Question:

Hi Jeff,

I am a baptized Christian. I am always committed to be a righteous man and walk in the fellowship of God, our Lord and our Holy Spirit. But I have committed sins against my own body, against our God in heaven. I have visited prostitutes repeatedly. Every time after I have committed the sin, I feel extremely guilty and condemned. I have confessed my sins to our Lord Jesus Christ and made vows to myself and God that I will never visit prostitutes again in my life. But it's a struggle against temptation, lust and desire. After some time, the old habit just come back, and I continued to make the same mistakes. Every time, after I commit the mistakes, I feel sinful and regretful. I pray for forgiveness from our Holy Father in heaven, and I sincerely confess my sins and made concrete plans of getting rid of the bad habit. Would our God in heaven still forgive me and accept me after I continuously repeating the same mistakes again and again, but I am truly repenting my sins and will do whatever it takes to become a righteous man?

Looking forward for your kind reply. Thanks.


Answer:

"For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. 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 7:10-11).

I do not doubt that you are sincerely sorry about your fornication each time you commit it, but since it remains a problem that appears to be without end, it is clear that you are not making a radical change in your life.

Let's start with one absolute fact: "No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it" (I Corinthians 10:13). The promise is that you are able to resist this temptation and you have always had choices that do not lead you to sin.

Making vows to keep God's commands is a useless task. You are merely vowing what you must do anyway. Your vows make no difference in the matter. Usually when people state that they are making vows to not sin, it indicates that sin and its consequences are not real to them unless they agree with what God said. What is missing is a true fear of God. "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man's all. For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil" (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14). Think about it this way: One day you are going to appear before God to explain every time you pulled your pants down and God is going to point out why you weren't forced to do so.

As Solomon points out, some sins invoke sympathy because people understand the difficult straights a person finds himself in, but sexual sins not something that has to be done. "People do not despise a thief if he steals to satisfy himself when he is starving. Yet when he is found, he must restore sevenfold; he may have to give up all the substance of his house. Whoever commits adultery with a woman lacks understanding; he who does so destroys his own soul. Wounds and dishonor he will get, and his reproach will not be wiped away" (Proverbs 6:30-33).

Therefore, the question is what real changes in your life have you made to make visiting prostitutes no longer an option?

Another aspect to repeated sins is that most people solely focus on no longer sinning. In doing so, they leave a void in their lives that is just waiting to be filled. "When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. Then he says, 'I will return to my house from which I came.' And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. So shall it also be with this wicked generation" (Matthew 12:43-45). Removal of sin must also be accompanied by filling your life with righteous things so that there is no room for sin in your life.

You don't want to fall into the trap of thinking sinning is acceptable because you can always ask forgiveness later. "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).