TEXT: Matthew 11:20-24
20 Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not:
21 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.
22 But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you.
23 And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.
24 But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.
William Farley said, “Don’t mistake God’s patience with sinners for the idea that God is tolerant of sin.”
An umpire named Ralph Pinelli once called Babe Ruth out on strikes. When the crowd booed with disapproval, the legendary Ruth turned to the umpire and said, “How could you call that a strike? There are 40,000 people here who are of the opinion that the last pitch was a ball!” The cool headed umpire replied, “That may be true, but my opinion is the only one that counts. Take a seat.” One of the things we learn in the Bibleis that God’s opinion is the one that counts. The one who created the world and redeemed the world has the right to end the world if we do not repent.
In our last few messages, we looked at how Jesus condemned the Jews for rejecting the message of salvation, regardless of the messenger. Now Jesus pronounces judgment upon those who reject the Son of God. Here are three things we can learn about God’s judgment from this passage:
First, there are degrees of judgment: those who reject Jesus are judged more harshly than those who never knew of him. Jesus warns that the Jewish cities of Capernaum, Chorazin, and Bethsaida that God’s wrath would be worse for them than it would be for the heathen cities of Tyre, Sidon, and even Sodom. Too help you understand what sins these cities were dealing with, here is what John MacArthur had to say about Tyre and Sidon, “In the minds of a Galilean Jew, the two most wretched cities were Tyre and Sidon – historically. They were in that same area, only over a few miles to the coast. They were the cities of the Phoenicians, and the Phoenicians were the seafaring people, the commercial people, the sailors, the colonizers, in many ways, of the Mediterranean area. And those seaports were everything that a seaport is. All of the riff-raff, all of the sailors who had been at sea for months, and even years, brought in their adulterous immoralities and fornications. Those two cities were deep in the pit of Baal worship. The cities were immoral as far as you could imagine; they were Gentile, pagan, heathen societies, and God destroyed them. In Isaiah 23, and in Ezekiel 26, 27 and 28, we learn that the commercial seamen and the colonizing Phoenicians of those two cities were proud. We learn that they were greedy, avaricious, cruel people. Amos denounces them in his prophecy – chapter 1, verse 9 – because they actually captured Jews and sold Jews into slavery.” We all know how sinful Sodom was. Not even 10 righteous men could be found in that den of sin. In Genesis 19, the men of Sodom wanted to rape the two angels who visited Lot. When Lot, also sinfully, offered his daughters to them, they attempted to break into the house. To this day, the legal system uses the term sodomy to describe sexual crimes against nature, not only homosexuality, but also pedophilia and bestiality. After God was finished destroying Sodom and Gomorrah, the “smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace.” But as bad as that fire and brimstone from heaven, was, the fire and brimstone of hell will be far worse for those who reject Christ. The cities of Capernaum and Bethsaida and Chorazin saw Jesus and His power face-to-face, and instead of repentance, they just shrugged and moved on. For that, their doom will be worse than that of the worst sinners.
Now, if you are with us today and you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to show you how you can place your faith and trust in Him for Salvation from sin and Hell.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 18:8: “Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the Cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.