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We are at war, guys. Make no mistake about it. The battles we are engaged in make World War I and II combined look like a child’s game. At times this war can seem overwhelming. Am I right? At times it feels like it’s never going to let up, never going to end. At times we can feel like we just want to quit.
In Gal. 5:17 Paul reminds us that the flesh is in conflict with the spirit – and the spirit is in conflict with the flesh. They are opposed to each other making it difficult to do what is right.
Welcome to the Point of Purity Podcast! I’m your host Steve Etner – author, National Speaker, Certified Professional Mentor TM and Purity Coach for The Pure Man Ministry and this is Episode #149. In this episode we continue our journey through Chapter Eight of my book entitled “Are You a Super Man? Becoming God’s Man of Steel.” This week’s episode is part two of “The Fall of a Super Man.”
In last week’s episode we took a brief look at Genesis 13 at this man named Lot, the nephew of Abraham. Lot was a man whom God called “righteous” in 2 Peter 2:7-8 ... yet he was also a man – as we will see today from our study of Genesis 19 – who lived a life that was characterized as anything but righteous. What lessons can we, what lessons must we learn from Lot’s lousy legacy so that we don’t repeat the same mistakes as he did?
If you have not yet listened to part 1 of this 2-part study, I strongly encourage you to do that first, before moving forward with this episode. Although you will still get and glean some great truths and principles from this episode, I think you’ll find it much more meaningful, and you will get more out of this episode if you make the time to listen to part 1 first.
I think it’s safe to say that Lot made some really bad choices in life, and he suffered some very serious consequences as a result. Listen carefully my friend – if you are not constantly on guard, if you are not continuously focused on the 1 Corinthians 10:31 goal of glorifying God in every part of your life – every moment of every day, you can (and will) be guilty of making the same horrific mistakes as Lot, and you will also suffer terrible consequences as a result. Maybe not today, and maybe not tomorrow – but as Galatians 6:7 says, whatever you sow, that will you also reap. Any time you put King Me on the throne of your heart, you are destined for disaster because King Me makes for a crummy dictator.
For Lot, with King Me on the throne of his heart, we see in Genesis chapter 19 that he chose to move in with the wicked people of Sodom and Gomorrah. Now, I humbly submit that that was a dumb move on his part. Oh, I’m fairly certain that it made sense to him at the time. Possibly he saw it as a shrewd business decision. Maybe he even thought he could be a great soul-winner in the process. I don’t know what his rationale was, but he made the fateful choice to move in to / and in with that wicked city, purchase a house, settle in and permanently dwell with those sinful, immoral, and evil people.
He chose to relax around them. He let down his spiritual guard. He chose not to protect his mind. 1 Corinthians 15:33 warns us to “not be deceived: ‘Bad company corrupts good morals.’” The fact is, Lot made a bad choice to surround himself with bad company, and that resulted in bad consequences. It corrupted the godly ethics and principles he had learned from his Uncle Abraham; it destroyed his testimony to the world around him, and it irreversibly shattered his family.
Never lose sight of the fact that you always choose your consequences the moment you choose your actions. Let me repeat that. You always choose your consequences the very moment you choose your actions. We saw in Genesis 13:11 that Lot chose for himself the plain of the Jordan. Scriptures do not say, nor do they indicate that his initial choice to go East had anything to do with Sodom and Gomorrah, at least not directly. But because King Me was on the throne of his heart, and because he saw nothing wrong with each of the choices he was making, Genesis 13:12 tells us that Lot pitched his tent toward Sodom.
I want you to understand the consequence of that choice. By pitching his tent “toward” Sodom, every time he opened the flap of that tent, he was daily choosing to allow the wickedness of that city to come into and influence his heart and his home, his faith and his family. Where, my friend – where is your tent pitched? What are you allowing to enter into your heart and your home? What are you allowing to influence and impact your faith and your family? What are you daily choosing to be exposed to – and what are the ramifications, what are the consequences of those choices?
We see in Genesis 19:1 that God sends two angels to Sodom to destroy it because of the wickedness of its inhabitants. As they arrive at the city gates, they discover Lot sitting at the gate. Now stop for a moment and think about what I just said. This is highly significant. Lot was sitting at the gate.
You see, only members of the town council were allowed to sit at the gate. That’s where they conducted their business meetings. Are you catching this? This was an earned position of authority and respect. Lot was sitting at the gate. Lot was on the board of directors if you will. Somewhere between Genesis 13:12 and 19:1 Lot had chosen to stop living on the outskirts of town – and instead hike up his skirts and move in with them. He chose to stop pitching his tent and instead he built a house. And somewhere along the line he became recognized as a leader and was voted into office! He had officially become one of them!
Oh, my friend, sin will always – mark it down, always take you farther than you ever planned on going. It will make you stay longer than you ever wanted to stay. And it will always cost you more than you were willing to pay. Trust me - It’s not worth it!
Reading on in Genesis 19, in verses 1-3, we see Lot anxiously – maybe even nervously? – urging these two holy, godly men to come into his house to spend the night. I wonder why? Was he simply being hospitable? Personally, I don’t think so. You see, our text says that he “pressed them strongly” and he very specifically instructed them to “rise up early” the next morning “and go on your way.” Now admittedly, he wasn’t being very “town council-ish” now, was he? Here were two potential sources of revenue for the city. Here were two strangers coming into town – why not wine and dine them, show them the sights, tell them what a great city you have and try to convince them to stay and start a business there?
No, I believe he knew that standing before him were two holy men of God, and I think he was not only afraid for their safety but embarrassed over his situation. I also think that as he hosted his two heavenly houseguests - he pretended to be godlier than he was. I can’t help but think he was playing church. You see, verse 3 says “he prepared a feast for them, baking bread without yeast – unleavened bread – and they ate.” I wonder ... when he had the town council over for dinner, did he prepare the same kind of meal? Scriptures don’t say, but I wonder.
However, what God does tell us (in verse 4) is that sometime that evening, probably as they were clearing the table and sitting down to have some conversation, there was a horrible ruckus outside. “All the men of Sodom, young and old, came from all over the city and surrounded the house.”
Now pause for a moment. Let the significance of this settle in. Although we don’t know for certain the size of Sodom, some experts estimate the city’s population to be well over 200,000. So, conceivably there were easily thousands of men (“young and old” alike) trying to surround Lot’s house, clamoring to have sex with Lot’s two guests.
I want to suggest for your consideration that Lot may not have simply been on the Town Council, but even possibly the president of the council – or chairman of the board. Why do I say that? Simply by virtue of the sheer numbers that surrounded his house, and the fact that news about the angelic visitors spread like wildfire. So, I submit, Lot was probably a very popular man in town.
Then there is the apparent assumption the townsmen made regarding Lot. You see, in verse 5 it says “They shouted to Lot, ‘Where are the men who came to spend the night with you? Bring them out to us so WE can have sex with them!’” The structure here seems to lend itself to placing the emphasis upon the assumption that Lot was selfishly enjoying sexual relations with these visitors all by himself. IF that’s the case, why would they have made that assumption? Could it be that Lot had so surrounded himself with Sodom’s wickedness, could it be that he had so embraced their culture that he himself had become a willing participant of their evil, wicked, sinful practices? Again, the Scriptures don’t exactly say, but I wonder.
Now in Genesis 19:6-7 it really gets off the rails. In these two verses we see Lot’s response to their request. Listen closely to what it says. “So Lot stepped outside to talk to them, shutting the door behind him. ‘Please, my brothers and my friends,’ he begged, ‘don’t do such a wicked thing.” OK, I’ve gotta pause here because it’s vital that you catch this. It’s critical you do not miss this. Did you hear what Lot just called them? He said, “My brothers, my friends.” He used a term of endearment. “My brothers, my friends.”
James warns us in his epistle, “You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” (James 4:4) Paul tells us in Romans 8:7 that “the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God.” That is why 1 John 2:15 commands, “do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world – the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and the pride of life – is not from the Father but is from the world.”
So, when Lot called those men his friends, he was declaring his allegiance – and it wasn’t to God. He was revealing his heart, and it wasn’t for the Father. Remember back in Genesis 13:11-12? Remember how Lot chose for himself and pitched his tent toward Sodom? Remember how even back then he allowed the sinful, God-denying, self-exalting wickedness of the world in front of him to infiltrate his heart and his home – his faith and his family? He is where he is in Genesis 19, because he was where he was in Genesis 13. Choices – consequences. What about you? Where do your allegiances lie? Where is your heart resting? Sure, you can say one thing – but your actions will always reveal the truth – you cannot hide what your heart wants. We do what we do because in our heart we want what we want.
Moving on in our story of Lot in Genesis 19, we are about to get our minds blown. You see, after calling the Sodomites his friends and brothers, Lot then does something incomprehensible. Something so evil, so unconceivable, so insane that you find yourself staring at the pages of Scripture in disbelief and utter shock. Say it isn’t so!
In verse 8 Lot says to the crowd surrounding his house; he says to these evil, wicked, sinful men, “Look, I have two daughters who have never slept with a man (in other words, virgins). Let me bring them out to you, and you can do whatever you like with them. But don’t do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof.” Wait a minute. WHAT???
Are you kidding me? OK, I understand the desire to protect your guests, but not your daughters? Really? What kind of father would willingly offer up his two virgin princesses to a group of sex-hungry, wicked men to be gang-raped? I mean C’mon! Seriously! In what universe would that be considered to be ok? How on earth did Lot get to this point where he was able to justify that decision in his mind? I submit it all began with the self-centered, self-serving King Me choices he made and the direction he pitched his tent.
Now I find it interesting how these wicked men responded to Lot’s offer of his daughters. In verse 9 they shouted “Get out of our way! You are a foreigner, an alien, an outsider. You’re not one of us. How dare you think you can play our judge! We’ll treat you far worse than we will your precious visitors!” Consider their response. Lot had called them friends. Lot had referred to them as his brothers. But did you hear what they called him? A foreigner. An alien. An outsider. They did not consider him to be “one of us / one of the boys.” Matthew 12:34 reminds us that out of the overflow of the heart, out of the abundance of your thoughts, spring out your words. I submit that their words revealed a heart that did not think of Lot the same way he thought of them.
OK, so what about you, my friend? As a born-again believer, as a child of God, as a Christian, how does the world see you? Oh, you may call the world your friend. You may be trying to have one foot solidly stationed on the rock of Christ while your other foot is precariously positioned on the tipsy, unstable, insecure, rocky boat of the world’s approval. But Jesus says in John 15:19, “If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.”
Don’t think you can have King Me sitting high and mighty on the throne of your heart, don’t think for a moment that you can choose for yourself, pitch your tent toward the wickedness of the world, enjoy intimate fellowship with the sinful world system and still maintain a godly testimony and be in a right relationship with your Heavenly Father. James 1:8 calls that being a double-minded man and it promises you will be unstable in all your ways.
Reading on in Genesis 19 we see the men of Sodom now pressing in on Lot, ready to do whatever it takes to get their sinful, wicked, evil sexual desires fulfilled. Can you relate? Have you been there? Have you been at the point where you were willing to do whatever it takes, no matter what it takes, no matter what the cost, no matter what the results, just so you could have your sinful sexual desires satiated – consequences be damned?
Let me share with you a couple more things about Lots’ choices before we wrap up today’s episode. We see in Genesis 19:11 that the angels “struck the men who were at the doorway of the house with blindness, young and old, so that they became weary of trying to find the door.” Even when God stepped in and blinded these guys, still they pursued their evil passions. In a blind frenzy they wearied themselves trying to find the door, trying to satisfy their evil, fleshly longings. Their sinful passion, their wicked desires, their immoral sexual drive was too strong for them to deny. Yes, my friend, sin will always take you farther than you ever planned on going, and cost more than you ever wanted to pay.
In verse 12 the angels instructed Lot to find and warn the two men who were engaged to be married to his daughters of the pending disaster about to unfold. Now hold on a moment. I’ve got to park on this one for a couple of minutes and ask you to think about that. Lot’s two virgin daughters were engaged to be married. Verse 14 tells us that “Lot went out and spoke to his future sons-in-law, who were to marry his daughters, and said ‘Quick, get out of the city! The Lord is about to destroy it.’ But the young men thought he was joking.”
First of all, did you notice where these two fiancés are when Lot speaks to them? They were outside the door. “Lot went out and spoke to them.” They were part of that large group of men surrounding the house. They were part of the group that wanted to commit evil, sinful acts against God’s angels. OK, now I cannot speak for any of you dad’s out there, but I gotta tell you, I would not be ok with my daughters marrying such wicked men. But it appears that Lot was. Why? How did he fall so low as to allow such a thing into his home? Genesis 13. He chose for King Me and he pitched his tent toward this wickedness.
Furthermore, when Lot first went out and addressed the crowd – offering them his daughters to be gang-raped, I would like to think that these two fiancés – these two men engaged to be married to Lot’s two virgin daughters – I would like to think that those two men would have at least tried to protect their bride-to-be. I would like to imagine that they rushed the porch and yelled to the men – “if you want to touch my bride, you’re gonna have to go through me first!” But apparently not.
On top of all of that, when Lot finds these two men and when he tries to warn his daughter’s fiancés to flee the coming destruction, Scripture says they thought he was joking. What does that tell you about Lot’s testimony with these two guys? I am assuming that Mr. & Mrs. Lot had these guys over for dinner a few times. I would assume that they played family board games around the table, maybe even went together on some trips and excursions from time to time. I know that’s what I would do. I’m not going to let my daughters marry some buffoon off the street. No, Lot had plenty of time and opportunity to be a godly example and speak Biblical truth into the hearts of the men who were going to marry his girls. But it appears he did not. Why? Because in Genesis 13 he had turned his back on God in favor of King Me’s wants, whims, wishes and desires. He was worshiping a false god in his heart which led him to living a foul life in his home. And as a result, in Genesis 19 he saw nothing wrong with the choices he was making, or the consequences that would inevitably follow.
Proverbs 14:12 warns us that “there is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.”
Unfortunately, the story of Lot has a tragic ending. As a result of His sinful choices, as a result of his lack of Biblical leadership in his home, as a result of embracing the philosophy of the world around him instead of staying true to his Creator, Lot’s wife died a horrific death. His daughters got him drunk, committed incest with him and both got pregnant by their father.
How could any of that have happened? How could a righteous man, how could a Super Man of God, fall so far and do something so despicable? It began when he chose for himself and pitched his tent in the wrong direction. Again, I ask you: what choices are you making and whom are they for – God or King Me? Where are you choosing to pitch your tent? What are you allowing into your heart and home?
Though Lot didn’t deserve rescuing ... God – in his abundant Grace and never-ending Mercy saved that righteous man. God rescued Lot. Again, can you see the application here? Think about all the selfish, sinful, King Me centered, idolatrous, adulterous choices you have made in life. Think about what each and every one of those acts of sin deserve. Romans 6:23 clearly states that “the wages of sin is death.” The wage, the paycheck you have earned, that which you deserve because of your sinful choices is eternal separation from God. Ezekiel 18:20 tells us that “the soul that sins shall die.” That’s what you deserve because of your idolatry, your adultery, your worship of a false god.
Now, think about the amazing grace and marvelous mercy that God – in His perfect love for you – has extended to you, delivering you from imminent destruction and eternal damnation. That love was demonstrated in Genesis 19 when God chose to rescue righteous Lot – a man who did not deserve rescuing. A man who had chosen to worship himself instead of his God.
Suppose you had the opportunity to stand on that hillside with Abraham and Lot on the day Lot chose to move East. What if you had stopped Lot before answering his uncle and warned him not to go down there. Had you told him everything that was going to happen – all of the self-centered, sinful, idolatrous and adulterous choices he was going to make as well as the serious consequences that would follow those choices (consequences that would drastically affect not just himself but his dear wife and precious daughters – I guarantee you that he would have looked at you as if you were a purple alien from outer space with a single orange eye in the center of your forehead that was oozing green goo. He would’ve called you a nutcase. No way on God’s green earth would that ever happen to him!
My friend, I am standing on a hillside right here and right now next to you. I’m warning you - in in crystal-clear tones: stop playing around with your sin. Your self-centered, King Me oriented choices will have far-reaching consequences. Not just for you, but for your family as well. I know you think you’re in control. I know you believe the worst will never happen to you. I also know you’re dead wrong.
Lot pitched his tent toward Sodom. He intentionally set up his house and his life so that from the moment he opened the flap of his tent in the morning to the time he closed it at night, he was exposing himself – and his family – to the wickedness of the world around him, day in and day out.
Where is your tent pitched? What are you allowing into your mind, your heart, your home? What is influencing your faith and impacting your family? Peter tells us that Lot’s righteous soul was in torment every moment of every day. Do you know why? Peter says it was because of the wicked things he SAW AND HEARD every single day. He pitched his tent toward Sodom. He refused to guard his heart and take captive his thoughts.
Let me close today’s episode with this question: would you say that the world we live in today is any better than Sodom and Gomorrah? That same wickedness surrounds each and every one of us. We are daily exposed to that same core issue. We are surrounded by self-centered, pleasure-oriented, God-denying wickedness. And it is contagious. That is why you must always guard your mind. What are you allowing into your tent? What are you allowing your eyes to see and ears to hear? What is your mind feeding upon every day? Consider this: What you see and hear impacts what you think. What you think strongly influences what you do!
OK. Let’s hit the pause button until next week’s episode as we continue our journey through my book “Are You a Super Man? Becoming God’s Man of Steel.” If you would like to learn more about today’s study, or if you’re interested in learning more about The Pure Man Ministry, be sure to visit our website to see the multitude of resources we’ve made available to you – you can find our website at ThePurityCoach.com ".
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So, until next time this is Author, Speaker, Certified Professional Mentor TM and Purity Coach Steve Etner reminding you that if you are going to glorify God in your everyday living, He must first be glorified in your every moment thinking.
Please understand that your involvement in this program does not provide any guarantee on the part of Steve Etner, The Purity Coach or The Pure Man Ministry. In other words, we are coming alongside of you for the purpose of coaching you toward accountability and purity. I am not a professional counselor and I cannot guarantee you specified results. I am, however, a man who has been where you are and has seen God work in my life in a mighty way. This program is what changed me. And God has used this program to impact the hearts of countless men across the globe!
I'm here to encourage you, to challenge you, to pray with you, and to share with you what God has taught me. I look forward to coming alongside of you in this journey!