What Happened To Cities That Turned Their Back On God In The Bible?

by Jack Wellman · Print Print · Email Email

What happens to cities that turned their back on God?  What about nations that do the very same thing?

People that turn their back on God

During the time of Noah, “The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.  And the Lord regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart” (Gen 6:5-6).  As a result, God said “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them” (Gen 6:7).  Clearly, “the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with violence. And God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth” (Gen 6:11-12) so God decided to send a flood and this means, He “blotted out every living thing that was on the face of the ground, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens. They were blotted out from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those who were with him in the ark” (Gen 7:23).  Jesus indicated that in the last days, it will be like this again as He said “For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man” (Matt 24:37-39).  So it will be with everyone who turns their back on God and refused to repent and believe in Jesus (Mark 1:15; John 3:18, 36b).

what happened to cities who turned their back on God in the Bible

Nations that turn their back on God

You don’t have to look very far to find out what happens to nations that turn their back on God.  Judah had fallen into idolatry and into serious sin by disobeying God so God sent the Chaldeans or the Babylonians to take them into captivity.  Jeremiah the Prophet tried to warn them over and over again but they refused to listen and repent and turn back to God so God had Jeremiah write “They have turned to me their back and not their face. And though I have taught them persistently, they have not listened to receive instruction” (Jer 32:33). The result was they were “given into the hand of the king of Babylon by sword, by famine, and by pestilence” (Jer 32:36).  The same fate awaits any other nation that turns their back on God or worse, never professed Christ as a people.  Many of the atheistic nations have turned into the bloodiest, mass-murdering nations of all.   One example is Stalin who was purported to have murdered or imprisoned in Gulag’s multiple millions of people with the number of dead estimated by murder to be as much as 60 million.

Cities that turn their back on God

Cities that turned their back on God are far too numerous to count.  In biblical times, cities were essentially the same as nations.  Sodom was a good example of such a city-state or nation as both the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah were individual nations more than they were cities because cities didn’t typically have kings; nations did.  Genesis records just how evil the nations of Sodom and Gomorrah were as the Bible says “the men of Sodom were wicked, great sinners against the Lord” (Gen 13:13).  Sodom had grown so evil that God sent two angels to rescue Lot and his family out of the city before God destroyed it (Gen 19) but that night the residents surrounded Lot’s home and demanded that the two strangers (angels) be turned over to them so that they could have sex with them (Gen 19:4-6) but Lot begged them “do not act so wickedly” (Gen 19:7).  The angels told Lot that “we are about to destroy this place, because the outcry against its people has become great before the Lord, and the Lord has sent us to destroy it” (Gen 19:13) and after Lot’s family had escaped, “the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah sulfur and fire from the Lord out of heaven.  And he overthrew those cities, and all the valley, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground” (Gen 19:24-25) and to this day, it has never been inhabited again.  God will, in time, destroy every city that turns their back on God which means that they refuse to repent and believe in Christ.  It’s only a matter of time and not if but when!


I pray you have not turned your back on God.  Some do for a time but those who are truly saved will always return again to God and repent of their falling into sin.  They ask for forgiveness and they seek to live in obedience once more to the laws and commands of God.  Any person, peoples, cities, or nations that keep their backs turned to God will ultimately face the same judgment that came during the time of Noah, but instead of water being the instrument of His righteous judgment, it will be fire (Rev 21:8) and a fire that is never quenched (Rev 20:12-15).

Related reading: Sodom and Gomorrah: Bible Study

Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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