The life of Lot is supposed to be a deterrent for us to live more for the Lord. You who are being raised in Christian homes, you are at a higher risk to be like Lot than perhaps some of the others who know what life is without the life of Christ in the home. You see, you get so used to all the Bible talk, it becomes trivial. It doesn't have any punch.
There's no kick to it. This is Cross-Reference Radio with our pastor and teacher Rick Gaston. Rick is the pastor of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville. Pastor Rick is currently teaching through the book of Genesis.
Please stay with us after today's message to hear more information about Cross-Reference Radio, specifically how you can get a free copy of this teaching. And now here's Pastor Rick with part two of his study called A Man Named Lot in Genesis chapter 14. In verse 22 of Genesis 14, he quotes what Melchizedek said to him. He quotes effectively scripture to them. He says, I have raised my hand to the Lord, God Most High, the possessor of heaven and earth. Right away, he's using holy language to people who are themselves not holy. Right away, he can't wait to share the scripture verse he got in church with those who needed it. I get goosebumps reading this because only the God of the universe, only El Elyon, possessor of heaven and earth, can make such things so in print after having them first be so in fact in life. So one can be saved and remain dumb and dangerous to others or one can be saved and begin to receive from those who are more advanced and begin to use what they have received.
That's what I first received. I have given to you, Paul said, I have given to you a portion of that which I have received from sitting in the presence of the Lord. That is supposed to be the Christian life.
We sit, we gain. When I used to sit in the pew, I'd take notes, I'd learn what I was being taught, and then I'd go to work the next day and I couldn't wait for a chance to preach it. Thank God, I preached it often. And I think that is the biblical example. Another lesson we learned is that one can be saved and be a nuisance to others who are saved. They can be a burden to others who are saved. Now if I'm listening to this, I'm saying to myself, okay, I don't want to be that guy. I do not want to be a burden, a stumbling block, a nuisance, a pest to other believers.
I want to learn where to live. I want to know how to live. I want to have those things big about me that God would have big about me. All this Lot did not do. Mentally and spiritually, Lot was an unarmed man in dangerous territory.
He had savvy enough, but it wasn't spiritual. Spiritually speaking, from what God wanted from this man, Lot, though God loved him, again, cannot emphasize that enough, Lot was not where he was supposed to be. If you were to say, Lot, where's your armor? You know, it's been a while.
How many guesses do I get? Would have been one of his comebacks, perhaps. We read in Ephesians about, stand therefore, having girded your waist in truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace. This is body armor because you need it in a violent environment. Above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench the fiery darts of the wicked one. And then it goes on, and take the helmet of salvation, the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And what comes after the word of God? Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end, with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints. When it came time for God to share with Abraham that he was going to annihilate Sodom and Gomorrah, Abraham interceded.
What God, again, we touched this briefly. God, if there are righteous people there, can we not spare the city? He did not want to just save the righteous.
He wanted to reach the lost. That was the burden for Abraham, but he was wise enough to know that he could not live amongst them when they were that far gone and still expect victory. Lot, however, when he is told that the city is going to be destroyed, never intercedes. Prayer is far away from him. It's a skill that he has not developed.
It has not been available to him. I don't care how weak you are, Christian. If there are any of you here and you say, you know what, I'm one of the weak Christians.
I am a Lot. You can always pray. You can always fight hell. You can always undermine the causes of the great dragon through prayer. You can interfere with his convoys through prayer. God did not do that.
The response that we have is, what am I going to do? The consequence of being distracted in spite of a righteous status is a prayerless life because there's underlying all this a fear of God. There's a healthy fear of God and there are unhealthy fears of God. To be afraid that God is going to somehow use me and humiliate me, call me to do that which I cannot do, that is an immaturity that belongs to many Christians who mature in their immaturity.
They get better at being immature as time goes by. To live as such, we invite shame in the midst of truth which belongs to our faith. To live and to work so far from God insults logic, which is an added pressure that we put upon ourselves.
Listen to this. Lot sat as a judge in the gate. This is a man who could make no choice right for God and yet the world promotes him to make choices for them.
We know something. We have a whole city called the District of Columbia filled with people who can make no right choices for God but they make choices for others. Have you ever met a Christian whose life is entangled with just everything it shouldn't be?
And whenever they exhaust one series of wrong decisions, they create another series, the sequels. And yet they want to still give advice. And there is always someone willing to come under their teaching, their privilege, their guidance. Jesus said, when the blind lead the blind, they both fall into a ditch. Don't be that Christian. If your life is messed up, it's like if I have a blood problem, I don't want to donate my blood until I get over that problem.
And that's how we've got to see it. Lot had a wrong spouse, a wrong house, wrong friends, and a wrong end. All of it lined up. He married the wrong person. He never raised his children right. He lost two daughters to the judgment and the other two, they were more concerned about having kids than righteousness.
And their despicable behavior again is stamped on the pages until the Lord comes again. I don't want a wrong spouse. I don't want a wrong house. I don't want to live in the wrong place. Lot's house was in Sodom. I don't want the wrong people around me who can give me position in the claim that they've made me. And I don't want a wrong end. Now granted, when we get to heaven, Lot will have none of these problems any longer.
But while we are not looking to pick on him, we're looking to learn from him. It is like, you know, that time of year where they put the wreckage of automobiles on the high school campuses as a warning to the students, don't drink and drive because this can happen to you. That is what stories and people and characters and scriptures such as Lot are. A wreckage put out so that this should not happen to you. I don't want to see the jaws of life. Ever.
I don't want that. I want to stay out of trouble. It's easier to stay out of trouble than it is to get out of trouble once you have gotten into trouble. But that does not mean that once we are in trouble, we're to hang our heads low and give up and surrender. We are still to persevere. We are still to call out to the Lord. And so the only message that comes to us from the silly lips of this man Lot is don't live your life like me.
When we see Lot in heaven again, his life, because this is what God does, would have served to save countless numbers of believers from following. Maybe I'm sitting here right now and there's some Christian here that is saying, I need this. I need to hear this. Or maybe you're hearing it and you're saying, I need it but not so much for me.
This is the message I need to give to someone else. I do know if the Lord will allow me. But in either case, it belongs to the Gospel. Why then was Lot so drastically different from Abraham in every way? It wasn't like he's a little different.
There's nothing similar between the two except they were both righteous men. It's not enough. Don't be satisfied with that. You remember, good is an enemy of excellence in this sense. If you're satisfied with Goodwin, you could have gotten excellence.
That's less than ideal. Why a drastic difference? And here's the answer, I think, at least one of them. Lot's relationship with God was an addition to his life. It was not the biggest thing about him.
It was there. Yeah, I know who God is. I will bow down to no other God.
But that's about as far as it went. He feared living close to God. Abraham was the opposite. Abraham's relationship with God was not an addition. It was life itself.
He was not afraid of God, reverently, in the sense of reverence. Abraham was set to sacrifice his son for God. Lot was set to sacrifice his daughters for his visitors, for company, for guests. Genesis chapter 19, verse 8, we read about it.
You read it and you almost faint. Here's Lot speaking. This is when the town people had come to molest, to sexually molest the angels who had come to the city. Lot had approached them as he sat in the gate. He saw these two visitors. He said, listen, guys, you can't stay out here at night.
It's a bad place. And he brings them inside. And while they're there, they have dinner.
They have unleavened bread, which speaks of the urgency of the matter. And then these base men surround the house looking to perversely engage these visitors. And what does Lot do to defend them? See now, I have two daughters who have not known a man. That is the distinction between his other two daughters who were married. He had son-in-laws, two son-in-laws. And that's how we know Lot had at least four daughters.
Two perished in the judgment. Two made it out and were very confused about life. See now, I have two daughters who have not known a man. Please let me bring them out to you and you may do to them as you wish. Only do nothing to these men since this is the reason they have come under the shadow of my roof. What are you talking about, Lot? Could you see the expression on the angel's faces as they're hearing this man say this?
Whether he was intending to do it or not, whether it was a bluff or not, Abraham would never have said such a thing. The angels, they can't talk. Their jaws are stuck open in shock. It's like, you know what? Let's just push him out there and lock the door. That's how I would have handled that. One less burden.
Sorry, Lot. It is expedient that one be given for the rest of, in any way. Abraham's relationship with God, as I mentioned, was not only the biggest thing about him, it was the deepest thing about him. You could not ask any of the nomadic people of the area where Abraham lived about him without them sitting upright and talking. Nobody, hey, Abraham, he lived like two doors down. Like, Abraham? Yeah, he was going to go that way.
Watch it, he's got those 318 men. They knew this was a righteous man. They knew he was a godly man. The New Testament scripture mentions his faithfulness in the letter of Romans, the letter to the Galatians.
James mentions it. I want to take one excerpt from Romans chapter 4 verse 20. It says, he did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief. I have to stop there and midstream quote. The man didn't budge.
He didn't flinch. When God said this is it, that was it. I'm not like that. I go to God very, I'm more like Jeremiah. I whine and complain, not to you, but to God.
I want to be more like Abraham. And God's been, you know, when I give certain sermons, they minister to me too. I say, you know what, that's going to stick with me for a while. I'm going to make that work. I needed to hear that, Lord.
Thank you for letting me share what I needed to hear. He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God and being fully convinced that what he had promised he was also able to perform that is God and therefore it was accounted to him for righteousness. It's the outstanding thing about Abraham.
He's the father of faith according to human beings. Abraham let God choose for him versus Lot letting Lot choose for Lot. Now we go back again to chapter 13, again the 10th verse where it says Lot lifted his eyes. You see, when Abraham said, Lot, choose a place.
Wherever you choose, I'll go the other way. God will show me where I need to go. Lot did not say, well, let me pray about this. Let me seek the Lord. He just says, you know, that's a good question. Let me just look at this a minute. And he took matters into his own hands and he got his own results.
But of Abraham in chapter 14, once he separated from Lot, listen to this, and the Lord said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him, lift up your eyes now and look from the place where you are, northward, southward, eastward, and westward for all the land which you see I give to you and your descendants forever. Man, that's how to do it. That's the guy I want to be. You know, when you're a little boy, you say, I want to be, that's him, that's me.
I'm the hero. When I look at Abraham, I said, that's who I want to be. I want to be that man. Every Christian should say, I want to be that man. You see, Lot, again, he lifted up his eyes and he looked, but he didn't lift them up high enough. Abraham separated from Lot the distraction, and that's when God began to bless him. Some of you can't be blessed because you won't separate from ungodly alliances. God loves you still.
You're going to heaven if you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and none other for your salvation. But, but, it is that, it is that that should disturb you. And you say, you know, I've tried, I've heard sermons before, I've gotten up the fight, and I always slide back.
So what? Get up again. Do it again. And next Sunday we'll be here again, unless the Lord takes us home, and do it again. It's not your cue to give up because you've not succeeded. Otherwise there's no such use for the word perseverance. What does perseverance mean? It means keep at it. So what?
The bullets are flying. Again, I love to say this about Stephen. He never saw the stones. He wasn't interested in the stones. He was busy preaching on behalf of those who were trying to kill, who did kill him. Abraham let God choose for him, and these are the principles that ruled their lives. One man chose for himself that principle ruled his life, landed him and sawed him, and he lost everything in one day. The other man let God choose for him, and he gained everything. And to this day he is a champion of faith.
There's more. There's more to the distinctions between these two men and their differing principles. Abraham remained in a tent. Significant. We read about Isaac living in a tent after Abraham died because Abraham never moved into a house as did Lot. Now it doesn't mean we should give up our houses and go live.
Everybody's down at Dick's Sporting Goods picking tents. It's the symbolism. It's the message within this. Lot had a house in Sodom. Abraham had a tent somewhere out there in the land of promise. Hebrews chapter 11 picks up on this. It says, by faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise, for he waited for the city which has foundations whose builder and maker is God.
You catch that. The tent was a testimony to the world as your coming to church is a testimony to the world. That he is a stranger on earth, that God has something more for him, that this is not enough, that he's not comfortable here, that there's no gate worth sitting in in this place. The altars that Abraham littered across the landscape with a witness that he was a citizen in heaven. One was that I don't belong here. I'm only here for a little while.
I'm passing through. I'm a pilgrim. The other, the altar is God. That is where my citizenship is with God. The two go together.
They cannot be separated. Many people have had tents. Big deal. But not many people have had altars unto El Elyon, God most high. Abraham was a pilgrim. Lot was a citizen in this world. Abraham was not comfortable here.
Lot was too comfortable here. Philippians 3, 20, our citizenship is in heaven from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. Abraham lived for the heavenly city. Not lived for Sodom and what he could squeeze out of it.
He probably felt pretty good about sitting in the gate. The secret of Abraham's life could be told in a single sentence. He trusted God. He trusted God. When did he trust God? No, no. It's when did he not trust God? Well, there were a few blips on the screen.
He did make a few mistakes. Sarah, you are too beautiful. People will kill me for you. Then don't marry that woman. No, no.
That's funny. He trusted in God. Now, this is something significant because, and this is what I want you to come away from here this morning. I want all of us to leave here with this emphasis this morning. Trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Trust him. When Jesus said to the fig tree that bore no figs, though it promised fruit, he said, be cursed. And that was it. Let no one get figs from you anymore. And that tree died. The next day the apostles are coming by. Look, trees don't die overnight. You can shoot them with a cannon, and they'll still be green the next morning.
They'll be broken up a bit, but they're still green. And in fact, you can cut a tree down, and in the spring the stump will begin to sprout a little bit. Not the stump still attached to the ground, the log from it. So my point is, when he cursed this tree and it was dead the next day, that was something to talk about. And what was Jesus' response to them?
Very simple. Mark 11, 22. Jesus answered and said to them, have faith in God. That typifies the life of Abraham. That should be the life of every believer.
I'll be closing with this section. On the strength of all of this, what does God want to be the biggest thing about me? What was the biggest thing about Abraham? Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.
He did not stagger. When God said it's going to be so, that was it. What do we do? We let the devil tempt us. Well, maybe the Bible is wrong here. Maybe there's not going to be a heaven like you think there is. Maybe you're doing too much for this church or Christ or whatever. That's what he does. Why does he do that?
Because it works. When tested, given a choice between his own interests and that of the Lord, his own interests won. See, that was a lot. When it came down to pressure, what am I going to do?
Am I going to hold the line or am I going to crack? He cracked. He went what he wanted. His daughters did the same thing. Are we going to be moral? They knew this was a sin.
That's why they had to get him drunk to do the deed. When it came down to a choice, they did what they wanted to do, not what God said to do. But what if we don't get it? What if I don't get the sale? What if I don't tell this little lie and I miss the big sale?
What happens if you tell the lie and you get the sale? Then you are like a man named Lot. Let God bless you. Maybe God doesn't think you need all that. Listen, part of the Christian life is learning to decrease, learning to do without. I mean, that doesn't mean if God blesses you that you're supposed to, you know, treat it as junk. It's not at all. That would be very wrong. But it does mean that you have to live within the means that God has given you. I want to quote A. W. Tozier.
That means put your goggles on, buckle up, because this one's for you. Our era today is that we do not expect a converted man to be a transformed man. We do not expect a converted man to be a transformed man.
And as a result of this era, our churches are full of substandard Christians. That got somebody. It got me. I don't want to be a substandard anything that's good. I want to be a transformed man into the image of Christ. And I'm not going to quit my quest for this simply because I failed. That's not a good enough excuse to go. Next slide.
I'll close with this. What we don't hear about this man Lot that we do hear about Abraham. We don't hear the Bible say, the God of Lot. See him say, the God of Abraham. We do not hear the Bible say, and Lot built an altar to the Lord. We hear said many times of Abraham. We do not hear the Scripture say, Lot called on the name of the Lord. We do not hear the Scripture say, Lot obeyed the Lord.
We do not hear the Scriptures say, God spoke to Lot. Is that you? Will that be you? Maybe you're on that course now. Maybe somebody here is messing with sin. Maybe you've come to realize that you've got roven eyes.
You're looking at things you're not supposed to be looking at. What was Samson doing in the vineyard? He was a Nazarite. He was supposed to abstain from the vine.
Shortcut. Did he snack on the way? Is it a surprise he met a lion at the end? The wreckage of the life of Lot is supposed to be a deterrent for us to live more for the Lord. You who are being raised in Christian homes, you are at a higher risk to be like Lot than perhaps some of the others who know what life is without the life of Christ in the home. You see, you get so used to all the Bible talk, it becomes trivial. It doesn't have any punch.
There's no kick to it. When you hear the words, thus says the Lord, you're more thinking, well, how's this going to interfere with what I want? I think when a believer is flaming for the Lord and he hears the words, thus says the Lord, you can't miss it.
It goes deep. You've been listening to Cross Reference Radio, the daily radio ministry of Pastor Rick Gaston of Calvary Chapel in Mechanicsville, Virginia. Pastor Rick is teaching from God's word each time you tune in.
As we mentioned at the beginning of today's broadcast, this teaching is available free of charge at our website. Just visit crossreferenceradio.com. That's crossreferenceradio.com. We'd also like to encourage you to subscribe to the Cross Reference Radio podcast. Subscribing ensures that you stay current with all the latest teachings from Pastor Rick. You can do so at crossreferenceradio.com or search for Cross Reference Radio in your favorite podcast app store. That's all for today. Join Pastor Rick next time for more character studies right here on Cross Reference Radio.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-07 11:00:50 / 2023-03-07 11:10:56 / 10