A Clean Win
You’ll make us succeed in Your own Will, we know that -- and give ourselves to Thee for that purpose, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Alright. Thank you very much and hello again, radio friends. How in the world are you? It’s your good friend, Bob Cook, and we’re back together again looking at 2 Peter chapter 2. A chapter full of judgment and pointing out the awfulness of sin. And you and I are looking at it in two ways, looking at it realistically acknowledging the truth of the chapter concerning how sin works in people’s hearts, but also realizing how God works through the Lord Jesus Christ in believing hearts.
Well, we were talking about the “spare not God” the last time we got together. Verse 4, “God spared not the angels that sin,” verse 5, “God spared not the old world but brought in the flood upon the world of the ungodly,” and verse 6, “He didn’t spare Sodom and Gomorrah but condemned they with an overthrow.” Then it says in verse 7, “He delivered just Lot who was vexed with the filthy lifestyle of the wicked.” And then Peter adds parenthetically, “For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds.” The Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptation and to reserve the unjust onto the Day of Judgment to be punished. God knows how. We’ll get down to that verse later on.
Right now let’s talk about Lot and what he wanted and what he got. I just referred with you to Lot’s choice the last time we got together when they were having a little difficulty there concerning pasture and water rights, and that sort of a thing. And Abram said “Look, let’s not fight about it. You take what you want and I’ll take what’s left.” Lot and Abram had flocks and herds and tents, and the land was not able to bear them, that they might dwell together for their substance was great so they could not dwell together, and there was a strife between the herdmen of Abram’s cattle and the herdmen of Lot’s cattle, and the Canaanite and the Perizzite dwell then in the land. So, they had the difficulty of intramural, interfamilial strife and also the danger of people around them who might be marauding and thieving, and so on.
So, Abram said to Lot, this is Genesis 13 verse 8, “Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we’re brethren. Is not the whole land before thee? Separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: it thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left. And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere, before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah just like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt as you come into Zoar.” That’s the Valley of the Nile. “And Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east, and they separated themselves, the one from the other. And, Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom. But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the Lord exceedingly.”
Later on we find that Lot had become an official in Sodom. He sat in the gate which means that he was one of the judges. Now, what is all these? Do we have to stop long enough to realize that you do have a choice, it doesn’t always seem as though you have a choice concerning your destiny, but it turns out that the things you do chose contribute to what happens later on. The things we choose determine our destiny after all.
And Lot had a choice and it says, “He pitched his tent toward Sodom.” I have a little imaginary dialogue that I sometimes use at breakfast time and Mrs. Lot is speaking and she says, “Papa, you know it’s nice out here but I just wish that we were a little closer to town.” And by the time I get into town in the jeep, everything is picked over in the markets and it’s too far to take the girls in for ballet lessons. And you don’t want them to grow up to be a little country bumpkins do you, little hay seeds? We want them to be real ladies. We want them to have some culture and don’t you think it would be smart for us to move into town? You could still have your cattle business out here, you know, you got good foreman and you could still have your cattle business out here, but we could live in town and have some of the advantages of being in town.”
And at that moment of course the girls all chimed and said “Yeah, daddy, yeah. Can’t we, please? Can’t we?” Well, anything that mama talks about for a long time happens, generally speaking. And so, it was that they moved into town by and by. Well, everything seemed to go Alright. As a matter of fact Lot was accepted by people and he became one of the elders of the town, that takes a little while but there he was. He was sitting in the gate, and he was one of the elders, he was one of the people that judged the cases that were brought before them and then they didn’t have courts in those days in the way we do. The elders of the town would judge the cases that were brought before them, generally speaking.
Now, it says “He vexed his soul from day to day seeing the wicked things that happened.” “Vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds,” seeing and hearing. Lot chose something that would be a good market. He ended up being a victim of his choice. And you can see what change had been brought in his own point of view in that when these two angels came into his house and the gay crowd outside said “Bring these men out. We want to have intercourse with them.” He said “Oh, don’t do such a wicked thing.” He said, “I’ve got two daughters that are virgins, you can rape them.” Can you imagine that? I can’t even imagine that.
But this is what Lot said, as you know and they said “No, we’re going to break the door down.” They smote, that they we’re going to break the door.” But it says “The angels put forth their hands, and pulled Lot into the house and shut the door and smote the men that were at the door with blindness, so they wearied themselves even to find the door.” And the Angel said “Have you got anybody in town here? Your son-in-law or your sons and daughters or whatever because we’re going to destroy this place, the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the Lord; and the Lord sent us to destroy it.”
And Lot went out and spoke onto his sons-in-law which had married his daughters and said “Up, get you out of this place, for the Lord will destroy this city.” Well, this was night time now you see, and they’d probably gone to bed, and so they opened the shutters and looked out sleepily and here’s Lot crying out to them saying, “Get on out, God is going to destroy this place.” And they laughed and they said “Oh, listen to gramps, you’ve been hitting the juice too much, you must be kidding. You must be kidding. Oh, go back to bed.” And so, they closed the shutters and went back to bed, and woke up in hell as did the rest of the inhabitants of that city. They seemed as one that mocked, they said “You got to be kidding.”
So they said arise, and when the morning arose, the Angels said “Take your wife and your two daughters with you here, you don’t want to be consumed in the iniquity of this city.” And the dragged him out. They laid hold upon his hand and the hand of his wife and the hand of his two daughters. They brought him out. Oh, dear. What had happened to Lot? He had been accepted. He had been accepted by the wicked community so much so that two of his daughters had married inhabitants of the city but, number one, it said “He vexed his righteous soul.” He lived with a wounded, vexed, grieved spirit. And number two, he had absorbed so much of the culture of that wicked place that he was willing to have his own two, unmarried daughters sexually abused in order to protect some strangers he had taken under his roof.
And number three, he was so much apart of the place that the angels had to pull him out literally, and instead of getting clear, away from the place, he begged to stay somewhere near it. He said “I’m a city man. I’m not a country man.” He used to be. He used to be at home out in the country, but now he says “I can’t dwell. Just let me stay a little nearer.” What happens when you choose the world’s kind of advantage? Now, I’m not preaching against being a success in business nor am I preaching against being a success in any profession, you know that.
What I’m saying is, when your motivation leads you to compromise with the world culture in order to advance yourself it becomes a very costly business. It’s what I’m saying. It becomes a very costly business. There is a man who used to be an announcer in a Christian radio station, he has a glorious voice and a fine broadcast manner and then he goes on, he becomes a great success, moves to New York and is employed in New York and Los Angeles and other great places, and you contact him, let’s say 20 years after you had first met him. And you say “Well, those were great days when you were living for the Lord and being an announcer on a Christian radio station.” And he looks a little nostalgic and he says, “Yes, but that’s all past now.” He said “I have gotten beyond that.” So now he’s with the fast crowd, now he’s with the world’s crowd. He’s successful. He still has that golden voice and he still has that charming manner that people adore but he’s far from God because he chose to compromise in order to succeed.
And I suppose every one of you could sight an illustration of that sort of thing. You and I need to be warned about it, no one of us is too young or too old not to need to be warned about this matter of compromising with the world system in order to try to succeed. Lot succeeded, he made his money, he found his market, he was accepted, he became an elder; it would be our equivalent of a judge or a member of the Mayor’s Council or something like that, so it was all there, two of his daughters married successfully in the culture. But when it came right down to it, it had done something to his own heart and he ended his life in the ignominious shame of father and children by his own two unmarried daughters. Oh, what a heartache.
Now, what does that say to you and to me? Obviously, we’re not living in cities like Sodom and Gomorrah, although it does seem that the onrush of growing immorality in our own country must certainly be the kind of thing that brought on the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. When you see what’s going on in our own country, don’t you sometimes wonder how it is that God doesn’t destroy us, as he did them?
Oh, what a patient, and merciful, and loving God he is. But what it says to my own heart, beloved, is that I want to choose God’s way, like Abram. “I am thy God and thy exceeding great reward.” The Lord said to him. “You trust me and go my way, I’m going to take care of you.”
I want to go God’s way, don’t you? Amen. Well, we’ll get at this some more the next time we get together.
Dear Father, today help us to choose Your Will and help us to resist the idea of compromising with the world system in order to succeed. You’ll make us succeed in Your own Will, we know that, and we give ourselves to Thee for that purpose, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be blessing!
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