TEXT: Luke 17:26-33
26 And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.
27 They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.
28 Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded;
29 But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.
30 Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.
31 In that day, he which shall be upon the housetop, and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away: and he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back.
32 Remember Lot’s wife.
33 Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.
Living in the Days of Noah and Lot, Part 3 (Pilgrim’s Progress According to the Bible #37)
So far, from this passage, we have looked at the example of Noah — a wise man who lived in perilous times, as well as the example of Lot — a worldly man who lived in perilous times. The days of Noah and Lot are much like our own. Even as negative events, disasters, wars, crime, and sinfulness are on the rise, most people are just going about their day-to-day activity with no thought of God’s judgment and no thought of the impact of sin on society.
We saw in Noah’s example a man who feared God, obeyed God, led his family to obey God, and faithfully preached righteousness in his generation. However, we saw in Lot, a man who loved wealth and power far too much. Even though he was a saved man, he compromised his beliefs, did not lead his family to obey God, lost any Godly reputation that he may have had, and did not speak against the sins of his day. In our day, we are challenged to follow Noah’s example, not only as examples of righteousness, but as preachers of righteousness as well.
Today, we turn our attention to the third person Jesus highlights in this passage: “Remember Lot’s wife.” What did Jesus mean by that expression? What does this woman who lived thousands of years ago have to do with people who are likely witnessing the last days? Why did Jesus relate what happened to this woman to the disciples and to our day?
As you recall, in John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, the pillar of salt which Lot’s wife had been turned into was on the straight and narrow road to the Celestial City as a warning to Christian pilgrims. The pillar of salt was set up across from a side road that led to silver mines. A man named Demas and his companions dug for silver in these mines and tried to entice pilgrims to leave their journey in pursuit of riches. Bunyan tells us that as Christian and Hopeful view this statue, Hopeful says, “We should allow her to be both a warning and an example. As a warning, we should shun her sin, since her judgment indicates what will befall us if this wayside monument does not restrain us…. This woman merely looked behind her; we do not read that she stepped so much as one step out of the way, nevertheless she was turned into a pillar of salt.”
Therein lies the sin of Lot’s wife. She looked back. Genesis 19:17 tells us that the angels told Lot, his wife, and their two daughters, “Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.” A few verses later we read, “Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven; And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground. But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.”
Why did Lot’s wife look back? She loved material things, wealth, pleasure, and the easy life just as much as her husband did. She probably couldn’t bear to see the place she called home for years just go up in flames. Even though she knew what was right — she knew the sinfulness of Sodom, and she knew that its judgment was deserved — she looked back longingly, just wanting to take one more glimpse at the life she loved.
One Gentleman wrote an entire book on Lot’s wife. In it, he said, Lot’s wife “not only moved into Sodom, but Sodom moved into her. She was the type who loved fine things, and the mad whirl of social activities fascinated her from the beginning. She was soon caught up in the excitement [and] pleasure, and the evidence seems to indicate that she eventually shared much of the materialistic mindset of the Sodomites… We still find many people exactly like Mrs. Lot. They also believe the truth, know what they ought to do, and want to be saved. They linger, too, just as she did. Like Lot’s wife, many of them wait until the pull of the world overpowers the will to act, and they are not able to let go of ‘things.'”
The Christian is supposed to be in the world, but the world is not supposed to be in the Christian. We ought not to love wealth, money, pleasure, ease, or worldly success at all compared to how we ought to love Jesus Christ. In fact, Jesus tells us that we ought not to even love our own lives. He says, “Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.”
Ask yourself: Are you ready to lose your life? I am not just talking about your physical life. Neither Noah nor Lot died in the prophesied judgment of God. However, they had to be willing to give up a lot of things in order to do God’s will. Noah gave up his reputation in order to spend 100 years being ridiculed as he built an ark and preached about a coming flood. Lot should have been willing to put his wealth, prominence, and lifestyle at risk to stand for righteousness in his evil society. Even as he fled from judgment, however, Lot’s wife was not willing to give up the life she had enjoyed in Sodom. She almost escaped judgment, but she looked back. Even as her feet were carrying her away from that doomed city, her heart was still inside of it. Spurgeon points out that the greatest tragedy is that she almost made it. He said, “Oh, if I must be damned, let it be with the mass of the ungodly, having always been one of them; but to get up to the very gates of heaven, and to perish there, will be a most awful thing!”
Where is your heart at? Is your heart in Heaven, or is your heart in this world. Jesus Christ said, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
Dear friend, the gates of heaven are before us. We are on a journey through the world to our eternal home. But we must take heed to the warning, “Remember, Lot’s wife,” lest we become entangled in the tentacles of this world and our love for Christ begins to dim in the shadow of our love for the world. Perhaps, even now, if we honestly examine ourselves, we will find that we are not willing to speak up for Christ because we are afraid of how we will be treated by society. We must consider if we are willing to lose our comfort, our wealth, our lifestyle, our prominence, our reputation — to lose it all — for Christ.
Do you love your job more than you love Christ? Do you love your house more than you love Christ? Do you love your family more than you love Christ? Do you love your reputation or your good name more than you love Christ? Do you love the comforts that this world can provide more than you love Christ?
Each week, as Christians in Africa and the Middle East are persecuted, we see examples of people who love Christ more than they love their own lives. Many are willing to be jailed or killed because they refuse to deny Christ. In our own country, we have seen Christian business owners dragged into court, fined by the government, and even have their businesses shut down because they refuse to go along with sin in our society. Pastors who refuse to compromise on the truth of God’s word are marginalized and ostracized because they won’t water down the Gospel or Scripture’s teachings about sin.
One day soon, you may be faced with such a test. Will you stand for God or will you cling to this world? Will you be a Noah or a Lot? Do you love the world more than you love God? Are you willing to leave it all behind for the sake of Christ?
“Remember Lot’s wife.” That is Jesus’ warning to us today. We need His message. Millions of Christians are just as world-loving as Lot’s wife. Millions care more for the things of this world than the things of God. Jesus lets us know that this kind of divided living cannot continue for long. Today, make the choice as to who you will love and serve — God or this world. As James 4:4 says, “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” Remember Lot’s wife!
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If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to share with you briefly how you can be saved from your sins and be guaranteed a home in Heaven with God today.
First, please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Please understand that because of your sins, you deserve eternal punishment in hell. Romans 6:23 says “the wages of sin is death…This is both physical death and spiritual death in hell. That is the bad news.
But here is the good news. John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door.” Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry which publishes a monthly magazine called The Torch Leader. He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University School of Divinity. He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica for over twenty-seven years. God has blessed their union with seven children. Find out more at www.danielwhyte3.com. Follow Daniel Whyte III on Twitter @prophetdaniel3 or on Facebook.