The Danger of Lingering

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The Danger of Lingering

The Danger of Lingering

Genesis 19:14  And Lot went out, and spake unto his sons in law, which married his daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law.
15  And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city.
16  And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the LORD being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city.
17  And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.
18  And Lot said unto them, Oh, not so, my Lord:
19  Behold now, thy servant hath found grace in thy sight, and thou hast magnified thy mercy, which thou hast shewed unto me in saving my life; and I cannot escape to the mountain, lest some evil take me, and I die:
20  Behold now, this city is near to flee unto, and it is a little one: Oh, let me escape thither, (is it not a little one?) and my soul shall live.
21  And he said unto him, See, I have accepted thee concerning this thing also, that I will not overthrow this city, for the which thou hast spoken.
22  Haste thee, escape thither; for I cannot do any thing till thou be come thither. Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar.

God chose to include some of the testimony of Lot in the Scriptures. There is nothing good we can take from Lot’s life. The apostle Peter was directed to write this about Lot:

II Peter 2:8  (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)

God gave us a very clear warning of the consequences of being His child, but choosing to live in rebellion against Him. There is a difference in Lot’s situation to what we have in the New Testament. Lot lived under the Old Testament dispensation during which the Holy Spirit had a different function in the life of the saints.
Jesus taught the disciples and us that after His ascension the Holy Spirit would come and dwell in the child of God permanently. This does not mean Old Testament saints could believe in God for a time and then lose their salvation. An Old Testament child of God was God’s child for eternity, just as a New Testament child of God is.
We see that in Lot’s life. He certainly did not live a holy life. His life was such a mess that he could not even influence his sons in law. They treated him as one that mocked. He spoke very seriously to them in that moment, but they had observed his life up to that moment as well. He had lived amongst sodomites and said nothing to them of their wickedness. He just tried to get along with them. He would fit in well with the New Evangelical crowd. Rather than know the truth and live it, they want to find a way to smooth over the wickedness so that “we can all just get along”. There has been a concerted effort to redefine Christianity. While people are still trying to redefine this, God Word is absolute. It is settled. It will not change to appease disobedience.
In verse 16 of our text we read that Lot lingered to leave in the morning. He was so in love with the riches of this world, that he could not leave them behind. The angels had to lay their hands on him and his wife and their two daughters and forcefully lead them out of the city. We read there that the LORD was merciful unto Lot.
In verse 17 Lot and his family were told they should escape for their life. This was a serious matter, which Lot did not take seriously at all. They were not to stay anywhere near this city. They were to flee to the mountains.
In verses 18-19 Lot continued to show his foolishness. He protested against having to move into the mountains. He was content to defile himself and his family in Sodom but he was not content to trust God to provide for him in the mountains. If God sends his child somewhere, He is also capable of watching over them there. Lot needed to learn some important lessons, but he chose not to do so.
The LORD listened to Lot’s protest and granted him his request in verse 21. God knew this was not good for Lot but He let Lot find out the hard way that listening to Him is always better.
Lot fled to his chosen city for a short time, but then he fled to the mountains anyway. He learned that God’s way was right, but he certainly did not trust God as he fled.

Genesis 19:26  But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.
27  And Abraham gat up early in the morning to the place where he stood before the LORD:
28  And he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain, and beheld, and, lo, the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace.
29  And it came to pass, when God destroyed the cities of the plain, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when he overthrew the cities in the which Lot dwelt.

Lot’s wife lost her life as she fled. She did not take God seriously. Her husband had taught her that God’s way was not that important. As long as they would have a facade of truth about them, that was good enough. As we already noted, his sons in law dismissed what he had to say to them. Now we see that his wife dismissed what the LORD had said to them.
We read in the last verses above that Abraham was concerned about his extended family. He had tried to find a way for Lot to be spared. God knew better than Abraham did. Lot was spared, but not through the saving of those wicked cities. They needed to be destroyed along with the majority of the inhabitants of them. Only four people escaped them, but Lot’s wife died as they fled due to her disobedience.
Abraham saw the judgment of God upon the wickedness of those cities. Today, society is pushing for acceptance of this same wickedness. Many secular religions are also endorsing this wickedness. The Bible is very clear on the wickedness of this sin. Romans 1 gives us further warning about this wicked lifestyle. No one is born a sodomite. Those who choose that ungodly lifestyle demonstrate their hatred of God. No one can be a “Christian sodomite”.
As we look at the attitude of a large group of “Christians” who fit well into the New Evangelical camp, we see what God thinks of that philosophy. Lot has nothing to offer those who are saved. His life is a warning of the wickedness of compromise. Rather than try to find some comfort in Lot’s philosophy, true saints need to run from that as fast as they can. True saints need to draw nigh to God, not to the world.
The Bible warns us that there will be those who will be saved, “though as by fire”. God does not give us those words as a comfort. He warns those who are saved of the danger of refusing to bow to His authority after being given the gift of eternal life. God tells us that the rewards or the lack of rewards the saints receive are for all of eternity. There is no opportunity to improve ones lot after death. I do not understand how this will be worked out but God warns us that there will be a loss of reward for those who refuse to submit to His authority after being saved.
The wise person listens to God and serves Him faithfully. Don’t build your life on a lie. Build on the truth.
Pastor Bartel

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