I need to know God can forgive me.

I am neck deep in sin. I blame myself for my situation. I feel trapped. Tell me about God's forgiveness?

It was not until recently that I learned about Theophostic counseling. I did not go looking for counseling and should have known better than to get caught in such a web. My father is a minister too and I have seen the church go through waves of fads. I always tried to measure everything against the scripture. That's the way I was taught.

But about 4 years ago I was raped and beaten after my car had broken down on a trip far from my home. I managed to make it home and told no one. About one month later, I literally fell apart. My best friend was my pastor's wife. She suggested I come for prayer. Before I knew it I was being told that demons had accessed me because of this incident and "other" trama from my past. They began to pray, strangely. I'd never heard prayer like that before. They were talking to me in third person? They called others to pray with them. I tried to leave but they held me down. They yelled and screamed at these demons to come out. They hurt me physically and I think I finally just blanked out because I don't remember much. They tell me they prayed over me for 7 hours. I went home a changed person all right. I ended up in a psychiatric hospital a few times on a form 1 after trying to kill myself. I started cutting my body. I began to curse God and I turned my back to Him. I got involved in the occult and new age. I can't explain why. I think I just wanted to destroy myself. And I guess I just made the choice to sin.

Now I see a "counselor" every two weeks. He is definiately into Theophostic counseling from what I've begun to read. The result of this counseling and my sin is a near ruined marriage, a destroyed extended family and a mind that's really ed up! Please.....I need to know that God can forgive me. And that there is life after this.

Messed Up

My response is in Green:

God can and will forgive you if you will just come to Him and ask Him to forgive you. I am very sorry for what you have been through. You have seen graphically why I speak out against these so called ministries. It is a shame that many well meaning God fearing Christians get caught up in this stuff.

I believe that these types of 'ministries' will often do what they did to you, and that is cause the person to take their eyes off of Christ, who is the only one who can truly heal and comfort the hurting.

I don't want to linger on this too long, but I want to caution you about the Theophostic counseling too. Theophostic counseling will try to show you why you are sinning. That sounds good until you think about it. The Bible clearly tells us why we sin, because our hearts are evil and we get carried away in our evil desires. I think you already understand that, you mentioned that you understand you chose to sin. However, Theophostic counseling will try to find the root cause for your sin and I assure you it will never be because you are a human with an evil heart, it will be some kind of lie you have believed in the past or some past trauma that you might not even remember. The greatest danger other than taking your eyes off of Jesus is the idea of repressed memories. Theophostic counseling believes in repressed memories, these are memories which were so traumatic that you blotted them out, until they are brought back to your mind through counseling. The problem is that there is never any way to be sure these are true memories or false memories. I personally don't believe in repressed memories, it was a theory which came to life because of Freud's belief in a subconscious mind which controls our actions without our knowledge. Again this goes against what God's word says. Anyway, there have been many lives ruined and families destroyed because of these "repressed" memories which all of a sudden come out in counseling.

Now let me go back to God's forgiveness, because it encompasses what I believe is true biblical counseling. Let me start with your attack and rape. You were a victim of a horrible crime, which unfortunately is a result of living in a fallen evil world. It was not God's way of punishing you, or testing you. Yes He knew it was going to happen, because He knows everything that will happen, but that is not to say He approved of it. God allows mankind to make choices and some of those choices are choices to do evil and sometimes that evil is directed at believers. Evil is never God's will, but He does not always stop it. My point to this is that God did not do this to you, He will punish those who did. That is the first thing to get across to yourself, what happens to us is not always the result of our own actions.

Nor did you choose to have these people 'pray' over you the way they did. This act of trying to release you from demons I believe did more harm than good and actually opened you up to demonic attack. That is not to say that they are the cause of your sin from that point on, only that they helped contribute to you being in the place where you fell to temptation and were susceptible to the occult and new age teachings. We never have to confront demons alone, we have a Great High Priest sitting at the right hand of God the Father. If we need anything all we need to do is go to Him. I want you to understand that is what should have happened then, but it is still not too late. He is still sitting there, He still loves you and He will still help you.

I think you already know this but if you have not done so, you need to get out of the new age and occult as fast as possible. Just get rid of any books or articles relating to it and cleanse not only your heart and mind but your life. Confess all of these things to Christ and He will forgive you: (1 John 1:9 NIV) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

You have not done anything so bad that God cannot forgive it. Satan will try to tell you that God will not forgive you or that God does not love you any longer, but look at what Jesus said about Satan: (John 8:44b NIV) He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

I hope you have stopped cutting your body, but if not, Jesus can help you with that too. That comes directly from occult and demonic influence. You were created in the image of God and Satan hates you because of that. Now when I say demonic influence, I am not saying that you have a demon inside of you which needs to be cast out, I am just saying that this is stuff that Satan and his demons will attack you with. A believer who has the Spirit of Christ in their heart has no room for a demon. God will not share you with a demon. So even if you did have a demon, if you confess your sins and ask Jesus back into your heart, He will do the cleaning, He will not take up residence and share you with a demon. Again focus on Jesus, not on anything else.

Jesus is everything we need: (2 Peter 1:3 NIV) His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.

(Colossians 1:15-20 NIV) He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. [16] For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. [17] He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. [18] And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. [19] For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, [20] and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. Notice verse 19 God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him. Jesus is God, but even as a physical being He was everything that God is. My point is that if Jesus can't help you, then there is no help anywhere. That is back to my point of Theophostic counseling and casting demons out. If you need help Jesus can help or there is no help, you don't need this other stuff.

Jesus also understands our weaknesses and our failings, because He was tempted in every way just like us, yet He did not sin: (Hebrews 4:15-16 NIV) [15] For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are-- yet was without sin. [16] Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. That means that He understands and even sympathizes with your failure. That does not mean it was not a sin or that you don't need to confess it and ask for forgiveness, but it means that when you do He will intercede for you with the Father.

Do you remember the parables Jesus told? Let me quote them here. Read them carefully, they are about you:

(Luke 15:3-7 NIV) [3] Then Jesus told them this parable: [4] "Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? [5] And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders [6] and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.' [7] I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent. You are that lost sheep and Jesus is the good Shepherd who will carry you back to the flock.

(Luke 15:8-10 NIV) [8] "Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Does she not light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? [9] And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.' [10] In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.' You are that coin.

(Luke 15:11-31 NIV) [11] Jesus continued: "There was a man who had two sons. [12] The younger one said to his father, 'Father, give me my share of the estate.' So he divided his property between them.
[13] "Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. [14] After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. [15] So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. [16] He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.
[17] "When he came to his senses, he said, 'How many of my father's hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! [18] I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. [19] I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.' [20] So he got up and went to his father.
"But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
[21] "The son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.'
[22] "But the father said to his servants, 'Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. [23] Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let's have a feast and celebrate. [24] For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' So they began to celebrate.
[25] "Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. [26] So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. [27] 'Your brother has come,' he replied, 'and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.'
[28] "The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. [29] But he answered his father, 'Look! All these years I've been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. [30] But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!'
[31] "'My son,' the father said, 'you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.'" You are the son (daughter) and your Father is waiting for you to return. That road that you travel home is Jesus Christ.

Now let me address one last thing. I have shown you that God still loves you and that He is waiting on you to return home and that all you have to do is confess your sins and He will forgive you. Now I want to show you what happens after He has forgiven you.

(Psalm 103:11-14 NIV) [11] For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; [12] as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. [13] As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; [14] for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust. When He forgives us He removes our sins as far as the east is from the west.

(Hebrews 8:12 NIV) For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.

(Hebrews 10:17 NIV) Then he adds: "Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more." Once He forgives you He purposely will not remember your sins anymore.

God loves you and wants you to come to Him and lean on Him. He will never fail you, or chase you away. He will give you strength and comfort. He will heal you and He will heal your marriage if you will put Him first in your life. Give it all to God and allow Him to take control. He will give you rest for your soul.

(Isaiah 40:28-31 NIV) [28] Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. [29] He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. [30] Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; [31] but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

I will pray for you.

Ralph

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