In today’s episode of “5 Minutes with Pastor Lutzer” we look again at Abraham’s nephew, Lot. We glean from the Apostle Peter’s commentary on Lot’s experience and we learn that when we turn our hearts from God, “we do not stop loving, we merely go on to love other things.”
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Transcript: Welcome to “5 Minutes with Pastor Lutzer.” I’m so glad that you joined us today as we continue the story of the life of Abraham. But of course we have to also talk about his nephew, Lot. Last time we emphasized how God brought Lot out of Sodom. He did it quite forcibly. His wife turned into a pillar of salt and he ended up in a cave committing incest. It’s a sad, terrible story. But I want us to look at a New Testament commentary on it. The Bible says in 2 Peter, “if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes, he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly.” I have to pause here and say that there are many commentators who say Sodom was not destroyed because of homosexuality; Sodom was destroyed because they didn’t take care of the poor and there is a reference to that in Ezekiel, that is true also, but you cannot get rid of the fact that in the New Testament, the sexuality of Sodom is really the reason for the destruction. You can also find this in the book of Jude. But now getting back to Lot, you’ll notice it says, “And if He rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked, for as that righteous man lived there day after day, he was tormented in his righteous soul over the lawless deeds.” Wow, it’s time that we took a deep breath. “Righteous Lot.” First of all, let me say that somewhere along the line Lot believed in Abraham’s God and I fully expect to see him in heaven. But what a wasted life with ongoing consequences as we noticed last time.
But there are some powerful lessons for us: number one, when we violate our conscience like Lot did the consequences of our behavior and our lifestyle is out of our control. Often times, today you hear people say, “well, I can have sex with whomever I want to and I can live the lifestyle that I want to because I am free.” Alright, but what you cannot do is to control the consequences of that lifestyle. That is out of your hands. That’s really ultimately in God’s hands. Let me simply say this about sin, sin takes us farther than we intended to go, it keeps us longer than we intended to stay and it costs us more than we intended to pay. Lot made a very selfish choice. He chose the best pasture land, pitched his tent towards Sodom and the rest is history. Don’t be in a job, don’t be in a situation where your conscience is vexed and you’re living with it and you’re putting up with it, if you know it’s wrong. That’s the first lesson.
Second, God is faithful to His people. I mean He rescues Lot and the rest of the text tells us that God is able to even rescue us from ungodly people and trials. The Lord knows how to rescue those who are His. So God had His hand on Lot even though Lot blended in with the culture and did not stand against it. It’s an encouragement to the fact that we can depend upon God even though Lot’s life was wasted. He represents Christians who in the day of judgement are going to be saved but they’re going to be singed. To use 1 Corinthians 3, everything that they have done is going be burned up. By the way, the imagery there in 1 Corinthians 3 is this—talks about being saved but so as by fire. The imagery is somebody is running out of a burning house and he just gets out and the whole house collapses behind him. What a tragedy to live that way. You may make it. You may be saved, but your life has been wasted. Lot reminds us of that and finally, very important, we should rescue those who are in lifestyles that are displeasing to God. The Bible talks even in the book of Jude about rescuing people from the fire. Let me put it to you very clearly: love and compassion are often used today to excuse great sin. May I remind you that love can be evil. When Adam and Eve disobeyed God, they did not stop loving, they just went on to love other things. The Bible talks about the love of pleasure, the love of riches, the love of self. Let’s not use love as an excuse to cover sin. I think it would be appropriate if all of us at this moment where to really repent, really search our hearts and ask this—are we living in a culture where we have accepted the values of this culture and justified it even by compassion and love when we should be doing all that we can, lovingly to be sure, to be rescuing people from the fire? There’s a great lesson for us in the life and experience of Lot. There’s a great lesson for us in the city of Sodom, which of course no longer exists today. Thanks so much for joining us and we’re going to continue this study in the life of Abraham. We will be getting back to him next time. But as for today you just go with God.