spiritually dead!
Spiritual death is eternal separation from the one and only TRUE God (Hell).
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