Question:

I need advice.

I am in my early twenties. I was born in a Christian family. I was a clever child and a good learner under the guidance of my grandparents, who raised me and my siblings after our mother passed away. Around age 14, my life changed. I started drinking alcohol and attempted to commit sexual sins, though I never managed to complete the act. I continued drinking and smoking for the next two years.

Around the age of 16, my life changed and I was righteous. By age of 20, I got to univeristy where I met a righteously living friend and my righteous life continued. That same year I received some money from my mother's estate and my grandmother told me that I should use it carefully until I'm through with my studies. The money was not enough to pay for college. To make more money I used it to buy groceries for people in exchange for cash using my food allowance card. I made a lot of money and built my savings account. My life felt great and I had no worries at all.

Two years ago I met a girl who was employed, beautiful, a drunkard, and not a virgin. We fell in love. I used to accompany her to the bar, but I never drank. She told me she thought she was ready to have kids. I loss my virginity with her. She got pregnant. The relationship was great until she became unfaithful and disrespectful to me. I then broke up with her.

That same year I've committed another sin trying to bribe the vehicle training instructor in order to get a driver's licence, but I failed regardless.

I'm trying to live faithfully by God's laws. But sometimes I don't know if my actions are right or wrong.

I want to know:

  • If God has forgiven me about smoking and drinking alcohol.
  • If God will forgive me for having sex before marriage.
  • What to do about my baby.
  • If it is a sin to abuse my student food allowances.
  • If listening to hip-hop is a sin.

Answer:

Though you were raised in a home that valued Christian principles, that doesn't necessarily mean that you personally became a Christian. You might even think of yourself as a Christian, but again, that doesn't necessarily mean you have obeyed what God commanded. Therefore, first see What Must I Do to be Saved? If you have not fully obeyed what the Bible teaches, then the first step is to truly become a Christian because in the process of doing so, God forgives all your past sins. "Now why do you delay? Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name" (Acts 22:16).

If you truly are a Christian and have sinned since being baptized, then what is required is repentance from your sins (II Corinthians 7:10-11) and confession of your sins to God (I John 1:9). Any sin that is left behind can be forgiven. I can see that you regret what you have done, the question is : Are you going to change your life?

Being forgiven doesn't eliminate your responsibilities that your sins created. God can forgive you of your fornication, but the baby is still there and the child is your responsibility. You will have to plan on supporting the child until he is grown, or you should arrange for the child's adoption to people who will be responsible for the child. Of course, the adoption route is only available if the mother also agrees.

It appears to me that you choose your behavior based on your immediate feelings and the encouragement of those around you. Thus, when you are around good people you tend to be good, but when you are around wicked people you compromise. Consider the fact that while you were trying to be righteous, you still picked a girlfriend whom you knew to be a drunkard and who had few moral principles when it came to sex. When she propositioned you, which was predictable, you willingly dropped your pants. Her past also made it completely predictable that she would eventually find other guys to have sex with -- predictable because she did not change who she was.

If you are going to reach heaven you decisions have to be made upon what is right. How you feel about it or what others are pushing you to do cannot enter the equation.

Christians are told to obey those in authority, so long as what is being asked of you is in accordance to God's teachings (Romans 13:1-2). I assume you were using a welfare card in violation of the rules specified and that if someone found out you could end up in jail. In such situations what you did was wrong. If you needed more funds, you should have gotten a job. "He who steals must steal no longer; but rather he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with one who has need" (Ephesians 4:28).

In regards to music, it is the words, not the style of music, that makes something right or wrong. The words in a song influences how you think. See Is it wrong to listen to rap or hip hop music?