I repent, but every week I go out, party and get drunk

Question:

Good day in the wonderful name of Jesus Christ,

I have a problem. I am saved, well I think I'm saved. I repent every week after drinking and partying with friends. After a night of binge drinking I wake up the next day feeling very anxious and thinking that God won't forgive me because I do it every week and then repent. It's an ongoing cycle that I really want to break. I feel like God has left me. There are times I even feel suicidal thinking that He won't ever forgive me.

Please help. Thank you.


Answer:

God has not left you. You have left God. "Behold, the LORD'S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear" (Isaiah 59:1-2).

The sin you are involved in is called "revelries" or "carousing" in the Bible. It is partying and binge drinking. "Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose, because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. For the time already past is sufficient for you to have carried out the desire of the Gentiles, having pursued a course of sensuality, lusts, drunkenness, carousing, drinking parties and abominable idolatries" (I Peter 4:1-3). It is wrong because a Christian must remain sober at all times. "But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief; for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness; so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober. For those who sleep do their sleeping at night, and those who get drunk get drunk at night. But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation. For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ" (I Thessalonians 5:4-9).

The simple fact is that you cannot reach heaven while living a life of periodic drunkenness. "Or 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 effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God" (I Corinthians 6:9-10). While you are sorry after you sin, you have yet to repent, which means changing both your mind about the acceptability of the sin and changing your behavior. "For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death. For behold what earnestness this very thing, this godly sorrow, has produced in you: what vindication of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what avenging of wrong! In everything you demonstrated yourselves to be innocent in the matter" (II Corinthians 7:10-11). Notice especially verse 11. You don't demonstrate a drive to change; thus, you have not repented of your sin.

It isn't that God won't accept you back, but you have to change -- radically. No one is going to force this change on you. You must choose to change. To change, you can't continue doing the same things and expect different results.

Thank you for your response to my e-mail. You said I have to repent of my sin, especially drinking, so how do I repent and where do I go for help in regard to me drinking?

If you can, I would really like you to please pray for me. Thank you.

Repentance means you have a radical change in both your behavior and your attitude toward your behavior. "For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death. For behold what earnestness this very thing, this godly sorrow, has produced in you: what vindication of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what avenging of wrong! In everything you demonstrated yourselves to be innocent in the matter" (II Corinthians 7:10-11). Thus, since drunkenness is a sin, you stop going out to parties where drinking is the main draw. You replace it with good things: Go on camping trips, go to church services, do volunteer work, etc. In other words, you become a person other people would admire instead of seeing you as an uncontrollable drunk.

Good day,

Thank you again for your reply. I just wanted to know what is the difference between the sorrow of the world that produces death and the sorrow that is according to the will of God that produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation.

I also have another question that I would really want you to answer: Is there still hope for me and can I still make it to Heaven?

Thank you.

The sorrow of the world produceds no changes. For example, there are a lot of people in prison who are sorry that they are there, sorry that they were caught, and sorry that they did something wrong that last time. However, once they are out of prison, they go right back doing the things that got them into prison previously. Despite all the sorrow, there is no commitment to repent.

Godly sorrow is an admission that I was wrong and that I can't continue living my old life. It is a commitment to radically change. Even if I might slip up, I am committed to continue my changed life. That attitude and behavior leads to salvation.

While you continue to live, there is hope for a better tomorrow. "For whoever is joined with all the living, there is hope; surely a live dog is better than a dead lion" (Ecclesiastes 9:4). And, yes, you can make it to heaven. After listing out a number of sins that can keep a person out of heaven, including drunkenness (I Corinthians 6:9-10), Paul goes on to say: "Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God" (I Corinthians 6:11). There were former drunkers in the church at Corinth, but they became true Christians and no longer were involved in those things. I personally know people who have left drinking to become sincere followers of Christ. Therefore, if you are willing to change, you can make it to heaven.