Question:

My question is on sin consciousness. I was a strong believer. I grew in the word and in my gift as a prophet. However, due to immorality, I fell. I had been trying to get back. Ever since I fell, it has been an up and down situation. After moving to a new country as a student the same sins continued. I indulged in masturbation and pornography.

Now, sir, I made a promise to my girlfriend that I would never cheat on her. However, I did. Not by having sex but socially, emotionally and touching another girl immorally. Let me just say I cheated on her by doing sexual immoral stuff and other stuff. I asked for forgiveness from her because I didn't want to have lies haunt me. If I flirted with another girl, I would feel so guilty about it until I told her what happened.

I started feeling guilty about having pirated software. At first I didn't know it was illegal or stolen. I realized with time that most of the software I was using were gotten for free from the Internet. It's a normal trend for the youth in my country to get software from each other. This is another one of my feelings of guilt. I fixed that guilt by no longer using certain software, but I still kept a few because they were spiritual books.

After this guilt came another. Since my girlfriend and I promised each other that we would be telling each other everything. I started feeling guilty for flirting with another girl through a social network. I started remembering a lot of occasions where I did so. I confessed to her about most of these occasions and asked for her forgiveness.

Then I started feeling guilty for putting inaccurate information down for my fitness class. I felt so guilty until in the end I went back to the instructor explained. I then put zeroes for my information because she would not give me another test. After that I felt relieved.

Then I started feeling guilty for hiding from the embassy that I had been at the university before during the interview. I was asked what I had been doing for the past four years. I did not mention that I had been in a university in my country for fear that they would deny me a visa. I only told them other things I had done, but I did it in a lying way.

At first I did not feel guilty about it, but recently it has been a remembrance of one guilt after another. To illustrate this: I was reminded of how I cheated in high school on my high school exam by asking for answers from a friend during a laboratory final exam and helping some friends when they asked. I probably asked for forgiveness for doing that. I wasn't bothered with guilt, I just asked for forgiveness and moved on. However, in the last few weeks it has been one past guilt after another. Consciousness of sin is troubling mer. I am always looking for sin around me and trying not to sin, but I always find fault.

There's this new kind of guilty feeling I am having about going back to fix all my past wrongs. I also have become technical. I feel guilty about every inaccurate statement I make.

Other examples are the time I lied about my father when getting my national ID card. I changed my surname to my mother's surname due to family issues. I lied to the one in charge for fear that they would not give me the national ID. I lied saying I didn't know my father when I actually did. I can also talk about times I stole petty things.

It was like every time I fix a wrong another past wrong comes to condemn me. I think it's of the Devil because this wasn't affecting me, but all of a sudden it's one accusation after another. Do I have to go back to fix all my past mistakes by going to tell them that I had cheated in high school or that I lied? I didn't know the consequences, or should I say the repercussions, of my sins when I did them. Can God have mercy on me to forget my past so that I can have a fresh start? If I have to go back and correct my wrongs, then my life is ruined. I might lose my visa, my mother could be overwhelmed with sadness, and I might have to spend a portion of my life correcting my wrongs.

Please, sir, I need your help. I feel like I am going to hell and I don't have joy anymore. I fee that until I correct all of my wrongs, I will go to hell. I feel condemned. I am always looking for sin around me. I fee guilty every time I say something inaccurate. I know what I John 1:9, Romans 8:1, and Romans 12:2 say, but I feel as if my case is different. I don't feel I am a part of God's family.


Answer:

We start out on the wrong foot because you claim to have been a prophet; yet, the Bible states that prophecy ended. "Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away" (I Corinthians 13:8-10). The perfect being referred to is the Bible (James 1:25). Once it was completely delivered, the need from the special gifts from the Spirit ended. In fact, Zechariah prophesied about the end of prophecy and said, "In that day a fountain shall be opened for the house of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for uncleanness. "It shall be in that day," says the LORD of hosts, "that I will cut off the names of the idols from the land, and they shall no longer be remembered. I will also cause the prophets and the unclean spirit to depart from the land." It shall come to pass that if anyone still prophesies, then his father and mother who begot him will say to him, 'You shall not live, because you have spoken lies in the name of the LORD.' And his father and mother who begot him shall thrust him through when he prophesies" (Zechariah 13:1-3). Jesus also spoke of this and said the if someone claimed to prophesy in his name, he would be rejected. "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'" (Matthew 7:21-23).

While you believe you used to be a prophet, from the Scriptures I would conclude that you were deceiving yourself. That pattern of deceit continues through your life.

One of the requirements of becoming a Christian is repentance of past sins. Repentance is a change in attitude toward sin as well as a change in behavior. A person who truly repents tries to undo the harm he has caused others in the past, but that isn't always possible. But even when it isn't possible, he still makes a radical change in his life. "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). Right now, you are trying to earn your salvation by thinking you can be perfect. Such is not possible. "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us" (I John 1:8). You cannot correct all your past sins. But you can change the type of person you are.

In regards to your relationship with your girlfriend, straighten up and start acting like a Christian instead of a man cruising for sex (Ephesians 5:3-7). If you are using software that you did not purchase, then go buy a legitimate copy. In regards to your ID, notify the officials that you know the name of your father and ask if your ID needs to be changed to properly reflect this information.

You can't roll back the clock to correct your sins during high school. In regards to the visa, write and tell them that you neglected to mention during the interview that you attended college, that you don't know if it makes a difference or not, but you would like that fact added so the information is complete.

But more important than all of these things, you need to seriously become a true Christian instead of just calling yourself one while living a worldly life. See: What Must I Do to be Saved? and What Must I Do to Go to Heaven?