John’s straightforward, fearless preaching is well illustrated by his statement to Herod regarding Herodias. He said very simply and directly, “It is not lawful for you to have her” (Matt. 14:4). That, good reader, is getting right to the point! One simply did not speak to a king in that fashion, unless he was a preacher like Elijah, who had been equally direct and to the point in his dealings with King Ahab (1 Kings 18:1718; 21:17-24). In thus addressing the king, John knew that he could be imprisoned or executed, but he could not but speak the truth. In fact, his rebuke finally did result in his execution (Matt. 14:3-12). If John could, in the face of such danger, inform the king that he had no right to live with the woman with whom he was living, surely preachers today should have the courage to tell men, no matter how rich, no matter how powerful, when they are living with someone without the scriptural right to do so. Yet, many simply avoid the subject altogether, and others go to great lengths to devise theories designed to justify unscriptural marriages (Rom. 7:1-3; Matt. 19:1-12).
It was imperative for John to confront Herod because of his leadership over many people. Anytime a leader of a country has committed adultery and it goes unchallenged, people will emulate them and do the same. The same applies to preachers and elders and deacons. When Christians see those who are in leadership positions in the church who are committing or living in adultery, they must confront them and tell them to repent!
How many Christians today have the same audacity that John had, and walk up to President elect Donald Trump and tell him it is unlawful for you to have Melania as your wife? Scripturally, Donald Trump is a two time adulterer and has also caused two women to commit adultery. It is unlawful for him to have any wife whatsoever (Matt 5:32 f; 19:9). Brethren, until we are willing to preach the truth of God in and out of season (2 Tim 4:2-5) and condemn adultery, no matter who it is that is committing it, their sin will be upon us come the day of judgment (Ezek 33:7-9 f; Rom 1:32).