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Joel Van Hoogen  |  Boise, Idaho
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The Vexation of the Righteous - Part Three
FRIDAY, JULY 03, 2015
Posted by: Bread of Life Fellowship | more..

The Vexation of the Righteous

Part Three

2 Peter 2: 7-8

...and delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed (vexed) by the filthy conduct of the wicked 8 (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented (vexed)his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds...

Why was Lot vexed or oppressed by the sin called homosexuality?

1st - He understood that this sin was exceptionally sinful. As we have already pointed out all sin is not equivalent in its wickedness. All sin goes out of the bounds of God's will and misses the target of his perfect commands but some sin goes further from that mark than others. All sin brings on those committing sin a just sentence of death from a Holy God but some sin drives a people and nations further into the stench and the misery of that death. (Matthew 10:15; 18:16; John 5:14; 2 Peter 2:20)

Not every sin is of the same order and brings the same level of ruin. Some come at the end of the line in the downward spiral into our fallen natures. In 2 Peter 2:4 Peter connects God's judgment of rebelling angels cast into hell with the judgment that will one day be rendered on the unrighteous. (2 Peter 2:9) The word used for hell, Tartarus, actually is used only here in the New Testament. It describes a place the Greeks considered the deepest portion of hell; a place reserved for the worst offenders. Some sins drive a person, a people, a nation deeper and deeper into the consequences of judgment not only in this life but in the endless hell to come. Peter knew this. Lot knew this and so he was vexed.

2nd - Lot knew that the sin called homosexuality is consuming - it grows - it spreads.

We are told in Genesis 19:4 that all the men of Sodom gathered at Lot's door, both young and old. This wicked passion had spread to touch everyone and burn in them all.

Human beings are weak in their fallen state and so they are susceptible to suggestion. Given the idea, given the notion of the possibility and the acceptability of any behavior Satan will lead any person steadily towards sins once thought incomprehensible.

The Supreme Court of the United States has ruled in favor of same sex marriage stating that a prohibition against such imposes a stigma that is unjust. Well, yes. God has placed barriers, blockades against filthy wickedness; the stigma of language, the stigma of social judgment, the coercion of conscience against an act. It is God's remedy to restrain a behavior that would run people and society into ruin. God uses righteous people by their vexation, torment and agitation to sustain the stigma against this sin. The Scriptures spare no level of law and language in order to raise this stigma as a block against an impressionable mind and a fallen human nature that would run into the perversity of this sin where ever suggestion might allow it. Lessen this stigma and what is for many a proclivity of temptation becomes a legitimate course of corruption and for those who may not even have the proclivity now it becomes a legitimate possibility of expression. So goes sin and this sin... it expands... it calls for more.

The Lord Jesus spoke of this movement of humanity towards sin when it was no longer stigmatized. In Luke 17:28-30 Likewise even as it came to pass 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 from Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all: 30 even so will it be in the day that the Son of man is revealed. The comparison here is not only with the suddenness of destruction but also with the sinfulness of Sodom. Sin grows and it is vexing to the righteous person.

Therefore I will not be open to a dialogue on this sin or the possibility of its value or appropriateness. I will not open that door in my conversation for any acceptance of the act. Open a door of conversation for the purpose of appearing accepting and affirming and you will leave the door open for many to go into a room filled with darkness that will destroy them and bring destruction on this country. Every effort is being made to remove the stigma. I will not go there. I will be vexed. I will guard all those I can from the insatiable fire of this sin while seeking to snatch others from its flame even as I hate their garments stained with this sin. (Jude 1:22-23) Those in the church that call us to a reasoned conversation on this matter; who advocate for a give and take and for loving supportive overtures to those in the LGBT community; who call us to embrace the notion of sexual identities even to the extent of referring to their homosexual Christian brothers and sisters are asking us to leave the door open to our susceptible generation, and leave those weak in conscience exposed to a room of degradation that they should never need enter or even know exists.

3rd Lot understood that the coerciveness of the sin called homosexuality - The men of Sodom crowded around his door wanting the participation of Lot's house in their actions. The Lord Jesus invites all saying, “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." (Matthew 11:28-29) Sin too invites us but it is not gentle or humble... it is assertive and controlling and manipulating and demanding and enslaving. Lot was vexed because he knew the coercion of this sin. For us this coercion is just beginning. Be vexed, tormented and oppressed.

4th in this sin Lot saw his own sin. He tormented himself. The command to remove the beam out your own eye is not a command against the judgment of another's sin. It is a command to see in another's failing something more than just someone else's problem. (Matthew 7:5) Sodom's sins reminded Lot of his own need for a righteousness that was imputed to him by faith. He sorrowed for his sins as he sorrowed for theirs. We should do the same. Be vexed.

5th Lot saw that because of this filthy wickedness judgment had come.

The night that the Supreme Court ruled in favor of same sex marriage the White House was bathed in the light of the rainbow. It was an expression of approval and identity at the people's house with this sin. The rainbow God placed over Noah was a sign of promise that God would never again destroy the earth with a flood of water. Scripture teaches us that one day God will, through Jesus Christ, destroy in judgment the earth not with water but with fire. Today people live under the rainbow of God's promise. Have you noticed the rainbow has the shape of a warrior's bow? When the ancient warrior/hunter came home from the battle or the hunt he would hang his bow upside down on a hook. It set aside from use just as God's rainbow is hung in the sky. The bow of the warrior God is hung in heavens. It is lets us know that judgment has been suspended. Now is a time in which mercy and grace are offered. But that hung bow also reminds us that the Judge will one day take it up again to pour out fire. Be vexed.

A Challenge

I challenge you that the one expression of righteousness that this moment calls for is torment. The professing Christian who urgently wishes to move us to a conciliating posture; who asks us to find the expressions of love and acceptance, I ask them "Are you vexed?" "Are you tormented and oppressed?" "Will you refuse to be good with it but instead torment yourself because of this sin?" The Scriptures prove Lot's righteousness by his vexation with Sodom's sin. What else is there for the righteous to do at this moment but be vexed, oppressed, tormented in spirit? What other expression could be more loving than to mourn the entrapment into judgment which has come upon our neighbors, our friends, our fellow citizens and our land?

Joel Van Hoogen Joel Van Hoogen

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The Vexation of the Righteous - Part Two
FRIDAY, JULY 03, 2015
Posted by: Bread of Life Fellowship | more..
The Vexation of the Righteous Part Two 2 Peter 2: 7-8 ...and delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed (vexed) by the filthy conduct of the wicked 8 (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented (vexed)his righteous soul from day to day...
[ abbreviated | read entire ]
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The Vexation of the Righteous
FRIDAY, JULY 03, 2015
Posted by: Bread of Life Fellowship | more..
The Vexation of the Righteous 2 Peter 2: 7-8 ...and delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed (vexed) by the filthy conduct of the wicked 8 (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented (vexed)his righteous soul from day to day by...
[ abbreviated | read entire ]
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