As the wreckage of the Ashley Madison fiasco continues to tear through families, communities, and churches, it offers us all a sober warning:
A day is coming when all our secret sins will be exposed.
Rarely are we given a tangible taste of secret sin brought into the light on such a massive scale. We hear of individuals every now and then who have fallen—church leaders, family men and women, politicians—but I doubt we’ve ever experienced the exposure of secret sin like we have with the Ashley Madison scandal.
For all the heartache, shattered families, and pastor resignations, this event teaches us how real and serious sin exposure is. It is devastating. It is shameful. And it is inevitable.
The Scriptures warn us of a day when God will bring to light all of our deeds conducted in darkness:
- “For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.” (Eccl. 12:14)
- “There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs.” (Luke 12:2–4)
- “[The Lord] will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart.” (1 Cor. 4:5)
- This will take place on the day when God judges people’s secrets through Jesus Christ.” (Rom. 2:16)
We may know these texts. But they address a future that’s, well, in the future. And the future is abstract. The future doesn’t feel real. The future can be put off for another day.
But Ashley Madison has given us a taste of the future. It’s helped us to feel the future. It’s reminded us that future judgment is real, and our secret sins will be exposed for all to see.
Perhaps some of you are on the Ashley Madison list. For you, I doubt I need to press the point any further. Perhaps others have secret sins not yet exposed. To you I say, the key words are not yet. Every secret sin will be exposed on that day. Take heed of the tangible warning Ashley Madison has provided.
Repentance Yields Life
For any of you convicted of sin, let us find refuge in the comfort offered by God.
Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy. (Prov. 28:13)
The only way to avoid devastation even greater than Ashley Madison is to confess and renounce. Let your sin be secret no more. Bring it into the light. Turn away from it. Confess it and renounce it.
Then you will know the mercy of God, and you will have nothing to fear on the day when God exposes hidden sins.