Psalms 11:7, “For the righteous LORD loveth righteousness; his countenance doth behold the upright.”
I very much admire the following words below, penned by David Hyles to address his army of internet critics; but first, let me give you some introduction. David is the beloved son of Dr. Jack Hyles (1926-2001), the legendary former pastor of the First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana for over 42 years. It is no secret that all humans are sinners by birth, inherent to our nature. David Hyles' has been much criticized for his sins and bad choices in life, but he has repented openly and apologized. Yet, the diatribes (thundering verbal attacks) from David critics are relentless, merciless and saturated with hated.
The Bible teaches that some people's sins are open (known) beforehand here on earth (such as David's). But the Bible teaches that everyone else's sins will follow them and be revealed in eternity, causing shame and reproach...
1st Timothy 5:24, “Some men's sins are open beforehand,
going before to judgment; and some men they follow after.”
David Hyles' alleged sins are openly known beforehand, just as the Bible teaches; but every person who has ever been born is a sinner and our sins will be made open for all to see in eternity. No one will be able to retain a cocky and arrogant attitude toward others who have sinned when we stand in judgment before God. If the truth be known, everyone is a horrible sinner. People who are fortunate enough to live above reproach find it easy to condemn others who openly sin (or their sins become openly revealed). If all of our sins were known, no one would ever be able to slander, gossip or criticize others who sin. NO ONE is a shining example to be held up as the standard of perfection, except the precious Lord Jesus Christ, Who is the spotless “Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).
In his own words, David Hyles appeals to his critics with God's love, pointing out five evils caused by their hurtful attacks...
“First you are hurting the lost. Several years ago I worked with a young man who knew I was a Christian. This young man was searching. He had dabbled into several religions in his search. He respected me and began to question me about Christ. God was working in his life and I felt he was very close to accepting Christ as his Savior. Someone, in an attempt to hurt my business began circulating an email through my workplace and he received it, anonymously, of course. He never again listened to me and eventually our paths parted. I pray every day for God to save him. It was not MY sins that turned him away. No, actually it was the evil spirit of those my accusers who claimed to be Christians. He wanted no part of that.
Secondly, you are hurting the fallen. Countless Christians have seen what you have done to me and to others who have fallen and decided to just disappear rather than being restored. I believe that there have been suicides and other tragedies that could have been prevented if a fallen brother or sister had felt there was hope. You diatribes on your filthy forums serve Satan’s purpose well.
Thirdly you are hurting those who I have hurt. Please hear me on this. Every fallen pastor or Christian leaves hurting people in their sinful wake. I did. I know that. It breaks my heart. David did too and his heart was broken. There is little we can do to repair the damage. Their deliverance must come from God and it will not come from revenge or retribution. It will come only from forgiveness. Please allow God to be God and to deal with his children as He will. Stay out of it and encourage those who have been hurt to find their peace from God not from your vigilante system of internet justice.
Allow me to elaborate on this just a bit more. People who are hurt by a sinner are destroyed by bitterness. No one’s sin can destroy your life. Our loving Father would not allow that. He stands ready as a loving Father to pick you up and mend your broken heart. Sinners (and that includes us all) do bad things that affect other’s lives. For all have sinned… However, if we get them to take their eyes off of the offender and place it on the Savior they can be healed. Closure does not come from our flawed idea of justice. It comes from letting God heal us even as He deals with the one who offended or hurt us.
Fourthly you are hurting you! The manure you are hurling fails to hit me but your hands sure do smell of the filth you have no business picking up. I am sorry for the pain that makes you feel that somehow you will gain some kind of satisfaction from trying to hurt me. I wish this book could give you the peace you are lacking but I sincerely doubt it will.
Finally and most importantly, you are hurting the Father. I have news for you that is not going to please you, but here goes. GOD LOVES ME and I AM SAVED AND FORGIVEN! I fell but, you see, when a Christian falls we do not fall away from grace, we fall into it, hence the name of this book. I am in His grace and one day I will stand before Him clothed in the righteousness of His Son and not the sin of my own. Why would you dare try and hurt the heart of God? Is it because there is unconfessed sin in your life? Are you so far from Him that you have lost the sweetness of His mercy and grace in your own life? That is sad.”
We are all sinners. Who are you, me or anyone else to condemn someone for their sins. James 4:12, “There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?” God is our eternal Judge, and we are cautioned to be careful how we judge others, for the Lord will treat us the same way that we treat others (Matthew 7:1-5).
I love what David Hyles says about “Fallen Into Grace,” rather than “falling from grace” as Calvinists errantly teach. When the apostle Paul speaks of falling from grace, he simply means that a person who rejects Christ cannot be saved any other way. Galatians 5:4, “Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.” False teachers say that a believer loses their salvation when they sin. The Bible calls them liars. Being born-again is a birth (a spiritual, second, new birth), and is as irreversible as the first, physical, natural birth. If saved, always saved!
Some people are so filled with malicious hatred that they have decided that David Hyles could never be saved. The Bible warns in Matthew 7:1-5 that God will one day judge critics and scorners by the SAME measure by which they have judged others. So if you mistreat someone and condemn them without mercy, God will treat you the same one day unless you repent. I would 10,000 times rather be a humiliated big sinner in men's eyes, than to be a self-righteous hypocrite who's filled with hatred and scorn toward someone who has sinned. To point a finger of condemnation at anyone is to have three of our own fingers pointing right back at us.
When a Christian sins, we are not fallen from grace; but rather, we have fallen into God's wondrous grace. God's mercy is abundant. The Lord promises to forgive those who come to Him. 1st John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
I also love what David Hyles says...
“I am in His grace and one day I will stand before Him clothed in the righteousness of His Son and not the sin of my own.”
David Hyles as a genuine Christian fully realizes that salvation is only possible through Christ's imputed righteousness, and not by any self-righteousness of our own. Christ bore our burden of sins upon Himself on the cross. There's no way that you nor I, nor anyone else, could ever bear the weight of our own sins. Have you ever found yourself looking at an impossible situation, wondering how your life could ever become so messed up, realizing that there's no way humanly possible to ever make things right? I've been there! But when I had those thoughts the Lord impressed a truth upon my heart, saying, “You're right, you could never make things right, no matter how hard you try. That's why I went to the cross and paid your sin debt... so I could make things right!” It's Jesus precious blood that He sacrificed for our sins that makes everything right in God's eyes!
Many religious people are trying to make things right in their own human strength, as did Adam with his fig-leaf religion. God rejected Adam's fig-leaves and killed an innocent animal instead, shedding its blood which represented the coming Lamb of God, the Messiah, Who would one day die on the cross for the sins of the world. Thank you Lord Jesus!
When the truth is known, ALL PEOPLE will be exposed as wicked and shameful sinners. When asked to give the name of the worst and most horrible sinners we know, most people tend to think of people besides them self. This is the hypocritical nature of humanity. This is why all gossip is sinful and wrong, that is, because we are just as sinful as the people that we criticize. James 4:12, “There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?” No one has any right to talk bad in public about Christians who have fallen. Satan always brings up past sins to discourage us, but the Holy Spirit only convicts us about present sins that need to be confessed and forsaken.
A person is never more like Satan than when they point a finger of damnation toward others. Revelation 12:10, “And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.” Satan accuses believers round-the-clock before the throne of God, continually pointing out the hypocrisy, sins and failures of God's children. Most gossip is true, which is what makes it so dangerous. Proverbs 11:9, “An hypocrite with his mouth destroyeth his neighbour: but through knowledge shall the just be delivered.”
David's enemies will condemn him to his grave, as did king David's enemies in the Bible; but thanks be to God, only God can condemn a person to Hell and there is no condemnation upon Christian believers who have faith in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). The Lord showed me one day while reading the Psalms that the reason for king David's enemies was his sins of adultery, conspiracy and murder. The words “enemy” and “enemies” appear 103 times in Psalms. David's enemies condemned him to his grave, continually trying to destroy him, but God protected him.
The Lord knows that I have many enemies as a fighting fundamental preacher, and many people slander and say garbage about me all the time. I don't read gossip, so it cannot affect me. I don't know what my critics say about me. I'm too busy serving the Lord to stop and see how I'm doing or what critics are saying about me. The only opinion that matters to me is God's. Revelation 4:11 says that we were all created for God's pleasure.
Thank God for the gift of His dear only begotten Son, Jesus, the Christ. If it weren't for God's love, mercy and grace that sent Jesus to Calvary to shed His blood for our sins, we would all be doomed to eternity in Hell.
Ironically, the very scorners who accuse fallen Christians of not being saved are likely not saved themselves. The Bible teaches that hatred for others is a sign that we've never been saved. 1st John 3:15-16, “Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” Dr. Hyles often stated in his sermons that, “The Christian army is the only army in the world that slays its wounded.” This is because most believers are carnally-minded, walking in the flesh instead of the Spirit. Galatians 5:25, “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” Every Christian believer has the Holy Spirit living within their body (1st Corinthians 3:17-18; Romans 8:9). The Bible is saying in Galatians 3:25 that we ought to also walk in the Spirit Who indwells us. As Christians we continually have to decide whether we are going to walk in the sinful flesh or the Spirit of God Who came to live within us the moment that we were born-again (saved). It's a constant battle (Romans 7:14-25; 1st Peter 2:11).
All men and women are sinners. We are not sinners because we sin; but rather, we sin because we are sinners. Jeremiah 17:9 teaches that the human heart is desperately wicked and deceitful above all else. The Bible plainly teaches that all men are equally as guilty of sin in God's eyes. James 2:10, “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” Committing even one sin is enough to send a person to the Lake of Fire forever and ever. That's why God sent His Son into the world to die on Calvary's cross to pay our sin debt.
So please remember, whoever you may be, that when we sin as Christian believers we don't fall from grace; but rather, we fall into God's grace because of the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ.