Whoso causeth the righteous to go astray in an evil way, he shall fall himself into his own pit: but the upright shall have good things in possession.
Worldly persons that pressure or seduce Christians to sin will be destroyed by their own folly. Godly men who help Christians live holy lives in a wicked world will be blessed. False teachers and compromising preachers are doomed. They will fall into the carnal cesspool they create for their hearers and be destroyed (Pr 26:27). But the upright, who lead others to righteousness, will be satisfied with prosperity both here and in heaven.
God loves the righteous, and He comforts them from evil seducers by promising retributive justice. He specifically condemned the efforts of some to get others drunk to gaze on their nakedness (Hab 2:15). Let every young man and woman think soberly about their influence on the other sex. But contrary to His judgment of false brethren, He will bless the righteous with good things that cannot be uttered or thought (I Cor 2:9).
You live in the fulfillment of this proverb’s warning, as the perilous times of the last days have arrived (II Tim 3:1-7). The compromising and effeminate brand of Christianity now sweeping the world will be exposed for the profane sham that it is (II Tim 3:8-9). Though persecution and seducers will get worse (II Tim 3:10-13; 4:3-4), the righteous have the cure – the faithful preaching of God’s inspired Scriptures (II Tim 3:14-17; 4:1-2).
The proverb certainly applies to modern education, entertainment, and journalism – where the goal is to spread as much evil as possible, from Darwinism to soap operas, from rap music to salacious reporting. These extremely influential institutions in modern society have caused many righteous to go astray, and God will judge the world for it.
But the more subtle danger is false religion, where men compromise with evil as fast as they can to increase churches and followings. The seeker sensitive movement of mega-churches is a perfect illustration. They downgrade every aspect of worshipping God and Bible holiness to attract and keep the unregenerate. Vulnerable believers, who are snared by this profane appeal, are often lost down the drain of carnal Christianity with the rest.
But God and righteousness will not be mocked. As Jesus rebuked and judged the Pharisees for using religion as means for financial gain (Matt 23:14), He will do the same to these imposters. Paul warned Timothy to stay away from these growth-at-any-cost gurus and their ignorant religion as being totally contrary to Jesus Christ (I Tim 6:3-5).
Jezebel stirred up Ahab to evil (I Kgs 21:25), and the church at Thyatira had a false teacher with the same name that promoted fornication and idolatry, whom Jesus promised to destroy (Rev 2:18-23). And the church at Pergamos had an emulator of Balaam (Num 31:16), the money-grubbing false prophet that taught Israel to commit fornication and idolatry, whom Jesus promised to fight against (Rev 2:14). The proverb’s lesson is true.
God blasted Israel’s priests after returning from Babylon for their profane compromise (Mal 2:1-9). As Israel had such false men, Peter warned that similar men would wreck havoc in the churches of Christ (II Pet 2:1-19). And Paul warned of false apostles that would serve Satan with a false Jesus, gospel, and Spirit (II Cor 11:3-4,13-15).
Reader! It is your duty to be very careful lest you cause the righteous to go astray. Watch your example and guard your influence, for God is examining them both. It is also your duty to separate from any who teach contrary to the New Testament (Rom 16:17-18; Gal 1:6-9; II Thess 3:6; Titus 3:10-11). And if you are spiritual and strong, you will save weak men from the clutches of these carnal compromisers (Jas 5:19-20; Jude 1:23).
Pastor! Are you holding to the strait and narrow way of Jesus Christ, or the wide and broad way of contemporary Christianity and carnal compromise? You will give an account for your influence on every soul you touch. Are you a faithful shepherd feeding and protecting your sheep, or do you allow wolves in the flock to inflate your numbers?
Father! Is your hypocrisy leading your children to the same sin? Does your language and conduct promote pure godliness, or undermine it? You are commanded to bring your children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Eph 6:4). Are you doing it? Or are your impressionable children being seduced to live a life of compromise? Is your conduct at home in spirit, word, and deed equal to or better than your image at church services?
Husband! Your wife took your name and is heavily influenced by your choices and lifestyle. Is her walk with God and love of Jesus Christ greater or lesser because of her relationship with you? Would she do better spiritually without you? You will give an account for this woman on loan to you for a few years. She is God’s daughter. Look out!
While the wicked are destroyed for their sinful corruption and evil influence toward God’s children, the righteous persons that protect and serve them are blessed and favored. What good things are in store for the upright? Spiritual things beyond human ability to see, hear, or even imagine (I Cor 2:9)! A man walking with God can be filled now with all the fullness of God (Eph 3:14-19), and in heaven he will inherit all things (Rev 21:7).