The sun was risen upon the earth when Lot entered into Zoar.
JOHN CALVIN (1509-1564): Lot, when commanded to retake himself to the mountain, chose rather to dwell in Zoar.
A. W. PINK (1886-1952): Lot seems to be a type of that class of Christians who aim to make the best of both worlds, who are really occupied more with the things of earth than the things of heaven.
H. C. ANSTEY (1843-1922): Neutrality is the Zoar, the little city, to which many a righteous Lot has fled for refuge. It is not Sodom, it is far removed from that wicked city, but it is not the “mountain,” God’s place of safety. It is a place reached without much difficulty, for it is in the plain, and no toilsome mountain ascent lies before those who would reach it. It is a principle getting widely spread in our day, which unmasked speaks but plainly when it says, “Let us make the best of both worlds.”
THOMAS MANTON (1620-1677): It is a hard matter to enjoy the world without being entangled with the cares and pleasures of it.
MARTYN LLOYD-JONES (1899-1981): This is the peculiar danger of Christian people―Indeed, this is perhaps the most urgent word that is needed by Christian people at this very moment. The world is so subtle, worldliness is such a pervasive thing, that we are all guilty of it, and often without realizing it.
A. W. PINK: “Worldly” is a term that means very different things in the minds and mouths of different people. Some Christians complain that their minds are “worldly” when they simply mean that, for the time being their thoughts are entirely occupied with temporal matters. We do not propose to enter into a close defining of the term, but would point out that the performing of those duties which God has assigned us in the world, or the availing ourselves of its conveniences, or even enjoying the comforts which it provides, are certainly not “worldly” in any evil sense. That which is injurious to the spiritual life is, time wasted in worldly pleasures, the heart absorbed in worldly pursuits, the mind oppressed by worldly cares.
MARTYN LLOYD-JONES: Worldliness is all-pervasive, and is not confined to certain things. No, worldliness is an attitude towards life. It is a general outlook.
A. W. PINK: It is the love of the world and its things which is forbidden, and very close watch needs to be kept on the heart, otherwise it will glide insensibly into this snare.
THOMAS COKE (1747-1814): Worldly things are a great snare to the heart.
MARTYN LLOYD-JONES: Man can possess things, but when he is possessed by the things, then that is sheer slavery. When a man’s heart is taken up with these things, then that is utterly debasing…It’s a lust, of course, and nothing but a lust, and once you get involved with this, you’ll never be satisfied. That is the meaning of lust, it’s an inordinate affection. An affection is all right, but once it becomes inordinate, it’s all wrong. A desire is alright, but a lust is terrible; it means that you are governed and controlled by it, and you’ll never have enough.
THOMAS WATSON (1620-1686): All the danger is when the world gets into the heart. The water is useful for the sailing of the ship; all the danger is when the water gets into the ship; so the fear is when the world gets into the heart.
A. W. PINK: The case of Lot supplies a most solemn warning against this evil.
C. H. MACKINTOSH (1820-1896): What did Lot gain in the way of happiness and contentment? What a commentary is Lot’s history upon that brief but comprehensive admonition, “love not the world, neither the things that are in the world,” 1 John 2:15.
MARTYN LLOYD-JONES: The whole world is preaching materialism. The modern world is full of this―high society, and low society, are living in Sodom and Gomorrah today, the life of the cities of the plain―materialism―Lot chose it, you see, thinking he was clever, leaving his uncle Abraham to have the mountaintops for his sheep; the life of the cities, society, civilization! God said what He thought about it, and He carried out what He said…Lay not up for yourselves treasures on earth. Don’t live for that! Don’t set your heart on things like that!
JOHN TRAPP (1601-1699): A man may be very mortified and yet be very subject to dote upon the world.
A. W. PINK: One form of worldliness which has spoiled the life and testimony of many a Christian is politics. We will not now discuss the question whether or not the saint ought to take any interest in politics, but simply point out what should be evident to all with spiritual discernment, namely, that to take an eager and deep concern in politics must remove the edge from any spiritual appetite. Clearly, politics are concerned only with the affairs of this world, and therefore to become deeply absorbed in them and have the heart engaged in the pursuit thereof, will inevitably turn attention away from eternal things. Any worldly matter, no matter how lawful in itself, which engages our attention inordinately, becomes a snare and saps our spiritual vitality.
MARTYN LLOYD-JONES: Now that doesn’t say that we shouldn’t have politics, you’ve got to govern your country. But oh, that we had politics which was concerned about truth, and about principles, about morality and living, and not merely pandering to the lusts and desires of men and women.
J. C. PHILPOT (1802-1869): Separation from the world is the grand distinguishing mark of vital godliness.
MARTYN LLOYD-JONES: You don’t get it by being a hermit on top of a mountain, or by living on a lonely island all on your own.
J. C. PHILPOT: There may indeed be separation of body where there is no separation of heart. But what I mean is, separation of heart, separation of principle, separation of affection, separation of spirit.
C. H. SPURGEON (1834-1892): To be divided from the world—its possessions, its maxims, its motives—is the mark of a disciple of Christ.
JOHN OWEN (1616-1683): This is difficult unto our nature, because of its weakness. It is apt to say, “Let me be spared in this or that thing”—to make an intercession for a Zoar. “What shall become of me when all is lost and gone? What shall I do for rest, for ease, for liberty, for society, yea for food and raiment?”
C. H. MACKINTOSH: This world’s Sodoms and its Zoars are all alike. There is no security, no peace, no rest, no solid satisfaction for the heart therein. The judgment of God hangs over the whole scene; and He only holds back the sword, in long-suffering mercy, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
A. W. PINK: Lot is a concrete warning, a danger signal, for all Christians who feel a tendency to be carried away by the things of the world.