THE LORDSHIP OF CHRIST (LESSON 2)
All this month we are talking about what it means to have Christ as Lord in your life. If you are truly a Christian, Jesus should be your Master, your Ruler, and the One you follow. You should obey His instructions, and He should have total control.
So tonight we have a question for you: have you given Christ total control of your life? And if you know in your heart that you haven't, what is holding you back? What person or thing or lifestyle choice are you letting stand in the way of you following Christ with all of your heart, mind, and soul? Is Jesus directing your life, or are you putting Him off, making excuses, and ultimately just doing your own thing?
Tonight we are going look at three different people who weren't quite ready to totally let Jesus be their Lord. Two of them showed this by their words, and one of them showed it by their actions. Let's see what the Bible tells us about these people.
The first person is a woman. There is so little said about this woman that we don't even know her name. But by her actions we will see that God was not really Lord of her life. She was married to a man named Lot, and in the Bible she is only referred to as "Lot's wife."
Here is some background on this woman and her family: She had a couple of daughters, and she was married to a righteous man of God named Lot. Now, she and her family lived in a town called Sodom, which was near another town called Gomorrah. The town that they lived in was very sinful. The people who lived here had no regard for God and performed all kinds of weird immoral acts. This town was so wicked, that if you were a stranger just passing through town, you were in danger of being physically or sexually assaulted. Well, eventually God had had enough of the people's wicked ways and was ready to destroy this sinful place and all of the people who chose their sinful ways over obeying Him. But first God sent down from heaven two angels who resembled men to get Lot and his family safely out of the town.
Let's read in the Bible where the angels are warning Lot to get his family and leave Sodom and Gomorrah. Genesis 19:12-13, "And the men said unto Lot, Hast thou here any besides? son-in-law, and thy sons, and thy daughters, and whatsoever thou hast in the city, bring them out of this place: for we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the Lord; and the Lord hath sent us to destroy it."
* The Lord always first warns us of the coming judgment. And then He makes a way for us to escape. But it is up to us to decide whether to listen to Him and follow His instructions or to not listen and suffer the consequences.
Here God sent the angels to lead Lot and his wife and family to safety. Who did God send for us to show us the way to escape death and eternal hell? Jesus Christ. But it is not enough to just know that Jesus is Lord and Savior and that hell is real. You have to hear that information and then put that knowledge into action by following Jesus! God wants you to demonstrate your faith by your obedient action.
Now back to Lot and his wife. Let's skip ahead and read about how the Lord wanted them to not just hear the warning, but to follow. Genesis 19:15-17, "And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city. And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the Lord being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city. And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed."
* What were the instructions from God? Escape for your life! Do not look back. Escape to the mountains, lest you be destroyed. God was going to destroy the town and everything and everyone who was there. He was giving Lot and his family safe passage to the mountains. God was taking them to a higher place and was going to destroy the low, evil, wicked place. All they had to do was keep on moving forward to the place He promised to lead them to. But, sadly, we all know how the story ends. Not everybody was ready to follow the Lord 100%. And because of this, they died in their sins. Let's read how things turn out.
Genesis 19:23-26, "The sun was risen upon the earth when Lot entered Zoar. Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven; and he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground. But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt."
* By Lot's wife's actions, we see that she was not a true follower of God. She chose to do things her way, and because of her disobedience, she suffered serious consequences. She didn't make it to the mountains. She turned and died there in her tracks.
Why do you think she looked back? Did she doubt that God would be able to provide something for them that was better than what she was leaving behind? Did she let her desire for her house and her possessions become more important to her than obeying God's word? Was she merely curious about what was happening behind her? Did she really just want to stay in that wicked place with her unsaved friends? Perhaps she secretly enjoyed living in a place that was X-rated, which means she probably really wasn't a woman of God at all.
The bottom line is was that stuff that she looked back at worth dying for? Is the stuff that you are holding on to worth going to hell for? We show whether or not Christ is truly our Lord not just by our words, but by our actions. Lot's wife might not have taken God's warning seriously. She might have thought, "I can do this one thing and still be all right." But we can't play games with something as important as our salvation. God sees our heart. He gives us chance after chance, but eventually the chances run out.
We will never know for sure why she disobeyed God, but we should use this as an example of what could happen to us if we remain stuck in our old lives instead of following Christ, our Lord, and letting Him take us to where He wants us to go.
And it is not enough that your mom is a Christian or your dad is a Christian or that you grew up going to a particular church. Lot was a man favored by God, but in the end that didn't keep his wife from missing out and dying because of her disobedience. You won't make it to heaven on someone else's faith. You need to be obedient and have your own personal relationship with the Lord.
Do you know without a doubt that if you died today, you would go to heaven? If you don't have that assurance, it is probably because you know that you have not really made Jesus your Lord and Savior. You need to read your Bible and pray and truly give your life to Christ, and then obey His commands. No one knows when is going to be his or her last day alive, so you need to be ready at all times.
Let's read how Jesus uses what happened to Lot's wife as a warning to us. Luke 17:32-33, "Remember Lot's wife. Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it." This verse is telling us that if we are trying to save those things from our old life, we might just lose everything. But if we are willing to let go of those past ways, we will be saved and given a brand new eternal life. Don't hold on to possessions or friends. Don't even hold on to who you once were. Let God make you into the person He wants you to be. Don't be like Lot's wife.
Now, let's read of some other people whose actions show us that Jesus was not really their Lord. These men called Jesus "Lord," but let's see how they acted when Christ said, "Follow me." We will be reading from Luke 9:59-62. [Jesus speaking] "And he said to another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God. And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God."
* How many of us have said, "Maybe later I will really follow Jesus" "Maybe when I'm older." "Maybe after I've had my wild years." That's what these men were doing. They were just stalling, putting Jesus off. They were basically "looking back," like Lot's wife, instead of truly following the Lord and doing what He was telling them to do. Both of these men are basically saying to Jesus, "I want to follow you, but I will get back to you maybe in the future when I'm ready." But Jesus wants us to know that if you truly love Him and He is your Lord, there are not "buts." Christ said that you are either for Him or against Him. There is no middle area. If you are more concerned with things of this world than with following and obeying Christ, I would say that you are probably not truly saved. And you run the risk of dying in your sins just like Lot's wife did!
So in conclusion,we hope you realize that you need to get your priorities straight and decide what is more important to you: living for Christ or living for yourself. Jesus died for you, but only you can decide if you will live for Him. And remember that Christ said,"No man, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God." Make Jesus your Lord and keep straight ahead on the course until you get to heaven!