3 ¶ And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not. 4 For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; 5 And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; 6 And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly;
There are many modern-day preachers who make merchandise of their followers because of their covetousness using falsehoods to draw that following [for feign as fake or a counterfeit see 1Samuel 21:13; 2Samuel 14:2; 1Kings 14:5; & Luke 20:20]. Notice Paul’s warning.
Romans 16:17 ¶ Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. 18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.
Put that together with Paul’s warning aforementioned about those who corrupt the word of God, and with this warning.
2Corinthians 11:13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
Understand that there are a lot of people out there and in the churches across the land who see the body of Christ as a moneymaking opportunity and will stop at nothing to fleece the sheep. You can see some of these people by their outward displays of the wealth they have stolen from God’s people using deception, control, and flattery along with outright lying about what the Bible says. You can protect yourself by knowing the Bible and prayerfully reading it from cover to cover over and over again.
In verse 4 angels are linked to the sons of God in Genesis 6. An angel is an appearance of something or someone that is somewhere else. See Isaiah 63:9 for the angel of his presence. Angels can represent God as in Judges 2:1; children in Matthew 18:10; churches in Revelation 1:20; or the created beings in the spiritual world, called the sons of God.
If God did not spare the sons of God who took on human form in Genesis 6, the old world that perished in the Flood, or Sodom and Gomorrah why would the false prophets and false teachers think they would escape judgment?
7 ¶ And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked:
Notice how we are given more information here about Lot’s attitude than we are in the passage about him in Genesis. This is the same situation we find when from reading Genesis we understand only that Abraham was obedient in his willingness to offer up his promised son, Isaac. But the Holy Spirit gives us information as to how he could be so willing in Hebrews.
Hebrews 11:17 By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, 18 Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: 19 Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.
Getting more complete information, by way of explanation, is one of many reasons to read the entire Bible from cover to cover, cross-referencing the verses and phrases and words as you go. This is how we learn how the command in Exodus 20 that is such a subject of contention among Christians and skeptics about not killing…
Exodus 20:13 Thou shalt not kill.
…is a reference to murder, not self-defense or God’s commands for the Hebrews to take Canaan from the child-sacrificing, devil-worshipping, sexually immoral Canaanites.
Matthew 19:18 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,
Or that Christ, fully God and fully man, fully appreciated the grip that that act of dying itself holds on the living.
Hebrews 5:7 Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; 8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; 9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;
By reading the Bible in its entirety we see what is meant by what is written and are not cast adrift in a boat without a rudder. Here we see another reason why God spared Lot. In spite of his compromises with living among the people of Sodom and the devastation it had on his family we now know, for certain, that he was disgusted by them.
8 (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)
Day to day, Lot sat in the gate of judgment.
Genesis 19:1 ¶ And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing [them] rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground;
[For the phrase sat in the gate referring to an official position of being a judge of things see;
2Samuel 19:8 Then the king arose, and sat in the gate. And they told unto all the people, saying, Behold, the king doth sit in the gate. And all the people came before the king: for Israel had fled every man to his tent.
Daniel 2:49 Then Daniel requested of the king, and he set Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, over the affairs of the province of Babylon: but Daniel sat in the gate of the king.
Amos 5:15 Hate the evil, and love the good, and establish judgment in the gate: it may be that the LORD God of hosts will be gracious unto the remnant of Joseph.
Notice by cross-reference that the gates of Hell or the judgments of Hell shall not prevail against the church because of the acknowledgement that Christ is God in the flesh.
Matthew 16:16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God…18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.]
Notice that Lot’s righteous soul was vexed by the wickedness of Sodom. Compare that with the many sermons that condemn Lot for even living among the people of Sodom, calling him the classic compromiser and likening him to a carnal Christian. But we see here upon what justification that God spared him. He was tormented by the wicked iniquity around him. Preachers who say they believe the Bible often don’t act as if they’ve read it. The iniquity of Sodom was the following, which included their wicked attempt to sexually assault Lot’s guests.
Ezekiel 16:49 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. 50 And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good.
Still, to be saved from destruction Lot had to leave Sodom supernaturally, led by angels. He is a classic example of a Christian who is given a way out of evil circumstances, told to not look back.
Paul was exasperated at how Christians could tolerate sin in the congregation without being appalled and disgusted.
1Corinthians 5:1 ¶ It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife. 2 And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you. 3 For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed, 4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, 5 To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. 6 Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?
7 ¶ Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: 8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
9 ¶ I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators: 10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. 11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. 12 For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? 13 But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.
Of course, he then later told them that the person had suffered enough and should be restored.
2Corinthians 2:6 Sufficient to such a man is this punishment, which was inflicted of many. 7 So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow. 8 Wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm your love toward him.
9 The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:
God knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations so here we have Godly added to the list of approving words for someone we often hold in contempt as a bad example; righteous and just and Godly. Now, that might give a different twist to some possible sermons from Lot’s example than you’ve been used to hearing.
God can deliver the Godly from any temptation…
1Corinthians 10:13 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.
…so that they will not go punished with the unjust. This is one argument for the physical translation of the church in the end times, that God will not only protect them but remove them from the place about to be judged. None of this makes Lot perfect, just as no Christian is perfect, as we see by his later disappointing behavior and the behavior of his daughters.