Jesus spoke of Lot’s wife as He told of His return. But this woman became what she was because of the decisions of her husband. This man got a message he should have loved by in three points: escape for your life, don’t look back, and head for the mountains. (Genesis 19:15-17)
Speaker(s): Pastor John Love, Pastor Chris Arman
Sermon # 11739
6:30 PM on 8/25/2019
P. Chris Arman –
I’m from the country of Malawi. Not originally but later on in life. Can my wife and children stand up? They don’t want to, but I want to thank God for her and my children. We’ve been in Malawi six years. I wouldn’t be there without the Holy Spirit and my wife who is a great help to me. Can my parents also stand? They’ve been there 5 years with us. We all go back on Tuesday. We ask for your prayers. We are thankful for your prayers throughout the year.
In particular, Malawi has had political upheavals. They had an election in May and half the country didn’t accept the results. They’ve been doing protests around the country and at the borders and airports. Guess when they happen? The day we land. We just got news the government cancelled those protests and made it illegal to protest at the airport. Hopefully, we won’t have problems getting in there. They can say it’s illegal, but it doesn’t mean the people won’t go.
As Bible college is commencing this coming Monday, our Bible college in Malawi begins a week later. Jn 16:33, how many know Gary Walker? He’s sitting over there. I went walking with Gary Walker, former boxer and watching him fight and now he’s a veteran and is power walking. He won a gold medal in the veteran Olympics. We were walking around Lake Montebello and he said this verse. It stuck with me. What a great verse. If you just look at this, Christ in Jn. 13 he came and began to wash the feet of the disciples. It’s Christ’s farewell discourse. A huge chunk of the book of John we have all these amazing truths Christ talked about, Jn. 14:3, Jn 14:6, Jn 14 and 15 and 16 the Comforter. I’m leaving but will send the Comforter to you. At the end of him speaking to them, he repeats this. He says these things I have spoken unto you.
The value of hearing from God is so important. God is speaking to us through the pulpit and our personal Bible study. We have been trained to have a study before God and God speaks to us. Bible college trains us how to hear from God. The way I went to Bible college was a unique way, maybe not. I went to the Christian school here and my plan was not to go to Bible school and God threw a wrench in the middle of those plans. I was supposed to take medical exams and they didn’t go well. I said I guess then I’ll go to Bible school. You make a decision and God will still honor you made the decision.
Like, Peter made a decision for a wrong reason but God still honors him. Jacob goes after the birthright and will lie and cheat and steal to get it, but God honors that desire. I went to Bible school thinking I’ll kill a year and then do what I want to do. When I was sitting in the classrooms and just listening, I was refreshed. I felt like heaven opened and the light of God was shining on me. God was speaking to me directly. I can’t believe this is what Bible college really is. I said this was so good. Let me do one more year. Then the second year, third year, and I went to Budapest and then to Ghana… God changed the desires. Ps. 37:4, he gives you the desires of your heart. He gives you a new desire in your heart. All of that centers around Jn. 16:33, these things I’ve spoken to you to give you peace.
What do we need in this world? We don’t just need an outward peace, but people need a peace in their heart. God says I’m speaking to you and those words will give you peace. There is going to be tribulation in this world. It’s not the message that half of Christianity has about prosperity. Christ says there is going to be tribulation but be of good cheer. Be bold because I have overcome the world. You can be bold because I am the overcomer. We can go into situations like in Malawi and we don’t have fear because Christ is speaking to us. He’s going to give you peace as you hear his words. That gives you peace in your heart.
Thank you for your love. Our summers are amazing. It’s like a love sandwich. There’s Convention and my children love the youth group and then Camp Life and then between is just love. Thank you as a church for loving us and blessing us. We are praying in 2019 and 2020 to have three new churches. One with P. Matt and Lisa Silva. They are going about an hour east in a place…that means “peace” and then in January, a pastor that has been with us in Malawi, P. Albert, he and his wife and children will move with another pastor just over the border right in Zambia and start a church there. That will be around January. By April or May, we want to send another pastor up to a city north of Malawi in a city called Mzuzu. That’s our vision if you could pray for it.
P. Love –
The one word I’ve heard today more than any other is the word “survive.” If I had a dollar for everyone who said to me “you survived,” we could clear up the deficit! One of these times I won’t come back and they’ll say he died! It’s just a matter of time. For many of you that
supported some of these campers or have never been there yourself, we have a video to show you what it’s like. Now you can see why everyone asked if we survived. If you were a staff member, counselors, etc. stand up. Ge. 13, all of the 20 or so ideas on what to preach on this morning, I chose the one P. Schaller said first. Remember Lot’s wife. I’ll add and her husband.
One of those campfires at night, we talked about the calling of God and the cause of God that governs the course of our lives. One boy couldn’t be more than 10 or 11 and towards the end of the camp, he said I believe God tonight called me to be a pastor. I said, that’s amazing! Just a little guy from Silver Spring, P. Kim’s church. Next day we were coming out of breakfast and he said, can I speak with you? He said what is a pastor. I thought to myself, I knew it was too good to be true! I said a pastor is someone who preaches and tells people about the Good News of Jesus. He said okay. That’s what I want to be. Perfect! You just didn’t know what that great big word meant!
Ge 13, Jesus made that statement in Luke 17 in light of him teaching his disciples about his Second Coming. He talked about Noah and the days preceding the flood and then about Lot and what happened in those cities before judgment came down on those cities. Then he said remember Lot’s wife. To understand why we need to remember Lot’s wife, we need to look at Lot’s life. I think his life had a great impact on his wife obviously. Abraham coming to the brink of the Promised Land and God promised him repeatedly this is the land I’m going to give to your descendants. When he got to the brink of the land, what did he discover? There was a famine in the land. The land God said flows with milk and honey was experiencing a famine.
Abraham, the father of our faith, we can say Abraham why didn’t you just press on? Why didn’t you go to that land by faith? Why did you take a wrong turn? When he saw there was a famine, he went down into Egypt. The results of going down into Egypt were disastrous. He lost his
courage; he seemingly lost his faith. He almost lost his life. He almost loss his own life. After experiencing all of that, God brought him back out of Egypt back to the place where he started out in the first place. While he made this journey, Lot was with him. Lot also went with
Abraham into Egypt. Although he brought Lot out of Egypt, it seems pretty clear what it says about Lot’s life that Egypt didn’t come out of Lot. He came out of Egypt, but Egypt didn’t come out of him.
Egypt speaks in a type of this world system. This is why we are warned in the Scriptures. We talked about it in Camp Life. Do not love this world or anything in it. All that is in it, the lust of flesh, pride of life, these thing are of the world and you can’t love the world and the Father at the same time. By the way, God says everything in this world is passing away. Why invest your life in something that is not going to last? Maybe Lot saw some things that were put in his heart. Ge 13 There was great strife between Lot’s herdsmen and Abraham’s. They started to have friction. It was Abraham that said we got to separate ourselves. Abraham is a type of the spiritual man. He says it is better for us to be separated physically, so we don’t end up separating in our hearts. In chapter 14, after Lot goes into Sodom and Gomorrah, he is taken captive. Who comes to rescue him? It’s Abraham, who still loved him and cared for him. This was such a wise decision for Abraham. Let’s separate. I’ll let you choose first. This is a first decision in a series of bad decisions Lot would make. We are reading in Ge 13:10 there is such a critical difference between these two men. They both possessed a tent. Spoke of the fact they were pilgrims, strangers, sojourners. They knew they were waiting for God to lead them to the place he prepared for them. The critical difference is although both had a tent, Abraham had an altar. Lot did not have an altar. The altar speaks of communion with God, sacrifice and fellowship. Abraham had fellowship with God, communion with God and would bring sacrifices to God.
We don’t read any of that with Lot. When they got to the point where they made a decision and parted ways, Abraham would lift up his eyes to heaven and Lot lifted up his eyes and looked on the well-watered plain of Jordan. He pitched his tent toward Sodom. Sometimes that’s all it takes. If we are even looking in that direction, entertaining a friendship with the world, we are headed for trouble. That was Lot’s experience. His first look was to see the well-watered plains of the Jordan. He moved toward Sodom and in Ge. 14:12, he moved into those cities. He left behind his tent. It doesn’t seem significant at first, but he wasn’t thinking like a pilgrim any longer. We don’t live in tents. Some do but most of us live in homes. Some of us could say you have a home. But we could leave those homes in a moment if God called us.
I think of P. Schaller who picked up his tent and went to Finland and then Lenox and to Budapest and picked up his tent and came back to Lenox and here to Baltimore. You can have a house as long as it doesn’t have you. Keep your pilgrim status, your tent dweller mentality, and remind yourself we are passing through. We don’t have a continuing city. We have a forwarding address. It’s heaven. It’s where we are called. When Lot lifted up his eyes and saw the well-watered plains of Jordan, I don’t think he was saying this is a good choice because I can see myself inebriated in a cave committing incest with my daughters. I don’t think he could see that. Anymore than a girl could say I’m headed for an alcoholic lifestyle. I’ll lose my job and ruin other people’s lives…the pain and the suffering that comes along with those decisions. It all goes back to one fateful decision Lot made lifting up his eyes and walking by sight and not walking by faith. He would go there. As soon as he got there, he experienced some measure of worldly success. Ever talk to believers who say ever since I stopped going to church, life has been great.
Sometimes the devil says I’ll give you the worldly success for a trade in for your tent. You’ll trade in your faith and not follow Christ. It led to spiritual failure and a shameful ending. It’s noteworthy that when Lot was separated from Abraham, now Abraham you lift up your eyes and look to the east, west, north, and south because I’m giving it all to you. Lot settles for a piece of land that looked good. Abraham says I’m going to leave my choice with God. He will choose better for us than we can chose for ourselves. Lot chose a piece of land he finally lost but God gave Abraham the land that still today belongs to his descendants. This is what I will give you. I loved P. Arman’s testimony. I have nothing else to do. I’ll go to Bible college. What a decision he made and one year turned into two and two three and four into the mission field where he is impacting that part of the world. That’s how God works. Lot gave up his tent and settled in Sodom.
If God had called Lot to Sodom you have to believe it would have fulfilled a divine purpose like God put Joseph in Egypt to fulfill his purpose. God put Daniel in Babylon to fulfill his purpose. God put Esther in Persia to fulfill his purpose…it’s disastrous. It’s dangerous. He ended up in Rom 12:2. That is being conformed to the image of this world. We just repeatedly spoke to the young people at camp. Stay clear of this world’s system. The one encouraging thing we can say about Lot is throughout it all, he still was righteous Lot. Isn’t that amazing. With all his backsliding and poor decision making, walking by sight and making decisions to leave his tent behind and settle down. God said because he believed me, and he was a believer he will forever be known as righteous Lot. What happened to him? He wore down his righteous soul. 2 Pet. 2 it says based on what he saw and heard. Whatever came through the eye gate impacted his soul and what came through his ear gate impacted his soul. I have to be careful what I am listening to…be filled with the Spirit. Be controlled by the Spirit. Speaking to yourselves in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Come on. What will they do for your soul? Build up your soul. Sing a psalm instead of the latest rap song in the world system. Sing a hymn filled with biblical truth. Sing a spiritual song.
I get a kick out of kids when see them with earbuds. “Oh. it’s good. He said, “God.” Oh wonderful! Praise God! I’m sure that will completely sanctify you for the rest of your life! Did Sodom and Gomorrah take a toll on his righteous soul. That’s what the devil wants to do with us. Dan 7:25 he’s out to wear down the saints of the most high God. To get them to see what is happening in this world and hear enough. We can’t afford to listen to what this world has to say or listen to the music it produces. Or watch what they want to put on our TV sets. All of it serves one purpose, to wear down our righteous souls. When God sent those two angels to save Lot, he lingered. God’s going to destroy these cities. I know. I know. The angels are looking at each other. What is happening to him? Do you believe this guy. They had to put their hands on him. You have to come out because you’re a righteous person. God can’t pour out a single ounce of judgment as long as you are in these cities. What a beautiful picture of pretribulation Rapture. How much more does the presence of the Body on earth prevent God from pouring out divine judgment until we are taken out. Not until we are taken out will that judgment finally come. Ge 19 judgment day finally comes. Abraham was pleading with God. He goes to Abraham; I’m going to destroy those cities.
The wickedness is so great. It’s like smoke coming up in my nostrils. He begins to intercede. He knows Lot and his family are there. Spare them if there are 50? Yes, I will. If there are 40? …10? I will. There weren’t even 10 righteous in those cities. Then they came and said Lot it’s time to go. You can see it we talked about it this morning and P. Schaller brought it up. We are living in a world unraveling at the seams. Maybe ever so slowly and not to create alarm in the lives of the believer. The devil moves slow enough and begins to continue this process and there is a degeneration happening in our world and culture. It’s definitely happening. Lot, they take him out. Ge 13 as they lay hold of Lot and say, it’s time to go. This is what you have to do. Escape for your life. That’s the most important thing. Three things. Escape for your life, don’t look back and head for the mountains. What great advice for you and me in relationship to a world trying to impact our souls and the god of this world whose objective is to wear down our souls, so we won’t think of going to the mission field or knocking on a neighbor’s door. He says escape for your life. Your life and soul depends on it. This is why we got to remain separate from this world. We are in it but not of it. Jesus said I want them in the world but not of the world. I want them insulated from the evil but not isolated from the world. I want them rubbing elbows with neighbors and talking about this and going to their place of work or anywhere and share the gospel.
This world is powerful. Sometimes young people don’t realize how powerful the world system is. That’s why we have youth rallies and Camp Life that gives them an atmosphere of faith and opportunity to grow and…hear about forgiveness and the finished work. They have to be in that kind of environment or will be victimized by the world. How can we escape? Immerse ourselves in the exceeding great and precious promises. Escape the corruption in the world through lust by exceeding great and precious promises and become partakers of God’s divine nature. Bible college will help us escape it. Follow the faith….find someone Spirit-filled and become their friend. You will find me in the back of your car. I’ll stick close to you. Walk with the wise and you will become wise, Prov. 13:20. Keep being filled with the Holy Spirit. The second thing is don’t look back.
Looking back sometimes leads to going back. Heb 11:15, if they were mindful out of which God called them, they would have opportunity to go back. If they kept thinking of where they were called out of, – when God calls us out we are not going back. We made a decision to follow Christ wherever that leads us. We are going there. We are trusting God. The pit God delivered us from is no place for God’s people. God has a palace for us. Pit to prison to palace. That’s where God wants us to live and bless others. No continuing city but God is building one of those cities for us. Lot’s wife longed to be back there. It’s one of the saddest stories. Shortest message in the Bible. She became a memorial to what she could have been. She’ s forever immortalized.
God is saying you can be the salt of the earth or end up potentially like her. For salt to be effective, it’s got to come out of the saltshaker. Let God move you and shake you and reach the world with the gospel. Escape to the mountain. Set our hearts and minds on things above. We don’t want to focus on things here below. We want to set our affections on things above. We are learning what it means to seek those thing above. Php 3:20 our citizenship is in heaven. We have a high and holy calling. Our lives are all about heaven. I had someone recently say God has a blessing for us. If we are meek enough, we can inherit the earth. I want out of here. That’s a millennium promise. We have an American or foreign passport and you are a citizen of heaven. Keep looking at it. That’s your final destination. We are not of this world. Amen. I don’t want to be anything like this world. I have no plans to be conformed to the image of this world. I don’t want to stick my foot in the world’s pool. I’m not interested. We are heavenly minded people.
Jesus said you are the sent ones and I’ll send you into the world with a purpose. You are going to go and make a difference in this world. Ours is an above kind of life. Escape for your life, no looking back and head for the mountains. Lot could have said, Abraham, you don’t want to be so heavenly minded you are no earthly good. Who said that? Lot said that! Don’t be so heavenly minded that you are no earthly good. I have never met a heavenly minded person no good for the earth. This world needs Spirit-filled people and Bible believing people. This world needs people just like Jesus. That’s what God is going to do. It didn’t happen with Lot. I don’t want to get through this life, and I stand before God and he says you’re righteous. Come in. I want him to say you gave me grace and you utilized it and like Paul I was able to labor more abundant than them all, but it wasn’t me. The more we receive it and respond to it, the more we reflect it.
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