The Berean Expositor
Volume 51 - Page 127 of 181
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"As I live, saith the Lord God, Sodom thy sister hath not done, she nor her daughters,
as thou hast done, thou and thy daughters . . . . . they (Sodom and her daughters) are
more righteous than thou" (Ezek. 16: 48-52).
It would be difficult to make any valid comparison between the Israelite and the
inhabitants of Sodom, except to say that, with all the revelation and light contained in the
law of Moses, the Jew was in a vastly more favourable position than the people of this
city. This being so, their responsibility was much greater. Added light inevitably brings
added responsibility in God's sight. Would that this was continually impressed upon the
minds of all believers.
The same principle is expressed by the Lord Jesus in Matt. 10: 14, 15:
"And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of
that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. Verily I say unto you, it shall be more
tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment, than for that city."
In the next chapter of Matthew, the Lord continues:
"Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which
were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago
in sackcloth and ashes. But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon
at the day of judgment, than for you" (Matt. 11: 21, 22).
In addition the Lord refers to "the men of Nineveh" and "the queen of the south" in
Matt. 12: 41, 42. Tyre and Sidon did not repent. This is an historic fact. Tyre and Sidon
would have repented if . . . . .! That is the verdict of One Who will judge the secrets of
men, the One Who "tries the heart and the reins", Who therefore can righteously evaluate
inner desire and outward performance. He may see triumph where others see disaster,
and failure where others see success. It is in the light of these revelations concerning the
principles of future judgment that we must read Rom. 2: 4-16.
Nor must we forget that nothing that is written in this passage or elsewhere in the
Scripture can alter the privilege of hearing the gospel and the heavy responsibility resting
on those who, having heard, do not believe.
On the other hand this passage does help in the great problem of dealing with the
destiny of the unsaved in lands that are far removed from Christian revelation. When one
thinks of the millions that have been born in past thousands of years in vast countries like
China and Africa who have never had the privilege of hearing the good news of salvation,
one is staggered. In addition to this we should remember that they had no responsibility
for inheriting a sinful nature from fallen Adam, nor for being born in a place where it was
impossible to hear the gospel. Does not Rom. 10: 14 recognize the limits of their
"How then shall they call on Him in Whom they have not believed? and how shall
they believe in Him of Whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a