Question:

Hi,

I'm writing because I don't know what else to do. I grew up in a Christian household, always going to church. I would of spent hours reading Bible and saying my prayers. I really felt God and all my skin on my face would grow tight.

But when I reached my teens, I was diagnosed with OCD. I kept questioning whether God was real and going to mum with all these thoughts. I was getting really distressed, and staying up to four in morning. This lasted for years. Professionals were sent in to help.

I would say I was a back-slider but I never told anyone. I always went to church. For years I was going from being saved and then back-sliding again. Then I got into porn and would spend hours each day ringing porn lines -- and I'm in the church sound team. I maybe would stop for a while and start again. My mum always found out though.

Then I went to prostitutes. No one knew.

But I finally said that this is enough. I asked God to forgive me and to come back in my heart. I haven't done it for about a month, but I don't know what to do. I don't know what to feel anymore. I read in the Bible in I Corinthians about not eatting or bother with people who confess they are Christians and indulge in sexual sin. That's what I've been doing. Does that mean I should be put out of church and not forgiven?


Answer:

"I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner -- not even to eat with such a person" (I Corinthians 5:9-11).

You are failing to make a distinction between what a person current is doing and what they used to do. Paul said that Christians are not to associate with people who claim they are a Christian while they are involved in sin. However, this doesn't mean a sinner cannot abandon his sins and return to the fellowship of Christians. A bit later Paul stated,

"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. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God" (I Corinthians 6:9-11).

Among the Corinthians were former sinners of all sorts, and that is true in ever church. The point being made is that Christians are to former sinners and not practicing sinners.

What lead to the discussion was that in Corinth was a man who was having sex with his stepmother. "It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles -- that a man has his father's wife! And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you" (I Corinthians 5:1-2). The Corinthians knew what was going on, but they did nothing. Perhaps they were telling themselves, "Well, at least he's still going to church!" Paul, however, demanded that they withdraw from this practicing sinner.

Later, the man repented. The church again failed in its duties because they would not accept his repentance. "This punishment which was inflicted by the majority is sufficient for such a man, so that, on the contrary, you ought rather to forgive and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one be swallowed up with too much sorrow. Therefore I urge you to reaffirm your love to him" (II Corinthians 2:6-8).

While a month is too short of a time to claim that you've overcome your sexual sins, I'll take your word that you've repented and no longer accept these sins in your life. Focus on where you are going and not where you've been. "Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls" (Hebrews 12:1-3).