Scripture gives ample warnings and shocking examples of the effects of godly people who become contaminated by close friendships with the immoral world. The account of Lot’s behaviour on the night of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah provides a vivid example of the tragic consequences of such moral compromise.
The total annihilation of Sodom and Gomorrah reminds us that God’s gracious patience and merciful long-suffering have their limits. Though He delays judgment for the sake of the salvation of those who will believe and repent, He never dismisses His wrath against unrepentant wickedness.
The account of Lot’s dysfunctional family affair teaches us that the tragic effects of sin have been with us since the beginning. This embarrassing scene in Genesis 19 reminds us of just how deeply an immoral culture can affect our sense of right and wrong, prompting us to remember our weaknesses and God’s unwavering standard.
Abraham’s life presents a realistic picture of a saint instantly saved by grace but constantly struggling with repeat offences and carnal thinking, but the Lord was always merciful, gracious, and willing to pick up Abraham, brush him off, and help him learn through his experiences. The same loving God will do the same for us.
For a quarter century, Abraham and Sarah occupied God’s waiting room. When Abraham was 75 and his wife 65, God promised they would have a son. At just the right time in God’s providential plan, Abraham and Sarah laid eyes on the promised child and heard the words they had dreamed of all their lives.
When God forgives, He casts our sins as far as the east is from the west. He remembers them no more! However, Abraham’s life reveals another sobering truth: God’s merciful decision to not hold our wrongs against us doesn’t mean we won’t suffer physical, social, and emotional consequences in the present world.
Without a direct revelation from God it's impossible to know for sure, but circumstances might suggest the possibility that we have indeed experienced a special visitation. I have two such experiences.
If we are not careful we could easily get the impression that adolescence is a disease with headaches and heartaches, pressure and pain as its only symptoms. Not so! Adjustments and struggles may be present, but not to the exclusion of tremendous growth and remarkable achievements. These can be some of the most exciting years of one's spiritual pilgrimage.
Our earthly lives revolve around the people we love and the things we enjoy. However, someday the Lord may step into our contented, predictable lives and say, “Let go!” As we’ll discover in this message, that day came for Abraham…and then some.
The world in which we dwell focuses on the negative. Weather forecasters speak of a 30 per cent chance of rain. Why not a 70 per cent chance of sunshine? Movies and television delight in exposing the dirty, disgusting underbelly of society. Why not use media to paint a hopeful picture of how the world could be?