(Revelation 18:4) Then I heard another voice from heaven say: "Come out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues;
Sometimes I think I read too much. Of late I have learned more about this modern reprobated culture than I want to know. This increased awareness is almost overwhelming and leaves me feeling defeated; I see no way out, no hope for another revival. But, on the other hand, I do now have a revised understanding of the word “remnant.” It’s not merely, “the few remaining faithful”, it’s the precious few. It’s those who cannot be bought or persuaded to let go of the last faint thread of truth that has been nearly obliterated in a tangled mess of lies and deceit.
The Remnant are those who stand in spite of being outnumbered and in the face of the surety of tribulation.
One of the most useful tools of the enemy is muddying up conviction by creating doubt. If you find yourself clinging to a principle that is rapidly being dismissed as archaic, old-fashioned, out of date, irrelevant, then you become an outcast, open for criticism. You might even pause to wonder if something is wrong with your perspective and consider a compromise. Humans are hard-wired to hate being criticized. We are social animals. We want to be accepted and included. We want to be part of the group. We want to be insiders, not outsiders. Satan successfully uses this inherent weakness against us. Historically speaking, those few remaining faithful to God in the end of an age are always decidedly outnumbered by those who prefer to operate without God and who believe, in fact, that they can actually do a better job than God.
I have often wondered what it was like for Lot and his family to have to live in Sodom. Imagine raising a family in an environment where any and every type of sin was not only acceptable, it was the celebrated norm. I can imagine that if Sodom were a bustling 21st century metropolis, sex and drugs, both legalized and illegal, would be idolized and infused into all forms of media, printed, filmed and broadcast to the general public of all ages. If Sodom were a modern city, respected citizens would be able to gather in private clubs, without fear of arrest, seeking “fresh meat” to commit vicious acts of sexual violence. Children would routinely be vulnerable to assault and molestation by those who are able to easily find employment in jobs that serve children. In fact, organizations promoting child molestation would be permitted and credentialed. If Sodom were a modern culture, anything would be acceptable, anything, that is, except someone proclaiming that some things are not acceptable.
Wait a minute...this sounds vaguely familiar.
Apparently Lot, and by default his family, was a remnant, living in the midst of unfettered base human depravity. We are only given a glimpse of this behavior as Lot defends and tries to protect his guests from being raped by a gang of men pounding on his door. But it isn’t a leap to assume that other sins were prevalent there as well. Once a civilization has adopted any perversion or deviant activity as not only acceptable but laudable, the door is flung wide open for all others to flood in. Murder, addictions, abuse, violence, love of lies, obfuscation of basic decency and covetous theft. Once society lowers the bar for moral standards, the bar rapidly free falls and hits bottom where there is absolutely no standards; anything is allowable. Without moral constraints within a society, the result is a society sickened unto death. This is not hyperbole or anomaly; it is the repeating pattern and formula for failed civilizations.
Whether a society adopts standards based on God’s commandments or simply their own idealized definition of “good”, one truth is irrefutable: Utopia, the land of rainbows and butterflies, can never arise or be constructed from degeneracy and debauchery. Depravity always spirals downward to grief, destruction and death.There is good reason for God’s commandments and standards. The Creator knew exactly what was healthy for His creations and what produces good fruit in humans. But humans are easily persuaded away from what is healthy and in their own best interest because they are inherently egocentric. Was this not the lesson in the children’s story of Pinocchio? The evil men lured the boys away to their enslavement? Do we see this kind of moral story in children stories nowadays? This kind of morality is old-fashioned in this era.
Regardless the era, children want what they want, whether it is good for them or bad. If it “feels good” or “tastes good” or “excites” it appeals to the self-centered immature child that is human nature. If parents did not set standards, children would eat candy and nothing else, all day. As simplistic as it is, this analogy describes exactly how ego pandering, petting and indulging drives grown humans to make short-sided, ill-fated choices. To its detriment, SELF always falls for the short term thrill over the long-term benefit.
If self is the engine that drives us into destruction, self-justification is the fuel. Selfish behavior and decision making is self-perpetuating because it is easily justified. And all of this is directly attributable to Satan prowling and seeking whom he might destroy. He zeroes in on our most immature spot, our ego, and then easily has his way with us until we become sick and die. And those who are locked into self-destruct mode are blinded and will justify their choices right up until their end.
I also have wondered about Lot’s wife and her fate. The angels told Lot they were to leave and “not look back”. I believe what happened to Lot’s wife is a warning for the Remnant today. We now live in a modern recreation of Sodom and Gomorrah. The moral standards that once kept the majority of society in check have now been lowered or so distorted so that those who continue to be directed by a moral compass are profoundly outnumbered just as it was in the time of Lot.
In spite of the warning, Lot’s wife did look back. What do you supposed she was thinking? Was she sad because she was being kicked out of her home, those things she was comfortable with, in spite of the scary place she lived in? Maybe she was distressed that others in her family chose to stay. Whatever it was she gave one last look at something that she regretted leaving. Her end was instant. In the modern recounting I can imagine the headlines reporting this event, the naysayers and justifiers railing against God as being “cruel” and “unjust” to Lot’s wife. After all, she was in a “traumatic” situation. She still had family left behind, she wasn’t accountable, she was suffering from stress. Justification is indeed a handy tool and so compelling to those who value and elevate the worth of SELF over the righteousness of God.
Be warned, dear hearts, justification is an ego trap. Lot’s wife is an example pertinent to this moment, thousands of years later. You cannot be a member of the precious few and still cling to those things of the world. Come ye out is a warning, not a suggestion.
One last sober thought: Lot was considered righteous enough to be warned to leave, but Lot and his family did not represent a big enough remnant to save Sodom and Gomorrah from complete destruction.
(2 Corinthians 6:17) Wherefore Come ye out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, And touch no unclean thing; And I will receive you