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Be Not Conformed

By: David Lyda (From: Volume 2 - Issue 1)

“1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, [which is] your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (Romans 12:1-2)

The Apostle Paul made this plea to every Christian: “Be not conformed to this world.” How much does the world influence us? Sadly, like a chameleon, we often change to fit our culture. Christians today accept things that would shock and outrage our forefathers of faith and country. The worst thing is that we are accepting things that are unbiblical!

Often, we pick up habits and views without seemingly “knowing what we’re doing.” Take a child for instance. They learn by observing and often copy things that the parents didn’t even try to teach them. If they say a bad word (hopefully not mimicking their parents), it is the father and mother’s responsibility to correct and guide that child. Likewise, our heavenly Father is always there correcting and guiding us. If we stay in the Word and let the Spirit guide, we will know if we’ve done something wrong. We’ll always “know what we’re doing!”

We live in a culture overrun with sin, and we are all susceptible to its influence. Lot is a good example of a man influenced by the world around him. The area he lived in has become synonymous with sin. It was Sodom and Gomorrah.

Lot in Sodom

“4 But before they lay down, the men of the city, [even] the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter: 5 And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where [are] the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them. 6 And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him, 7 And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly. 8 Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as [is] good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof. 9 And they said, Stand back. And they said [again], This one [fellow] came in to sojourn, and he will needs be a judge: now will we deal worse with thee, than with them. And they pressed sore upon the man, [even] Lot, and came near to break the door. 10 But the men put forth their hand, and pulled Lot into the house to them, and shut to the door. 11 And they smote the men that [were] at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great: so that they wearied themselves to find the door. 12 And the men said unto Lot, Hast thou here any besides? son in law, and thy sons, and thy daughters, and whatsoever thou hast in the city, bring [them] out of this place… 16 And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the LORD being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city.” (Genesis 19: 4-12, 16)

Lot knew the wickedness of the men in Sodom. When angels came into the city, Lot tried to protect them. Soon though, the men of Sodom surrounded his house. The depravity of the city was so ingrained in the people that everybody was involved: “both old and young, all the people from every quarter.” They wanted to have sex with the angels. How did Lot respond to their desire to rape them? It would be nice to say that he fought back, but he instead offered his two virgin daughters to the men of Sodom! Lot had been influenced by his culture.

It’s interesting to note that Lot was called a just or righteous man in 2 Peter2:7. What made Lot righteous? Just like every believer, we are only called righteous because of our faith in the Lord (Hebrews 11). It is not by anything we do (Ephesians 2:9).

This imperfect man named Lot first offered his daughters, and then he lingered as the angels tried to get him to leave the city. We may look at this ancient account and think “That could never happen to me!” The truth is, we could be influenced just like Lot.

“12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. 13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God [is] faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear [it].” (1 Corinthians 10:12-13)

If we’re not careful, we can fall into the same temptations of Lot. Our culture is bent on destruction, and it is no surprise that the world system is run by Satan. He would love nothing more than to destroy the witness of Christians with what “is common to man.” God empowers us and gives us the ability to overcome any temptation that may come from our society.

After fleeing Sodom, it could be seen that Lot’s daughters were also corrupted by the morals of the city (Genesis 19:30-38). They didn’t know if they would ever see another man, so they plotted to make their father drunk and have children through him. The sexual influence of that culture was obvious. The men of the city were seeking to rape the angels, Lot offered his virgin daughters to the men, and Lot’s daughters ultimately committed incest with their father.

Another overlooked sin was that Lot became drunk. If he had not allowed this to take place, his daughters would not have been able to trick him. God allowed a way of escape, but Lot’s choice to become intoxicated allowed further sin to take place. If we don’t take heed to even a drinking culture, terrible things can and will result. What is influencing you? Can a Christian live victoriously in this fallen world? The answer is definitely “yes,” and Daniel is one very good example of a righteous man in a corrupt culture.

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