Ask Your Preacher

Ask Your Preacher

CONQUERING SIN

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Course Correction

Friday, July 19, 2019
     Will a Christian man ever get back on the path of life after sleeping with an adulteress woman?

Sincerely,
I Really Messed Up

Dear I Really Messed Up,

Yes, you can be forgiven, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t consequences for your actions.  Paul said that he was chief amongst sinners, and yet, Christ forgave him (1 Tim 1:15-16).  Forgiveness is available when we confess our sins to Christ (1 Jn 1:9) and repent of them (Acts 3:19).  ‘Repentance’ means to ‘change your mind’… literally to make a change in how you think and act.  If you haven’t already stopped the adulterous relationship, you need to – now.  You also need to come clean about it; honesty and truth are a foundational concept in Christianity (Jhn 8:32).  Deception destroys; open truth illuminates (Jhn 3:19-20).  You have dug a big hole for yourself… it is time to get to work filling that hole back in.

Of course, all of this is moot if you aren’t a christian yet.  To see what the Bible says it takes to become a christian, read “What Must I Do To Be Saved?”.  It is obvious you want God’s forgiveness, and the Bible is the only book that can tell you how to get it.

Pardon Me?

Tuesday, July 16, 2019
     If someone said something bad about the Holy Ghost and did not know about the Holy Ghost and then later came to Jesus and found out about the Holy Ghost, would they be held accountable for an unpardonable sin?

Sincerely,
Wondering About The Ignorant

Dear Wondering About The Ignorant,

Saying something bad about the Holy Spirit isn’t the “sin against the Holy Spirit”.  Jesus says that any sin will be forgiven except for someone blaspheming the Holy Spirit (Mk 3:28-30).  Jesus said this to the crowd that accused Him of casting out demons by the power of Satan (Mk 3:23).  That crowd could have been forgiven of any sin, but instead they rejected the miracles that testified that Jesus was from God.  Contrast that crowd’s attitude with Nicodemus’ attitude.  Nicodemus understood that the only way that someone could perform a miracle was if God was with him (Jhn 3:2).  When that crowd rejected the evidence that the Holy Spirit provided (in this case, the miracles), they rejected any chance to receive the forgiveness found in Jesus’ teachings.  When we reject the truth of God (the Bible), we reject the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit’s primary job is to bring the truth of the gospel to mankind (see the post “What the Holy Spirit Does” for more details).  Someone blasphemes the Holy Spirit by rejecting the truth that the Holy Spirit sent us in the Bible.  Any sin can be forgiven if we will turn to God’s Word and obey it (Rom 10:17, Heb 5:9), but there is absolutely no hope for someone if he or she will not accept the Holy Spirit’s Bible.

Therefore, since it seems that you are actively seeking the truth and trying to study and learn what God’s Word is – you have not committed the unforgivable sin.

Stop Wine-ing

Thursday, July 04, 2019
     I have been having a never-ending debate with many of my friends about Christians and alcohol.  I personally abstain from all such things, but several of my friends think that is it okay to be drunk on Saturday, in church on Sunday, and believe they are going to heaven.  I also have a friend who believes as long as he is drinking in the privacy of his own home, not bothering anyone and not committing any other sins during this time, that it is okay to get drunk, and it is not a sin.  Please give me Scripture to finally put this to rest.  It's as simple as this.  If it's in the Bible, I believe it, and if it's not, I don't.  To me, there are no gray areas.  You're a Christian, or you're not.  You follow God's will, or you don't.  What do you think?

Sincerely,
Black And White

Dear Black And White,

God never specifically condemns all alcohol, but He does condemn ‘strong drink’ (Pr 20:1), drinking parties (1 Pet 4:3), and drunkenness (Rom 13:13).  Almost all alcohol that is consumed today would fall into the category of ‘strong drink’ because our alcoholic beverages are artificially fermented to increase their alcoholic content (unlike the wine of Jesus’ day – read “That’s Just Grape” for further details on the wine Jesus drank).  We would all do well to heed the words of Pr 23:31-32 and avoid alcohol as much as is possible.  Your friends are skipping some key verses regarding alcohol and they are sinning because of it.  It is NEVER okay to get drunk.

A Parent's Sorrow

Friday, June 07, 2019
     My daughter thinks it's okay for women to love women in a way that men and women are supposed to be in a relationship.  She tells me, “God is love,” and that's what her relationship is, and she also believes that I am judging her.  I know that the devil has blinded her, and my heart aches because I raised my children in church, and I pray for her deliverance.  What do I do?

Sincerely,
Sick Over This

Dear Sick Over This,

If you are looking for verses to show your daughter on the subject of homosexuality, the clearest two in the New Testament are Rom 1:26-27 and Jude 1:7.  However, as you implied, the problem is more than just finding the verses; it is how to act toward a child that has chosen a sinful lifestyle.

There may not be any greater pain on this planet than the pain a parent feels on behalf of their children.  Whether your children have hurt you or you are watching your children hurt, it is a devastating heaviness upon your soul (Pr 10:1).

All you can ever do for your grown children is be a good example, pray for their souls, and stand firm in the truth.  Be that light of Christ that they need to see (Matt 5:14).  Hate the sin, but love them.  Sin causes pain in people’s lives, and hopefully, when that pain gets deep enough – they will choose to look to your example and the Lord’s Will for answers.

Breaking The Cycle

Tuesday, June 04, 2019
     I'm a born-again christian.  I believe the Bible and have faith in Jesus Christ.  However, there is one sin that I seem to continuously go to willingly.  After this sin, I pray and ask God to forgive me and to give me help to not commit the sin again, yet, I find myself committing it once more.  After sinning, I'm always fearful for my spiritual life and repent saying that I will never do it again.  Idle hands truly are the devil’s work!  Should I be fearful for my salvation?  I'm not looking for a ‘yes’ in hopes of continuing to commit the sin.  I'm just trying to put my mind at rest and for answers on how to stop committing this sin.  Thanks and God bless.

Sincerely,
Repeat Offender

Dear Repeat Offender,

There are two parts to your question:

  1. How many times can I ask for forgiveness for the same sin?
  2. How do I remove this sin from my life?

The answer to the first question is simple. You can ask for forgiveness an innumerable amount of times. Christ told Peter that we should forgive ‘seventy times seven’ (Matt 18:21-22). Paul was forgiven of his sins even after killing christians and actively persecuting the church (1 Tim 1:16). As often as we truly repent, God is ready to forgive (Lk 17:4). It is quite possible to truly repent of something and then find yourself doing that same thing not minutes later. It happens in arguments all the time! You say something mean, apologize, then find yourself upset again, and again use rash words. The repeating of the cycle is not necessarily an indication of false sorrow.

However, the second part of your question deals with stopping this cycle. God will forgive you for stumbling again into the same sin, but only if you are truly attempting to change your mind. Paul reminds us that we are to do everything we can to flee from the slavery to sin (Rom 6:1-2, Rom 6:12-13). Without knowing what sin you are caught up in, I can’t give specific advice, but I recommend getting help if it is as consuming as you say. Many sins can become addictions that are very hard to break. Here are some things to consider:

  1. Are you trying to change all on your own? God says two are stronger than one (Eccl 4:9-10). In the case of sin like pornography, many people try and struggle through it alone without seeking help because of the shame involved in it becoming known. This rarely, if ever, works. Telling someone, even just one trusted friend, and using things like Covenant Eyes accountability software can make all the difference in such circumstances.
  2. Are you putting yourself in compromising situations? People with drug and alcohol addictions are often tempted back into their old habits by drinking buddies or parties where drugs are made available. You may need to cut off certain people and habits from your life in order to escape that sort of sin. Remember, Christ said it would be better to remove even your own hand if it would free you from a sin (Matt 5:30).

Removing sin from our lives is a constant struggle. God is ready to forgive you ‘seventy times seven’ as you fight to defeat this sin, but you must look yourself in the mirror and make sure you are taking the steps necessary to change your life.

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