184. Evils of City Life

1. WHEN Abraham told Lot to choose that part of the country which he preferred, what choice did Lot make?
“And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere, before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the Lord. . . . Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan.” Gen. 13:10,11.

2. Where did Lot dwell?
“Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom.” Verse 12.

3. What was the character of the inhabitants of Sodom?
“But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the Lord exceedingly.” Verse 13.

4. What further description is given of this city?
“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.” Eze. 16:49,50. See Gen. 19:1-9.

5. How did their conduct affect Lot?
“And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (for that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds).” 2 Peter 2:7,8.

6. Before destroying Sodom and Gomorrah, whom did the Lord send to deliver Lot and his family?
“And there came two angels to Sodom at even. . . . And the men [angels] 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: for we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the Lord; and the Lord hath sent us to destroy it.” Gen.19:1-13.

7. What did Lot do, and how were his efforts rewarded?
“And Lot went out, and spake unto his sons-in-law, which married his daughters, 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.” Verse 14.

8. What did the angels say to Lot the next morning?
“Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city. . . . Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.” Verses 15-17.

9. What then took place?
“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 of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.” Verses 24,25.

10. Because she disregarded the instruction given by the angels, what became of Lot’s wife?
“But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.” Verse 26.

NOTE.-As a result of choosing a city life, Lot lost nearly all his family.

11. Foretelling the condition of the world previous to His second advent, to what did Christ liken it?
“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.” Luke 17:28-30.

NOTE.-The cities of today are fast becoming like Sodom and Gomorrah- centers and sink-holes of vice, pride, violence, confusion, and crime. The cities of the United States, while containing only about one half the population of the country, furnish ninety-seven per cent of the crime. Out of 268 boys in the Kansas State Reform School a few years ago, all but three came from cities. In New York City a murder is committed every thirty-six hours. The numerous holidays, the whirl of excitement, pleasure, and sports, theatergoing, horse-racing, gambling, liquor drinking, and reveling in the cities, attract thousands from the sober duties of life, and stimulate every evil passion to activity. What a poor place, therefore, are the cities of today in which to rear a family! Too many, like Lot, have pitched their tent toward Sodom.

12. Of what is the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah a type?
“And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly.” 2 Peter 2:6.

NOTE.-The destruction of such cities as Sodom and Gomorrah, Babylon and Jerusalem, is set forth as a type of the destruction awaiting the world. Says one writer: “The time is near when the large cities will be visited by the judgments of God. In a little while these cities will be terribly shaken. No matter how large or strong their buildings, no matter how many safeguards against fire may have been provided, let God touch these buildings and in a few minutes or in a few hours they will be in ruins. The ungodly cities of our world are to be swept away by the besom of destruction. In the calamities that are now befalling immense buildings and large portions of the cities, God is showing us what will come upon the whole earth,” The destruction of the great cities now almost wholly given up to sinful pleasure, pride mammon-worship, and idolatry, is impending. It is time, therefore, that those who are really in earnest concerning their children’s salvation begin to think about leaving these cities.

13. What is to take place under the seventh plague?
“And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air;
. . . and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great. . . . And the cities of the nations fell.” Rev. 16:17-19.

HOW PRONE are professors to rest on their lees,
To study their pleasure, their profit and ease!
Though God says: “Arise, and escape for thy life!
And look not behind thee; remember Lot’s wife.”

Awake from thy slumbers, the warning believe;
‘Tis Jesus that calls you, the message receive;
While dangers are pending, escape for thy life!
And look not behind thee; remember Lot’s wife.

The ways of religion true pleasure afford,
No pleasures can equal the joys of the Lord.
Forsake then the world, an escape for thy life,
And look not behind thee; remember Lot’s wife.