In the seventeenth chapter of the gospel of Luke, Jesus was asked by the Pharisees when the Kingdom of God would come. In response, He gave a detailed account of the conditions that would be present before His second coming as well as a warning, followed by a graphic description of the rapture of the Church. The following passage is what He said to them that relates to the end times:
And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: 27 They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. 28 Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; 29 but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. 30 Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed.
31 “In that day, he who is on the housetop, and his goods are in the house, let him not come down to take them away. And likewise the one who is in the field, let him not turn back. 32 Remember Lot’s wife. 33 Whoever seeks to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it. 34 I tell you, in that night there will be two men in one bed: the one will be taken and the other will be left. 35 Two women will be grinding together: the one will be taken and the other left. 36 Two men will be in the field: the one will be taken and the other left.” 37 And they answered and said to Him, “Where, Lord?”
So He said to them, “Wherever the body is, there the eagles will be gathered together.”
Luke 17:26-37 NKJV (bold mine)
Jesus clearly stated in verses 26 through 30 that the days just before His return would be characterized by violence, corruption and rampant immorality, as were seen before cataclysmic judgment was released upon the world during the days of Noah and Lot. Of course, this is exactly what we are witnessing currently and it is a major sign of the end times.
But notice in verse 32 the warning of Jesus concerning Lot’s wife. As the angels were leading Lot, his wife and daughters out of Sodom and Gomorrah to remove them from imminent judgment, she looked back and became a pillar of salt. (Genesis 19:26) It is extremely interesting and telling for our generation that Jesus would use her as an example of what not to do in the end times.
And what did she do? She fell in love with the world around her and didn’t want to leave it. That is why she looked back. No doubt, she was grieving over the relationships and possessions she was losing. Even though God in His mercy was willing to spare her the judgment that was coming on the perverse culture she had been a part of, her focus was on her past and not her future. It was on people and not on God. It was on life in this world and not eternity. And it cost her everything!
In one of the clearest end times passages in the Bible, Jesus warns us to remember the judgment of Lot’s wife as we also are living in a sin-filled world. Here is another similar warning from the apostle John:
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever. 18 Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour. 1 John 2:15-18 NKJV
In referencing the end times and the coming of the Antichrist, the apostle John warns us not to love the world or the things in the world because they are a replacement and distraction from God the Father. We are now living in the midst of the most materialistic and immoral culture in the history of the world. I truly believe that our pornography-filled, perverse society would make the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah blush.
We must remember not to make this world our home and to repeat the mistake of Lot’s wife. Instead, we must emulate the example of Lot. Here is what the the apostle Peter says about him and how he dealt with the corrupt culture he was a part of:
For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment; 5 and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly; 6 and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly; 7 and delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked 8 (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds)—9 then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment, 10 and especially those who walk according to the flesh in the lust of uncleanness and despise authority. 2 Peter 4-10 NKJV (bold mine)
Lot refused to lower his standards to accept the sinful behavior that was commonplace in his society. And when the angels came to take him out of it, he was ready to leave and didn’t look back. This is the example Jesus, the apostle Paul and the apostle Peter all give us related to the end times and our focus. We are in the world, but we are not to be of the world around us.
As Pastor Tony Evans states in the above quote, we as Christians are in the world, but the world shouldn’t be in us.
Even though God’s creation is good and we all certainly enjoy it and need it in this life - there is a difference between the earth (God’s creation) and the world. The earth is the physical creation around us and it is a good and necessary part of all of our lives. But the world is a corrupt system of life, inspired and control by Satan, that rejects God’s authority and allows each person to live by his or her own moral code. This is what led to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and it is what is setting our world up for the soon coming wrath of God.
I encourage you to get ready to say goodbye to everything you have in this life—with the exception of the relationships you have with believing family members and fellow Christians. Don’t grip life on this earth hard or put your focus on it. It will all be gone in the twinkling of an eye. This world is not our home. In John chapter fourteen, Jesus told us that He was leaving to go prepare a mansion for us. He also promised that He would return to take us to be with Him forever.
I’m ready to see Jesus and to go to my real home in Heaven. It will be beyond our wildest dreams and it will be forever. My focus is on the return of Jesus and as long as I’m here I’m dedicated to preparing the Bride of Christ for His return and leading as many people to Christ as I can. I encourage you to look up and prepare for the soon return of Jesus. Just please remember Lot’s wife!