Summary: In describing Lot, we attempt to discover the description of what a true Christian looks like.

July 15, 2001 Genesis 14

“Captive to sin”


I need a volunteer. [have a volunteer come up, preferably a woman] I’m going to hand you an object, and I want you to describe it to everyone that is present here. [hand her a rock, and have her describe it, starting with what you call it] I need another volunteer. [preferably a child] I’m going to hand you something, and I want you to describe it. [hand him a peach, and have him describe it, starting with what we call it; have him bite into it to describe it further; make sure you have paper towel handy] I need one more volunteer. [get person out of the congregation, and have the people describe him] Now, I need you to describe one more thing for me. I need another volunteer. [have this final volunteer help you unroll and tape on the wall a banner on which you have printed the word “Christian”] In your head, describe what you think of as a Christian. Not necessarily Christians that you have known, but what would be true of a person who had Christ in their heart, and who was living in obedience to God. Take a minute to write at least 5 words for how you would describe a Christian. Write it down somewhere – on the back of a bulletin, a scrap of paper, your neighbor’s palm – somewhere. While you’re doing that, I want to tell you a story.

A lady came to a pastor’s office one day and said these words: “You have to help me!” She had called the pastor 20 minutes earlier on a friend’s recommendation, needing to see him. She was barely 20 years old. She started right into her story. “The man I’ve been living with moved out on me a month ago. To get back at him I’m having an affair with his best friend.” Tears began to flow down the girl’s face. She said, “I’m so torn up inside. I can’t sleep at night. I’ve got to find some peace.” The pastor asked why she had come to see him about her problems. Her reply shocked him. She said, “I’m a Christian.” When he asked what she meant by that, she said, “I love God, you know. Even went forward a couple of years ago to be born again. I believe he died on the cross and all that.” The pastor couldn’t believe his ears, especially since there seemed to be no repentance in the girl’s story and no shame about what she had been doing. He asked her if she saw any conflict between her confession of Christianity and the lifestyle she had been living. “Should I?” was her shocked response. She began to spout off excuses of why her life was the way that it was. The pastor tried to get her to see the disparity between the Christianity she professed and the life she was living. He offered her healing in Jesus from her hurts, but she didn’t want to give up her way of life. In the end, she decided she would find her peace another way. Does this woman’s life fit with your description of what a Christian is?

Every day there seems to be a new piece of information that comes out in the disappearance of Shandra Levy and her boss Rep. Gary Condit. I learned the other day that Condit was a member of one of the many Bible studies that was held there on Capitol hill. Then I learned that Mr. Condit had an affair years ago with the then 18 year old daughter of a pentecostal minister. I do not know this for a fact, but it may very well be that Mr. Condit used to go to that minister’s church. If asked, Mr. Condit would probably describe himself as a Christian. Does he fit with what your description of what a Christian is?

Bill Clinton, our former president, claims to be a Christian. He is even a member of a southern Baptist church. Knowing his actions while in office, does he fit with your description of a Christian?

I’ve got neighbors all around my house. One is on her second live-in boyfriend in the past three years. She claims to be a Christian. Another sent her two young children off to live with their grandmother and rarely ever sees them. She has men in the house all the time. It seems sometimes that there is a constant party that goes on there. She claims to be a Christian. Do these lifestyles fit with your description of a Christian?

And then there’s you. You claim Christ as your savior. You claim heaven as your home. But does your lifestyle fit with your own description or your neighbor’s description of what a Christian is?

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