Summary: Why should Christians remember Lot’s wife? Just like Sodom and Gomorrah, before Christ’s return, the world will be saturated with evil. Christians are warned to come out of the world and not be a part of it.
Opening illustration: If a person sees a house on fire and does everything he can to rescue the occupants, he is heralded as a hero. And that’s the way it should be. Why is it, then, that a Christian who accepts what God says in the Bible about hell and tries to warn people is ridiculed as an alarmist?
We read about a similar situation in Genesis 19, which tells of the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham’s nephew Lot was warned by God that Sodom and Gomorrah would be destroyed. He urged his sons-in-law to leave the city, but his plea fell on deaf ears because they thought he was joking (v.14). But Lot was right. Judgment did come.
One of these days God’s wrath will be poured out again on the wicked of this earth. As believers, we’ll be delivered from His wrath because our sins have been forgiven. Therefore, it’s our responsibility to do for others what someone did for us - sound the warning and give the alarm! Unbelievers must be told of the only way to escape punishment. They may ridicule our message and make fun of us, but that doesn’t change the facts.
Let’s keep working to lead people to the safety that can be found in Christ alone. This world needs more "alarmists"! Jesus is not just asking us to just remember somebody’s wife. Jesus asked us to remember Lot’s wife for a reason. There is a powerful truth and revelation that we can learn from Lot’s wife and the story behind it. So let’s go to the passage in Luke 17. Now let us turn to the story in Genesis 19 and catch up with one of the early alarmists.
Introduction: After visiting Sodom and Gomorrah, God had no doubt that the cities had reached the point of no return. The two cities were, therefore, condemned to total annihilation and only Lot his wife and two daughters would have escaped. The warning to Lot, his wife and daughters was undeniably explicit: Escape for thy life; look not behind thee neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain lest thou be consumed (Genesis 19: 17). Unfortunately, Lot’s wife dared to disregard the angelic warning, looked back and she became a pillar of salt (v. 26).
But what if God had shown her mercy and had allowed her to go on without punishing her? Certainly, that would have put into focus God’s patience and mercy, and it would have definitely prevented the scoffers from insinuating that the Judeo-Christian God is not a God of love.
Was Lot’s wife simply committing a small act of disobedience? Was she, perhaps, simply looking back because she was distraught over her children that were left behind and about to be destroyed? Unless Jesus Christ had brought meaning into this event, it might have seemed perplexing. Having been present, Christ beheld the events as they happened and was fully aware of Lot’s wife’s true motives. Thus, He warns Christians at the end of times to Remember Lot’s wife (Luke 17: 32).
Why should Christians remember Lot’s wife? Just like Sodom and Gomorrah, before Christ’s return, the world will be saturated with evil. Christians are warned to come out of the world and not be a part of it. God warns in the last book of the Bible: Come out of her my people that you are not partakers of her sin, and that you receive not of her plagues (Revelation 18: 4). To be partakers of her sins means partaking of the horrendous destruction that will befall sinful humankind at the end of times.
The warning is again explicit. Come out of sin and do not desire to return to it. He who loves the world is the enemy of God (James 4: 4) and, thus, a friend of Satan. Not heeding such a command means bringing upon oneself terrible consequences like Lot’s wife.
What to do with our past?
1. Call to quit the carnal (vs. 12 - 13)
Apostolic authority has declared Lot was a righteous man (2 Peter 2: 8), at bottom good, though he contented himself with lamenting the sins that he saw, instead of acting on his own convictions, and withdrawing himself and family from such a sink of corruption. But favor was shown him: and even his bad relatives had, for his sake, an offer of deliverance, which was ridiculed and spurned (2 Peter_3: 4).
2. Reasons for not quitting (vs. 14, 22)
Comfort zone (used to pleasing the flesh) ~ because in their carnal security they did not believe in any judgment of God (Luke_17: 28-29). If Lot had married daughters, he would undoubtedly have called upon them to escape along with their husbands, his sons-in-law. Before leaving, Lot offers his daughters to the people (presumably immoral uses) but they refuse. (Why? - were they particularly ugly?) (Is this any way for a prophet of God to act?) Lot had compromised to the point that he was almost useless to God. When he finally made a stand, nobody listened. Are we in a similar situation? To make a difference, we must first decide to be different in our faith and our conduct.