TEXT:         Gen. 19:1-29; Lk. 17:32


INTRO:       The worst thing that can happen to a Christian is to look back!  To turn back toward a life of sin after finding Christ as savior is one of the most miserable ways to live, and can have horrible consequences.


As Christians, it is vitally important that we are always looking forward, not back.  Why?  It is a fact that where we are looking is where we are heading.  The saddest stories in the Bible are those of individuals who turned back, who turned away from God.  Such people as King Saul,  Lot’s wife, Judas, the Apostle Paul’s co-worker Demas, and others like the unnamed prophet who turned back and was killed by a lion for it, as well as all those who turned back and left Gideon.  Hosea’s wife turned back to a world of sin after being redeemed.  In Jesus’ own ministry we read in John 6:66 “From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.” 


Jesus said of Judas that it would have been better to have not been born than to have turned away from Christ.  Solomon put it more graphically when he talked about those who returned to their old ways when he said, “the dog that returneth to its vomit.”  Prov. 26:11


PROP. SENT:  The Bible teaches us that to turn back to sin is to lose the life God has chosen for us; this temptation is real, and many have taken this sad path back to ruin.


I.      A “LOT” OF COMPROMISING!    Gen. 19:1-11


          A.      Choices!   Gen. 19:1-5

              1.     Lot was a man that wanted a “LOT!”

a.  Lot made choices that were foolish, he took the best land from Abraham, and this was contrary to God’s plan.

b.  He moved toward a big city named Sodom, a place he did not belong.

c.  He later moved into Sodom … further away from God’s plan.

d.  He took up leadership in Sodom, rather than stay with God’s people.

e.  He raised his family where he could get the most out of the world, putting little priority on the things of God.

2.  Lot did not move into Sodom overnight.  He did it as a gradual process, this is the case with most backsliders.

a.  It was one bad choice after another, each one just a little closer to the world, and a little further away from God’s best.

b.  Each choice took him deeper and deeper into compromise, all the time he still maintained his personal faith in God but the impact of his life of compromise would take its toll on him, and on his family.


ILLUS:             One summer two college boys named Jack Prickett and Fred Stahl entered into the lowlands of Florida.  Jack was walking ahead of Fred and stepped on what appeared to be hard crust, but it was quick sand.  He quickly told his friend to stop, to not come any closer.  Fred knew he had to do something to help his friend, but Jack was slowly sinking, first to his knees, and then horribly, he toppled over with his hands down.  Fred returned with a tree branch, but Jack couldn’t get his hands up, they were bogged down in the sand already.  To his horror, Fred watched Jack slowly sink beneath the sands and disappear.  The sand appeared to have substance, but it was not enough to hold Jack up, yet he didn’t sink immediately, it was gradual.  This is what happens to those who turn back, they often have looked back many times before the final fall.  – Source Unknown


3.  Lot’s choices gradually strengthened his ties with the world, and lessened his connection with God’s family found in Abraham.

a.  Abraham had already once come to his rescue from being with the people of Sodom.

b.  This time, God would come to his rescue directly, but Lot would pay an awful price for those years of compromise, he would loose so much, in the end LOT WOULD HAVE LESS!”


          B.      Contamination!    Gen. 19:6-11

1.  The angels had come from God to rescue Lot and his family, judgment was about to fall on this wicked city … eventually all sin will be judged by God.

a.  The whole city was so wicked that there were not even 10 righteous souls in it.

b.  The reason Abraham had stopped at 10 was probably due to the fact that Abraham knew Lot had a wife, 2 unmarried daughters, and at least 2 married daughters … and possibly a couple more children such as a son or two.  Abraham did some quick addition and figured there must be at least 10 righteous souls … so he stopped trying to bargain with God at this number.

c.  Abraham hadn’t counted on the depth of contamination that Sodom had yielded on Lot’s family!

2.  While Lot maintained his belief in God his lifestyle was more like Sodom’s … and so his children grew up in this environment.  The contamination would show shortly in their lives.

3.  The man Lot who had wanted so much found himself becoming a beggar!  The level of contamination was profound, soon all he had left was his begging!

a.  He begs the angels to stay with him, not in the town square … he knows why!

b.  He begs the men of Sodom to not gang rape the angels!

c.  He begs the men of Sodom instead to rape his own daughters … how distorted was this!!?

d.  He later begs his sons-in-laws to leave with them, but they laugh at him!

e.  He then begs to stay, and the angels have to grab his hand and drag his family out!

f.   He begs then to go to Zoar instead of fleeing to the mountains as he had been at first told … “Zoar” meant “little city” and was probably a small replica of Sodom so he could still have his old life back to some degree!

4.  Little by little Lot had contaminated his own heart and those of his family.  The potential of God’s will for his life was lost behind all this contamination.


ILLUS:             Several years ago, experts restored the famous painting of the Dutchman Rembrandt entitled, “THE NIGHT WATCH.”  The magnificent painting had hung for years in Amsterdam without proper protection and had acquired a heavy layer of dust and grime.  The restorers were shocked as they cleaned it to find all kinds of small detail that had been hidden for a long time.  The colors and long obscured figures suddenly came to life again once all the contaminants were removed.  They did nothing to change what the master had made, all they did was remove the contamination and this brought out much of the master’s picture that had been completely ignored before.  It was like a new painting once cleaned!  Neglect had allowed the contamination that obscured the master’s plan!  Sin is like this in a Christian’s life.  – Source Unknown


5.  Did you notice how Lot addressed the men of Sodom who had come to rape his guests? – he called them “… my friends”  (vrs. 6)  KJV has “brethren.”

a.  This alone says a “LOT” about where he was spiritually!

b.  Lot was willing to have them rape his own virgin daughters to placate their sexual drives!

c.  This was a man who had slowly become contaminated by sexual values that were contrary to God’s values, all because he looked at what Sodom could give him more than what God might do for him.

d.  This was a believer??? … Who had salted whom?


II.    A “LOT” OF CONFLICT!    Gen. 19:12-17


          A.      Credibility!?   19:12-14

1.  The same Lot that had tried to save his guests (angels) had to be rescued by them!

a.  The men of the city had no respect for Lot, and they ignored his pleas for leaving the angels alone.

b.  His credibility as a moral man was lost when he offered his daughters to these wicked people in order to have them raped.  His respect had probably disappeared a long time ago as Lot lived among them, trying to preach to them one thing but living and enjoying all the stuff of Sodom at the same time.

c.  Our credibility in this world when we TALK about God is only as good as how we WALK with God.

2.  Compromising with the devil never works!


ILLUS:             A Russian parable talks about a hunter that went into the woods to hunt for a bear to kill for a fur coat.  He finds one, and just as he is about to pull the trigger to his great surprise the bear says to him in a soft voice, “Isn’t it better to talk about this instead of shooting me, maybe we can work something out to satisfy both parties.  The hunter lowered the rifle and agreed to hear him out.  The bear asked him, “What is it that you really want in shooting me?”  The hunter answered, “A fur coat.”  The bear then said, “And all I want is a full stomach, so let us compromise.”  A few minutes later the bear walked away alone, the negotiating had been a great success … the bear now had a full stomach and the hunter now wore fur!!!  Compromise rarely satisfies both parties in equal measure!.  – Source Unknown


3.  His sons-in-laws merely laughed at him for his message of doom and destruction!

a.  The world will never listen to us, if they can’t respect us.

b.  The right to be HEARD comes from the HOLY life we live.

4.  Lot’s credibility was zero with the town and now with his in-laws!  Living a life in conflict with God’s will brought this condition on.


          B.      Conditioned!   19:15-17

1.  Now when morning arrives the angels tell them to hurry to leave, yet LOT HESITATES!   19:16a

a.  There is no time to go get anyone else; his married daughters are to be left behind, the byproducts of their surroundings, and to their deaths.

b.  The only ones to escape now will be those with God’s messengers.

c.  It is remarkable that Lot is even saved, but he loses so much even though his own life is spared.

2.  He was so conditioned to Sodom that he couldn’t bring himself to go, even with the fires of destruction ready to fall!

a.  The hesitation reveals his true heart and what he really loved.

b.  Those today who hesitate to give to God what belongs to Him show the same conditioning from this world.

3.  Lot must have been unaware of just how much he had come to love Sodom, or at least how much it had influenced his life and family.  He had become so used to the place he couldn’t bring himself to leave.


ILLUS:             A Blacksmith’s dog used to spend most of its time in the smithy, and thus got used to the constant fire and sparks.  Other dogs occasionally came into the shop with their masters only to quickly run away when they saw the fire and sparks flying, but not the smithy’s dog … he was used to it.  One day the shop caught fire while the owner was away, his dog was still inside.  The dog burned to death because its instinct to run from the fire had been dulled by it being around fire all the time.  Thus, it cost the dog its life.  Conditioning to fire had removed its natural fear, and thus it perished when the death flames came.  Have you become accustomed to being near the fire?  – Source Unknown


4.  This was Lot, conditioned to the “hell” in Sodom, somehow even the brimstone and fire about to fall didn’t make him ready to run, he hesitates when the time comes to leave.

a.  The angels had to literally grab his hand, his wife’s hand, and their two daughters and drag them out of the city to save them.

b.  Once outside, they instructed them all “DON’T LOOK BACK!”

c.  This was a new chance for them to break away from their backslidden condition, to start over again; they were not to LOOK BACK because this would tempt them to GO BACK!

5.  They are instructed to flee to the mountains, to get to HIGH GROUND again!

a.  If you have slipped and “lowered” yourself to the ways of this world, move up to the “high” ground of God’s ways again!

b.  The only safe place was “up.”


III.     A “LOT” OF COMPLAINTS!    Gen. 19:18-29; Lk. 17:32


          A.      Compromise!   19:18--23

1.  Lot starts his “begging” again … to do things his way instead of God’s!

a.  He goes to a city named “ZOAR” which in Hebrew means, “Little City.”

b.  No doubt this “little city” was a “little Sodom.”

2.  If he can’t look back, he will look for something familiar!

3.  This little compromise reveals the level of contamination in his heart.

4.  Lot just kept making the wrong choices, even when God was trying to save him.

5.  Ironically, those in Zoar must not have received him well either, for he doesn’t stay there, in fear he leaves there too!

6.  Lot just kept selling out, a price tag that later proves very costly.


ILLUS:             There was a dying man in London on June 14th, 1801 named Benedict Arnold.  He had been a commissioned colonel who had defeated the armed forces from Quebec at Ticonderoga in 1775 which led to him becoming a brigadier General and a hero in this nation.  He later obtained command of West Point.  But one day for $30,000 and a commission in the British army he agreed to surrender the U.S. troops to the British.  Now dying in London, he was in his attic talking to his housekeeper, he asked her to pull out the old trunk and get his old American uniform out and put it on him, and asked to be wrapped in the U.S. flag, his last words were, “Let me die in my old uniform, God forgive me for ever putting on any other!”  He died with remorse.  – Source Unknown


          B.      Catastrophe!  19:24-29; Lk. 17:32

1.  Lot’s wife can’t take it any longer; she LOOKS BACK and is turned into a pillar of salt!

2.  Her turning back indicated where her heart truly was, it was back in Sodom.

a.  Interestingly enough that area of the world has large natural asphalt pools with crusted salt around them at times.

b.  Some believe it was a glob of fiery brimstone or asphalt that fell on her and encrusted her with salt, killing her instantly.

3.  Lot had lost his married daughter’s already, they stayed behind in Sodom and died.

4.  Abraham gets up and notices all the smoke rising from the area of Sodom.  He now realizes that there weren’t 10 righteous souls in the city, which meant some of Lot’s family wasn’t living for God.

a.  Abraham is living for God and his family, he had stayed away from Sodom.

b.  Lot had mixed his identity with this world and it had claimed his loved ones.

5.  Jesus warns in Luke 17:32 that we who are His followers must not forget Lot’s wife … we must not ever turn back!  Catastrophe will await those who do!

a.  If only they had listened to God’s voice and not looked back, they would have been off to a new start.

b.  What is God saying to you today?

c.  Are you listening to His WORD, or to the WORLD?

6.  We must obey His Word if we are to be spared catastrophe.


ILLUS:             A man and his son were fishing in the cold waters of a northern sea.  They had stood on a little ice tip that reached out into the water, to fall into that freezing water would mean almost immediate death.  Suddenly as they stood on this ice outcropping they heard a noise and realized that the ice section they were standing on had just broken loose from the main section and they were beginning to drift out to sea!  Immediately the father shouted, “Son, jump now! … this very second, quickly!”  The father did just that, assuming his son had obeyed him and followed, but when he landed on the main flow again he turned and saw his son still standing on the ice piece floating away!  The boy had not jumped!  With horror the father watched his son slowly float out to sea, no way to rescue him.  His hesitation to jump had cost him his only opportunity for life, he would eventually die on that ice piece, somewhere at sea, all he could do was weep over the loss and watch his son slowly disappear, lost forever because he failed to obey his father! – Source Unknown


7.  Why did God even spare Lot?  Read verse 30, “God remembered Abraham, and He brought Lot out of the catastrophe …”

a.  It was Abraham’s prayers that had saved Lot!

b.  Thank God for those who don’t give up in prayer!

8.  Lot lost so much however though he himself was saved, after he settled down again his 2 daughters got him drunk and committed incest with him.  No doubt the morals of Sodom were still playing themselves out in their lives!

9.  All because they LOOKED BACK!  Fight the temptation to LOOK BACK, or you will GO BACK!  GOD’S WAYS ARE BETTER!


CONCLUSION: The saddest thing in all the world is the person who has accepted God’s love, but has looked back to the world for their comfort and security!  Those who look back to the world will not be able to see God up ahead!  The future is found only in God, don’t be tempted to look back!