In 1999 Bob & Penny Lord saw us catching up to Sodom and Gomorrah and looking determined to win the contest. Watching the downhill race, the Lords wrote Beyond Sodom and Gomorrah — Prophecies and Promises. It’s still a current reminder.
With morality already short-circuiting and going haywire, the Lords said the situation “makes Sodom and Gomorrah look like a high school prom which got out of hand.” This in 1999.
Knowing what Genesis tells us happened as a result, the Lords were trying to open our eyes to what can we can expect if we don’t change our hearts.
“We’re not doomsday people, brothers and sisters,” Penny and Bob assure. But they certainly weren’t shirking reality either. Seventeen years ago they were strongly saying we can’t ignore what Jesus said and the prophecies in the Bible “when they’re staring us smack in the face,” they write. “We believe the Lord has given us these signs as a means to help us repent of our sins, change our ways, and try to bring back those who have been swallowed up in the Twentieth Century super glitzy expanded version of Sodom and Gomorrah.”
The Lords reflect, “Today we walk amidst our brothers and sisters, and we think, Do they not know what is going on? When did right become wrong, and wrong become right?” echoing Isaiah 5:20: ‘Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness.’
Fearlessly, Penny and Bob mince no words. “Are we not in the days St. Paul spoke of, where man is following the passions of the flesh, disdainfully trading in God and eternal life with him, for the passing pleasure of this world?...” Mimicking those who shouted ‘We have no king but Caesar.’
They lament “how the citizens of the world have gone down to the depths, with outrages beyond Sodom and Gomorrah, and how Our Lord Jesus has been sending prophets to warn us, and powerful men and women to save us.”
Past Predicts Future
Bob and Penny tell us that past can speak of future. They explain, “To know the past is to sadly predict the future; for history is sure to repeat itself, unless we break the chains which bind us to the world’s empty promises.”
The Lords recap how the early Church Fathers did not stop speaking out, reminding and exhorting people not to follow the empty promises of the world, the antichrist’s sweet talk leading them into heresy and apostasy, but to be strengthened in faith for persecution and possible martyrdom.
The Lords’ search takes us through just a handful of the attacks on the Church leading up to today, such as during the Reformation.
Penny and Bob spend time on the destruction of beautiful churches in the last half century after the Protestant architect Edward Sovik wrote a book talking about redesigning churches and getting rid of what amounted to all things holy. He wanted churches to be multi-purpose buildings. And someone listened to his advice. Catholic churches began being “wreckovated.”
But the Lords also counter, giving us page after page of examples of some beautiful church edifices going back to the beginnings of the Church.
Also from the 20th century, the Lords give us a thought-provoking chapter titled “World War II — Dress Rehearsal of the Last Days?” They bring up Nazi atrocities and how people seemed to ignore what was going on. Today we’re killing babies by the millions, cloning, pushing euthanasia (and after 1999 questioning gender, pushing for human-animal chimeras), so that, the Lords rightly assess, “We are not only making ourselves into self-styled gods…we are again playing God…”
Prophetic Popes Battling for Souls
Penny and Bob have wonderful chapters about the popes. Beginning with Leo XII in 1823, they examine how each pope battled for souls right up through John Paul II who was still very much alive in 1999 when this book as written.
They say, “Our Popes throughout the history of the Church and consequently the world, have consistently warned that when man takes God out of his life, man needing someone to worship and follow, with seek and worship the anti-god, the devil.”
In 1878, with his first encyclical On the Evils of Society, Leo XIII wrote that from the very beginning of his pontificate, “the sad sight has presented itself to Us of the evils by which the human race is oppressed on every side: the widespread subversion of the primary truths on which, as on its foundations, human society is based; the obstinacy of mind that will not brook any authority however lawful…the insatiable craving for things perishable…” and his list is longer.
Doesn’t this describe our world, the Lords ask. Leo XII stressed, “And if any one of sound mind compare the age in which We live, so hostile to religion and to the Church of Christ, with those happy times when the Church was revered as a mother by the nations, beyond all question he will see that our epoch is rushing wildly along the straight road to destruction; while in those times which most abounded in excellent institutions, peaceful life, wealth, and prosperity the people showed themselves most obedient to the Church's rule and laws.”
Furthermore, “nor can that be regarded as liberty which, shamefully and by the vilest means, spreading false principles, and freely indulging the sensual gratification of lustful desires, claims impunity for all crime and misdemeanor, and thwarts the goodly influence of the worthiest citizens... Delusive, perverse, and misleading as are these principles, they cannot possibly have any inherent power to perfect the human race and fill it with blessing, for ‘sin maketh nations miserable.’ Such principles, as a matter of course, must hurry nations, corrupted in mind and heart, into every kind of infamy, weaken all right order, and thus, sooner or later, bring the standing and peace of the State to the very brink of ruin.”
Was not Leo XIII writing prophetically?
Penny and Bob Lord show how the popes fought valiantly against the heresies attacking and even creeping into the Church, like horrible Modernism that St. Pius X, that champion of the Holy Eucharist, fought against, and that continued into the fearless battle Benedict XVI carried on against rationalism which the Lords surely would have detailed had this book been written a decade later.
Naturally, the Lords hail Paul VI, now Blessed, for his prophetic Humanae Vitae on what will happen to morality once birth control is pronounced okay and the norm. They point out how he prophesied, if we have “artificial birth control, how wide and easy the road would thus be opened towards conjugal infidelity and the general lowering morality,” and then to abortion and euthanasia.
Of course, the Lords look at the fearless efforts of now St. John Paul II to stop and reverse the Culture of Death, already at World Youth Day in Denver in 1993 proclaiming, “The family especially is under attack…And the sacred character of human life is denied…Death battles against Life; a ‘culture of death’ seeks to impose itself on our desire to live, and to live to the full.”
Everything Old — And More — Is Knew Again
Through their book Penny and Bob weave words of Jesus, Scripture, and the prophets, showing us the love of God the Father who has given us what they call the modern day John the Baptists: St. John Paul II, St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Mother Angelica.
“Jesus told us not to dwell on the time and the place. ‘But of that day and hour no one knows, no, not the Angels of heaven, but the Father alone.’ But, Jesus is also cautioning us, to be prepared spiritually for the conceivably approaching, serious last days.”
The Lords are not wishy-washy nor afraid to stand up and say what needs to be said like the Old Testament prophets and prophecies they highlight — you’ll have to pick up the Bible for these since they’re too many verses to add here — such as Wisdom 14:22-29; Isaiah 13:6-13, 24:1-12, 30:8-13; Baruch 1:15-22.
“I feel as if someone has invaded our country, raped and pillaged our land, robbed us of all we have always held dear,” the Lords proclaim. “You have robbed us of our innocence; someone will have to atone for this. Wake up! Before it’s too late — repent!”
Hope Is Always Present
Penny and Bob are not gloomy despite the darkness because “God never sleeps.” They remind us, “He is always with us, sending messages and prophecies, to warn us, to give us another chance.”
They cite Jesus’ words in the Mark 11:22-26; Matthew 7:7-9; Luke 18:1-8.
“Pray and believe! There is hope! We can change the world!” They add, “When Jesus predicts the Last Days, He also assures us of hope in the wake of hopelessness, Light to cut through the darkness.”
“Are we not called to be Defenders of the Faith?” they remind us. “What a glorious moment to be alive!” And “we can change the world!”
How? The Lords give the example of St. John Paul II spreading the message of God’s love and mercy, and the message of peace. And with his tremendous love for our Blessed Mother, how we must turn to her for help. Remember, he declared Our Lady of Guadalupe the Patroness of America, and already in 1846, the first council of United States bishops proclaimed our Mother Mary: “Mary in Her Immaculate Conception Principal Paton of the United States.”
“Our Lady Saves Us from Destruction” proclaims one chapter. She did at Guadalupe, with the Miraculous Medal in Paris, then nicknamed City of Sin. At Fatima in 1917 she told us the way to peace was through the Rosary. The situations were dire, yet Our Lady gave hope, but we had to listen to her. Did we at Fatima?
The Lords also show what the chaplet of Divine Mercy can do as St. Faustina was told by Our Lord. Praying it saved a Polish city about to be treated as another Sodom and Gomorrah. And the Lords beg us to take to hearts Paul’s words in Ephesians 6:11-12.
The Remnant Can Win
“Today, as never before,” urge the Lords, “we are all called to be the new Jonahs of the Old Testament, and the new St. John the Baptists of the New Testament pleading with the fallen generation to repent.”
We have Jesus and Our Blessed Mother who is “holding Her Son’s Arms and, as with Moses, as long as She is so doing, God will not mete out His Justice. But hear this and take it to your hearts, Our God of Mercy will not allow the inhumanity that has pervaded our country and our world, swarming over and infecting everyone with whom it comes in contact, to continue, There is little time; but there is time! We can make a difference. We must make a difference!”
These highlights should help us take up the Rosary, pray the Divine Chaplet, and tell others to do the same.
Bob and Penny add more suggestions and this final reminder, citing St. Paul in Romans 9:29 who quoted Isaiah that unless the Lord had left us a remnant, “we should have become as Sodom, we should be like Gomorrah.”
“Remember,” the Lords urge, “we are called to be that remnant! See you on the battlefield! We can change the world. We will change the world!”
The book and others available at www.bobandpennylord.com