So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who had married his daughters, and said, “Get up, get out of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city!” But to his sons-in-law he seemed to be joking.
There was a time when I would have politely told off anyone who told me I was a sinner in danger of losing my life. Or maybe not so politely told them to leave me alone, to keep their judgments to themselves. I was no sinner! I didn’t need saving! Saved? From what? Death comes to us all, sweetie, so what’s the difference? Get out of my face!
Every time I read today’s verse, I have to reflect on who I used to be, the man I was before I came to Christ. I look back at where I was, the life I once lived. My life wasn’t so bad, really, but there was a façade, a veneer of “goodness” to it. In fact, that façade was so much a part of my life that even I was fooled by it, thinking that my modest success, the respect I got from others, the veneer of morality was the “real me.” So, although I knew ABOUT Christ, I didn’t really KNOW Him until I looked beneath the façade, broke through the falsehood and saw my sin for what it really was.
Saved? That’s perhaps the hardest thing to explain to someone who is so caught up in sin that they can’t see any other life. And even harder still is getting them to understand that faith and repentance don’t buy them their best life now, salvation through Christ buys them their best life AFTER they have “shuffled off this mortal coil.” (Apologies to Shakespeare.)
What changed my mind? The Cross. Every other religion on the face of the earth is about performance, about making the grade so you can move on to the next life. But Christianity is all about faith in a God who loves us so much that He gave His only begotten Son to ENABLE us to make the grade! Christ gave His life – painfully – on the Cross so that I might live. And He did that not AFTER I had stopped sinning but BEFORE, while I was STILL a sinner. Every time I think about the terrible cost of the Crucifixion, I weep. And I love God even more because on the Cross I see His love illustrated so beautifully.
Lot’s sons-in-law didn’t have the Cross to look to for salvation. All they had was the word of the one righteous man in Sodom. All they had was the Word of God relayed to them by a man who treated them like a father. All they had was the example of a man who took God’s Word so seriously that he would bet his life on it. All they had was the word of a man who loved them enough to try to save them from themselves. And honestly, that’s not so different from what WE have, is it?
No more joking. No more beating around the bush. No more waiting for signs and wonders. It is time to take Christ seriously, to listen when He says “Repent, and believe in the gospel!” (Mark 1:15) The time IS at hand for us to leave Sodom, to embrace life in Christ, to follow Him to safety and glory. It is time to break through to the scoffers and the faithless and impress upon them that there IS more to life than Sodom’s sinful pleasures, that their best life is waiting somewhere else. It is time to look up at the Cross where Jesus – the Prince of Peace, the Lamb of God, the Son of Man – died so that we might live.
“I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live…”
Precious God and Father, we thank You again for giving us Your Son, the Water of Life. Don’t let us be blind to the dangers of our sins, and help us, O Lord, to make others see the path out of Sodom before it is too late. Amen.