Megachurch pastor says a great threat to Christians is secret sinning: 'Don’t hide it’

Megachurch pastor RC Ford of LifePoint Church in Tennessee preached a sermon titled 'Courage to Confess' on April 3, 2022. |
Megachurch pastor RC Ford of LifePoint Church in Tennessee preached a sermon titled "Courage to Confess" on April 3, 2022. | | Sreengrab: YouTube/LifePoint Church

Megachurch pastor RC Ford of LifePoint Church in Tennessee warned his congregation that one of the greatest threats to Christians is “secret” sinning. 

In an April 3 sermon titled “Courage to Confess,” Ford said no one is without sin, including Christians. But, what sets Christians apart from other sinners is that most of them fight their sin, he contended.

“Church, we sin every day. Now, if you say that you don’t sin, then God calls you a ‘liar,’ and now you have sinned,” said Ford, who pastors a roughly 2,000 people congregation based out of Stewart's Creek.

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"Why we are different is because we fight our sin. We don't hide our sin, we fight. It's a struggle for us. There is a difference between fighting against lustful desires, and then hiding an affair from your spouse. Big difference. There’s a difference between struggling with loving your neighbor while consciously hating them."

Ford warned that when a Christian hides sin, the secrets will not only bring ruin to themselves, they will bring ruin to those around them. 

“When I sin, my sin can bring ruin on my family. When you sin, it’s never you sinning alone,” Ford said. "Don’t ever buy the lie that your secret sin ain’t touching anyone."

Ford pointed to the example of Achan, as found in the Old Testament book of Joshua 7. Achan was a rich man in Israel whose sin impacted his entire family and resulted in him getting stoned to death.

“Everything in Achan’s life was awesome. He was living the dream and then boom; one day he loses it all. That’s what secret sin does,” Ford continued.   

“It can destroy and ruin everything in your path. Just because you haven’t been exposed today, doesn’t mean that your sin will not find you out. Because your sin will find you out. Eventually, it will happen." 

Secret sin, Ford said, can lead to generational impacts that can potentially destroy entire families and it’s not just the parents’ trespasses, but it can be the sin of children, too.

“Children, your sin affects people in your family. It brings pain and suffering on them too — to all the people around us,” Ford said. “We must fight our sin.”  

According to Ford, at some point in every Christians’ life, they will be faced with an ultimate decision of whether they will be mastered by sin or by God.  

“Paul told us that ‘by the power of the Holy Spirit, we have the ability to put to death the deeds of the body,’” Ford said, referencing Romans 8:13. “We can kill and slay that sin in our life, that’s secret. We have to have that kind of wartime mentality against our sin.” 

“Not feeling bad and praying about that thing that we did one more time. That’s training sin, that’s not fighting sin. We have to put to death the deeds of the body.”  

While Ford expressed support for Christians who fight sin by doing things like blocking porn sites on their phone or getting an accountability partner, he said that in order to combat sin, a Christian must continue to get to know God more intimately and confess their sins to others. 

“I think actually the first step in fighting sin is confessing sin. It’s bringing it into the light. You can’t fight it if it's in the dark, right?” said Ford. He hypothetically asked, "Do you have anything hidden in your tent, today?" 

“An emotional or physical affair, Facebook flirting with someone who’s not your spouse, embezzling or stealing money from your employer; shady business practices, stealing from other people,” Ford said, listing some examples. 

“You have a secret addiction to alcohol or opioids? Are you hiding the fact that you don’t tithe? Do you have porn hidden in your tent? Do you sleep well at night? Are you always looking over your shoulder to see if anyone is going to catch you doing that thing?” 

Ford went on to remind those gathered that "anyone who knows God, knows, God knows,” adding: "You can’t play hide-and-go-seek with God.” 

“You can’t run. You cannot hide. Trying to hide from God is like trying to hide from oxygen. You can't do it. There’s nowhere to go. He always sees everything,” Ford emphasized.

"He’s in the public places, the private places, when it’s light and when you have the lights off. He sees all things. He’s looking over your shoulder as you scroll through your device."

When a Christian realizes God is omnipresent, according to Ford, it can be a realization that is seen as “really awesome” or it can be a “horribly, frightening thought” to them. 

“If you’re walking through dangerous waters of pain and suffering, it’s awesome because God’s there with you. But if you’re walking in disobedience and hiding things, oh it’s a terrifying thought to know that we can’t escape the penetrating gaze of God,” Ford said. He cited  Hebrews 4:13: "Nothing in all creation is hidden from God and all must give account to the Lord.”  

God wants to scare the sin out of Christians, Ford stressed, adding that when a Christian does not confess, according to Numbers 32:23, their “sins will find them out.”

“I think confessing your sin, I think its a very hard thing to do. I am not going to blow past that. There might be some pain and there might be some suffering. But you know there’s one thing that’s worse than confessing your sin, and that is your sin confronting you,” he said. 

There will come a day, said Ford, when every Christian’s sin is dragged "out into the light" at that point, and that it might be too late for many. 

“I think that’s more terrifying. So, this idea of confession is not just to get rid of the bad. The Scriptures point out that confession brings freedom and healing to us. That’s the invitation here: clean conscience. God’s going with us. Freedom and healing,” Ford preached, referencing James 5:16, which states that confession leads to prayer, which leads to healing.  

Ford said for some Christians, the best way they can combat sin is to seek help from their pastor or someone who can stir them in the right direction.  

“All pastors preach, but not all preachers pastor. I want to preach to you on Sunday, but I want to pastor you every day of the week. So, some of you might need to come in and get some pastoral counseling in how to walk through confessing these things to either us [or] loved ones,” Ford said.  

“Maybe it's a difficult situation that you know you need to come to your spouse and share that with [them]. We will help you with that. We want to walk alongside of you in that."

"Confession is about restoration."

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