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THE DAYS OF LOT AND THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord’s Day Evening, June 24, 2012

“And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed” (Luke 17:26-30).


The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ is coming back from Heaven to judge the nations of the world for their ungodliness and wickedness. This day of judgment is prophesied many times in both the Old and New Testaments. Christ gave a description of the days before His Second Coming in the twenty-fourth chapter of Matthew, and in the seventeenth and twenty-first chapters of Luke.

In the seventeenth chapter of Luke Christ gave two periods of history that are types or pictures of what the world will be like at His coming in judgment. These two periods of history are the days before the Flood in Noah’s time, and the days before the destruction of Sodom in the days of Lot. Just before the judgments of the Tribulation the days of Noah and the days of Lot would be repeated according to the prophecy of the Lord Jesus Christ. We are going to study what it was like in Sodom, in the days of Lot, in this sermon. The days of Noah and the days of Lot are types or pictures of the antitype, the days of Judgment at the end of this present age. The days before the Flood, and the days before the destruction of Sodom, are being repeated in our time. Christ said,

“Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed” (Luke 17:28-30).

So, what was it like in “the days of Lot”? We will now look at that period and see (1) how the days of Lot were similar to our time, and (2) how they were different from our time.

I. First, how the days of Lot were similar to our time.

Christ said, “They did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all” (Luke 17:28-29). That is the first thing that was similar to our time. There is nothing essentially wrong with eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building. The thing that was wrong was that this is all they were doing. They lived only to eat and drink. They lived only to buy and sell, plant and build. They were totally materialistic. Their minds were completely fixed on the things of this life, with no thought of God.

I think it is most interesting that there is no mention of religion playing any role, either in the days of Noah or the days of Lot in Sodom. We do not read anything about religion in Sodom, when we read about that city in Genesis eighteen and nineteen. We do not even read that they worshipped idols! There is no mention of idol worship, or any religion having an impact on the people of Sodom. They did not seem to have any interest in religion, not even in false religion. Therefore, we can say that Sodom was a picture of the secular cities of our time. Sodom seems to have been a completely secular city. They ate and drank, bought and sold, planted and builded, with no thought of anything spiritual. What a picture of our day as well!

Los Angeles was named “the city of the angels” by the Catholic missionary, Father Junipero Serra. But there is no thought of angels, and hardly any thought of God, here today. In my own lifetime I have watched this city descend into secularism, forgetting all about the spiritual side of life. Several of our colleges now have their commencement exercises on Sunday morning, during the traditional hour of Christian worship. One marathon after the other is scheduled on Sunday morning as well. Thousands of people run or bicycle their way through our streets with no thought of God on several Sunday mornings each year. That could never have happened when I was a child. The churches would not have allowed it. But today the churches are so weak that they don’t even protest this descent into pagan secularism! That is also true in major cities around the world in our day! All people think about is having “fun” and making money! As it was in the days of Lot in Sodom, so it is in our time!

Secondly, it was a time of pride, fulness of bread, and idleness. The prophet Ezekiel, comparing Jerusalem to Sodom, said,

“Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good” (Ezekiel 16:49-50).

They were filled with “pride,” feeling no need for God. They had “fulness of bread.” They were prosperous. They had an “abundance of idleness.” Work was something to be avoided.

Isn’t that a picture of our day as well? Aren’t our people proud today? Indeed they are! You can go up and down the streets of this city and you will discover that everyone thinks he is an expert on religion. Religion is the only thing that requires no study for you to be an expert. Everyone thinks he is an authority on the Bible and on God! What is this but pride? The Bible says,

“The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts” (Psalm 10:4).

“He hath said in his heart, God hath forgotten: he hideth his face; he will never see it” (Psalm 10:11).

“There is no fear of God before their eyes” (Romans 3:18).

Aren't our people full of bread as well? Obesity is the number one health problem in the Western world! Yes, we too have “fulness of bread.” How about “idleness”? Today people have so much leisure time that they are constantly seeking recreation, “fun,” and sin. They have become pleasure-mad in their quest for sensual enjoyment! We have so many three-day weekends today that it is almost impossible to persuade people to be in church every Sunday! An old song says,

There’s a line that is drawn by rejecting our Lord,
   Where the call of His Spirit is lost,
And you hurry along with the pleasure-mad throng,
   Have you counted, have you counted the cost?
Have you counted the cost if your soul should be lost,
   Though you gain the whole world for your own?
Even now it may be that the line you have crossed,
   Have you counted, have you counted the cost?
(“Have You Counted the Cost?” by A. J. Hodge, 1923).

When these conditions became rampant in Sodom, in the days of Lot, God poured out His judgment on the city, and it was burned in fire. The Lord Jesus Christ said, “Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed” (Luke 17:30).

Thirdly, it was an age that was obsessed with sex. Read the nineteenth chapter of Genesis some time, and you will see how obsessed with sex they were. Today sexual crimes and gruesome practices are reported daily in our newspapers and on television. Even the President of the United States has come out in favor of gay marriage. When I was a boy no one would ever have imagined that could happen! When I was young there was no Playboy magazine, and the only place anyone could buy pornography was in Tijuana! Young people never saw pornography in the 1940s and early 50s! Dr. M. R. DeHaan said,

      Organized clubs for the practice of the most lewd and loathsome crimes exist today. The matter of sex in itself...is the butt of public joking, wisecracks and gags...The sad part is that these filthy comedians are responding to public demand. This sordid condition is not only caused by, but aids and abets the downward trend of today’s morals. Entertainments which emphasize the nude in the name of art, strip-teasing and exploitation of the immodest, have produced a condition of Sodom and surely [foreshadow] a baptism of fire and judgment like the one that fell on that wicked city...I trust you can see for yourself that the days of Sodom are being repeated before our eyes (M. R. DeHaan, M.D., Signs of the Times, Kregel Publications, 1996 edition, pp. 112-113).

In the Epistle of Jude we read that

“Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire” (Jude 7).

And Jesus said,

“Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed” (Luke 17:28-30).

These are some of the ways that the days of Lot were a carbon copy of the time in which we live tonight. Make no mistake, fiery judgment will fall on us soon – as it did in the days of Lot.

II. Second, how the days of Lot were different from our time.

It is a mistake to press the type of Lot’s time and the antitype of the last days too strongly, as some have done. By stressing the minor points of Lot’s day they have said that only a tiny number of people will be saved, and that God cannot send revival in our time. But the comparison that Jesus gave in our text was given by Him to show that many will not be ready when He comes. To go farther than that is not Scriptural.

Can we have revival now, even in the last days? Many Dispensationalists have said, “No, we cannot have revival now.” These are good men, but I believe they are wrong. I was present in a meeting many years ago when I heard a great and godly man say, “The age will go out in the blackness of apostasy. There will be no revival.” I have been thinking about that statement for nearly fifty years, and I think that he was wrong. Here is why.

First, I think he was wrong because of the promise of Christ, given at the end of the Great Commission,

“And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen” (Matthew 28:18-20).

Jesus said, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth” (Matthew 28:18), and He ended by saying, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world” (literally, “the end of the age”). Dr. Charles C. Ryrie, a prominent Dispensationalist, gave this comment in the Ryrie Study Bible, “The personal and empowering presence of the One vividly portrayed in this Gospel is promised to His followers. In His power the commission can be performed.” Yes! The “empowering presence” of Christ makes it possible to perform the Great Commission and win souls “even to the end of this age,” which means His presence and power are available to the very end of this present dispensation. Therefore revivals are still possible today!

Second, there is the promise of Joel 2:28, 29. This prophecy was quoted by the Apostle Peter on the Day of Pentecost, when he said,

“This is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy...And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Acts 2:16-21).

In that passage in Joel, “the last days” refers to the entire period of this age, from Pentecost to the Second Coming of Christ. That is made clear in Acts 2:39, where Peter said this about the gift of the Holy Spirit:

“For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call
       (Acts 2:39).

Dr. John R. Rice correctly said, concerning Joel’s prophecy,

Joel really foretold a whole age, the revival age, the gospel age which would include Pentecost and run on to the return of Christ...This great period of time announced by Joel as “the last days” is co-existent with the scope of the Great Commission [in Matthew 28:19-20]. The Great Commission covers a period of time beginning with Christ, and ends with “the end of the world,” that is, the “consummation of the age”...During this gospel age the gospel was to be taken to all the world, as the Great Commission had clearly outlined (John R. Rice, D.D., We Can Have Revival Now, Sword of the Lord Publishers, 1950, pp. 64-65).

Therefore Dr. Rice argued that revivals are possible throughout the Gospel dispensation, all during the Christian era. I think he was exactly right to call this “the revival age.”

But the prophecy in the second chapter of Joel has a particular reference to the very last part of this present dispensation. I agree in general with the Scofield note on Joel 2:28, that the “last days” in that verse “has a partial and continuous fulfillment during the ‘last days’ which began with the first advent of Christ; but the greater fulfillment awaits the ‘last days’ as applied to Israel” (The Scofield Study Bible, note on Joel 2:28). That means we may see revivals throughout the Christian dispensation, with a great revival at the end. Therefore I believe, with Dr. Rice, that the greatest outpourings of the Holy Spirit in revival are yet to come!

When I told that to one minister he said, “You are a latter-rainist!” Yes, I am! I believe exactly what Joel and the Apostle Peter said, that the greatest outpourings of the Holy Spirit in revival are yet to come. As President Reagan said, at the end of his first term in office, “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet!”

Dr. Rice said, “Revelation 7:9-17 gives us a beautiful picture of the converts of the Great Tribulation revival...In the first part of this chapter we have a discussion of the 144,000 Israelites who will be converted during the time of the Great Tribulation...But aside from the Israelites, here is ‘a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues’ who are saved. These will have come out of the Great Tribulation” (Rice, ibid.). So, the greatest revivals are yet to come!

Third, one of the greatest revivals in the history of Christianity is going on right now! Yes, in the People’s Republic of China, under Communist persecution, the American Bible Society estimates that there are close to 1,000 converts there every hour – over 20,000 converts every day! That has to be one of the most important revivals of all time! And it is happening right now, as I speak! Jesus said, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the [age].”

That should greatly encourage us to win souls and pray for revival now, even in these last days! The Christians at the end of this age will see the greatest revivals of all time – greater than the Reformation revival, greater than the First Great Awakening, or the Second or Third Great Awakenings; greater than the Welsh revival of 1904-1905, and far greater than the revival on the Isle of Lewis in the late 1940s!

I was living during the time of the revival on the Isle of Lewis, when I was a child. I saw with my own eyes the great revival at the First Chinese Baptist Church of Los Angeles in the late 1960s and early 70s. I myself preached there in one of the meetings when forty-four young people were converted. Many of them are still in that church. And that was just one of those meetings that went on for about four years. I saw revival with my own eyes during the so-called “Jesus Movement” in San Francisco, when so many Hippies and drug addicts were marvelously converted. I saw with my own eyes a marvelous revival in a church in Virginia in 1992, when over 500 people were converted in that church in less than three months! I know by my own experience that God can send revival now! Yes, Jesus said, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the [age].”

But, in the meantime, we must not stop soul-winning to wait for revival. No, the prophecy in Joel says, “Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered,” or as it is given in the Greek language in Acts 2:21, “Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” That is a promise to you right now! In Romans 10:13 we are told the same thing, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Jesus is ready to save you from your sin! Call on Him and He will save you from sin and Hell! Cry out with the lepers, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us” (Luke 17:13). Cry out with Bartimaeus, “Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me” (Luke 18:38). Cry out with David, “O save me according to thy mercy” (Psalm 109:26). Do not wait! Judgment is coming, as it did in the days of Lot. “But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed” (Luke 17:29-30). It will be too late then! Call on the name of Jesus now, before it is too late. Cry out to Him, “Jesus, have mercy on me,” and He will save you from your sins by His Blood atonement on the Cross! Yes, you are lost! Yes, you need Christ! While we sing hymn number 7 on the song sheet, get out of your seat and go to the back of the auditorium. Dr. Cagan will take you to a room to pray. Call upon the name of the Lord! Cry out, “Jesus, have mercy on me” until He comes and brings peace to your troubled mind!

For Jesus shed His precious blood,
   Rich blessings to bestow;
Plunge now into the crimson flood
   That washes white as snow.
Only trust Him, only trust Him,
   Only trust Him now.
He will save you, He will save you,
   He will save you now.
(“Only Trust Him” by John H. Stockton, 1813-1877).

(END OF SERMON)
You can read Dr. Hymers' sermons each week on the Internet
at www.realconversion.com. Click on “Sermon Manuscripts.”

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write to him at P.O. Box 15308, Los Angeles, CA 90015. Or phone him at (818)352-0452.

Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Dr. Kreighton L. Chan: Luke 17:24-33.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
“What Will You Say Then?” (by Dr. John R. Rice, 1895-1980).


THE OUTLINE OF

THE DAYS OF LOT AND THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

“And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed” (Luke 17:26-30).

I.   First, how the days of Lot were similar to our time, Luke 17:28-29;
Ezekiel 16:49-50; Psalm 10:4, 11; Romans 3:18; Luke 17:30;
Jude 7.

II.  Second, how the days of Lot were different from our time,
Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 2:16-21, 39; Romans 10:13;
Luke 17:13; 18:38; Psalm 109:26; Luke 17:29-30.