If everyone was doing it, it must be okay!
God has been very careful and precise in explaining choices, providing numerous examples in His Word for our consideration and benefit.
He created mankind to enjoy, not to destroy. Self-deception leads to challenging the authority and power of God in a futile exercise that can only lead to the plug being pulled by the destruction of sin. Free-will acknowledgment and submission to God’s preeminence and authority overcomes deception inspired rebellion, letting us enjoy the freedom God provides.
As history has unfolded, it is apparent that the adversary’s goal has not been to gather companions in his rebellion. He simply wants to come against God by bringing destruction upon as many of His human creations as he can. The adversary, Satan, actually has no power to do physical actions to man. He can only influence him and his decisions. Seeing that the consequence of sin is death, the adversary seeks to have humans destroy themselves before they have the opportunity to encounter the mercy, forgiveness, and provision of God.
Fear, apathy, doubt, deception, and denial are just some of the tools that are used to prevent a person from even discovering the relationship that God offers. Distraction, tradition, rationalization, and complacency are some of the weapons that are employed for the destruction of those who have entered into a covenant relationship with God. Such is the situation in which Lot found himself as he became entangled within the culture of Sodom and Gomorrah. Lot was aware of Abraham’s covenant relationship with God. Abraham shared the promise of that covenant with Lot when he and Lot parted company many years before. Abraham actually gave Lot preferential treatment and allowed him to choose the region in which he would live. The difference was that Abraham stayed with God, and Lot became intertwined with a decadent society.
Lot seemed to have maintained his righteousness before God in the midst of a great deal of sin as he did not personally partake in the activities of the city. However, Lot apparently did not influence his children in the same way as Abraham did. Some of Lot’s children went deeply astray into the sinful world of Sodom and Gomorrah. In Genesis 18:19, God spoke of Abraham in a different light saying, “For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him”. This is just one of the reasons that God made the covenant with Abraham, not Lot.
Two of Lot’s daughters were married. Either they or their husbands must have taken some part in the sexual perversion that was prevalent in the city. When given the opportunity to flee the impending penalty of the collective sin of the cities, they and their husbands chose to stay in their lifestyle. The mercies afforded them by a relationship as daughters of Lot were overridden by their free-will decision to reject rescue from the impending penalty of sin upon the cities.
Abraham entered into what he thought was a bargaining conversation, and he concluded that there would certainly be ten righteous in the city. However, he was not bargaining or even interceding. He was actually setting the parameters upon which a sentence would be imposed, based on the judgment or determination of sin. The corporate sin demanded to be judged and sentenced, and it was this cry of the sin that had come before God.
Destruction did not come upon the cities because of a whim of God. It came because of the magnitude of the cooperative sin that pervaded the cities. The people were in complete agreement in their sins. They were oblivious to the consequences of their sins. They deceived themselves into believing that if everyone was doing it, it must be okay. This is certainly a dangerous place to be as a society, when agreement to commit sin is made acceptable through social attitudes or legislation, and it is still occurring today.
God had set out to determine (or judge) the accuracy of the accusations, but Abraham actually set the threshold for the number at which the judgment or determination would be assessed. The judgment of God yielded the determination of the truth that the sin was as it was described. As a result, the penalty for the sin could no longer be withheld. Those who chose to stay voluntarily determined to pit their own will against God’s law, authority, and advice just as Lucifer had done. Sin’s penalty came due, and they lost.
The character of God is one of patience, longsuffering, mercy, and forgiveness. He actively engages in activities on behalf of man to rescue him from himself. Some will respond to God’s call, and His provision for them, and some will reject it in favor of their own will and the pleasures that they can experience on the earth. God set out to bring awareness of the situation of the cities’ impending doom to Abraham, His man on the earth. Abraham was a new legal authority by virtue of his faith and the covenant. His authority would set the boundaries for the legal actions taken against sin.
The consequence of sin, however, had been long before determined. God’s desire was to impart mercy, but it was rejected by those in the city, including part of Lot’s family. However, God did not react to the rejection. He could no longer hold back the penalties after the gravity of the sin cried out and Abraham set the boundaries. God did not destroy the people or the cities. They were in the path of the penalty for sin. In truth, they destroyed themselves as a result of their choices. They were self-deceived, believing that they had nothing about which to worry. They put themselves in the path of the sentence because they refused to repent and change direction.
Lot escaped the destruction of the cities with his wife and two of his daughters because of his decision to walk in God’s Law and according to His commands. It turned out that Abraham’s bargaining should have gone down to three righteous within the cities if the cities were to have been spared the consequence of their grievous sins. Only three were to make it out unscathed. As Lot’s wife looked back toward the city, she was undoubtedly looking back with some longing or misgivings in her heart about leaving. Her faltering gaze caused her to be turned into a pillar of salt. She paid the price for her own sin as did the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah. Safety and preservation were offered but refused.
The account of Lot and Sodom and Gomorrah has application in your life. The principles are the same even though the circumstances are different. It is guaranteed that if you do not walk in the Truth, you will suffer the Consequences of your sins, and the natural penalty for your own sins is death. You are hopelessly unable to walk perfectly in the Truth on your own, but God has always endeavored to make a way. Ultimately, He gave Jesus as a sacrifice so that all that believe in Him might be forgiven and freed from the penalty of death. He died your death for you so that your sin penalty would be paid. It is not in your best interest to refuse His gift because He saved you from yourself!
You can follow in the path of God’s Truth, accept the gift He has provided through Jesus’ sacrifice and be successful, prosperous, blessed, and forgiven. The plan of the God of the Bible is to rescue, forgive, save, deliver, and restore. Is He the God that you know? Or if you prefer, you can blow Him off and enjoy the consequences that your own actions legally demand. Check your motivation, your allegiance, your vision, and your faith. Do not be deceived. Understand the struggle that is going on to take your life from you. Deception is a tactic of the adversary. Be careful what you attribute to God. He is there for you, not against you.
Truth or consequences, the choice is yours.
Learn more about this subject in Chapter 15 of Ideolatry, Truth or Consequences.
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