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Discovery Magazine 9/1/2006

The Original Sodomites

One of the sinful acts practiced by homosexuals is called “sodomy.” As you might have guessed, that word comes from the name of a town in the Bible-Sodom. The city of Sodom was full of homosexuals. Sometimes when a person tells others that he or she is homosexual, it is called “coming out of the closet.” The citizens of Sodom and Gomorrah were definitely “out of the closet”- their sinful lifestyle was well known, and they were proud of it. Unfortunately, they would not repent, so God destroyed them.

Two angels, messengers from God, visited Sodom to warn the few righteous people about the destruction of the city (read Genesis 19). The angels, who appeared as men, stayed in the home of Lot, Abraham’s nephew. On the evening of their visit, some of the men of Sodom tried to get Lot to send the messengers outside. These wicked men wanted to force the messengers to have sexual relations. The custom of the day, and common courtesy, demanded that Lot protect his guests, so Lot refused to let the men take the two men. When Lot refused, the evil men tried to attack Lot!

The angels saved Lot and struck the men of Sodom blind. They also convinced Lot and some of his family members to leave the city. God then rained fire and brimstone down on Sodom and Gomorrah. The fate of the “twin cities” shows that God hates the sin of homosexuality. Jude 7 tells us that those who lost their lives in the fires at Sodom and Gomorrah will also be punished in eternity, because they did not repent of their homosexuality. This should not surprise us, however, because has always been serious about punishing homosexuality. Under the Old Law, homosexuality was a capital crime that required death (see Leviticus 20:13).

Even though God hates homosexuality, He still loves those who sin in this way (Romans 1:26-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11). In fact, God loves them so much, that He sent His Son Jesus to die for their sins, and the sins of the whole world. Any sinful person, including a homosexual, who repents and turns to God can be saved and live forever with God in heaven (read Acts 2:37-40).

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