In 79 AD, Mount Vesuvius in Italy erupted. It left nearly 2,000 people dead caught in action–working, eating, shopping, and enjoying life. A writer that lived in the area said people ignored the volcanic rumblings for days, then suddenly lava began to shoot out and encase huge numbers of people causing indescribable damage and loss of life. Many scholars agree it was a volcanic eruption that caused the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, recorded in Genesis 19. We read that the people had become so wicked, engaging in twisted sexual behavior and selfish living, that God sent two angels to destroy the place, but God spared Lot to show favor to Abraham, Lot’s uncle. Yet despite God’s mercy in sparing this family, their response to God’s mercy leaves much to be desired. Two men engaged to Lot’s daughters ignored the warning considering it a joke; Lot’s wife looked back longingly to what she was leaving behind and turned into a pillar of salt; and even Lot later engaged in incest with his daughters. Today our Lord calls us to live Christ-centered lives in our corrupt society. He wants us to share the message of His love, of His salvation, and to work for justice and righteousness in our world.

Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr. is the founder and chairman of UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc.). Under his direction, UMI has grown to be a leading publisher of Christian education resources for churches in the African American community. Read More

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