How Lotís Abuse of Grace Cost Him Dearly

Genesis 12-19

 

 

September 20, 2015 AM

Pastor Craig Ledbetter

Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland

www.biblebc.com

 

I.       Introduction

 

A.    I love the Old Testament of the Bible!

 

1.      One reason I love reading the Old Testament is because it explains the NEW Testament in clear, simple ways. Its stories are full of examples (types and shadows) of Godís eternal truths, played out in the practical lives of real people a long time ago.

2.      All the Old Testament events were recorded to keep us from falling into unbelief, as Israel had. To teach us how NOT to live like Israel so often did!

 

B.     Godís Laws - Hebrews 10:28-31

 

1.      Godís Law demands exact punishments Ė for justiceís sake!

2.      Without Law, and rules and standards of right and wrong, nothing would exist. Everything operates by rules Ė even love has rules!

 

C.    Godís Justice - 2Peter 2:1-10

 

1.      Let me talk about the justice of God for a momentÖ

 

a.       Judged the angels that fell with Lucifer

b.      Didnít spare the old world in Noahís day

c.       And He turned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, making them an example

 

2.      Whether you like it or not, that is justice

 

D.    Godís Grace

 

1.      Did you notice it, snuck in there, in 2nd Peter 2:7?

2.      The grace of God delivered Lot from that destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah

 

E.     What Grace IS

 

1.      A kindness towards people (like Lot) that donít deserve it

2.      It loves, unlovely people

3.      It GIVES to people who only take

4.      It gives people second chances over and over, as they fail, over and over

5.      Thank God for His grace!

 

F.     How Grace Works

 

1.      The grace of God redirects the justice and the wrath that we all deserve, onto an innocent party Ė onto Godís very own Son

2.      So that anybody can receive the kindness and love of a perfect and all holy God

 

G.    What did the grace of God do for Lot?

 

1.      It delivered Lot Ė saved he and some of his family from certain destruction in Sodom

2.      It constantly protected, and provided for him, when he was doing wrong

3.      Thatís what grace does

 

H.    What did Lot do With Godís Grace?

 

1.      Listen to Romans 5:20; 6:1,2

2.      You would think that Lot would greatly appreciate Godís grace. That he would let it change him and make him a godly man

3.      But instead, Lot abused it Ė took advantage of it Ė improperly used it, over and over again!

4.      And that MIS-use of grace, ruined his life!

5.      It condemned him and his family to another destruction altogether

6.      And it is destroying Christian lives still to this day!

 

II.    Message

 

A.    Letís look at Godís Grace in Lotís Life:

 

1.      God graciously gave him a relationship with Abraham (Gen 12:1-5)

 

a.       God told Abraham (Abrahamís name at first) to leave his family and home and to just go where God led him and his wife Sarai

b.      Abraham was believing in the one true God of heaven and earth, and was willing to go anywhere and do anything God said to do!

c.       Lot wanted to go too (12:4)

d.      And Abraham let him come along

e.       Lot knew he needed a friend like Abraham

f.       And God allowed Lot to hang around Abraham so that Lot could learn to trust God like Abraham was!

g.      Thatís grace Ė God puts Christians around lost people so that they can learn how to get saved!

 

2.      God saved Lot, forgave him, and made him righteous

 

a.       Evidently Lot decided to believe God just like his uncle Abraham did

b.      And that child-like faith made him righteous, just like Abraham now was (Gen 15:5,6; 2Peter 2:7)

 

3.      God blessed Lot, abundantly (Gen 13:5,6)

 

a.       Left Ur with nothing, just like Abraham had

b.      But over time, he became very wealthy

 

4.      God did not hinder or stop Lot from looking at and loving Sodom (Gen 13:8-13)

 

a.       What was going on in Sodom? (Gen 13:13)

b.      Where do you think we have the word Sodomy from?

c.       Grace does not CONTROL you

d.      It lets you choose your own way!

e.       Sometimes we wonder what God is doing when He lets us sinÖ well, He is having grace with us! The LAW would arrest him. Grace lets him do what he wants!

 

5.      Lot was protected and blessed BECAUSE of faithful Abraham (Gen 14:1-3, 8-16)

 

a.       God had given Lot an Abraham, who was willing to risk everything to get his nephew out of bondage!

b.      Five foreign armies surrounded the five little city kingdoms of Sodom and Gomorrah

c.       Those five foreign armies won and took everyone away as slaves, including Lot and his entire family

d.      What do you think Grace does?

e.       I know what ďIĒ would have doneÖ ďLot deserves what he getsĒ

f.       But grace goes after the lost sheep Ė after the captive nephew

g.      Not always, but much of the time!

h.      And grace raises us people in our lives who battle for us and risk their lives for us, when God SHOULD let us to our own devices!

i.        When Abraham heard about the attack, he armed 318 of his servants and pursued the invaders. And, through God's power, he overcame those enemy kings and recovered everything: "He brought back all the goods, and also brought again his brother Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people" (verse 16).

 

6.      God made Abraham into an intercessor, who interceded FOR Lot and his family (Gen 18:20-33)

 

a.       Look at what just happened

b.      Three angels meet up with Abraham and Sarah

c.       They inform them that next year they would have a baby boy and they would name him Isaac

d.      Then 2 of the angels leave and head for Sodom where Lot lived

e.       And the remaining angel of the Lord tells Abraham, Sodom is doomed

f.       Knowing that Lot was there, Abraham began to pray, and beg God to not destroy his nephew along with the wicked

g.      The angel doesnít answer

h.      So Abraham goes into action

i.        Pleading for a backslidden, carnal, unfaithful nephew named Lot

j.        Pleading for the potential of 50 righteous, godly people

k.      Then realising that was a bit of a stretch, he pleads for the city to be spared if 45 are found there

l.        God agrees

m.    Then realising THAT was a bit too many to imagine living in Sodom, he jumps down to 40, then 30, then 20, and then 10!

n.      At that point, God says thatís as low as he would go, and leaves

o.      But just understand what just happened!!!

 

1)      Abraham pled for mercy to be shown to the city of Sodom on behalf of his nephew

2)      Do you think he cared about the people of Sodom? Not really

3)      But he cared for his backslidden, carnal, hardheaded nephew

 

p.      Thank God for parents, and grandparents, and WIVES and HUSBANDS, and MOMS and DADS and PASTORS who plead with God to spare their sons and daughters, their husbands and their wives from experiencing the righteous wrath and trouble of God!

q.      Thatís what GRACE does Ė it calls on us to pray for those who are stupid, and stubborn, and carnal, and backslidden!

 

7.      God gave Lot a family Ė a wife and precious children (Gen 19:1-8, 14,26)

 

a.       Lot experienced the great grace of God as God gave him a wife, and at least 4 daughters, with at least two of them married)

b.      A wife is a good thing (Prov 18:22), and James 1:17 says every good thing came from GOD

c.       Children are Godís gift

d.      God in His grace gave Lot, undeserving as he was, a family!

 

8.      God warned Lot to flee Sodom (Gen 19:12-15)

 

a.       Does anyone see the grace of God here?

b.      God COULD have just rained fire down upon the cities

c.       But God sent two angels to go and warn Lot to FLEE from the wrath to come!

d.      Thatís not a bad thing!

e.       Thatís the grace of God!

f.       And when a preacher or your parents warn you about that first drink, or about that wrong friend, or about Rock and Rave Music, donít you DARE think they are being mean, or angry! They are the BEST FRIEND YOU HAVE!

g.      It was the GRACE of God that started this church, that gets this preacher up behind this pulpit every Sunday to warn people and to compel them to live right and do right and get out of the worldís sin!

 

9.      God had Lot literally dragged out of Sodom (Gen 19:16,17)

 

a.       If it was me, I would have just left Lot and his family

b.      But GRACE said grab them, and drag them out of the way of the coming judgment of God

c.       Lot didnít want to leave

d.      His daughters didnít want to leave

e.       And Lotís wife certainly didnít want to leave

f.       But GRACE grabbed them anyway!

g.      Do you realise a lot of Christians love this world, and really want to live right along with this world, but the grace of God one day is going to swoop down and catch us all away, just before the judgment of God on this world called the Tribulation!

h.      God is going to rapture some unworthy, backslidden, hardhearted Christians!

i.        Because that is what GRACE DOES! Arenít you glad for GRACE?

 

10.  God allowed Lot to NOT obey and to even stay in one of the small cities that God had decided to be judged and burned to the ground (Gen 19:17-27)

 

a.       This is the weirdest thing of all about Lot

b.      The fire of God has already started to fall around him and on the five cities of SodomÖ

c.       And Lot wants to stay in the smallest city, Zoar

d.      And God LET him

 

11.  What was going on here, can only make sense if you understand Godís grace, and then see Lotís ABUSE of it!

 

B.     Now, take a look at how Lot almost always abused Godís kindness and grace towards him:

 

1.      Yes, God graciously gave him a relationship with AbrahamÖ

 

a.      Yet Lot easily and always fought him (Gen 13:6-8)

b.      Lot should never have even been included in on this trip of faith Abraham and Sarah started on!

c.       Yet here he was, in the home of faithful Abraham

d.      But he never realised how good he had it there

e.       And there are so many of us who miss the great gift we have been given by being in such living, faithful Christian homes

f.       We donít thank God for this church, and for the precious brothers and sisters that we shouldnít have, yet we do!

g.      DONíT ABUSE GRACE BY FIGHTING THE VERY PEOPLE THAT GOD GAVE YOU!

 

2.      Yes, God saved Lot, forgave him, and made him righteousÖ

 

a.      Yet Lot never grew spiritually

b.      He was till the day he died, a spiritual baby Ė a carnal, fleshly, stubborn BABY!

c.       He never walked with God, EVER!

d.      The only spiritual thing he ever did was hang around Abraham, and he only did it when it benefitted him financially!

 

3.      Yes, God blessed Lot, abundantlyÖ

 

a.      Yet Lot was never satisfied (Gen 13:9,10)

b.      Only sought treasures here on earth

c.       And was willing to go to Sodom to get them

d.      Never had a limit, or moral restraint on how he made his money, or from who!

e.       Do you?

f.       God in His grace will bless you, but He expects you to have limits on how you make your money and from who!

 

4.      God did not hinder or stop Lot from looking at and loving SodomÖ

 

a.      Lot constantly moved closer and closer to Sodom, until he lived in it (Gen 14:11,12)

b.      And then became a leader of it! Sitting in the gate, making big business and city decisions

c.       Just because God hasnít killed you yet, or stopped you from making stupid decisions is NO REASON to keep making them!

d.      Just because you are making money, and are popular and successful, means absolutely nothing, especially when it comes to the coming wrath of God!

 

5.      Lot was protected and blessed ONLY BECAUSE of faithful Abraham!

 

a.      And he never knew it! He actually ignored it!

b.      The best friends you have are those that come after you and carry you home after you have gotten yourself into trouble

c.       They are usually your parents, or your wife, or your pastor

d.      How many times have people come and bailed you out of troubles???

e.       Thatís grace!

f.       But does that mean you should just continue on sinning since they DO come help you? GOD FORBID!

 

6.      God helped Abraham intercede FOR Lot and his familyÖ

 

a.      And again, Lot never knew it

b.      Lot never imagined that he was spared simply because of the prayers of a faithful friend

c.       A load of people are alive today simply because someone that they probably donít even know about, has been interceding for them!

d.      You need to take inventory of all the people, the godly people who are probably the only reason why you and I are alive today, and thank GOD for them, and then thank THEM for do so much to keep you right and keep you free from sin!

e.       AMEN!

 

7.      Yes, God gave Lot a family Ė a wife and precious children

 

a.      Yet Lot never brought them up to fear God, or know God, or love God, or obey God (Dt 6:5-9)

b.      Never brought them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord

c.       Only showed them how to make money and live well, in the midst of such vexing sin and culture!

 

8.      God warned Lot to flee Sodom

 

a.      Yet Lot LINGERED

b.      He hesitated and tried to find a way to NOT have to obey God

c.       Like Lingering at the pub, or with the buddies, or online, or watching TV

d.      Are you starting to see a pattern of ABUSING Godís grace and kindnesses towards him???

 

9.      God had Lot dragged out of Sodom

 

a.      And yet Lot wanted to stay as close to Sodom as possible

b.      Isnít that just like US?

 

1)      Want to KEEP a few of the old friends

2)      Want to NOT have to give up a unsaved and ungodly boyfriend or girlfriend

3)      Want to hold onto their secret sins

4)      Want to stay as close to our own sin, and sinful attitudes and lusts as possible!

 

c.       Lot had a deep spiritual problem:

 

1)      He was bound by an invisible cord to Sodom!

2)      The vile city had a hold on his heart. And Lot couldn't break loose from it, despite the continual decay of his soul:

3)      "For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds" (2 Peter 2:8).

 

d.      Now, Lot knew better than to remain in Sodom. The Bible says in Psalm 1:1, "Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful".

e.       Lot should have decided, "That's it - I've got to get out of here! If I stay any longer, this iniquity will lay hold of me. It will cost me my life!" But he never had the willpower to go.

f.       God had already given Lot at least one opportunity to leave.

 

1)      Back in Genesis 14, when army of kings invaded Sodom and Gomorrah, looting the cities and taking the people captive. Lot and his family were among those captured (see Genesis 14:12).

2)      Lot had received supernatural deliverance from Sodom. But instead of leaving the wicked city, he went straight back to it!

3)      And it took two of Godís mighty angels, pulling with all their might, to get Lot his wife and his two daughters OUT of Sodom before the fire of God fell!

 

10.  God allowed Lot to NOT obey and to even stay in one of the small cities that God had decided to be judged and burned to the ground

 

a.      And so Lot lost everything

b.      Including his wife, his children

c.       And I believe his own mind!

d.      He was a drunkard till the day he died, full of regret

 

C.    Let that reality sink inÖ

 

1.      Lot LOST just about EVERYTHING

 

a.       His wife

b.      His family

c.       His wealth and fortune

d.      His sanity

 

2.      Everything except his soul Ė what a waste!

3.      Tell me, do you think it was worth it, constantly having grace given to you, and mis-treating it, and abusing it, and wasting it?

4.      GOD FORBID!

 

III. Conclusion

 

A.    Listen again to Romans 5:20; 6:1,2; but this time read 6:14-18

B.     Would you agree thatÖ

 

1.      Lot was given much grace and kindness and mercy from God, throughout his life?

2.      And that Lot constantly took that grace and abused it, misused it, and ignored it?

3.      And what had been Godís great HELP, actually became Lotís ruin? Simply because he never realised what God was saving him FROM, and how GOOD God was being to him!

 

C.     What lessons MUST we learn? Can we learn from Lot? We had BETTER!

 

1.      That GRACE  is not a license, a right, a freedom to do as we please now that we are saved

2.      That GRACE does not mean that God approves of what we are doing, or how we are living simply because He is not now judging us

3.      That we are more likely to abuse grace than allow it to help us

4.      That God is usually, constantly behind the scenes, taking very good care of us, and we donít notice, or care!

5.      That at any time, we can humble ourselves, and start yielding by faith, to Godís instructions, and end up better off than we will ever deserve!

6.      That the same grace that SAVES a sinner, can always DELIVER that believer from all temptations!

 

D.    To Receive Godís GraceÖ

 

1.      God is already being gracious to you and me! Constantly being good to us who donít deserve it!

2.      It is simply because of God being good, that you are sitting in church, and allowed to still be alive, after all the wicked, hardhearted sins that occupy your heart

3.      In His grace, He invites you now, just like He did ME 35 years ago, to cry out to Jesus Christ, who was crucified in all our places, so any and all could be forgiven!

4.      Would you like to be saved from the righteous wrath of Almighty God?

5.      There is a way. By calling upon ONE name Ė not Maryís, not Pope Francis, not your grandmotherís name, not St Anthony, NO! Only Jesus can hear you, and only Jesus DIED for you, and only Jesus can save you right now, IF you will believe that He did it all!

6.      Ephesians 2:8,9