Are people going nuts? I have seen and heard of a number of marriages breaking up recently in strange ways. And now comes the odd story of South Carlina Governor Mark Sanford.
Trend researcher Gerald Celente says that when people lose everything, they tend to lose it. True, perhaps, but in all of the cases I’ve heard of, the economy was at best indirectly involved in these marital situations. (I’ve said it many times before, but I believe that the real disaster is yet to come with the economy).
Every time a moral downfalls occurs, we get the usual flood of mockers who are only too happy to pounce. “Ha, another Christian hypocrite!” To the mocker, it’s better to set the bar an inch off the ground and step over it than to set the bar six feet off the ground and fail in jumping over it.
This isn’t to excuse Mark Sanford. He may be an unrepentant fraud for all I know. Church history is replete with them. The Bible warns of those among us who were never of us.
While I don’t want to downplay it, hypocrisy is a fact of life with all believers to some extent, even if it does not lead to scandalous sin. I’ve experienced enough of myself to know that I’m at the head of the “pathetic loser” line. However, to mockers, you’re either perfect or a fake. That’s quite convenient for them. If no man can jump their bar, then they posit that no man has the right to speak God’s judgment against them.
However, man does have the right to do exactly that. God commands it. God commands pastors and elders (sinners all!) to proclaim His righteous judgment. You see, mockers, when R.C. Sproul and Tim Bayly and John MacArthur say that the unrepentant will be thrown into Hell, they’re just proclaiming what Jesus said. If it were only their opinion, it wouldn’t matter, but Jesus Christ, the King of Kings, has proclaimed it. Therefore it matters. Even if you shut up every messenger, the message remains. The eternal God remains. Judgment is coming. There’s no stopping it.
And know this, mockers: God doesn’t grade on a curve. I measure my relative successes against others (and overlook my failures) as well as any sinner, but one man’s scandal doesn’t make you look good to God by comparison. God isn’t comparing you to other people. He’s comparing you to a standard of perfect obedience. If you aren’t trusting in Christ– that is, if you don’t have the imputed, spotless perfection of Christ’s righteousness– then you are on the road to Hell. And you’ll deserve it. The mocking will soon be over.
Mockers, don’t use incidents like this to harden your hearts further. Turn now.