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Do You Care About Others?    Gen. 18:20-26; 19:12-16     Feb. 03, 2008

Introduction
The way people care for others relates to their own spiritual depth. If a person is close to the Lord he/she will show concern in many ways for other people. In our text we have a very interesting experience related to us in the story of Abraham praying for the people of Sodom; note how he stands before the Lord, and is specific in his praying. Abraham obviously cared, and as we look at this section of his life we need to ask ourselves, Do You Care About Others? This lessons probes the caring actions of all of us.

1. Do You Care About Others And The . . Punishment Of God? 18:20-21

A. Punishment Related to The . . Request For Punishment. 18:20
20 Then the Lord said, "The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is immense, and their
sin is extremely serious.

B. Punishment Related to The . . Research For Punishment. 18:21
21 I will go down to see if what they have done justifies the cry that has come up to Me. If not, I will find out."

    Is it right for a Christian to asked God to bring His vengeance upon our enemies, or to question why he has not punished very sinful people? At first it would seem like a thing we should not do, but the Bible cites several examples of such requests. In the text we have the request for punishment, and God's personal research related to the need for such. Why does God need to investigate to find out the details of this request? I believe God is all knowing but, don't know, and have not found a satisfactory answer to this question. I have been surprised by some of the best biblical scholars who at times say, "I don't know." It is good to learn we do not have all the answers.

2. Do You Care About Others And . . Pray For Them? 18:22-26

A. Prayer . . Standing Before The Lord. 18:22-23
    22 The men turned from there and went toward Sodom while Abraham remained
standing before the Lord. 23 Abraham stepped forward and said, "Will You really
sweep away the righteous with the wicked?

B. Prayer . . Specifically Before The Lord. 18:24-26
24 What if there are 50 righteous people in the city? Will You really sweep
it away instead of sparing the place for the sake of the 50 righteous people who are in it?
25 You could not possibly do such a thing: to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating
the righteous and the wicked alike. You could not possibly do that! Won't the Judge of
all the earth do what is just?" 26 The Lord said, "If at Sodom I find 50 righteous people
in the city, I will spare the whole place for their sake."

    Caring Christians need to study prayer, and especially intercessory prayer. Please note how Abraham stood before the Lord? People interceding for others must be in a relationship with the Lord so that they may stand boldly before the Lord. The New Testament says, " let us approach the throne of grace with boldness,. . ." (Heb.4:16 HCSB) As Abraham stood before the Lord interceding for the righteous people of Sodom he prayed specifically. A lesson in specific intercessory prayer may be learned from the passage. In my opinion if every Christian prayed more specifically we would improve our prayer lives.

3. Do You Care About Others With . . Passion For Them? 19:12-17

A. Passion As We . . Concentrate On The Lord's Counsel. 19:12-13
12 Then the angels said to Lot, "Do you have anyone else here: a son-in-law, your sons and
daughters, or anyone else in the city who belongs to you? Get them out of this place,
13 for we are about to destroy this place because the outcry against its people is great before
the Lord, and the Lord has sent us to destroy it."

B. Passion As We . . Communicate The Lord's Concern. 19:14-15
14 So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who were going to marry his
daughters. "Get up," he said. "Get out of this place, for the Lord is about to destroy the
city!" But his sons-in-law thought he was joking. 15 At the crack of dawn the angels
urged Lot on: "Get up! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will
be swept away in the punishment of the city."

C. Passion As We . . Celebrate The Lord's Compassion. 19:16-17
16 But he hesitated, so because of the Lord's compassion for him, the men grabbed his hand, his wife's hand, and the hands of his two daughters. And they brought him out and left him outside the city.  HCSB

    Caring compassion must be centered in a concentration on the Lord's counsel. Sometimes compassion has been expressed unwisely. We need to understand God's counsel and compassionately communicate it to others. Lot's sons-in-law did not pay attention to Lot's caring communication of the pending penalty from God. We, like Lot, must share the message of coming judgment but the results are up to the Lord. It is sad that so few of the average church members share about heaven and hell. Lot was snatched out of the way of the coming judgment, and no doubt celebrated the Lord's unique expression of compassion. How do we answer if asked, Do You Care about Others? Hopefully Yes! Amen? Amen!