BY PASTOR T. O. BANSO
“And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed. In that day, he who is on the housetop, and his goods are in the house, let him not come down to take them away. And likewise the one who is in the field, let him not turn back. Remember Lot’s wife” (Luke 17:26-32 NKJV).
The above Scripture is a reference to life in the days of Noah and Lot. In the days of Noah, people were eating, drinking and marrying, before the flood washed away that generation. And, in the days of Lot, the people were eating, drinking and engaging in commerce, farming and building but suddenly God’s rain of fire consumed Sodom and Gomorrah.
Jesus warned in verse 32, “Remember Lot’s wife.” Like a drama, Lot and his family were separated from all they had laboured for and acquired in Sodom. They were not permitted to take anything out except themselves! “Then the men said to Lot, ‘Have you anyone else here? Son-in-law, your sons, your daughters, and whomever you have in the city — take them out of this place! For we will destroy this place, because the outcry against them has grown great before the face of the LORD, and the LORD has sent us to destroy it’” (Gen 19:12-13 NKJV). Verse 15 says, “When the morning dawned, the angels urged Lot to hurry, saying, ‘Arise, take your wife and your two daughters who are here, lest you be consumed in the punishment of the city’” (NKJV).
The angels, who came to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, actually dragged Lot and his family out of the city, because Lot was lingering; he was foot dragging; he was hesitating. Verse 16 says, “When Lot still hesitated, the angels seized his hand and the hands of his wife and two daughters and rushed them to safety outside the city, for the LORD was merciful” (NLT).
The entire life-time investment of Lot and the family was in Sodom. They were about to lose everything; therefore, they were unwilling to escape from the city that God was about to destroy.
The angels (men) told Lot (and the family) “Escape for your life! Do not look behind you nor stay anywhere in the plain. Escape to the mountains, lest you be destroyed” (Gen 19:17 NKJV). However, verse 26 says Lot’s wife “looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt” (KJV). This is tragic! Why did she look back despite God’s mercy that Lot and his family had received? God had exempted them from the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah as a result of Abraham’s intercession. It was because the treasure of Lot’s wife was in Sodom, and she couldn’t help thinking about what she was going to leave behind – all lost. The consequence was that she became a pillar of salt. Mrs. Lot lost her treasure and lost her life!
This is a lesson for everyone alive today, especially Christians who are entangled in the affairs of this world to the detriment of their souls. 2 Tim 2:4-5 warns, “And as Christ’s soldier, do not let yourself become tied up in the affairs of this life, for then you cannot satisfy the one who has enlisted you in his army” (NLT). Hear Jesus’ warning: “Watch out! Don’t let me find you living in careless ease and drunkenness, and filled with the worries of this life. Don’t let that day catch you unaware, as in a trap. For that day will come upon everyone living on the earth. Keep a constant watch. And pray that, if possible, you may escape these horrors and stand before the Son of Man” (Luke 21:34-36 NLT). You may not be guilty of careless ease (carousing) and drunkenness, but what of the worries of life?
Instead of escaping to the mountain that the angels told Lot to go, he bargained to escape to a city near Sodom, Zoar. “‘I cannot escape to the mountains, lest some evil overtake me and I die. See now, this city is near enough to flee to, and it is a little one; please let me escape there (is it not a little one?) and my soul shall live,’ Lot pleaded” (Gen 19:19-20 NKJV). May be Lot was thinking of returning to Sodom if really nothing happened to Sodom or if the destruction the angels spoke about was not much.
But after the destruction of Sodom, the same Lot left Zoar and went to the mountains and dwelled in a cave with his daughters. In the cave, Lot must have been depressed by the loss of all that he labored for in Sodom. More importantly, he must have been depressed by the loss of his wife who became a pillar of salt, because she looked back contrary to the angels’ instruction. In that pitiable condition, his two virgin daughters got him drunk and made him impregnate them on the pretext that there wasn’t a man anywhere in that area for them to marry. It is unlikely that this evil would have happened if Lot’s wife had been around. These daughters left Sodom but Sodom was still in them.
Don’t look back
Remember Lot’s wife. The deceitfulness of riches caused Mrs. Lot to look back, instead of focusing on the journey to escape the fire that was to consume Sodom and Gomorrah. I can’t find any other explanation for this sin. Mark 4:19 warns against the worries of life, deceitfulness of riches and the desire for other things entering a man’s heart to choke the word such that it becomes unfruitful.
Why look back? By looking back, Lot’s wife disqualified herself from salvation from the impending doom. Jesus says, “Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God”(Luke 9:62 NLT). Don’t look back. Lot’s wife looked back and lost the salvation God had prepared for her.
If you look back, you may go back to your former sins, to your old ways of life, to the sinful lifestyle you were delivered from; you’ll be like a dog returning to its vomit, and that’s foolishness. “As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his folly” (Prov 26:11 NLT). Remember Lots wife. Anyone who returns to his vomit will wallow in it. “Let her stagger and fall like a drunkard, for she has rebelled against the LORD. Moab will wallow in her own vomit, ridiculed by all” (Jer 48:26 NLT). And his latter end shall be worse than the former (2 Peter 2: 20-22). That shall not be your portion.
The children of Israel, in their hearts, turned back to Egypt (Exo 32:1; Acts 7:39). Eventually, majority of them didn’t make it to the Promised Land; they died in the wilderness because of their rebellion.
Lot’s wife should have put Sodom behind her and not look back. There are things you must put behind you if you must get to your Promised Land. Otherwise, they’ll hinder you. Remember Lot’s wife. You must forget the old city of sin and follow God to the new city He’s prepared for you (Rev 21:1, 22-27, 22:14-15; Isa 65:17, 66:22).
If any man is in Christ, he is a new creature, old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new (2 Cor 5:17). Paul had to forget some things behind him and pressed forward to those things which were ahead (Phil 3:13). Remember Lot’s wife.
Live like a pilgrim
The Bible says, “All these faithful ones died without receiving what God had promised them, but they saw it all from a distance and welcomed the promises of God. They agreed that they were no more than foreigners and nomads here on earth. And obviously people who talk like that are looking forward to a country they can call their own. If they had meant the country they came from, they would have found a way to go back. But they were looking for a better place, a heavenly homeland. That is why God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a heavenly city for them” (Heb 11:13-16 NLT). These faithful ones lived as pilgrims on earth. You too must live as a pilgrim (1Peter 2:11). You don’t belong to this earth as it in its present form. You’re a citizen of Heaven (Phil 3:20). Remember Lot’s wife.
Don’t love the world
Don’t love this world or the things in it. You can’t love the world and love of the Father at the same time. All that is in the world — the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life — is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but only he who does the will of God abides forever (1 John 2:15-17).
Learn from Demas who became an ex-minister of the Gospel and possibly an ex-Christian. Apostle Paul said of him, “Demas has deserted me because he loves the things of this life and has gone to Thessalonica” (2 Tim 4:10 NLT). Remember Lot’s wife.
Don’t be engrossed in the things of this world. Don’t hold tightly the things of this world. “Those in frequent contact with the things of the world should make good use of them without becoming attached to them, for this world and all it contains will pass away” (1 Cor 7:31 NLT). Don’t pursue anything on this earth to the point that you miss eternity with God. You can’t serve two masters (Matt 6:24; Luke 16:13).
What profit can you make that will compensate for the loss of your soul? “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Mark 8:36-37 NKJV) Matt 16:26 says a similar thing. Beware of greed. The life of a man does not consist in the abundance of his possession (Luke 12:15).
Don’t be like Esau who mortgaged his future for a plate of food. He later wept bitterly for it, but repentance was too late for him (Heb 12:16-17).
Learn from the stories of others
Don’t be like Adam and Eve who lost the Garden of Eden because of one fruit. Be like Moses who counted the throne of Egypt as nothing. “By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward” (Heb 11:24-26 NKJV).
Be like that merchant who sold everything he had to buy beautiful pearls. “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it” (Matt 13:45-46 NKJV). He valued the beautiful pearls more than all that he had. Lot’s wife didn’t value her salvation from Sodom more than the city’s riches.
Do not be like the rich fool who was selfish and failed to lay up his treasure in heaven. He was not rich towards God and died without enjoying the abundance he had planned to gather to enjoy alone. Luke 12:16-21 tells us the sad story of this foolish man: “Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: ‘The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’ So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. And I will say to my soul, ‘Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’ ‘So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God’” (NKJV).
Learn from the story of this rich fool and lay up your treasure in heaven. Remember that where your treasure is, that’s where your heart will be (Matt 6:21; Luke 12:34).
Don’t be deceived and captivated by the beautiful things of this world. They are not dependable and not worth the loss of your soul. Ps 49:10-14 says, “Those who are wise must finally die, just like the foolish and senseless, leaving all their wealth behind. The grave is their eternal home, where they will stay forever. They may name their estates after themselves, but they leave their wealth to others. They will not last long despite their riches — they will die like the animals. This is the fate of fools, though they will be remembered as being so wise. Like sheep, they are led to the grave, where death will be their shepherd” (NLT).
According to Ps 39:6, “We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing. We heap up wealth for someone else to spend” (NLT). Prov 23:4-5 warns, “Don’t weary yourself trying to get rich. Why waste your time? For riches can disappear as though they had the wings of a bird!” (NLT). This is a well proven truth.
Where will you spend your eternity?
Remember Lot’s wife. Death can come at any time, and the rapture, the return of Jesus in the sky, can take place at any time (1Thess 4:16-17). Remember your maker now and be reconciled to Him.
If you die today, where will you spend your eternity? After all, those that are younger than you are dying every day. If the rapture takes place today, are you sure you won’t be left behind? “When the Son of Man returns, it will be like it was in Noah’s day. In those days before the Flood, the people were enjoying banquets and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat. People didn’t realize what was going to happen until the Flood came and swept them all away. That is the way it will be when the Son of Man comes. Two men will be working together in the field; one will be taken, the other left. Two women will be grinding flour at the mill; one will be taken, the other left So be prepared, because you don’t know what day your Lord is coming. Know this: A homeowner who knew exactly when a burglar was coming would stay alert and not permit the house to be broken into. You also must be ready all the time. For the Son of Man will come when least expected” (Matt 24:37-44 NLT).
You may be born again but aren’t you looking back like the wife of Lot? Stop looking back. Look unto Jesus, the author and the finisher of your faith (Heb 12:2) Remember Lot’s wife.
If you’re not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus. I urge you to take the following steps:*Admit you’re a sinner and you can’t save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start to attend a Bible-believing, Bible -teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I confess Jesus as my LORD and Saviour and surrender my life to him today. I invite Jesus into my heart today. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you’ve said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You’ll need to join a Bible-believing, Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you.
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
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