“And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? You will be brought down to Hades. For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I tell you that it will be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom than for you.” - Matthew 11:23-24
We look at the story of Sodom and Gomorrah as one of the most extreme forms of God’s wrath. The men in the city of Sodom were “wicked, great sinners against the Lord (Genesis 13:13)”, and God’s punishment of raining sulfur and fire is one of the worst judgements recorded in the Bible (Genesis 19:24). But Jesus reserves a harsher punishment for the city of Capernaum. As wicked as the sexual acts of the men in Sodom were, the unbelief of Capernaum was worse.
How can disbelief be worse than serious sexual sin? We must understand that their disbelief was disbelief in who Jesus was. In Matthew 16, Peter makes the confession to Jesus, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven (Matthew 16:16-17).” We know that God communicates through the Holy Spirit, so it is God the Holy Spirit who reveals who Jesus is. To reject or disbelieve what He tells us is to blaspheme Him because to not believe what God reveals is to call God a liar, but God does not and cannot lie (Numbers 23:19, Hebrews 6:18).
Even as horrible as the sin of Sodom was, they still could have repented. Jesus says that if Sodom had seen the works of Jesus, they would have believed, repented, and the city would still have remained until His day. We can see evidence of this in Nineveh in Jonah’s day. After Jonah preached repentance and they responded, God, “relented of the disaster that he had said he would do to them, and he did not do it (Jonah 3:10).”
For those of us who are believers in the finished work of Christ for our salvation, these words of Jesus should remind us of the primary importance of telling others about salvation through Christ alone. Turning from our sin and our wicked ways are the results of salvation, not the cause of it. We cannot simply speak of living a better, less sinful life.
If you have not yet put your faith in Jesus for your salvation, won’t you put your trust in Him now? There is eternal life and salvation through Jesus alone.
Prayer of the day:
Dear heavenly Father,
Thank you for your Holy Spirit who reveals who Jesus is. We are so thankful that you gave your Son Jesus for our sins. We know that when we put our trust in Him that you accept us as righteous and give us eternal life in heaven. Let us be bold in telling this truth to others so that they can live eternally with You, too. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen!