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10 Things That Happen When a Pastor Commits Adultery

3. Those who believed in him and supported him feel betrayed.

He could have told them from the first how mortal he is and how prone to temptation he is—like the rest of us—but still, they have been hurt. We can hear them saying, “We thought he was above that.”

No amount of explanation can salve the pain.

4. People whom he was trying to reach for Christ now have a convenient excuse to fall away. 

”I thought he was so Christlike,” they will say, as they lay aside the Bible and no longer consider coming to Christ. Whether they actually did think that or not doesn’t matter.

What matters is that the devil has taken the weapon he’s just been handed by a foolish servant of the Lord and is now battering the church with it.

5. His family is wounded, perhaps irreparably.

Counseling can help and must be done. The family can be restored, and in many cases will be “stronger in the broken places,” as the saying goes.

But such seems to be rare, sad to say.

6. Atheists and others hostile to the Christian faith have a field day.

Like the Philistines with David, these people delight in pointing out the hypocrisies of God’s preachers, particularly those who have been outspoken against sexual sin.

7. His future ministry—once it’s re-established—is more limited.

We are not saying God is through with him, only that how the Lord chooses to use Him will probably be different from the original plan and in a lesser way. However—and we emphasize this—God is sovereign and can do whatever He pleases (Psalm 115:3). If God chooses to reach the entire world through this one, He has the right.

But, generally speaking, the future ministry of a “fallen and then restored” disciple is a miniature version of what it could have been.

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Joe McKeever has been a preacher for nearly 60 years, a pastor for 42 years, and a cartoonist/writer for Christian publications all his adult life. He lives in Ridgeland, Mississippi.