Recently, I was listening to a sports-radio program on which the discussion was about a baseball player named Alex Rodriguez.
Up to this point in his career, he has received almost every award available for a baseball player. He has had hall-of-fame-worthy seasons almost every year. He was on a track to break the all-time career home-run record. All he had to do was to finish out his career, and he would go down as one of the best ever to play the game.
Things change so quickly. Now he is accused of taking illegal substances that gave him an unfair advantage. Major League Baseball is, according to most reliable sources, going to hand down severe penalties that may end his career and possibly ban him from the game for life. Instead of going out a hero, he probably will go out a disgrace.
The sad thing is that there are Christians who have been involved in church and ministries and have achieved great things for the kingdom of God most of their lives, but have ended up leaving this life in shame and disgrace. The problem is that not only does that person get hurt, but also others who are looking up to that person as a guide and example.
The Apostle Paul alludes to this in 1 Corinthians 9:27, where he says, "I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize." None of us should be so proud to think that we are exempt from falling, but the truth of the matter is that we don't have to. God, through his power, can help us, as spoken in Jude 1:24, where it states, "To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy."
May our prayer be that the Lord will help us to live a life of total surrender to Christ and to end well, but also may we pray for those who sit as Satan's prime targets to be strong and faithful.