Devotion, Difficult Text(s)

Sins Going Ahead And Sins Trailing Behind?

The Bible tells us of sins that go ahead in judgment and sins that trail behind us. Which is which? Is this...

Written by Dr. Rei Kesis
· 2 min read >

1 Timothy 5:24
The sins of some are obvious, reaching the place of judgment ahead of them; the sins of others trail behind them.

1 Timothy 5:25
In the same way, good deeds are obvious, and even those that are not obvious cannot remain hidden forever.

What does this text mean that some sins are obvious and they go-ahead to the judgment? What does it mean that some sins trail us behind, they follow us? Are there different types of sins? What does this text mean?

Sins that go ahead are sins that are outright evil and sinful in the eyes of everybody. Sins committed publicly and almost everyone agrees that that is wrong. Therefore by committing such a sin, the judgment is already steeped against you. Outright open obvious sins stand to condemn us immediately we commit them. Those are the sins that go ahead in judgment.

They go ahead in judgment in the sense that we are already condemned, guilty, and accused of wrongdoing the moment the sin is committed. The sin does not wait for investigation and confirmation of shreds of evidence and charges. You are guilty from the onset. That is why it is said to have already gone ahead in judgment.

This text does not explain how God’s judgment will be done, it explains the sins that people commit. This text should not be used to suggest that there is a judgment for two different types of sins. The judgment mentioned in this text is the perception of people about the sins we commit. There sins that even before people it is obvious we are wrong and we are subject to human judgment and condemnation. That is why it goes ahead in judgment. It is obviously wrong. Outrightly wrong.

This text does not also talk about the unpardonable sin. Sins going ahead in judgment are not unpardonable sins. Both sins that go ahead and those that trail us can be pardoned if we confess and repent. This text is talking about how sins are perceived.

When the Bible tells us that some sins trail people behind, it is referring to sins that may not be known by people but are known by God. Sins that are hidden are trailing us. Unless we repent, those sins will be our downfall. At some point, the sins trailing us will catch up with us and expose us negatively.

In our text today, Paul tells Timothy that the church has people who are openly rebellious and their sins have gone ahead of them in judgment. He also tells Timothy the young pastor that other people in the church are secret sinners and have sins that someday will be exposed. Therefore both groups need warning and help.

Apostle Paul also goes ahead to say that some openly do the right things and are praised while others do the right things secretly and may not be known now until a later stage. Both groups will be rewarded and should be encouraged to serve God.

The question is, what is going ahead of you, and what is trailing you? Are you courageous enough to do wrong openly, hurt people openly, and look undeterred by your open sins? It goes ahead of you in judgment. You stand condemned even by fellow human beings. Are you secretive? Secret confidential meetings to commit sin? Nobody may know now, but God promises in His inspired word, that it will catch up with you at a very unfortunate time in the future. The solution now is to confess and repent your sins before God before it is forever too late. What is going ahead of you and what is trailing you?

God of heaven, save me from courage to sin openly, save me from secret sins. May Only the good things you enable me to do go ahead of me and trail me, in Jesus’ name, Amen!

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Written by Dr. Rei Kesis
Rei Kesis is an ordained Pastor of the SDA Church and A Senior Lecturer of Applied Theology and Religious Studies. Profile

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