v. 22—“Haste thee, escape thither; for I cannot do anything till thou become thither.”
Paraphrased it would read, “Hurry up, escape for your life, because I cannot destroy these cities until you get out.”
These words were spoken to Lot, who was carnal and worldly.
The cities had been good to Lot and his family. They loved the cities. Even at the risk of losing their own lives they lingered loathe to break or sever connections. The messengers took him and his wife and his two daughters by the hand and led them out of the city.
He was loathe to go despite the fact that he was vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked, and that his righteous soul was vexed from day to day with their unlawful deeds. 2 Peter 2:7-8. But despite the unsatisfactory spiritual condition of His children, God could not destroy the cities so long as they were there.
There is a lesson here for the worldly Christian.
1. When Lot finally escaped he took nothing with him.
His works, his goods and possessions were burned though he himself was saved.
Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians 2 that we are builders. Spiritual builders are building upon a foundation of gold, silver, and precious stones. Worldly believers are building upon wood, hay, and stubble. We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, where our works will be tried by fire. If any man’s work shall stand the test he shall receive a reward. If perchance one’s work is burned up, he shall suffer loss. Although he himself shall be saved by the skin of his teeth.
2. The second lesson is of a broader character.
The Lord Jesus used this incident to illustrate the times and the occasion of His coming, prior to the sending of the great tribulation. That is his judgment upon those who have rejected Him, both Jew and Gentile.
“And as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of Man. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it reigned fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed.”—Luke 17:26-30.
The teaching here is plain.
The judgment of God did not and could not fall on the ungodly until Noah and his family were safely in the ark and Lot was safely out of the city.
Unbelievers, in the last day, will scoff at the idea of the Second Coming of Christ. They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming?” 2 Peter 3:4. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night. 2 Peter 2:10.
He is coming soon, suddenly and silently.
People often wonder what happens when He comes and what happens after he comes.
Let us take what happens to the Christian first. (1) The Rapture—1 Thessalonians 4; (2) The Judgment Seat of Christ; (3) The Marriage of the Lamb—Revelation 19; (4) The coming with Christ in glory to the earth—Revelation 19.
What happens to the unbeliever after the Rapture? There is ushered in a period of time (approximately 7 years) called the Tribulation. This in some places is called “the Day of the Lord.” It is a period of judgment and of great suffering. The flood-gates of God’s wrath are opened upon a world without believers and without the Spirit. These are described for us in Revelation 6-19. At the end of this period every unbeliever is resurrected to stand before the Great White Throne. See Revelation 20:11-15.
Romans 3:23—“The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord.