Worse Than Sodom
Luke 10:10 16

Could there be people in Lubbock who are worse than the people of Sodom? Jesus Christ thought it possible.
This is a sobering possibility. In the Biblical world Sodom and Gomorrah represented the ultimate in degradation
and destruction. Yet Jesus suggested that it will be easier for Sodom in the day of judgment than for some of the
villages to be visited by his messengers.

The woes of several ancient towns come before us in our text. "Chorazin" was a small town about two miles from
Capernaum. While we do not know what works Jesus did there, this lets us know that He did visit the town.
"Bethsaida" is another small town located a few miles from Capernaum. It was probably the hometown of Andrew
and Peter. Jesus also visited this community to make His claim known. "Capernaum'' was the most privileged of
all. It became the base of Jesus' operation in Galilee. We do know a few of the "mighty" works that Jesus did in
this privileged community.

"Tyre and Sidon" are the two coastal cities that still find their way into the news. In the Old Testament days, they
were a wealthy Phoenician seaports. They were denounced by the Old Testament prophets for their pride,
cruelty and corruption. Their downfall was predicted by the prophets. Yet the towns of Galilee are warned that
their plight will be worse in the day of judgment than that of these two Phoenician cities .

Where do we fit into this picture? A close look at this passage will put us in the same category as the town of
Galilee. We, too, may be worse than Sodom. There are two things for us to consider.

This is the basic thrust of this passage. While the sin of Sodom. was shameful and worthy of judgment, the sin of
rejecting the Gospel is worse.

A. The Sin
We know about the sin of Sodom. Their sin was that of building a life without God. The two cities of the plains
were well situated so they became prosperous centers of commerce. This material prosperity led to moral
degradation. When God finally decided to destroy the cities, they had slipped into real moral corruption. Sexual
perversion had become a way of life. To this day homosexuality still bears the name of "Sodom". They had
become so depraved that when the messengers of God went to deliver them from the city before it was
destroyed, they had to use supernatural powers to prevent the men of the city from sexually assaulting them.
Things were pretty bad in Sodom, but they may be worse in our town!

The sin of Sidon and Tyre were very similar to that of Sodom. They, too, were materially prosperous. They, too,
developed a life that left no room for the true God. They, too, became known for their pride and cruelty. As you
read the prophetic denunciation of their sin, you are made to realize the seriousness of their sin!

But what was the sin of Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum? What evoked such an outcry from our Lord? Their
sin was spiritual in nature. The word of God came to the citizens of these communities in power. Jesus and His
disciples declared the gospel of the kingdom. The reliability of the message was indicated by the many miracles,
the signs that were performed. But in spite of all this, the word was rejected. The people chose not to submit to
the claims of Christ upon their lives. They chose not to receive Him as Lord. They were ready to benefit from His
power, but not ready to receive His word.

Is there a city on the earth where there has been more of the word of God rejected than Lubbock, Texas? I do
not know of a city on the earth where there is more opportunity for people to hear the word of God than in
Lubbock. We have strong churches of every flavor. There have been aggressive witnessing Christians in the city
through the years. There are Bibles everywhere. There is a Christian radio station that sends out the Word daily.
There are Christian programs that go into every home by television. Yet thousands of our citizens, yes, even a
majority of our citizens, are like the people of Capernaum. They are ready to benefit from the influence and
power of Christ, but they do not have a place for His Word in their hearts. They are not ready to submit to His
claims on their lives. This is our sin and it is worse than the sin of Sodom, Tyre and Sidon.

B.  The Principle:
The principle that makes our sin worse is: The greater the light, the greater the sin  the greater the message
rejected, the greater the sin. At best Sodom and Gomorrah had a very limited opportunity to know the word of
God. About the only light that came to them was that which comes through natural revelation. About all they
knew of God was what they could learn through nature. They did have the privilege of having a lukewarm saint in
their midst for a few years, but it is doubtful that they learned vary much about God from Lot. Yet God held them
responsible for the light they did receive.

The situation of Tyre and Sidon was very similar. They were pretty much confined to natural revelations. They
did have as a neighbor Israel, which had knowledge of the true God, but it is doubtful that they benefited very
much from this. Yet, God felt they had enough light to have lived a better life than they were living.

But for Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum. it was different. God Himself came to their town in the person of
His Son. Many indisputable proofs were provided. Never did a people have a greater opportunity to know the
mind of God, but they set it aside. They rejected it. This made them guilty of a worse sin.

Are not the citizens of our community in the same situation? Our community has literally been flooded with the
light of the Gospel. Not one soul is without opportunity to hear it. Yet many have deliberately refused to give
place in their heart to the Son of God. Our sin is surely worse        than the sin of Sodom.

Here is the focus of our Lord's attention! The passage begins as a word of encouragement to His witnesses, the
seventy, that are being sent forth. They are assured that God will deal with those who refuse their message on
the Day of Judgment.

A.  The Judgment.
We know about the temporal judgment that fell upon Sodom and Gomorrah.
While Lot was being hastened across the plains by the Angel of Mercy,
God poured out upon those wicked cities His fiery indignation. "Fire
and brimstone" literally consumed the city. Evidently all of nature
participated in removing from the earth all evidence that the cities
ever existed.

The temporal judgment of God that fell upon Tyre and Sidon was of a different sort but just as destructive. God
used invading armies and natural tragedies to bring destruction to those two proud port cities. Jesus is not
predicting that this kind of judgment will fall upon Chorazia, Bethsaida, and Lubbock. Rather, He is anticipating a
day when the cities of all the earth will stand before God in Judgment. In the first instance He refers to it simply
as "that day". In the second, He refers to it as "at the Judgment". The Son of God assumes that every citizen of
the ages shall stand before God in "That Day" to have judgment passed upon his life. It is His assertion that it will
be easier on that day for the citizens of Sodom than it will be for Capernum. It will be easier for the people of
ancient Tyre than for the people of Bethsaida.

B. The Principle: There is a special principle involved here. The principle is that the judgment we receive
depends upon the opportunity we have enjoyed. The punishment matches the sin involved. Since the sin of the
rejection of the blessed Gospel is greater than the sin of the wicked citizen of Sodom, he will deserve a greater

While the privilege is clear, how it will be greater is not clear. There is so much that we do not know about the
judgment that shall be meted out at that day, it prevents us from being cognizant about what this will involve.
However, I think there is one implication that we can see. Just as exposure to the Gospel creates responsibility, it
also creates a capacity to suffer punishment. For one thing the person will have so much more to regret than the
citizen of Sodom. Of this we can be sure, the holy, just God of the Universe can surely make the punishment
match the sin.

When you begin to apply this, it really becomes disturbing. There are so many who placate their conscience
because they feel that they have not done anything worthy of judgment. They like to compare themŽselves with
the likes of Sodom and Sidon. We must not forget that the most severe judgment falls upon the "good" people
who felt themselves to be sufficient without the mercy and grace of God. They reject the Gospel of grace
because they feel no need. The principle declares that the worst measure of Hell will be reserved for them. It was
on this basis chat Dante had the worst place in hell reserved for Judas  who turned away from the vary door of
heaven to go to hell.

Yes, it is frightening! There are some people in heaven who are deserving of a worse judgment than the people
of Sodom.

.Surely there is not a person present who has not received enough light to lead them to repentance. You may be
reasoning that if Jesus had come to Lubbock, you would have gladly received Him, but you have doubts about
His messengers. Let me remind you that Jesus so identified Himself with His messengers, that you cannot make
that distinction. If you will but receive the word from His messengers, you would not receive the word from Him.

Let me urge you to act upon the word that has come to you. Turn to God from your sin of self-sufficiency today.