II Peter 2:7-9
II Peter 2:7 - And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked:
8 - (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)
9 - The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:
Perhaps you've heard the wise advice: "Never wrestle with a pig; both of you get dirty, and the only difference is, the pig enjoys it!" In this chapter, Peter compares the unsaved to pigs "wallowing in the mire" (verse 22). We all used to be this way at heart; but if we have been saved, we have a new heart and no longer enjoy this filthy "wallowing" that we used to. The man in these verses--Lot--had a "righteous soul" and was grieved at the evil in his city, Sodom. I would like to ask us whether we share this same loathing for the filthiness of sin.
Some people believe that it is possible for Jesus Christ to be a person's Savior without also being that person's Lord. Put another way, they believe after salvation a Christian can continue to live like the devil and still go to heaven. This is not a biblical doctrine at all, though, and it is very dangerous. While it is true that Christians still sin and have their old nature to battle against, the Bible teaches that we are given a new heart and have the Holy Spirit indwelling us; and so we certainly cannot continue living very sinful lifestyles. Those who claim to have been saved yet continue in these lifestyles have been washed only on the outside, but inside, there has been no transformation (II Peter 2:22).
I would like us to ask ourselves three questions based on the principles in these verses:
- Are you vexed by what you see?
- Are you vexed by what you hear?
- Are you vexed by where you are?
1: Are you vexed by what you see?
The first thing which vexed the righteous soul of Lot was what he saw. I once spoke with someone in Ghana who was happy that the economy was improving; but he was sad to see that some aspects of this, such as the proliferation of smartphones, were bringing with them the moral filth of the rest of the world into their culture. There's nothing wrong with technology by itself, but there is so much evil on it, and it makes evil so accessible.
Sodom must have been a very difficult place for a righteous man to live. Unfortunately, with the rapid decline in the moral character of content on the internet and in practical life, I fear we are approaching a culture spiritually on par with Sodom. It seems that sin is everywhere; and as I heard one pastor put it, "If you walk out of Sodom, you find yourself in Gomorrah; and if you leave Gomorrah, you find yourself back in Sodom." One of the greatest traps of modern entertainment is that it takes something which would normally vex us and attempts to turn it into something funny or exciting, or at the very least, something seemingly so "normal" or "common" that we become desensitized to it. If you are vexed by the seeing of evil, then you will avoid a lot of movies and TV shows.
2: Are you vexed by what you hear?
Second, Lot was vexed with what he heard. Threats, dirty jokes, profanity, blasphemy, taking God's name in vain, and devilish sounds of all sorts must have been rampant in Sodom. Do the sounds of this world trouble you? When you hear someone take the name of God and Jesus Christ in vain, are you bothered? When you hear dirty jokes and vile speech, does it upset your heart? When you hear evil music, does it trouble your soul?
3: Are you vexed by where you are?
Third, Lot was vexed with where he was. Are you comfortable in this world? Do you prefer the company of unsaved and ungodly people? As Christians, we look at this world as simply a temporary dwelling place, just as the Israelites pitched tents during their trek through the wilderness since it was not their final home. I hope you have a homesick feeling for heaven.
Lot's big mistake was choosing to live among the ungodly for the business advantages. Many people today try to use the life of Lot to justify living in gross sin, but this is not the case at all. Lot simply lived among the people of Sodom, but if you read the account in the Old Testament you will see that he did not share in their lifestyle (though sadly he lost his family to the worldliness of Sodom).
If you feel comfortable with this wicked world and its sin and filth, then it is because you still belong to it. We all need to be saved from the coming fire and brimstone that will descend on the world as it did on Sodom. If you have not been redeemed, then ask Jesus Christ to save you and give you a new heart as you strive to live for Him. And if you find that you are becoming desensitized to Sodom by the sheer volume of evil surrounding you, ask God for a fresh cleansing and restored sensitivity. Let's keep our hearts diligently so that evil vexes them the way it should.