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Jude 1:7 NASB

7 just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after [g]strange flesh, are exhibited as an [h]example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire.

But Christ seems to have exonerated these cities ahead of others which had seen his miracles and had heard the gospel preached to them,yet had rejected the gospel.

Matthew 10:15 NASB

15 Truly I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city.

Matthew 11:20-24 NASB

20 Then He began to denounce the cities in which most of His [u]miracles were done, because they did not repent. 21 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the [v]miracles had occurred in Tyre and Sidon which occurred in you, they would have repented long ago in [w]sackcloth and ashes. 22 Nevertheless I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for you. 23 And you, Capernaum, will not be exalted to heaven, will you? You will descend to Hades; for if the [x]miracles had occurred in Sodom which occurred in you, it would have remained to this day. 24 Nevertheless I say to you that it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for you.”

So how does these cities serve as examples of eternal punishment?

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    Other than the obvious reason, of them being burnt with fire ? – Lucian Aug 18 '19 at 9:43
  • You seem to be conflating the comparative adjective "more tolerable" with the statement "it was tolerable." – Sola Gratia Aug 18 '19 at 13:56
  • You might also consider that "eternal fire" is simply using one of God's title's. I.e. the fire was sent from "The Eternal" being, and so is called "eternal fire". – Ray Butterworth Aug 19 '19 at 0:40
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In Matthew 10:15, Jesus does not say that Sodom and Gommorah were forgiven.

Jesus is making the point that the cities that he had visited had no excuse for not repenting, because he had been there.

In Luke 12:47-48 Jesus says that those who were given more would be held more accountable. He is referring to servants, but this can still be applied to a person who breaks the law ignorantly compared to a person who breaks the law after knowing what it is. Both are still law breakers, but the one who was not ignorant might be punished more severely.

The people in Sodom and Gommorah didn't have Jesus Christ preaching the gospel to them, where these modern cities(modern at the time) had Jesus preach the gospel in them and it was mostly rejected.

This is similar to God saying in the OT,

"Surely all the men who have seen My glory and My signs which I performed in Egypt and in the wilderness, yet have put Me to the test these ten times and have not listened to My voice, shall by no means see the land which I swore to their fathers, nor shall any of those who spurned Me see it." Numbers 14:22-23 (NASB)

Proverbs 3:34 says that God gives his grace to the humble. Jesus was saying that everyone needed to repent, even the people in places that might not have seemed as sinful as Sodom and Gommorah. One of the biggest dangers to a person's salvation is when they think they don't need to be saved.

So the cities of Sodom and Gommorah are still examples of eternal punishment as they were not said to be forgiven, they will still be punished, but it will be worse for those that heard the gospel and rejected it.

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