As I write this I am in shock. The pastor of the church I attend has turned in his resignation with a confession of adultery. We had been out of contact for about three weeks and came back to this. Then I read this passage in Proverbs. Much of this chapter is about the process of seduction. I have read it about 20 times, made note of some of the lessons and suddenly have it hit me in the face.
Before I go any further, let us remind ourselves of the offer of forgiveness. Whether you are looking at II Chronicles 7:14 or I John 1:9, the hope we have is that God forgives sin. My prayer for this man is that he will find the forgiveness that is at the heart of the gospel. From what little I can pick up, he was not “discovered.” It sounds like he was convicted. That gives me hope for him. The attitude of the people we talked to was concern for him also.
But verse 23 jumped out at me. It goes along with Paul’s statement:
(Romans 6:23 KJV) For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.There is a price to pay for sin. The second part of the verse points out that eternal, spiritual death has a remedy. But think about the bigger picture of what is killed.
We came to this church because of the preaching. It was solid, Bible based and bold. I rarely went home without being convicted or encouraged. The pastor was one I would have liked to get podcasts from. He was involved in international ministries. The church might not have qualified as a mega-church but it was close. People were being won and baptized. They had a VBS that reached 600 kids last summer. The pastor had a wife and grown children he was always very proud of. Then he got caught up in adultery.
And it is going to cost him his life. Not necessarily spiritually. God forgives. But all of the things he has spent his life building are now crippled, some possibly destroyed. His marriage. His children. The thousands of people he has stood before in foreign countries. The outdoor community services that attracted thousands. All of the unknown lives he touched. His sin has killed that part of his life.
So? Walk carefully. The devil knows our weaknesses and is waiting to seduce. The only solution is to stay so close to Jesus that he bounces off. Pray for this man, his family and the church he served.