Maybe you’ve heard the story told of Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes, who once got bored and wanted to have a little fun, so he sent a note to 6 or so of his “respectable” friends with the same message to each one, “All is discovered; flee at once.” As the story goes, 2 or 3 of them left the country immediately. One was never heard from again.
The story is likely apocryphal – the above is my summation of the different versions I saw on the web – but even if it isn’t true, the point isn’t a bad one: many people have skeletons in their closets, and faced with the possibility of being found out, they would do anything to save their (false) reputation.
Well, I hate to break it to these folks, but it’s really too late, because there is coming a day when every dreaded deed and every silenced secret will be revealed:
The sins of some people are conspicuous, going before them to judgment, but the sins of others appear later. 1 Timothy 5:24 (ESV)
Here Paul tells Timothy that there are two kinds of sin. The first kind you recognize right away, like a burst of anger, and the second kind reveals itself later, like cooking the books at your company or that illicit affair. Whether you are found out in this life or the next…you will be found out. Jesus Himself said so…
Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. Therefore whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed on the housetops. Luke 12:2-3 (ESV)
Get ready, in other words, because all will be discovered, and there will be nowhere to flee. And yet there is another side to the story, for Paul tells Timothy that just as all our evil deeds will be found out, so will all of our secret kindnesses:
So also good works are conspicuous, and even those that are not cannot remain hidden. 1 Timothy 5:25 (ESV)
And as for the idea that there will be “nowhere to flee” from the Judgment Day report of our lifetime of wrongdoings, that’s not quite right, now, is it? As for me, I plan to flee to Christ. For Paul also tells us that Christ will take the believer’s sin on Himself…and “in Him (we will become) the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)