There is a very tragic account written in the Bible. In Genesis 18, Almighty God communicated with a man, Abraham of His plans to judge the people of the towns of Sodom and Gomorrah. Although God’s patience with sinful people was, and is so great, the consistent sinful attitude and actions of the people in these towns finally hit a breaking point.
Yet, even though God was going to destroy these towns with a downpour of burning sulfur. He was willing to spare the lives of Lot and his wife, his daughters, and his future sons-in-law. God was even willing to spare His judgement if there were just 10 righteous people in these towns, but there were not.
Lot was able to get out-of-town with his wife and two daughters (his future sons-in-law thought he was joking, so they stayed behind) before the fury of God’s judgement came crashing down. With one final warning, it was told all of them by holy angels, “Flee for your lives! Don’t look back, and don’t stop anywhere in the plain! Flee to the mountains or you will be swept away!” (from Genesis 19:17- niv).
Lot and his family were told clearly not to look back at the destruction that was going to happen. This was more than a literal command, it also carried great symbolic meaning. This awful time in their lives was meant to be left in the past and they were to look to the future, to a new chapter in their lives where they could start over, committed to walking in obedience to God and enjoying Him.
Interestingly enough, there will be a time in the future of mankind (who knows when, maybe soon), when Jesus Christ will come back to gather up all those who have believed in Him. They will be raised up and will meet Him in the air. This event is known as the Rapture of the Church. Although it sounds so incredible and hard to believe, yet be certain of it, for it will come to pass. God’ Word is true.
2 immediate applications come to my mind regarding the Rapture:
- Lot warned his sons-in-law of the coming judgement of God, yet they thought he was joking. Sadly, to say, they would find out he wasn’t. Please continue to press on towards sharing the Gospel to whoever you can, wherever you can. Abraham pleaded with God and His angels to not destroy Sodom and Gomorrah if He found just 10 righteous people (initially He told Abraham 50). Plead with God to lead you to share Jesus Christ with those who are searching to find truth and peace in this life. Act with an urgency to share Christ!
- Although Lot, his wife, and his daughters were told not to look back at the pouring out of God’s wrath on these two towns, nonetheless, Lots’s wife looked back. For her disobedience, God judged her immediately by turning her into a pillar of salt. Ugh!
Here’s the point I want to get at: As followers of Jesus Christ, our perspective about life should be changing. We should be realizing that humanity lives on this earth in a lost condition, damaged by our sinfulness and rebellious attitudes and actions toward a holy God.We need saving. And once we understand that God has made a way for us to be saved by believing in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ who took on Himself, the punishment we deserve, we can be saved. It is a message of His grace.
From then on, our lives should be primarily motivated by an enthusiastic attitude of gratefulness for saving us and His love for us, as well as a strong desire to serve others, blessing them with grace and mercy, just like we too have received.
So, I wonder how many Christians when they are being lifted up in the clouds upon the returning of Jesus Christ, rather than looking at their coming Savior, will look back on earth with a sense of loss; at all their worldly goods , which they will be parting with. That to me, is tragic. Their Savior is before them, but their heart really yearns for their “stuff”.
To take it one step further, what about today? In 2 Peter 3:12, we are to be as those “looking and hastening the Lord’s return”.
Titus 2:13 (nlt)- “while we look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ will be revealed”
What is the condition of your heart today? Do the eyes of your heart tend to be looking upward, looking for His return, or do they tend to look on a horizontal plane, looking at your stuff?
Friends, learn from Lot’s wife and “don’t look back”.