"Remember Lot's wife!"
"That look was a little thing, but it told of secret love of the world in Lot's wife. Her heart was in Sodom, though her body was outside. She had left her affections behind when she fled from her home. Her eye turned to the place where her treasure was — as the compass needle turns to the pole. And this was the crowning point of her sin. "The friendship of the world is enmity with God" (James 4:4). "If any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him" (1 John 2:15). …She was no murderess, no adulteress, no thief; but she was a professor of religion, and she looked back.
How many members in our churches were once zealous and earnest professors and have now become torpid, formal and cold! None seemed so much alive in religion as they once were; none were so diligent in their attendance on the means of grace; none were so anxious to promote the cause of the gospel; none so ready for every good work; none were so thankful for spiritual instruction; none were apparently so desirous to grow in grace.
But now… The "love of other things" has taken possession of their hearts and choked the good seed of the Word.
The money of the world.
The rewards of the world.
The literature of the world.
The honors of the world, now have the first place in their affections.
Talk to them, and you will find no response about spiritual things. Mark their daily conduct, and you will see no zeal about the kingdom of God. A religion they have indeed — but it is living religion no more. The spring of their former Christianity is dried up and gone; the fire of the spiritual machine is quenched and cold; earth has put out the flame which once burned so brightly. They have walked in the steps of Lot's wife. They have looked back. They began with Jacob and David and Peter, and they are likely to end with Esau and Saul and Judas Iscariot. They began with Ruth and Hannah and Mary, and Persis, and they are likely to end with Lot's wife!
Beware of a half-hearted religion! Beware of following Christ from any secondary motive, to please relations and friends, to keep in with the custom of the place or family in which you reside, to appear respectable and have the reputation of being religious. Follow Christ for His own sake, if you follow Him at all. Love Christ with all your heart and mind and soul and strength. Seek first the kingdom of God, and believe that then all other things shall be added to you.
Take heed that you do not prove a copy of the character John Bunyan draws, Mr. Facing-both-ways. For your happiness sake, for your usefulness sake, for your safety's sake, for your soul's sake, beware of the sin of Lot's wife.”
Edited from JC Ryle’s “Holiness”