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Continuing our “Origins: The Promise” series through Genesis, this past weekend we were joined by Pastor Chris Baselice from our Plantation campus for a powerful word from Genesis 19. In this message, we explored the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Lot’s actions and the ramifications of it, and the lessons we can take from it about our own relationship with God, others, and the world around us.
Watch the video below to see a few highlights from the teaching and share it with your friends via social media. To watch the message in its entirety, click here.
Let’s recap some of the key talking points from Pastor Chris’ message this weekend:
Live Like You’re on a Rescue Mission, Not Like Your on a Vacation (Genesis 19:1–11): As believers, we need to be thermostats, not thermometers. We must set the tone and change the environment we’re in, not conform to it. When Lot and Abram went their separate ways, Lot chose to pitch his tent near Sodom (Genesis 13), but he didn’t stop there. He kept getting closer and closer to the city. Eventually, we see him hanging out at the city gate, trying to fit in.
He was done in by the lure of worldly things, and it defined the rest of his life. He chose to play with fire, and he got burned. We would do well to remember that the influence of the world is stronger than we are. In 2 Peter 2:8, we’re told that “righteous” Lot’s soul was tormented day and night by the evil he saw and heard. He made compromises and lost everything because of his choice to move closer to the world and further from the will of God.
Christian, we must remember to be in the world but never of the world. This is our call: we are in the world to be a light, but we must always beware that our light isn’t hidden because of the influence of the world.
Your Life Speaks Louder Than Your Words (Genesis 19:12–14): No one gives any heed to what Lot says. Why? Because his life didn’t match what he was saying. Consider what happened when the two angels came to visit and Lot invited them into his home. Now, why did he insist the angels come into his home? Because, as theologian Charles Ellicott points out, he knew “the licentiousness of the people.”
What does licentiousness mean? It means “promiscuous and unprincipled in sexual matters.” And we know this to be accurate because in this same chapter, we see that the men of Sodom came to sexually assault the two angels Lot brought into his home.
But listen to what Ellicott reveals next: “The angels do not readily accept his hospitality, as they had done that of Abraham, because his character had deteriorated.” Living amongst such wickedness, being surrounded by it daily, had weighed on Lot and influenced him. His character became compromised. Thus, he lost his credibility as a godly example; he lost his footing in matters of morality.
As living epistles and Christ’s ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5), our beliefs and our behaviors have to tell the same story! In order for our testimony, our evangelistic efforts, and our sharing of the gospel can truly influence the lives of the people we’re trying to reach, we need to strive to live above reproach.
Take Seriously the Severity of God (Genesis 19:15–22): Just because you are a recipient of His grace doesn’t mean you should forget the severity of the judgement that comes upon sin. Look at what it says in Romans 11:22 (NKJV): “Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness.”
As believers, we are no longer to fear hell and judgment. However, the sad, horrible fact is that those who die apart from Jesus will go to hell. This thought should keep us up at night. It should move us to action, because God has commissioned us to show people the love of Christ, so they may come to know Him and be saved. We need to get the good news out there; we need to share the gospel with the people we encounter.
Live Like You Love God (Genesis 19:23–29): Live like you love God, not the world. In this passage, we see the just judgment that came upon a wicked, evil people who chose to rebel against their Creator. And even though the angels “hold of his (Lot’s) hand, his wife’s hand, and the hands of his two daughters, the Lord being merciful to him, and they brought him out and set him outside the city” (Genesis 19:16 NKJV), even though they gave clear warning of what was about to happen, Lot’s wife still looked back because of her attachment to the world, her possessions, the city.
Her heart was still in Sodom. She didn’t show herself to be living like she loved God. And what happened to her? She was immediately consumed and turned into a pillar of salt. May we never be so attached to the world that we watch our lives here on earth be destroyed by it. May we be the salt of the earth and not the pillar of salt that’s consumed by the world.
Quote to Remember: Don’t disqualify yourself as God’s messenger.—Pastor Chris Baselice
As you think about this weekend’s teaching, here are a few questions to reflect on and consider on your own, with your family, or in your group.
1. What is the difference between living like a thermostat and a thermometer? What steps can you take to set the temperature and the tone wherever you go?
2. Why do actions speak louder than words? How have you seen this to be true in your life? How is your life telling the story of the gospel right now?
3. Why is it important that we share the gospel? What is the alternative for those we don’t share it with?
Imagine a city filled with the hope of Jesus . . . Imagine schools, businesses, neighborhoods, families, entire communities walking with Jesus, loving one another, living generously, and radiating the truth of the gospel. Imagine South Florida full of people who are connected to God, one another, and to those in need! That’s what Vision 2023 is all about! It’s a city-changing, five-year vision to make 60,000 new, passionate, fully-devoted disciples by 2023. We believe as God’s people saturate the region with the gospel, generosity grows, stronger families are formed, the elderly are cared for, orphans, addicts, and widows find lasting hope, and true social changes happens. Do you want to see South Florida changed for Christ?
Click here to get in the story today!
Join us this Wednesday as Pastor Chris Baselice shares from Genesis 20—Abraham’s interaction with Abimelek and his repeat offense.
And then at our weekend services, we’ll be joined by special guest Steven Khoury, Vice President of Holy Land Missions, as we explore Genesis 21. In this message, Pastor Steven will share about the birth of Isaac, the promised son through whom the Messiah would come, and God’s desire for the children of Ishmael.
Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.