Among the leading stories of the Holy Bible that cause men to turn from GOD and His Word is the story of Lot’s
wife. The passage reads:
“The sun was risen upon the earth when Lot entered into Zoar. Then the LORD rained
upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven; And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain,
and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground. But his wife
looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt. And Abraham gat up early in the morning to the place where he
stood before the LORD: And he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain, and beheld, and, lo,
the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace. And it came to pass, when God destroyed the cities of the plain,
that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when he overthrew the cities in the which Lot
and women stumble at Scripture’s lessons on Christ’s salvation. And when they come to the verse describing the
fate of Lot's wife, many are offended and turn away from GOD and Jesus Christ.
It is as when Jesus shared with Nicodemus the perplexing topic of the Holy Spirit:
not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but
canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. Nicodemus answered and
said unto him, How can these things be? Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these
things? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness.
If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?” Jn.3:7-12.
Many have stumbled over the story of Lot and
his wife. Even many Christians who believe the fantastic stories of Scripture find the part of Lot’s wife becoming a
pillar of salt very perplexing. It is common among unbelievers who have never experienced the paranormal powers of GOD or
of Satan to refuse any examination of the great lessons and warnings of Scripture. The scoffers who always use the charlatans
of Christianity to remain aloof from Jesus Christ are ever searching for ammunition by which they can cast their doubts and
placate their own guilty conscience as convicted by the Holy Spirit. They blindly take the testimonies of millions of people
who have witnessed amazing events of supernatural origin and chalk them up to the category of delusions. So be it! Satan will
hold them to this course until they die and face the resurrection judgment that all of us must face, as it is written: “for
we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ” (Rom.14:10); or, when they honestly pray, "If there is a
GOD and the story of Jesus is true, I want to know."
Most Christians cannot comprehend why the wife of Lot was turned into the pillar of salt when she looked back to Sodom
as it was being destroyed. So let’s take a look at the event and find its relevance elsewhere in Scripture, science
and history. In the Jewish commentaries there are four reasons given for the fate of Lot’s wife:
1. The common view of Lot's wife turning to salt was as punishment for disobeying the angels'
warning. By looking back at the "evil cities" she betrayed her secret longing for that way of life. She was deemed
unworthy to be saved and thus turned to a pillar of salt.
2. Another accepted view
in the Jewish exegesis of Genesis 19:26, is that when Lot's wife looked back, she turned to a pillar of salt upon the
sight of God who was descending down to rain destruction upon Sodom and Gomorrah.
Another Jewish legend gives the reason for Lot's wife looking back, and that was to check if her daughters, who were married
to men of Sodom, were coming or not. Instead, she saw God descending to rain fire and brimstone upon Sodom and Gomorrah. Thus,
the sight of God turned her into a pillar of salt.
4. Another Jewish legend says
that because Lot's wife sinned with salt, she was punished with salt. On the night the two angels visited Lot, he requested
of his wife to prepare a feast for them. Not having any salt, Lot's wife asked of her neighbors for salt which so happened
to alert them of the presence of their guests, resulting in the mob action that endangered Lot's family.
Of the four views stated above, only the first
is the one mentioned by the LORD Jesus Christ:
“And as it was in the
days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given
in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it
was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that
Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when
the Son of man is revealed. In that day, he which shall be upon the housetop, and his stuff in the house, let him not come
down to take it away: and he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back. Remember Lot's wife. Lu.17:26-32.
In these words of Jesus is seen the moral fact:
In her heart she never left; and if she had her way they would never have left the city as they were told to by the angels.
We need to keep in mind that this was the first
major judgment of GOD against sin after the flood of Noah’s day in the year, 2,350 B.C., which occurred 460 years before
Sodom and Gomorrah’s fiery downfall in the year, 1,890 B.C. (nearly 400 years before Moses, and 800 years before king
David). Much time and many experiences have come and gone in the generations of the human family who lived throughout these
centuries of ancient history.
we examine the words, “pillar” and “salt” used to define the fate of Lot’s wife there are clear
distinctions between them. In Scripture the pillar is representative of a memorial: to remind of a great event that has taken
place. The first was Jacob’s in his covenant with Laban: “And Jacob took a stone, and set it up for a pillar.”
Gen.31:45. Then there was David’s son, Absalom, who set up a pillar for himself: “Now Absalom in his lifetime
had taken and reared up for himself a pillar, which is in the king's dale: for he said, I have no son to keep my name
in remembrance: and he called the pillar after his own name: and it is called unto this day, Absalom's place.” II
Sam.18:18. Pillars have been discovered at the Red Sea crossing, and at Jericho, in memorial to those events. It is said that
Solomon commanded them to be placed at those locations. But Jesus used the word, pillar in a spiritual sense: to represent
the victory of the saints: “Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God.” Rev.3:12.
Now, the first lesson of salt is that historically
it has been used as a preservative. This lends to the aspect of Lot’s wife’s fate being a memorial to future generations
on the great threat of sin in one’s life. But also, the cities of the plain were adjacent to the Dead Sea (also known
as the Salt Sea). 1,300 feet below sea level there are no fish or any kind of creatures living in or near the water, for the
salt content is 35% of the water (ten times the salinity of the oceans). The water in the Dead Sea is deadly to most living
things. Fish that swim into the waters from freshwater streams flowing into the Dead Sea are killed instantly. Their bodies
are quickly coated with a preserving layer of salt crystals.
Concentrations of salt are inherently destructive to plant and animal life. This seems to be the most salient reason
for GOD'S choice to use salt in this lesson on the fate of Lot's wife. Her decision to look back was destructive to
her life. One verse of the Bible describing this is in the last book of Moses: “And that the whole land thereof is brimstone,
and salt, and burning, that it is not sown, nor beareth, nor any grass groweth therein, like the overthrow of Sodom, and Gomorrah,
Admah, and Zeboim, which the LORD overthrew in his anger, and in his wrath.” Deut.29:23.
Then there is the science of the event of Sodom and Gomorrah’s destruction, revealing some profound lessons for
our learning. Studies of the area of Sodom and Gomorrah show vast amounts of ash. Crumbling to fine dust under the weight
of the feet it is difficult to walk the terrain. Being heavier than the native soil of the region it has been preserved for
3,900 years. A distinct evidence proving the Biblical account of the event is how the temperatures that created this ash stood
between 4-5 thousand degrees F, resulting in thermal ionization. The ash was created in a manner nearly identical to atomic
detonation. Also, the features at the site of Sodom and Gomorrah do not occur naturally anywhere in the world!
So, the lesson of GOD overthrowing “the
cities of the plain” is for all men; for the wickedness of all people whose hearts are forever closed to the Voice of
Virtue are to receive the same fate. The Apostle Jude gave valuable commentary on this. But as we will see, also in his words
is a lesson that sharply rebukes today’s Christianity who baptize men into the doctrine teaching that those who deny
Jesus Christ will suffer in the flames of hell throughout eternity. Just know that whatever church you are baptized in, you
are baptized into their doctrine. This most common doctrine of all mainstream churches is responsible for the loss of tens
of millions of people, who when they hear of this fate for the infidels, they adamantly deny the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This
loss of souls, caused by the Christian church far exceeds the numbers who reject salvation from reading the history of Lot’s
wife. Jude exposes the fallacy of this near universal doctrine in the world's ruling churches:
“Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over
to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, SUFFERING THE VENGEANCE OF ETERNAL FIRE.”
Please note: Sodom and Gomorrah
are not burning today. The fire went out after reducing those cities to ashes. So, “eternal fire” has an end!
The ancient pagan doctrine of never-ending hellfire was first recorded by Plato in the 4th century B.C. It was adopted into
Christianity by Alexandrian theologians in the 3rd century A.D. who united pagan philosophy and mystical modes of thought
to the purity of the Christian faith. And this open slander of “Jesus Christ and him crucified” is still promoted
today, as if the Bible endorses it, and it being representative of GOD’S true character.
Nothing could be further from the truth! The words, “perish,” “death,” “die,” “destroy,”
“devour,” “consume,” and “perdition” are never associated with continued life, but rather
its total cessation, termination, eradication, and extinction. And the words, “for ever,” “eternal,”
and “everlasting” are used many times to describe what has and will come to an end through the fulfillment of
prophecy. For the church to reject the plain “Thus saith the LORD” in any doctrine slanders not only the dignity
of Christ's glorious salvation but also the character of His undeniable love toward the life He Himself created "In
the beginning" with the breath of His mouth! His assurance to “the saints” is perfectly clear on the fate
of evil men: that after “the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men” “God shall wipe away all tears
from their eyes; and there shall be nor more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain [anywhere
throughout the universe]: for the former things are passed away.” II Pet.3:7; Rev.22:4.
What you will never hear from those who believe this doctrine of eternal hellfire is how it would bridge with Christ’s
words in John 3:16. For then, it would be exposed as the sadistic teaching that it is! Nevertheless, it must be included in
the most famous Bible verse; and its union must be read thus: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten
son, that whosoever believeth in him should not [suffer the flesh searing fires of hell throughout the ceaseless ages of eternity]
but have everlasting life.” Those who believe in eternal hellfire must always replace the word “perish”
with those words or their synonymous meanings.
The greatest stumbling block in the Christian world is the church twisting the definition of words beyond their plain
meaning that is confirmed by every dictionary (including the Hebrew and Greek dictionaries). It is rather easy for the churches
to promote this doctrine considering they don't believe they will be among those who will be roasting, toasting, cooking,
stewing, baking, broiling, frying and crying for all eternity. Fact: The church’s claim of moral supremacy over the
affairs of men is made null and void when those outside of the church can claim a greater compassion than Jesus Christ.
Let’s get to the core of the matter. What
is the opposite of “everlasting life?” “Everlasting destruction” (II Thess.1:9). The church belligerently
changed the plain meaning of death in Scripture that every dictionary validates. This denies all sound reason, ethical logic,
man’s aspirations for justice, mercy and love; but most importantly the Moral Standard established by Jesus Christ (Jn.8:58).
It insults the love demonstrated by Jesus as He suffered the punishment that the most-wicked of men will have to face in the
judgment. For the sins of every man, woman and child, Jesus carried THEIR PUNISHMENT to the grave. He willingly took to Himself
“the wrath of GOD” against sin—to spare them that death: a fate called “the second death:” a
death faced with the knowledge that there is to be no resurrection: a death that is defined as the cessation of life and memory:
a death that is eternal: never again to live, to love, to laugh—to dream.
In closing, the story of Lot’s wife is true, and its moral a warning to all men who think they can remain unrepentant
in their sins and receive the laurels of heaven. For sin never benefits, regardless of its illusion of contribution. Jesus
addressed the danger of men preferring sin to righteousness:
having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” Lu.9:62.