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SCRIPTURE REFERENCES FOR THIS SERMON:

Genesis 18:16-33

18:16 When the men got up to leave, they looked out over Sodom. (Now Abraham was walking with them to see them on their way.) 17 Then the Lord said, “Should I hide from Abraham what I am about to do? 18 After all, Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and all the nations on the earth may receive blessing through him. 19 I have chosen him so that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just. Then the Lord will give to Abraham what he promised him.”

20 So the Lord said, “The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so blatant 21 that I must go down and see if they are as wicked as the outcry suggests. If not, I want to know.”

22 The two men turned and headed toward Sodom, but Abraham was still standing before the Lord. 23 Abraham approached and said, “Will you really sweep away the godly along with the wicked? 24 What if there are fifty godly people in the city? Will you really wipe it out and not spare the place for the sake of the 50 godly people who are in it? 25 Far be it from you to do such a thing—to kill the godly with the wicked, treating the godly and the wicked alike! Far be it from you! Will not the judge of the whole earth do what is right?”

26 So the Lord replied, “If I find in the city of Sodom 50 godly people, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”

27 Then Abraham asked, “Since I have undertaken to speak to the Lord (although I am but dust and ashes), 28 what if there are five less than the 50 godly people? Will you destroy the whole city because five are lacking?” He replied, “I will not destroy it if I find 45 there.”

29 Abraham spoke to him again, “What if 40 are found there?” He replied, “I will not do it for the sake of the 40.”

30 Then Abraham said, “May the Lord not be angry so that I may speak! What if 30 are found there?” He replied, “I will not do it if I find 30 there.”

31 Abraham said, “Since I have undertaken to speak to the Lord, what if only 20 are found there?” He replied, “I will not destroy it for the sake of the 20.”

32 Finally Abraham said, “May the Lord not be angry so that I may speak just once more. What if 10 are found there?” He replied, “I will not destroy it for the sake of the 10.”

33 The Lord went on his way when he had finished speaking to Abraham. Then Abraham returned home.