Come Out Of Her… But Remember Lot’s Wife
By Curt Wildy
“And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” Revelation 18:4
“Remember Lot’s wife.” Luke 17:32
What does it mean to “Come out of her?” Many rightly understand this to be a command to come out of false religion. But how are we to “come out of her?” Is it enough to simply come out of false religion physically, by ceasing to fellowship in public worship with Arminians, Sacramentalists, and others within what is commonly called Christendom? Or is there something much more, infinitely more to it than that?
Sadly, large numbers of those who profess the doctrines of grace think that if they cease to fellowship publicly with will-worshippers, cease to assemble in the worship service with them, then they are fulfilling the command to “come out of her, my people.” They are content to physically withdraw from those who do not preach the Doctrines of Grace, but they desire to maintain fellowship with them in their hearts by considering such to be saved nonetheless. We see this manifested in the following ways:
Some may deem the Arminian to be saved, but will refuse to have any physical assembly or fellowship with them whatsoever (considering them to be disorderly, or second-class Christians, worthy to be withdrawn from unless, or until, they are converted to Calvinism);
Others may see them as merely “less knowledgeable Christians” that must be withdrawn from in the actual worship service, but Christians with whom they can fellowship privately nonetheless (perhaps in their homes, in prayer vigils, in protests, in political campaigns, and in joint religious ventures in general);
Still others may not feel comfortable joining the Arminian’s own congregation/denomination, choosing to remain within a proper reformed church instead, yet, they have no qualms with an Arminian preacher preaching in their pulpit as a guest (as with the Evangelical Methodists preaching in Free Presbyterian pulpits).
Finally, there are those who deem it sufficient enough to “come out of her” by abstaining from attending service when a particular preacher is in the pulpit; or by attending Bible Study only (as opposed to the main service because the Bible study teacher says some “reformed” things that sound pretty good); or by only speaking to, or associating with, those in the congregation that are of a more Calvinistic bent.
No matter the manifestation, those who hold to such things fail to realise that the coming out of her must be total and not in appearance only; it must be an inward, spiritual departure and not just an outward, intellectual one. It is not enough to say ‘I must separate for a season from my Arminian brethren, but trust that we will assemble together again either in Heaven or here on earth if they ever come to a belief in the doctrines of grace as have I.’ They cannot faithfully say, as many do, that though they cannot personally sit under an Arminian preacher, they can deem him a fellow-servant of the Lord nonetheless (as if the ‘not sitting under him’ is a sufficient enough “coming out of her”). They cannot honestly join themselves with those who rest in the free and sovereign grace of God, while looking back fondly (in a religious sense) on their Arminian past and their Arminian brethren. To do so would be to depart from them superficially, but to look back upon them and cling to them affectionately in reality. It is to leave their immediate presence while ever remaining present with them in spirit (not the Holy Spirit, but that spirit of antichrist whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world). It is to cherish in the heart what the Apostle Paul rejected in his spirit as being “but dung.” It is to evidence their true, unregenerate, state before God as they leave the physical presence of Sodom only to look back upon it fondly — unto their own eternal judgment and damnation.
Here then is the reality of it all; if you claim to love the Lord; claim to believe in the doctrines of grace; claim to believe in man’s absolute depravity, God’s absolute sovereignty, Christ’s absolute substitution and victory over sin, death, and hell — and yet you continue to maintain that Arminians (and other pseudo-Christian will-worshipers) are saved — or that you, yourself, remained an Arminian after being saved — then you are the spiritual equivalent of Lot’s wife. Though you may appear to embrace the safety and refuge of a Just God and a Saviour and though you may appear to escape the religious filth of this world (being so close, so very close to escaping all that Christ and the Christian deems damnable), you are nonetheless one that has looked back. You look back admiringly, appreciatively, kindly, loyally, and reverently towards your Arminian god (the same one you claim to worship both now and when you were a practicing Arminian) and you look back in like manner towards your Arminian brethren. No matter how you try to rationalise it, spin it, or excuse it, the fact remains that you – look – back! and if you die looking back, you are damned. It really is as simple as that. If you perish in this world thinking that you, or any other will-worshiper, were saved while holding to such God-dishonouring doctrines as universal atonement, resistible grace, falling from grace, or conditional election… you perish eternally. Because you “got a few things wrong?” No! But because you know not God, His Christ, and His Gospel as evidenced by your willingness to cling to those things that deny His Person, His work, and His majesty.