“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, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.”
As Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these
Jude’s third example of those who reject God’s truth is the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, which you can read about in Genesis 10–19, as well as various references throughout the Scriptures.
Sodom and Gomorrah do not stand alone here. There are other references to the cities around them who were also living to satisfy the flesh rather than to please God and allow Him to use individuals as an instrument of righteousness. The New American Standard Bible uses the word “indulged,” meaning satisfying self and desire.
Jude 7 “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 fire (NASB).”
Deuteronomy 29:23 “the whole land is brimstone, salt, and
burning; it is not sown, nor does it bear, nor does any grass
grow there like the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah,
Admah, and Zeboiim, which the Lord overthrew in His
anger and His wrath.”
Isaiah 13:19 “And Babylon, the glory of kingdom, the beauty
of the Chaldeans’ pride will be as when God overthrew
Sodom and Gomorrah.”
Sodom and Gomorrah are also mentioned in the following:
Jeremiah 49:18 “As in the overthrow of Sodom and
Gomorrah and their neighbors,” says the Lord, No one
shall remain there, nor shall a son of man dwell in it.”
Jeremiah 50:40 “As God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah
and their neighbors,” says the Lord. So shall no one reside
there, Nor son of man dwell in it.”
Amos 4:11 “I overthrew some of you, as God overthrew
Sodom and Gomorrah, and you were like a firebrand
plucked from the burning; yet you have not returned to
Me,” says the Lord.”
Luke 10:12 “But I say to you that it will be more tolerable in
that Day for Sodom than for that city.” (See Luke 10:1–12
for the entire story. This is repeated from Matthew 10:15, 11:24)
For the story of judgment and destruction on Sodom and Gomorrah, read Genesis 18:16–19:29. Genesis 19:24–25 tells what happened to Sodom, Gomorrah, and the cities around them. Also see Matthew 10:15, 11:24, and Luke 10:12.
Genesis 19:24–25 “Then the Lord rained brimstone and
fire on Sodom and Gomorrah, from the Lord out of the
heavens. 25So He overthrew those cities, all the plain, all the
inhabitants of the cities and what grew on the ground.”
Having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after
The New American Standard uses the words “gone after,” indicating they pursued immorality and strange flesh. Strange flesh means unnatural or homosexual abominations, that is, carnal.
Romans 1:27 “Likewise also the men, leaving the natural
use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men
with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in
themselves the penalty of their error which was due.”
Genesis 19:5 “And they called to Lot and said to him, where
are men [the two angels who came to Lot in 19:1] who came
to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may know
Carnally means have homosexual intercourse. This is to rebel against or deny God’s plan for intercourse between a man and a woman and to miss the fullness and beauty of God’s plan.
Those in Sodom also indulged in other lusts of the flesh
Lusts of the flesh, that is, satisfying oneself, are an abomination to God, and He deals with this iniquity (sin) as He sees fit.
Ezekiel 16:49–50 “Look, this was the iniquity of your sister
Sodom: She and her daughter had pride, fullness of food,
and abundance of idleness; neither did she strengthen the
hand of the poor and needy. 50And they were haughty and
committed abomination before Me; therefore I took them
away as I saw fit.”
Works of the flesh are also mentioned in Galatians 5:19-21 as compared with the works of the Spirit of God in Galatians 5:22-26
Are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire
Those in Sodom were set forth as an example to God’s people of the wrongdoing of the false prophets and those who mislead God’s people. These wrongdoers will face the judgment of God upon those people. Jude warns his readers by explaining what was happening.
The false teachers of his day were trying to lead the people of Jude’s time into the same immorality that brought judgment, the vengeance of eternal fire, upon Sodom and Gomorrah.
Vengeance is punishment in return for wrongdoing. Eternal fire is what many refer to as hellfire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth as they experience the eternal horrors of judgment and separation from God.
Hellfire is mentioned in Matthew 5, where Jesus explains God’s kind of righteousness and judgment of sins. A person is to get right with God even when there has already been judgment by a human court or counsel. The human court or counsel may not even be aware of the hidden sin, which only God knows and judges. God knows the heart.
Matthew 5:22 “But I say to you that whoever is angry
with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the
judgment and whoever says to his brother Raca! Shall be in
danger of the council. But whoever says, You fool! Shall be
in danger of hell fire.”
Raca, an Aramaic word, means “empty.” This term is used as one of contempt. To say this was worse than being angry. It was an outrageous utterance. Using the term in anger, making judgement, without cause toward one’s brother would put one in danger of hell fire. In Judges 9:4, it meant empty-headed. In James 2:20, it meant vain.
God will not be in hell. There will be no light in hell. It is the outer and utter darkness.
Matthew 8:12 “But the sons of the kingdom be cast out
into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of
teeth.” (See also Matthew 22:13.)
The sons of the kingdom, Jews who have not accepted Jesus as their Savior, will be cast into hell. Here in this eternal darkness, they, God’s chosen people who die without the covering (wedding garment) of the righteousness blood of Jesus (Matthew. 22:11–13), will be cut off from
the presence of God forever.
Jude’s warning is about getting right with God by aligning your earthly relationships with the commands of God. You do not know when judgment day will come. The Lord will deliver the godly out of temptations and reserve punishment for the unjust.
2 Peter 2:6–10 “and turning the cities of Sodom and
Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction,
making them an example to those who afterward would live
ungodly; 7and delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed
by the filthy conduct of the wicked 8(for that righteous man,
dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from
day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds)—9then
the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations
and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of
judgment 10and especially those who walk according to the
flesh in the lust of uncleanness and despise authority.”
Many reject the thought of the eternal, unquenchable fire, which Scripture describes as just one of the attributes of hell, even though it is evidenced in Scripture.
Matthew 18:8 “If your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it
off and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life
lame or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet,
to be cast into the everlasting fire.”
Matthew 25:41 “Then He will also say to those on the left
hand, depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire
prepared for the devil and his angels.”
Life Application Questions
- What does it mean when Jude says “in a similar manner” in regards to the cities around Sodom and Gomorrah?
- What does “ it will be better/tolerable for them than” mean in Matthew 10:15, 11:24 and Luke 10:12?
- Do you see any correlations between Sodom and Gomorrah and America today?
- Do you believe that hell is real?
- Do you believe that God will execute the vengeance of eternal fire and darkness on judgment day for those who have not repented of their sins; including their walk in the lusts of the flesh?