IS LAS VEGAS ANYTHING LIKE SODOM AND GOMORRAH?

For those living outside Nevada and those readers from foreign countries, may wonder what Las Vegas, Nevada is like. There are a number of parts of the city and one part could be compared to the above two cities.

Christ, in chapter two of Revelation asked John to write to the church at Pergamum. Rev. 2:13a “I know where you live—where Satan has his throne.” Pergamum was the most famous city in Asia. History tells us the people worshipped power and authority. The people of Pergamum didn’t care about right or wrong only about themselves.

During John’s time it was believed by the people that Satan’s throne actually existed in Pergamum and it seems Christ is confirming this belief. The city was surrounded by a society that was non-Christian and its values, standards and lack of morals permeated the population. Satan can be in only one place and in Revelation we are told he can be in a human body. But he has an efficient organization of millions of fallen angels and demons that are against Christianity and the world. They are everywhere.

Las Vegas, like Pergamum, can be the most difficult place for a Christian to live because of the tremendous Satanic and sinful influences. Las Vegas, as in Pergamum, many Christians have stayed true and faithful to the teachings of Christ. However, Las Vegas like Pergamum, believers can be easily deceived. Christians believe they can co-exist with the world and believe that living as the world does is acceptable. Christians have been taught political correctness that all should be tolerated.

Las Vegas is known as Sin City. Having lived here since 1974 I have either seen or heard of about any despicable thing a person could do. As a store manager, we had five security people that reported every crime that occurred in our parking lot, in our store and what was happening in the city. When you read Scripture it tells of cities that were absolutely sinful. Two other cities stand out: Corinth and Nineveh. They sound like these cities were similar to Las Vegas and what we hear from our police department.

In the Old Testament God had destroyed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah because of their immorality. Genesis 18:20 and 23–33 “So the Lord told Abraham, ‘I have heard a great outcry from Sodom and Gomorrah, because their sin is so flagrant.’” 23 Abraham approached him and said, “Will you sweep away both the righteous and the wicked? Suppose you find fifty righteous people living there in the city—will you still sweep it away and not spare it for their sakes? Surely you wouldn’t do such a thing, destroying the righteous along with the wicked. Why, you would be treating the righteous and the wicked exactly the same! Surely you wouldn’t do that! Should not the Judge of all the earth do what is right?” And the Lord replied, “If I find fifty righteous people in Sodom, I will spare the entire city for their sake.” Then Abraham spoke again. “Since I have begun, let me speak further to my Lord, even though I am but dust and ashes. Suppose there are only forty-five righteous people rather than fifty? Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five?” And the Lord said, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five righteous people there.” Then Abraham pressed his request further. “Suppose there are only forty?” And the Lord replied, “I will not destroy it for the sake of the forty.” “Please don’t be angry, my Lord,” Abraham pleaded. “Let me speak—suppose only thirty righteous people are found?” And the Lord replied, “I will not destroy it if I find thirty.” Then Abraham said, “Since I have dared to speak to the Lord, let me continue—suppose there are only twenty?” And the Lord replied, “Then I will not destroy it for the sake of the twenty.” Finally, Abraham said, “Lord, please don’t be angry with me if I speak one more time. Suppose only ten are found there?” And the Lord replied, “Then I will not destroy it for the sake of the ten.” When the Lord had finished his conversation with Abraham, he went on his way, and Abraham returned to his tent.”

You may wonder why Las Vegas has grown to over two million people and is a very prosperous city. I thought about the number of times over the past 41 years when we spent vacation time with family and friends from out of town we have known over the years. The typical question they used to ask was: “Are there any churches in Las Vegas”? In 1981 I remember reading what John Wesley wrote: “Give me 100 men who will surrender to Christ and we will change the world”. I thought: “How many would it take to change Las Vegas”?

Today, Las Vegas is one of the fastest growing Christian communities in America. But it is not without its problems. I have been blessed to have been on the church board for 20 years from 1983 to retirement. We have seen so many supernatural events that we just finally started saying: “It’s a God thing!” For example, it took our church approximately 30 some years to have a church attendance of 4,000 on a weekend. Last Christmas we reached over 70,000 and have had over 50,000 conversions. Just last week 347 Christians were baptized. Many times there are more than 500 on a weekend. A person would have to be blind not to realize that Christ has used Central Christian to spread the Gospel. I use to sit in “awe” at board meetings when we are told of all the opportunities that are becoming available to spread the Gospel throughout the world. From a city in Las Vegas called “sin city”. Where evil abounds God’s grace is ever greater. There are other churches with attendance over 1000 on a weekend.
There are many parts to Las Vegas. Much of the city lives normal Christian lives like many other cities. To those of us in the Christian community, we are glad to say we live in Las Vegas because it is not exactly the city many of you think it must be.

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