Sunday, May 17, 2009

What's So Bad About Living on the Edge?

Pastor Doug prefaced his sermon this morning by stating that a message usually falls within one of three categories. It is
1) a challenge, or
2) encouragement, or
3) a caution. This one falls within the third category.
The enemy likes to persuade us to live as close as possible to the world, to the people, to the situations that would lead us astray. The lesson is from Genesis, chapter 13, in which Abram and Lot settle together, then separate to different parts of the country.
We address three things about living on the edge.
1) People are always watching your life. (v. 7) Because of their great wealth and the inability of the area to support the agrarian pursuits of both men, quarreling arose between the employees of the two. Lot does nothing to stop this. Did this failure impair the witness of a godly man? We all have problems and conflicts. How we handle them bears on our witness.
2) Things aren't always what they seem to be. (v. 10) When Abram offered Lot his choice of lands, what did Lot see? To the east he saw a well-watered plain. Did this remind him of Egypt? This was his choice, an area of hundreds of square miles, but we are told "he pitched his tent near Sodom." That is, he was living on the edge of wickedness.
3) There is a heavy price to pay if you fall off the edge. Soon Lot found himself in the middle of a war that wasn't his, that he did not create and that he could not resolve. In fact, Abram had to send in a military force to rescue Lot from the conflict. Later (skipping ahead to chapter nineteen) we find Lot moving into Sodom. It seems that Lot, as many of us are, was a hard-headed man. When we choose to live near sin, it is amazing how soon we are living in sin.
Observe these steps to destruction. Study James 1: 13 - 15. God does not tempt. "Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death."

Conclusion. Though Lot made bad choices and ultimately fathered Moab and BenAmmi whose seed became bitter enemies to Abraham's seed, there was redemption, and hope for us.
Read 2 Peter 2:7 which says, "Lot was a righteous man." Pastor stated that he pictures this conversation with Lot when he gets to heaven:
Pastor Doug: Lot, what is your greatest regret concerning your life on earth?
Lot: I wish I had never pitched my tent near Sodom.
Don't be a part of the world. Don't live too close to the edge.

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