#9 (The “Remember” Series)
“REMEMBER LOT’S WIFE!”
TEXTS: Luke 17:32; Gen. 19:1-38
INTRO: One of the things that characterize human nature is the strange belief that we are exempt as individuals from the laws of nature. This has been both a strong point and a weak point for the human race. It has been our strong point in that it has enabled us to do things no animal would ever have thought to do, like take a large sheet and attach strings to it and jump off a cliff thus defying the laws of gravity ... what animal would have ever thought of this? It is our weak point in that we believe we are the exception to all laws, spiritual, moral, and physical. Most of us don’t believe we are ever going to die; only other people do this! Americans in particular have this crazy sense that we can make poor choices and still avoid all consequences; somehow there will always be options to get out of bad things happening to us no matter what choice we make! Even dreaded diseases like A.I.D.S. haven’t persuaded people that certain sexual behaviors leave them at great risk; they often think they will be the exception! Consequences for poor choices affect others, not us … or so we are accustomed to thinking.
ILLUS: YEARS AGO ABC EVENING NEWS REPORTED ON AN UNUSUAL WORK OF MODERN ART, IT WAS A CHAIR AFFIXED TO A SHOTGUN. IT WAS TO BE VIEWED BY SITTING IN THE CHAIR AND LOOKING DIRECTLY INTO THE GUN BARREL! THE CRAZY PART OF THIS WAS THAT THE GUN WAS LOADED WITH ONE BULLET AND A TIMING DEVICE SET TO FIRE AT AN UNDETERMINED MOMENT WITHIN THE NEXT 100 YEARS, NO ONE BUT THE ARTIST KNEW WHEN THE GUN WOULD GO OFF! THE AMAZING THING ABOUT THIS “PIECE OF ART” WAS THAT PEOPLE WAITED IN LINE FOR AN OPPORTUNITY TO SIT IN THE CHAIR AND LOOK INTO THE GUN BARREL, KNOWING FULL WELL THAT IT MIGHT GO OFF IN THE MOMENT THEY WERE SITTING THERE! THEY LOVED THE CHALLENGE OF THINKING THAT THEY HAD THE ODDS IN THEIR FAVOR AND THEY ASSUMED THEY WOULD BE ABLE TO LOOK DEATH IN THE EYE AND WALK AWAY ... IT WOULD GO OFF ON SOMEONE ELSE, NOT ON THEM. THEY WERE SUPPOSED TO SIT THERE FOR ONE MINUTE EACH! IT WAS ONE OF THE HOTTEST ATTRACTIONS AT THIS ART SHOW. – SOURCE UNKNOWN
What separates Christians who seem to do well in life and those who seem to suffer constantly? While not all suffering comes from poor choices many Christians suffer untold agony throughout their lives because they make frequent poor choices! I have known Christians who believe they are always the exception to many of God’s commands and that if they violate God’s principles of righteousness that somehow they can escape the consequences.
PROP. SENT: The Bible teaches us that even though we are believers the choices we make can greatly bless or greatly hurt us! As believers we are not immune from consequences if we make poor choices, we are responsible for much of the quality of our life.
I. A “LOT” OF POOR CHOICES! Gen. 19:1-22
a. He moved into
b. Homosexuality was pervasive throughout the city, to the point where strangers in town were often raped by gangs of homosexuals.
c. It was a wealthy city bent of hedonism (the passion of pursuing pleasure).
d. While his uncle Abraham stayed far away from the cities of the plain Lot had slowly moved closer and closer until he found himself living in Sodom and holding a political office in town.
2. Lot had always been attracted to getting the best of this world’s stuff, this is why he parted from Abraham, he wanted this world’s best!
b. His poor choices were a gradual process, he didn’t backslide overnight!
3. He may have even learned the art of justifying his actions by spiritual reasoning!
a. Like: “
b. It was quite clear that
4. While we do need to go where sinners are we need to be careful that we don’t live like sinners live! Jesus went where sinners lived, but He was careful to be an example for them and called them to repent!
ILLUS: AN OLD STORY ABOUT A DESERT NOMAD GOES LIKE THIS: HE AWAKENED IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT ONE TIME WITH EXTREME HUNGER. HE LIT A CANDLE AND BEGAN EATING DATES FROM A BOWL HE HAD BESIDE HIS BED. HE TOOK THE FIRST DATE AND TOOK A BITE; IMMEDIATELY HE THREW IT DOWN AS HE NOTICED THAT IT HAD A WORM IN IT. HE TOOK A SECOND DATE, AGAIN AFTER ONE BITE HE THREW IT AWAY, FOR IT TOO CONTAINED A WORM. HE THEN BEGAN TO WORRY THAT IF THIS CONTINUED HE WOULDN’T HAVE A SINGLE DATE TO EAT AND HE WAS SO HUNGRY! FINALLY HE CAME UP WITH A PLAN TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM, HE BLEW OUT THE CANDLE AND BEGAN EATING THE DATES IN THE DARK. HE FIGURED THIS WAY HE WOULDN’T NOTICE THE WORM AND HE COULD SATISFY HIS HUNGER WITHOUT DISGUST! QUICKLY HE ATE ALL THE DATES. HOW TRAGIC IT IS WHEN CHRISTIANS ADOPT THESE KINDS OF COMPROMISES WITH THE WORLD. THEY JUST BLIND THEMSELVES TO WHAT THEY ARE REALLY DOING AND THEN IT DOESN’T BOTHER THEM ANYMORE! – SOURCE UNKNOWN
6. Compromising with sin will never let you be the winner, you will always lose! You can’t win if you compromise with the Devil!
ILLUS: LIKE THE OLD RUSSIAN PROVERB ABOUT A HUNTER THAT WAS ABOUT TO SHOOT THIS BIG BEAR, HE HAD HIS GUN SIGHTED IN AND WAS ABOUT TO PULL THE TRIGGER WHEN THE BEAR SUDDENLY SPOKE: “ISN’T IT BETTER IF WE SIT DOWN AND TALK RATHER THAN JUST SHOOT ME?” THE HUNTER WAS STARTLED TO HEAR THIS BEAR TALKING IN A LOW SOFT VOICE. SO THEY SAT DOWN, THE BEAR STARTED FIRST, “WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME, LET US FIND SOME WAY TO COMPROMISE WHAT WE BOTH WANT, MAYBE WE BOTH CAN GET WHAT WE WANT?” THE HUNTER THEN ASKED WHAT THE BEAR WANTED, THE BEAR ANSWERED, “I WANT A FULL STOMACH, WHAT DO YOU WANT AS THE HUNTER?” THE HUNTER REPLIED, “I WANT A FUR COAT.” SO THEY BEGAN TO NEGOTIATE A COMPROMISE. SOON THE NEGOTIATIONS WERE OVER AND HAD APPARENTLY BEEN SUCCESSFUL, EXCEPT THAT THE ONLY ONE TO WALK AWAY WAS THE BEAR. THE BEAR HAD EATEN THE HUNTER! THE BEAR NOW HAD A FULL STOMACH, AND THE HUNTER WAS WEARING A FUR COAT SO TO SPEAK!!! THE BEAR GOT THE BETTER DEAL WHILE THE HUNTER LOST HIS LIFE THOUGH IT COULD BE SAID THAT HE NOW HAD A FUR COAT OVER HIM! COMPROMISE RARELY SATISFIES BOTH PARTIES EQUALLY! – SOURCE UNKNOWN
B. “Lot” of Complaining! 19:14-22
1. Lot knew how evil his environment was, he wouldn’t let the angels spend the night in the square because he knew the men of Sodom would attempt to rape them!
a. Yet, Lot served as a judge in
town! How come these men who wanted
to rape the angels were free and not in prison if
b. Those who served at the gates were
judges; the Bible says this is what
2. Lot complains to the men of Sodom attempting to break down his door to rape his guests, his solution to the problem reflects the level of influence of sin on his own morality; his solution was to offer his daughters to the gang outside so that they would rape his own daughters rather than his guests!
a. Some father!!!
b. Some example of faith!!!
c. His future sons-in-laws laughed him
in the face when
3. Lot complains about having to leave a great city like Sodom, won’t God please let him live in another city of his choice – one like Zoar, one of the 5 cities of the plain that included Sodom and Gomorrah ... and very much like them!
b. The message of compromise still
hadn’t hit home with
d. He had to have known too that Zoar
was much like
4. We discover later however that Lot
doesn’t stay here, he runs from here too, probably out of fear and rejection!
Perhaps the inhabitants blamed
II. A LONGING FOR PERSONAL COMFORT! Gen. 19:23-38; Luke 17:32
A. Loving Comfort! 19:23-26
1. Now the painful truth of how much influence the choices Lot made and how it had impacted his family finally comes out!
a. God’s judgment fell just as the Lord said it would, this alone should be a warning to all those that somehow believe that God really won’t come again to judge the world like Revelation says – He will!
2. God’s instructions were clear, flee the city and don’t look back!
a. This is the message of salvation, leave behind your life of sin and don’t turn back to it!
b. Lot’s wife reveals the amount of influence the opulent lifestyle had made on her soul, she can’t stand the thought of leaving behind all those worldly benefits, the pull of the world has a greater hold on her than the thought of escaping from God’s judgment, and the sad lesson here is that this will be true unfortunately on too many people in the end of time!
3. The love of the world had replaced her love for the Word of God and she had stayed under the influence of materialism too long to get away!
a. She has got to be the most tragic picture of someone who came so close to escaping God’s judgment but instead missed her escape by a last minute poor choice.
b. She was led out by God’s angels and was on her way to safety but turned back at the last minute – and was thus lost!
ILLUS: LIKE THE
B. Lot’s Casualties 19:27-38
1. Lot had lost nearly everything; his luxurious home, his wife, his future son’s-in-laws, his joy, his testimony, his fellowship with his godly uncle Abraham, and finally his job.
2. Now he also loses his daughters’
respect, the many sexual perversions of
a. These two children of incest fathered two groups of people: the Moabites and the Ammonites – both of which were bitter enemies of God’s people for generations!
b. It obviously was easier getting
a. He sought out the “good life” and ended up with an “empty life!”
b. Even his escape here must be seen
as God’s love for Abraham, it was because God “REMEMBERED
ABRAHAM that he brought out
c. Thank God for an intercessor or
4. It was Lot’s own passions that had enslaved him and kept him from being what he might have been for God, he constantly chose the wrong things and he had a miserable existence even though he was ultimately saved from God’s judgment!
a. How many “Christians” does this describe today? They want to go to heaven so they get saved, then they ignore as many spiritual things as they possibly can so they can enjoy the world and thus have the best of both worlds!
b. They feed their passions until they are so miserable that they cry out to God, and as soon as a crisis passes back to the world they go, but they still want you to know that they still love the Lord!
ILLUS: IT IS LIKE THE LIFE OF RAYNALD III, A 14TH CENTURY DUKE THAT RULED WHAT TODAY IS BELGIUM. RAYNALD WAS GROSSLY OVERWEIGHT, IN FACT THE PEOPLE OFTEN CALLED HIM BY A LATIN NAME, “CRASSUS”, WHICH IS LATIN FOR “FAT.” AFTER A VIOLENT ARGUMENT WITH HIS YOUNGER BROTHER EDWARD, EDWARD LED A REVOLT AGAINST HIS RULE AND HAD HIS OVERWEIGHT BROTHER CAPTURED, BUT NOT KILLED. HE TOOK HIS OVERWEIGHT BROTHER AND HAD A LARGE ROOM BUILT AROUND HIM IN THE CASTLE WITH NORMAL SIZE WINDOWS AND NEAR NORMAL SIZE DOOR. THERE WERE NO PRISON BARS OR GUARDS PLACED AROUND HIM. HIS BROTHER EDWARD THEN TOLD HIM HE COULD ONCE AGAIN RULE WHEN HE COULD WALK OUT OF THAT ROOM ON HIS OWN. RAYNALD WAS TOO LARGE TO GO THROUGH THE WINDOWS OR THE DOOR, WHAT KEPT HIM PRISONER WAS HIS OWN PASSION FOR FOOD, WHICH HIS BROTHER EDWARD SENT DOWN TO HIM EACH DAY IN GREAT QUANTITIES. RAYNALD ACTUALLY GREW LARGER EACH DAY, AND LIVED IN THIS ROOM FOR 10 YEARS BEFORE HE WAS RELEASED FROM HIS OWN PRISON OF OVEREATING. AFTER 10 YEARS HIS BROTHER EDWARD DIED IN BATTLE AND HE WAS RELEASED FROM THE ROOM BY TEARING PART OF A WALL DOWN BUT HE DIDN’T LIVE LONG TO RULE AGAIN, HIS HEALTH WAS SO RUINED BY HIS APPETITES THAT HE DIED EASILY WITHIN ONE YEAR OF HIS RELEASE! HE COULD HAVE GONE FREE AT ANYTIME DURING THOSE 10 YEARS, BUT DIDN’T BECAUSE HE FED HIS APPETITE MORE THAN HIS DESIRE TO BE FREE! – SOURCE UNKNOWN
5. Lot was now experiencing the result of many years of poor choices, consequences for our choices are real!!
6. Christian joy is not just a matter of an emotional state, it is the result of making wise choices all the time!!!
a. Choosing God’s ways over the ways of this world.
b. How tragic to know the way to blessing and yet ignore it and choose the ways of curses!
7. How much better to OBEY than to SACRIFICE!
C. Loud Call! Luke 17:32
1. Jesus uses Lot’s wife to remind those in the first century and us of the consequences of poor choices, Jesus stated, “REMEMBER LOT’S WIFE!”
a. Don’t forget the price tag to turning back!
b. Don’t think it can’t happen to you and that you will somehow be an exception to God’s rules!
2. Jesus uses this story as a wake up
call to those of the last days, the days of Christ’s coming again! (The context of the passage where Jesus asks
us to remember
3. This means that in the last days of time the circumstances will be similar to Lot’s day, the temptation will be strong to live for the world and only lightly for the Lord!
4. Life is full of choices, even Christians can make poor ones, and then they too will experience the consequences of those poor choices!
5. There is no good way to escape God’s judgments except through obedience to His ways, all other ways lead to loss!
ILLUS: IN JAN. 1985 A LARGE SUITCASE THAT WAS UNMARKED AND UNCLAIMED WAS DISCOVERED AT THE CUSTOMS OFFICE IN LOS ANGELES INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT. WHEN U.S. CUSTOMS OPENED THE SUITCASE THEY FOUND THE CURLED UP BODY OF AN UNIDENTIFIED YOUNG LADY INSIDE. SHE HAD BEEN DEAD FOR A FEW DAYS ALREADY. IT WAS LEARNED THAT SHE HAD ATTEMPTED TO FLEE IRAN TO THE U.S. AND SO TOOK MATTERS IN HER OWN HANDS. WHILE HER PLAN SEEMED SIMPLE ENOUGH, SHE DIDN’T KNOW EVIDENTLY ABOUT THE LACK OF OXYGEN AND THE EXTREME COLD, WHICH MUST HAVE KILLED HER. EVEN IF SHE HAD SURVIVED THE TRIP, SHE WOULD HAVE BEEN SENT BACK FOR BEING AN ILLEGAL ALIEN AND SO SHE STILL WOULD HAVE FAILED! YOU CANNOT ENTER WITH SHORTCUTS AND METHODS OF YOUR OWN DESIRE, TRYING TO COME THROUGH IMPROPER CHANNELS WOULD HAVE ONLY LEFT HER MORE MISERABLE, ESPECIALLY AFTER SHE WOULD HAVE BEEN SENT BACK TO THE IRANIAN OFFICIALS SHE HAD TRIED TO ESCAPE. SOME PEOPLE THINK THEY WILL ENTER HEAVEN ON THEIR OWN TERMS, THEIR OWN WAY, THEY AVOID OR IGNORE GOD’S WAYS, BUT THESE ILLEGAL MEANS WILL ONLY PROVE FOOLISH ... AND IN SOME CASES FATAL! – SOURCE UNKNOWN
6. Do you hear this wake up call by Jesus? Are you going your own way while trying to confess being a Christian so you make heaven while your heart is more committed to the world than the WORD!?
7. Have you found being a Christian a drag and a miserable experience? How much are you living for Him and how much are you living for you?
8. Do you think you can keep ignoring
the things of God and not have it affect you? ... YOU’RE WRONG! – “REMEMBER
9. Why not start making wiser choices, ones that lead to righteousness and life!!!
CONCLUSION: Is it possible to be a believer and miss much of God’s best? YES! Lot’s poor choices brought much heartache and loss to his own life and his family. Lot thought he had gained much by his foolish choices but in the end LOT HAD LESS! His wife turned back to the world and she thus became a part of it permanently! The results were tragic!