I was just reading in Genesis chapter 19 about the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and it got me to thinking about Lot. Back in chapter 13 both he and Abraham had become so rich (wealth back then being defined by cattle not gold) that they had to go their separate ways in order for them to find enough pasture for their flocks. In chapter 14 those cities are conquered, Lot and his family are captured, and uncle Abraham has to ride to the rescue. Then chapter 19 takes place. There is no mention of Lot’s wealth only his civic job (judge at the gate) and the angels tell him to get all his family together and run, but no mention of all those servants he had had back in chapter 13. We know from the closing verses of chapter 19 that he has no more wealth otherwise his virgin daughters would not have had to get him drunk in order to have kids (on a side note, what would have happened if their plan failed the first time?).
What happened to those servants? Had they left his employ after the events of chapter 14? Did Lot buy his seat by trading them for it? Had they lead the mob to Lot’s door to rape the angels? Were they just so discussed with Lot that they didn’t believe him when his warning came (remember the angels asked if he had sons and whosoever thou hast v12)? Could that be why Abraham when he was pleading with God to not destroy the cities started with 50 because he figured a good part of Lot’s servants would be believer’s? Surely these missing servants died with the rest in Sodom, or even perhaps some had already moved on.
As I draw this to a close I can’t help but think about people who I have met over the years at church. People who have left the local assembly. Not those who moved away or relocated to a different church mind you. I am talking about those who have just gone missing. For whatever reason they left. Perhaps because they had their feelings hurt. Maybe they had come expecting one thing and when it didn’t go their way they gave up on their idea of God. Some left because of sickness or work and even after that stretch was over they just stayed where they were. Comfort can be a bad thing for a Christian and many have fallen into that trap as well. We need to pray for the missing, pray that they come back on the scene before God starts lighting His fire.
John 3:19,20 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
There is a song lyric out there that says “the night is on my side” and I would say the song I am thinking of is talking about being a rebel. Whenever I see a bar or club in a movie or t.v. show they are always pictured as being dark inside. In fact it used to be in westerns the bad guy always wore a black hat. Everything pointing to the darkness and whether people wish to admit it or not the darkness of the soul. Even trying to wear all black clothes is us trying generally trying to hide our weight, which spiritually agains has the potential to suggest we are hiding how lightweight we are in that area of our lives.
Did you know we cannot create darkness? It is true. Even when we turn the lights off we are not in actuality making it dark. Our mind says we are but truth be told all we are doing is turning off the light. We can dim the light or we can turn the light on so high it can blind a person but we cannot turn on the darkness. Darkness is the absence of light.
In the darkness of the womb we are conceived in sin (Psalms 51:5). That darkness reprents the darkness of our souls because thanks to sin we are all born spiritually dead. Contrast that with Jesus, who through the power of the Holy Ghost (Luke 1:35) His human body was conceived thus no sin in Him. Jesus came into this sin filled world as the Light (John 8:12). Light to shine into our blackened souls to reveal to us our hellbound condition.
Because of that hellbound condition we are in desperate need of His light. The problem with that is that people kinda like the way they are and don’t want to leave their confortable darkness. They believe the darkness is on their side. It feels good where they are at and they don’t see any need to change. What they are missing because of shortsightedness is that the darkness of this world which has the light of Jesus in it will one day end in Hell which is described as a place of outer darkness (Matthew 8:12). That means the darkness will become visible to them, no light at all for the rest of eternity. Darkness so thick you can feel it. Yes I know Hell is supposed to be fire so how can there be such darkness? Because the fire there will be so hot it will burn up the light normally generated and the payment for the sins of this life will insure a person there is never able to finally die (Romans 6:23).
The darkness is on nobody’s side. Jesus asks that we put our trust in Him and His light and be saved. Have you? If not, will you?
Jesus told a parable in Matthew 13:24-30 where wheat seeds were planted, an enemy came along and added weed (tares) seeds to the same field, reapers came along and spotted the weeds, and the man said to separate the wheat and the weeds at the harvest with the wheat to be placed in the barn and the weeds to be thrown into the fire. Afterward the disciples asked Jesus to explain the parable, which He did with the exception of the fire that the weeds were to be burned in. Why didn’t Jesus explain the fire? Generally figures of speech are not as intense as the real thing, so perhaps the fire is not explained because we humans don’t have the understanding or words to comprehend how much worse eternity in Hell will be. Personally I think at the very least there will be flames in Hell, as that there are to many references to fire when Hell is being discussed and in the narrative of the rich man and Lazarus with two named characters it does not seem that Jesus would say flames and mean it as a type when He had the perfect opportunity to say exactly what He meant. Since Jesus said flames and named both Lazarus and Abraham it would make sense that the One who created Hell for satan and his legions would know what He was talking about.
Philippians 2:12 “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”
Paul wants his readers to know what they stand for and on. Our understanding and experience are what helps us to grow to be the Christians that our salvation has enabled. If we are not in God’s word, if we are not praying, if we are not trying to serve God, and not in fellowship with other Christians than we are not working out our own salvation and we are not in obedience to God. It shouldn’t take an overseer to get us going constantly.
When a person is going through the help wanted ads often times they see “experience required”. It may not be for the entirety of the job but some experience in some facet of the job is needed. Often that leads people to pass on the job because they don’t have any experience and a desire to get that experience isn’t good enough.
Sin however doesn’t require us to gain experience before we sin because we are all born sinners. That happened thanks to that little incident back in the Garden of Eden. Before then we had no experience with sin but Satan was willing to help us get it. Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
Four little words made such a terrible difference, “Ye shall not eat”. He might as well said God said you can’t experience it. He was wanting them to get all the experience rhey could from that forbidden fruit.
Sin still works that way in our lives today. We are already sinners but sin wants us to experience more and more. Pornography leads to harder porn and at some point affairs. Drinking evolves to harder liquors and lower inhibitions. Drug use, gambling, and so on all striving for thing to make itself worse until you finally die!
You see sin began when Lucifer became prideful instead of useful to God. Every since sin has been experiencing itself and wnting more. It does not care who gets hurt or dies and it will keep on going until every last sinner is in their eternal home. The saved sinners in heaven where they will never sin again and the Devil, his fallen angels, and the lost forever paying for their sins in hell. There they will experience eternal suffering as the consequences of their sins.
In Daniel 3:15 king Nebuchadnezzar asked the 3 Hebrew boys “who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?” Those boys were trusting in their God to deliver them, one way or the other. Perhaps God would somehow keep them from going into the fire. Maybe the flames would extinguish once they entered and not relite. Or worst case God would deliver them from the kings power simply by taking them home.
As we know God was there with them inside the fire. The only thing that happened to them was their ropes or chains were removed from them and nothing bad happened to them. Not even the smell from the smoke passed onto rhem.
Here is the kicker. The question was “who is that God that shall deliver you from my hand?” Then suddenly in v25 the king recognizes that not only is there four men in the fire and not just 3 like there was supposed to be but he KNEW that yhe fourth man was the Son of God. How did he suddenly know this when when just a little bit ago he didn’t know Him? Because there is coming a time when everyone will know who He is. Won’t matter if you are saved or a devote atheist God will be known for who He is!
At our depot yesterday we are getting new docking plates installed. The boss had me watch them being installed to see if we could do it ourselves and save some money. Everything the guys did I know how to do but I am on lite duty, so I can’t, and we don’t have some of the tools needed.
While I was watching though they started using a welder. Of course you can’t watch the actual welding going on without proper eyewear. So I turned my back. You could feel the electricity in the air on this humid summer morning.
It made me think of the revival that is going on now down in Burlington North Carolina. C. T. Townsend is being used by God mightily there. The meeting started in a church 7 weeks ago that holds 900 and they had to move it to a nearby field and put up a tent.
Churches are busing in people from all over! Last Friday night Kenny Baldwin preached the Youth Night service and they had over 5,100 people in attendance. Over 300 people so far have been saved so far!
God made Israel a promise in 2 Chronicles 7:14 “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” I believe God extends that promise to His saved people too. People are hungry for God, there is electricity in the air down there and it is spreading some, let’s all pray it continues.