We are living in Sodom
Title: Are you a Abraham or are you a Lot?
Good evening, I need to start off by Praising God, When I start to think of all the things I have done in my past and then think of what God has me doing now I am so humbled and it even brings tears to my eyes to know that my Lord and Savior can take a undeserving wretch like me, sit down with me and teach me. And Give me the opportunity to teach and preach to others. All I can do is cry and say thank you Lord for what you are doing in my life.
I am thrilled to be bringing you this message tonight it’s my last one and to me the best one yet. But we will see. Take your Bibles and turn with me to Genesis 18 and 19.
Not that long ago, I was standing in line at Wal-mart waiting to pay for my stuff and standing in line next to me was a little old man, If I had to guess I would say he was in his late 80’s and standing behind him was an even smaller older lady. The problem was this little old lady was just reading this poor man the riot act, she never took a breath. She was going off about the prices of everything, how crowded the parking lot was, the long lines and so on she never shut up. But I couldn’t help but notice that he had the biggest smile on his face even through all this blasting he was taking. I said to myself –I said wow this man has it down pat, he has the patience of Job. Then she dropped a can of peas from out of the buggy, so I knelt down to pick it up and so did he. She was still griping and complaining. Well we kind of met down there as I handed him the can of peas and he looked at me and said “young man do you see this hearing aid? I said yes sir, he says I haven’t turned it on since I left the house.
I couldn’t help myself as I just laughed and laughed.
I thought about that incident and thought about how we choose not to listen; we pick and choose what we want to hear and shut out the rest.
Hopefully you are in Genesis 18 So please read alone with me:
1 Now the Lord appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre, while he was sitting at the tent door in the heat of the day.
2 When he lifted up his eyes and looked, behold, three men were standing opposite him; and when he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed himself to the earth
Let us pray
Tonight our message comes from chapter 18 v1 and chapter 19 , Which I have titled “ARE YOU AN ABRAHAM OR ARE YOU A LOT”. With God’s help I’m going to show how God’s word speaks to us today, even if it did happen in Genesis 5000 to 6000 years ago.
But before we put our study hats on we need to know what led up to this.
If you listen and read along, each one of you will see your life unfold in the 1st book of the Bible.
Historical background: Abraham’s name before God changed it was Abram, which means: the father exalted----his parents probably named him this because they were probably part of the moon cult in the city of Ur. The father exalted could have referred to the moon god or another pagan deity. So God changed his name to Abraham meaning father of multitudes, no doubt to show a clear-cut separation from his pagan roots. –Also one of Gods promises. Now Abram lived in the city of UR of Mesopotamia:(means land between 2 rivers), which not only was an important and prosperous place but also stood in the general area where civilization began. Abram lived in the commerce and industry Mecca of it’s time.
Cyrus Gordon of Brandeis University among other scholars claim’s Abram was a powerful merchant prince. So really Abram had no reason to leave. After having a divine encounter with God he chose to be obedient and leave his comfort zone of Ur.
Abraham’s father was named Terah, who had 3 sons:
1.Abram 2.Nahor 3. Haren—father of Lot
When Terah’s son Haren died, Terah took in Lot to raise. Even so Abram and Lot were nephews they called each other brothers: ch 13 v8
Now that we have learned a little about Abraham’s background we can start to understand what is going on in ch18
Now Abraham had 3 visitors, now back then people did not receive a lot of visitors. That’s why the people of that day thought that all visitors were from God. In the early days before people had the written word, before the incarnation and before the Holy Spirit had come to make His home in human hearts. God sometimes appeared and talked with people.
How awesome would that be? But Hospitality was one of the most highly regarded virtues in the ancient world. Abraham sat out by his tent waiting for people to come by to do good deeds; So Abraham called for a meal with God and His 2 angels. See God came by to let Abraham know His plans to show him His Grace and mercy. God told Abraham that he was going to destroy Sodom. Now Abraham found himself interceding for the wicked city.( Just like Jesus does for the world) hmmmmmm!
They ended up agreeing that the Lord would spare the wicked city of Sodom for 10 righteous people.
Now let’s look at some things here; When Abraham met God he was at his tent door and there were 3 God +2 angels
The 1st thing was Abraham was sitting at the tent. Why? Is a tent such an important word here?
Tents are usually associated with people who move about with their herds
Tent: noun; moveable house or temporary shelter, tent speaks of a pilgrim life
Get the picture Abraham could uproot, move or leave at any time. He was a stranger to the world. He is just passing through. Church I want you to write down this question Look at your life, what are you doing? We will come back to that question later.
Now we also see it says there were 3 men God + 2 angels
God came to fellowship and eat with Him He felt close with Abraham because he was obedient and loved God. He was waiting at the tent door for strangers to come by so he could do good deeds and show Gods love through himself.
We do not here a lot about Abraham faults and weaknesses, but he failed all the time just like you and me. He showed many of the weaknesses that we show today. We need to learn from Abraham’s one great strength (faith) and also learn from his many faults.
We all need to learn that faith is the 1 principle that lifts any person beyond his inadequacies, The 1 quality that wins Gods approval.
God calls Abraham a friend
23 and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness,” and he was called the friend of God.
God knew Abraham was a man after Gods own heart
He had built a alter to God In the land of Mamre which means fatness, we see he is enjoying the fullness of Gods blessing, and the fact that they came in the heat of the day suggest that Abraham was walking in the light.
So Gods message to Abraham was a joyful one, he would have a son in a year.
As we look back on Abraham we see that God wanted him to learn about His wrath and His grace, which is the same with us today. Which part are you seeing?---write this down. You should be able answer these at the end
So now that we understand Abraham better let’s turn our attention Lot.
Give God all the Glory! It’s all about Him not you!
The Doom of Sodom
17 When they had brought them outside, one said, “Escape for your life! Do not look behind you, and do not stay anywhere in the valley; escape to the mountains, or you will be swept away
So for time sake I will sum up a lot of this chapter.
V1 says 2 angels came to Sodom – what happened to God?
We do know Lot was a believer but the 2 came to him in the evening which suggest he was walking in the darkness.
So God could not fellowship with him. Lot was sitting at the gate. He also lived by the gate which tells us the he was an important person in the city because all of the business was done in the square by the gate.
So Lot made his home in Sodom. Or look at this just like a lot of us he set up residence in the world.
When the 2 angels told Lot they were going to destroy the city, to get all his family out of there, v15 says because Lot was not a spiritual leader like he should have been, His family did not believe him..
V15 The angels told him to leave now!!!!!!!!
V16 he hesitated so the angels grabbed there hands and brought them out.
He waited, he hesitated, he lingered, why?
Just like so many of us Christians today we have set residence in the world and don’t really want to leave. Sure we believe in God but It is to hard today to live for Him, It takes up to much of my time, I go to church and pray when I need something, Isn’t that enough? The answer is noooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I want to pick apart the key verse v17 and I’ll start to close with this .
And in v17 it says
17. When they had brought them outside, one said, “Escape for your life! Do not look behind you, and do not stay anywhere in the valley; escape to the mountains, or you will be swept away.”
When they had brought them outside.
The word they: means more than one, Most scholars say that one of the Angels, the one who does the talking is The son of man Jesus who takes on the name of God.
The 2 Angels had to force them out of the wicked city. It sounds to me that Lot and his family did not want to leave. Why?
Like you and me sometimes God has to intervene and take us out, force us out of our worldly sin, even physically move us out of our sin of the world.
But they forced or made them leave.
1. escape for your life. Church when you are living in sin your life is at stake and God tells us to break the chains that bind us.
Why do some of Gods people fall in with the corrupt world rather than willingly flee a society destined for destruction?
I’ll tell you why; we can’t see it we are all to busy with our own lives to see what goes on around us.
2. Do not look behind you; Return not to sin and Satan, for that is looking back to Sodom.—We do the same thing- we get caught up in the sin of the world and don’t want to leave. But when God takes us out of it, He says don’t look back, that’s what gives Satan a foot hold.
Let me ask you this question – Can you drive a car forward starring in the rear view mirror.
3. Do not stay anywhere in the valley-KJ SAYS STAY NOT IN THE PLAIN: What’s the plain or the valley. Rest not in self and the world. You must make a choice either follow God or the world, THERE IS NO INBETWEEN, Get off the fence that is the valley.
That’s when you want to go after God but hate to leave your past. That’s the valley.
4. Escape to the mountains; Reach towards Christ and Heaven, keep looking up. Don’t look back. Keep your eyes on Christ. Because if you take your eyes off the mountains (Christ) you will be swept away Satan is waiting for you to look away just once.
Personal story: Back in 96 I was saved big time God changed my life. I was on fire. So I was going to quite wrestling and do God’s work. But I thought I could cut back until I stopped because I love it so much but I also loved Jesus too. I kept looking back, I was hanging around in the valley. But I was trying to look to the mountains, Guess what It didn’t work. When Satan had a foothold, he went in for the kill. I had the best intentions, but all of a sudden my wrestling career took of. The money, the traveling, and semi fame. And all the spoils that goes along with it.
You see I did exactly what Lot did in v18, 19,20 I tried to give God my own terms. Lot said to the angels I can’t go to the mountains it will kill me. Let me go to a small town in the valley. Definition: I will seek after you if I can still do what I used to do. Listen to me It does not work at all. Period end of quote.
And if you do not think that there are consequences for your disobedience look at Lot’s wife in v26:
26 But his wife, from behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.
She looked back and never looked forward again, She looked back because she never wanted to leave in the 1st place.
To this day the dead sea region still reeks of sulfur and strange rocks formation, they recall the fate of Lot’s wife who was more attached to Sodom than he was.
Luke 17:23 Remember Lot’s wife
All she did was look back.
Now you have heard about Abraham and Lot.
1.They both met the heavenly host at the gate,
2. They both fixed a meal for them.
3. They both believed
4. Abraham was passing through the world, Lot set up residence in the world
5. Abraham submitted to God terms, Lot wanted his way and God’s way.
Before we leave tonight ask yourself. What do I live in?
a. are you passing through
b. or have you set up residence in this sinful world
I asked you earlier what part are you seeing? I know If I did what God wanted me to do You know the answers to all these questions.
The last question I want to ask you is.
Is your life like Abraham or is your life like Lot?
This is a heaven and hell question.
You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
Have you realized that that’s all it takes is to just be friends with the world.
You might have chose the world and don’t even know it. and thats how Satan wants it.
I urge you to make that choice. And if you are like me, you must make that choice everyday of your life.
When the music plays if God is dealing with you tonight run to this altar and tell God I’m sorry that my life does not honor Him like it should, please, please forgive me tonight. Come on make your choice now. God does not promise you tomorrow. Tomorrow is to late, make your choice today