Sunday, March 20, 2011
PORNOGRAPHY AND DEMONISM, Part 3: Two Accounts of Judgment
2 Peter 2:4 For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment
2 Peter 2:5 and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood of the world on the ungodly
2 Peter 2:6 and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those afterword who would live ungodly; and delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked
The people of Noah’s day were not the only group to be destroyed in God’s judgment. There are 2 accounts of judgment recorded in the Bible, given in 2 Peter 2:4-6 – Noah, and the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. Both groups of people had fallen into such deep depravity that God had no other recourse than to destroy them.
Peter lumps them both together as examples of divine judgment, where God wiped out an entire population as an example to those who would live ungodly (2 Peter 2:6). There is a third instance, of course, which is yet to come – that in the book of Revelation, before the coming of Christ.
It is interesting to note that the first account involves the world as a whole, while the second account involves just few cities. One must remember that in Old Testament days, most cities were completely autonomous and self-governing. They had their own rulers, their own government, and their own resources. It appears that Sodom and Gomorrah and some of the surrounding cities were much wickeder than the rest of the world. In Genesis, God vowed that He would never destroy the entire earth again with a worldwide flood. It is very possible that God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah so that the wickedness which was prevalent there would not spread to the rest of the world.
The question, then, is why did Peter lump Sodom and Gomorrah together with Noah? What, if anything, did these 2 groups have in common, that God would bring such severe judgment upon them? What does this have to do with us?
The account of Sodom’s destruction is in Genesis 19. When the angels of God came to Lot in Sodom, to warn him of the coming judgment, the men of Sodom came to Lot’s home, demanding that the angels be brought out so they could “know them carnally” – gang-rape them (See Judges 19 for a similar event). When Lot refused, they became so violent and out-of-control that the angels literally had to blind them. Even after they were blinded, the passage says, “They became weary trying to find the door.” They were so consumed and overwhelmed by their lust that even blindness did not deter them, and all they cared about was fornicating with the angels.
Two main things stand out about the condition of the people of Sodom and of Noah’s time:
(a)Both groups were completely given over to wickedness and the lusts of their flesh
(b)Both groups were engaging in lewd and vile sexual behaviour, participating in unholy sexual unions, and were highly immoral. The Bible says that both groups went after strange flesh
Jude 6 and 7 confirms the latter point:
Jude 6,7: And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode.....As Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh.....
In both instances, this refers to fornication...the angels who did not keep their proper domain refers to the wicked angels who rebelled in Noah’s day, while Sodom and Gomorrah are also said to have engaged in lewd sexual behaviour, which we know to be homosexuality. The Bible doesn’t specify the sexual behaviour of those in Noah’s day – just that it was wicked and demonic.
If the men of Noah’s day were possessed by demons, it is very likely that a majority of the men in Sodom and Gomorrah were possessed as well. The men who “became weary trying to find the door” were obviously driven by a deep, all-consuming, powerful lust. It was as though they were powerless to control themselves. We know that both groups engaged in perverse sexual behaviour, and sexual violence is alluded to in both accounts.
Throughout the Bible, we see sexual sin associated with different forms of demonic activity. Sex was an integral part of pagan worship. I agree with those who associate gross sexual immorality with demonic activity. The more a person is consumed by lust, the less room there is for the activity of the Holy Spirit, and unclean spirits are given an open invitation to come in and take residence in that person’s mind and heart.
Sensual living and thinking is indeed equated with things of a demonic nature. In James 3:15, sensual wisdom is labelled as demonic, and Jude 19 says that these people do not have the Holy Spirit. In both cases, the word for sensual is the Greek word psychikos, meaning “soulish.” This same word is used to describe the natural man in 1 Cor. 2:14, who cannot even receive the things of the Spirit. It pretty much goes without saying that where the Spirit of God is not, Satan dwells.
It is very, very interesting for us to note that sexual sin is, in fact, one of the primary catalysts for God’s judgment in the Bible. Not only did He judge the wicked and corrupt peoples for it, but also His own people (for example, in the account of Balaam). God has no patience when it comes to sexual sin, OR idolatry.
What does this say, then, about the days in which we live? As western culture becomes more and more sexualized, and man becomes more hardened to the things of the spirit, unclean spirits are given an open invitation to come in and take over. I am not saying that everyone who engages in sexual sin is possessed, but rather that a lifestyle of licentiousness is an open invitation for demonic influence.
The people of Sodom and of Noah’s day may appear to be extreme cases, but nevertheless, they acutely demonstrate to what degree of depravity a culture is able to sink to, when unbridled lust and sensuality are allowed to flourish – when men do not control their own passions but give into them without abandon. This kind of condition does not happen overnight, but progressively over time.
How, then, does a civilization get to this point?