Thursday, January 15, 2009

By all means, point them to Him

“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.” -Genesis 19:12.

A man must not pretend that he cares for the souls of others so long as he leaves one stone unturned which might be the means of blessing them. It seems to me, then, that if we are in a right state of heart this morning, one of the first things we shall do will be to tell those dear to us of their danger.

I think I see Lot going out that night. No very tempting place the streets of Sodom, especially after that wretched scene which had been enacted at his own door: a miracle had rescued him; but yet with his life in his hand, the good old man goes to the door of his sons-in-law. Affection is not always so strong towards sons-in-law as towards those who are of our own blood; still he goes with all solemnity of feeling, knowing that he himself should be rescued, but. trembling lest these sons-in-law should refuse the invitation to escape with him. The good old man finds his way through the winding streets of Sodom, and begins to knock at the door with a resolute hand. They look down from the top of the house. “That is the voice of old Lot,” says one, “what is he at, disturbing thus our comfortable slumbers?” They have but little love for him; they have put on some pretense of affection that they might win his daughters, but Sodomites cannot have much love for righteous men; and consequently they have no care for Lot. “What does the old fellow here at this time of night?” say they, “why cannot he keep seasonable hours? Besides, what a disturbance there was at his own door just now! Does he not know better than to knock at our door, when he so resolutely shut his own to protect two tramping strangers? What is he about?”

He cries to them, “My sons, this city is to be burned with fire in the morning; come, get ye up, and fly with me; for the two men who came to me were angels sent from God to rescue me, and they have bidden me seek you; come with me.” “Ah! “ they say; “what next... go thy way, and talk about thy silly dreams to men of softer brains, and not to us.” “Nay,” says he, “it is even so, by the love you bear my daughters, bear with me; if it be not so it will not matter, you can return; but if it be so, think what it will be to be destroyed with fire and brimstone out of heaven! I pray you come.” But they scoff at him: they tell him he is only mocking them, that he has some motive for wishing to get them into the street, and they bid him go; and with an aching heart the poor old man goes back, feeling something more than Isaiah’s grief- “ Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?” Yet as he fled out of Sodom, if the sight of his daughters reminded him of their husbands, he would think, “I am clear of their blood. I did plead with them; I did exhort them to escape; and if they would not, why, they would not, and the sin lies at their own door.” It will be some comfort to the Christian, if the worst should come to the worst, that he has warned the ungodly. Let us tell them of their danger, and never cease to warn until they cease to sin. Having so done, it is the duty of every Christian to tell his friend the remedy. Plain speaking about Christ is the ordinary means of bringing sinners to repentance. Those ministers are most useful in soul-seeking who put the doctrine of simple faith in the atonement in the clearest light. Let not thy friend perish through ignorance. Tell him that whosoever cometh unto Christ he will in no wise cast out; that there is life in a look at the crucified Savior; that whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ, is born of God. Preach no salvation by works; but preach faith, and works only as the fruit of faith; and let the doctrine that Christ came to seek and to save that which was lost, he clearly set before thy friend’s face.

From a sermon entitled "A Solemn Inquiry Concerning Our Families," delivered November 20, 1864. Image by jsorbieus under Creative Commons License.

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