Tag Archives: Evangelism

The Church at One Year (And a Hard Question)

This blog entry is the sixth in a seven day series counting down the days until York Springs Foursquare has its grand opening. You are invited, 10:30 AM Sept. 21!

When you read Acts 12, you may not notice it, but you are reading about the one-year anniversary of the first church in the world.

It is right there in 12:3-4, which say that Herod arrested Peter during the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and planned to have his trial after Passover.

Continue reading The Church at One Year (And a Hard Question)

What Healthy Churches Do

This blog entry is the fifth in a seven day series counting down the days until York Springs Foursquare has its grand opening. You are invited, 10:30 AM Sept. 21!

Acts 11:19-30

So then those who were scattered because of the persecution that occurred in connection with Stephen made their way to Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch, speaking the word to no one except to Jews alone. But there were some of them, men of Cyprus and Cyrene, who came to Antioch and began speaking to the Greeks also, preaching the Lord Jesus.  And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a large number who believed turned to the Lord.  The news about them reached the ears of the church at Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas off to Antioch.  Continue reading What Healthy Churches Do

The Courage of Lot

12 Then the two men said to Lot, “Whom else have you here? A son-in-law, and your sons, and your daughters, and whomever you have in the city, bring them out of the place; 13 for we are about to destroy this place, because their outcry has become so great before the Lord that the Lord has sent us to destroy it.” 14 Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who were to marry his daughters, and said, “Up, get out of this place, for the Lord will destroy the city.” But he appeared to his sons-in-law to be jesting. Genesis 19:12-14

When you think about Lot, Abraham’s nephew, you mostly think of his life as a tragedy. His father dies while he is young so he hitches a ride with uncle Abraham, who can’t have kids, kind of like an adopted son. But Abraham sends him out (for good reason) so he goes for the best land he can find. The land turns out to be corrupt and evil, and he is taken as a prisoner of war by some evil kings. Uncle Abraham rescues him, but then he has to flee to the mountains before God destroys the land with fire and brimstone. After escaping, his daughters get him drunk and sleep with him so they can have kids, and the kids turn out to be the most hated enemies Israel ever has. And then Lot dies, and that’s the story of Lot.

It is tragic, strange, unfortunate, and dirty. Lot never has control over these things. His dad died young. Abraham was blessed too much to keep Lot around. Lot’s land was conquered by foreign kings. Abraham rescued him. The land turned corrupt and God judged it. His daughters conspired together and made him drunk. He had no control of these events. They happened to him. With the exception of getting drunk with his daughters he never did anything overtly sinful or unwise, and even his drunkeness was the result of their concerted, intentional efforts. He was simply carried by his circumstances into very sad places and he had little or no control over any of it.

So why is the title of this blog entry about his courage? What courageous thing did Lot do?

2 Peter 2:6-9 says that Lot was righteous and his righteous soul was tormented by the evil surrounding him in Sodom. He was not a passive and lazy person. He was righteous. But terrible things happened to him anyway.

His courage comes through in one short little statement made in Genesis 19:14. Did you catch it? It said “Lot went out.”

Where, exactly, did he go? He went out of his house, into the city of Sodom. Every man of the city had his house surrounded, intending to rape two of his guests (who turned out to be angels.) Lot took them in and protected them from the mob. The mob shouted at him and threatened him. See, its here in Genesis 19:9

But they said, “Stand aside.” Furthermore, they said, “This one came in as an alien, and already he is acting like a judge; now we will treat you worse than them.” So they pressed hard against Lot and came near to break the door.

They threaten to “treat him worse than them.” Now think about that. This mob is trying to forcibly gang rape two men staying with Lot, and he has taken them into his house to protect them. He would be a courageous man if that was all he did. But its not all he did. Now the mob is even angrier and threatens to do “something worse” to Lot. They are pressing against his door to break it down and get him.

In verse 14 when it says “Lot went out” it means he went out. Specifically, he left his house and went into this mob. He did it to warn his two sons in law. If rescuing the two visitors from the mob took courage, imagine the courage it must have required to go out to the mob to find his sons in law. By the way, they laughed at him.

I suppose their laughter was a relief, considering that the mob had threatened “something worse” than gang rape.

Now, think of yourself. The Bible is clear that fire and brimstone await everyone who rejects Jesus as Lord and Savior. This is the same fate that Sodom suffered. The Bible also clearly commands you to warn everyone you know of the impending judgment of God and urge them to come with you into repentance.

You probably are not surrounded by an angry mob intent on killing you right now, are you?

Would you “go out” to them like Lot did? Lot lived a terrible and tragic life, but he courageously served God in the midst of it, even if nobody listened to him.

The other moral of the story is that God protected Lot when he took this courageous step. The worst thing that happened to him was that they laughed at him. Would you endure that?