What responsibility, if any, did Abraham have to keep Lot from associating with those of Sodom and Gomorrah? As Patriarch of his family, or as a believer in the one true God, should he have restrained or cautioned Lot?At first glance the question seems to be, Did Abraham fail in his responsibility to Lot?
As with all Biblical narratives, we don't get every single detail of the story. So first of all, the assumption that Abraham didn't warn Lot is speculation, just as the assumption that he did warn Lot is speculation.
So this is obviously not a question of whether Abraham failed Lot in some way, we have evidence that leads us to believe the contrary...Abraham was concerned about the life of his nephew, and he probably would have exercised all his authority possible in his life.
Unfortunately, we cannot control anyone. Pastors cannot control the flock. Fathers cannot control their children at all times. At some point we all grow up and live our own lives. But that does not negate our teaching and training responsibilities. It is our duty as parents, Pastors, teachers, and leaders to train up the next generation in the truth. The principle is found in Proverbs,
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. (Pro 22:6)This is the responsibility we have and that Abraham had. Granted, Lot was already grown when he left Ur with his uncle. Yet Abraham as the patriarch of the family was endowed with the responsibility of training Lot in the way that he should go. In the end, we know that Lot eased closer and closer to Sodom until he was living in Sodom. Even the chastisement of God on Sodom in sending them into captivity did not sway Lot's reasoning. When Abraham rescued them, we have no account of Lot's response or Abraham's admonition. But by this time Abraham could only make a last ditch effort to bring Lot out of Sodom.
Just as with us, our children grow up, marry and are out of the house, and out from under our authority. That does not mean we stop training, but it does mean we cannot jerk our kids up by the ear and send them to their room. Despite all the best and godliest training sometimes it doesn't make it's way into the life of the trainee.
Pastors also have a hard job, training up anywhere from 10 to 500 people at the same time. They are under the command of God to shepherd the flock. But shepherding is not commanding. It is training. It is giving the flock the information they need to combat the evil influences of the world around them. This is accomplished in different ways (evangelistic training, training in godliness, training in Scripture intake, etc.).
Finally, I would point out that the trainees have a responsibility to listen to their teachers.
Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you. (Heb 13:17)Our leaders have a sacred command from God to lead the flock into heaven and to give account for our souls. Turning aside from their instruction does two things, it leads us away from God and it causes unbearable sorrow for the leader. A groaning leader is not a leader who works to the best of his abilities. On the other hand, a joyful leader is encouraged by your steadfastness and growth and continues to lead faithfully. So, lead those whom God has given you, whether your family, Sunday School class, Church, small group, etc., and obey them that have the rule over you for your his joy and your benefit.
I think this could all be applied to the case of Lot and Abraham. Abraham certainly was not happy for Lot to be living in Sodom, and we are reasonably sure that he did his best to keep Lot away. The case of Lot made for an unhappy Abraham and kept Lot from the great benefits of having the 'father of faith' as a mentor.