For a good few days we have considered Lot and the choices he made resulting in many consequences he needed to face. Some believe Lot died as a backslidden believer … others feel he died and lost his soul as an unbeliever. Where I’m inclined to feel the latter, I can’t fight Scripture … and … only God knows.
A non-believer is a person who might know everything there is to know about God and His rescue plan to planet earth … coming as God incarnate, paying the sin price for man through substitutional death and taking back His life so that through faith man might be pardoned, reconciled to God, have assurance of salvation and walk in holiness of life. That is, either know nothing about God’s rescue mission or everything about that mission.
Knowing is not saving faith! A believer again is one who has been saved by grace through faith. Such has had the desire to know God and as the Gospel is heard, such is enabled by the Spirit to exercise believing / saving faith that the merits of Calvary were for them personally. That act is called grace … God being gracious and taking a wicked sinner, bringing them through an understanding of who Jesus is, what He came to do, what this person’s spiritual and moral state has been before God to confessing sin, committing to repentance and exercising faith in Jesus as Saviour, Lord and King. A believer still sins, but confesses that sin and seeks repentance, spiritual growth through meditation and application of Scripture through prayer, commitment and faithfulness.
If I have got this right, and I think I have, where would Lot be? As I said … God knows … but Lot certainly compromised his faith in and commitment to God through his continual lack of demonstrative faith in bad choices and morals, parenting and marital (in the sense of not being the head of the wife and home) delinquency. He became part of the fabric of Sodom … as did his wife. Allow me to reflect upon a few lessons we as believers may learn from Lot.
First, the dangers Lot faced might be the same as you and I face. Take the choice of the green, well-watered plains he chose. There was nothing wrong with that. His flocks and herds needed good grazing lands. The problem comes in with his attitude. He was greedy, worldly and money hungry. His was covetous where Abraham was content.
Someone once said “a ship in the water is right but water in the ship is wrong.” The reason attitude is important is because the Christian in the world is right but the world in the Christian is wrong … actually it’s a disaster!
The lesson here is that many things are legal and right for a believer to have and enjoy but as soon as it generates greed, covetousness and lust we need to avoid it totally! The reason being that if we don’t we will soon be like Lot … gravitating slowly, slowly, slowly towards Sodom and becoming fascinated by the glamour and candor of the city and city life. Instead of being God’s witness he became like a chameleon … instead of being identifiably different he blended in.
You see, to testify for God against wickedness and evil morality in the world, you cannot do so inside of Sodom … blending so that you are seen as part of. The world needs saving but needs to see you as different, salt and light, believable … significantly different in morals and ethics and in your general behaviour! Lot lost his moral compass in Sodom. His integrity became so questionable … he would even sacrifice his daughters for his life and that of his guests! How the world (the men of Sodom) saw Lot was important … remember he sat at the City Gate … he was part of that community … and his worldliness and materialistic behaviour was a greater magnet than obedience to God. A great rebuke lies in Jesus’ words:
Mat 16:26 “What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?”
Second, the weaknesses Lot faced might be the same as yours and mine. There comes a time in a believer’s life where we need to move away from the protection and security of those who disciple us … to stand on our own two feet before God in the world.
But “move away from” does not mean ceasing association. From the moving to the plains to living in the cave in the mountain, the only time Lot engaged with Abraham (his uncle, father by adoption, mentor, pastor, counsellor, protector) was when Abraham rescued him from the clutches of king Kedorlaomer. Lot shows a spirit of independence where as Christians we need to display a spirit of interdependence. To move away from the protection of our Church family and especially those who have discipled us to “go solo” is not only spiritually dangerous, it is spiritual suicide. We need each other.
I have a few close friends whom I have drawn close to over the years. Our relationships range from 30 odd to 40 odd years. I’m not too certain whether they need me, but I need them … literally I cannot do without them and their spiritual wisdom and counsel. Lot made a fatal mistake thinking the men of Sodom could be his support system … they were his downfall.
Third, the needs Lot had might be the same as yours and mine. What was Lot’s real need? What is your and my real need? The answer is salvation followed by a life of trusting God and depending upon God through practical holiness … to the best of our ability.
Now the great question is … was Lot a true believer? Had God actually saved His soul? The answer to these questions may lie in 1 Peter 2:6-10a. In verse 7 we read “if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the filthy lives of lawless men”. If God counted Lot “righteous” then his soul could not have been lost … at best he was in a serious state of backslidings. His faith was superficial, immature and willfully rebellious.
Are you perhaps in that space needing some serious repentance and returning to Jesus in commitment and faith? Peter wrote what he wrote thousands of years after Lot died. Did Lot have assurance of salvation? How did he appear before God in his seriously lacking condition?
Dear God, Your mercies are new every morning. Please search our hearts and drive us back to Jesus. Amen.