2 Corinthians 9
9 I don’t need to write you about the money you plan to give for God’s people. 2 I know how eager you are to give. And I have proudly told the Lord’s followers in Macedonia that you people in Achaia have been ready for a whole year. Now your desire to give has made them want to give. 3 That’s why I am sending Titus and the two others to you. I want you to be ready, just as I promised. This will prove that we were not wrong to brag about you.
11 The Lord told me to say:
You prophets and priests
think so little of me, the Lord,
that you even sin
in my own temple!
12 Now I will punish you
and you will slip and fall
in the darkness.
I, the Lord, have spoken.
Richard: Remember, the current day priests and prophets are ministers in Christian churches.
4. Abraham’s Plea for the People of Sodom and Gomorrah
The Lord said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do, seeing that Abraham shall become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall bless themselves by him? No, for I have chosen him, that he may charge his children and his household after him to keep the way of the lord by doing righteousness and justice; so that the lord may bring to Abraham what he has promised him.”
The Lord said, “Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great and their sin is very grave, I will go down to see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry which has come to me; and if not, I will know.
”So the men turned from there, and went toward Sodom; but Abraham still stood before the Lord. Then Abraham drew near, and said, “Will you indeed destroy the righteous with the wicked? Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city; will you still destroy the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous who are in it? Far be it from you to do such a thing, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous fare as the wicked! Far be that from you! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?”
And the lord said, “If I find at Sodom fifty righteous in the city, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”
Abraham answered, “Behold, I have taken upon myself to speak to the lord, I who am but dust and ashes. Suppose five of the fifty righteous are lacking? Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five?
”And he said, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.”
“Suppose forty… thirty… twenty…”
“For the sake of twenty I will not destroy it.”
“Oh let not the lord be angry, and I will speak again but this once. Suppose ten are found there.”
“For the sake of ten I will not destroy it.” And the lord went his way when he had finished speaking to Abraham; and Abraham returned to his place.
Teachings of Rev. Sun Myung Moon
Sodom and Gomorrah deserved God’s punishment. It was not Abraham’s direct concern whether the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah understood the will of God or whether their people were doomed. Yet because he had a sense of mission for the divine dispensation, he felt that he should take responsibility for them. Day and night, Abraham felt anxious over the fate of the two cities; what is written in the Bible reveals some of his inner feelings.
Today, as we witness the concluding period of the 6,000-year history of God’s providence, we can sleep in peace, wear nice clothes and eat good food, but not because of any merit on our part. The reason the world can at least sustain us is because in the background there was Abraham, and countless unknown people like him, as a hidden root. They appealed to God on behalf of their peoples, shedding tears and blood on countless altars…
If there were even a few righteous people in Sodom and Gomorrah who knew of Abraham’s fervent prayer that penetrated into heaven, of his discussion with God face-to-face, Abraham could have used them as a condition when he appealed to God, “O Father, who determines and judges with justice, far be it that you should slay the righteous with the wicked!” Nonetheless, when he realized that he was the only one praying for Sodom and Gomorrah, Abraham’s heart was deeply saddened. (1:138-39, July 1, 1956)
America—this Sodom and Gomorrah-like hell! Unless I can deal with it and restore it, the Kingdom of Heaven cannot be built. It has every element that can ruin the youth of the world. It is the breeding place of drugs, promiscuity, and all manner of corruption. I am trying to clean it up with my own hands. (105:324, October 28, 1979)
Since I came to America I have been working as hard as I can, and also I am pushing Americans to go through many hardships. Nevertheless, if we can prosper, it can be a blessing to America, and an indemnity condition that can cover the failure of America to fulfill its God-given mission. Then, I can pray to God, “Heavenly Father, please have regard for these Thy children and forgive America for their sakes. Although America deserves to perish, because these children are devoted to Thee, please save this nation.” It is similar to Abraham’s prayer when he pleaded with God to spare Sodom and Gomorrah if ten righteous people could be found. (103:200, February 25, 1979)
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