SEEING BY FAITH
Abraham and Lot were both saved men. Both went to heaven. Yet both men took a totally different path as far as the Christian life is concerned. Lot walked by sight, whereas Abraham walked by faith.
Concerning the salvation of Abraham and Lot, we will take a look at the scriptures. In fact, Romans 4:3 says, "For what saith scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness." The scripture quoted is found in Genesis 15:6. It tells us that Abraham was saved by faith without works. This wonderful truth is confirmed to us in Romans chapter four. Romans 4:2 says, "For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God." The formula for salvation has always been the same. Faith without works! "But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness (Romans 4:5)."
The scriptures also declare Lot a righteous man in II Peter 2:7-8. "And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked. (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds)." No man is righteous or justified before God by his deeds or works. Justification is based upon the substitutionary payment of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary. Nothing but the blood of Jesus Christ can wash away a person's sins. "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved (Acts 16:31)." Yet Lot wound up living in Sodom, whereas Abraham wound up living in the land that God promised to him. Abraham was to receive a good report card from God according to Hebrews 11:2, whereas Lot is a picture of a delinquent, backsliding Christian. Both men were saved by the blood of Jesus Christ. What went wrong for Lot?
Abraham walked by faith, Lot by sight. Abraham looked for a city whose builder and maker was God (Hebrews 11:10); Lot made his home a city that was built by man and destroyed by God (Genesis 19:24). Abraham was the father of all who believe (Romans 4:11); Lot is the father of those whose names are in perpetual infamy (Genesis 19:37-38).
We are told in II Corinthians 5:7 that as believers "...we walk by faith, not by sight." In Romans 10:17 we learn, "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God." To walk by faith means to walk or make decisions not based upon things we see as God unfolds them in His Word. "While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are not seen are eternal (II Corinthians 4:18)."
As saved men, each chose a path. Abraham chose a path that led him closer to the Lord and gained him eternal rewards. Lot chose a path that led him away from the Lord and the loss of blessing and reward. Lot did not lose his salvation nor did Abraham gain his salvation by the path that they chose. Salvation was received by faith without works (Romans 4:5). Rewards and blessings were determined by their service or lack of service.
NOTE THE FOLLOWING CHART THAT SHOWS THE PROGRESSION:
Abraham Seeing By Faith
1. SAW (What God promised) Genesis 13:14
2. CHOSE (What God promised) Genesis 12:4
3. SEPARATED (From carnal Lot) Genesis 13:14
4. DWELLED (Where God wanted him) Genesis 13:12
5. PITCHED HIS TENT TOWARD CANAAN (Set direction toward God) Genesis 13:18
6. MOVED TO CANAAN (Closer to God) Genesis 12:7
7. BECAME A LEADER IN CANAAN (An influence for God) Genesis 14:17
8. RECEIVED BY GOD'S PROMISES (Great rewards from God) Genesis 15:1
Lot Seeing By Sight
1. SAW (What was beautiful to his eyes) Genesis 13:10
2. CHOSE (To have what pleased his eyes) Genesis 13:11
3. SEPARATED (From spiritual Abraham) Genesis 13:11
4. DWELLED (Closer to what pleased his eyes) Genesis 13:12
5. PITCHED HIS TENT TOWARD SODOM (Set direction away from God) Genesis 13:12
6. MOVED TO SODOM (Further from God) Genesis 14:1
7. BECAME LEADER IN SODOM (An influence upon others) Genesis 19:1
8. LOSS OF EARTHLY TREASURES (Treasures burned up) Genesis 19:24
Abraham progressed steadily toward the Lord, which gained him reward and blessing while Lot progressed steadily away from the Lord, which gained him loss of blessing and reward.
"And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan that it was well watered everywhere, before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar. Then Lot chose him all the plains of Jordan and Lot journeyed East; and separated themselves the one from the other (Genesis 13:10-11)."
We notice that the beginning of the whole progression downward for Lot began with what he saw. Then he chose and continued to make decisions based upon what he saw and chose.
Abraham, seeing spiritually God's promise, saw and chose on the basis of what he saw by faith. Abraham saw and chose by faith using spiritual eyesight to guide him.
Lot's salvation was never in jeopardy. A saved person cannot be lost (see John 3:16; 6:37,39; 10:28; etc…) Jesus said, "I will never leave you, nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5)."
Lot is a classic example of how a Christian can have his life change in a negative direction rather than a positive direction. Some preach that if a person's life doesn't change in a positive direction that they are not saved. This is totally false!
The scriptures are quite plain to declare that Lot was a righteous man. II Peter chapter two; declares this plainly several times. Also Genesis 18 declares that Lot was delivered from Sodom before its destruction because he was righteous (saved see Romans 3:10,22).
All of Lot's treasures were earthly, and they were burned up and destroyed (Genesis 19:24). Lot's wife was killed (Genesis 19:26). Lot's final days were pitiful. He was living in a cave (Genesis 19:30). His two daughters got him drunk and committed incest with him. It is a sad, sad story.
If you are a believer, learn from the lesson of Lot. Follow the progression that Abraham followed in his Christian life. Rewards and blessings will follow.