As many of my close family and friends could barely be called true believers and have become scoffers, this article will resonate in their minds for a long time.
Remember Lot’s Wife
By Matt Leasher
Throughout the gospels the Lord Jesus Christ prophesied about His Second Coming several times and He said that those days would be like it was in the days of Noah and also as it was in the days of Lot.
In Luke chapter 17 it is recorded that the Pharisees had asked Him when the kingdom of God would come and He told them that the kingdom of God does not come with observation but that the kingdom of God is within you (Luke 17:20-21).
But then He turned to His disciples and gave them a much more extended description about what to look for when He is about to return. Picking up in verse 28, He said:
Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot, they ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed.
In that day, he who is on the housetop, and his goods are in the house, let him not come down to take them away. And likewise the one who is in the field, let him not turn back. Remember Lot’s wife. Whoever seeks to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it” (Luke 17:28-33).
Many have mistakenly taken this passage to assume that the Lord was using this comparison as a description of the Rapture based on the next few verses, which say:
“I tell you, in that night there will be two men in one bed: the one will be taken and the other will be left. Two women will be grinding together: the one will be taken and the other left. Two men will be in the field: the one will be taken and the other left” (Luke 17:34-36).
While those verses sound very much like a description of the results of the Rapture, the next verse describes where those people went that were “taken” proving that this isn’t talking about the Rapture. The disciples ask Him, ‘Where Lord?’ And He answered: ‘Wherever the body is, there the eagles will be gathered together’” (Luke 17:37).
It is obvious that those that were “taken” were taken to be slaughtered when the Antichrist comes into the Holy Land after the mid-point of Daniel’s 70th Week (Matthew 24:15-20; Zechariah 14:2; Daniel 7:21; 11:41). This is a description of an arrest, not a Rapture.
Even though the context of this passage is not describing the Rapture of the Church, there is still a warning that Jesus proclaimed that can be applied to the Church today, and that is when He said, “Remember Lot’s wife” in verse 32. In fact, a single verse is assigned to just that warning!
In the context of that statement, Jesus was warning the Jews not to turn back for anything in their homes when the Antichrist forces invade Jerusalem as Lot’s wife had stopped to look back at her hometown that the Lord was about to destroy with fire and brimstone causing her to turn to a pillar of salt due to her disobedience.
Since Lot had obeyed the angel’s orders to not look back, it is quite likely that Lot’s wife was lagging far behind Lot without him knowing it due to her reluctance to leave her hometown. She may have even considered turning and going back at the moment that she was turned to salt.
The Hebrew word used in Genesis 19:26 for “look” is “nabat” (Strong’s # H5027) and can have an alternate meaning of “to show regard”. This may very well reveal Lot’s wife’s true mindset of her desire to “look” back. She had regarded her old life more than the next life that the Lord was leading them to.
For the Christians living in the current Church Age, this same warning can be heeded as to not be so attached to this world that we are not looking for the Blessed Hope of His soon appearing for His bride (Titus 2:12-13).
This especially applies to the Church since the New Testament tells us that this world is not our home (Hebrews 13:14), and that we are only sojourners passing through this world (1 Peter 2:11), and that our citizenship is in heaven (Philippians 3:20).
Part of becoming a born-again Christian is realizing that we are not of this world and that our lives are a temporary assignment mission as ambassadors of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20). The first epistle of John warns us that this world is passing away, but he who does the will of God abides forever (1 John 2:17). In the same passage we are warned not to love the world:
“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. 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” (1 John 2:15-16).
It could very well be that Lot’s wife had loved her hometown of Sodom so much that she could not let it go and disregarded the angel’s warning to not look back (Genesis 19:17). The real sad part is that her hometown of Sodom was about the most evil territory on the planet at that time.
One would have to wonder what was so intriguing that she would want to stay or go back? It could have been that their sons-in-law had ignored the warning to leave and decided to stay (Genesis 19:14).
This in itself is an example of the family division that can commonly occur when the Word of God is not taken seriously among family members and also demonstrates how important it is that we witness to our loved ones about the saving grace of the gospel of Christ while there is still time.
“How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?” (Romans 10:14).
Many of us have taken the steps to witness to our loved ones but they still do not want to listen or believe and sometimes we are even mocked by our own family members. It is interesting to note that the angels took Lot and his family “by their hands” to escort them out of the city, except for their sons-in-law.
This is because they had mocked the warning that the angels had given, so the angels gave them what they wanted, and that was to stay!
In Luke 17:28-30, Jesus said that it will be like the days of Lot when the Son of Man is revealed. He is speaking about the conditions of the world. The city of Sodom was plagued with sodomy, hence where the word gets its name.
Homosexuality is running like wildfire throughout our present world today and has even been used to redefine marriage right here in our own country. I don’t think our world could be anymore as it was in the day of Lot than it is right now!
When Lot’s wife looked back unto Sodom her heart was still attached to the people and things that remained there, even though she had physically left the city and was on her way to safety and refuge from the coming wrath.
How many Christians today have this same heart problem? They have their ticket to heaven by trusting in Christ but yet they still cling to the many things of this world that are not of God, or they are complacent with the things that God opposes!
“Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy with God” (James 4:4).
The wrath of God is approaching this world like a speeding freight train yet the majority of the world is so engaged in their lustful pleasures that not only do they not see it coming but they have no remorse in their sinful lifestyles whatsoever.
Homosexuality is being flaunted and celebrated on a global basis and sadly even many Christian organizations are in support of it. They are focused on their flesh and not their eternal souls. The Word of God admonishes us to walk in the Spirit to combat the lusts of the flesh:
I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things you wish” (Galatians 5:16-17).
“But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts” (Romans 13:14).
Whether it be homosexuality or any form of fleshly lust, if we are truly following Christ we certainly are not going to condone any sin of the flesh, let alone gloat in it as so many people are now doing in LGBT community, hence the term “gay pride!”
We are all born with sinful desires of all sorts and they all need to be combated on a daily basis. That can only be done with prayer and obedience to the Word of God. To praise homosexuality the way that it is being praised is to be at enmity with God. God loves the sinner but hates the sin.
Sin is what separated humanity from God and Jesus Christ sacrificed His life on a Roman cross so that we could be reconciled back to God. When we profess to accept His payment for our sin, there is no room for compromise for any sin that may be in our lives and any sexual activity outside of a man and a woman in holy matrimony is sin. Period!
Our Lord’s warning in Luke 17:32 is an instruction for us to never look back or turn back from our profession of true faith that we have made and to follow Christ and abide by His truths and ordinances.
“No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62).
Lot’s wife may have also regretted having being made to leave her hometown. It has been surmised that Lot’s wife may have likely been a native of the city of Sodom since Lot did not have a wife when he left Abraham to go settle there (Genesis 13:8-12).
Her allegiance was to her hometown more than it was to the Lord or even her husband! This is also an example of the error and the cost of being unequally yoked (2 Corinthians 6:14).
Many have wondered why Lot’s wife was turned to salt. There are physical reasons as well as symbolic reasons and the Bible provides both. Lot’s wife was likely lagging so far behind Lot and their daughters that some of the effects of the city’s destruction may very well have affected her.
Deuteronomy 29:23 graphically describes brimstone and salt as being an after-effect upon the land of Sodom and Gomorrah after He inflicted His wrath upon it. So it doesn’t seem as though Lot’s wife traveled very far after leaving the gates of the city.
As for the symbolic aspect of her turning to salt, Lot’s wife was left behind after Lot had made it to the city of Zoar where the angels told them to go for safety. The angels also clarified that they could not do anything until they got there (Genesis 19:22). In the New Testament Jesus declared that the church is the salt of the earth.
“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men” (Matthew 5:13).
Salt is a flavor enhancer and a preservative. The Church’s role in this dispensation is to enhance the world around us with the Good News of Jesus Christ and help to get new believers preserved for that Day of redemption.
When this current Age of Grace ends there will be many people left behind that were “lukewarm” in their acceptance of Jesus Christ as their Savior that will finally realize that He is who He says He is and that the Bible is all truth. Some will perish while some will immediately convert and become believers.
Those Tribulation saints will then have to be the salt of the earth after the Church has reached its destination of safety via the Rapture! In that context, Lot’s wife may be representative of people that profess to be Christians but their hearts are still tethered to this world and they have not truly surrendered themselves to Christ.
The Lord was merciful to Lot’s family and Lot’s wife had rejected that grace when she regarded her hometown of Sodom above the Lord’s mercy and grace.
I’d like to point out that just after Jesus said to remember Lot’s wife in Luke 17:32, He then said, “Whoever seeks to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it” (Luke 17:33). This is the same statement He used when He declared that a man has no profit if he was to even gain the whole world:
“For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:25-26)
This same exact admonishment is given in three out of the four gospels! The other two are found in Luke 9:24-25 and in Mark 8:35-37. It certainly seems as though the Lord wanted this warning to be emphasized for it to be repeated so many times.
There is one last thing I’d like to point out about Lot’s wife that is not only relative to the Church but also to the Pre-Tribulation Rapture. Many people that hold to a Mid or Post-Tribulation view, declare that the Lord will protect and preserve the Church through the Tribulation period leaving them unharmed from His wrath.
However, Lot’s wife was not even allowed to “look” at it let alone be preserved through it, so why would the Church, who have been made righteous through Christ, be allowed to even see it?
The worldwide cataclysmic events that are going to take place during the Tribulation period are going to be impossible to not see as Christians are scattered all over the world.
Not only that, but how many Christians would be tempted to revel and cheer at the destruction of the many ungodly organizations and enemies of Christ? But the Lord told us not to revel at our enemies demise (Proverbs 24:17 and that we are to pray for our enemies (Matthew 5:44).
If you are a Christian reading this and you think that the Church is going to have to endure the inescapable horrors of the Tribulation period, I’d like to remind you to remember Lot’s wife!
The overall message here for Christians today is that we should never place anything above the Lord and the grace and mercy that He has given us through His Son Jesus Christ. There is nothing in this world worth looking back at when He has given us so much to look forward to and our faith in that should be our driving force to abstain from all worldly lusts.
“Now the just shall live by faith; but if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him. But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul” (Hebrews 10:38-39).