Do not follow Lot’s wife

December 3 2023

Book: Luke

Do not follow Lot's wife

Bible Passage: Luke 17

Jesus warns us through an unnamed woman about the dangers of
looking back to a life that we are called to leave behind in Luke 17:32
Remember Lot’s Wife
There is no warning in all the Bible more sobering than this one.
The Bible says that Lot was a righteous man, but apparently his wife was
not, it seems that she was just a professor of religion.
Heaven may have been upon her lips but Hell was in her heart.
Jesus doesn’t ask us to remember Sarah, Hannah, Esther, or Ruth, but of
the women in the Bible we are commanded to remember this one unnamed woman, who is only known as Lot’s wife.
He singles out one woman who is eternally damned, and says,
“Remember her.”
Jesus was on the subject of his Second Coming and how unprepared the
people will be when he returns.
He speaks as if we are all in danger of forgetting this important lesson.
He speaks to us this morning to “Remember Lot’s wife.”
– What is it about her that the Lord wanted us to remember?
– I want to point out three things that we should remember about Lot’s
wife. First, remember the disobedience of Lot’s wife.
I. Remember the disobedience of Lot’s wife
Lot was the nephew of Abraham and when the two of their clans chose to
part ways because of the arguments that were rising up between their
herdsmen, Abraham chose to go to Canaan.
Lot chose to live in the well watered low lands of Jordan.
Lot pitched his tents near Sodom where the people were wicked and
exceedingly sinful.
Because of the wickedness in the city of Sodom and Gomorrha, God was
going to destroy the city but after Abraham pleaded for his nephews life,
God sent two angels to deliver Lot and his family from the city that he
was soon going to destroy.
When the people of the city saw the two angels go into Lot house they
demanded Lot hand them over so the Sodomites could rape them.
It shows you just how depraved they were when their lusts had them
screaming for the rights to abuse God’s angels.
After they tried to manhandle Lot out of the way, the angels blinded them
so they couldn’t find Lot’s door and after Lot and his family hesitated, the
angels grabbed Lot’s hand and his wifes hand and his two daughters and
they took them out of the city as God was raining down burning sulfer on
it and as they were leaving, the angels gave them the command not to
look back at Sodom.
Only one disobeyed: Lot’s wife.
There are many things we could examine about Lot, such as why he
chose to give up his tent life to live in a town full of sin?
or why would a righteous man want his bones to be laid down in a place
like Sodom?
But we are not told to remember Lot, we are told to remember his
wife, who in this case was his worse half.
Let’s remember whose wife she was.
She was the wife of a man who, with all his faults, was a righteous man.
She was united to him in the closest possible way and yet she perished.
We should remember that grace isn’t passed on through the blood
stream.
you can be married to the most saintly man and still be the devil’s
daughter.
Lot’s wife was there when Abraham received the promises from God,
she was there when Melchizedek came to meet Abraham,
she literally held the hand of God’s own angels and in spite of all of these
great priviliges she died graceless, hopeless, godless, and unbelieving.
Jesus said “they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, ever hearing
but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven.”
They have eyes but they see not…
Lot’s wife may have outwardly conformed to her husbands religion but
the world was in her heart and she determined that not even the grace of
God was going to take it out.
We may be saved by grace but it is only through faith that we can receive
it.
Lot’s wife never had any saving faith – evidenced by her unwillingness to
accept salvation on God’s terms and as a result, damnation naturally
followed.
She lived her life in divine opportunity. She was surrounded by God’s
people, living directly in recorded history, God’s wonderful plan was being
played out all around her and yet what good did it do her?.
None whatsoever.
You can be so close to salvation and not be saved.
You can be next to God and not have him in your heart.
You can go to the best church and have the best preacher and still be
lost.
Gehazi was Elisha’s servant;
Demas was Paul’s co-worker;
Lucifer was one of God’s angels;
Judas was Christ’s disciple;
and yet they are all doomed without salvation.
Lot’s wife was told not to look back and yet that is exactly what she did.
When God gives a command, it is crystal clear what we are to do next.
Surprisingly some still refuse to obey, even when they know his
commands are always for our good.
Like Saul’s sacrifice, you can do many things to please God but if you
disobey him you reveal the rebellion that is in your heart.
– What was in her heart is what caused her to turn and look back toward
Sodom, secondly, we are to remember the desire of Lot’s wife.
II. Remember the desire of Lot’s wife
This is the primary lesson that we are to remember about Lot’s wife.
Lot’s wife looked back because she loved what she was leaving behind.
There is nothing in this world worthy of giving so much of our heart to that
it will cost us our eternal lives.
Why sacrifice the eternal on the altar of the temporary?
It evidences your faith when you sacrifice the temporary for the eternal.
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust
destroy… but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven..”
Jesus said “No man, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is
fit for the kingdom of God.” (Lk 9:62)
Even as Lot’s wife was being delivered by angels, she couldn’t help but
look back to the devils.
When Lot’s wife looked back, it revealed her secret love of the world.
The scripture says that where the heart is, there also is the treasure.
Her treasure was in Sodom and while you can take Lot’s wife out of
Sodom, you can’t take Sodom out of Lot’s wife.
The angels warned her with the similar warning that Paul made to the
Corinthians – “..come out from among them and be ye separate..” but for
Lot’s wife she didn’t want to be separated from the sinful world, she
wanted to live in it.
When she had the opportunity to choose her home, she couldn’t help but
look back to a corrupted, wicked, evil place.
We have a choice to make.
Will we make heaven or hell our home?
If we can not separate our hearts from this world we bring judgment on
ourselves.
Think of what it says about those whose philosophy of life is “let us eat,
drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die.” they say ‘Lets cast off all the
burdens of religion and just enjoy all the forbidden pleasures of this life,
while we have the time to enjoy them.’
Paul wrote the Phillipians “…but one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind
and pressing (with a strain) toward what is ahead.”
When called to escape the coming judgment of your sins, will you look
back regretting what you had to leave behind?
Are you looking back at this world as you are being delivered from it?
Will you look back and mourn the loss of your sins or will you be grateful
that you have left it behind?
Peter recites a proverb that stands true today: “A dog returns to it’s vomit
and a sow that is washed returns to her wallowing in the mud.”
It is the nature of the worldly man to return to the world, just like a dog
returns to its vomit.
Its the nature of the sinful man, no matter how much he makes outward
changes, to constantly return to his sin, just like a washed sow returns to
the mud.
1 John 2:15 “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If
any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is
in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of
life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.”
When it was time for her to be separated, Lot’s wife could not tear herself
away from the world.
She had always been in it and had loved it and delighted in it.
Even though she was married to a righteous man, when the time came
for her to make a decision, she chose the world.
She was told to go and don’t look back, but that was too much.
Her feet were taking her the right direction, but her heart wasn’t
going with her.
She did look back and she proved that she presumed God was wrong
and defied his command and she risked it all to give one last love-glance
to a filthy and condmend world.
By that glance she perished.
The love of the world is death.
Those who cling to sin must perish, no matter who they are or who they
are related to.
-: She perished is a unique way, being transformed into a pillar of salt.
We don’t hear of anyone else dying like she did, which brings us to the
last thing we should remember about Lot’s wife…
III. Remember the destruction of Lot’s wife
Jesus said to his disciples “you are the salt of the earth, but if the salt
loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good
for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.” (Mt 5:13)
God’s punishment is perfect, He turned Lot’s wife into what she should
have been in the first place: salt of the earth, she was to be a different
flavor than this sinful world.
She was supposed to be a separated believer that was making a
difference amnong her neighbors.
It seems that her wicked neighbors had a bigger influence on her than
she had on them.
If she wasn’t going to be the salt of the earth that she was suppose to
be, then God would punish her by making her physically, what she
refused to be spiritually.
If our hearts are glued to the world, we will perish with the world.
If our desires and delights look to the world and we find our comfort in it,
we will see ourselves and all we have consumed in the day of the Lord’s
anger.
It will be a sad, sad thing to see those who were united in holy matrimony
be separated for eternity.
The husband and wife that lived together and work together and suffered
together and saw their children grow up together and to think that they
can be eternally separated never to meet again is a scary and sad reality
for anyone whose love is not in Christ.
Luke 17: Listen to what Jesus said before he says to ‘remember Lot’s
wife’: “I tell you, in that night there shall be two in one bed; the one shall
be taken and the other shall be left. Two women shall be grinding
together; the one shall be taken and the other left. Two men shall be in
the field; the one shall be taken and the other left.”
It doesn’t matter how a close world hugging Christ professing person is to
the truly sanctified born again believer –
If you cling to the world and can’t help but look back to it, you must perish
in your sins.
This makes the remembrance of Lot’s wife a very solemn thing to those
who are close to the people of God.
She was willing run with him for a while, following his example.
She went with him a long ways until she began to think it over;
what she was doing and what she was leaving behind and then she
slowed down and lingered behind.
Remember, that she went part of the way towards safety and yet she still
perished.
Backsliding begins with a desire and she evidenced her desire by looking
back to what was suppose to be put behind her.
This woman was actually out of Sodom and she was almost in Zoar, the
refuge city, and yet she perished.
How close she was to salvation and yet she perished.
Almost saved, but not quite.
Let me repeat those words, “ALMOST SAVED, BUT NOT QUITE.”
Escaped from the vilest form of sin, but not truly in Christ.
Conclusion:
Privlege alone will not secure your salvation.
You can have spritual advantage, great opportunity, enjoy the best
church and the best preaching in the world and still be lost.
Some day the tares shall be separated from the wheat and the goats will
be separated from the sheep.
We have heard the song “I have decided to follow Jesus – no turning
back. no turning back.”
There are some who look back and there are some who do turn back, but
for others they can’t turn back because they never left in the first place.
We serve a jealous God and he will not have a bride that is not devoted
to him.
How sad it is when you think of those who enjoy all sorts of Christian
privileges and yet they are not saved.
Make sure that this isn’t your fate.
Pray that the Lord would guard your heart from backsliding and from the
dangerous temptations of a fallen world, and when we look let’s look
ahead toward heaven and salvation and leave our sins where they
belong, on the cross- where they were sent to die . . . forever.
Amen.
When worrying comes; remember Lot’s wife,
When un-forgiveness hangs in you, remember Lot’s wife,
When the desire to commit adultery/fornication comes remember Lot’s
wife,
When you ignore advice from friends, parents, relatives etc, remember
Lot’s wife
When evil thoughts fill your mind, remember Lot’s wife,
When disobedience starts in you remember Lot’s wife.
When the desire to sin comes strongly upon you remember Lot’s wife.
When the pleasures of the world abound towards you remember Lot’s
wife.
When the worries and anxieties of life lead you away from God
remember Lot’s wife.
Lot and other family members safely escaped the destruction, they
OBEYED, they taken heed to the command not to look back. Stop
looking back at your bad past, problems, worries, sins. Jesus died for you
and declared that all that is finished If only you believe in him and have
received him. So look up into today with a smile, happy heart, and
hopeful imagination.

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