The Blasted Christian Life (Part 1)By Pastor Boffey on Sunday, February 14, 2010.
The Blasted Christian Life (Part 1) The Blasted Christian Life I. The story of Lot is a study of a child of God who was delivered from the errors of his religious upbringing but not from the cares and pleasures of the flesh. A. Lot's decisions in areas of liberty were based upon the satisfaction of the flesh more than the soul. B. Lot is a study in the fulfillment of the old Latin saying, “Licitus perimus omnes” (These lawful things undo us). See 1CO 6:12. C. Lot's credibility was in question because his actions did not harmonize with his religion. D. A study of Lot confirms the unyielding truth of the word of God about which many saints deceive themselves. 1CO 15:33; GAL 6:7-8; MAT 6:24. II. Lot was blessed to be the nephew of Abraham, the archetypal man of faith. GEN 11:27-28. A. Abraham's family were idolaters in Ur of the Chaldees. JOS 24:2-3. B. Though God had called Abraham ALONE (NEH 9:7; ISA 51:2) from his idolatrous upbringing and country, Lot was also blessed in that he followed Abraham to Canaan. GEN 12:4-5. C. Be it understood that Lot was a child of God. He is described as a just and righteous man. 2PE 2:7-8. 1. But Lot bore little fruit of the grace of God. 2. There are some branches IN Christ that bear not fruit. JOH 15:2. 3. We are warned against receiving the grace of God in vain. 2CO 6:1. D. Lot's deliverances were not a matter of Lot exercising discretion to save himself but rather because of his association with Abraham. III. Abraham and Lot prospered in Canaan to the degree that “the land was not able to bear them, that they might dwell together” (GEN 13:6). A. In order to avoid strife, it was decided that the best thing to do was to separate. GEN 13:7-9. B. There are times when brethren may have to do just that to ensue peace. AMO 3:3; ACT 15:39. C. Abraham ceded first choice in their selection of regions to Lot. Here is where we first get a glimpse of Lot's character in contrast to Abraham. GEN 13:9-11. 1. Abraham was not adamant about securing the best of land in this world for himself, for his treasures lay elsewhere. HEB 11:10. 2. Lot, though, saw only the chance for personal advancement when he made his choice of the plain of Jordan. GEN 13:10-11 c/w 1TI 6:9. 3. Lot's chance of prosperity was offset by the risk factor for his soul. GEN 13:12-13 c/w 2PE 2:8. 4. “Those who in choosing relations, callings, dwellings, or settlements are guided and governed by the lusts of the flesh, the lusts of the eye, or the pride of life, and consult not the interests of their souls and their religion, cannot expect God's presence with them, nor his blessing upon them, but are commonly disappointed even in that which they principally aimed at, and miss of that which they promised themselves satisfaction in. In all our choices this principle should overrule us, That that is best for us which is best for our souls.” (Matthew Henry) 5. Like Abraham and Lot we have been delivered from our former ways and associations. In the decisions of life, are you more like Abraham or Lot? Where is your treasure? MAT 6:19-21; COL 3:1-3. IV. Lot chose the vicinity of Sodom, a place notoriously commemorated for what is now euphemistically called homosexuality, but properly called sodomy. JUDE 1:7. A. Sodom was indeed prosperous--to a fault, and they were brazenly secure in what they had and did. EZE 16:49 c/w ISA 3:9. B. Lot is not unlike certain 'Christians' who are determined to capitalize upon the sodomite- infested entertainment world of Hollywood, etc. C. We have liberty to use the fashion of this world but not abuse it, for in so doing we only abuse ourselves. 1CO 7:31. D. Saints need the company and support of other saints. It is evident that Lot had basically isolated himself from extensive fellowship with followers of righteousness because of what was later said of Sodom. GEN 18:32. E. There are times when we may have little choice but to live “...in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation...” If so, may our lives so differ from the world that we stand out as light in darkness. PHIL 2:15; MAT 5:13-16; LUK 12:35. V. The peace, prosperity and security of Sodom and Gomorrah was suddenly interrupted (1TH 5:3) by a conflict which resulted in Lot being carried away captive. GEN 14:8-12. A. The war machine of Sodom and Gomorrah fell apart in defeat. So much for the relative merits of gays in the military. B. By contrast, Abraham led a small troop out against the same victorious confederation and defeated them, bringing Lot, his family and even his goods home. GEN 14:13-16. 1. Numbers mean nothing to God. 1SAM 14:6. 2. See how God goes with a man of faith and some dedicated followers who fear God more than with a multitude of trained sodomites. 3. The righteous are the true strength of a land. 2KI 2:12; PRO 14:34. VI. The next we read of Lot is where the LORD was about to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. But for Abraham's sake (GEN 19:29), He sent two angels to rescue Lot before the judgment. GEN 19:1-3 c/w EZE 9:4. A. By this time, Lot seems to have established himself as a man of considerable importance in Sodom. GEN 19:1. 1. The phrase “sat in the gate” implies a place of civil importance. DAN 2:49. 2. But a weak Christian in government is not the solution to a society which has not the fear of God nor will be reformed by reason or conscience. B. Lot's house was beset upon by a group of militant sodomites who had designs of entertaining (perversely) angels unawares. GEN 19:4-5. C. The quality of Lot's discretion is evident in his method of dealing with the sodomites. GEN 19:6-8. D. Reasoning with incensed, militant sodomites is usually futile, as seen here. v.9. 1. Remember that Lot “sat in the gate” and was here acting as a reprover of these sinners. 2. The sinful sodomites scorned him and held his judgment in contempt. 3. Those who sin after the manner of ISA 29:21 are in strange company. E. The angels intervened for Lot's protection (vs.10-11), for they are ministers “...for them who shall be heirs of salvation” (HEB 1:14). F. The angels urged Lot to gather his kin, but his sons in law didn't put much stock in Lot's sudden righteous zeal. GEN 19:12-14. 1. Lot's credibility had been compromised by his lifestyle. 2. When our daily conversation has been void of principles of righteousness--if we talk the talk but don't walk the walk, why should we wonder if our witness is ineffective? 3. Parents need to remember this concerning their children, who are much more prone to do as the parents do, not as they say. G. In the morning, the angels insisted that Lot leave Sodom immediately but he still lingered, prompting them to stomp all over Lot's free will. GEN 19:15-16. 1. Lot had so much invested in Sodom, that even with destruction imminent, he hesitated. He was like many who want God's deliverance but not at the expense of worldly things. MAR 10:21-22. 2. He was like many Christians who need to divest themselves of the dearly held elements of this life which only hinder their growth and will not endure fiery trials. 1CO 3:11-15. 3. Ofttimes when God strips us of creature comforts or worldly associations, it is not because he hates us, but wants to save us. 4. Sometimes when God's children are reluctant to be saved through compassionate means, they must be saved through tougher ones. 2PE 2:9; JUDE 1:23. 5. Sometimes God saves His people in spite of themselves. PSA 106:7-8. H. The angels' word to Lot was to “escape to the mountain” (v.17). 1. To the child of God whose fleshly ways are hastening his own destruction, the same word applies. HEB 4:16; 12:22-25. 2. Unlike Nineveh, Sodom was not going to be given a forty day period of repentance. When the Spirit calls men from Sodom or sin, the time for salvation is NOW! PSA 119:60; GAL 1:15-16; 2CO 6:1-2; HEB 3:7-9. 3. Remember, Lot was a just, righteous man. But even righteous men risk falling under the general judgments of God against the wicked if they do not “escape to the mountain.” LUK 13:1-5; MAT 24:16-18; PSA 121:1. I. They were instructed to flee and “look not behind thee” (v.17). This exhortation applies to all whom God has called out of the world to enter His kingdom. LUK 9:62. J. Lot proceeded to come up with excuses as to why he could not make it to or survive in God's chosen place of refuge. vs.18-20. 1. Like Naaman, Lot wanted deliverance, but on his terms. 2KI 5:12. 2. How many of God's children know that God has called them to a church that embraces the truth, but for one reason or other want to settle for a compromise! 3. Israel adopted the same attitude when brought from Egypt to the border of Canaan. a. They were unconvinced that the God Who had saved them out of Egypt could support them in the appointed land. b. We should learn from their error and take heed. HEB 4:1. 4. Lot did end up in the mountain anyway (v.30), but the road there was much more rocky than it need have been. K. Interestingly, the angels capitulated to Lot's plea. vs.21-22. 1. God is considerate of His people's infirmities. PSA 78:38-39; 103:13-14. 2. But remember that some fleshly petitions are granted as a judgment. PSA 106:15. VII. Lot had barely made it to Zoar when God rained down hell from heaven upon Sodom, Gomorrah and that region. vs.23-26. A. Like Israel removed from Egypt (ACT 7:39), Lot's wife's heart and treasure were obviously still back in Sodom. In disobedience to clear instructions, she looked back. v.26. B. She was turned into a pillar of salt: a stark monument to the strong grasp that earthly things may have on our souls and the bitter end of those whose lives are governed by them. PHIL 3:19; LUK 17:32. C. When God delivers us from sin and ungodly associations, we should never look back, only forward. HEB 10:38-39; ROM 6:1-2; PHIL 3:13-14. D. Jesus likened the time of His return to the story of Lot and Sodom. LUK 17:28-30. 1. Lot was one of those who was scarcely saved” (1PE 4:17). 2. Lot's wife's attitude towards her past cost her her life and puts a question mark on the health of her soul. LUK 17:31-32. 3. Those whose affections are in the things of God and heaven should: a. not hesitate when God calls them to separate from their present ways and associations. b. not regret leaving this world when the Savior returns. 4. We should long to “receive a FULL reward” (2JO 1:8), and an entrance “ministered unto you ABUNDANTLY into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” (2PE 1:11). 5. Where do your affections lie?