The world takes the concept of sin lightly. But God’s Word reveals the truth about the nature of sin. Sadly, every sinner is deluded into thinking that he or she will never be caught. The sinful heart confidently declares, “No one will ever know.” “I can get by with this,” says the arrogant man. The result is a marital affair, cheating on a test, lying on a resume, stealing from an employer, and the list goes on.
Can a person do wrong and never be caught? The Bible says, “No.” Numbers 32:23 records this chilling truth, “But if you fail to do this, you will be sinning against the LORD; and you may be sure that your sin will find you out.” You can be certain that your sin will find you out.
At the foundation of all sin is this statement from Jesus, “You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44 NASB).
Jesus said the sinner wants to do Satan’s desires, and the sinner lives in the domain of lies.
It is a lie to believe we can sin without being caught. The truth behind the proverbial “caught with your hand in the cookie jar” is published every day in the headlines. This is the story of Jerry Sandusky and the tragic consequences facing the Penn State athletic program. This is the story of John Edwards’ affair and “love child” while running for the office of president of the United States. Bernie Madoff’s securities fraud scheme, the Enron scandal, Watergate – the well-populated list is never ending – political scandals, academic scandals, sex scandals, sports scandals, religious scandals and corporate scandals.
Christians should remember that we are represented on those lists. We grieve to see names like Jimmy Swaggart, Jim Bakker, Ted Haggard, youth evangelist Sammy Nuckolls, and lesser known leaders among the exposed. Anyone can chose to believe the lies of Satan. Human pride shields the arrogant from the reality of inevitable accountability. You can be certain that your sin will find you out.
In 2 Samuel 11-12, King David’s failures are recorded. His sins of lust, adultery and robbery are exposed. David followed the desires of his flesh, probably convinced he was above being caught. After all, he was popular, successful, and a respected leader. Absent of a sense of accountability, he succumbed to sin’s lies.
We know David repented and was forgiven completely. But repentance does not ensure the removal of the consequences of sin. God did not remove the pain David would endure as a result of his wrong choices – the death of his child, his son’s incest, one son murdering another son, and a kingdom filled with violence. You can be certain that your sin will find you out.
You and I are not immune from Satan’s deception. While our personal failures may not make the headlines, they are just as real and significantly destructive. We will not escape the ultimate exposure. Jesus said, “But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment” (Matthew 12:36, NKJ).
Someone has said, “If you don’t want it published in the newspaper, don’t do it.” With the presence of the Internet, we can say, “If you don’t want the whole world to know, don’t do it.”
Does everyone get caught? Ultimately, I believe so. Does it always show up in the media? Of course not.
But scripture is clear. There is a day of accountability. Reckoning will come. The word “judgment” may sound extreme to some, but it is a sobering reality. You can be certain that your sin will find you out.
Our confidence in this eternal principle should resolve any personal desires that may erupt within us to get even with those whom we know have done wrong, but have not been caught. We are prone to help God settle the score. Paul reminded the Roman church, “Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,’ says the Lord” (Romans 12:19, NASB).
This is a primary two-pronged truth of scripture. Sin will find you out, and God is in charge of the scorecard. Maybe we are not proclaiming this warning from the pulpit, but we should be. The responsibility for this prophetic word falls in the lap of the Christian church. No one else can or will do it.