Watchfulness unto Prayer

“Remember the wife of Lot” Luke 17:32

“But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.” Genesis 19:26

We must not only believe that the Bible is the Word of God. We must not merely be good orthodox Christians, sound in faith and doctrine; but we must be alert sober, vigilant, watchful Christians, who constantly live in the earnest expectation of the coming of the Son of Man upon the clouds of heaven! We must be those of whom Paul says “love his great and magnificent appearing”. II Timothy 4:8.

The Lord Jesus is coming again, my young reader. Did not the angels, standing with the eleven apostles on Mount Olive say, “Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, who is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven”? (Acts 1:11) Yes, heaven must receive until the time of the restitution of all things. (Acts 3:21) But, when the elect have been gathered, then shall Jesus come, “and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen! (Rev. 1:7)

Behold, He cometh!

Are we looking for this blessed return with uplifted heads in earnest expectation: are you looking for the exceeding great glory which shall be revealed in us”? (Romans 8:18)

Remember the wife of Lot…..

This is not a word of mere man, but it is the warning note of Jesus to His disciples and to the church of the entire New Testament. It is a warning to you and me! Do not think for a moment that we must not take this warning seriously. Jesus spoke most solemnly here. He is giving minute instructions what we must do and not do in “that day”. What day is this? It will be the day when the Son of Man shall reveal Himself in all His glory and shall come with all His saints from heaven to take His beloved people from the four corners of the earth, and bring them with Him into the air, so that thus we may ever by with the Lord.

Yes, that is the final wonder of God’s grace for our perfect salvation in body and soul. Then will be the wonder not only of the glorious and blessed resurrection of the saints, but then also shall those who are living on earth be changed as in the twinkling of an eye. (I Cor. 15:52: I Thes. 4:16, 17)

Concerning this, we really do not need so much instruction. This we all readily accept as a doctrine concerning the last things. We learn about it in “Theology” and we call it Eschatology. And the Bible teaches us many wonderful and comforting things about the end (consummation) of the ages and the coming (Parousia) of Christ. Jesus ela­borated wonderfully about this great wonder to come, and about the entire history of the world from Pentecost till Christ’s return, in the wonderful instruc­tion to His disciples as given us in Matthew 24! We do well to read this chapter often, carefully and prayerfully. Do not forget the latter, for that is the attitude of living hope which is ours through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. (I Peter 1:3) Now all these things we know, do we not?

But Jesus raises a warning finger to us, His church.

Be ye watchful unto prayer!

Remember the wife of Lot…..

Lot’s wife is seemingly only mention­ed in the Bible for our warning. God was about to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, the cities of the plane. Yes, there were terrible men in Sodom. They were what is now called “homosexuals”. They were men who fall under the wrath of God, and are delivered to “uncleanness through the lusts of their heart, to dishonor their own body between themselves”, “men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet” (fitting). (Rom. 1:24, 27) Such were these men of Sodom. But that was not their only sin, these men of such an affluent society in the valley, which was like the garden of God. These men were, one and all, very wicked: “pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor”. (Ezekiel 16:49) Here is a description of our land and times. Here is a description of the world in which we live, and of which the Bible says: love not the world: lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes and pride (boastful living) of life.

It is hard to leave it all behind when we once have accumulated riches. It is not possible to have our eye upon heaven when we seek things on the earth.

Remember the wife of Lot…..

She looked back. She hankered after her filthy possessions in sin-ridden So­dom. There were not ten righteous men there, were there? Only Lot, who is pulled as a brand out of the fire, after he had vexed his righteous soul no end, (II Peter 2:5, 7-9) is spared. And while God is sparing her righteous husband, Lot’s wife does not share in that deliverance. The same fire which destroyed Sodom also destroyed Lot’s wife. She could not leave her worldly things. She was not watchful unto prayer. Her heart was in Sodom. She loved this world which passes away and the lusts thereof…. (I John 2:15-17)

Jesus applies this lesson of Lot’s wife by saying, “In that day, he that shall be upon the housetop, and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away: and he that is in the field, let likewise not turn back.”

Remember Lot’s wife…..

No, we do not stand looking up into heaven. We must marry, have children, teach them in the fear of the Lord, and till our soil, plant our gardens, and reap our crops. But we do this as pilgrims and strangers, who seek the better country. As such strangers, who are tied with a thousand ties to this earth, we need the serious reminder that we seek the things above, be heavenly minded, in our homes, our churches and in our schools. We need to take the warning to heart of the Lord Jesus. Hold that thou hast that no man take thy crown! He that shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.

The world has a motto: let us eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die. It is a bad communication which corrupts good manners, good Christian aspirations and living in Christian hope. This saying quoted by Paul in I Corinthians 15:32, we can read in Isaiah 22:13. It is a fearful indictment against the sinful church of the Old Testament. These men and women had been called to repentance: to weep­ing, to baldness, to mourning, to girding with sackcloth; and behold, instead there is joy and gladness, slaying oxen, killing sheep, eating flesh, drinking wine. And the motto? It is: let us eat and drink for tomorrow we die!

Let us, young people, be watchful unto prayer!

Remember the wife of Lot…..

Take your Bible seriously, and not the least the solemn admonitions and warn­ings.

Be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that ye may approve the good, the acceptable, the perfect will of God.