Family Bible Study lesson for May 15: Avoid Sin's Consequences : Friday, April 22, 2005
April 22 2005 by Phillip Hamm

Family Bible Study lesson for May 15: Avoid Sin's Consequences : Friday, April 22, 2005
Friday, April 22, 2005

Family Bible Study lesson for May 15: Avoid Sin's Consequences

By Phillip Hamm
Focal Passages: Genesis 19:12-13, 15-17, 23-29

My dad tells the story of a childhood friend, Jimmy, who would say each summer that his parents were going to take him to Disneyland. This went on every summer for years until one day Jimmy came out to play proclaiming that he had just returned from Disneyland. He told of the wonderful sights, the great food, and the exciting rides. He gave detail after detail about the ride to and from California. He bragged relentlessly about his vacation.

There was only one problem: the neighborhood kids had spent the day before playing with Jimmy. There was absolutely no evidence that Jimmy had even gone to the next county, or to California.

Do people in our communities feel the same way? They hear us say that God has the power to change lives, but do they see any evidence in us to support that claim?

Sin Provokes God's Judgment

Genesis 19:12-14

Due to the unrepentant sin of the people of Sodom and Gomorrah, God planned to destroy both cities. He sent messengers to warn Lot and his family in order to spare them from punishment. However, instead of running for protection, Lot's sons-in-law found the message humorous (v. 14) and Lot and his wife were nearly dragged out (v. 16).

Pundits have criticized and attempted to explain this passage by stating that, "If God is good He would have never destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah." The opposite is true; because God is good He destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.

Have you ever been in a store where there were unruly children? Kids hiding in the clothes racks, tripping customers as they come by, or running up and down the aisles playing tag. You naturally look to the parents to bring order to such chaos, but they do nothing.

Would you think that person is a good parent? No! A good parent would rein in their children and discipline them. Because God is good, He could not allow the sin in Sodom and Gomorrah to continue unpunished.

God is Gracious

Genesis 19:15-17

Mercy can be defined as not receiving the punishment you deserve. Grace can be defined as being rewarded when you should be punished. Lot received grace. He deserved to be punished along with the rest of Sodom and Gomorrah. But just as God chose to show grace by saving us from hell, He chose to save Lot from punishment.

Sin's Damage can be Devastating

Genesis 19:23-26

The people of Sodom and Gomorrah didn't wake up one morning looking for a way to make God mad. Sin, especially the sexual sin of these cities, doesn't crop up overnight. It creeps up on you with every small sinful indulgence that you take and makes you its slave as you willingly succumb to its power.

A man once wanted to sell his house in Haiti for $2,000. Another man wanted to buy it but couldn't afford the price. After much bargaining, the owner agreed to sell the house for half the original price with just one stipulation: he would retain ownership of one small nail protruding over the door.

After several years, the original owner wanted the house back, but the new owner was unwilling to sell. So the first owner went out, found a carcass of a dead dog, and hung it from the single nail he still owned. Soon the house became unlivable, and the family was forced to sell the house to the owner of the nail (Leadership, Spring 1983).

Sin always starts out small with seemingly inconsequential decisions, but the damages may take a lifetime to repair.

The people with whom we work and live are looking to see if God is real. They are looking at our lives for evidence that God really has the power to make all things new. Unfortunately, the evidence that is sometimes found in the lives of church members reinforces what the world has always thought: God really doesn't make any difference.

The sins of Sodom and Gomorrah were many. No matter what specific sin has crept into your lives, it has the potential to keep those who are watching us from seeing any evidence that we belong to God.

No matter how hard Jimmy tried to convince my dad, he never would believe that Jimmy had gone to Disneyland. There just wasn't any evidence.

4/22/2005 12:00:00 AM by Phillip Hamm | with 0 comments

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