Question:

I am in my late forties. I had cheated on my ex-wife, she asked me for a divorce, and I gave it to her. Iregret what I've done, since then nothing has gone good for me. I've repented and asked God for forgiveness. I have had so many jobs and can't find a lasting one for several years. I live with my girlfriend, and we sleep in different rooms. I would like to be married again but she and I have many differences. I don't know what to do and we have sex sometimes. I want a change but with no job and not having my own place keeps me in this situation. I'm saved and baptized, but I've never felt so vulnerable in all my life. It's like I'm stuck. I don't do well being by myself -- never have been. There has always been someone else, a family member or friend, because I come from a large family being alone was not an option. I don't know what to do. I prayed repeatedly and I dont know if fornication is why my prayers aren't being answered or if this is a forgivable sin, but I'm really on my last everything. I never thought it would be this hard. I pray to the Lord for his forgiveness, but my situation has not changed. Do you have any advice? I'm totally hurt and down most of the time. I was never like this in my life. The past several years has been rough. Do you have any advice? Please pray for me, for I am thinking there is no way of this mess I got myself in.


Answer:

"For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death" (II Corinthians 7:10).

It seems to me that you are sorry about the mess you've ended up in, but you aren't really convinced that you've sinned. As an example, you committed adultery that lead to the ending of your marriage. But instead of realizing that sex outside of marriage is wrong, you moved in with a woman and commit fornication with her. You give a number of lame excuses as to why you have to continue sinning, such as not being able to afford your own place and not wanting to be alone, but it comes down to just empty excuses.

I suspect that you don't really believe that your sins have affected your relationship with God. Yes, you believe that God isn't happy with you, but you still consider yourself "saved." May I ask: saved from what? From your sins? Not hardly. You are still wallowing in them. "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?" (Romans 6:1-2). From hell? Not at the rate you are going at the moment. "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God" (I Corinthians 6:9-10). Until you accept that your sins are destroying you now and possibly for eternity, your life isn't going to change.

I can't make you follow the Lord. That has to come from within you. "For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter" (II Corinthians 7:11).

You need to get out and hold down a job because God commanded it. "For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat" (II Thessalonians 3:10). There are numerous options for learning how to find and keep a job. It might not be your favorite thing to do, but at the moment that isn't a requirement.

You have to quit having sex because you are not married and you have no right to marry anyone else. "Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced from her husband commits adultery" (Luke 16:18). Because you were the adulterer who caused your marriage to end in divorce, you have to remain unmarried or be reconciled to your first wife (I Corinthians 7:10-11). Only if she happens to pass on before you do can you marry someone else (Romans 7:2-3). Again, I know you don't like being alone, but you made this choice when you decided to sin.

Life can be tough at times and we seem to have a knack for making life harder than it needs be, but the way out is by radically changing yourself. You want God to change you and your circumstances, but that isn't how it works. God does what you cannot do, but He won't make you do what you can and ought to do.