Sin City

Several years ago, when my wife and I were first married, I surprised her with a trip for Valentine’s Day.  I wanted to take her away for a long weekend vacation and found that I could book a trip to Las Vegas for very cheap.  The airfare was only about $75/person round trip.  I booked us in a great room at a large hotel on the Vegas Strip for less than the regular cost of a Holiday Inn.  Meals were cheap and a lot of the entertainment was either low cost or free.

The reason everything was so affordable was because the casino owners were doing everything they could to get you to come to their casino.  That was where they made their money.  Fortunately, Julie and I are not gamblers, so we were not enticed by the fancy slot machines, card tables, and roulette wheels.  Instead we hung out at the pool, took walks on the strip, and enjoyed the sites and sounds of Las Vegas.

Overall, it was a good vacation, but by the end of our time I was tired of the constant bombardment of temptation.  Wherever we went we were accosted by people who were trying to tempt us to gamble away our money, drink away our problems, or give into our lustful desires.  The streets are literally littered with smut peddlers who hand out pamphlets for escort services and other adult entertainment.

Las Vegas has sometimes been referred to as Sin City, or even as a modern day Sodom and Gomorrah.  I have to admit, I can understand the comparison.  For those who wish to fulfill their whims and desires, just about everything is available in Las Vegas.  But while it is a city that provides a lot of opportunity for carnal pleasure, when I compare it to the Biblical account of Sodom and Gomorrah, I think Las Vegas doesn’t look so bad.

Genesis 13:13 says that the men of Sodom were wicked and were sinning greatly against the Lord.  And later on in Genesis 19 we see that God wipes the city off the face of the map with burning sulfur.  The fact that God would actually destroy the cities because of their wickedness must cause us to take notice.  There have been some pretty bad places throughout the course of history and yet, for some reason God chose to make an example out of Sodom and Gomorrah.  Kind of makes you wonder just how bad Sodom must have been, doesn’t it?

If you have never read the account of Sodom and Gomorrah, you may want to check it out in Scripture.  You will find it in Genesis 18 and 19.  However, if you have never read it, I will warn you that it is a bit of a disturbing story. It gives us a glimpse into the depravity of man and provides a powerful warning of judgment for sin.  But what can we learn from this tale of 2 cities?  What can we apply to our lives from what we read in those pages?  Those are good questions.  And that is exactly what Pastor Rob will be addressing this Sunday at The River.  Come on out and join us as we ask the question, “so what can I learn from this amazing story?”

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