They drop like insects caught in a cloud of Raid.
The masses simply shake their head. "That's too bad," some say and then casually move on with the business of their own lives.
"How could he do such a thing?" ask others, in disgust, perhaps secretly delighting in the newest, juiciest gossip.
Meanwhile, in each case, the ripples of pain filter out to spouse, family, friends, and all those who ever loved and admired him. He is the victim of Satan's plot, and the cruel victimizer of those he should love best.
He is the adulterer.
I have found myself caught in a vice of grief this week as I have been reminded of a series of dynamic Christian men who have fallen prey to sexual sin. Some are dear friends whom I love and admire, others are only acquaintances who gave birth to great ministries that still bless many here in Hungary and other parts of the world.
And yet somewhere along the way -- long, long, before the fateful act -- these men began drifting away.
Hebrews 2:1 states, "We must pay careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away."
Drifting is a subtle thing -- hardly noticeable at first. And by the time it is noticeable, it is often too late. It is the result of not being actively anchored -- a physical effort occurring every moment of everyday.
All of the men I am thinking of were pastors or missionaries or both. They read their Bibles everyday. Some even preached a couple times a week. And yet, in all that they did that was right, they still managed to leave some critical aspect of their lives unanchored.
It had been actively anchored once, and perhaps they believed at the time that was enough. But soon it had drifted all too far away to recapture. And now everything has shattered, and they and their families are left with nothing but countless jagged pieces -- razor sharp shards of what used to be.
The pain of their sin radiates like festering sores on the flesh of humanity. And such deep rooted infections do not heal with the simple words of "I'm sorry."
Hell is having a heyday as godly men fall, and all we do is sit around and say, "That's too bad."
When will it become real to us? How many have to fall before we take up the battle?
Through Christ we are equipped to take strategic and effective action in the spiritual realm -- but it requires that we humble ourselves and invest time on our knees.
Let's make today the day we take up this battle -- Pray for your pastor, missionaries, spiritual leaders and for your own family. If you hold any belief in the power of prayer, then take up this fight and pray that none of us allow any aspect of our lives to drift away.