Lot was a righteous man - so righteous that God sent His angels to save this man from the destruction that was about to come upon this sinful Sodom. But although Lot escaped with his life, he did not escape with his family. Lot left behind at least two daughters, and he lost his life along the way.
Why? Why did I have to go and tear this story apart and draw out the absolute heartbreak of being Lot? Why did I have to bring down our false understanding that Lot took his family and ran for the hills and started over, happy as a clam?
Because many of us are living Lot's life. That's why.
Many of us are living a righteous life in a sinful world. At least, we're trying. We are worshiping God and serving Him and loving our neighbors and raising our kids and doing all of the things that God would ask of us to the best of our abilities, and we are blessed for it. Many of us, because of the blessing of God on our lives and the way He has allowed us to see the world and our lives, see how sinful this world is. We see how much like Sodom is this place in which we live. And we would do anything to save those we love.
This is the heart of evangelism, isn't it? This is what we're trying to do - get everyone we know to listen to, believe in, and love God the same way that we do. Because we know that doing this will save their lives.
But the truth is...we can't make them. We can't make someone else listen to God or love Him. Or even believe in Him. We can't make someone else live the way that God wants them to live.
There are persons in this world that we love deeply...that we will not be able to save. That we will not be able to bring to the Cross so that Jesus can save them.
Some of them, like Lot's daughters, don't really belong to us any more. They have moved on and gone into new places and have new structures set up around them, new authorities that speak into their lives. Lot's sons-in-law wouldn't listen to him, and because of this, he lost his daughters. The authorities in this world won't listen to you and me and because of that, we will lose some that we love because they live under the authority of the world now. They live with a voice that doesn't listen to ours.
Some of them, like Lot's wife, will have bonds too strong to sever. We might be able to pull them along for awhile, but at some point, they're going to turn back. They're going to look at what's going on. Their hearts are going to want to know what's happening to things that they hold dear, and that's going to draw them right back to burning Sodom. It is. We can have them by the hand, have led them this far, be oh so close, almost there, and there are some who are going to turn back.
We, like Lot, will do everything that we can do and sometimes, that's still not going to be enough to save even those that we love the most.
That's why it's important that we read Lot's story and understand what's really happening here. That's why we have to realize that even this righteous man, which we all strive to be, could not force anyone else to be saved. In some cases, he couldn't even convince them. All of the blessings that he had in all the world and the very presence of the angels of God were not enough evidence even for those who put so much of their trust in him.
Are you getting this? This is important. In fact, we'll keep talking about this particular point tomorrow.