Introduction: The Water & the Fire

The divine judgments of history have left their mark. While observing the fall of angels and men, and the destruction of worlds, these two forms of divine judgment stand out among the rest: the Water & the Fire.

God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to Hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;” - 2 Pet. 2:4

At the fall of angels, God created the pit of Hell in the deepest part of the earth (2 Pet. 2:4, Jude 1:6; Ezek. 31:14-15, 18, 32:18, 24, Ps. 63:9-10, Job 11:8, Eph. 4:9, Matt. 12:40). This is a cursed place that is specifically designed by God to punish sinners with everlasting fire (Matt. 25:41).

And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear Him which is able to destroy both soul and body in Hell.” - Matt. 10:28

At the fall of men, the whole race of mankind was doomed to die because God imposed upon them a death sentence (Gen. 2:17, 3:19, Rom. 5:12-14, Ezek. 18:4, Heb. 9:27, Matt. 10:28, Rev. 21:8). There are various degrees of punishment in death: a spiritual, physical, and eternal death. Ultimately, sinning men are made to join sinning angels in that cursed place of everlasting fire – a place that was originally created for the angels (Matt. 18:8-9, Mk. 9:43-48; Matt. 25:41)! Therefore, it could be said that Hell has been enlarging herself more and more ever since the fall of mankind (Isa. 5:14). More and more people are going to Hell every day! Nevertheless, on one day in particular something extraordinary happened on earth that made so much noise in Hell, it could be said that Hell has a story to tell about what happened (Job 28:22). God emptied earth into Hell.

And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;” - 2 Pet. 2:5

Over four thousand years ago, in 2273 BC, “the old world” declined into a spiritual condition of lawlessness that made billions of souls unsavable reprobates. Deep remorse and regret filled the heart of the LORD (Gen. 6:5-6). Therefore, God devised a plan to remove all sinners from off the face of the earth (Ps. 104:35). Mountains were overturned (Job 9:5, 28:9)! Continents were shifted (Job 26:12)! Oceans were divided! The earth has been deeply wounded and scarred ever since. The canyons, trenches, and deep blue holes on land and under the ocean bear witness to this cataclysmic divine judgment of history.

“…the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.” - 2 Pet. 3:6-7

It is inevitable. Divine judgment will run its course: like water, like fire. The old world was destroyed by water. The new world will be destroyed by fire! Speaking of this, Peter said, “the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with a fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up(2 Pet. 3:10). A burning, melting, and dissolving is coming! Solids, liquids, and gases on earth and in the heavens will be on fire and they will be rapidly dissolving because of the fervent heat in the End of the World.

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 being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?” - 2 Pet. 3:11-12

The heat required to accomplish this feat is comprehensible in modern times. Science teaches us that a very specific temperature is required to burn, melt, and dissolve the solids, liquids, and gases of the Periodic Table. However, in ancient times, when science had not yet explored the powers of “fervent heat”, the world was made to behold a signature event of divine judgment that revealed the incomprehensible. Sodom & Gomorrah was exhibit #1. This unique moment of history exemplifies the power of divine judgment coming in the form of fire (Jude 1:7, 2 Pet. 2:6).

Set Forth for an Example

Marvelously, Jesus Christ spoke of the fire that befell Sodom & Gomorrah on numerous occasions. He was the first one to make the comparison of water & fire within the greater context of speaking about the End of the World (Lk. 17:22-37). Observe how our Lord first spoke about the water (Lk. 17:26-27) and then the fire (Lk. 17:28-29).

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.” - Luke 17:26-27

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.” - Luke 17:28-29

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. Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.” - Luke 17:30-33

The destroying power of the water & fire have one thing in common. There were no survivors among the targeted peoples! When the water and fire cameit destroyed them all (Lk. 17:27, 29)! Remarkably, Peter was compelled to make the same comparison (2 Pet. 2:5-6), and then Jude did something very similar (Jude 1:7). Peter and Jude are very bold to declare that Sodom & Gomorrah and the Cities of the Plain are set forth for an example (2 Pet. 2:6, Jude 1:7). All the focus of the warning is put upon the fire.

Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, 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.” - Jude 1:7

And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly;” - 2 Pet. 2:6

Where did the fire come from? It came “from the LORD out of heaven” (Gen. 19:24). What kind of fire? Jesus said it was fire and brimstone (Lk. 17:29). Literally, this means that the fire was coming from burning brimstone. What did the fire destroy? Everyone and everything it targeted! Peter said the cities were turned into ashes (2 Pet. 2:6). However, when Jude spoke of it he emphasized the suffering (Jude 1:7). He spoke of the torment that would be endured because of a specific characteristic of the fire, calling it, the vengeance of eternal fire (Jude 1:7).

A Glimpse of Hell on Earth

Hell is an everlasting fire (Matt. 25:41). It is a fire that shall never be quenched (Mk. 9:43-49). The Lake of Fire is an eternal fire. The smoke of it shall rise up “forever and ever” (Rev. 14:11). Categorically, this kind of fire is the flame that comes from burning brimstone.

…and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.” - Rev. 14:10-11

…These both were cast alive into a Lake of Fire burning with brimstone.” - Rev 19:20

And the devil that deceived them was cast into the Lake of Fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” - Rev. 20:10

the Lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” - Rev. 21:8

Where does this fire come from? Apparently, like the fire of Sodom & Gomorrah (Gen. 19:24), it comes “from the presence of the Lord” (2 Thess. 1:9, Rev. 14:10). Literally, the fire has a supernatural origin. There is no natural explanation. Look at the eyes, lips, tongue, and breath of the Lord of Glory! What do you see? Do you see something that the Sodomites might have seen? Let the reader understand (Rev. 1:14, Isa. 30:27-28, 33, 2 Thess. 2:8, Isa. 11:4).

Sodom was suddenly consumed with fire because the Lord made a visit to the City that day (Gen. 18:21, Ex. 33:1-6). The feet that Abraham washed in the early afternoon then walked through the Cities of the Plain in the evening time. It was then that the Cities they were lit up with an everlasting fire and heated like a furnace (Gen. 18:4, 19:28, Jude 1:7, Dan. 3:23-25).

Sodom & Gomorrah became Hell on earth! The same kind of fire that is eternally burning in Hell was employed by God to consume “the Cities of the Plain” in the days of Abraham & Lot (Gen. 13:12, 19:25, 29). Do you see it? This our chance as mortals to look into eternity! This is our moment in time where we can behold the wonders of an “eternal fire” (Jude 1:7). We will never comprehend what is happening below, in the infernal dungeon of hellfire, if we don’t look here, at Sodom & Gomorrah, to discover what it was like for them to suffer the vengeance of eternal fire in real time (Jude 1:7).