In Luke 17, Jesus was teaching His disciples to always live their lives for the Lord so they will be prepared for the Day of Judgment. After He taught them this great lesson, He told them,
Luke 17:32 "Remember
The Bible is full of examples for us to learn from
in OT. For instance, Paul said the following about the children of
1 Corinthians 10:11 Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.
It is always good for us to examine the mistakes that they made, so that we can make sure that we donít repeat their mistakes. We could learn from Nadab and Abihu about not breaking Godís command or we can learn a great lesson from how Moses struck the rock instead of speaking to it, which caused him not to enter the promise land.
We must also learn to look at our own mistakes that we make and learn from them. This is what Abraham told the rich man he should have done.
Luke 16:25 "But Abraham said, 'Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented.
When we fail to learn from our mistakes, we can find ourselves in the same place as this rich man.
Now lets take a look at what we can learn
Matthew 19:5 †For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'?
However, they found themselves living in a corrupt city where all kinds of sinful things were taken place including homosexuality. The awful behavior of those in that city have also became examples for us as Jude writes:
Jude 1:7 as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
When you live the life of sin, you will face the eternal consequences. Because these people of Sodom and Gomorrah were so corrupt, God was going to destroy that city, but God was going to give Lot and his family the opportunity to escape before the destruction happened because when the two angels went to the city Lot took them in and protected them and this is what they told them.
Genesis 19:12 Then the men said to Lot,
"Have you anyone else here? Son-in-law, your sons, your daughters, and
whomever you have in the city -- take them out of this place!† 13 "For we will destroy this
place, because the outcry against them has grown great before the face of the
LORD, and the LORD has sent us to destroy it."† 14 So Lot went out and spoke to
his sons-in-law, who had married his daughters, and said, "Get up, get out
of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city!" But to his
sons-in-law he seemed to be joking.† 15 When
the morning dawned, the angels urged
God had given Lot and his family the opportunity to escape since they were the only righteous people in that wicked city and they ran for their lives, but remember one of the commands was not to look back, but watch what happens as pick back† up in,
Genesis 19:24 Then the LORD rained brimstone and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah, from the LORD out of the heavens.† 25 So He overthrew those cities, all the plain, all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground.† 26 But his wife looked back behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.
The first thing we learn about her mistakes is that God is serious when it comes to obeying all of commands. Not only was she supposed to flee, she was not supposed to look back, but she did and it cost her life. This show how one sin can be fatal. This teaches us that we should always work hard at remaining faithful to God and if we do sin, we need to repent as Jesus said,
Luke 13:3 "I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.
We should never treat sin lightly because you never know what it may cause. For instance, in Acts 5, Ananias and Sapphire both lost their lives when they lied to the Holy Spirit.
Ezekiel 18:24 " But when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and does according to all the abominations that the wicked man does, shall he live? All the righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; because of the unfaithfulness of which he is guilty and the sin which he has committed, because of them he shall die.
Under the O.T., people who lived in sin were to be put to death, but even under the O.T. there away of avoiding death.
Ezekiel 18:21 " But if a wicked man turns from all his sins which he has committed, keeps all My statutes, and does what is lawful and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die.† 22 "None of the transgressions which he has committed shall be remembered against him; because of the righteousness which he has done, he shall live.†
So from the OT and the NT we learn that importance of obeying Godís Word, and if we sin we need to take care of the sin right away by repenting.
The second thing we can learn from this event
is that she perished even though she was married to a righteous man. To prove
2 Peter 2:6 and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly;† 7 and delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked† 8 (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds)
This teaches us that no matter how righteous
our mate may be or how much we surround ourselves with righteous people, they
cannot save you because you are responsible for your own actions, and you must
give account of how you lived your life. So, just as
Another thing we learn from lots wife is even though she had a strong desire to be saved, she still perished. She was heading the right direction, but she allowed herself to get distracted and she looked back.
There are many that are like this today. They have a desire to be saved, and they may even start down the right path, but they get distracted and the look back, which causes them to get back on the wide road that leads to destruction. Jesus said,
"No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit
As Christians we must be careful that we donít allow the world to district and cause us to take our eyes off our goal of getting to heaven, if we do, we could find ourselves far removed from God. John said,
1 John 2:15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.† 16 For all that is in the world -- the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life -- is not of the Father but is of the world.† 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.
The world has a lot of temptations to tempt us with, but as Jesus taught we must keep looking toward heaven, and remind ourselves that the temporary pleasures of the world are not worth losing the eternal happiness we will receive in heaven Jesus said,
Mark 8:36 ††"For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?
So, donít allow the world to cause you to look back and lose your soul.
Another thing we learn about
There are many people today that are guilty of this as well because they have been taught the truth, but they donít want to obey the truth. When it comes to the Day of Judgment, they are not going to be able to offer up any valid excuse of why they didnít obey Godís Word. A great example of this comes from the parable of the 10 virgins.
Matthew 25:1 "Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.† 2 "Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish.† 3 "Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them,† 4 "but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.† 5 "But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.† 6 "And at midnight a cry was heard: 'Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!'† 7 "Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps.† 8 "And the foolish said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.'† 9 "But the wise answered, saying, 'No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.'† 10 "And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut.† 11 "Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, 'Lord, Lord, open to us!'† 12 "But he answered and said, 'Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.'† 13 "Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.
The main thought behind this parable is that you need to make sure that you are always living your life is such away that you will be prepared if Jesus come back today. As we read, 5 of the virgins were prepared, but the other 5 were not. Since they were not prepared when the bridegroom came, they were not allowed to go to the wedding.
Those who know the truth and refuse to obey the truth will be in this same boat, and they will not make it into heaven.
Another thing we learn about Lotís wife was that she had enough faith to start going the right direction and she even had enough faith to leave her friends and her son-in-laws to do what God had said, but the problem was she didnít remain faithful and true to God. We can learn from this that it takes more than just becoming a Christian to be saved because we must be willing to continue to remain faithful until the day that we die. There are many Christians today who seem to think that all they have to do is get saved, then nothing else is required of them, but they are sadly mistaken. The writer of Hebrews says this,
Hebrews 12:1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,† 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
This is the message is taught through out the NT. We are encouraged to endure and to run is such way that we will gain our reward in heaven. Paul is a great example of this because he had to face all kind of hardship for the cause of Christ, but he kept pressing on and keeping the faith all of his life, that is why he was able to say,
2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.† 8 Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.
So we can learn from the mistakes of
Revelation 2:10 †Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.
Another thing we learn about
Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.† 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.
Peter and Paul teach us that God doesnít want anyone to perish, and He wants everyone to come to a knowledge of truth, but many are not willing to be saved because they want to do things their way. God is not going to force anyone to take advantage of His grace because He loves us enough that He wants us to chose for ourselves. I hope that all of us will always choose to love God and embrace His grace.
Another thing we learn from
This same thing can happen to us today because Godís grace is not something we can abuse, and it is not a catch all for all of our sins as Peter said,
2 Peter 2:20 For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning.† 21 For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them.† 22 But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: "A dog returns to his own vomit," and, "a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire."†
It is up to us whether we want to remain in Godís grace or remove ourselves from it. We must realize that Godís grace is not a licenses to sin, and if we keep testing Godís grace by living unholy lives, we find ourselves being like a dog that returns to its own vomit. That should produce a disgusting picture in your mind, but you know what, it is even more disgusting when we allow ourselves to return back to a life of sin after we have been freed from it though the blood of Jesus, and if we donít repent and get ourselves back right with God, then we will not make it to heaven.††† †
The last thing we learn from this event is
Matthew 10:37 "He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.† 38 "And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.
Unfortunately, this becomes too hard for some, and they will follow the same path that their parents and grandparents have followed. They have the attitude that if their parents and grandparents did it then in must be right. This is why it so hard to convert some that have been attending a denomination all their life. When you teach them that a person must be baptized to be saved, they wonít accept it because if they do, they will have accept that their parents and grandparents are lost too. This becomes more challenging if those loved ones have already died.
While it is difficult to think of someone you love that has passed away as being lost, I can promise you that they donít want you to be loyal to them, they want you to be loyal to Godís way. This is exactly what the rich man in story of rich man and Lazarus wanted for his brothers. Noticed what he begged Abraham to do:
Luke 16:27 "Then he said, 'I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father's house,† 28 'for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.'†
When he found out that he was in this horrible place of torment, he was hoping that someone could go and teach his brothers to change their ways. This is exactly what every loved one would hope for as well if they are lost like this rich man. So, we can learn from this example that no matter how hard it may be for us, we must not allow the failures of our loved ones to keep us from obeying the will of God.
I hope this lesson has shown how important is that
we learn from the mistakes of those in Bible like