So also as it was in the days of Lot [people] ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; but on the [very] day that Lot went out of Sodom, it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed [them] all. That is the way it will be on the day of that the Son of Man is revealed (Luke 17: 28-30).
When the Lord told Abraham to move away from his family, Abraham took his nephew Lot with him. Lot, as his uncle, had flocks, herds and tents; therefore, there was not enough room for their herds and flocks. For that reason, there was strife between the herdsmen of Abram’s cattle and the herdsmen of Lot’s cattle. Abraham suggested Lot to separate from him. Lot decided to move to the Jordan Valley, a place well-watered; it was like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt (Gen. 13:7-11). The beauty of the place however, did not represent the evilness of the people who lived in that place, as the Bible described them to be wicked and exceedingly great sinners. Sodom and Gomorra were located, that is according to the Torah, on the plans of the Jordan River, in the southern part of Canaan.
Lot’s choice of land concentrated only on its outer beauty. We don’t know how long it took before he felt uncomfortable with Sodom’s life style. But in time he realized the consequences of his choice, as Peter describes it this way: Lot was greatly worn out and distressed by the wanton ways of the ungodly and lawless, for they tortured Lot’s righteous soul every day with what he saw and heard of [their] unlawful and wicked deeds (II Peter 2:7-8). What was the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah then that caused the Lord God to rain His judgement over the city? Sodom and Gomorrah were plagued with the sin of homosexuality and with all those sins rooted in it. The Prophet Isaiah describes it as shameless sin, Jeremiah as adultery and lies; Ezekiel compares Jerusalem to Sodom and Gomorrah for their sin of arrogance, unconcerned and haughty. The sin of homosexuality comprises of many roots; this is only a demonstration of concealed evil in the human heart. The term sodomy came to be used to represent all evil practiced by those people. God condemns the practice of homosexuality in the pages found in Leviticus 18: 22: You shall not lie with a man as with a woman; it is an abomination. It is obvious to see that the main reason for the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah was the sin of homosexuality and its roots.
(II Thessalonians 2)
The word departure carries the meaning of finality in some cases. It is sometimes one of no return; one that brings tears of emotion when a loved one moves away for whatever reason. When the departure of a loved one is through death, nothing will comfort the heart of those left behind. The departure of the spirit from the body is final in the eternal destination of mankind. Life on earth is as if an opportunity to prepare for the eternal, where either heaven or hell awaits us. Some people have had many years of opportunities to make the eternal decision; others, not so long, but nevertheless, they all had the opportunity, with the exception of babies and young children. Death is the departure that will take the span of our entire life lived on earth preparing for. Every chance and opportunity are counted for eternity. As much preparation is needed for our physical departure, it will be needed for the departure to eternity in different aspects. The Apostle Paul lost focus of this world, when he desired to depart from this world and be with the Lord. His close relationship with God gave him the ultimate goal of his life, which was to live for Christ; but his ultimate desire was to be with YAHSHUA. He said, For me to live is Christ and to die is gain (Phil. 1:21-23). It is of greater gain to be with the Lord in eternity, than to be on earth. The joyous and peaceful life we will experience in heaven in the presence of our Lord and Savior- YAHSHUA is not to be compared to this earthly temporary joy and peace. Since the world is not our home, and since we are not citizens of it, shouldn’t we desire to depart from this earth to go home? That should be the outmost desire of every believer, for the Bible confirms, We are citizens of the state which is in heaven, and from it also we earnestly and patiently await the Lord YAHSHUA the Messiah, Savior, Who will transform and fashion anew the body of our humiliation to conform to and be like the body of His glory and majesty, by exerting that power which enables Him even to subject everything to Himself (Phil. 3:20-21). The longing for heaven is a sign that we are walking close with the Lord our Savior. Nothing in this world should replace our desire for heaven.
(Luke 9: 9-10, 13-17, 18, 23-26)
YAHSHUA well knew that His days on the earth were approaching when He was to fulfill His Father’s will. Soon or later He was to take His position as the Lamb of God Who was to be sacrificed for the sins of the world. He had accomplished much in a short time of His ministry which was to last three years. Nicodemus, the Pharisee who came to see Him sometime in the past, said, “No one can do the things that You do unless God is with him”. The disciples had witnessed, but they had never experienced the power of God to do the miracles YAHSHUA had performed until He called them apart and gave them power, authority over all demons and (power) to cure disease (Luke 9:1). Power and authority must be given together for the work of God to be done successfully. No, they did not need to spend years in seminary studying, but just a few hours being taught and directed by the Son of God. At that time, they were sent to the house of Israel, announcing, preaching the kingdom of God, and bringing healing to those in need of. YAHSHUA instructed them not to take anything extra for their journey. Nothing was to interfere with God’s provision while on the mission. No walking stick, nor wallet, no food, no money, no more than one garment or tunic, not even moving from place to place. God’s faithfulness and power were to be witnessed through His provision, even in the necessities of life.
The first lust of the eye happened in the Garden of Eden, when Eve fell into the serpent’s temptation. Because Eve believed the serpent, she became recipient of Satan’s curse. She disregarded God’s law concerning the tree at the moment she looked at it and she saw something she hadn’t seen before. That’s how her mind interpreted what she was seeing: the tree was good for food and that it was delightful to look at, and a tree to be desired in order to make one wise; (then the result was that) she took of its fruit and ate; and gave some also to her husband (Gen. 3:6). As a window to the soul – intellect, will and emotion, the eyes are essential in what we see. A blind person, not having eyes that cause him to sin, has no window to fall into temptation, or direct the mind to sin. However, the eyes are not the only window to the soul; the hearing is also the other window to the soul. Eve heard the serpent’s deceitful words before she looked at the tree. The serpent’ swords misguided Eve to sin. I am sure that Eve had looked at that tree several times, but without intention to eat of its fruits. Satan’s words came to her tempting her to doubt God’s commandment: Can it really be that God has said, You shall not eat from every tree of the garden? The words were formulated into misguiding her to doubt God’s authority. Then Eve answered him saying, We may eat the fruit from the trees of the garden, except the fruit from the tree which is in the middle on the garden God has said, You shall not eat of it, neither shall you touch it, lest you die; the serpent replied, You shall not surely die, for God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing the difference between good and evil and blessing and calamity (Gen. 3:1b-6). So, it was that the woman seduced by the lust of the eyes, caused not only her soul to sin, but also the entire world.