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Don’t Grow Comfortable With Sin

Mosaic Boston

Religion & Spirituality

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Good morning, and welcome to Mosaic. My name is Jan. I'm one of the pastors here at mosaic. And if you knew, if you're visiting, we're so glad you're here. We'd love to connect with you. We do that through the connection card, either the one that you can get virtually online or in the app, or the physical one, you can get in the back. If you fill it out and then submit it, we'll be sure to get in touch with you over the course of the week. Happy Memorial Day weekend. It's not just a three-day weekend. It is an opportunity for us to pause and to remember those who have fallen in fighting for our freedom.

So, here in the beginning, we're going to pray for our law enforcement officers, we're going to pray for the military and those who are in authority over them, as we're told to do in scripture, let us pray. Heavenly father, we thank you that you are a God who has created us and you have created the world with a design, and you've woven into the design the idea of authority, that you are Lord over everything, that you have in innate authority, and then you delegate authority to others. Scripture tells us that you delegate authority even to the government, the governing authorities, and as Romans 13 says, in order for them to further the good and curb the evil.

So, we thank you for those who are in law enforcement, for those who do a great job, for those in the military, and for those who are in authority over them. I pray that you give them wisdom, protect them from the evil one. Protect their lives and guide them as they do their job. We remember, Lord, today, those who have fallen, and the families of the fallen, we pray that you minister to them. Lord, and as they represent giving a life for those who are closest to us, giving life for friends, that is the epitome of love, that's what Jesus Christ did for us on the cross.

Lord, we thank you for this nation. We thank you for the blessing that it is to gather as believers and a free assembly to read the holy scriptures, to read them and to meditate upon them, and to apply them to our lives. Lord, Jesus, we thank you that you submitted to the authority of the father, that you humbled yourself, became a servant and went to the cross, and you did that to forgive us, to provide for a way for us to be forgiven for our rebellion against your authority, our rebellion against your moral authority, where you tell us how we are to live, how are to love, and how we are to serve.

Lord, bless our time in the holy scriptures. Show us the anti-example of Lot. Make us a people who are less like Lot and more like Abraham, people who believe and actually act on that belief instead of believing secretly in our hearts by allowing our lives to have nothing to do with the faith. Lord, bless our time in the holy scriptures. We pray for the Holy Spirit. We want more of it. Welcome Holy Spirit. We welcome you to this place. Teach us. We pray all this in the beautiful name of Jesus Christ, amen.

We're going through a sermon series through the book of Genesis that we are calling Jesus in Genesis. The title of the sermon today is don't grow comfortable with sin. Last week, we saw this incredible example of Abraham, father Abraham, who believes in God. And he knows that God is going to judge the wicked City of Sodom and Gomorrah. And he pleads with God. He intercedes on behalf of Sodom before God. A bright picture that points to Jesus Christ, and in chapter 19, we see just how wicked the City of Sodom was. And chapter 19, we get a vivid, raw, gritty account of the sinfulness of sin.

It shows us how deep sin can get ingrained in a culture. We see a scene that's obscene, perverted. We see moral filth, pervasive debauchery. The big idea of the text is that we live in a sinful world, but we as Christians, as followers of God, we are to be in the world, not of the world. We are to be in the city of Boston would not allow the City of Boston into us, not allow the City of Boston to shape our worldview, to shape our values, to shape our idea of God, of gender, of sexuality, of what matters in life.

Instead, we are to be transformed by the renewal of our minds with the word of God. This is Romans 12:1-2, "I appeal to you therefore brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice holy and acceptable to God," which is a spiritual worship. "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing, you made discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." Don't be conformed to this world, in particular, what it says we can do with our bodies, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, with the word of God. Let the word of God shape what you do with your bodies, because your body is a sacrifice.

Today, we're going to walk through the text, the narrative. It's a long text, but I will draw out five lessons or five signs of conformity to the world. As we read the text and look at these signs, we need to be asking ourselves, where am I conforming to the world? The first sign of conformity to the world is you have the same goals as the world. The second is there's a tolerance of sin. The third is you have no spiritual authority. Fourth is a hesitation to sacrifice, and the fifth is the desire to keep a little sin, just a little sin.

Would you look at the text with me in Genesis 19:1-3. "The two angels," these are the two angels that came with Yahweh, with Jesus in bodily form in chapter 18. These two angels came to Sodom in the evening. "And lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When lot saw them, he rose to meet them and bowed himself with his face to the earth and said, "My Lords, please turn aside to your servants house and spend the night and wash your feet, then you may rise up early and go on your way." They said, "No, we will spend the night in the town square."

"But he pressed them strongly so they turned aside to him and entered his house, and he made them a feast and baked unleavened bread, and they ate." First thing we see is Lot is sitting at the gate of Sodom. By this time, he is one of the leading citizens of the city. The first sign of conformity to the world is you have the same goals as the world. Who is Lot? Lot is the nephew of Abraham. They were living in the Ur of the Chaldeans, a pagan nation, a pagan city, and God calls Abraham, speaks to Abraham, and said, "Abraham, you are mine. I love you. I'm going to bless you. I'm going to bless those who are with you. I'm going to give you a great name and a great nation will come of you. And from your son, there will be salvation to all the world."

Lot hears this call and says, you know what? I want to be blessed as well. Goes with Abraham to Canaan, the land of Canaan. He paused in Haran, goes to the land of Canaan, and he lives with father Abraham. He is blessed with Abraham, so much so, they had flocks and they had herds and he needed more land, more real estate to feed them. So, he chooses the green pastures, the fertile valley right next to Sodom and Gomorrah. The story of Lot is the typical story of an immigrant boy, who grows up in poverty and then makes it big in the city.

It's a story of rags to riches, poverty to power. At this point in the story, he's a chief magistrate in the city, sitting at the gate. They're making decisions influencing the politics of the city. However, he went to Sodom with one goal. He went to Sodom for the same reason other people went to Sodom. He went to Sodom for the same reason most people come to Boston. He came to make a career for himself. He came to make money. He came to enrich himself, not reach the city for God. He had a monetary mindset, not a missionary mindset.

He didn't think about reaching people for God. He didn't think about making an altar to God. He didn't think about the word of God, influencing his neighbors to believe in God. No, he just wanted to make money. Chapter 13, he was drawn towards Sodom. He pitches his tent outside of the city. Chapter 14, we see that he is now in the city owns real estate within the city. By chapter 19, he's one of the most influential people in the city, but when it comes time to stand up for righteousness and stand against evil, because he has been thoroughly compromised, nobody listens to him, and his witness is ineffective.

Like uncle Abraham, in the text, we see that Lot, too, was a hospitable man. Meets these angels, wants to bring them into his house. Same words are used. The fact that he bowed before them, the fact that he wanted to wash their feet, the fact that he created a great feast for them. Later on, we see in the text, he's doing this, not just because he's hospitable, he's doing this because he knows how corrupt the men of Sodom are. He's trying to protect these angels, these men from the men of Sodom.

It would be as if you see angels descend upon Methadone Mile, and they plan on camping out Methadone Mile, and you say, "No, no, no, no, no. We know what happens here at night. No, you are coming with me." That's what's going on. That's why he pleads with them. He was hoping that they would spend the night and then slip out quietly in the morning. Why? Because of verse four. "Before they laid down," so they have this feast, then, "before they laid down the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both young and old, all the people to the last man surrounded the house." The text tells us that they were entirely corrupt.

All of the men from young to old. So, you have nasty old men and you have prepubescent boys, who most likely were doing what the old men had taught them. The old men most likely molested through acts of pedophilia with the boys to allow them to live like this, to teach them to live like this. Sodom here shows us what the world looks like without God a city, where you're not safe to walk around at night, or else you might get raped. Genesis 19:5, "And they called to Lot, "Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may know them." Not that we may get to know them. It's a euphemism for, we want to have sex with them.

"Bring them out so that we can, all of us from young to old, "rape these men, this fresh meat. We're going to rape them. We're going to gang rape them, Lot. Bring them out." We see the first sign of conformity to the world. Your goals are the same as everybody else and they begin to think that you are just like them and therefore your witness isn't powerful. Then sign two of conformity in the world is a tolerance of sin. A tolerance of sin.

First of all, you need to know Lot, just by his connection to Abraham, does become a believer. He becomes a Christian. How do we know this? We know this from 2 Peter 2:4-8, where Peter, the apostle Peter calls him a righteous man twice, "Where if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment. If he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, the herald of righteousness with seven others when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes. He condemned them to extinction making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly."

He rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the central conduct of the wicked. For as that righteous man lived among them day after day. He was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard. His soul was tormented because of the sensuality in the evil of the city. His witness meant nothing. Jesus Christ told his disciples, "Hey, go into a town, go into a village and preach the gospel there. If people get saved, tremendous. If they don't get saved, if no one responds to the preaching of the gospel, you walk out of that city, you dust off your sandals of that city and you keep going."

Instead, Lot, first of all, he didn't preach the gospel. He didn't preach God's word. And second of all, he was fine living there. His soul was vexed, but not enough to leave the prosperity, to leave the status, to leave the influence, to leave the money. Here we see that he tries to fight back a little bit. Verse six, Lot went out to the men at the entrance, shut the door after him and said, "I beg you, my brothers, do not act so wickedly. He calls them his brothers. You're my brothers, you're my friends. He's known them for over a decade and he knows what goes on in the city. And he says, do not act so wickedly.

What is this wicked, what they were about to do? Were the intentions of the heart? Yes. On what grounds? On what grounds is this wicked? Just because Lot said so? That's why they pushed back. They were like, who are you? You've lived there for over a decade. You're the mayor of the town and you've never said anything prior to this moment, who are you? But what he does next is just unbelievably, and it shows us how far he's gone in tolerating sin, and he has. He's tolerated the sin. Most likely, he had the mindset of honestly, who am I to tell them that this is wrong?

Love is love. They're adults, consenting adults. They can do whatever they want. I have my own faith, that's my private faith. I'm not going to tell them that what they believe is actually evil. So, he comes up with a plan, verse eight, "Behold, I have two daughters," This is just disgusting. "I have two daughters who have not known any man. They're virgins. Let me bring them out to you and do to them as you please, only do nothing to these men for they have come under the shelter of my roof." You want to rape angels, let's not do that. Instead, here's my virgin daughters, raped them instead. That's what's happening.

In his mind, hospitality was more sacred than the chastity of his daughters who, by the way, are also under his roof, who, by the way, also deserve his protection for him. This is where a tolerance of sin warps your worldview so much, where you get to the point where your moral compass is just so way off that you have no idea what is good and what is evil. Yeah, he had a sacred obligation to hospitality, but he had a sacred obligation to protecting his daughters. Why didn't he say, hey guys, let's not rape anybody.

Let's not do that. Let's not rape angels, let's not rape my daughters. He doesn't do that. And we see the incredible contrast between Abraham, the patriarch and Lot here, who does not have the backbone, the spine to say, I am responsible for my ... I'm responsible for my own walk with God to submit to his authority. I'm responsible for my wife. I'm responsible for the faith of my daughters. By God's grace, I have four daughters. And my job as a father is to pastor them in the faith, to raise them up in the Lord, to teach them to fear the Lord and love the Lord, to pastor them, to protect them, to protect them. I will protect them. I will protect them to the death, and I will teach them to protect their selves. I will teach them to fight and I will teach them to shoot pepper spray and a gun.

Why? Because I know there are people in the world that wants to destroy them. That's my job. As a father, I am to protect. We see Abraham who has a son, Isaac, and he cares so much for Isaac's faith and Isaac's family, that he doesn't let Isaac get married to a woman of Canaan. He said, "I don't want you to marry this woman." That's why he waits until age 40 to allow Isaac to get married. He would say, no, no, no. You're going to marry a godly woman. He sends a servant to go find a godly woman and Rebecca, and they finally they get married.

Lot could not be bothered to do that. Not only did he not protect his daughters, but he allowed them to marry, to be engaged to Sodom men, men of Sodom who wanted nothing to do with God. We see, in Lot, a very pathetic man. Verse nine, "But they said, "Stand back." And they said, "This fellow came to sojourn and he has become the judge. Now we will deal worse with you than with them." Then he pressed hard against the man, Lot, and drew near to break the door down." What's fascinating is, even the most viciously, evil of people are highly sensitive to judgment.

They feel like he's judging them for ... They called this thing that they were about to do wicked. Don't do this wicked thing. They called it fun. He calls it wicked. What they're saying is, who are you to judge us? Honestly, who was he to judge them? He's lived a decade in the city, has never raised a word about the wickedness of the city. Who are you to judge us? Only God can judge us, and God will. All Lot is proposing is they not rape his guests, but they take offense at the implication that he's morally superior.

That's how far gone the society is. Verse 10, "But the men reached out their hands and brought Lot into the house with them and shut the door, and they struck with blindness the men who were at the entrance of the house, both small and great so that they wore themselves out by groping for the door." Now we see that the angels, that these people aren't just regular people. They are angels. They have supernatural powers. They blind these people to show how blind they were spiritually, now they're blind physically, and even blinded physically, what are they doing? They're still driven by their lust, groping for the door.

It just show that it's like a zombie apocalypse where these people are so far gone in following the lusts of their hearts, the lust of their flesh, that even being blinded doesn't stop them from trying to do what they had in mind. Verse 12, "Then the men said to Lot, "Have you," the men, the angels, "have you anyone else here, sons-in-law, sons, daughters, or anyone you have in the city? Bring them out of the place for we are about to destroy this place because the outcry against its people has become great before the Lord and the Lord has sent us to destroy it."

In the previous chapter, God, knowing the weakness of the city still extends mercy to them by sending the angels down. The angels are messengers. They're messengers that unless you turn from sin, you will be punished. And instead of listening to the messengers, they try to rape the messengers, and now it's beyond doubt Sodom has to be destroyed. So, sign number two of conformity to the world's a tolerance to sin. We see that Lot just lived there and he tolerated sin, tolerated his own sin, tolerate the sin of his wife, of his daughters, of these people.

Sign number three of conformity to the world is you have no spiritual authority, especially with those who know you best. When you speak on matters of spiritual things, matters about morality, matters from the word of God, do people listen to you or do they mock? Do they joke? Genesis 19:14, "So, lot went out and said to his sons-in-law who were to marry his daughters, "Up. Get out of this place for the Lord is about to destroy the city." But he seemed to his sons-in-law to be jesting. They thought he was joking.

Because this is the first this time they'd ever heard him speak seriously, soberly on matters of spiritual things. They think he's joking. The Lord is going to destroy this place and they think he is joking, impending judgment. Lot, sleep it off. We'll talk about it in the morning. He has zero spiritual influence over the men that he was going to allow to marry his daughter. Zero spiritual influence. Compare that with Abraham, compare Lot's spiritual influence and Abraham's spiritual influence. God goes to Abraham and says, "Abraham, I'm going to make a covenant with you. The sign of the covenant is going to be circumcision. So, you need to circumcise yourself at age 90 plus, and you need it to circumcise the other 318 men in your household."

So, he gets that word from the Lord, circumcises himself, and goes to the men in his household and says, "Gentlemen, I have a word from God." "Oh yeah, what's that word, Abraham?" "God said that he loves us and that we are to love him back, and the way that we're going to do that is circumcising ourselves." "Oh, Abraham, what does circumcision entail? And he shows, and the 318 men do it. They do it. The spiritual authority of this man who led by example, how do you get spiritual authority? How do you grow in spiritual authority? By submitting to the authority of God.

The more you submit your life, the more you submit the pattern of your life to the authority of God, the more authority you have to speak to others, that this is the way of God, this is the will of God. Lot has no spiritual authority because he didn't obey God, he didn't submit himself to God. This is why the other men are like, who are you to judge us? You're just like us, bro. You're the mayor of the town. You've allowed this to happen. He has no spiritual authority over these sons. By the way, the sons-in-law, why should they listen to him? He had just offered these guys' fiances to a gang of rapist.

Of course, they're not going to listen to him. He's accommodated his lifestyle to life of Sodom. Sign number four of conformity to the world is a hesitation of sacrifice. To follow the Lord, you are the sacrifice. Jesus Christ tells us, if you are to follow me, you need to take up your cross daily and follow me. So, we are to say yes to Jesus. By saying yes to Jesus, there are things that we have to turn our back on. Genesis 19:15, "As morning dawned," first of all, he waited all night. The angels told them, judgment is coming, flee now. He waits all night. Oh, we need to get rest. We need to wake up, have a nice breakfast, little protein to be ready to run from the judgment. And he waits.

It shows that he has no desire to leave his flocks and his herds and his real estate and his influence. He lingers. "As morning dawned, the angels urged Lot, saying, "Up, take your wife and your daughters who are here, lest you be swept away the punishment of the city," but he lingered. But he lingered. I wonder if there's areas of life where you know exactly what God's will is, and you're lingering in sin because you know it's a sacrifice to leave sin. Lot is saved. He's saved. He's barely saved. He's one of those people who's saved, but he's not happy about it.

It's like the guy who gets saved freshman year in college, like the summer before freshman year in college. He's like, ah, why'd you save me now? God save me when I'm 26 and I want to get married and start a family, save me then. That's when I'm going to go and find a nice Christian girl in church. But until then, I don't want to be saved. Lot's that guy. He's not happy about it. And he's lingering, lingering and sin, because to say no to sin, to say no to the comfort of a sinful lifestyle, man, that's painful.

He lingered. So, the men seized him and his wife and his two daughters by the hand, and the Lord being merciful to him, and they brought him out and set him outside the city. Lingered, he was so attached to Sodom. Wouldn't leave. With destruction looming, it just comes down to the angels pulling him out, physically pulling him out. Why? Because he didn't want to make the sacrifice of losing everything he had been working for. Why did he hesitate? In the words of Jesus, where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Sign number five of conformity to the world is desire to keep a little sin, just a little sin. "As they brought them out, one said, "Escape for your life. Do not look back or stop anywhere in the valley, escape to the hills lest you be swept away." And Lot said to them, "Oh no, my Lords. Behold, your servant has found favor in your sight and you have shown me great kindness in saving my life, but I can not escape to the hills lest the disaster overtake me and I die. Behold, this city is near enough to flee to, and it is a little one. Let me escape there, is it not a little one? And my life will be saved."

He said to them, "Behold, I grant you this favor also that I will not overthrow the city of which you have spoken. Escape there quickly for, I can do nothing until you arrive. Therefore, the name of that city was Zoar." This is just absurd. They're physically pulling him out and they say, "Go into the hills, go live in the woods, away from this perverse people and perverse cities and towns." And he says, "Oh no, oh no, no, thank you." And he says, "I can't live out in the woods in the hills. I'm a city boy. I need access to a Starbucks. I need a walkability rating of at least 9.1." I need museums, I'm a man of culture. No, I cannot go. I want to go to a city, a little city."

"Yeah, the city was supposed to get over thrown just what the others, but have mercy on this little ... It's a little city." God's like, get out of Vegas. And he's like, can I go to Reno instead? They don't have big strip, but they have little strip clubs. Can I go there? That's what's going on here. You see just the absurdity of a man, disaster is looming, judgment is coming, and he's bickering and bartering with the angels who've come to save him. At the most dangerous moment of his life, he's still thinking about worldly comfort. It's like a Christian saying, God, okay, you've saved me, all right I'll go to church. I'll go to church once in a while or I'll go to church on a Sunday, but the rest of the week is mine.

I'll tithe, I'll give you 10%, but I get to do whatever I want with the other 90. You can't call me generosity. Okay, I'll read my Bible once in a while, but I just need to keep a little ... The things you call us to, sexual purity, to not even be named among you, to not look at a person lustfully with your eyes. God, you're being extreme. I need a little sin, just a little sin. That's what's going on. Verse 23, "The sun had risen on the earth when Lot came to Zoar, then the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah sulfur and fire from the Lord out of heaven. And he overthrew those cities and all the valley and all the inhabitants of the cities and what grew on the ground."

The instrument of the structure in here is probably an earthquake that then releases the heat, and the gas is especially a sulfur that were in the ground. But the narrative combines the ultimate cause was the Lord, but the instrumental cause that was burning sulfur by heat from below, or maybe lightning from above and the word for Lord here is Yahweh. It's the same word that's used for when there was three men that came to Abraham, two angels and Yahweh in human form, Jesus. This is Jesus judging Sodom and Gomorrah. I wonder if that changes your view of Jesus.

A lot of people think of Jesus like Mr. Rogers, really nice. He's here to help you in life. He'll give you a good word of advice. He'll bless you when you ask for it, he will heal you when you ask for it, but he never tells you no, and he certainly won't judge. Oh, that's starkly different from the Jesus of scripture who does judge and will judge. He does judge here with the sword and he will judge with a flaming sword when he comes back. In the middle, while we're alive, we still have hope. Hope to turn from sin and to turn to him.

That's what was going on with the angel saying, don't look back, don't look back. You need to turn from that city, turn from everything you love that was sinful in that city and that's what repentance is. When we talk about repentance, it's not just saying, Jesus, I'm sorry. Repentance is actually leaving your sin. Stop sinning. I trust in Jesus. I repent of sin. I leave the sin. Lot did that. His wife didn't. In verse 26, "But Lot's wife behind him look back and she became a pillar of salt." We don't know much this woman. We know that Lot married her. We're not sure the timeline when.

Scripture says when he left Ur of the Chaldeans, it's clear that Abraham had a wife, Sarah. Lot's wife isn't mentioned, most likely, it's because he wasn't yet married. She's not named here just like her daughters aren't named, because she most likely doesn't deserve to be named, to be remembered. Most likely she's not a believer and she was just a woman of Sodom. Most likely he married her only because she was good looking. He didn't care about her character. He didn't care if she was a believer, he didn't care if she submitted her life, God, and she looks back.

They weren't supposed to simply flee for their lives, they were supposed to leave the city behind, drop their pasts with any desire to touch it. Again, and she's looking back, not just out of curiosity, but out of longing, and she gets judged, not for looking, but for longing, for wistfully wishing for what must be left behind. She loved the city. She loved the people of the city. Most likely her relatives, most likely her dad and her granddad and her uncles and her brothers were in this insatiable crowd of rapists.

But it was just fun. It's okay. It was our lifestyle. That's fine. She longed to be back there. She felt more comfortable in that town without God than with God outside the town. Her identification with Sodom, her unwillingness to leave the place explains the behavior of her daughters in the next episode. Young men, single men, Proverbs 31:30 is for you, "Charm is deceitful, beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised." When trying to decide whom to marry, the number one priority isn't physical beauty. The number one priority is she love God, that she fear God, will she submit to God in his word?

Husbands, this is our job, is to ourselves, grow in the fear of the Lord and teach our wives. Lead our wives in fearing God and loving him. Single ladies, that's what you need to be focusing on, cultivating fear of the Lord. That's to be praised. I remember when I was figuring out whom to marry back in the day, coming up on year 15 of our university in this next week. I just knew. I knew this is just basic wisdom. I knew that daughters are influenced by mothers. I wanted to marry a woman, and if God gave us daughters, I wanted my daughters to be like her.

By God's grace, we have four daughters. Praise God. They love God, most of them, three of them, definitely. The fourth, I'm not sure she's a little degenerate. She takes more after me than after her mom, but we're working on her. We're working on her. But that's how you need to be thinking about marriage in terms of generations and faith and legacy, etc. Genesis 19:27-28, "And Abraham went early in the morning to the place where he had stood before the Lord and he looked down towards Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the valley. He looked, and behold, the smoke of the land went up like the smoke of a furnace."

Chapter proceeding this one, Abraham beg God, prayed to God, interceding on behalf of Sodom, please, God, save it. And God chose not to. God chose to save Lot and his two daughters. He didn't the city, poured out judgment upon the city. And we, as children of God, need to be like Abraham. And when we see judgment poured out on people who deserve it, we have to say, God is good, and because God is good, he is just. A lot of people push back and say, I can't believe in a God that would punish and a God who meets out justice like this. Really? Really?

God doesn't punish evil, then God is not good, and if he's not good, he's not worthy of being worshiped. The reason hell exists and the reason judging exists is because God is good and because God is loving. Here, we need to take a little excursus. I'm done with my five signs, by the way. So, if you're like, oh, are we still on sign number five? I'm done with those. Little excursus here. Question, why did God punish Sodom and Gomorrah? Why did he do it? Why did he do it? Well, the three major prophets, they comment on Sodom and Gomorrah. Ezekiel 16:49-50, "Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom. She and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor in needy. They were haughty and did an abomination before me, so I removed them when I saw it."

A lot of liberal theologians will look at this text and they look at Sodom and Gomorrah and say, Sodom and Gomorrah got punished because of their inhospitality. I push back, like in hospitality, they want to rape the angels. They want to rape the guests. That's isn't hospitality, so that's just wrong. Then they go to this text and they're like, hey, it's because they weren't generous to the poor. That's the main reason. No, that's a secondary reason. They were generous to the poor because they lived for themselves. They lived for themselves, why? Because they were selfish? Why were they selfish? Because they were full of pride.

And those are the bookends in this text. Yeah, they had food. They were prosperous, etc. They didn't care for the poor, But it was because of pride. A pride that says, I am my own. I get to do whatever I want with my life. I am God of my own life. There is no God over me. That's the pride. The pride that says, if I accumulate enough power, enough money, I can do whatever I want against those who are weaker or not as rich. It's a pride that's proud of itself. It's a pride that has hashtags and parades and flags by sin.

The hypersexuality sexual sin, it's an outworking of the pride, the pride that says, I am God. I don't need anyone to tell me what to do and how to live. Isaiah 3:8-9 says, "For Jerusalem has stumbled and Judah has fallen because their speech and their deeds are against the Lord, defying his glorious presence, for the look on their faces bears witness against them." They proclaim their sin, like Sodom, they do not hide it. Woe to them for they have brought evil on themselves. Proud of the sin. That's the issue.

When society, openly practices sinful sexual behavior and actually promotes it and actually says, this is good, promotes any kind of sexuality that you can think of. That shows a society that's away from God. Scripture teaches clearly that the only sexual activity that God allows is between one man and one woman in heterosexual marriage making a covenant for life. Fornication is a sin, adultery is a sin, pedophilia is a sin, homosexuality is a sin. And when a society openly practices and accepts specifically homosexuality, it's a sign that God has given that society over to degrading passions, and it's the final stages of corruption with judgment looming.

Look at Romans 1:26 and 27. "For this reason, God gave them up to dishonorable passions for their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature. And the men likewise gave up natural relations with women were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves due penalty of their error." Christian, does this text, does this teaching make you feel uncomfortable? If so, perhaps you've grown too comfortable with the sin around you, and perhaps you are conformed to it.

If you're not a Christian, let's just reason together real quick. Is it okay to gang rape angels? I think we can all agree, it's not okay. Is it okay to gang rape humans? I think we can all agree, it's not okay. Is it okay to gang rape an individual? No. Is it okay to rape an individual? No, it's not okay. Is it okay to allow your daughter's be gang raped by a hoard of men. Is that okay? No, no, no, no. Why? Because we are not animals. We're not animals. We're created in the image of God, and that God, the creator of the universe tells us what is okay and what isn't okay.

For the same reason, you can't just say, oh, what matters is consent? As long as there's consent, then that's okay. No, there's no consent from God. And if there isn't a consent from God, then it is sin. We as Christians, we need to know that God of the universe has authority over our life.. the other thing I will mention about this text is, it shows us like the end, the most egregious end of the spectrum of sexual sin. But Where does it start? Where does it start? It starts in the heart. And Jesus said, whoever looks upon another human being with lustful intent in their heart has already committed sexual sin.

Yeah, this has to do with every single one of us. Dear Christian, do you entertain sinful sexual thoughts in your heart? Do you look at porn? Sex ed in public schools, they teach you, this is healthy. Enjoy yourself. No, it's wrong, and it's sinful, and it grows, and it continues to grow. A ship in the water is perfectly right. Water in the ship is not. What this is saying is a Christian is in the world, but we can not be of the world. We can't let the world in. We can't let Sodom in. Jeremiah 23 also comments on this text, "But in the prophets of Jerusalem, I've seen a horrible thing." He's talking to prophets. He's talking to the teachers of the people of God.

"I've seen a horrible thing. They commit adultery and walk in lies. They strengthen the hands of evil doors so that no one turns from his evil. All of them have become like Sodom to me and its inhabitants like Gomorrah. He's talking to believers who have pastors, who themselves, and not just entertain, they commit sexual sin and they strengthen the hands of those who do it. This is most of the churches in our city, in our very Sodom esque city, where priests and pastors get up, and instead of a cross, they got a rainbow flag outside, and they said, love is love however you define it, as long as it's consensual for now, and as long as with an adult for now. We'll see where that goes.

God calls it out. And then he calls it out because these people haven't submitted their lives to the authority of God's word. Genesis 19:29. "So, it was, when God destroyed the cities and the valley, God remembered Abraham and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow when he overthrew the cities in which Lot had lived." A lot of people say, if God is like this, if God is a judge like this, I can't believe in a God like that. And what a warped logic that is. No, you should be saying, if God is like this, God is judge and I deserve his judgment. I need to run to him. I need to believe in him. I need to ask for mercy and for forgiveness to be saved.

We're given the impression here that Lot was saved only thanks to Abraham's intercession. What's most fascinating about this account is that Lot is a Christian, and how absolutely unimpressive of a Christian he is. He's the worst I can ... I think I can say this. He's the worst Christian who's ever lived. The absolute worst. He's the guy, like he is the guy in heaven who's as close to hell as possible. He's that guy. He's there and he's like, I have no idea why I'm here. He's probably doesn't even want to be there, and he's only there because God chose to save him because of Abraham's pleading.

Yes, he was a man of faith, kind of, yes, he saw how wicked the City of Sodom was. His soul was vexed, but not vexed enough to leave. He sought to protect his guests from the evil, but he wanted to do it in a very evil way, a more evil way. And we see that Lot, the problem with law is just how half-hearted he was. Knew the truth, but never lived it out. Tried to straddle the fence between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of the evil one, and that's the most uncomfortable seat in the house. We see no determination. Abraham was a patriarch. He took responsibility for himself.

When he sinned, he repented. Yes, he committed sin. He had a child out of wedlock. He committed a sin, but he took responsibility for this, and he repented, he turned to God. He took responsibility for his wife, for teaching his children how to follow God. He was a patriarch. And that's what a patriarch does, sacrifices himself for the benefit of his beloved. Beloved wife, beloved children, beloved city, beloved church. That's what a patriarch does. Lot is not a patriarch. Lot is a soytriarch. He does not have the spine, the backbone to say, "God, this is your word. Whatever the sacrifice is, I'm going to follow it." Doesn't take responsibility for himself, for his wife, for his daughters. If Abraham is the father of the faithful, Lot is the father of all who are barely saved. Scarcely saved.

So, friend, are you saved, first of all, do you trust in Jesus Christ? Did you repent of sin? And are you surely saved or scarcely saved? Lot was saved by the skin of his teeth hesitating as he's being dragged out of Sodom by force as death reigns on the city. And what a sad sight. You see Lot dickering with the angels just moments before the death of his neighborhood of his neighbors, in the judgment of his wife. Yeah. He was saved. His wife wasn't. His daughters weren't, his neighbors weren't, his friends weren't. He called these men brothers. They all end up in hell because he had no influence. And he had no influence because he himself didn't really believe, not enough to actually obey.

Would things have ended differently if he moved quickly, if he had done precisely as he was told, if he had showed the proper deference to the angels, if he exhibited proper fear of the judgment that is to come, if he had set an example for his wife and his daughters, of strong faith, of prompt obedience? Perhaps his wife wouldn't have looked back. Perhaps his daughters wouldn't have raped him as we read in the text after. 1 Corinthians 3:11-15 talks about these different levels. Yeah, everyone's saved by grace through faith, but what do we do with that salvation? There's different levels of the faith.

Verse 11 of 1 Corinthians 3, "For no one can lay foundation other than that, which is laid, which is Jesus Christ." Building a metaphor, Jesus is the foundation. Now, if anyone builds on the foundation of gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, this right here is the materials of a building, and he's saying, Jesus is the foundation, what materials are you using to build the house of your faith? Do you give God the absolute best that you have, the gold silver, precious stones, or the leftovers? That's the wood, hay, and the straw.

"Each one's work will become manifest for the day, the day of judgment will disclose it because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone is built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire." Question, dear Christian is, what materials are you building with? The best of what you got or the leftovers of what you have, and I wonder if St. Paul had lot in mind with verse 14, "Save, but only as through fire."

It's possibly pulled out of the rubbish heap just in the Nick of time, but you'll end up singed, stripped of everything, traumatized by the severe discipline of the law of the Lord. It's tragic, and what's more tragic is that he lost his family. The same idea's in Amos, Amos 4:11. I overthrew some of you as, when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, and you are, as a brand plucked out of the burning yet you did not return to me declares the Lord. Brand plucked out, it's a stick that's so near to the fire. It's charred, but not reduced to ashes just yet because you got pulled out. Lot lived a comfortable life for a long time.

Green grass, fat cattle, position of influence. Even when Kings came from the north and took him captive and uncle Abraham saved him, and he goes back to Saddam. After a while, he becomes like the men of Sodom. Lot is the father of all the people whose righteous souls are vexed, but they do nothing about the vexation, and lots of luscious green pastures are laid to waste. And the entire valley five cities turned into one of the most arid lifeless deserts in all of the earth. That's where a life of compromise ends, but that's not really the ending, the ending is even more hopeless.

Genesis 19:30, "Now, Lot went out of Zoar and lived in the hills with his two daughters, for he was afraid to live in Zoar, so he lived in a cave with his two daughters. He asked the angels, can I go to Zoar, goes to Zoar, and now he's afraid to live here. They don't know why. Most likely it's because people of Zoar knew that because of lot and the God of LOt destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. We don't know why he leaves, he goes to live in a cave. The question is, why didn't he go back to his uncle? Why didn't go back to uncle Abraham?

The only answer that comes to mind is pride. He didn't want to go back to his uncle with nothing. Uncle, I need your help again. So, he goes and he lives in a cave with his daughters. Then we see one of the most sorted tales of deceit and incest in the scriptures. Verse 31, "And the firstborn said to the younger, "Our father's old and there's not a man on earth to come into us after the manner of all the earth. Come let us make our father drink wine and we will lie with him that we may preserve offspring from our father."

"So, they made their father drink wine that night. And the firstborn went in and lay with her father. He did not know when she laid down or when she arose. The next day, the firstborn said to the younger "Behold, I lay last night with my father. Let us make him drink wine tonight also, then you go in and lie with him that we may preserve offspring from our father." So, they made their father drink wine that night also, and the younger arose and lay with him," and he did not know when she laid down or when she arose, thus, both the daughters of Lot became pregnant by their father." The first born bore a son and called his name, Moab. He's the father of Moabites to this day. The younger also bore a son and called him Ben-ammi, he's the father of Ammonites to this day."

The daughters aren't named most likely, because this is an act of censure on the narrative's part. They don't deserve to be remembered. You can take a family out of Sodom, but we see here that you can't take Sodom out of a family, out of Lot, out of his daughters. They had absorbed the ethics of Sodom. He did not shield his daughters from a godless worldview, where they were sexualized at a young age. He didn't shield them from that, and then with their perversed mind, they concoct this plan, to his credit, he would not have said yes to this plan unless he was intoxicated. That's why they got him drunk.

To his discredit, bro, why are you getting blackout drunk with your daughters? Why are you getting blackout drunk to begin with? I remember in high school, everybody knew, probably every public high school they have this family, where it's like, the family is like, my kids are going to party, they should do under my supervision. I'm going to open up my house and buy the keg. I had people in my high school like that. My parents would never do that. I had a curfew at 9:30. Praise God. Apparently this was a thing. Apparently this was normal, they're like, let's do it tonight. They do it. Then the next night they're like, let's do it again. And he's like, okay. Apparently, this was part of the whole culture of that city.

The substance abuse, where you get so intoxicated that you lose complete control of yourself, get blackout drunk and do the things that your flesh completely wants to do. There's a connection between this. There's a connection between intoxication and debauchery, sexual debauchery. There's a connection, where people drink so much, they want to do these simple things, but they know their conscience is not allowing them to do it so they drink enough to mute the conscience, and that's what's going on here. Totally passive in this affair, just like usual, pathetic, pathetic waste of life. Man, the guy who had offered his daughters to a gang of rapists now, unbeknownst to him impregnates them himself. He was not good to his daughters.

You think they forgot that moment where he offered them up. They did not. He was not good to his daughters because he didn't want the best for his daughters. Fathers, you got to be good to your daughters. By being good to your daughters means wanting the best for them, which is to love the Lord, walk in the ways of the Lord, to care for them to care about the chastity of their sexuality, to care about their virginity. That's that's our job, gentlemen. And daughters, be grateful when your dad tells you put on more clothes. Be grateful when your dad buys you pepper spray, and be grateful when your dad teaches you to shoot and fight, a little jujitsu, a little boxing, be grateful. Say thank you, dad. Thank you. The other thing that you just got to see from this text is that sin grows. It does.

It's restless. It's ever reaching for more. It's never satisfied with mere in your life. It wants to damage the lives of everyone around you. We see a Lot, he chose to go down to the valley. He kept going down and down and down and down until we see him at last with two pregnant daughters living in a cave and his wife as a widower, having watched his wife die of divine judgment, finds himself in poverty with two sons, whom he had sired by his own daughters and his sons don't know whether to call him grandpa or daddy. Pathetic, pathetic ending to the story. It starts out with a flock so large, needed more real estate, ends up as a Lord of a hole in the rock on a dirt floor, destitute, disgraced, pathetic shadow of a man he had once been.

Scripture says, God will not be mocked, whatever you sow, that you shall reap. Are you sowing to the flesh or are you sowing to the spirit? Satan's too clever to show you everything that happens when you sin. A thought is sowed, a deed is reaped, and you sow further deeds and you reap habits, and you sow habits and you reap a character, reap a pattern of life and attitude. Augustan said that sin becomes the punishment of sin. When you want sin, when you pursue sin, God gives you up to that sin and you reap even more sin. The warning of the text is be afraid of sin. The greatest thing to fear in sinning, isn't just what happens immediately after you sin. The greatest fear is that you get put on a trajectory that pulls you away from God.

So, we ought to run from sin and we ought to mortify sin. We are to make war against a sin. From Abraham, who walked with God and obedience, would come most of what is lastingly good and lovely in this world. From lot would come to pagan deprave nations who would appear and then a few centuries later disappear. Some of the wives of Solomon lead him astray. They were Ammonite women. Their religion was so debauched that Deuteronomy 23:3 says, "No Ammonite or mole by may enter the assembly of the Lord even to the 10th generation." None of them may enter the assembly of the Lord forever. So, where's Jesus in this text, in this hopeless texts, the story of a hopeless man, an antihero, where is Jesus Christ?

Well, it's fascinating that one of his daughters, the nation led to the Moabites, can't even enter the house of God, the house of worship. The Moabites, that's how wicked they were. God said, you can't even go to church. Until we hear a story of another Moabite, a Moabitess, in the book of Ruth, Ruth was a Moabite, and Ruth meets Yahweh, meets Jesus Christ. When Ruth's husband dies, she goes with her mother-in-law back to Jerusalem. She serves here, she cares for her, and she meets Boaz, a godly man, and they get married, and God blesses their wedding, and they have children. God blesses their child so much so that Ruth becomes the great, great, great grandmother of Jesus Christ, that God takes this bloodline, this wicked ancestor's bloodline that comes from a wicked pathetic man, barely saved, and God brings Jesus Christ out of that.

Then Jesus Christ lives the perfect life, goes to the cross and bears the fire and brimstone, the wrath of God, the judgment of God on the cross in order to be able to offer us forgiveness. He bought himself the justice of God so that when we repent of sin, we can be forgiven, even a pathetic sinful man like Lot, he could be forgiven because of the justification by grace through faith because of the work of Christ in the cross. So, if there's hope for that guy, there's hope for every single one of us.

Turn from sin and turn to Jesus Christ, our Lord and savior, and then by grace through faith, by the power of the Spirit, let us follow Jesus so we don't end up like this man. And close of this, Luke 17:28-33, the words of Jesus Christ, "Likewise, just as it was in the days of Lot, they were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building, but on the day when Lot went out from Sodom and fire and sulfur rained from heaven and destroyed them all, so will it be on the day when the son of man is revealed."

"On that day, let the one who is on the house top with his goods in the house not come down to take them away, and likewise, let the one who is in the field not turn back. Remember Lot's wife, whoever seeks to preserve his life, will lose it. And whoever loses his life, will keep it." Let us pray. Lord, Jesus, we thank you for your grace and we thank you for this text, the sordid story of sin to teach us to never grow comfortable with sin. We thank you, Jesus, that because of your sacrifice in the cross, whatever we've done, no matter how perverse, no matter how wicked, you're willing to forgive and extend mercy if we just turn from sin and turn to you.

By the part of the spirit, make us a people go who can to war against our sin on a daily basis against our pride. We humble ourselves before you, and we ask for grace, and we pray this in Jesus name. Amen.

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