“outcry.” Sodom had many innocent victims. Chapter 19 lets us know that the whole male population of Sodom willingly participated in raping visitors to their city, and so the crimes of the city must have been that and much more. The cries for help and justice came up before God, who, in the case of Sodom, answered with divine justice of burning fire and sulfur from heaven. God’s executing such rare justice in this life, and not the next, was meant to be a warning for all people that God will judge them for what they do—and people who defy God will die in the lake of fire (Jude 1:7; Rev. 20:14-15).
Sadly, people completely ignore the account of Sodom and Gomorrah as if it was some kind of fictional story. Worse, there are many Christians who believe that because God is “love,” that He will overlook people’s sin, and not destroy them in the fire, so they do not make any effort to warn people about the Judgment to come. But that misses the point of God being love. God loves the victims of sin, and since sinners make the freewill choice to hurt their victims, the way God has set life up to stop sin is to stop the sinners—and they will be finally stopped in the Lake of Fire. The time to stop sinning is now, as Christ said that even if your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away so that you don’t end up in Gehenna because of it (Matt. 5:29).
“grievous.” The Hebrew text reads, kabad, (#03513 כָּבַד), literally, “heavy,” used of something that is heavy, or serious, grievous, grave, hard; but also rich, honored, glorious, etc. To best understand this verse it is important to know that biblically, sin is often thought of as a weight. Furthermore, forgiveness is thought of as lifting off, or carrying off and away, that weight.