Last week we saw two of the three examples of apostasy that were judged by God in the opening salvo of Jude’s letter. Today we will look at the third example he has given us in Jude 1:7.
“Just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example in undergoing the punishment of eternal life.” Jude 1:7
In my last blog post I revealed that the demons did something sinister and left their domain and either possessed men or became like men and engaged in sexual relations with the daughters of men. Jude likens these demons who were having sexual relations with women to the sexual deviancy of Sodom and Gomorrah. Both left the domain of the natural for the unnatural, “since they (apostates) in the same way as these (Sodom, Demons) indulged in gross immorality”. Jude makes two distinctions about their immorality: They “indulged in gross immorality” and “went after strange flesh”.
“Indulged in gross immorality” is ἐκπορνεύω (ekporneuo). Ek (out of) is a preposition that intensifies the meaning of the word porneuo (sexual immorality or fornication). Porneuo is where we get our English word pornography. Properly, it means, “to give oneself to fornication”. The implication of the word is that those who resemble ἐκπορνεύω have an overwhelming glut of lust. In other words, they are slaves to the sin and go around like a harlot looking for someone to have sex with because it is all that is on their mind. They have no self-control over their desires. The sin completely rules them.
“Went after strange flesh” is ἀπέρχομαι ὀπίσω σαρκὸς ἑτέρας. The first two words “went after” derives from “aperchomai opiso” and means “to go away from after” something else. It is leaving something in order to follow/pursue something else. Now add heteros (another/of two of a different kind) and you can render this, “to go away from after another kind of flesh (sarkos). This speaks to a deviation from the order that God has created in regards to sexual ethics. Men and women are two of a different kind of flesh which God created and joined together in marriage in Genesis 2:24. The two were joined by God in marriage and “became one flesh” through sexual union. The people of Sodom and Gomorrah not only departed heterosexual relations for that of homosexual relations, but also God’s order for sex within heterosexual relations. Heterosexual strange flesh manifests in many ways: Sleeping around with prostitutes or others of the opposite sex, rape, incest, sodomy, pedophilia, just to name a few. These are all considered a deviation from God’s sexual ethics as well. Before I move to Genesis 19 to show you examples of this depravity let me share a scripture from Ezekiel regarding the judgment of Sodom. We know from Genesis 13:10 that Sodom and Gomorrah were very wealthy and privileged places similar to the United States of America. “Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had arrogance, abundant food and careless ease, but she did not help the poor and needy. Thus they were haughty and committed abominations before Me. Therefore I removed them when I saw it.” Ezekiel 16:49-50. It wasn’t just sexual sin that led to Sodom’s judgment, it was their sinful pride, and in that sinful pride they carried out many abominations. I remember well over a year ago Kirsten Powers tweeted about not understanding why the LGBT movement which she advocates for would go after the CEO of Mozilla and get him fired. She saw so much hate and vitriol coming from the LGBT community because the former CEO donated some money to protect marriage in California. I remember replying to her that “sin begets more sin.” Homosexuality being a sin will beget more sinfulness because a little yeast corrupts the whole batch of dough as Paul said. Their deviation from God’s natural order plunged them into more sin by celebrating a man losing his job and not having any money to take care of his family. They slandered his name and called him the foulest of words. My whole point to Kirsten was that she being a Christian needs to understand that people that call any sin “good” should not be surprised when those that celebrate sin act vilely. It’s their nature. Sodom and Gomorrah in their great wealth used it for themselves. They cared for themselves only, thereby ignoring the needs of the poor. They were arrogant thinking that their wealth came by their own hands, and as such, plummeted into sexual immorality. Make no mistake, this judgment wasn’t because of bad leadership or the corrupt hearts of Sodom’s leaders. This judgment was on each individual that inhabited the cities and surrounding areas of Sodom (including the leaders). Every person was fully wicked and God turned them over to their depraved minds (Romans 1:28) so that they would do whatever they wanted. Make no mistake, this was a punishment followed by judgment. With all of this said, “Let’s look at Genesis 19 to see the strange flesh that flourished in these cities.
In context, God was preparing to destroy the city so He sent his angels into Sodom and they went to Lot’s house and stayed with him. “Before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, surrounded the house, both young and old, all the people from every quarter; and they called out to Lot and said to him, ‘Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out so that we may have relations with them?’” Genesis 19:4-5
These angels looked like men and I am sure that they were very handsome to boot. To show you how thoroughly depraved Sodom was “the men of Sodom, surrounded the house, both young and old”. “Young” in Hebrew is “na’ar” it means “boy” or “child”. Sodom was so corrupt in its sin that the children stood outside Lot’s door with the men wanting to rape the angels. Does this not grieve you? Can you imagine your five year old son wanting to rape someone? These children had lost all of their innocence. Let this be a warning to you parents. Your children’s eyes are watching everything you do, if you live a life of sin you can be sure that your offspring will follow suit.
“But Lot went out to them at the doorway, and shut the door behind him, and said, ‘Please, my brothers, do not act wickedly. Now behold, I have two daughters who have not had relations with man; please let me bring them out to you, and do to them whatever you like; only do nothing to these men, inasmuch as they have come under the shelter of my roof.” Genesis 19:6-8
So, Lot implores these men and children to not act so wickedly. However, he then offers his virgin daughters to be raped by this mob. Lot just contradicted his own exhortation to the men of Sodom about not acting wickedly. He offered his daughters to be ravaged by these animals when he should be protecting them. Lot’s counter offer was wicked. It shows how the city corrupted Lot’s character. Lot’s acceptance of sin begat more sin. As the apostle Paul said, “bad company corrupts good morals”. You ultimately become who you associate yourself with, and Lot began to look like the Sodomites. Brothers and Sisters, may we flee from close associations and relationships with people who drag us down and away from God’s holy standard.
The men of Sodom were so consumed by their lusts that they replied, “’Stand aside.’ Furthermore they said, ‘This one came in as an alien, and already he is acting like a judge; now we will treat you worse than them.’ So they pressed hard against Lot and came near to break the door. But the men reached out their hands and brought Lot into the house with them, and shut the door. They struck the men who were at the doorway of the house with blindness, both small and great, so that they wearied themselves trying to find the doorway.” Genesis 19:9-11
These men and boys “ekporneuo” (indulged in gross immorality). They were totally consumed by their lusts that they could not even deny themselves. The men of Sodom commented that Lot is “ever acting as a judge” which suggests that Lot has reproved them for their evil lifestyle. You can render the Hebrew as “He is ever acting like a judge.” The implication is that this is not the first time that Lot has reproved the people in Sodom (2 Peter 2:8 supports this and shows Lot’s torment). Lot lacked discernment in reproving these men in this situation and in the past which shows us why believers should never cast the pearls of God before swine. They are hostile to the kingdom of heaven and don’t want to hear God’s reproofs. Matthew 7:6 even shows us that when we lack discernment and reprove unbelievers with God’s truth they will turn and tear us to pieces. These men now are turning and are going to tear Lot to pieces, “so they pressed hard against Lot and came near to break the door.” The Hebrew word “patsar” (pressed) indicates “to beat”, but can be used not only in being physically beaten, but verbally urged or assaulted. Combined with “m@’od” (hard) meaning “strength/force” would reveal that the men of Sodom laid hands on him and were shouting curses as they prepared to beat and rape him. That is when both angels opened the door and pulled him out of the mobs hands, bringing him to safety. The angels then blinded the men standing outside. These men and children were so intent on fulfilling their wicked desires that they in their blindness still tried to find the door to break in and rape the angels. Does this not show you how depraved Sodom and Gomorrah were? That even with an infirmity of blindness when one would naturally want to seek help and find their way home, they instead are focused on fulfilling their evil desires and cannot rest until they do. Oh how great is the depravity which resided in these men and children. This city was wicked to the core and would not be one that would repent of its sin. It was apostate. God judged it and utterly destroyed it.
Before we wrap this up, I want to show you how living amongst the filth of Sodom brought forth “strange flesh” with Lot and his daughters. In Genesis 19:31-36 Lot’s daughters fearing that either no man was left on earth, or for some reason did not like the people of Zoar decided to have sex with their father to keep his line alive. This shows us that Sodom not only affected Lot, but had a horrible effect on his daughters. They adopted the ways of Sodom and went the route of strange flesh, which is outside of God’s holy order for sexual relations. Both became pregnant, thus the pagan nations of Moab and Ammon were born. Moab means “incest”.
Apostates/False Teachers have similarities to the men of Sodom. They love wealth, and as such don’t look out for the poor. One can look to Lakewood church when Hurricane Harvey hit Houston as an example. Joel Osteen would not open his church to help anyone until he was pressured by the entire nation to do so. He cares nothing for the poor and suffering. He only looks out for his empire.
Another similarity of apostates and the men of Sodom is that they have an over inflated view of themselves. They look at themselves as gods, thereby living as if they have no consequences for their actions.
There is one more similarity….Apostates resemble Sodomites in that when they are fully given over to a depraved mind, they indulge in strange flesh. They will be men and women controlled by their lusts that even if they are stricken with physical infirmities will continue to pursue their sinful desires. This depravity is rampant amongst the ranks of the false prosperity gospel churches. Look at Paula White’s affair with Benny Hinn as an example of strange flesh. How about the five employees of Victory Christian Center in Oklahoma that did not report an alleged rape in the stairwell of a 13 year old girl by one of its employees? There are even more allegations that more rapes have taken place, but the church is interfering with the investigation. How about Jim Bakker’s affair with Jessica Hahn? How about the recently deceased Bishop Eddie Long who came under fire for allegedly coercing young men into sex acts with him for gifts? The list goes on and on as the apostasy continues to grow and grow.
Beloved, when an apostate has the mindset of Sodom, they have been given over to their sin by God as a judgment. He will restrain their depravity no more. I am under the impression as I read scripture that when an apostate hits the low of Sodom, there is no turning back from their ways. They will suffer an eternal judgment unless God miraculously intervenes. Let the fate of Sodom be a warning to us all.
Soli Deo Gloria!