As it Was in the Days of Lot…
By Pastor Hal Mayer
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The sad story of the life of Lot reveals the danger of playing with sin, of turning your heart toward the world instead of to God. Lot is an example to us in the last days. In his life story, there are deep warnings for us. As we study today, I hope you apply the lessons personally and literally.
Let us begin with the words of Jesus in Luke 17:28-30. “Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; but the same day Lot went out of Sodom, it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed.”
These very clear verses tell us what was going on in Sodom at the time of its destruction. We also learn that what happened in Sodom was not a natural disaster. It was a supernatural disaster. Who ever heard of fire and brimstone falling from heaven? This was a terrible judgment of God on the wicked people of that city and also Gomorrah. But the violent end of Sodom was only the just consequences of the radical extremism, licentiousness and violence in Sodom itself.
Do you think God might do something like that to the wicked cities of today? But whatever the case, the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy tell us that in the last days the cities will be just as wicked as the city of Sodom. They will be subject to God’s judgments whether natural or supernatural, for God will reveal himself as God.
Listen to this statement from the Testimonies to the Church, Vol 7, pg 141. “Never did this message apply with greater force than it applies today. More and more the world is setting at nought the claims of God. Men have become bold in transgression. The wickedness of the inhabitants of the world has almost filled up the measure of their iniquity. This earth has almost reached the place where God will permit the destroyer to work his will upon it. The substitution of the laws of men for the law of God, the exaltation, by merely human authority, of Sunday in place of the Bible Sabbath, is the last act in the drama. When this substitution becomes universal, God will reveal Himself. He will arise in His majesty to shake terribly the earth. He will come out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the world for their iniquity, and the earth shall disclose her blood and shall no more cover her slain.”
So it is clear that God will act at some point like He did in Sodom. It will be when the rebellion reaches the point where men do violence to God’s holy law and institute their own laws instead, such as laws that redefine marriage and family, legalize the killing of helpless babies, prostitution, and the ultimate Sunday worship laws. But the tragedy of Lot is vital for us to understand. That is why God put it in the Bible.
When Lot and Abram could no longer live in the same area because of strife between their workers, Abram proposed that they separate on good terms. He said in Genesis 13:7, 8 ”Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren. Is not the whole land before thee? Separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if thou will take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left.”
Abram gave Lot the choice of all the land. He was not suggesting that Lot should go toward Sodom. But Lot was interested in city life. He thought he would like to engage in a more sophisticated society, a more progressive environment, a place where fresh ideas invigorated society. Perhaps he could gain much by living among them and doing business with them.
The Bible says in verse 10 that “Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that was well watered every where…” In other words, he thought that if he went down toward the city of Sodom, he could justify it on the basis that it was good business. There was water everywhere for his flocks and herds. The Bible says it was beautiful, like the Garden of the Lord, or the Garden of Eden. So “Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan,” says verse 11.
Listen to this description of Sodom from Patriarchs and Prophets, page 156. “Fairest among the cities of the Jordan Valley was Sodom, set in a plain which was “as the garden of the Lord” in its fertility and beauty. Here the luxuriant vegetation of the tropics flourished. Here was the home of the palm tree, the olive, and the vine; and flowers shed their fragrance throughout the year. Rich harvests clothed the fields, and flocks and herds covered the encircling hills. Art and commerce contributed to enrich the proud city of the plain. The treasures of the East adorned her palaces, and the caravans of the desert brought their stores of precious things to supply her marts of trade. With little thought or labor, every want of life could be supplied, and the whole year seemed one round of festivity.”
But Sodom was not only beautiful. It was wicked exceedingly. And Lot did not understand their determined perversity. “In Sodom there was mirth and revelry, feasting and drunkenness. The vilest and most brutal passions were unrestrained. The people openly defied God and His law and delighted in deeds of violence. Though they had before them the example of the antediluvian world, and knew how the wrath of God had been manifested in their destruction, yet they followed the same course of wickedness.” That’s Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 157
I wonder if in Sodom they had boxing and wrestling matches and other violent sports. I wonder if in Sodom they had dog fights, cock fights, bull fights and other cruel amusements. Perhaps they had sword fights and gladiator matches.
In Sodom they defied God. They thought that creation and the flood were myths. They believed that there were no absolute set of standards, no divine laws. So they did what they pleased.
So Genesis 13:12 tells us that “Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom.” What is the practical application of this idea that “Lot pitched his tent toward Sodom?” You see Abram and Lot were nomads. They lived in rather primitive tents out under the sky. They did not have fancy houses that were permanent dwellings like the people of the city. Hebrews 11:9 & 10 tell us that Abraham was a nomad because he was searching for a city, a permanent city, whose builder and maker is God. This simple life was intended by God to keep them from getting entangled in the corrupt life and worldliness of the city. While there is nothing wrong with a permanent dwelling, it is important to live a simple life.
But Lot had a deeper problem. He pitched his heart toward Sodom. His mind and his heart took his tent there. He desired to be there. He wanted to have the supposed advantages that they had. He wanted the easy life, the amenities and all the benefits of living in the culture of the city. But this was a very bad choice because it meant that being around Sodom, Lot would eventually partake of their spirit. He was obviously not as spiritual as his uncle Abram. By pitching his heart toward Sodom, he opened his mind to the corruptions of that wicked city. For the Bible says in verse Genesis 13:13, that “the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the Lord exceedingly.“
Here is a powerful statement from Patriarchs and Prophets, page 168. “When Lot entered Sodom, he fully intended to keep himself free from iniquity and to command his household after him. But he signally failed. The corrupting influences about him had an effect upon his own faith, and his children’s connection with the inhabitants of Sodom bound up his interest in a measure with theirs. The result is before us. Many are still making a similar mistake.”
Lot thought that he could live a godly life in Sodom and didn’t have to participate in the sin. He did not understand that the fear of the Lord is more than to “depart from evil” (Proverbs 16:6), but that the fear of the Lord is also to “hate evil.” (Proverbs 8:13) How can you hate evil, when you are living amid the concentration of it?
Friends, this is impossible. You cannot willingly put yourself in the environment where sin is compounded, and escape untainted. You can only go there when you have spent time with God outside of that environment, and if He has sent you. You have to hate sin and evil. This also means that you must know scripture. If you want to fortify your mind against evil, and especially come to the place where you hate evil, you have to have scripture embedded in your mind.
By going down to Sodom, Lot sacrificed the advantages of the simple country life. But moreover he sacrificed its spiritual advantages. He lost his spiritual edge. He was intrigued by the lifestyle and the “progressive” ideas of the Sodomites, though there were certainly grosser sins that he did not appreciate. But perhaps he thought he could be of spiritual help to them. This mistake left him without protection of God’s power against the temptations that would face him in Sodom.
It wasn’t long before Lot was in difficulty. There was war that developed between the various kings of Canaan and of the cities of Sodom, Gomorrah and Zoar. War, by its nature, emphasizes the destruction of cities, because it is in the cities where the populations are, and where the industries are, and where the communications are, and all the other security and support facilities of any society. It is also where the political centers are of any nation. If a nation is going to overthrow another nation, they have to attack the infrastructure and the political centers. They have to inflict as much damage as possible on the cities. This is just as true today, perhaps even more so, considering the destructive power of modern weapons. Terrorists also attack population centers.
This is one of the reasons why God does not want His people to live in the cities. They get caught up in the maelstrom and chaos of war. When war comes to a city, God’s people are to be outside of them. Moreover, when God’s judgments are meted out to thousands of cities, and He essentially destroys them, where will you be? Is your heart and mind pitched toward Sodom?
Yet the war between the kings was one of God’s ways of sending rays of light to Sodom so that the people might see their errors and turn to God. God used Abraham to rescue Lot. But He also used this as a warning to the Sodomites and sent them rays of light to connect them to Abraham’s God. Their attention was turned to the true faith.
“Abraham was not a stranger to the people of Sodom, and his worship of the unseen God had been a matter of ridicule among them; but his victory over greatly superior forces, and his magnanimous disposition of the prisoners and spoil, excited wonder and admiration. While his skill and valor were extolled, none could avoid the conviction that a divine power had made him conqueror. And his noble and unselfish spirit, so foreign to the self-seeking inhabitants of Sodom, was another evidence of the superiority of the religion which he had honored by his courage and fidelity.” Patriarchs and Prophets, page 157.
In their presence Abram paid tithes to Melchizedek and gave the glory for the victory to the God of heaven. Melchizedek openly blessed the God of heaven whom he said had given Abram this blessing. But the Sodomites spurned the last ray of light, and turned even more to their wickedness. (See Genesis 14:19, 20)
But that would not be the last trouble. Lot eventually entered Sodom. But the people of Sodom were not interested in his faith. They liked Lot, so long as his strange religion did not conflict with their interests. After all, he was honest and helpful, a good businessman, and of course, wealthy.
But Lot soon began to lose his spiritual edge. Being around all that wickedness, he became used to seeing or hearing about the grossest of sins. At first he was revolted by the boldness of the homosexuals in the city. He didn’t like the way they acted toward each other around town. To see two men kissing in public or stroking each other in sensual ways in the streets seemed to him to be the most unnatural and made him feel uncomfortable. And when he saw woman dressed like men and cutting their hair in masculine ways, he felt as though they had crossed a line that should not be crossed because it caused gender confusion.
Lot, no doubt, saw how demanding the gay and lesbian social clubs and associations were. They wanted their lifestyle to be accepted like any other lifestyle. They felt that they needed special recognition because they were at a supposed disadvantage, and even presented themselves as victims of social discrimination. Homosexuals wanted a new idea of family and marriage taught in the schools. They wanted “tolerance” toward all variations of social life, and they did not tolerate any suggestion that their sexual orientation was wrong. The secular city council certainly would have granted gay and lesbian couples marriage rights and legal status for adopted children. Their goal was to make the whole city a place that was gay-friendly, and which exalted the benefits of alternative lifestyles. They pressured businesses to be gay-friendly by anti-discrimination laws. Homosexuals were politically active to such an extent that they eventually controlled all the main political offices of the city, and perhaps most of the lesser political positions. Had there been any churches in Sodom, they would likely have ordained actively homosexual clergy.
Sodom was given over to the homosexual movement, yet Lot forced himself to relax and accept these conditions. His wife also became comfortable in Sodom. She liked the openness and ease with which she could interact with all levels of society. She was attracted to the shopping options in the city markets, and perhaps she was attracted to the fashions that Sodomites were using. The culture of Sodom was, to her, most enjoyable. Both she and Lot at least subconsciously knew these people were blatant in their sins and would not criticize their more mild compromises. In the city they could have their worldly entertainment, delicious food, and up-to-date fashions, and other lifestyle indulgences that Lot and his family would have certainly imbibed. The Sodomites would not judge them for these things.
No doubt Lot knew all this worldly lifestyle was not according to God’s plan. But Lot prospered in Sodom, and like many of God’s people today, after a while the sin didn’t make such an impact on him. It was so common that it seemed to him that it was universally accepted and that there was nothing he could do about it. He felt perhaps that he would just have to live with it and be accepting and gracious. He justified it on the basis that he could be a good witness among these evil people, and perhaps win some of them to the God of heaven. But friends, you can’t expect that by living among them, you will be successful in winning carnal people to the truth. Like Enoch, you have to work the cities from outside of them. That’s God’s plan.
Lot had at least four daughters at the time of the destruction of Sodom. Two of them were at home, but the Bible talks about his sons-in-law, making it clear that he at least had two more daughters that were married. We don’t know much about these sons-in-law or his daughters, but it is obvious that they were not living the way they should. Perhaps Lot was concerned when his daughters wanted to court men that were not of their own faith. But then, who else could they associate with? Perhaps he rationalized their marriages on the basis that by this means he would have an entering wedge and would be able to bring them to a knowledge of the Lord.
But this was not to be. Lot’s older daughters liked the boys of the city and engaged in relationships with them that eventually led to romance. The Bible doesn’t tell us much detail about their morals, but from what the two surviving daughters did with their father after they were in the cave leads us to the conclusion that their morals were anything but pure. Perhaps Lot remonstrated with them because he was worried that they would make wrong decisions about marriage, and end up being unequally yoked. But he did not restrain them. How could he in that environment? But the girls may have told their father that these young men were of good character, the best in Sodom. They were financially responsible and had steady jobs. They weren’t wicked like so many of the young people in Sodom. Besides, they might have added, “we will be able to win them to the truth.”
Lot’s sons-in-law were, however, disinterested in religion, particularly Lot’s strange faith. They were secular, and had no interest in the Sabbath, or the sacrifices they would have to make in business or other pursuits if they were to keep it holy as God had instructed. Lot would make mild attempts perhaps to talk to them about spiritual things. But these young people were rather satisfied in their lifestyle. They were rich, and happy the way they were. Life was easy and comfortable. They saw no need to change. Eventually, the wicked lifestyle of the people around them didn’t bother them any more.
So, by the time his daughters were old enough to marry, they were already connected with the men who would lead them right out of the faith and who would be the cause of their destruction. It was too late for Lot to forbid his daughters from marrying these men. He would alienate them. So he had to back off. These men were no doubt successful businessmen or professionals. Perhaps they were well connected in the city, and would bring advantages for his daughters and his grandchildren.
For all the supposed advantages of the city, Lot may well have wondered if he made the right choice. Perhaps his conscience bothered him, but he brushed it aside and chose to believe that everything would turn out all right. Little did he realize that his decision to pitch his tent toward Sodom was fatal to his wife and two eldest daughters. Their hearts were easily lured away from God by the wicked city.
So Lot settled down in Sodom. He moved into town where he bought a house and took up residence. Sodom had a strong business environment. Jesus said in Luke 17:28, that “they bought and they sold,” meaning that this was one of the reasons they were destroyed. But what is wrong with buying and selling? This is the way the world works. Jesus also said that they were eating and drinking. What is wrong with eating and drinking? Moreover Jesus said that because of marrying and giving in marriage the world was destroyed by a flood. Again, what is wrong with marriage? It is one of the two institutions that Christ gave to mankind in the Garden of Eden that would last throughout all time. The other one of course is the Sabbath.
Friends, it is not that these things were wrong in and of themselves, but because they were either perverted, or done to excess, or used in an improper way. For instance, the business environment in Sodom was used wrongly. They were speculating with real estate and perhaps with stock at the market. They would buy and sell to make money through speculation, which is always based on the principle of getting rich at the expense of someone else. They would buy real estate cheaply, and then wait until the demand for the land increased, and then sell it at a very inflated price. They would have probably had a stock market, using financial instruments to speculate. It may have been low tech, but they certainly would have found ways to speculate. Perhaps they even had bookmakers so they could bet.
But things were not well in Sodom. Lot probably didn’t like the way some of the people acted. They were always looking for new opportunities to sin. The thoughts and the imaginations of their hearts were only evil continually it seemed.
Marriage was merely a social contract that could be entered or exited at will. There was really nothing sacred about marriage that would prevent them from doing whatever they wanted to do. Immorality was rife, including adultery, fornication, prostitution, homosexuality, and even bestiality. All manner of perversion was practiced. The Bible says in Genesis 13:13 that “the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the Lord exceedingly.” Remember that what went on in Sodom will go on in the last days. Conversely, what is going on in the last days, also went on in Sodom.
The prosperous brothels in town were busy day and night. The nightclubs and discos, or whatever they were called back then, would go to the wee hours of the morning. The alcohol would flow freely. The restaurants were crowded. The people loved to feast and they grossly indulged their appetites, and consequently, they grossly indulged their passions.
Imagine what Lot must have had to do to justify living in such a place. He would have had to convince himself that he could retain his spirituality and be a witness and also not permit himself to be involved in the sin. He would have had to rationalize the whole affair on the basis that he was not as bad as they were, and that he had the truth. He would have had to comfort himself with the idea that he was protected by God in that environment because of his faith. But in reality, all this was just human rationalization. And it was deadly. Lot is a warning to us of the danger of ignoring God’s instruction to avoid mingling with worldly and sinful people who have no interest in righteousness. It is a prime example of what happens to those who choose to live in the city.
One day as Abraham was sitting at the door of his tent in the “heat of the day” it says in Genesis 18:1, he looked up and saw three men standing nearby. He got up and ran to meet them and invited them to his home. He did not know that they were heavenly beings. One of them was the Lord Jesus Christ. The others were certainly angels. One of them may have been Gabriel and the other a high-ranking angel.
When Abraham found out who his guests were, and what their mission was, he was very concerned. The two angels turned and went on toward Sodom, but Christ stayed with Abraham. It was as if he was inviting Abraham to intercede for Sodom. Abraham’s burden for Sodom was acute. He knew his nephew Lot was there and his family. So he thought that perhaps there were some others there who were also believers because of Lot’s influence. He negotiated with Christ to spare the city if there were only ten righteous people.
Jesus provoked Abraham to prayerful intercession. This is a principle of heaven. Jesus wants you to learn how to intercede too, and He often organizes circumstances so that you will see the need of it. Lot may not have been spared had it not been for Abraham’s intercession. Friends, if you have children that are wayward, don’t stop praying for them. Keep putting them before the Lord, and begging Him to spare them. If you have a spouse that does not believe the truth, keep praying for them and don’t stop. You never know when they will need the angel’s protection, and you may spare them so that they will have another opportunity to surrender to God. Pray for your family. Pray for your church. Pray for your government. Pray for your enemies. Intercessory prayer is powerful. It moves heaven. Don’t forget that.
Actually, when you think about it, there weren’t any righteous people in Sodom, not even Lot and his two daughters, as you will soon see. But for Abraham’s sake, his life was spared. Lot was perhaps better than the rest of the Sodomites, but he was far from what Abraham was and from what God requires. This reveals the extreme mercy of God.
When the two angels arrived at Sodom in the evening, Lot was sitting at the gate. He had cultivated the practice of hospitality. He knew the wickedness of the men of the city and the abuse to which strangers were subjected in Sodom. So he had appointed himself both the visitor’s bureau and the welcoming committee so as to protect any unwitting traveler from abuse by offering them his hospitality.
When the two noble-looking men arrived at the city gate, Lot went to meet them and asked them to stay in his home. They turned down his request and said they would stay in the street. Do you think they were provoking Lot to press the invitation, to see the level of his sincerity?
Lot knew that it was not safe to stay on the streets at night. He thought that these men would not be able to defend themselves. Lot did not realize that these were angels who excel in strength.
So Lot urged them to stay at his home. Genesis Chapter 19:3 tells us that “he pressed upon them greatly,” so greatly, in fact, that “they turned in unto him and entered into his house.” This verse also tells us that he prepared a feast for them, and that “they did eat.”
Lot thought they were just regular men, though they appeared very handsome. As Lot took them to his home, there were other eyes that were watching. These men looked so attractive, that the homosexuals of the city, and the bisexuals, transexuals and others thought that they would make for a good time. They could make sexual sport with them. Soon word spread around the city that there were two good-looking strangers in town, and that they were staying at Lot’s house. The men began to think what they could do with them. Soon there was a gathering that grew and grew until it involved all the men of the city.
Genesis 19:4 says that “before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter.” Imagine the scene. Lot’s house is surrounded by all the people of the city. After all, the public wickedness and homosexual behavior was so well known and well accepted that it seemed like it was just any other social activity. This was one of the reasons why God was going to destroy Sodom.
But I want you to understand what was really going on there. This story is a prophetic prediction about the homosexual movement in the last days. Listen to what happened, verse 5. “They called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? Bring them out unto us, that we may know them.” This is a King James Bible term for sex. They wanted to have gay sex with them. In fact, they were going to have gay gang sex with them, one of the most perverted of all behaviors. After all, these angels were so good looking, that they thought that they might well be homosexuals that came to Sodom to “hook up” with other gay men.
Lot was horrified. He could not let this happen to his guests. So he went out side the house and shut the door behind him (verse 6). And he said unto these men, “I pray you brethren, do not so wickedly. Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof.”
The shocking offer of Lot is almost beyond comprehension. Think what he did. Lot brought these men under his roof for their protection. Yet the gay men of the city demanded that he turn them over for gay sex. Lot instead offers his two virgin daughters to them for gang rape.
What is going on here? You see, Lot had become so compromised by living in Sodom; he had become so used to sin, that it did not seem so sinful anymore. He felt more obligations to protect his visitors who had trusted him for protection, than to protect his own daughters from licentious men who would abuse them. This was terrible! Lot was not a righteous man. He was almost as corrupt as the Sodomites. He didn’t know it, perhaps, or didn’t understand it, but he was almost as low as a man could go spiritually. Perhaps the only step lower was to become like the men of Sodom and change the natural affection that God has placed in man, and lust after other men. Lot valued his daughter’s purity far less than his reputation. It was as if their purity was of minor consequence.
I am absolutely astonished at what Lot proposed. What do you think his daughters must have thought? What a gut-wrenching idea. What do you think the angels must have thought? Yet they were still going to spare Lot for Abraham’s sake. Lot’s offer reveals the low level of spirituality that he had achieved by his association with the people of Sodom. He is deeply compromised and didn’t even realize it. Lot was going through his time of trouble. When under pressure of a crisis he exposed himself as very unrighteous. How many of God’s professed people do you think will do the same thing in the time of trouble, when they are under great pressure? This is usually the way it is. Men and women may look spiritual, even better than their neighbors. They may even go to church and return tithes and offerings, but they are corrupt in their hearts, and when under pressure of a crisis, they will reveal that they are not at all what they should be.
This is very serious my friends. We must continually find in God our strength. Please don’t make the same mistake as Lot. You cannot expect that your sins will be hidden forever. You cannot hide your true character forever. At some point, it will be revealed. I know from my own experience how important it is to keep my inner life directed toward God. It is vital that we place ourselves away from as much temptation as possible, especially concentrated temptation. It will still come, but you can learn to hate sin so much that you will not fall into it. May God have mercy on your soul, and the souls of your family. Find a genuine experience with Jesus. Don’t just go for outward appearances. We need revival and reformation internally. It is vital that we prepare for the crisis that is surely coming upon us very soon. Make sure your private life is hid with God in Christ (Colossians 3:3).
The men of the city rushed at Lot and threatened him, “Stand back. And they said again, This one fellow came in to sojourn, and he will needs be a judge: now will we deal worse with thee, than with them. And they pressed sore upon the man, even Lot, and came near to break the door.” They would have torn Lot in pieces had he not been rescued by the angels. Note that they accused Lot of being judgmental. After all, he had accused them of being wicked.
Now think about what this is telling us. It reveals that the homosexual movement will do what they have to do to get their way. And they get angry when they are told that they are sinning. Radical homosexuals are often belligerent, disrespectful, and forceful. Those who are pressing for gay marriage today, for instance, are often of the same mind. Remember that Jesus said that as it was in the days of Lot, so shall it be in the days of the Son of Man. So we can learn from this exactly the mind and the attitude of the homosexual movement today. The political order is being manipulated so that alternative homosexual lifestyles are legally accepted. Schools are being pressured to teach a curriculum that openly supports a homosexual-friendly philosophy.
A new orthodoxy is being pushed on our homes, schools and even our churches, in opposition to the created order that God ordained for the good of the human family. And if you think or act as if homosexuality is a sin, at least in some places, you can be thrown in jail.
Militant homosexuals hate the Bible because the bible condemns their claims and their behavior as wicked, just as Lot did. They claim that God made them that way, in spite of the fact that the Bible, God’s unerring word, says the exact opposite.
Large cities today are good examples of this. Often there are gay pride marches and parades, and other forms of demonstration. But homosexual rights groups demand that laws be enacted to protect their lifestyle, not only from violence or discrimination, but even from opposing speech. Laws are being enacted around the world in some places authorizing a legal form of marriage for same-sex couples.
Businesses are pressured to accept gay-friendly policies. Anti-discrimination laws often force small and large companies to adjust the way they hire or terminate employees. And the list goes on and on. Even schools are subject to “tolerance training.” This means that the curriculums in the schools are not just neutral, but actively teach that a homosexual lifestyle is an acceptable alternative. Children are taught that some boys and girls have two daddies or two mommies and that they should think of this as normal. Some churches are ordaining openly gay clergy and are blessing same-sex marriages.
By the way, a true Christian loves all sinners, including and perhaps especially those caught in the homosexual trap. It is the sin, not the sinner that is condemned in scripture. We are to love the sinner and treat them with respect, courtesy and kindness.
But such realities do not change the word of God. By pitching his tent toward Sodom, Lot had placed himself where he would inevitably run into a crisis. Because of his compromise, he eventually got cornered, and the seriousness of his choice became obvious.
Lot was now in danger. He would be killed by the men of the city. They had no regard for life. When he remonstrated with them, they accused him of being judgmental. This is normal carnal behavior. They do this because they want to pressure their opponent to stop opposing them and let them do what they want. They don’t want to face the fact that what they want to do is wrong and that they will one day be judged by the God of heaven. In fact, they recognize that it is wrong by their very accusation. But they don’t want to feel condemned for their wrongdoing. In other words, they are stifling the work of the Holy Spirit to bring conviction to their hearts. If you do this, eventually you will pass the point of God’s forbearance when your heart is so hard and so pitched toward Sodom that you can no longer respond to the Holy Spirit. This is what happened in Sodom, and it is what is going to happen to the large cities and the whole world at the end of time.
The angels “put forth their hand, and pulled Lot in the house to them, and shut to the door.” They rescued Lot and saved his life. Imagine Lot, not realizing who these men were, hearing the door open behind him, and suddenly being grabbed by arms so strong that they could not be human, and whisked to safety inside his house. The men outside lunged at the door to prevent it from being closed. But they are suddenly struck with blindness. Perhaps the angels flashed their divine light in their eyes temporarily blinding them. They were confused and groped around in their darkness trying to find the door. The Bible says that they wearied themselves in doing so (verse 11). Finally, they dispersed.
They were spiritually blind. They had spurned the heavenly messages and now they spurned the heavenly messengers, and their spiritual night was irreversible. They were so blinded by their hardness of heart that they would never find their way to salvation. They wearied themselves looking for the next excitement, the next thrill, the next chance to vent their passions. They would never turn back. Blinding them was a fitting symbol of the condition of their hearts.
Meanwhile, Lot cautiously looked out the window to see what is going on, and he noticed the men of the city blindly walking around, running into each other and stumbling around. It suddenly occurred to him that his two guests were not ordinary men as he had thought. He realized that he is in the presence of heavenly angels. He is awestruck, dumbfounded and confused. What was the reason for their visit? He sensed, perhaps, that they had not come on a friendly visit to Sodom. Something very grave must be about to happen.
The angels didn’t wait for him to sort out his thoughts. The angels told Lot their mission. ““We will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the Lord; and the Lord hath sent us to destroy it.” Genesis 13:13. They said, “Hast thou here any besides? Son in law, and thy sons, and thy daughters, and whatsoever thou hast in the city, bring them out of this place.” That’s verse 12.
Lot was stunned and paralyzed. The angels’ message was devastating. It was so serious that Lot didn’t know what to think. He was bewildered. Perhaps it occurred to him that he did not have time to sell his home, or his cattle, sheep, goats and other stock. But he was like a man who had just had his eyes opened, and the enormity of the crisis was overwhelming. What would happen to him? What would happen to his family? How would he survive? How will he make a living? Would he be able to take anything with him? His greatest concern was his daughters who were married to those worldly men. Could he convince them to leave Sodom with him?
These are the thoughts and feelings you will have when you are faced with the immediate crisis at the end of time if, like Lot, you have not prepared. Lot had no chance to think and plan, he could only react.
In great fear and haste, Lot, a newly appointed prophet, went out into the night with the last warning, a type of the loud cry, for his children. He went from one family to another of his sons-in-law that married his daughters and tried to explain to them what the angels had told him. He urged them to “come out of her my people.” “Up, get you out of this place; for the Lord will destroy this city.” verse 14. He explained to them that destruction was coming very soon, and that they didn’t have time to pack their belongings. They would just have to leave.
“What has gotten into you Lot?” they asked. “Have you gone mad? Nothing is going to happen to Sodom, especially the way you describe. Your religion has made you a fanatic, Lot. Why are you trying to scare us? God, if there is one, is a loving God. He won’t do anything like that. There is no such thing as a judgment. Stop trying to be sensational. You must be dreaming bad dreams. Go away and come back when you aren’t so over-excited.”
But Lot kept insisting that his prophecy was true and that they had no time. He pled with them and cried tears of anguish as he begged and pleaded. “If you don’t do anything else I say, please do this,” he begged. Lot told them about the angels and the blindness they had inflicted on the men of the city, hoping this would convince them of the truth of his words. But they just brushed it off as trickery.
As Lot continued to insist, they mocked him all the more. “What have you been smoking Lot?” You are having hallucinations. Maybe you should go sleep it off. There has never been any fire come down from heaven, and it isn’t going to happen now. You and your superstitions…”
Lot’s married daughters were influenced by their husbands. “We’re well off here Dad, we shouldn’t leave now,” they said. “After all, there is no evidence of danger. Everything is just as it always has been. It can’t be that Sodom is going to be destroyed, especially tomorrow.”
Lot was alarmed at the response from his children. Well after midnight, with tears streaming down his face, Lot trudged sorrowfully back to his home, his heart full of anxiety and anguish, not knowing what do to. His thoughts raced as he thought back over his life and the poor choices he had made. He sensed that he was about to lose everything, losing all his possessions in a moment, including at least some of his children and grandchildren. This was terrifying. How could his children turn from the warning? There was no more time to help them see their danger. There was nothing he could do.
With tears and anguish, Lot told the angels how he had failed to convince his daughters and their families to come with him. He was devastated. They listened patiently and then told Lot it was time to go. “Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city.” verse 15.
Lot did not want to go. His home was there in Sodom. His family was there, and all his possessions were there. How could he leave? Lot did not understand the depth of iniquity and the sinfulness of the vile practices in the city of Sodom. He didn’t realize that God’s judgments were necessary, in order to check sin in others. It is in mercy to others who have not passed the limit of divine forbearance that God meets out His judgments on the hardened, unrepentant and irretrievable.
Lot’s wife refused to leave Sodom without her children. They weren’t willing to leave Sodom, so why should she? Moreover, it was hard for Lot to let go of all his wealth that had been gained over a lifetime of labor. He certainly had a luxurious home. Would he have to go live in a cave? Paralyzed by terror, grief and shock, devastated by certain loss, he lingered. The angels watched as he fiddled around and wasted time, obviously not anxious to leave.
Finally, knowing that the time was almost at hand for the destruction of Sodom, they took Lot, his wife and two daughters, and perhaps with some protests from Lot’s wife, pulled them along to the gate of the city, and pushed them out. Imagine what it must have felt like to be dragged out side the city and then sternly told to flee. It was almost offensive to Lot and his wife. You know what it is like to have someone put pressure on you to make a spiritual decision when you don’t really want to. The scripture says, that the Lord was being merciful to him. Sometimes, my friend, God sends someone to warn you. They may even put spiritual pressure on you. You may be offended and think they are being judgmental. You may balk at what they say. But think about it. God may be saving you from certain destruction. Sometimes we are unhappy and unsettled with things that happen to us which we cannot control. They are forced on us, so to speak. We may grumble and complain and may even become bitter, but in reality, they are also blessings of God’s mercy.
When the angels set Lot outside the city, they turned as if to go back to Sodom to do their work of destruction. It was still dark, though the dawn was lighting up the eastern horizon. Waiting outside the city was another divine being in the form of a man. This was none other than the Lord Himself. Its true! Where did I get that from? It is right there in verse 17. Listen carefully to the exact wording. “And it came to pass, when they (the two angels) had brought them forth abroad, that he said (He who? The One who came down from Abraham after the angels), ‘Escape for thy life; said Jesus, ‘look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.’” This urgent and strident command was to be unquestioningly followed. Divine retribution was only waiting for the four fugitives to reach safety before a firestorm would destroy the city.
Why do you think this story is in the Bible? Do you think that the Lord’s instruction to Lot is also for us today? Perhaps many of us think that Christ’s strong counsel to Lot is not applicable today. But it is. We must also escape with our lives! We cannot look back, for if we do we will again be ensnared in the very sins we left behind. Looking back today means that we are backsliding into the very sins over which we gained the victory, and we are consumed by their hold on us.
Jesus told Lot to escape from the city into the mountain. The word “escape” implies extreme urgency. In other words, His powerful command was not intended to convey that Lot could take his time. If we are to escape with our spiritual lives, we cannot linger in the city either. You cannot live according to the Bible if you are not willing to escape. You are to get out, and stay out! And not look back to your former life. It may be difficult. You may have to change the way you live. You may have to rethink your schedule and live more simply, but it will be worth it. Lot had no choice but to do what Jesus said if he was to survive. But those words were put there in the Bible for us too. We too must do what Jesus said if we are going to survive.
Lot refused to go to the mountain. Verses 18 & 19 say that “Lot said unto them, Oh, not so, my Lord… I cannot escape to the mountain, lest some evil take me, and I die.” Did Lot think that God could not look after him in the mountain? Lot had been in the country for many years before coming to Sodom. He was familiar with country life. But now, after many years in the city, he was afraid and incapable of living off the land. Lot had been crippled by the city, and now he objected to fleeing to the mountains. City life had ruined his faith in God. Friends, for those who have not followed God’s counsel and learned how to live off the land, they will find it very difficult to conceive of fleeing to the mountains in the time of trouble.
As Lot fled to the city of Zoar, no doubt he wondered what would happen to him. When the little family reached the gates of the city, the sun had finally risen above the horizon.
Sodom was starting to stir. Lot’s daughters and sons-in-law looked up at the sky just as the sun was coming above the horizon. “Yea, poor old Lot,” they must have thought. “Confused and deranged by his silly religion, he got himself all worked up over nothing. It won’t be long before he comes back, and we’ll see what he has to say about all his doomsday predictions.”
But as these kinds of thoughts passed through their minds, suddenly there was a terrible roar as balls of fire and brimstone suddenly fell out of the sky. Within seconds the whole city was ablaze. Burning sulfur cut through their homes in an instant. They had no chance to escape. Their screams and dying moans could not be heard above the horrible roar of blazing fire.
Lot’s wife’s heart was still emotionally pitched toward Sodom, and when she heard the sound of the fire and brimstone she looked back to see what was happening to all her possessions and her earthly friends and family. Instantly she became a pillar of salt. This illustrates the pathetic quality of her soul. You know what salt tastes like by itself. It is dry and bitter. Lot’s wife had a soul that was dry and bitter like salt. Her disobedience cost her life.
It must have been hard for Lot to not look back when he heard the noise. But he restrained himself, no doubt with great self-discipline. When he saw what happened to his wife, he knew that he dare not disobey. This is the way it always is with God’s word. He means what He says. He does not speak idly. You can count on God’s word to be fulfilled, including judgments on the disobedient. Many people today don’t want to think about the judgments on those that disobey God’s word. They think that God so loves that He forgives and will not destroy the wicked. Yet his character is also just, for He knows when nations, cities and individuals have passed the point of no return, and the Holy Spirit can no longer reach their hearts. That is the time when He puts an end to their rebellion as a merciful warning to others.
God’s word is absolutely clear. He will cause judgments and destruction to come upon those in total rebellion to His law. It is out of love, not passion or selfish anger. Today, God’s judgments are falling in modest power. They are restrained. Yet the time is coming when the large cities will be destroyed. Listen to this important statement.
“God is withdrawing His Spirit from the wicked cities, which have become as the cities of the antediluvian world and as Sodom and Gomorrah… Costly mansions, marvels of architectural skill, will be destroyed without a moment’s notice when the Lord sees that the owners have passed the boundaries of forgiveness. The destruction by fire of the stately buildings, supposed to be fireproof, is an illustration of how in a short time earth’s architecture will lie in ruins. That’s Last Day Events, page 112.
Here is another one from Country Living, page 7. “I am bidden to declare the message that cities full of transgression, and sinful in the extreme, will be destroyed by earthquakes, by fire, by flood. All the world will be warned that there is a God who will display His authority as God. His unseen agencies will cause destruction, devastation, and death. All the accumulated riches will be as nothingness…”
Lot could not stay in Zoar. He feared to live there too, for that city was nearly as wicked as Sodom. So he ended up fleeing to the mountain anyway, living in a cave with his two daughters.
Even after leaving Sodom, Lot’s life was not holy. He was made drunk by his daughters who then had an incestuous relationship with him. He became the father of his grandchildren. He had not trained them to discern spiritual things. They could not see that their plan was evil because they had been surrounded all those years by the wicked city of Sodom where incest was common.
The lesson Lot learned should not be lost on us. We are to see in this tragic story a powerful admonition for us. Friends, we have to face the fact that today the whole world is much the same as it was in Sodom. We are near the end. How much longer will God forebear and suffer the wickedness to continue.
Today, God is waiting for a people that will represent him with full maturity of character. The world needs shining examples of men and women who are fully yielded to His overcoming power in their lives. You are His representatives to the world. They will hate you because your life is a reproof to theirs. Yet, that is the only way that God can finish His work on earth. He must have a mature group of Christians that overcome all sin by the grace and power of Jesus, and who live in the ungodly world around them according to God’s plan. Please my friend, make sure you are among that number. God bless you.
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