Saturday, June 4, 2011

LOT: A SAVED SOUL - A LOST LIFE

(Genesis 12:1-5; 13:1-13; 14:1-16; and 19:1-38)
There is no better way to encourage ourselves and one another than by studying the lives of men and women who have served God in the past – look up Romans 15:4. But this line of study will also bring us solemn warnings about the dangers and pitfalls which confront us – look up
1 Corinthians 10:11-12. We begin with a word of warning, as we read and study the character of Lot. The scripture references above make very sad reading. They tell us about a man who was saved, as is made clear when he is referred to as "that righteous man" in 2 Peter 2:6 – 9. In New Testament language, Lot was a saved man, but he was only just saved; he was a worldly Christian who had a saved soul but a lost life, because he lived for self and was in bondage to the things of time and sense, and he became engulfed in and succumbed to the evils of his time. Notice the following main lines of teaching which we extract from the sad story of Lot.

1. Lot walked by sight and not by faith.
The true hallmark of the believer is that he walks by faith and not by sight – look up 2 Corinthians 5:7; but the worldly believer reverses the order – look up Habakkuk 2:4; Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11 and Hebrews 10:38. Lot lived by sight, and this is most of all apparent in the selfish, carnal choice he made – read about it in Genesis 13:1-11, and compare 2 Corinthians 4: 18. The worldly Christian lays up treasure on earth and has little or no treasure in Heaven – look up Matthew 6:19-20; and the worldly Christian, walking by sight, is governed by the world's wisdom and standards – look up 1 Corinthians 2:2-7 and 1 John 2:15-17.

2. Lot made his home and reared his children in wicked Sodom.
He deliberately chose to do so, as we learn from Genesis 13:12-13. At first, Lot only pitched his tent towards Sodom, but later we find him living in Sodom (Genesis 14:12), a prosperous citizen of Sodom and holding a high position in the civic and social life of the city. Lot was a V.I.P. in Sodom – but how sad for a child of God! He called the wicked men of Sodom "friends" (Genesis 19:7) – so he was one of them. Probably he never intended to drift into the worldly, sensual, God-dishonouring life of Sodom, but what Christian ever intends to get away from God and to dishonour Him? Before long, his wife and children were thoroughly imbued with the worldliness of Sodom. This picture is surely up-to-date, though it happened with Lot and his family 4000 years ago! But God's call is to separation – look up 2 Corinthians 6:14–18 and also 2 Peter 2:20.

3. Lot was out of touch with God.
• He lost the consciousness of the presence of God Look up Genesis 13:14, and notice the word "after". How solemn! – look up Job 23: 3.
• He lost the experience of the peace of God In 2 Peter 2:6–9 we are told that the wickedness of the Sodomites "distressed" the soul of Lot. Yes, his conscience was troubled and it "stung" him – look up Isaiah 57:20-21. How could he know peace in his heart when he was enmeshed by the world and by worldly people?
• He lost the power of God – if he had ever had it! Instead of being a power for God he had become a weak, worldly, failing, disobedient man. His case was rather like that of Samson – look up Judges 16: 4-20.

4. Lot had no influence for God.
He did not look, walk or act like a man of God, and nobody ever dreamed that he was one. As a believer he should have exerted a powerful influence for the Lord, but because he was so weak and so worldly his influence for God counted for nothing at all.
• He had no influence with the men of Sodom. We learn this from Genesis 19:1-ll, and particularly notice in verses 7–9 that they laughed him to scorn. The men of Sodom must have despised Lot – and the world despises a worldly, "make-believe" Christian.
• He had no influence with his children. We learn this from Genesis 19:8; this is a verse to make us shudder, but is there a sadder verse in the whole Bible than Genesis 19:14?
• He had no influence with his own wife. We learn this from Genesis 19:26, which tells the solemn story of her disobedience and her tragic end.


5. Lot went from bad to worse and he became hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
In Genesis 19:15-16, we read that Lot "hesitated" – which tells us that his conscience was seared (1 Timothy 4:2). How slow he was to obey God, even when God had warned him of impending judgment! – look up 2 Thessalonians 1:7–9. These are some of the most solemn words in the Bible.

6. Lot lost his honour and was involved in shame with his own daughters.
The awful story of debauchery, weakness, deceit, drunkenness and incest is told in Genesis 19:30-38. Scripture does not gloss over men's sins. Let us be warned and take heed as we read this sad, sad story. The result was that two illegitimate children were born – Moab and Ammon – from whom came the bitterest enemies of ancient Israel – the Moabites and the Ammonites. Sin, if it is harboured, goes on working in the heart and in the life, and eventually it leads to shame and tragedy – even to members of one's own family.

7. Finally, Lot was literally "saved; yet so as by fire."
He was "plucked out of the fire" – look up Zechariah 3:2, and compare 1 Corinthians 3:15 and Jude 23. Every believer will have to appear before the Judgment Seat of Christ – look up Romans 14:10. There, we shall either be rewarded for faithfulness, or we shall suffer loss because, like Lot, we have lived an easy-going, careless, worldly life. All believers will be saved, but some will be saved "yet so as by fire" – look up and seriously consider
1 Corinthians 3:11-15.

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