- Sermon Notes
Never Look Back
January 2-3, 2021
1. Have you ever found a bargain deal so amazing that you immediately went for it?
2. Spiritually speaking, have you ever stopped to consider the amazing gift the Lord has offered to us?
a. The forgiveness of all our sin.
b. Heaven not Hell.
3. Have you ever stopped to consider God’s command to leave your past behind to live a pure and righteous life?
4. Or have you ever noticed how people tend to hesitate when it comes to leaving their sin behind?
5. They know the truth; that sin ultimately brings death, but they fail to experience the victory over sin that Christ offers.
6. Today, we are going to look at a passage that is a sobering wake-up call.
7. God recorded this passage in His Word so that we might learn from the mistakes of others; to learn what it means to Never Look Back as we wholeheartedly pursue those things which promise and truly give us life to the full.
1. In Genesis 18, the Lord, a pre-incarnate appearance of Jesus, along with two angels appeared to Abraham before they traveled to Sodom and Gomorrah.
2. After enjoying the meal that Abraham had prepared, the three visitors rose to leave.
3. But before they left, the Lord confided in Abraham about Sodom’s pending judgment, just as a person would confide in a friend.
4. By doing so, the Lord gave Abraham an opportunity to intercede for the wicked city.
5. Abraham appealed to God’s justice and asked the Lord to spare the city if He found ten righteous people within the city limits.
6. In response, Lord promised to spare the city if He found just ten righteous citizens residing there.
7. Sadly, the two angels did not find ten because Sodom was a wicked city, worthy of divine judgment. (Genesis 19:1-14)
8. At that point, Lot and his family also stood condemned. Lot should have been lumped in with the whole lot of them.
9. But God had mercy on Lot because of Abraham. (16, 29)
Transition – How did Lot and his family respond to the outpouring of God’s mercy?
• Frankly, the answer will shock you.
• First, let’s look at Lot and his response.
I. Never Hesitate to Flee from Sin (15-22)
ILLUS – There are some things in life worth lingering over.
A. There is a revelation in a hesitation (15-19)
ILLUS – Asking a girl out for a cup of coffee.
1. It was the morning of destruction and deliverance.
2. But something was wrong. The two angels had to urge Lot to leave. (15)
a. How could Lot and his family sleep the night before judgment day?
b. Why weren’t they getting ready to flee?
3. Not only were they slow in getting ready, Lot hesitated when it was time to leave. (16)
a. Was he struggling over what to wear?
b. Or was he already missing what he was about to leave behind?
o His possessions and creature comforts
o His popularity and respect
4. The angels had to seize them by their hands. (16)
a. “Brought him out”
b. “Put him outside the city”
c. “for the compassion of the Lord was upon him”
5. But it got worse. Lot actually argued about his final destination. (17-20)
Transition – Why did Lot and his family drag their heels? The answer is obvious. . .
B. You are what you eat
APPL – Unfortunately, some people go back for seconds when they should not have taken a bite in the first place.
1. Lot had been eating from the wrong table for far too long.
2. The Bible makes it clear that Lot had been living by sight and satisfying his flesh for quite a while.
Genesis 13:10-11, And Lot lifted up his eyes and saw all the valley of the Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere – this was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah – like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt as you go to Zoar. So Lot chose for himself all the valley of the Jordan; and Lot journeyed eastward.
3. When faith is put on the “proverbial” shelf, a void is created which is quickly filled by worldly things.
4. Look at the progression in Lot’s life after he moved away from his uncle Abraham:
a. Genesis 13:12, Lot “moved his tents as far as Sodom.”
b. Genesis 14:12, Lot “was living in Sodom.”
c. Genesis 19:1, Lot was “sitting in the gate of Sodom.”
d. Genesis 19:2, Lot owned a home in Sodom.
5. The angels were able to take Lot out of Sodom, but they could not get Sodom out of Lot.
APPL – How do we get the world out of us?
• First, we need to understand what it means to be a friend of the world.
James 4:4, You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
• James used the word “adultery” because idolatry is adultery.
• Second, we must love God wholeheartedly
1 John 2:15-17, Do not love the world, nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. And the world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God abides forever.
Transition – Now, let’s look at the response of Lot’s wife.
II. Be Careful Little Eyes What You See (23-26)
ILLUS – Songs for Malina.
ILLUS – 3 monkeys on my desk.
APPL – How many lives have been ruined by one more look?
Transition – Is one more look worth it? When temptation comes knocking, we must ask ourselves. . .
A. What am I looking for? (26)
1. Lot hesitated but his wife lingered.
2. She slowed down and fell behind as she began to think about Sodom.
3. She was not rejoicing over God’s mercy, that her family was delivered from divine judgment.
a. She started to think about the “good life” back in Sodom.
b. And when she could not take it any longer, she turned around and was immediately turned into a pillar of salt. (26)
4. She had been warned by the angels to not turn around lest she be swept away. (17)
a. What was she looking for?
b. What was she hoping to gain from one more look?
APPL – We must ask ourselves the same questions.
• What am I looking for?
• What is so great about sin that I need to turn around and sneak one more peek?
Romans 6:21, Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death.
APPL – Conversely, what is so bad about righteousness that we do not pursue it more aggressively and persistently?
Romans 6:22, But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life.
APPL – Daily, we must resolve in our hearts to flee youthful lusts and pursue godliness without hesitation.
2 Timothy 2:22, Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.
B. Fix your eyes on Jesus (27-29)
1. Abraham also looked upon the city, but he was not turned into a pillar of salt. Why?
2. Unlike Lot’s wife, Abraham’s look was one of concern for his nephew and family.
a. He wanted nothing of or from that city.
b. He was waiting for a better place, the city “whose architect and builder is God.”
Hebrews 11:9-10, By faith he lived as an alien in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs of the same promise; for he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.
APPL – The mistakes made by Lot and his wife can easily become our mistakes if we do not pay attention.
• The consequences are devastating.
• But God offers us the best deal.
• Life to the full through His Son, Jesus Christ.
• The choice is yours.
• Each of us must answer two questions:
o Will you be a friend of this world?
o Or will you be a friend of God?
Hebrews 12:1-2, Let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith
Genesis 19:15-29 NASB
15 When morning dawned, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Up, take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away in the [a]punishment of the city.” 16 But he hesitated. So the men grasped his hand and the hand of his wife and the [b]hands of his two daughters, because the compassion of the Lord was upon him; and they brought him out and put him outside the city. 17 When they had brought them outside, [c]one said, “Escape for your life! Do not look behind you, and do not stay [d]anywhere in the surrounding area; escape to the [e]mountains, or you will be swept away.” 18 But Lot said to them, “Oh no, my lords! 19 Now behold, your servant has found favor in your sight, and you have magnified your compassion, which you have shown me by saving my life; but I cannot escape to the [f]mountains, for the disaster will overtake me and I will die; 20 now behold, this town is near enough to flee to, and it is small. Please, let me escape there (is it not small?) [g]so that my life may be saved.” 21 And he said to him, “Behold, I grant you this [h]request also, not to overthrow the town of which you have spoken. 22 Hurry, escape there, for I cannot do anything until you arrive there.” Therefore the town was named [i]Zoar.
23 The sun had risen over the earth when Lot came to Zoar. 24 Then the Lord rained brimstone and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah from the Lord out of heaven, 25 and He overthrew those cities, and all the surrounding area, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground. 26 But [j]Lot’s wife, from behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.
27 Now Abraham got up early in the morning and went to the place where he had stood before the Lord; 28 and he looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the surrounding area; and [k]behold, he saw the smoke of the land ascended like the smoke of a [l]furnace.
29 So it came about, when God destroyed the cities of the surrounding area, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the destruction, when He overthrew the cities in which Lot had lived.