Golden Pillar Class Study, teacher Edith Tolbert.

We’re living in the last days. There are so many thefts in some stores that they’re closing or don’t have as many things on the shelves. Times are getting bad and Jesus warned of this in the end time. Jesus told about a man who had so much he had to build bigger barns to hold everything. Then he said, I have things laid up for many years. I’ll take my easy and eat, drink, and be merry. A lot of people are wanting to take their easy, eat, drink, and be merry. It’s “all about me” to people. Sister Edith was on a garden tour where a statute of Eve giving Adam an apple was in the middle of blooming azaleas. When the guide gave people time to take pictures, a man in the group stood in front of the statute blocking them from taking pictures. A woman asked “Fred” to move so people could take pictures. He said, “why should I move? No one moves for me to take pictures.” The man is an example of people thinking only “what I want.”

God destroyed in Noah’s time and at Sodom and Gomorrah but each situation was very different. In Noah’s day, God destroyed by water. At Sodom and Gomorrah God destroyed by fire. God gave the people 120 years to repent in Noah’s time. At Sodom and Gomorrah the angel came one night and the cities were destroyed about 12 hours later.

Luke 7:26-30 And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. 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 rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.

Noah invested everything he had in building the ark – his time, his wife, his 3 sons and his 3 daughers in law. Noah had everything he needed in the ark when the rains came. He invested his whole life. When Lot left Abraham, he pitched his tent toward Sodom but it wasn’t long before he was inside Sodom. He lost all his personal possessions when Sodom was destroyed. He didn’t invest in what God wanted him to. Noah didn’t lose anything because he invested everything.  God was grieved with men in Noah’s time because their thoughts were continually on evil.

Genesis 6:5-6 And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth…every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.

We have to bring our mind under control if thoughts and worry try to discourage or make us afraid. We have to cast them down. People in Noah’s time didn’t control their thoughts. It’s our responsibility to think things that are pleasing to God.

I Corinthians 10:4-5 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness.

There’s a lot of violence and corruption in the world. Neighbors had their car broken into and a bag of tools stolen. Other neighbors saw a truck being worked on along the street. They reported it to police and found it was stolen for parts to sell.

Genesis 6:7-9…Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.

We have to fight a good fight of faith because there’s violence all around us. Remember Lot’s wife was turned into a pillar of salt when she looked back. Abraham asked God 6 times if he’d spare Sodom if a certain number of righteous people were there. There weren’t even 10 righteous people so God would spare Sodom as Lot asked. God destroyed Sodom.

Genesis 6:11-13 The earth also was corrupt before God, and…filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.

When Lot went to get his sons in law to leave the city, they thought he was joking. They had no respect for him because he lived in Sodom. Lot’s wife was out of Sodom but Sodom was in her heart. Something there was more important to her than God.

Genesis 19:14-17 And Lot went out, and spake unto his sons in law…and said, Up, get you out of this place; for the Lord will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law. And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city. And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand…the hand of his wife, and…hand of his two daughters; the Lord being merciful unto him: and they brought him…without the city. And…when they had brought them forth…said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.

In the lukewarm age we live in, people don’t want anyone to tell them what to do. But we need someone to tell us what God wants us to do. When the angels brought Lot and his family out of the city, he gave 2 instructions: don’t look back and escape to the mountains. Lot’s wife was out of Sodom to the gate at Zoar, but she didn’t go in and looked back.

Genesis 19:23-26 The sun was risen…when Lot entered into Zoar. Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven; And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants …and that which grew upon the ground. But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.

She looked back to the riches and prestige she left. Jesus said don’t come down from the rooftop back into the house to get anything. Lot’s wife looked back to stuff she left with longing in her heart. We have to forsake all and not trust worldly things.

Luke 17:31-33 In that day, he which shall be upon the housetop, and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away: and he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back. Remember Lot’s wife. Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.

The world or lust is a longing, craving, eagerness to enjoy. Any delight, pleasure, desire or interest that draws us away from, makes us forget God, or puts him in second place is worldliness: business, pleasures, conduct, activities, education, culture, dress, entertainment, possessions, or anything else that comes before God, diminishes spiritual fervency, or lessens the soul burden or burden for God’s work is of the world. We have to invest everything in the work of God. We can’t invest our time and energy only in temporal things. Some can’t do a lot but Ana was an old prophetess who fasted and prayed.

I John 2:15-17 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh…lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

Lot’s wife looked back at family she left. Jesus said our family needs to be on the altar. God must be more important than them.

Matthew 10:37-39 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

There’s let down in people to want their own way if lukewarmness comes. Sister Edith’s mother said, Idle hands are the devil’s workshop. Pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness were in Sodom so they were only concerned about themselves.

Ezekiel 16:49-50 Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good.

Cares, deceitfulness of riches and worry will come on us all at times. We need to take heed to make sure we don’t let the enemy get us overcharged with cares, worry, and the deceitfulness of things pertaining to this life. Pray always!

Luke 21:34-36 And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the …earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come…

Luke 21:34-36 (Amplified Classic) But take heed to yourselves and be on your guard, lest your hearts be overburdened and depressed (weighed down) with the giddiness and headache and nausea of self-indulgence, drunkenness, and worldly worries and cares pertaining to [the business of] this life, and [lest] that day come upon you suddenly like a trap or a noose; For it will come upon all who live upon the face of the entire earth. Keep awake then and watch at all times [be discreet, attentive, and ready], praying that you may have the full strength and ability and be accounted worthy to escape all these things [taken together] that will take place, and to stand in the presence of the Son of Man.