Sunday, August 23, 2015

God is Pleased to Cut Down Some to Warn Others – Josh Duggar

Josh Duggar is back in the news, and this time the sin he has been discovered in, and confirmed, is after his supposed conversion to Jesus Christ. It is a devastating fall and it is bringing disgrace upon the name of Christ, hurting the church, and crushing his family. It is a terrible and sad sin, but dear believer, God is using all things for good to those who love him and are called according to his purposes.

I pray that one of God’s purposes in the midst of this seeming irredeemable sin is to bring Duggar to repentance. I know that one of God’s purposes in exposing Duggar is to warn the church that secret and unrepentant sin is serious and dreadful.

It was said by Jonathan Edwards, “God is pleased to cut down some to warn others.” His original context is concerning death in young age, however, it is also very apt when a believer is caught in horrifying sin. Now, I am not confirming that Josh Duggar is a born-again follower of Jesus Christ, but it is not place to judge his salvation. That is the job of his close friends, his pastor, and his elders, and ultimately Jesus Christ, but based on his profession of faith, I hope he is a true believer in the Way.

Regardless, if we want to benefit spiritually from his fall, we must assume that he believed he is born-again, and also understand that is possible for believers to fall. The “Slippery-Slope” argument is sound, Josh Duggar did not choose to sin in a minute, his sin started in childhood, was nurtured through pornography, and blossomed in adultery; sin unchecked in the believer is more than capable of escalating to the levels that it has in Josh Duggar’s life.

Consider Ananias and Sapphira, there is scant evidence that they were true believers, but beloved, I submit that there is NO evidence that they were not. When their greed and deceptiveness manifested in lying to the Holy Spirit and they were cut down look at the response of the church, “Great fear came upon the whole church and upon all who heard of these things (Acts 5:11).” God cut down Ananias and Sapphira as a warning to believers and unbelievers alike that he takes sin seriously and the consequences are dire.

The sin of Ananias and Sapphira was found out almost immediately, Duggar on the other hand has concealed his sin for months and years. Paul warns, “The sins of some people are conspicuous, going before them to judgment, but the sins of others appear later (1 Timothy 5:24).” Beloved, search your heart, which sin in your life are you successfully hiding from the world? Be sure that it will come to light sooner rather than later, and beloved, it behooves you to deal with this sin sooner than later!

It could be that right now Ananias and Sapphira are in the agony of Hell crying out in warning to you not to come to this place of torment. Do not rest on the solace that they may be in Heaven praising the exceeding grace of a risen Saviour. When you pass into eternity, let there be no question in anyone’s mind concerning your salvation. There is no-one alive who can tell you where Ananias and Sapphira are spending eternity, and there are many who worry that if Josh Duggar stepped out of this world today, he would face God in his terrible fury. The warning from God in Ananias, Sapphira, and Josh Duggar is this: Be sure your sin will find you out.

Be sure your sin will find you out.

The sins into which Josh Duggar has fallen publicly are all sexual sins. Molestation, pornography, adultery. These sins are rampant today in and out of the church. Truly the days are evil. Dr. Kevin Leman, in his book Sheet Music, notes an interesting phenomenon regarding sexual sin; that unconfessed, hidden sin is impossible to repent of. He specifically relates this in the context of unwed couples engaging in fornication, that regardless of how much each wants to stop sinning and abstain from fornication it is impossible as long as the couple is the only two who know of the sin. Only once a pastor, parent, or friend are told, asked to pray, and keep the couple accountable, do the couple start making righteous decisions and stop their sin. Paul pleads with you, "Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, who you have from God (1 Corinthians 6:18-19)."

To flee from sexual sin requires light. Believer, if you are caught in sexual sin, you must tell someone who will keep you accountable and encourage you to repent of your sin. Tell your wife, your pastor, a close friend, tell someone. Depending on your sin their response may be judgment, but beloved, it is far better to be judged by a brother this side of eternity than by God, or to be found out like Josh Duggar. James exhorts you! “My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins (James 5:19-20).” Employ a Christian brother to bring you back from your sin. Most likely, no matter how terrible your sin is, you will be met with empathy and a willing heart to help you if you bring the sin to light. Regardless, sexual sin requires light, and hiding it in the dark will never benefit your spiritual condition.

Look at the sinners in Ezekiel’s day hiding their sin, “Son of man, have you seen what the elders of the house of Israel are doing in the dark, each in his room of pictures? For they say, ‘The Lord does not see us (Ezekiel 8:12)…”

Likewise Jesus warns, “This is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed (John 3:19-20).

Let Josh Duggar be a warning to you. Your sin will find you out. Dear reader, first make your calling and election sure, are you in the faith? Confess your sin to Jesus Christ and look to his work on the cross as your salvation, thank him that he saw fit to save a wretch like you. Second, repent of your sin! Take drastic measures to repent and be forgiven. Look to Caleb in the movie Fireproof when he destroys and disposes of his computer. Tell someone, tell your wife, your pastor, someone, and seek godly counsel to help you overcome and defeat your sin.

Paul promises, “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it (1 Corinthians 10:13).”

Josh Duggar has been cut down for your sake. Be thankful for this warning and repent of your sin. Stop trying to hide it; it might be revealed today, or it might be revealed on the Day of Judgment, but it will be revealed, that is sure.