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At It Again?

Fri, Jul 23rd, 2010
Posted in Faith & Worship

"When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time." Luke 4:13 NIV

You can hear people talk about church scandals. "What is the matter with those people?" The focus is on the hypocrisy of a person claiming to be a follower of the moral code set down by God in the Bible and yet doing something different. Do you think the devil picks out individuals like pastors, priests, Sunday School teachers, church council members and the like for extra temptation? Why wouldn't he? The devil chose the weakest moments in Jesus' life to approach him with the most difficult of temptations. If the devil can get a church leader to commit a public sin, then the whole church will look bad. People will tend to dismiss everyone in the church and their beliefs because of the leader. Even worse, people dismiss the seriousness of their own offenses before God.

The truth is all people sin. God's judgment day is also coming when, "he will reward each person according to what he has done (Matthew 16:27 NIV)." There will be nothing secret or hidden on that day. No one will escape and the agony of hell is real.

The good news is that Jesus overcame each temptation of the devil with the Word of God. Jesus was innocent of sin and paid for the sins of the world. That fact should never be used to excuse the failure of believers to resist temptation. Instead Jesus provides the hope for the sinner who seeks to live a new way of life. God has provided a way to forgive. "Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ, God forgave you (Ephesians 4:32 NIV)." See you in church!

Submitted by Paul Ibisch, pastor emeritus and adjunct professor of religious studies at Viterbo University, telephone 608-799-0990.

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