In Genesis, we see that Abraham is a friend of God…Lot, his nephew, is a friend of the world.
Now, Lot is living in a very worldly city of the time, Sodom, and is in fact sitting by the gate, which may indicate that he has some authority or influence there (chapters 18-19). We have seen Abraham appeal to God to spare Sodom if there were even ten believers, because the Lord has determined to destroy it because of its wickedness. Lot is one of only a very few “believers” there although he is not a very good one. Lot is edgy -- he may know what is right, but he chooses to ignore it and to live as he pleases…and it ultimately has some disastrous consequences.
What happens to Lot’s personal values as the result of being "in the world"? They go completely down the drain. Because of his carnality or worldliness, Lot has no spiritual influence either in the city or in his own home…his family ridicules him and they refuse to leave the city. Nevertheless, his wife and two daughters accompany him out of the city, but…the city is too much a part of them. Lot’s wife has to take one last look, and in one of the more memorable Biblical moments for all the wrong reasons, is turned into a giant cow lick. And the story, itself, ends up even more sordid, indeed. Lot loses everything in Sodom, yet he himself is saved “as by fire” so to speak (1 Corinthians 3:15). Abraham watches the cities of the plain be destroyed, yet God delivers Lot because of Abraham…a situation displaying God’s love, grace and mercy. This also reveals that the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah as an example of God’s righteous judgment, as revealed in Jude 7. At the same time, Jesus was sent to save sinners like those in Sodom and Gomorrah…and the rest of the world – those who lived then, as well as us today. As He ministered, Jesus was known as “a friend of tax-collectors and sinners” (Matthew 9:10). He died and was raised for all…the ungodly and sinners (Romans 5:6).
When sudden gross temptations rear their ugly heads, most Christians instinctively shrink back and avoid the pitfall. But, the thing that causes many to get away from God is the almost imperceptible, day by day drifting away from the Lord…as Lot did. A famous preacher says...the course of rebellion against God may be very gradual, but increases in rapidity as you progress in it; and if you begin to run down the hill, the ever-increasing impetus will send you down faster and faster to destruction. You Christians ought to watch against the beginning of worldly conformity. I sometimes get this question put to me, concerning certain worldly arguments, “May I do so-and-so?” I am very sorry whenever someone asks me that question, because it shows that there is something wrong, or it would not be raised at all. If a person’s conscience lets him say, “Well, I can go to A,” he will very soon go on to B, C, D, E and through all the letters of the alphabet. When Satan cannot catch us with a big sin…he will try a little one. It does not matter to him what bait he uses as long as he catches his fish. Beware of the beginning of evil, for many, who desired to go right, have turned aside and perished among the dark mountains in the wide field of sin.
God’s message to the world is that judgment is coming, but His promise to His own people is that He will rescue them (1 Thessalonians 5:1-11). Jesus still wants to befriend sinners and will save those who come to Him and are converted. The inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah had no idea that they were awakening that morning to the last day of their lives. It was life as usual…then fire fell. When judgment comes will you be like Abraham…and not have to be concerned about the wrath of God? Or, like Lot, will you perhaps be saved “as by fire”…or, then again... Blessings,