Let’s read that interesting verse: “Whoever seeks to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it” (NKJV). As with any verse, we need to understand the context in which it was written in order to understand the verse itself. Jesus had been speaking of His Second Coming when He comes to establish His kingdom and He spoke of some of the signs that would precede His coming. In verses 26-30 He likens the days preceding His coming to the “days of Noah” and the “days of Lot”: “And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: they ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed.”

What are we to learn from the Lord’s words regarding the “days of Noah” and the “days of Lot?” It is striking that the CONDITIONS that He refers to were not “sinful things” in and of themselves. They describe normal conditions of every life. Yet they teach us that the people in Noah’s and Lot’s day were oblivious to the judgment that was coming BECAUSE they were so consumed with THIS PRESENT LIFE! They had no time to reflect on God and eternity, so when the judgment came they perished.

Now let’s read verses 31-33, “In that day (when God’s judgment is about to strike), he who is on the housetop, and his goods are in the house, let him not come down to take them away. And likewise the one who is in the field, let him not turn back. REMEMBER LOT’S WIFE. Whoever seeks to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it.” The lesson seems pretty clear. Just as there was a day of judgment in Noah’s and Lot’s day, there is a judgment coming when the Son of Man returns. Those who are occupied with THE THINGS OF THIS LIFE will not take heed to God’s Word which instructs them (who are living in Jerusalem at that time) to leave their home and possessions and flee from the judgment which will come raining down on all who stay. The mention of “Lot’s wife” reminds us what will happen to all whose hearts are fixed on this life alone. We read these solemn words in Genesis 19:17 and 26, “Escape for your life! Do not look behind you nor stay anywhere in the plain. Escape to the mountains, lest you be destroyed…But his (Lot’s) wife looked back behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.” God and His word had no place in the heart of Lot’s wife; her heart was filled with this world and all the “attractions” that Sodom had to offer. Though she was being dragged out of Sodom, her heart caused her to “look back.” As one has said, “She was out of Sodom, but Sodom was not out of her.” And so SHE PERISHED!

Whoever is like Lot’s wife (whose hearts are centered on this life alone) will meet with the same fate as she did when the Day of Judgment comes. They will “seek to save their life, but they will lose it!” This is most solemn when we consider that this is not just speaking of one losing their physical life, but of one losing their soul for all eternity. Mark 8:36 speaks to this, “For what shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul.” In contrast, those who are looking for the Lord to return (because they believe in Him and love Him) will be willing to “lose their life, yet their life will be preserved for all eternity!” Their soul will be saved and they will live with Christ throughout the endless ages of eternity! (277.5) (DO)