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Luke 17:29

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible
Verses 28-30

They did eat … - They were busy in the affairs of this life, as if nothing were about to happen.

The same day … - See Genesis 19:23-25. “It rained.” The word here used “might” have been rendered “he” rained. In Genesis it is said that the “Lord” did it.

Fire and brimstone - God destroyed Sodom on account of its great wickedness. He took vengeance on it for its sins; and the example of Sodom is set before people to deter them from committing great transgressions, and as a “full proof” that God will punish the guilty. See Jude 1:7; also Isaiah 1:10; Jeremiah 23:14. Yet, in overthrowing it, he used natural means. He is not to be supposed to have “created” fire and brimstone for the occasion, but to have “directed” the natural means at his disposal for their overthrow; as he did not “create” the waters to drown the world, but merely broke up the fountains of the great deep and opened the windows of heaven. Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboim Deuteronomy 29:23, were four great cities, on a plain where is now the Dead Sea, at the southeast of Palestine, and into which the river Jordan flows. They were built on ground which abounded, doubtless, as all that region now does, in “bitumen or naphtha,” which is easily kindled, and which burns with great intensity. The phrase “fire and brimstone” is a Hebrew form of expression, denoting sulphurous fire, or fire having the smell of sulphur; and may denote a volcanic eruption, or any burning like that of naphtha. There is no improbability in supposing either that this destruction was accomplished by lightning, which ignited the naphtha, or that it was a volcanic eruption, which, by direction of God, overthrew the wicked cities.

From heaven - By command of God, or from the sky. To the people of Sodom it had “the appearance” of coming from heaven, as all volcanic eruptions would have. Hundreds of towns have been overthrown in this way, and all by the agency of God. He rules the elements, and makes them his instruments, at his pleasure, in accomplishing the destruction of the wicked.

Luke 17:30

Even thus … - Destruction came upon the old world, and upon Sodom, “suddenly;” when they were engaged in other things, and little expecting this. “So” suddenly and unexpectedly, says he, shall destruction come upon the Jewish people. See the notes at Matthew 24.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
The kingdom of God was among the Jews, or rather within some of them. It was a spiritual kingdom, set up in the heart by the power of Divine grace. Observe how it had been with sinners formerly, and in what state the judgments of God, which they had been warned of, found them. Here is shown what a dreadful surprise this destruction will be to the secure and sensual. Thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed. When Christ came to destroy the Jewish nation by the Roman armies, that nation was found in such a state of false security as is here spoken of. In like manner, when Jesus Christ shall come to judge the world, sinners will be found altogether regardless; for in like manner the sinners of every age go on securely in their evil ways, and remember not their latter end. But wherever the wicked are, who are marked for eternal ruin, they shall be found by the judgments of God.
Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

It rained fire and brimstone - Instead of it rained, Genesis 19:24; justifies the insertion of the pronoun he, as implied in the verb εβρεξε ; for it is there said that Jehovah rained fire and brimstone from Jehovah out of heaven.

Ellen G. White
Selected Messages Book 3, 418.3

God's Retributive Judgments Seen in Vision—God has a storehouse of retributive judgments, which He permits to fall upon those who have continued in sin in the face of great light. I have seen the most costly structures in buildings erected and supposed to be fireproof. And just as Sodom perished in the flames of God's vengeance, so will these proud structures become ashes. I have seen vessels which cost immense sums of money wrestling with the mighty waters, seeking to breast the angry billows. But with all their treasures of gold and silver, and with their human freight they sink into a watery grave. Man's pride will be buried with the treasures he has accumulated by fraud. God will avenge the widows and orphans who in hunger and nakedness have cried to Him for help from oppression and abuse. 3SM 418.3

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Ellen G. White
Counsels on Health, 23-4

Jesus, seated on the Mount of Olives, gave instruction to His disciples concerning the signs which should precede His coming: “As the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the Flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and knew not until the Flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” Matthew 24:37-39. The same sins that brought judgments upon the world in the days of Noah exist in our day. Men and women now carry their eating and drinking so far that it ends in gluttony and drunkenness. This prevailing sin, the indulgence of perverted appetite inflamed the passions of men in the days of Noah, and led to widespread corruption. Violence and sin reached to heaven. This moral pollution was finally swept from the earth by means of the Flood. CH 23.1

The same sins of gluttony and drunkenness benumbed the moral sensibilities of the inhabitants of Sodom, so that crime seemed to be the delight of the men and women of that wicked city. Christ thus warns the world: “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.” Luke 17:28-30. CH 23.2

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Ellen G. White
Evangelism, 30

As a people we need to hasten the work in the cities, which has been hindered for lack of workers and means and a spirit of consecration. At this time, the people of God need to turn their hearts fully to Him; for the end of all things is at hand. They need to humble their minds, and to be attentive to the will of the Lord, working with earnest desire to do that which God has shown must be done to warn the cities of their impending doom.—The Review and Herald, January 25, 1912. Ev 30.1

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Ellen G. White
Christ's Object Lessons, 54

Many parents seek to promote the happiness of their children by gratifying their love of amusement. They allow them to engage in sports, and to attend parties of pleasure, and provide them with money to use freely in display and self-gratification. The more the desire for pleasure is indulged, the stronger it becomes. The interest of these youth is more and more absorbed in amusement, until they come to look upon it as the great object of life. They form habits of idleness and self-indulgence that make it almost impossible for them ever to become steadfast Christians. COL 54.1

Even the church, which should be the pillar and ground of the truth, is found encouraging the selfish love of pleasure. When money is to be raised for religious purposes, to what means do many churches resort? To bazaars, suppers, fancy fairs, even to lotteries, and like devices. Often the place set apart for God's worship is desecrated by feasting and drinking, buying, selling, and merrymaking. Respect for the house of God and reverence for His worship are lessened in the minds of the youth. The barriers of self-restraint are weakened. Selfishness, appetite, the love of display, are appealed to, and they strengthen as they are indulged. COL 54.2

The pursuit of pleasure and amusement centers in the cities. Many parents who choose a city home for their children, thinking to give them greater advantages, meet with disappointment, and too late repent their terrible mistake. The cities of today are fast becoming like Sodom and Gomorrah. The many holidays encourage idleness. The exciting sports—theatergoing, horse racing, gambling, liquor-drinking, and reveling—stimulate every passion to intense activity. The youth are swept away by the popular current. Those who learn to love amusement for its own sake open the door to a flood of temptations. They give themselves up to social gaiety and thoughtless mirth, and their intercourse with pleasure lovers has an intoxicating effect upon the mind. They are led on from one form of dissipation to another, until they lose both the desire and the capacity for a life of usefulness. Their religious aspirations are chilled; their spiritual life is darkened. All the nobler faculties of the soul, all that link man with the spiritual world, are debased. COL 54.3

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