Friday, May 27, 2011

Holiness: J.C. Ryle and the Christian Life

Chapter 9: Lot--A Beacon

"He lingered" (Gen. 19:16).

The Holy Scriptures, which were written for our learning, contain beacons as well as patterns. They show us examples of what we should avoid, as well as examples of what we should follow. The man whose name heads this page is set for a beacon to the whole church of Christ. His character is put before us in one little word: "He lingered." Let us sit down and look at this beacon for a few minutes. Let us consider Lot.

Who is this man who lingered? It is the nephew of faithful Abraham. And when did he linger? The very morning Sodom was to be destroyed. And where did he linger? Within the walls of Sodom itself. And before whom did he linger? Under the eyes of the two angels who were sent to bring him out of the city. Even then "he lingered"!

The words are solemn and full of food for thought. They ought to sound like a trumpet in the ears of all who make any profession of religion. I trust they will make every reader of this message think. Who knows but they are the very words your soul requires? The voice of the Lord Jesus commands you to "remember Lot’s wife" (Luke 17:32). The voice of one of His ministers invites you this day to remember Lot.

Let us examine the state of Lot himself, what the text says of him, why he lingered, and what sort of fruit he brought forth, the whole while paying special attention as an instruction for holiness. The main principle is clear: We must not follow the example of Lot; we must not linger.

Once more, I say, "Lot is a beacon."

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