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Summary: At years end everyone looks back. When Chrsitians should and when they should not look back.

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To Look Back Or Not To Look Back, That is the Question.

Gen 19:17; And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.

1 Chron 16:11-12; Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually. Remember his marvellous works that he hath done, his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth;

Ps 42:4-6; “When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday. Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance. O my God, my soul is cast down within me: therefore will I remember thee from the land of Jordan, and of the Hermonites, from the hill Mizar.

To be, or not to be: that is the question: This much quoted line from the third act of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet continues with….

“Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing end them?” PROMPTS THE THOUGHT OF TODAY’S SERMON; To Look Back Or Not To Look Back, That is the Question.

The following an interesting if not enlightening indicator of our national thinking as gleaned from the Nations most used internet search engine GOOGLE:

Popular Queries 2004

1. britney spears

2. paris hilton

3. christina aguilera

4. pamela anderson

Popular Men 2004

1. orlando bloom

2. eminem

3. usher

4. johnny depp

Popular Women 2004

1. britney spears

2. paris hilton

3. christina aguilera

4. pamela anderson

Popular Television Shows 2004

1. the simpsons

2. pokemon

3. south park

4. charmed

5. spongebob

Popular Tech Stuff 2004

1. wallpaper

2. kazaa

3. mp3

4. spybot

5. linux

Popular Consumer Brand Names - 2004

1. ebay

2. walmart

3. mapquest

4. amazon

5. home depot

On a more serious note; at every year end there are magazines published, news paper articles written, and television programs aired whose sole content involves looking back on the events of the year 2004.

The thrust of today’s sermon is to give us insight into what we should and should not be looking back at how doing so can in some cases be discouraging at best and destructive at the worst.

In other cases looking back can serve as a worthwhile and beneficial activity.

I want to consider first of all…

1. When not to look back…

Gen 19:17; And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.

a. Lot and his family were living in Sodom. Went there after being given first choice by uncle Abraham.

1. There Lot had raised his family, married off at least two of his daughter and prospered there materially and socially.

2. Although Lot is called "just" in Hebrews 11, his spiritual life had not prospered in Sodom.

1. When the sodomites were pounding on his door after the men of God who had come to the city to deliver Lot and his family; he offered him his virgin daughters in their stead!

2. Further evidence of Lot’s spiritual decline and lack of credibility as a believer to his own family is seen in the response of when he warned them of God’s judgment; Gen 19:14 And Lot went out, and spake unto his sons in law, which married his daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law.

b. Lot finally choose to allow God to deliver him and his wife and children.

1. Lot and His family were so reluctant to leave their worldly life behind that the angels God had sent to deliver them had literally take them by the hand and drag them from their worldly life style to save their lives!

Gen 19:16 "And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the LORD being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city."

2. The angels warned them in verse 17 not to look back and to linger in the no-man’s land!

Genesis 19:17

And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.

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