Can a struggle with a lifelong sin keep you from heaven, if you continually confess that sin to Jesus, recognize it as sin, and seek to turn from it? That is, sins that often take time, even a lifetime, to overcome? Illegal drugs, alcoholism, gossip, pride, sexual immorality, unforgiveness, a quick temper, etc?
ESV - 16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.
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When I made the decision to repent of my sins and make Christ Lord of my life, there were quite a few sins that I immediately put away - they were easy. However, some other sins weren't so easy. Sin looked all the more shinier after I was reborn because Satan was trying to get me back. How long does God give a person to repent and quit their sinful ways? How long does He send warnings for? For how long will He watch as we flit away our inheritance and play with sin before He says: "ENOUGH!"? After being convicted by the Holy Spirit that my smoking was a sin, I could no longer avoid it. The only thing I could do was pray; and I prayed for years, often changing the words that accompanied my pleas for Divine deliverance. Sometimes, I only half-meant my prayers because I really enjoyed smoking, but I knew it was wrong to continue, so I asked the Holy Spirit to also give me a true repentant heart. Not "doing" anything but praying about it was very difficult. As sinful beings, we still feel the need to "do" something as though God needs our help or offering Him some administrative guidelines might speed Him up a bit. I was reminded that God works, often silently, in the background. He has His will, His timing and His reasons. My job was to keep praying, praying and praying. One night as I was getting ready to take my dog out for a walk, I wistfully looked up into the night sky and said to God: "what I need is a road to Damascus moment". At the same time, I felt the Holy Spirit tell me: "Tonight, just walk and don't talk" (as I often use that time to talk to God). We were just about done our walk roughly 30 minutes later and as I was walking up my driveway, my feet stood still; I looked around the surrounding darkness when out of nowhere there was a wind that began to swirl around my feet, up my ankles and legs, around and around my body to my head and when it reached my face, I instantly inhaled it as much as I could and for as long as I could. I don't know what lead me to do that, but my arms went out and I stood there inhaling this wind. When it stopped, I noticed there was no wind anywhere else and then it clicked. I said to God: "That was it, wasn't it? It's over! YOU have delivered me!" Something in me simply knew that I wasn't going to smoke again. I haven't felt a craving or a desire to light up again. I had my first cigarette when I was 4 years old and had been smoking the better part of 40 years. Nothing but Divine grace and His love could get me to quit. All I can say to any one is take your addiction and give it to God. I remember one night I literally took my pack of smokes and lifted it in the air and said: "Here Jesus. Please, please deliver me from this". One should never think that God doesn't love them or that they are not saved because they have an addiction. The One who hung the moon and the stars is certainly capable of handling addiction in the one that He loves! Let the Holy Spirit prepare you for your deliverance - even if it takes years. God always hears a sincere and humble prayer. There are two very powerful verses in the Bible that have helped me in my struggle with addiction: Ezekiel 18:24 - "But if a righteous person turns from their righteousness and commits sin and does the same detestable things the wicked person does, will they live? None of the righteous things that person has done will be remembered. Because of the unfaithfulness they are guilty of and because of the sins they have committed, they will die." Galatians 5:1: "Stand firm therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and don’t be entangled again with a yoke of bondage."
We all have to deal with the sin man for the rest of our lives. The problem with most people who think they are Christians...aren't. So they said a prayer once and now they think that life's problems will all magically go away. They are told that you can rebuke the enemy, confess victory and live as a king. Well, I guess the apostle Paul missed the boat then. If you are truly saved, then those things you once did will no longer have the shine they used to. When Christ saves a soul, that person is severed from the world. He leaves behind his roots and moves on. This means you must say good-bye to old friends, habits and lifestyles that put you in rebellion against God in the first place. Are those things you are living for, worth Christ dying for? Holding onto your old life will bring you down. If you want to be free of the junk that hounds you, then you MUST turn your back on it, shun it, flee from it and run away...or your sin will destroy you.
Greetings...Check out Romans 7:14-25. The struggle doesn't go away. You got closer to the Lord and you get better at deflecting the fiery darts as you go along in life...remember, Jesus is your Hope and your Salvation...Rest in Him...Matthew 11:28-30...blessings
When Jesus died on the cross, He was thinking of you! If you love the Lord, and repent of your sin you will be saved. Jesus taught us that there are two types of people in this world, Himself and the wicked. Our Lord wants you to turn from your sin to grown closer to him. Jesus has paid your debt in full. Please know the closer you become to God, He will help you fight the temptation of sin. The Holy Spirit will live within you and guide you. He wants You!
No human being is perfect and so struggling with sin is a lifelong occupation for all Christians. It is giving up the struggle with sin that keeps people out of heaven and adopting an attitude of ambivalence towards sin. Those who struggle show that they are on the narrow path, no matter how often they fall over, they are still headed in the right direction. But it is worth commenting on the other part of this question that seem to assume that struggling with drug addiction or alcoholism is sin. It is not. Neither of these are sins. There is no commandment against these things, and where there is no law there is no sin, Rom 4:15. Addictions of this kind are illnesses rather than sins, and as illnesses they need to be treated medically, they are not sins to be forgiven. If you are struggling with an addiction such as drugs or alcoholism, even struggling for a long long time, that doesn't mean that you can't be saved or that you were never really saved to begin with. It simply means that you need medical help as you would with any other illness. And don't think that if you can't conquer your addiction you can't be saved. That would be wrong. Jesus saves you on the basis of faith alone, not on the basis of you conquering your addiction. Regards Philip
I was delivered by many addictions when I called upon the Lord to save me and forgive me of my sins. I repented and turned away from many sins that lingered. As conviction from the Holy Spirit came to me through God's Word, teaching etc. And began to receive more deliverance as I repented. However, I too struggled with some areas because the enemy would come and tempt me and I failed but always confessed my sin to GOD and I received HIS forgiveness according to His word. I know as long as I live in this fleshly body I will be susceptible to fail but I also know I can resist the devil and he must flee according to the Word of God... Thus, we all must live by faith.
This phrase in the quoted verse “walk by the Spirit” is the key to an overcoming life in the kingdom of God. When we do the “good works” that the Holy Spirit is leading us into, that leaves no time for us to indulge the desires of our flesh and continue in sin. Whenever we confess our sins, repent in our hearts (even while we may continue to struggle with an addiction) and draw closer to God - in bible study, prayer, worship, Christian service, and sharing the gospel (including our testimony) - the power of the Holy Spirit grows in our life. At the moment of God’s choosing that power will set us free from the sins that plague us. If we spend all our time and energy trying to stop the sins that plague us, what reward will we receive when we meet Jesus face to face? However, if we spend all our time and energy doing the good works that our Father in heaven has prepared in advance for us, we will receive many and great rewards from Jesus that will last forever in his eternal kingdom. Why the difference? Because Jesus has already dealt with our sin. He washed it all away with his blood and it is gone forever. In spite of our present sinfulness, we are already clothed with Christ, so when our Father looks at us, he sees the righteousness of Jesus. So let’s focus on doing the good that needs doing, and we won’t waste another moment on the bad stuff.
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