Jump Start # 2380
2 Peter 2:8 “For by what he saw and heard that righteous man, while living among them, felt his righteous soul tormented day after day with their lawless deeds.”
A good friend is bothered. He hates the direction our country is going. There seems to be no bottom to how far some are falling. No longer is abortion the discussion. Now, it’s can we abort even on the due date, of a full term baby. Some, even would allow the baby to be born and then end it’s life. Same-sex marriage is no longer discussed. Now, it’s I’m a boy, no, I’m a girl, no, I’m a boy, again. Males who pretend to be females want to compete with them in sports. In my day that would be embarrassing. It seems that they can’t win against males, so they declare they are a female so they can beat girls.
Once God is tossed out of our society, our thinking and our logic, we become animals. Passion rules over right and wrong. Animals can’t help what they do, they are animals. We ought to know better, but some want to be just like the animals.
And, my friend is feeling what many righteous people are feeling these days, tormented. Older translations used the word “vexed.” Just like ole’ Lot, we feel our souls vexed. Lot started out near Sodom. Then he moved to the city of Sodom. Then he was sitting in the gates of Sodom. He saw things that he should never have seen. He heard things that decent people should never hear. And, those things bothered him. What can we do? We can’t build a monastery. That won’t work.
Here are a few thoughts:
First, Lot remained righteous in a very wicked world. Three times, the Holy Spirit calls Lot “righteous” in this context. Wickedness was all around him. Wickedness bothered him. But wickedness did not come within the heart of Lot. It is possible to be righteous in an unrighteous world. You don’t have to compromise, nor sell out to survive. Don’t stop doing what is right. Do not be conformed to the world.
Second, the fact that the things Lot saw and heard bothered him is good. It bothers me when people are not bothered. It bothers me to hear of brethren bragging about immoral TV shows and movies. You ought to be outraged. You ought to be vexed. You ought to feel your soul tormented. When that isn’t happening, I wonder if Satan has already got ahold of some of us. It’s a good story line, or, it has a great plot, or I love the characters doesn’t dismiss all the bad things going on. A long time ago, on our honeymoon, my wife and I ate at a trout place in Tennessee. I ordered rainbow trout. It came with head, tail and all. I had trouble eating it with that eyeball looking at me. I turned it over and put a napkin over it’s head. I didn’t want to see it. I hope you are bothered by the language at work and in the community. It ought to offend us. When we see nothing wrong with things, then we must wonder where we are.
Third, it seems like Lot was intending to stay there until the Lord drug him out of that place. Peter tells us that “the Lord knows how to rescue the godly.” Sometimes like Lot we must leave. You may have to find another job. You may have to get out of the dorm. You may have to switch schools. You may have to move. Now, when that is the talk we immediately say, “I can’t do that.” Yes, you can. If your right eye offends you, pluck it out, is what Jesus said. It may be hard. It may be expensive. But you can leave Sodom. Lot lost everything when he left Sodom. For some, it may be not listening to liberal theology and politics anymore. For some, it may mean getting rid of the TV all together. Radical? Certainly. So was leaving Sodom. Stay there and watch your soul die or do something.
Fourth, I think Lot stayed too long. He lost his wife. He lost his daughters. Which is more important your 401 and paycheck or the eternal salvation of your family? Green pastures is what Lot chose. He should have stayed out in the pastures. We sometimes do not put the eternal into our decisions. We move, buy a house, and then think about finding a church. What’s available is dead, lifeless or non-existent. Should have thought that out before you moved. There are just places that Christians do not belong. Know those places. Be street smart. Know when it’s time to leave Sodom.
Fifth, make your Bible and your congregation an oasis for your soul. Troubled souls need relief. Find in it sweet worship to God. There we are reminded that He remains upon the throne. There we learn that things haven’t changed much in all these years. It was tough for Lot and that’s way back in the days of Genesis. Prayer, hope and holding to God’s hands will get you through these dark times. Find good things to think about. Focus upon the blessings of the Lord. Busy yourself doing good rather than listening to all the bad.
Sixth, speak out when you can. So much of what is being talked about today lacks sense, logic and evidence. Speak boldly, but kindly. Error tends to be loud and in your face. Remember, no one is killed by thunder. It’s lightning that does the damage. Raising your voice, name calling and becoming emotional is nothing but thunder. You’ll probably be labeled. You’ll probably be considered dumb, narrow and out of touch. But by God, He knows the way of the righteous.
Finally, some day we’ll be out of this place. I’m ready now. Let the loonies have it. They would rather believe in a global warming, than the fires of Hell. They’d rather support abortion but give no thought that their own moms didn’t choose that on them. They’d rather take every one’s money but they won’t give any themselves. It is crazy. It is nuts. And, one day the Lord’s patience will run out and Jesus will come. Until then, we must be a light for those who have sense. We must be the hands, feet and eyes of Jesus. We must put the kingdom before this nation and definitely before politics. Democrats hate Republicans. Republicans hate Democrats. But God loves all of us, even the looney ones. Pray harder. Dig deeper in the Scriptures. Trust the Lord more. Believe those promises of God.
This world is not my home…indeed. Remain unpolluted. Remain unchanged. Remain true to God. Will things get better? Probably not. But you and I will. We are marching to Zion. And, once we’re in Heaven, we won’t miss this old place, not at all.
Hang in there and keep holding on to God’s hand…