Guest Post - Jim Denison (Great follow up to this past Sunday’s sermon...)
Why have so many prominent evangelicals and church leaders failed?
The following excerpt seeks to explain why Christians—from the prominent to the common—can succumb to deceptions that lead to a public fall:
There is an illusion and allure of "private sin." Satan wants us to believe that no one will know or be hurt. We think we can harbor an area of private sinfulness that will never be made public.
There are at least three deceptions here:
One: Private sin seldom stays private.
David’s sin with Bathsheba soon became part of his public legacy. Computers can be hacked; internet cookies can track web traffic; others can discover what we thought was secret.
Two: God can forgive our sin, but he cannot reward us for it.
Every moment we spend in disobedience is a moment we cannot get back, as well as a lost opportunity for obedience that our Father would have rewarded eternally (cf. 1 Corinthians 3:14).
Three: Private sin hinders the work of God through us.
Sin grieves the Spirit (Ephesians 4:30) and “quenches” his work in our lives and ministries (1 Thessalonians 5:19). The Holy Spirit cannot fully use an unholy vessel. If we are harboring private sin but think God is using us anyway, imagine what he could do in and through us if we were completely his.
These are temptations we must resist.
If you’re a Christian leader, what can you do so as not to fall prey to the same temptations?
If you’re a Christian, what can you do to help pastors and leaders lead well?
And what can we all do as Christians to defeat private temptation?
In my latest volume of Biblical Insight to Tough Questions, I seek answers to those questions, knowing that our collective witness rests on seeking God’s wisdom for our lives today.