In recent days I have been very concerned about the U.S. Supreme Court’s consideration of the “same-sex marriage” issue. In all likelihood, “same-sex marriage” will be approved for all 50 states of the U.S. (plus the District of Columbia) around 07/01/15.
A question for born again Christian readers: are you “vexed” (troubled) by the possibility of nationally recognized gay marriage? I’m not talking about just the possibility of various Christian rights being taking away. I’m also talking about concern over sin itself.
I must admit, I have a tendency to be angry towards sinners themselves. But we need to take a deep breath, step back, and realize why we preach against sin. Sinners are headed straight down the path to Hell and the eternal Lake of Fire, if they do not accept Christ as Saviour. This is what our preaching against sin (of various kinds) should be all about – pointing out sin, and allowing the Holy Spirit to convict so sinners will turn around, repent of sin and accept Christ as Saviour and Lord.
I realize there are various ways to approach sinners and sin. And I would say different people need to be approached in different ways. Plus preachers vary in their personalities and God-given missions. John the Baptist and other prophets seemed to “rail” against sin in righteous anger. On the other hand, Jeremiah was called “the weeping prophet” (see the book of Lamentations), and Jesus wept over Jerusalem.
Following is an excellent, pertinent sermon outline I came across, by Independent Fundamental Baptist Pastor James J. Barker. The original sermon outline can be found here. I hope to add links to the Scripture passages, as time permits.
BEING VEXED IS NOT ENOUGH
Text: II PETER 2:1-9
1. I would like to draw your attention to a word found twice in our text this morning – “vexed” (2:7, 8). Lot was vexed. He did not approve of the so-called “gay lifestyle” of Sodom and Gomorrah.
2. To be “vexed” means to be troubled, to be afflicted, to be disturbed, to be annoyed, and to be distressed.
3. From our text we see that Lot was vexed by the filthy behavior of the Sodomites (2:6-8). In fact, some Greek scholars even translate this word as “tortured” – i.e., Lot was being tortured by “seeing and hearing” what the Sodomites were doing.
4. If all we had to go by was the OT, most of us would assume that Lot was not a saved man. However, in II Peter 2:7, Lot is referred to as a just man, and in verse 8 he is referred to as a righteous man.
5. In other words, Lot was saved. He was carnal; he was backslidden; he was a compromiser – but he was saved. Lot knew the Lord.
6. As we look at the life of Lot this morning, I would like to remind you that I Corinthians 10:11 says these OT historical accounts were “written for our admonition.”
7. Then the very next verse says, “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” This is an important lesson for us because in the Bible, Lot represents the carnal, worldly Christian, and the wicked cities of Sodom and Gomorrah represent the world.
8. Sodom and Gomorrah are referred to many times in both the OT and the NT. We do not have time to look up all of the references, but we will look at a few in order to demonstrate that in the Bible, Sodom and Gomorrah is a picture and type of the world (cf. Isaiah 1:9, 10; 3:8, 9; 13:19; Jer. 23:14; 49:17, 18; Ezek. 16:49; Amos 4:11, 12; Zeph. 2:9; Luke 17:28-32; Rev. 11:8).
9. Did you notice that God not only compares Israel, and Judah, and Jerusalem to Sodom and Gomorrah; He also compares Babylon, Edom, Moab, and Ammon to Sodom and Gomorrah.
10. In other words, just as Lot represents the worldly, carnal believer; and Sodom and Gomorrah represent the world.
11. My message this morning is entitled, “Being Vexed Is Not Enough.” There are many Christians who complain about the homosexuals but they let their children dress just like the world. They oppose abortion but they let their children go to proms and get involved in dating.
I. LOT SHOULD HAVE BEEN SEPARATED FROM THE SODOMITES
1. Second Peter 2:7 says that Lot was “vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked.” In the King James Bible, “conversation” refers to conduct and behavior.
2. Lot was not only vexed by the way they talked, he was vexed by the way they lived – “their unlawful deeds.”
3. I think it is easy to understand what happened to Lot. We see this all the time. For example, a young person goes to public school and tries to live for God and soon he or she gets discouraged – the ridicule, the derision, the sarcasm, the scorn, the contempt – it becomes to much to bear so soon the public school student begins to “blend in” rather than be different from his ungodly classmates.
4. This peer pressure is very strong with teenagers but it is also a problem with adults. Christians often hear dirty words and gutter language at work. Wicked sinners will take God’s name in vain, but many Christians will not object.
5. This is what happened to Lot. He should have separated from the Sodomites. He should have taken a stand for God. He should have protected his family, but he didn’t.
6. The Bible says, “For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds” (2:8).
7. Notice, Lot had to endure this ungodliness “day to day.” He was horribly affected by what he was “seeing and hearing” (2:8). Many Christians vex their righteous soul by what they are seeing and hearing – for example, by watching garbage on TV, and videos, and the Internet, and listening to rock music, and so on (cf. II Peter 2:8).
8. Michael Green says, “It is customary for Christians today, living inn a secularized society, no longer to be shocked by sinful things which they see and hear. They will, for example, without protest sit through a television program presenting material which a generation ago they would never have contemplated watching at a theatre or cinema. But when a man’s conscience becomes dulled to sin, and apathetic about moral standards, he is no longer wiling to look to the Lord for deliverance” (Tyndale Commentary).
9. Remember, Lot had to be dragged out of Sodom (Gen. 19:16).
10. By the way, notice sodomy is called “unlawful” (II Peter 2:8). Liberal politicians and wicked judges can pass all the laws that they want but they cannot make homosexuality lawful because God calls it “unlawful.” The Bible also calls it sinful, vile, wicked, abominable, unnatural, dishonorable, unseemly, and foolish.
11. James 1:27 tells us that we should keep ourselves “unspotted from the world,” but too many Christians are like Lot.
II. LOT DID NOT HAVE A GOOD TESTIMONY IN SODOM
1. You may remember the interesting conversation between the LORD and Abraham that is recorded in Genesis 18.
2. In this portion of Scripture, Abraham is attempting to intercede for Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen. 18:16-33).
3. Abraham is pleading for the wicked citizens of Sodom and Gomorrah. He does not want to see them destroyed.
4. Note that Abraham starts with 50 (Gen. 18:23, 24) and ends up with the LORD assuring him that He will not destroy Sodom and Gomorrah if only ten righteous people can be found there (18:32).
5. Perhaps Abraham thought that Lot and his extended family would be enough to spare the judgment of God. If Lot had just won his own family to the Lord, along with his daughters’ husbands and his sons’ wives, the Lord would have spared Sodom and Gomorrah, but Lot had absolutely no influence in Sodom (Gen. 19:12-14).
6. The Scofield Study Bible says, “Lot had utterly lost his testimony” (cf. Gen. 19:9 and Scofield margin – “The world’s contempt for a worldly believer”).
7. The reason Lot could not persuade his friends and family, and the reason he had absolutely no influence for God was he was not separated.
8. And because Lot was not separated from all of the wickedness in Sodom and Gomorrah, he did not speak out against all of their filthy wickedness.
9. Preachers today will not deal plainly with sin because (like Lot) they are compromised. How can they boldly attack rock music when they themselves listen to rock music? And when they even have it in their churches?
10. Or when they are afraid of losing members?
11. How can they preach against Hollywood if they are captivated by it themselves?
12. How can a preacher speak out against immodest dress when his wife or his daughter wears a mini-skirt?
13. How can a preacher preach about soulwinning if he never goes out soulwinning? Some preachers say, “My area of expertise is discipleship.” May I be frank and say that is baloney? If preachers do not win souls soon there will be nobody left to disciple!
14. In his commentary on this text, D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones writes, “We are to preach righteousness to such a world. We are to warn it; to tell it of the judgment that is coming because of its sin; we are to plead with men to see their danger and escape from it. And above all, we are to give them an example of the Christian life and the Christian character, and of loyalty to God and His truth.”
15. Here is where Lot failed. And when he finally did try to warn them about the judgment of God, they did not take him seriously (Gen. 19:14-16).
16. Thanks to the mercy of God (Gen. 19:16), Lot was able to get his daughters out of Sodom, but he was not able to get the Sodom out of them (cf. Gen. 19:30-38).
17. Isn’t it interesting that in Zech. 2:9, the LORD says, “Surely Moab shall be as Sodom, and the children of Ammon as Gomorrah.” And that is how these nations began – with an incestuous relationship between Lot and his two daughters right after they escaped from Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen. 19:37, 38).
III. THE STORY OF LOT IS A LESSON FOR US TODAY
1. We often think that the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah is a warning against the sin of homosexuality, and it certainly is (cf. II Peter 2:6; Jude 7).
2. This is one of the reasons why the ungodly hate the Bible. This is why they make disparaging remarks about fundamental Christians.
3. There are other reasons as well. The Bible clearly teaches that if they do not repent and turn to Jesus then they will go to hell. That is not a message they want to hear.
4. But the Bible’s strong condemnation of homosexuality is a big bone of contention in these days of moral relativism and apostasy.
5. However, there is another important lesson here – one that is often overlooked. Lot represents the modern, worldly Christian. He is saved but he has little interest in the things of God.
6. He has godly relatives (e.g., Lot was Abraham’s nephew) but he is more comfortable associating with the wicked crowd (cf. Gen. 13:10-13; 19:1).
7. Psalm 1 says, “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.”
8. Lot was unwilling to take a stand in Sodom and it cost him his testimony; it cost him his conscience; and it cost him his family.
1. While the story of Lot is a lesson for the worldly Christian, the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah is a warning to the unsaved (II Peter 2:6). God will judge the “ungodly” (2:6, 10).
2. God is patient and long-suffering, but it is unwise to exhaust His patience (II Peter 3:9).
Pastor James J. Barker