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The Iniquity of Sodom

A portrait of Derek Prince in black and white
Part 3 of 5: Orphans, Widows, the Poor and Oppressed

By Derek Prince

Hosted by best-selling author, Stephen Mansfield, you're listening to the Derek Prince Legacy Radio podcast.

Description

In this session Derek looks at what the Lord had to say about Sodom written by Ezekiel. Her basic sins were selfishness, carnality, and self-indulgence. This bad fruit brought destruction. Derek shows how our culture is much the same. We, as Christians, must be open and concerned about people—providing food, clothing, or whatever need they may have.

Orphans, Widows, the Poor and Oppressed

Transcript

Then I want to talk about Sodom for a moment. Now everybody I think—no, not everybody—but a lot of people know what the real famous sin of Sodom was. It was homosexuality, wasn’t it? But that’s not what God charges it with. This amazed me when I discovered this. In Ezekiel chapter 16 verse 49. This is addressed to the city of Jerusalem, but it compares Jerusalem with Sodom. And this is what the Lord says about Sodom.

“Look, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters [that’s her fellow cities] had pride, fullness of bread, and abundance of idleness; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.”

There’s not a mention of homosexuality. I don’t mean that God is indifferent to homosexuality. Far from it. But the basic sins of Sodom was selfishness, carnality, self-indulgence, looking after Number 0ne. And you know what I believe? This is just my opinion. I believe that kind of culture will always produce homosexuality. That’s why we so many homosexuals in the world today, because of the sins of our day which are just like the sins of Sodom.

“Look, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters [that’s her fellow cities] had pride, fullness of food, and abundance of idleness; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.”

How well does that involve contemporary British culture? Now there are wonderful exceptions but they’re exceptions. And we can lament the upsurge of homosexuality, but I believe that kind of culture will always produce homosexuality. It’s not the root. The root is selfishness, self-indulgence, indifference to others.

Let’s turn to the New Testament. Turn to Luke’s gospel. And again, this is something that so impacted me I really had to decide was what I had to do about it. And I haven’t decided yet. Now we’re turning to Luke chapter 3. This is part of the ministry of John the Baptist who, as you know, was sent to be the forerunner and prepare the way for Jesus. His theme was summed up in one word—Repentance. And in Luke 3 beginning at verse 9 John says this.

“And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”

And notice God requires good fruit. It’s not enough to say I don’t bear bad fruit. I’m not doing anything wrong. Are you bearing good fruit? Because if you’re not it’ll be cut down and thrown into the fire. So the people... And notice this is not the prostitutes or the tax collectors. This is everybody. They heard his message.

“So the people asked him, ‘What shall we do then?’ [What have we got to do? His answer was so simple.] He answered and said to them, ‘He who has two tunics, let him give to him who has none; and he who has food, let him do likewise.’”

Not complicated, not theology. Just be concerned about the people who need you. When I read that I thought to myself—I got a little mental picture of all the suits and the jackets I have hanging in various closets in various places. And I thought to myself, I don’t need all those. And it’s really not that I’m greedy. I don’t amass clothing. It just somehow grows. I live in three different countries at different times and it’s complicated. But I thought to myself I have never acted on that word ever in my life. If you have two jackets and somebody else none, what do you do? Tell me? You give it to him. That’s right. If you have food and somebody else has none, what do you do? Thank you. All right. So we’re clear what it means.

Then Luke 14 Jesus gives instructions, verses 12–14. Now He had been invited to the house of a Pharisee for a meal. And at the end of the meal He gives this advice to the Pharisee. Luke 14 verses 12, 13 and 14.

“Then He said to him who invited Him, ‘When you give a dinner or a supper, do not ask your friends, your brothers, your relatives, nor your rich neighbors, lest they also invite you back, and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you; for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just.’”

Now that’s a general statement to Christians. So when you have a party whom are you going to invite? Your friends, your relatives, or the people who really need the invitation who can’t invite you back. I want you to see this as consistent all through the Bible. It’s not something that just comes up in one place. I am amazed that I’ve studied the Bible so long and never saw it so clearly as I’ve seen it in the last few weeks.

And I’ll tell you this, and I very rarely say this, but in 1957 when I was living at number 77 Westbourne Grove at about two o’clock in the morning the Lord woke me up and He spoke to me audibly. And I mean, I could take you to the place where I was, the place where the Lord was standing, I didn’t see Him. I’m very cautious about when I say this but this is what He said. “There shall be a great revival in the United States and Great Britain.” And I noticed how polite the Lord was. He calls everybody the right title. The United States and Great Britain. No just Britain, but Great Britain. And I believe it. I believe it’s very near. I believe it’s coming very soon. Not because we’ve earned it, but because God decided to send it. Then He said to me, and I very, very rarely say this, but I feel God wants me to. He said, “Thou shalt be His instrument in Britain, but the condition is obedience in small things and in great things. For the small things are as great as the great things.”

And I want to tell you, and this is absolutely unplanned, I believe the message that I’m bringing you tonight is the key to releasing revival in Britain. You’ve got thousands of wonderful Christians who just sit in church chairs and sing hymns. What about the people who really need you? You don’t even have contact with them, some of you. If you were told today to invite the poor, the maimed, the lame the blind you wouldn’t know who to invite. You’re so far removed from them. You’re just not in contact. But they are the people that need you.

All right let’s go to Matthew 25, the prophetic parable of the sheep and the goat nations. We can’t go into this in detail but it’s a picture of the end of the age. When the Lord establishes His kingdom He’s going to judge the nations and He’s going to have two categories—the sheep and the goats. The sheep He’ll set on His right hand, the goats on His left. The sheep he will invite into His kingdom, the goats He will reject totally. And to the goat nations He pronounces some of the most terrible words that ever came from lips. Let me read it to you—verses 41 through 45.

“Then He will also say to those on the left hand [the goats], ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels:’ [What terrible words. Would you ever want to hear those words proceeding from the mouth of the Lord?] ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels:’”

Never prepared for human beings. The devil has no option. That’s where he’s going to end. We don’t have to end there. We have a choice. And then He tells them why—verse 42 and following.

“‘For I was hungry and gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not come to Me.’ Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, insasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’”

And bear in mind that we can go to an everlasting condemnation for the things we haven’t done. Not for the things we have done. He didn't condemn them for what they had done. He condemned them for what they hadn’t done. Very, very solemn. You see my personal view of contemporary Western culture, Christianized culture, is that we will be judged not for what we’ve done, but for what we haven’t done. And I’m not excepting anybody here. There’s nobody excepted including me. We are going to be judged not so much for the sins we have committed, although that will be part of it. But for the good things we didn’t do. Inasmuch as you didn’t do it... And I don’t read anywhere in the Bible more terrible words than that, Depart from me you cursed into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.

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