What happened to Sodom and Gomorrah? [Read Deuteronomy 29.23; Isaiah 13.19; Jeremiah 50.40; Amos 4.11; Jude 1.7.]
There are those who reason, “Why, these cities were restored to their original state. These cities are going to be inhabited again and righteousness will prevail as these once wicked cities are restored to their original state.” Of course this would only be true if “destroyed” meant “restored.”
Let us test this logic with regard to the Lord’s statement about Sodom and Gomorrah in Matthew 10.15: “Truly I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the Day of Judgment than for that city.”
“More tolerable?” Sodom and Gomorrah will be restored, but it will be “more tolerable” for any city (people) that fails to heed the teaching of the Lord and the apostles? “Restored” or “destroyed” — which term fits?
Peter wrote of the Day of Judgment with similar language: “But the Day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, looking for and hasting unto the coming of the Day of God, wherein the heavens been gone fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness” (2 Peter 3.10-13).
“Melt with fervent heat…burned up…dissolved…” Yes, according to some, these terms mean “restored to their original state.”
If this is true, remember, when this happens, it will be “more tolerable” for those who rejected the Lord’s teaching and the apostles’ teaching. Does this make sense?
Don’t be deceived: Destroyed does not mean restored. The destruction of the earth is not referring to this planet, but to people. For people who repent, this day of destruction will not come upon them as a thief, but for those who do not repent the fate of (the people of) Sodom and Gomorrah will be “more tolerable” than for them.
Jesus taught: “Take heed what ye hear” (Mark 4.24). “Take heed how ye hear” (Luke 8.18). Why? Because doctrine matters!