REMEMBER LOT'S WIFE
Scripture Text: Luke 17:32 "Remember Lot's Wife".
During His public ministry here on earth, the Lord Jesus Christ made many significant statements which should be remembered by all of us. However, the statement in our text is so important that He clearly exhorts us to "Remember" someone. Yes, just three words in our text, but He wants us not to forget them so He declares, "Remember Lot's wife."
Friend, He could have asked us to remember many important events such as the biblical account of creation; the rebellion and sin of our first parents, Adam and Eve; the cause and result of the great flood of Noah's day; or the Passover and deliverance of God's people, Israel, from their Egyptian bondage; etc.... But instead, He asks us to remember an incident, far less memorable, that happened about 1900 years before He was born of the virgin called Mary.
I believe that the key to His utterance is found in the context of that utterance. In Luke chapter 17, He is telling His disciples of the conditions that will exist in the future when He returns in power and glory. He tells them that He must first suffer and be rejected, then He says beginning at verse 26, "And as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of Man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; but the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from Heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed." Then when we come to verse 32 the Lord Jesus Christ faithfully warns us with these words--"Remember Lot's Wife !"
Now friend, let me tell you very briefly what lies behind these three words recorded in Luke 17:32. Back in Genesis chapter 18, God is speaking to His friend, Abraham, and He is telling him about His intentions of destroying the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah because the inhabitants were living in gross sin and rebellion to the will of God. When Abraham heard what God was about to do, he pleaded with God to spare the city of Sodom if 50 righteous people could be found living there. God, being a just, righteous, and Holy God, agreed to spare the city if 50 righteous people were living there. Then Abraham, realizing the improbability of 50 righteous people living in Sodom, asked God if He would spare the city if there were only 45 righteous people living in Sodom. Of course, God agreed, and Abraham continued to widen the gap between judgment and grace by interceding on behalf of a possible 40, 30, 20 and finally 10 righteous souls living in Sodom.
Well, it turned out that there were not even 10 righteous people living there so God, being just and gracious, sent two angels to warn Lot, his wife, his two daughters and their husbands, of the coming judgment of God. The sons-in-law mocked at the warning and finally perished, but the two angels led Lot, his wife and two daughters from the doomed city with the warning not to look back. We read in Genesis 19:26 that Lot's wife rebelled against the word of God and she looked back, and she was immediately turned into a pillar of salt. Friend, I'm sure that you see now why the Lord Jesus Christ faithfully warns us to--"Remember Lot's wife !"
Just in case that there is still some doubt in your mind as to why the Lord uttered these words, let me tell you, very briefly, if you're still unsaved, why you should "Remember Lot's wife!"
And in doing so, I want you to see the analogy between the condition of Lot's wife, and you who are still unsaved and unsheltered by the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.
(1) First of all, it is very important that we pause for a few moments to fully realize who it was that made the momentous statement--"Remember Lot's wife !" It was said by no mere man, but rather by God's beloved Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Friend, when the Lord Jesus Christ speaks, we should pay very strict attention to what He says. It can truthfully be said that He never uttered a superfluous word, because everything He ever said was very important.
In Matthew 17:5 we hear God declare, "This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well- pleased; HEAR YE HIM." So it is quite evident that God wants us to listen to what His Son has to say. Therefore, if for no other reason, we should "Remember Lot's wife" because these three words of exhortation are given by none other than the Lord Jesus Christ, God's Son.
(2) Secondly, we notice that Lot's wife was the object of intercession. Abraham had pleaded long and hard for those who lived in the cities of the plain, including Sodom and Gomorrah. He knew that God would destroy the cities just as He had promised. Friend, Abraham had a burden for lost souls, and that's why he was interceding, not only on behalf of Lot's family, but also on behalf of others who were about to perish under the omnipotent hand of God's wrath.
Friend, whether you realize it or not, you are the object of much prayer and supplication before the throne of God's grace. Yes, thousands of people all over the world are even now praying for your soul. They don't know your name, nor where you live, but they are earnestly praying that you'll hear the Gospel and that you'll trust in Jesus Christ, alone, to save your precious soul. Yes, would that you were just as concerned about your soul as others are. Furthermore, you can stop reading this Gospel message if you wish, but you can't stop me, and other Christians, from praying for you.
Perhaps you've been raised in a Christian home where there were prayers, and the word of God was honored and read faithfully everyday, or every night before you went to bed. Friend, you'll never know how many times your Christian parents have prayed and wept for you, and pleaded with God to spare your soul until you got "saved". Many of you were prayed for before your eyes met the light of day, but you are still on your way to eternal damnation and separation from a loving God. Friend, it is better never to have heard the Gospel at all, than to hear it and reject it!
Just as my parents prayed for me, your parents prayed that you too would become a child of God, before you got into the worldly activities with all of their tinsel and superficial pleasures which would ultimately lead you into Hell. Friend, you should "Remember Lot's wife" because you, like her, are the object of intercession before the throne of God.
(3) The third reason why you should "Remember Lot's wife" is because she was living in a sinful world. Friend, you also are living in a world that is becoming increasingly evil everyday. The moral fibre upon which this great nation of ours was founded has now reached the breaking point. The grossest of sins, once reserved for the vilest of sinners, have now been elevated to the realm of respectability. Homosexuality, same sex marriages, trading of spouses, pre-marital sex, "cross dressing"and "free love" have been accepted by more and more people as merely an "alternative life style".
In the past few years, millions of people worldwide have died of the dread sexual disease called "AIDS". And billions of dollars are being spent to find a CURE for the disease, but very few people dare to talk about the CAUSE ! Why? Because, apart from babies who were born with the disease, THE CAUSE IS S-I-N, SIN ! Get rid of the CAUSE, and you won't need a CURE !
Further evidence that we're living in a terribly sinful world can be found in other ways, including the sad fact that (a) Millions of babies have been, and continue to be, legally murdered in their mother's womb. (b) Recent surveys have shown that the vast majority of our young people today admit that they lie, cheat, steal, drink alcoholic beverages, use harmful drugs, and commit other such transgressions against the spiritual and moral standards set forth in the Bible, the word of God. (c) Even many of our hymns of worship, written by God-fearing Christians, have been so emaciated by "rapping" juke-box cowboys, that they have been lowered to the level of "jungle jive". (d) And there are many churches today where the sermons are no longer spiritual or scriptural, but are filled with the political, economical or social problems of the day, and which have hyper-sensual musical programs which must bring a stench to the nostrils of God. (e) And furthermore, most of our young people these days show a gross lack of serious respect for authority, whether it is in the home, the school, or in their Government.
Yes, my friend, this world in which we live is fast-ripening for the judgment of God; just as Sodom and Gomorrah were boldly exposed to the fiery wrath of a sin-hating Creator, in the days of Lot and his family. And that's the reason why , if you're still unsaved and on the broad road that leads to Hell, you should "Remember Lot's wife !"
(4) The next fact that you should remember about Lot's wife is that she was warned of her danger and coming judgment. God had sent two angels to escort Lot's family from the doomed city. And friend, that's the reason I have this web site; and that's the reason I've been a radio evangelist for 50 years. I'm trying as best I can, with the help of the Holy Spirit and word of God, to warn people that if they don't accept the love of God, then they will surely suffer the wrath of God. In Ezekiel 33:7 God says, "warn them from Me." Yes, I'm telling you, and warning you, in love for your soul, that if you don't accept the Lord Jesus Christ as your own and personal Saviour, then you most certainly will spend all eternity in Hell, and the ultimate Lake of Fire. The choice is up to you! And friend, there is something else you should remember, and that is the fact that it may make a difference for all ETERNITY, what your choice will be TODAY.
Perhaps the reader believes that they have plenty of time to think about where they will be in eternity. Listen my friend, there are millions of souls in Hell even now who had expected to get saved "someday", but they were cut down unexpectedly and now they're weeping and wailing and gnashing their teeth. In Proverbs 27:1 God warns, "Boast not thyself of tomorrow, for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth." Over in Proverbs 29:1 God again warns, "He that being often reproved (or warned) hardeneth his neck; shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy." Friend, if you die unsaved, there is no "second chance" beyond the grave.
So friend, that's another reason why you should "Remember Lot's wife". She was warned, but she perished; and you have been warned too, and you'll also perish unless you heed the warning to flee from coming wrath. So please don't "put it off". In II Corinthians 6:2 we read, "Behold, now is the accepted time; Behold, now is the day of salvation."
(5) Still another reason why you should "Remember Lot's wife" is because she perished, even though she was the wife of a "just" and "righteous man".(II Peter 2:7,8) Yes, they were as close as two people could possibly be to each other, yet she perished under the wrath of God. And today, Lot is in Heaven but his wife is in Hell. Sad and solemn thought, is it not ?
Friend, are you resting your hopes for being in Heaven upon the fact that your spouse is a Christian? Or are you depending upon your associations with other professing Christians in a so-called "fundamental church" to gain you eternal favor in God's sight? If so, forget it !
Friend, salvation is a very personal matter. In fact, nothing can be more personal than your relationship to God. And if you, as an individual, have never been "born again" through faith in the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, alone, then you, as an individual, will be doomed and damned forever, regardless of your ancestry, your heritage, your present relationships, or anything else. Sad to say, I've known some preachers of the Gospel who saw hundreds of souls saved through their ministry, and yet, their own children of responsible ages died in accidents without having professed faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. It must have been grievous for them, at times, to continue their faithful ministry of preaching the Gospel.
Listen, if relationships or associations could save a soul, then Judas would not be in Hell today. Judas was thought to be so trustworthy by the other disciples, that he was designated to take care of the limited finances of the 12 disciples. He had seen the Lord perform many miracles, giving sight to the blind and even raising the dead, yet he betrayed the Lord Jesus Christ for a mere "30 pieces of silver".
(6) Now another reason why you should "Remember Lot's wife" is because she made an enforced effort to be saved. Unlike her sons-in-law, who made no effort to escape the wrath of God, and thus perished, Lot's wife actually left Sodom, in the hand of an angel, and headed in the right direction. And that's the case with many people today. They're willing, even with a little coercion, to make some effort to be saved as long as it doesn't conflict with their own innate, ultimate wishes and desires. They're willing to reform, or to "turn over a new leaf", or to be baptized, and even join a church, but they are not willing to accept the whole word of God. They are not willing to be "saved, converted or born again" by the Spirit and word of God, and to live for the One Who died for their sins at Calvary.
Friend, stopping your drinking, swearing, lying, gambling, drug addiction, or any other harmful and sinful activity, will never save your soul. No, getting "religious" and changing your over-all way of living, will never take you to Heaven. If it could, then answer this question - Why did the Lord Jesus Christ die the cruel, shameful, and agonizing death of Calvary's cross if you and I could do anything to save our own souls ? No, we're not saved by what we have done, or ever could do, but rather by having simple faith in what the Lord Jesus Christ has already done for us at Calvary.
Lot's wife took a step in the right direction. She was separating herself from sinful surroundings, even though she was being led away by the angels to do so. And friend, this leads us to the conclusion that we should "Remember Lot's wife" because even though she acknowledged the presence of sin, and even though she made an effort to separate herself from it's influence, and tried to save herself -- she perished when she defied the command from God's messengers in Genesis 19:17, "Escape for thy life; LOOK NOT BEHIND THEE, ... lest thou be consumed."
(7) And that leads us to the final, and perhaps the most important reason why we should "Remember Lot's wife", and that is, because she committed the one sin of disobeying the warning of God. When Lot , his wife, and their two daughters were led out of Sodom, they were warned not to look back. They were to turn their backs forever against the cities of sin, but just as they reached the little town of Zoar, Lot's wife turned and looked back. She was out of Sodom -- but Sodom was not out of her, because her heart was still there. And when she did look back, she was immediately turned into a pillar of salt. Yes, she not only lost her life, but she also lost her soul. Therefore, we shouldn't wonder why the Lord Jesus Christ warns us, even now, to "Remember Lot's wife !"
The turning back to look at the city by Lot's wife can speak to us of three distinct factors concerning the salvation of the soul. First of all, it teaches us that rebellion to the word and will of God can result in death and destruction. Secondly, it speaks to us of those who almost accept God's offer of mercy, but eventually turn back because of their love for the world and it's sinful pleasures. And thirdly, it speaks of those who have a mere profession of faith in Christ, without a possession of Christ as their Saviour and Lord.
From outward appearances, Lot's wife had respect for the word of God's servants, the two angels, but it didn't take long for her to show her true colors. And so it is with you who have a "profession" without "possession". Sure, you have a verse of scripture; an apparent date and place of conversion; and may even look like, talk like, and associate with true Christians, but friend, have you ever really experienced the "new birth"? Have you been "born again" by the Spirit and word of God from above ?
I've met many people, down through the years, who are living a life that would put true Christians to shame, but they have never been "born again" into God's family by the Holy Spirit and word of God. And remember that the Lord Jesus Christ makes it quite emphatic in John 3:3, "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God." Friend, have you really experienced the "new birth"?
Now please don't misunderstand me. I'm not trying to plant the seeds of doubt or suspicion in your mind, because if you're really saved, you can't be unsaved, but we're dealing with eternal matters of the gravest importance, and I want to be sure that you don't make the same mistake that was made by Lot's wife. If you're really saved, then you're as sure of being in Heaven as though you were already walking the street of gold. On the other hand, if you neglect or reject God's salvation , you may die in your sins, and you'll spend all eternity in the flames of Hell---with guess who ?---Lot's wife !
In conclusion, let me tell anyone and everyone reading this message how you can be sure of being in Heaven when you die, or when the Lord comes. It's as simple as A-B-C
Friend, I have sought, with the imperative help of the Holy Spirit and word of God, to bring before you some pertinent, relative, and important facts concerning the warning given by the Lord Jesus Christ when He said in Luke 17:32--"REMEMBER LOT'S WIFE !" Now I plead with you, in love for your soul, and in view of eternity, to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as your own and personal Saviour, because if you do, you'll be saved, not only for time, but for all eternity - AND REMEMBER, MY FRIEND, THIS IS FOR ETERNITY!
Evangelist: Minor C. Hawk