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The Tragedy of the Almost Saved

Luke 17:31-33

You can open your Bibles to Luke 17 for a what really is a sobering portion. It’s an amazing chapter. The whole chapter has really been sobering. But this portion in particular really draws a bead on us and our hearts, our thinking, our behavior. Jesus, in this section we’re gonna cover today and next week as well, is gonna, he would have us to apply, actually live out what we’ve been learning. So, you can find your way to Luke 17:31, and we’ll begin by reading the verses that we’re gonna cover today.

Jesus said, Luke 17:31, “On that day, let the one who is on the housetop, with his goods in the house, not come down to take them away, and likewise let the one who is in the field not turn back. Remember Lot’s wife. Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, whoever loses his life will keep it.”

“Remember Lot’s wife.” That’s a warning to those who are almost saved but who fall short of true salvation. Full salvation. It’s a warning to all those who enjoy tremendous spiritual privilege, as Lot’s wife did, but who squander the opportunity by failing to make use of that privilege and find full salvation. It was in 1738 that George Whitefield preached a sermon at St. John’s Church in the Wapping District of East London and his sermon The Almost Christian, it’s now famous and was from the text Acts 26:28. Where a group is said to the apostle Paul, “Almost thou persuaded me to be a Christian.” The almost Christian, like Lot’s wife, the almost saved is such a tragic figure.

Mr. Whitefield describes this almost Christian in the sermon this way, as “one who halts between two opinions that waivers between Christ and the world, that would reconcile God and Mammon, or God and money, that would reconcile light and darkness, Christ and Belle Isle. He has an inclination to religion, but he is very partial in his obedience, fondly hopes that God will not be extreme to mark everything that he willfully doesn’t miss. Chiefly, he is one that depends much on outward ordinances, and on that account looks upon himself as righteous and despises others. Though at the same time he is as great a stranger to the divine life. In short, he is fond of the form. But never experiences the power of godliness in his heart.”

I think that’s not just an eighteenth-century problem. But a twenty-first century problem. And as we see in the text, a first century problem too. Whitefield goes on to explain how the almost Christian came to be. How did such a one come into existence. The almost Christian, he says embraced a false form of Christianity, heard and embraced the false gospel, a sub Christian gospel. So, he really doesn’t know what Christianity is actually. This is a man who fears a man and not God, so he’s always halting between opinions because the fear of man is a snare. This is a man whose heart is entangled with the thorns of riches, loving money rather than God. This is a man or a woman who loves pleasure, comfort, ease, unwilling to deny self, unwilling to make war with his sin, with her sin.

And even though he may have started out well, he proves in the end to be fickle. The seed of the gospel has been sown into rocky soil and his heart. So, that shallow roots have developed which are really no roots at all because they wither under testing. Whitefield’s warning to the almost Christian comes in his text.

He utilizes Hebrews 10:38 and it quotes God as saying this, “if he” that is this almost Christian, “If he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.” The fact that this almost Christian shrinks back means that he was once close, but in the end he doesn’t stay close. In the end, his heart takes him away. That’s the almost Christian, always proximate, always ever so close. But never all in in his heart. And since he’s not all in, he will be cast away. He will be judged. He will be separated out from all eternity.

It’s a section of warning. We need to pay attention as we come to the final section. As Jesus is drawing this instruction to his disciples to a close, he drives the point home here by calling for a verdict from everyone, to separate ourselves from any worldly mindedness, to deal with any covetousness in the heart. He wants us to be earnest Christians. Yet always content, always satisfied in him so that we will be ready when he comes. Almost won’t cut it on that day. Almost won’t count. We got to be all in with no looking back.

In my mind, as a pastor here, I, I know my fellow elders share the same concern, and I hope you church members feel the same concern along with us. But in my mind, a crushing weight would be added to the tragedy if anybody here at Grace Church should fall short of true and full salvation. To be lost in the end after sitting here week after week and month after month and year after year. Decade after decade. How tragic.

I mean, we try earnestly every single week and, in every venue, in every setting in this church. We try earnestly to follow the argument that the Spirit inspired in the scripture, the, the flow of the, the message that he wants to get across, whether we’re in Luke or Philippians or for Samuel or wherever it is, as we’re teaching in our church. We’re trying to follow his argument, not our own. We want it, that’s why we moved consecutively through the text verse by verse with some depth. We try, trying to understand it exegetically, trying to provide expositional clarity. We want to provide a depth of understanding for you. We don’t want to fall short of giving you the whole Council of God, and that includes the warnings as well.

So, I’m gonna enter into this exposition of the text with the warning from the writer of Hebrews to his fellow Jews out of Hebrews Chapter 3, “Take care, brothers, [Take care] lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you away.” “Leading you to fall away from the living God.” Don’t let this tragedy happen to you. Don’t be the tragedy of the almost Christian who is almost saved. But eternally lost.

So, in this tragedy of the almost saved, there were actual several tragedies that contribute to the final outcome of being lost eternally. And they really build on one another. And so, we’re gonna trace this out, starting with if you’re, if you’re taking notes, you can jot this down. A first tragedy, a first one, number one is a mind of obliviousness, a mind of obliviousness.

It’s okay, you can sound it out and get that big, huge word there. It’s cumbersome, I know. O B L I V I O U S N E S S, right? Obliviousness. Anybody who has teenagers, you understand the mind of obliviousness, right? Just to illustrate, just a quick illustration. The almost Christian who’s almost saved. He is oblivious to the gravity of the danger that’s coming upon the last days.

He fails to take the warnings of Scripture seriously. He doesn’t heed the, the call from Christ, from the apostles, from every faithful church ever since that time, repeating the same themes because they’re preaching the same Scriptures every time. He doesn’t heed the call to turn from sin and to pursue righteousness, to change one’s life. Direction and one’s life habits. Doesn’t do that. He listens, or she listens, week after week, month after month, year after year.

And it’s that pattern from before. Remember, they were eating, they were drinking, they were at, planting, they were building, they were marrying. They were just doing that. They’re just doing that. Just the monotony of the rhythm of normal life. And they’re just caught up in it and they are oblivious. Previously in the text versus 26 to 30 as I just said, Jesus points back to two classic examples of cataclysmic destruction.

“Remember Lot’s wife.” “That’s a warning to those who are almost saved but who fall short of true salvation.”

Travis Allen

Where God in his judgment, interrupted the normal flow. One worldwide, one localized. But his judgment befell unsuspecting people who were just living at ease. They were oblivious to the reality of divine judgment, even though they had heard from Noah and heard from Lot the message of righteous warning. Those two displays of divine judgment, the Noahic flood and the destruction of Sodom they left. Listen, there’s no denying this. They left indelible marks on the earth itself.

The first judgment left geologic evidence across the entire earth for everyone to see. Tectonic changes blowing up the planet. Separating continents. Massive, massive cataclysm. The second judgment left topographic evidence for everyone to see, for Israel to see. Listen, we have turned these evidences of judgment into tourist sites. Points of interests. We find them interesting, beautiful, even. We send postcards to each other, take pictures, share them. Oblivious to the warnings that those parts of the earth are. Peter doesn’t let us off the hook.

He reminds us in his second letter about the judgments comforting the godly with the example of God’s rescue of the righteous from judgment, but also calling our attention to scoffers, those who will mock the warnings, trying to make the godly look foolish. He calls our attention to this lest we be discouraged.

Paul also, over in 1 Thessalonians Chapter 5, Paul writes this. He says this in 1 Thessalonians 5:1 and following, “Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need to have anything written to you. For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, ‘There is peace and security,’ then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief. For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness.”

That is to say we’re, we believers are not surprised. We’re not to be surprised. And we’re to live sober mindedly, with our eyes upward, our eyes looking around. Not participating in any of the deeds of darkness. That day that Paul writes about is the same day that Jesus has been calling attention to in our text. Look at the text there.

Starting in verse 22, “The days are coming”, and then “the days of the Son of Man.” Verse 24, “the Son of Man in his day.” Then in verse 26, we got “the days of Noah”, which are like “the days of the Son of Man.” There’s verse 27, there’s “the day when Noah entered the Ark.” Verse 28, “likewise, as it was in the days of Lot.” Verse 29, “on the day when Lot went out from Sodom.” “So it will be [verse 30] on the day when the Son of Man is revealed” and then finally our text, verse 31, “on that day” and then in verse 34, “in that night.” Which for many, is a night that ends in destruction.

In spite of this, so many remain oblivious. Even though he’s been saying there is going be a day, a day, a day, a day. They’re oblivious, but not because people haven’t been saying it. It’s because they are decidedly oblivious. They choose to ignore the clear warnings of Scripture. They choose to live in happy distraction they you, choose to live in an intoxicated oblivion.

Filling themselves with entertainment and travel and money and whatever else, but the day is coming, verse 31 says, when Christ returns and ushers in a time of universal cataclysmic judgment, worldwide, “on that day, [verse 31], let the one who’s on the housetop with his goods in the house, not come down to take them away, and likewise let the one who’s in the field not turn back.”

Sadly, tragically, based on what we learned in verses 30 a, 26 to 30 previous section, most people who are living at that time they will not heed Jesus’ admonition. We know that, they will die in the judgments of the Great Tribulation, the judgments of the second coming. And we’re gonna spend just a few minutes to fill this in just a little bit because we find similar language over in Matthew 24 and Mark 13, though that’s a different occasion. It’s the same picture there as it is here in in some parts.

So, turn over if you want to, to Matthew 24, Matthew 24 and Mark 13. They both record. The Olivet Discourse. It’s named the Olivet Discourse because Jesus delivered that teaching from the Mount of Olives, which is east of the Kidron Valley. It overlooks Jerusalem and the Temple Mount to the West. This same teaching in Matthew 24, Mark 13 is also in Luke 21, as Jesus is teaching about the prelude to the second coming, which is that week in Daniel called the Great Tribulation.

So, Matthew 24:9 and following, you can see this for yourself. Jesus is describing in this section a growing antipathy of the Gentile nations toward the Jewish people there in verses 9 to 14. And so, this season comes right after the rapture of the church. So, the rapture of the church, that is all believers from Acts 2 to the Rapture, to this time, will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air. We’ll spend the 7 year Tribulation on earth. They’ll spend that 7 years with the Lord in heaven, but that rapture of the church will be the catalyst that leads to the revealing of the Antichrist and triggers the Great Tribulation.

During the Great Tribulation, it’s also called the time of Jacob’s trouble because it’s Jewish focused. It’s the Jews that will become the target of the Antichrist. And look down in Matthew 24:9 and following, because this is what’s gonna happen, Jesus says, “Then they will deliver you to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. And then many will fall away [great apostasy in the world,] and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved [and, and good news.] This gospel of the Kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

In spite of this terrible persecution that’s gonna come upon the Jews, look that it’s, you can see here, it’s gonna lead to their salvation. The Jewish people who are to this very moment in rebellion against God, they’ve rejected their Messiah. They’re gonna continue that all the way up to this point, but they will one day, here, in this time, this season of great trouble, they will turn to God in repentance.

Zechariah 12 talks about this Zechariah 12:10. “They will look upon him whom they pierced. They will mourn for him.” Why will they mourn for him? Because their hearts have been regenerated to new life. They now have eyes of faith. And so, they’re gonna become, as it says in Revelation 7, they’re gonna become a nation of evangelists, starting with one hundred forty-four thousand, twelve thousand chosen from each tribe to proclaim the gospel of the Kingdom to their fellow Jews and then, according to Matthew, 24:14, to all nations. Then the end will come. Before that more trouble is coming for Jerusalem.

 Look at verse 15. “So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.” Hmm? Why are they fleeing? They’re fleeing because the time is short. It’s time for the Jews to get out of Jerusalem. Time for the Jews to get out of Judea altogether.

This expression, the abomination of desolation, refers to Daniel’s seventy weeks prophecy which you can find. You can jot this down, we won’t turn to it, but Daniel 9:24 to 27 you should write that down. This seventy weeks prophecy Daniel 9:24 to 27 in which Daniel points ahead to a future seven-year period called the Great Tribulation. This period where the antichrist will be revealed. Satan inhabiting a man, a human being and he will profane the Jewish temple. He’ll make an agreement with the Jews which gives them some semblance of a false peace, but he’ll break that covenant, break that agreement. That’s like a Middle East accord, something like that. But he’ll, he’ll break that covenant and he will profane the Jewish temple, setting himself up as god, as god himself, and he will demand homage and worship from everyone.

Now this is previewed in Isre, Israel’s history, when the Greek Seleucid King Antiochus Epiphanes, he invaded Jerusalem in 168 BC. He slaughtered, at that time, slaughtered eighty thousand Jews and sold about the same number into slavery. Antiochus entered the temple, sacrificed a pig to Zeus, calling himself Zeus, an embodiment of Zeus. And the outlawed Jewish religion, as against worshipping himself and worshipping the pantheon of Greek deities.

That horrific event foreshadowed, but it did not fulfill. Foreshadowed, didn’t fulfill, but it did foreshadow Daniel’s seventy weeks prophecy, let the reader understand. So go back and read what happened with Antiochus Epiphanes, read it and understand. Another event that foreshadowed yet didn’t fulfill the seventy weeks prophecy of Daniel as the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70, Emperor Nero he commissioned General Vespasian to put down a Jewish uprising.

We know from the old, from New Testament history and reading about what was going on in the land at this time, the Maccabean Revolt and there were just a series of revolts and often led or sometimes led by false messiahs, by the way, but a series of revolts. And it got more intense after the crucifixion and resurrection and ascension of Jesus. More revolting against Rome, more trying to throw off the yoke of Rome.

So, Emperor Nero commissioned Vespasian to put down this Jewish uprising. Nero died in AD 68, so Vespasian, the general, left Judea for Rome to become the emperor, and so the task to put down the uprising fell to his son, the general Titus. After about a three-month siege of Jerusalem, hundreds of thousands of people, I mean the, the city was swollen with people because of, of an annual feast, and they died by famine because they put it, laid siege to the city, wouldn’t let, they would let people in, wouldn’t let anybody out. So they by letting more people in, food sources became more scarce, had to be distributed among more people. It speed up the famine and for him shortened the siege.

The Jews, in order to push back at invading Romans, set fire, even setting fire a bit to their own temple. And then the Romans furthered that fire when they came in, they entered, the Roman legions entered and butchered the population. Men, women, children. Massacre. Temple was destroyed, city walls of Jerusalem torn down, and that all happened in AD 70, thirty-seven years after Jesus had ascended into heaven. Which means neither the chronology nor the details of that event either fulfill Daniel’s seventy weeks prophecy.

What Daniel describes in Daniel 9:24 to 27, it awaits future fulfillment. It awaits fulfillment during the Great Tribulation when the Antichrist is revealed. Paul describes him in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 to 4, as one that we have not seen yet. The one who, quote, “opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God [theos], proclaiming himself to be God [theos].” Not a part of the Greek pantheon. But God himself.

So, Matthew 24:15, “When you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel standing in the holy place, let the reader understand. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.” Look at the rest of that and Matthew 24:17 and following, then “let one who is on the housetop not go down to take what is in his house.” That’s familiar, isn’t it? “Let the one who’s in the field not turn back to take his cloak. And alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days!” [Ahhh] pray that your], such tenderness.

As Jesus talks about judgment, he’s thinking of moms with their babies. His heart is on the weakest. “Pray that your flight may not be in the winter or on Sabbath. For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be.” Pretty clear this is unlike anything the world has ever seen. Not in AD 70, not in 910, in 168 BC. This is worldwide cataclysmic. Jesus says these will be days of deception. The coming of more false Christ’s and more false prophets and verses 22 to 26. Sounds very similar to what we read earlier in Luke 17. The Jesus warns the Jews don’t go out. Don’t believe it. Just as he did in our passage in Luke 17:23.

And look at this in Matthew 24:27, “For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, [so will it be], so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.” Same as our text right.

Then this, verse 29, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be dark, the moon will not give its light, the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken [and the powers that and then will appear]. This will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” Like lightning shining as far as the east is from the west, all will see it.

Jesus goes on to say in verse 36, “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.” It’s followed by the content that we’ve already covered in Luke 17. So when the antichrist comes the generation of Jews living at that time of his revealing, Matthew 24:34, generation of Jews living at that time. They must flee to Jerusalem they must get out of Judea because trouble is coming in the city, and the Son of Man is coming to the world. The time of his judgment will come to earth, and there is no escape for the almost saved who refused to heed his warning.

What’s the application? He’s speaking to his disciples here, right? So, what’s the application? His disciples came to him privately. They, they’re not gonna be alive. I mean clearly we could see two thousand years hence, they have not been alive when all this is gonna come to pass. He’s telling them about what’s gonna happen in the distant future. Many of them were there for the AD 70 judgment, but are not there or not gonna be there when he comes again. He’s telling them what’s gonna happen when the, when the distant future. When the sun is darkened. When there are cosmic signs, moon not giving light, stars falling, powers, the heavens is shaken.

So how do they apply this? How do we apply this? Jesus doesn’t leave us in doubt. Look at verse 42, “Therefore,” therefore, here’s how you apply this, don’t be oblivious to the coming judgments, but instead] “stay awake, for you don’t know on what day your Lord is coming.” And then verse 44, same thing. “Therefore you also, [listen, don’t be oblivious to the coming judgments but instead,] “be ready, for the Son of Man is coming in an hour you don’t expect.”

Christ would have his people perpetually, throughout time, living in a constant state of readiness. That’s how he wants us to live. With our head up, our head on a swivel, looking to the sky, looking around, living in the light, living according to truth. Ready. Not obliviousness to what’s coming. But in a state of readiness and sober mindedness and seriousness.

I gotta ask you, you young people, you students. Because I’ve sat where you’ve sat. Harder pews in my time. We’ve become very soft in our day, putting cushions on the chairs and such. Ohh what’s the world coming to? But you young people, you students out there. Are you ready? Or does your frivolous heart lead you constantly astray? Do you flit from thing to thing, an image to image and post to post on social media? Are you living in a state of constant distraction?

Ohh, you love your friends, and you love attention, and you love entertainment, and you love fun. Are you cultivating a serious adult like heart? Are you cultivating a Christian heart of sobriety, of pursuing holiness and the fear of God? What about you parents and you grandparents out there? What example does the younger generation see in you as they look up? Do they see the same kind of frivolity they’re pursuing? Just at a different level. I hate this saying, but it’s, I understand where it comes from. The only difference between men and boys is the size and expense of their toys. Is that what your kids see?

Are you encouraging them? Parents. Grandparents. You encouraging and admonishing them to be so reminded and godly to help them grow up, or are you wanting them to have fun all the time? Do you want to defang sermons like this and help soften the blow for them? Are you helping them? Are you intentional about helping your kids, your grandkids, to find quiet time in their life, in their week, in their day? To reflect, think, to hear your instruction, to hear your admonitions and your warnings.

Or are you contributing to their distraction by having them constantly occupied, constantly engaged with school and sports and activities and distractions? Have you put them onto the same train that the rest of the world is on, where they hear the constant clickety clack, clickety clack clack, clickety clack, clickety clack as I go down the road, so it lulls them to sleep? And when they are 40s and their 50s, they have become so used to the sound they can’t wake up.

Don’t perpetuate a mind of obliviousness. Don’t cultivate that in your, yourself or your kids. Instead, cultivate a mind of sobriety and readiness for them, for yourself. Now the tragedy of obliviousness exposes the heart, which brings us really to tragedy number two.

Tragedy number tw. Why is the mind oblivious to the coming destruction? Because tragedy number two, it’s informed by a heart of covetousness. Number two, a heart of covetousness. The tragedy of the almost saved is this. He has failed to deal with his heart. She’s failed to deal with her heart. Oh, she had time. He had plenty of time. God’s been patient. God has stalled his coming judgment to give time for repentance. But he, she has not taken advantage of it. During the season of divine patience, when God gave him time to repent, turn from the world, devote himself to God, failed to take what God gave him.

He failed to take this opportunity to forsake covetousness, which is idolatry Colossians 3:5. Failed to commit his soul wholly to God. So, for those who fail to deal with their hearts, those who fail to align themselves with God and with his Christ, one day, time will run out. It’s called “that day” in verse 31, and it’s Christ second coming. It’s a day of universal cataclysmic judgment. Look what he says, “On that day,” “On that day, let the one who is on the housetop, with his goods in the house, not come down to take them away, likewise the one who is in the field not turned back.”

 What’s going on with the rooftop in the field? Jesus wants his disciples to picture two people. They’re really representative, but two people, one at rest and the other at work. One at rest, the other work. The first man’s relaxing at home, resting peacefully on his rooftop. Why on the rooftop? Roofs there in the ancient near east were constructed with sections of thatch made out of straw, branches, reeds. This thatch work put together very, very tight. And light as well, and the sections you know picture them like thick, sturdy ceiling tiles.

They were cemented together with clay and then laid over the cross beams of the house and then sealed over with plaster to keep rain and moisture out. So the flat roof design was sturdy enough and strong enough to allow people to use the roof of their homes like another patio or porch. So, this is nice exterior space. It was cool, comfortable, good view, plenty of space, and houses typically had this exterior staircase or maybe a sturdy ladder up against the house to provide access to the roof.

So, Jesus has this picture this man relaxing at home and notice he’s just resting peacefully on his rooftop with his goods down the house. Notice his goods are not on the, up on the rooftop with him. They’re down in the house. They’re stored securely inside the house. The man’s body is at rest. He’s enjoying ease. He’s up on the roof.

But where’s his heart? Luke 12:31 says, “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” So, we really don’t know, just as we picture the man in a serene scene on top of his house, enjoying the view. Maybe the afternoon sun, maybe the evening cool breezes. We really don’t know where his heart is. Until the crisis comes. Let him not, Jesus warns, come down the exterior stairs, enter into the house, and try to take his goods away. If he does that, he will reveal where his heart is, and, he’ll be destroyed.

Another man, he’s out in the field. He’s working hard on his land. And when the crisis comes, Jesus says again, we assume his goods, too, are not out there in the field with him. That’s cumbersome. Put them on the tractor, you know. But he doesn’t have his, he doesn’t have his goods out there in the field. So, he’s got them stored safely in his house as well. And Jesus says, let the man in the field not turn back. Again, what’s gonna reveal his heart? So, what happens when the crisis comes? What happens when the judgment falls? It’s the crisis that exposes the heart.

The way Jesus is framing these prohibitions, he’s calling for a separation between the person and his belongings in the house. He’s calling for a hard separation between the person and what he’s earned and what he values, what he has stored, what he keeps securely within. He wants to call for a separation between the person and also his crops in the field. His ability to earn his fields which represent his life’s work, his future earnings, his future investment. His pride and his joy.

To flee to Christ, beloved, it means we come without any encumbrance at all. Nothing we hold in our hands. At all, nothing we hold in our hearts, holding on to anything puts us in jeopardy of being caught up in judgment. And if we’re not already prepared for that day, listen, then we will certainly not be ready in that day.

Now, what’s everyone’s inclination at this point when you hear a warning like this, when this question is put to each one of us? Hey, where’s your treasure? Where, do you love your stuff or your life? When the time comes, what will matter to you? Well, in church, we all know the right answer to that, don’t we? We leave everything behind. No attachments, all the belongings, mementos, photo albums, heirlooms, jewelry, money, all of it. We’d separate from everything that’s dear, even people, right? We would separate all friends and family who refused to listen and refuse to come with us.

We’d count the stuff is replaceable and our souls as irreplaceable. At that time. We’d count the unbelieving and unserious as not only against us, but more importantly, more crucially, they’re against Christ. And we would leave them behind who have not heeded Jesus’ warning, wouldn’t we? Well, to all of us, Jesus says in Gen, Luke 17:32, “Remember Lot’s, wife.” “Remember Lot’s wife.” Present tense command, which means, don’t just remember her for now. Remember her continually, habitually. Make her a constant memory, a constant image in your mind that you call the mind all the time. Turn back just so we can call this image to mine.

Let’s get an image our, in our mind by going back to Genesis chapter 19, Genesis 19. Let’s see what it is that Jesus wants us to keep on remembering about Lot’s, wife. You may remember when God came to Abraham back in Genesis 12:1 to 3, he promised to make him a great nation, promised to bless him and to make his name great and all the rest of those promises. Verse 4 tells us that Abraham responded in faith and it says there that “Abram went, as the Lord had told him,” from Ur the Chaldees to Haran and out from Haran. “Abram went as the Lord told him, and Lot went with him.” That’s where we first hear the name of Lot.

In verse 5, “Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother’s son and all their possessions.” So, at this point, at this stage, Genesis chapter 12, Lot is portrayed here as a single man. He’s part of Abram’s household. He’s got no wife, he’s got no family. He’s attached to Abram and his household. We see in, we scroll ahead to Genesis 13:5 that Lot also had flocks and herds and tents, so he, like his uncle, was quite wealthy. So much so that he and Uncle Abram were too much for the land. They were draining the land of its resources and walking all over each other, so the two of them separated.

Abram, as we know, chose to trust God, even if it meant that he would wander as a Pilgrim for the rest of his life, which he did. He was looking to God, promised an eternal city whose architect and foundation is God. Lot though chose to put down some roots in the well-watered garden like Valley of Sodom and Gomorrah. So, Lot turned away from his uncle, journey to east, separated from Abram, settled among the cities of the valley and he moved his tent. It says as far as Sodom. So far no wife. He enters into Sodom a single man. Seems he’s still on his own as he separates from his uncle and moves into Sodom.

First indication we have that Lot may have a wife is when Abram and his three hundred eighteen men come to rescue Lot. We talked about this a bit last week but he rescued Lot and the rest of those who were carried away in captive. Genesis 14:16. This is the war of the 9 Kings or some call it the slaughter of chedorlaomer. Abram went, retrieved all the people, all the goods. It says he brought back all the possessions. Also brought back his kinsmen Lot with his possessions and the women. And the people after that. So, the women attached to a Lot. Seems that maybe there we got an indication that Lot is married, that he has children.

The next time we encounter Lot is in Genesis 19:1. Look at Genesis 19:1, it says, “The two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting at the gate of Sodom.” He’s sitting at the gate of Sodom. So, what’s he doing there? Gate of Sodom. That is a place for every one of these ancient cities. The gate, the city gate was a place of prominence and a place of honor, a place of authority and respect. So, this is where city officials, judges presided over the affairs of the people of that city. And Lot’s there. He’s there. He’s counted among them.

We understand Lot came to Sodom as a fairly wealthy man, very likely due to the connection to his uncle Abram, who’s a war hero. Saviors of Sodom and Gomorrah in the War of the 9 Kings. After that time Lot’s star had to rise to prominence in Sodom. So, in that day and safety and security are higher on the list than any man’s looks, certainly higher than his wardrobe. Lot’s looking pretty good to the available maidens in Sodom. And more importantly, he came to the attention of the prominent families of Sodom, the prominent men of Sodom, as the most eligible. He came to them as the most eligible of all bachelors.

So, by the time we get to Genesis 19, Lot and Mrs. Lot have two virgin daughters. We can see in verse 8 they’re old enough to be engaged at this time, so probably in their early teens. Verse 14 says that they’re engaged. So, Lot and his wife, maybe they’ve been married fifteen, twenty years, maybe longer by this time. Let’s consider this from Mrs. Lot’s point of view and we’ll, we’ll use some educated but justified speculation in what we’re about to look at.

She is a daughter of a prominent family in Sodom. No doubt related to many, probably friends with many more in the city. She knows everybody. She’s grown up with them. These are her people. She’s grown up in wealth, prominence, Sodom being described in Ezekiel 16:49 as having an excess of food whose people lived in prosperous ease. Remember it was like described as the Garden of God, like the Garden of Eden. Lush, you didn’t have to have a green thumb to make things grow. Everything just grew. And so, there was an excess of food and people lived in ease. So, she certainly lived in ease, but connected to prominent family, she’s elevated above the rest.

So, when this eligible bachelor shows up and he’s rich, not only that, but he’s got connections with a powerful man and his militia, well, she’s kind of got it made. And she goes after him as her family arranges this. Her family connections, her reputation in the community are impeccable. Her place in the community, her role, her level of respect and honor, unquestionable and secure.

Her husband, after all, sits with the city elders at the gate, so her integrity is never challenged. Her home beautiful, her wardrobe amazing. It’s large, it’s full of variety. She’s got a whole room full of shoes and all the rest. She’s a, every item in her wardrobe, every, every item in her in her jewelry box is stunning. She dresses her daughters to the finest. She puts her family on proper display as befits their station in Sodom. So clearly, from all appearances, this woman’s got it made. But does she really?

Did you notice whether from Luke, whether from Genesis, we don’t even know her name? She’s simply Lot’s wife. That’s not an indication of the Bible so-called tendency towards cha, male chauvinism. That’s not the issue. Rather. It’s the Bible’s testimony about this woman’s ungodly heart. The Bible has never had any problem identifying by name and elevating godly women. Put them on display, put them there as an example.

Evidently. We’re to think of this woman, what she’s known for most is her ungodly heart. We’ve already read ahead. We know her fate. We know what Jesus says, “Remember Lot’s wife.” What does it profit a woman if she gains the whole world and loses or forfeits herself? So, we know why she looked back. We know.

Brings us to a third tragedy, third tragedy. And again, these are just building on one another. There’s a mind of obliviousness. There’s a heart of covetousness, and here we see a lack of earnestness. Of course, if your heart is filled with covetousness, you’re gonna be oblivious to any warning. You love your life. You love chasing goods and chasing things and chasing fame and fortune and attention and, and distraction. You love all that.

And also, if your heart is filled with covetous, not only is your mind gonna be cloudy with regard to future things, but you’re also not gonna be very earnest about anything important, are you? Doesn’t, doesn’t serve your purposes to be earnest about anything. In fact, you can live pretty light and free and easy. You could be a very jovial person, likable, affable. Man, what a great, what a great people person.

“You know even the godly can become weary when our earnest sincerity is mocked and scoffed and scorned and rejected time and time and time again.”

Travis Allen

The marriage to Lot for her must have seemed to be, at the time, a good decision. At first anyway. But upon closer inspection, I mean if we’re to be a fly on the wall and we’re to watch them in their living room. We’d realize she got way more in Lot than she had bargained for. She, she did not realize what she was getting when she came into the home.

Peter portrays Lot as a rather uneasy man. Even anguished, tormented. By the ungodliness of Sodom. It says 2 Peter 2:7 that “righteous Lot was greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked (for that righteous man lived among them day after day, and he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and he heard).”

Mrs. Lot, she lived there day, after day, after day, after day. You don’t see anywhere indication in the text that she wanted to pack up and leave and get out of there because she couldn’t stand it, because the ungodliness. No, she was quite accustomed to it. Quite used to it. Had to make dinner conversations rather difficult, don’t you think? These wicked people, us the most lawless, immoral, unprincipled, licentious.

As Lot talks about these immoral people, he’s talking about her friends, all of her mommy play dates, all those women. Lot’s talking about her siblings, her cousins. Like who do you think you are? I’ve known them since birth. Lot’s talking about her parents and her grandparents, by the way, he’s not making it up, is he? He’s not just seeing things. He’s not just assuming motives. He’s watching things. He sees lawless deeds. He watches lifestyles. He’s hearing wicked words. He knows what their plans are, he knows what their priorities are, and Lot cannot abide his wife’s family. And she can’t abide him talking about them disparagingly.

So, she’s torn here, isn’t she? Her emotion and sentiment side with family and friends. With the community that she’s known since her childhood, which means her loyalty to her husband is compromised, isn’t it? As is her regard for the truth, as is her regard for righteousness, as is her regard for God Most High, whom Abraham knows. And I’d imagine it was at one level of difficulty before the war of the 9 Kings, before they were captured, but after they were returned and settled back in their routines, after Lot started reflecting on all he saw and all he heard. Man, that had to be intolerable for her.

Remember Lot too, he’s there in Genesis 14. He witnesses the visit from the King of Salem, Jerusalem. Melchizedek, who’s the priest to God most high, the possessor of heaven and earth. That’s the same God who promised his uncle “in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” who said “I am God almighty” and then he commanded, “walk before me and be blameless.” So, it’s not just, it’s not just the wickedness of his wife’s closest relations that trouble Lot, it’s the absence of true religion in Sodom. That’s what bugs him.

Conversely, the longing for the God of his uncle Abraham to follow in Abraham’s faith to walk before Abraham’s God with Abraham, his, not just his relative by blood, but his relative in faith. He wants to walk before that God and be blameless, but he senses the uncleanness on him. He feels like he’s drowning in the immorality.

Well, chapter 19 again. The angels come to Sodom. Lot and his wife, they have the distinct, unique privilege of showing hospitality to the angels. They entertained angels serving a feast, it says in Genesis 19:3. And these angels having just come from Abraham, visiting with him, they revealed their purpose to Lot and his wife. That had to have created a strike of panic in her heart.

She’d have time to think about it because in that very evening, as if to provide evidence of wickedness on full display, verse 4, this so-called good people of Mrs. Lot and her community, all the community, all these people that she grew up with, the men of the city, Mr. so and so. And I remember when, Oh yeah, we were playing on his street and I remember that guy, well, it says there that the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both young and old, all the people to the last man surrounded the house. What was their intent? Evil, wicked, perverted, intending to do great harm to the angels.

Just to check the score here. What privileges were the privileges of Lot’s wife? Lot’s wife was blessed by her marriage to Lot. She was blessed by becoming through her marriage to Lot part of Abraham’s family by blood, in whom all the families of the earth shall be blessed. She was blessed to know the revelations to Abraham, to learn from Lot all that had happened. She was rescued later on from captivity. Along with her daughter, she was saved from a certain unseemly slavery to Chedorlaomer, that King, Wicked King who would have enslaved her, believe me and her two daughters.

She was restored back to her life in Sodom, the wealth, the prominence, the privilege. Lot’s wife was privy to all Lot’s private concerns as they talked in their own home. Privilege to hear his private prayer. She heard his teaching. She watched his raising of the girls, heard his bold and courageous confrontation, his sincere pleading with the men around him. She heard the gospel of grace through the faith in Abraham’s God. She heard a gospel that was confirmed by Melchizedek, this king of Salem, a priest of the Most High God.

When she entertained angels in her home, she saw their holy demeanor and countenance, those who had stood before God himself in heaven, hiding their faces. Now they’re standing before her. She heard their righteous concerns. She knew of their plans to destroy Sodom, and, as if to punctuate the need she was able to see on full display, punctuated this evil of her own generation as the men of Sodom surrounded her house with wicked intent. She watched her husband go out and try to plead with him. But then he had to be rescued by the angels. All of them were kept safe and secure by the angels who struck the wicked men with blindness. So, she saw power, she saw miracles.

Then after that. Notice what happened starting in verse 12, Genesis 19, verse 12. Multiple warnings come from the angels, and they are crystal clear. They did not stutter. “The men said to Lot, ‘Have you anyone else here? Sons-in-law, sons, daughters or anyone you have in the city, bring them out of the place. For we are about to destroy this place, because the outcry against its people has become great before the Lord, and the Lord has sent us to destroy it.’”

So, we read this last time “Lot went out and said to his sons-in-law who were to marry his daughters, ‘Up! Get out of this place, for the Lord’s about to destroy the city.’ But he seemed to his sons-in-law to be jesting.” No earnestness in those young men, right? Their minds are oblivious to the coming danger. Their hearts had been dulled by their own covetousness, which means there’s no godly earnestness in them. None whatsoever.

So listen, when earnest people come to non-earnest people like that, what do really earnest people look like to less serious people? What are they looked like to self-satisfied people? Frivolous people? They look like lunatics, don’t they? Alarmists. Extremists. Chicken little running around saying the sky is falling. You know even the godly can become weary when our earnest sincerity is mocked and scoffed and scorned and rejected time and time and time again, even Lot has worn down.

Look at verse 15, “As morning dawned, the angels urged Lot saying, ‘Up, up, get up, you’re sleeping in.’” Don’t sleep in on this day. Slept right through your alarm. Why? He’s weary and he’s been a terrible night. He’s an anguish. It’s not as if he doesn’t love these people. He does. “Up! Take your wife and your two daughters, who are here, lest you be swept away in the punishment of the city. But Lot lingered. So the men seized him and his wife and his two daughters by the hand, the Lord being merciful to him, they brought him out and set him outside the city. And as they brought them out, one said, ‘Escape for your life. Do not look back or stop anywhere in the valley. Escape to the hills, lest you be swept away.’”

You can picture the scene, can’t you? I mean, there’s, there’s only four left. Remember in the previous chapter, Abraham’s pleading with the Lord. He’s, he’s been playing the mediator. He’s saying if you find fifty righteous people, will you destroy Sodom for the sake of fifty? What about forty five, forty? He keeps on walking it down till we get to ten. And God says I won’t destroy the city for the sake of ten. What do we have here? Four out of thousands of people. Four people.

So the angels, you can imagine them, the, they Lot, his wife, his daughters, they’re just on the floor. So these angels pick up the dead weight as if it’s a bag of feathers, right? Angels strong. They throw them on their shoulders and they run them out of the city and put them down. They tell them run. Run. Even righteous Lot, his soul weary and exhausted, he lacks the earnestness at this point to escape Sodom, to avoid the destruction.

If it were left up to him, he’d be dead. He’d be consumed in the flame and buried in the ashes. But praise God, it wasn’t up to him. God intended as we read there, the Lord being merciful to him, he belongs to God, and God will secure Lot’s rescue. It’s good to know, isn’t it? It’s good to know that when our own earnestness falls short and runs out and comes to an end, that God will pick us up and carry us to the finish line. When Noah and his family entered the Ark, it’s God who shut the door. He sealed it watertight. He preserved that boat through the flood and the waves.

When Lot lagged in strength and earnestness the angels seized him, seized his wife, his two daughters, picked them up, threw them on their shoulders, ran them out of the city. The Grace of God will not allow the earnestness of Lot’s believing life. He’s believing testimony to fall short in the end. God would see it through. Now go down to verse 23. Here’s, here’s the fateful time the description terrible, “sun had risen on the earth when Lot came to Zohar.” The little city that he pleaded to go to cause, too hard to run further. “Sun had risen on the earth when Lot came to Zohar [and] then the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah sulfur and fire from the Lord out of heaven.

By the way, just a footnote there. It says “the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah, sulfur and fire from the Lord out of heaven.” Do you see two Lords there? All uppercase. Yahweh on earth is calling down fire and sulfur, fire and brimstone. Brimstone the old word for sulfur calling down fire and brimstone from the Lord in heaven. Yahweh on earth, Yahweh in heaven. An indication of the second person of the Trinity there calling down fire.

Anyway, “The Lord rained down sulfur and fire from the Lord out of heaven. And he overthrew those cities, and all the valley, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground. But Lot’s wife, behind him, looked back, she became a pillar of salt.” Lot’s wife left Sodom, yes, but Sodom never left her heart. She was rested out of her obliviousness by the news of coming destruction. She was yanked from any sense of denial by the powerful hands of the angels, but her covetousness never left her heart. She never mortified that sin. She’d never put away the idolatry her treasure was in her house, was in Sodom, and her heart stayed behind.

So yeah, she lacked earnestness. You can see it there in verse 26, but Lot’s wife behind him, that is, she’s unwilling to keep up with her believing husband any longer, she lags behind. She slows her pace, her footsteps falling ever heavier as she thinks about all that she’s leaving behind. Stuff in her house, ah maybe. Friends and family, neighbors and society. An entire community of people who are just like herself. A lifestyle, a way of living, most certainly. That’s on her heart. We see her covetous heart has even grown cold toward her own daughters. She’s willing to leave them with righteous Lot. As she turns back. So Lot’s wife, behind him, looked back, one look was all it took. She became a pillar of salt.

So tragic, isn’t it? She’s right there. Just a few more steps to safety. More powerful than her body and her muscles and her strength is her heart. Stopped her short. That’s the tragedy of the almost saved. William Hendrickson says, “In her scale of values she placed earth above heaven, material things above spiritual.” Leon Morris says, “She looked back and lingered, evidently longing for the delights she was leaving behind.” Alfred Plummer says, “Lot’s wife looked back with a wish to recover worldly possessions and enjoyments. She proved herself to be unworthy of the salvation that was offered her.”

Archaeologists believe they’ve discovered the location of the cities of the plain at the South end of the Dead Sea. You realize that’s the lowest spot on earth and the lowest lake on earth. Pounded by judgment. It’s at the south end of the Dead Sea, and Moses described the area like this in his day, in Deuteronomy 29:23 says, “The whole land burned out with brimstone and salt.” That’s what he saw burned out land. “Nothing sown and nothing growing where no plant can sprout, an overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboiim, which the Lord overthrew in his anger and his wrath.”

The whole place is still a barren desert with thin striated layers of sediment, some of which is ash actually. You can reach out and feel it just comes apart like chalk and ash, some of it charcoal. Topography is dominated by formations, strange formations made-up of calcium sulfate, which is what the native limestone in the area and the sulfur of divine judgment turn into when they’re super-heated. Calcium sulfate.

So place smells like sulfur and you understand that foul rotten eggs smell. That’s the smell of brimstone. Embedded in the sediment in this area can be found deposits of sulfur brimstone that are altogether intact, and they’re the size of golf balls. Some of them, but unlike other sulfur deposits that can be found that are green in color, mixed with other elements, and they’re between forty and fifty percent pure, these ones that could be found here on this site. These balls of brimstone are white. They’re between ninety and one hundred percent pure.

They’re so pure, in fact, you can light them with a match and they will burn with a greenish blue flame. I mean, it is eerie to imagine greenish blue balls of flaming brimstone streaming at you. From the sky to destroy your home and you and your people, everybody. I’ve seen what hail can do. Few years ago we all experienced big hail, smashing windshields, smashing houses, destroying roofs all over the city.

Imagine if all those were greenish blue balls of flaming brimstone. Wouldn’t be a house left. Lot’s wife. She’s a perpetual reminder to the almost saved, to the almost Christian. Josephus in Antiquities of the Jews, he notes “her salted, brainy corpse as a lesson that he says he’s seen.” He says, “God cast a thunderbolt upon the city and set it on fire with its inhabitants, and laid waste the country with the like burning but Lot’s wife continually turning back to view the city as she went from it, and being too nicely inquisitive. What would become of it, although God had forbidden her to do so, was changed into a pillar of salt, for I have seen it, and it remains at this day.”

The editor of Josephus’s work says, “The pillar that Josephus saw it was also attested by Clement of Rome, also by Irenaeus, also by other travelers in the area.” The apocryphal book Wisdom of Solomon, written in the mid first century, recalls the evidence of this judgment. It says, “it describes as continually smoking wasteland plants bearing fruit that does not ripen, a pillar of salt standing as a monument to an unbelieving soul.” End Quote.

JC Ryle summarizes this for us. He says, “Lot’s wife went far in religious profession. She was the wife of a righteous man. She was linked through Lot to Abraham, the father of the faithful. She fled with her husband from Sodom in the day when he fled for his life in response to God’s command. But Lot’s wife was really not like her husband. Though she fled with him, she left her heart behind her. She deliberately disobeyed the angels’ strict instruction. She looked back towards Sodom and was at once struck dead. She was turned into a pillar of salt and died in her sins.”

“Remember Lot’s wife,” says our Lord. Entering into the Kingdom of God, it’s not only a matter of escaping the wrath of God, it’s not just about escape. It’s about living. It’s those who know what life is and what living is. They’re the ones who escape coming judgment. Because entering into the Kingdom of God is about living. It’s about truly living, empowered by an eternal kind of life that God gives us. It’s by the power of that eternal life that we clear our minds of all obliviousness, that we mortify all covetousness in our hearts. And we equip our hearts with the continuous earnestness and the faith. And that comes about only when we have true life, eternal life, granted to us in Christ by God.

So that brings us just briefly to verse 33. And I want to bring this to your attention because this is the key to it all. It’s a fourth point, and it’s in contrast to the others. So this number, point number four, just write down a life of contentedness, a life of contentedness. “Whoever seeks to preserve his life [verse 33] will lose it, but whoever loses his life will keep it.” Notice verse 33, Whoever seeks to preserve his life, literally life there is psyche which is soul.

So this refers to the special kind of life that we human beings possess. An internal life of the spirit that requires, our spirit is invisible, it’s, it’s within, and it requires the stimuli that’s received by the senses of our bodies, processed by the brain and interpreted by the spirit inside. It’s our spirit who does our thinking, it’s our spirit who does our planning, it’s the spirit who does the willing, that feels, that has the emotions. Is it affected by the brain? Is it affected by all that’s going on the body? Absolutely it is. But we’re unique in that way. Totally unique of all God’s creatures.

Animals have bodies, but no spirits, so they’re not like us. They’re not soulish creatures, no matter what Disney would have you believe. Angels. They have spirits, but no bodies, so they’re not like us either. Soulish creatures that interact with the material world. They don’t have that privilege, that pleasure, that advantage. We lose sight of our special purpose when we seek to preserve our souls for ourselves.

That word preserve, it means to gain for oneself, to keep, to hold on to, to cling to, to use, to keep for one’s own use. It’s the idea of gain. I don’t have it. I want it. I’m gonna gain it for myself. So we have the wrong idea of gain. Our lives, our souls, are not gain their gift. They’re a stewardship that we receive from God. They are gift, not gain. So if we’ll give up our lives. For the sake of Christ, if we’ll sacrifice our all for him, if we’ll live for his will no matter what the cost is. Not trying to hold on to our lives, but willingly, contentedly dying to self. Well, we’ll live to him and we will live forever.

Whoever loses his life in that way, let’s go of it. Releases it, refuses to hold on to it. Refuses to hold on to all the things and all the stuff and all the experiences and all the advantages and privileges and hold on to the, the jobs and the profit and the business and all the stuff that is stuff that clutters us. So just let go of it. Release it, release it to God. You treat as a stewardship, yes, but don’t try to hold on to it for gain. We’ll entrust our soul to God, whoever loses his life will keep it.

Keep it, the word, keep, it’s the word zoogoneo. The word Zoe, life, is at the root. Zoe spiritual life, not bios us. Physical life, zoe spiritual life and eternal life, which is a gift from God. Takes us right back to Luke 9:23-24. Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself. Take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.”

Beloved, remember Lot’s wife, remember Lot’s, wife. Me end where we started today. Hebrews chapter 3 verses 12 and following says, “Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day as long as it is called ‘today,’ so that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end.”

Let’s pray. Our Father, we have every great encouragement from all that we’ve seen and studied every encouragement in this text to see that you preserved Lot’s life firm to the end. Help us please, to be earnest, Christians. To be grateful and joyful in what you, in what you’ve granted to us in Christ, in this eternal kind of life, this eternal quality of life that was seen clearly, so clearly in our Lord and is granted to us by your grace through faith in him.

Pray, father, that you would hold us fast for him to the end. That we would be earnest and contented and sacrificing all for your sake. Being good stewards of everything you’ve given us, but never counting it as gain, only counting it as a gift, a gift that we are stewards of, that we may give an account of all this to you. Lord, let us rejoice that our life is hidden with Christ and God. And we belong to you, and you’ll preserve us faithful to the end.

If there are any here who realize that that’s not their situation, that they fear that they may be maybe a spouse married to a godly person. They themselves don’t know that life. Our Father, we pray that you would bring them to talk to one of us and find, truly find salvation before it’s too late. If there are any people here, young or old, anybody in between, who realized that they’ve been, they’ve had their mind dulled by distraction and covetousness, and they’re oblivious, really, to the coming judgment. But now they’ve been awakened by your Grace we pray, Father, you would bring them come and seek this gospel that saved so many of us.

And for those of us who need this reminder and we need to continue to remind ourselves to remember Lot’s wife, please recall this to our minds. Let it ever be far from our thoughts. That we would endure to the very end. Because those are the ones whom your soul takes pleasure in, those who endure faithful to the end, we trust you to do that in us and for us. For the sake of Christ, for your glory, Father, by the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.