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June 9, 2022 7:00 am
Now you know from the beginning of time. Parents have understood a basic truth about law effects try as they may, they can never seem to convince their teenagers off and what is that true. Well, it's that who are closest friends are has a dramatic impact on our life, good friends. Have a good impact and bad friends have a bad impact.
This is what we want to talk about today as we return to our verse by verse study in the book of Genesis, we want to go back and see this truth in action 4000 years ago and then we want to bring that forward and we want to talk about okay as followers of Christ in the 21st century. So I would differences that may for me so that's our plan. Are we ready, aren't we go little background first. If you remember here in Genesis chapter 19 where we are now God sent to angels to destroy the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities as well, but before they did that in his mercy, God told the angels to rescue Abraham's nephew Lot and his family who were living in Sodom at the time. So that's our background.
Let's pick up the story now Genesis chapter 19 we pick up at verse 15 here we go with the coming of dawn the angels urged Lot saying hurry take your wife and your two daughters or you will be swept away when Lot hesitated the angels grabbed his hand and the hands of his wife and his two daughters, for God's mercy was upon them and pulled them out, of the city and as soon as the man that is the angels had brought them out. They said sleep for your lives. Do not look back and don't stop anywhere in the plain escape to the mountains or you will be swept away. But Lot said to them all know, my Lord, you have magnified your loving kindness by saving my life. I cannot escape to the mountains for this disaster will still overtake me there and I will die. Lot said now behold, there is a town near enough to flee to it.
It is small. Please let me escape their for is it not small, meaning if you don't destroy it.
It's not that big a deal that my life maybe say and the angel said, behold, I grant you this request. That is not to overthrow the town about which you have spoken.
Hurry escape there for I cannot do anything until you get there. Therefore, the name of this town was called so are which in Hebrew means small. It was near to Sodom. But it was, south of Sodom where Locke led to verse 23 now the sun had risen by the time Lot came to Zoar and then the Lord rained down fire and brimstone on Sodom and Gomorrah and he overthrew those cities and the all the Valley and all the inhabitants of the cities and all that grew on the ground while no Abraham was living in Hebron on arose early in the morning and looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and he saw, and behold, the smoke of the land that was ascending like the smoke of a furnace is there a long way to limiting us to stop right here. So tell me you really believe this happened exactly the way the Bible says you really believe that God rained down fire and brimstone, whatever that is. Well is, the sulfuric compound that God rained that down on the cities and burn them all up exactly like this. Absolutely I believe that, and I gave you all the reasons why biblically archaeologically and historically. Why this I believe, stands the test of an investigation and is exactly true.
As the Bible says, and all of that was in part 42 of this series entitled lots said ended. If you miss that. I urge you to either buy the CD in our lobby. After the service or to go online to McLean Bible.org and download or podcast that message and listen to it and I'll give you the biblical information the archaeological information the historical information that I think makes it clear this really did happen.
Verse 26 but lots wife looked back and became a pillar of salt. And yes, I believe that happened to exactly the way the Bible says, primarily because the Lord Jesus himself believed that this happened. Remember what he said in the New Testament, Luke 1732, he said, remember lots wife when he was talking about. Not looking back at the second coming and missing anything of this world, he said, remember lots I now what happened to Lot and his two daughters. After this, let's look at verse 30 and Lot left so are, and stayed in the mountains and his two daughters with him, for he was afraid to stay in Zohar, so he stayed in the cave along with his two daughters. There are literally thousands upon thousands of natural caves that are all around this area and so obviously lots picked one of these caves and he and his two daughters lived in it.
Verse 31 and then the firstborn said to the younger daughter our father's old and there was no man to come into us, after the manner of the earth. Come, let us make our father drunk with wine. Let us lie with him that we may preserve our family through our father so they made their father drink wine at night and the firstborn went in and lay with her father and he was so drunk that he did not know when she lay down or when she arose on the following day, the firstborn said to the younger daughter, behold, I lay last night with my father let us making drink wine. Also tonight. Then you go in and lie with you, so they made their father drink wine that night.
Also in the younger arose and lay with him and again he was so drunk he did not know when she lay down or when she arose either because both lots daughters became pregnant by their father, the firstborn daughter Boris on and called his name, Moab, and he is the father of the Moabites.
To this day. As for the younger daughter. She also Boris on and she called his name been on the and he is the father of the ammonites. To this day the ammonites settled just north of the Moabites again on the east side of the Dead Sea in the Jordan River now, that's the end of Genesis 19.
Our passage but it's time now for us to ask our most important questions so is everybody ready all you guys out there ready everybody in your Tysons ready yes okay not inspiring me with great confidence what were going to try this anyway. I so here we go. Come on now nice deep breath. Juan to pray, recognize as good is Alonso one say this is a little like not so good. What just happened here.
Well, I agree this like a little not so good. But we gonna talk about it anyway and talk about what difference it makes for you and me our passage in Genesis 19. Certainly records. One of the most unsavory events in all of the Bible which you know one of the greatest proofs of the Bible's veracity and trustworthiness, and integrity is that it tells us truthfully openly about the failures of its greatest heroes as well as their successes and for sure that's the case here in Genesis 19 woodlot. I mean, it's so tragic.
His life began so well walking with Abraham following God by faith into the promised land.
Becoming a wealthy man by the blessing of God and look how his life ends. How tragic is this, but we talked about that already. I want to talk now that his two daughters, Shelley, I mean for them to conceive a plan like this and then to carry it out, such coolness and so matter-of-factly, is astonishing to me. You say well, but lawns may be.
This was considered okay in that day to preserve your family by having sex with your father, friend, listen to me. No human society has ever considered incest between a father and his daughter to be okay, you say well maybe they did way back in Abraham and lost time. No, they didn't. So how could you be so sure that because we have a wonderful stela which means like looks a little bit like the Washington Monument from the time of Hammurabi in a Babylon. It dates to within 100 to 200 years of the time of Abraham. It's called the code of Hammurabi, which is written on it and the code of Hammurabi specifically mentions this kind of incest between a father and a daughter, and declares it to be a serious crime for which the people who do it are exiled for the rest of their life out of the community.
Sociologists say here's one of them and I quote he said incest between a father and his daughter has been considered a sexual taboo in all known human collectives and cultures. This is never been considered okay not in Abraham's time, not anybody's time so I asked myself the question what happened to these two girls that sold through their moral compass off so far that they would plan and execute such a thing will the Bible gives us the answer. Let's look at first Corinthians 1533 in the New Testament. The apostle Paul writes do not be deceived up bad company corrupts good morals. In other words, who we keep company with will inevitably have an influence on our morals on our values and our behavior and the Bible says if the people we keep company with our ungodly people and their influence is going to be a corrupt being up one and this is exactly what was happening in Corinth, which is why Paul wrote these words look first Corinthians 1512 now Paul says if Christ is preached, that he has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection from the dead. You see, not only were some people at Corinth denying the resurrection, but they were using this denial to try and convince the Christians there to live a life of sin and sensuality and drunkenness and debauchery, verse 32 of that chapter of the dead are not raised. Paul says sarcastically, then let us be in drink, for tomorrow we die. You see, this is what these people were say they were saying, hey, let's eat and drink, for tomorrow we die. Their logic was, there is no resurrection, there is no heaven after you die.
There is no nothing. So let's forget about morals.
Let's forget about biblical obedience.
Let's forget about holy living and just grab all the sensual pleasures.
We can write now, for tomorrow we die and it was in this context that the apostle Paul wrote to the believers in Corinth and said do not be deceived. Bad company like ungodly people. You've got telling you there's no resurrection. Bad company will corrupt good morals not look he goes on to say next verse become sober minded as you walked and stop sinning. For some people have no knowledge of God. The people were telling you there's no resurrection and you are letting them influence your behavior and lead you into sin, and they don't even know God. Paul says I speak this to your shame now let's go back to Genesis 19 because this is exactly what happened to lots two daughters.
Genesis 1313 says now the people of Sodom were exceedingly wicked and sinning greatly against the Lord and lots daughters.
Don't forget had lived their whole lives keeping company with these people, allowing the morals of these people in Sodom to rub off on them. The result is that these two girls have lost all sense of decency, all sense of propriety all sense of virtue to the point that they could plan and carry out the most on the holy kind of incest without the slightest pain of conscience alike were Charles Ryer reset about them in his study Bible.
He said they were Sodom, tainted.
They had lived there so long that the morals of that city had painted them. Now let's bring all of this forward and talk about you and me as followers of Christ. How does this relate to us were friends much in every way because this principle from first Corinthians 15 do not be deceived. Bad company corrupts good morals.
This is telling us that we as believers need to be discerning and deliberate about the closest company we keep an this principle is a key teaching of the Word of God.
Second Corinthians 614 says do not be unequally yoked up together with unbelievers. The imagery here comes from the world of agriculture where when you were going to plow a field you would joke up to animals to pull the plow. Now if you yoked up to equal animals to mules to oxen to horses what ever it works fine. Everybody knew that. But if you unequally yoked up to animal then it worked terribly. If you don't believe me sometimes take a plow and put oxen on one side of the yoke, and a mule on the other, and watch what happens in a pretty and it doesn't work. You can't do that and every body in the ancient world understood that principal what the Bible is telling us is that this is not just the principle for how you plow a field if the principal for people spiritually, and Paul goes on to make that clear.
He says in second Corinthians 15. Next verse 41 has a believer in common with an unbeliever. Why should you be on the same yoked together.
It's an unequal yoke what you got in common with an unbeliever believer has a biblical worldview and unbeliever has a secular worldview of the believer has a biblical morality and unbeliever has a secular morality, a believer has a Christ centered value system and unbeliever has a self-centered value system and if you yoke these two kinds of people up together in a close personal relationship in every case without fail the on not believer will pull the believer their way every time never fails. One of my favorite preachers and of all time back. One of my favorite Christians of all times is Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
He was the leader, the preacher, the pastor of the London Metropolitan Tabernacle of the first real mega church in history in the late 1800s in London and he was a man with a tremendous sense of humor. He was also a man with a tremendous girth and stand what I'm saying is a big guy. All right, there's a true story about a young lady you came to see him in his office one day and told him that she was planning to get married, and that he civil who you planning to marry and so she told him and he said well is he a believer see walking with God. Is he a godly man and she said no she said but I'm gonna pull them up. She said what what you think about Mr. Spurgeon got up out of his chair and said to her, excuse me, young lady, would you do me a favor, would you stand up on the chair and climb up on my desk and she thought he was crazy but she did what he asked and she got up on top of his desk standing on top of his desk in his office and he was standing on the floor. He reached up his hand and said, not grabbed my hand, which she did. He said okay. Now pull me up and immediately he yanked her without hurting her, but he yanked her off the desk and back down onto the floor and he said to her, Mme. A believer never pulls the world up the world always pulls a believer down and how right he is. This is why God God's been telling us this for millennia. When the Israelites came in the land. This is why God said Deuteronomy 7, verse one when the Lord brings you into the land you are entering to possess and drives out before you. Many nations do not intermarry with them. Do not give your daughters to their songs or take their daughters for your sons for they will turn your children away from following me to serve other gods and the Lord's anger will burn against you and this really happens to real people. It happened to King Solomon first Kings 11 verse one knocking Solomon love many foreign women from the nations look at this concerning which the Lord had told the Israelites, you must not associate with them because they will surely turn your hearts away after other gods. The Bible says that Solomon grew old his wives turned his heart away after other gods will and that what God said was going to happen in his heart was not fully devoted to the Lord is the heart of David his father had been in the Lord was angry with Solomon because his heart had turned away from the Lord.
People have often asked me hate you think you're related to King Solomon in the Bible and my answer is I don't know but what whether I am or not. I don't want to end the way he did. He didn't end well and this is why, but friends this principle applies not just to our spouses.
It applies to all our close personal relationships are best friends are business partners, our boyfriends, our girlfriends, our mentors are therapist are roommates anyone we allow to have a major influence in our life is that allowing the sounds to me like your branding every nonbeliever on the planet is a horrible person. No, no I'm just saying what the apostle John said. First John four verse five he said they unbelievers are of the world, and therefore they speak from the viewpoint of the world. What John is saying here is because of their spiritual condition. Unbelievers are not horrible people there worldly people and that's the only kind of people they can possibly be because that's what they are. They are of the world you say so long. What are you saying that we as followers of Christ shouldn't have any contact with nonbelievers and I'm not saying that at all member what Jesus said in John 1715.
He said we are in the world were just not to be of the world folks to accomplish the great commission and to reach people for Christ. Of course we must have acquaintanceship's with folks who don't know the Lord play golf with them go out to lunch at work with them. Go to a ballgame with them. Listen to me this is what I'm saying but we must guard our hearts and not allow them to become the influencers of our lives.
That's what I'm saying is everybody understand that we say again, we must guard our hearts and not allow them to become the influencers of our life has a real simple formula friends fed company promotes bad morals, good company, promotes good morals and godly company promotes godly morals so in conclusion limit go from preaching the Medlin, and ask your question. I want to ask you, what about the people as a follower of Christ that you are the closest to.
As a follower of Christ. Are you deliberately seeking to keep company with godly people, people who will challenge you to rise higher in your walk with God.
People who will confront you about non-Christlike behavior in your life. People who will urge you on to obey God in your life instead of trying to entice you to disobey God in your life.
Remember what the Bible says it says don't be deceived folks so much of how our spiritual life goes rises and falls on this singular issue who do we let become the influencers in our life you say so what you're saying, long is that I may need a complete overhaul of my personal relationships. If I really want to grow in Christ or from a new believer, you're saying I may have to you know give up some of my personal relationships because there there taken me in the wrong direction and build all is that what you're saying.
Well I didn't is what I had to do it.
When I came to Christ. 42 years ago with this were done. Of course as a Chapel Hill and I've been a Chapel Hill for almost 6 years I came to Christ over five and the you know everybody I knew my whole life was Chapel Hill, North Carolina, in the manner led me to Christ. Of course you know his name was Bob Eckardt. After I came to Christ. He said the now you need to get baptized as it Jewish people get baptized me crazy to talk about Jesus, might be one thing, but get baptized what I did because if that's what Jesus said. That's what I did and then after I got baptized. He said now you need to leave town.
True, I said we need to leave town he salon don't you understand every relationship you have here all your old drug buddies all your old drinking buddies all your old girlfriends all your fraternity brothers.
Don't you understand every relationship you have in this town is enticing you to sin, and enticing you to disobey God and trying to lead you in the wrong direction.
You are never going to blossom here as a Christian. With all of these relationships you need to get out of Dodge.
And when you go someplace else and finally settle make a deliberate point. He told me to build a team of people around you from the very beginning walk with Christ. You know what I left town for truck around the country for a while with my dog came to Washington in 1971 and did exactly what Bob Eckardt said again, looking out for searching out and surrounding myself with people who spiritual walk was higher than mine better than mine and would challenge my and those were the friends I pick Bob Eckardt gave me one of the best pieces of advice anybody's ever given. He was so right.
If I had stayed there with all those old friendships. I would never have blossom for Christ and friends.
If you keep all the old relationships that you have right now I don't know your friends. But if they're not walking with Jesus and many of them ahead in their walk with Jesus than where you are then you know your lifecycle blossom for Christ either. Sorry you will be just like a teenager whose parents keep telling him who you hang around with is going to have a huge effect on how your life goes and friends.
I'm here on behalf of God to say what Bob Eckardt said to me, which is deliberately seek out seek out people who are Christlike and ahead of you in their walk and make them the influencers in your life had lots daughters done that things might've ended very different for the but we don't want to walk in their footsteps.
So if you need to change in friendships paid. I'm going to pray right now.
God gives you the courage to do it was a hard to break all those friendships leave Chapel Hill and start over half of course it was hard, but if we mean business with Christ willing to do it and you know what he honors so the spray heavenly father, thank you so much for challenging us today is believers in Christ regarding one of the most important teachings in the word of God that who we keep company with spiritually will have a make it break it influence on our spiritual walk.
So now I want to take a moment of quiet just for a moment and allow people here to talk to your Lord and if there some relationships that they need to change or press that case, home to even in this moment, Lord, give us the courage to do what it is that we know in our hearts you've told us to do an honor our willingness to put Christ first above friends above roommates but boyfriends and girlfriends Christ first and we pray these things in Jesus name what God's people say a man