Personal Development

How to Help People with Life-Dominating Sins

Venus Transit 3Charles McCaul

A Life-Dominating Sin is what many Westerners would call and addiction.  However, it is an activity that involves what the Bible and the God of the Universe calls “sin.”  A Life-Dominating Sin is a sin that influences the person’s life for many years and drives them to destroy their personal life and that of loved ones a little at a time until it eventually blows up.  A Life-Dominating Sin may also be called a “stronghold” in that person’s life.

Life-Dominating Sins include:

  • Gambling
  • Drugs
  • Alcohol
  • Sex
  • Spending
  • Gossip
  • Lying
  • Anger/Violence
  • Stealing

Characteristics of the Person

  1. They minimize their sin.

This person knows they have “done badly” but they don’t accept the seriousness of what they have done.  They think “it’s not that bad.”  They compare themselves with others and conclude they are not as bad as others.  They make excuses for their sin and blame others.  Because they think the sin is not that serious they think they can solve it on their own so they don’t tell anyone.

  1. The always have deeper problems.

You see, one sin leads to another.  These people are usually liars and deceivers since they have to cover up what they are doing.  They are independent. They don’t like to take advice from others and they don’t like to submit to others.  They have shame because of their sin and this is a great hindrance for them to seek help until it blows up.  They almost always have a low self-image of themselves or experience self-rejection.  They have pride because they don’t acknowledge the seriousness of their sin or situation.  They are selfish because they only think of themselves.

  1. Their thinking is distorted.

They don’t see life the same as others.  Their mind needs to be renewed by the Word of God.  Therefore, they need to create new thinking and new habits.  (Actions are the result of thinking.  Wrong thinking = wrong actions.  Good thinking = good actions.

  1. They need deliverance.

Sometimes a demonic stronghold is the source of the sin.  It could be something that is passed down from previous generations or it could be a door they opened in childhood or youth.  Sometimes the demons get a stronghold because of the sin. Regardless, the person needs spiritual deliverance.

 

How to Help the Person who has the Stronghold

  1. Make sure they really want help.

We Christians have a tendency to assume someone wants help to pressure them to get help. If they do not come to the end of themselves and really want to be free whatever efforts we make to help them will not bear fruit.

  1. They must identify their primary sin(s) and take 100% responsibility for them.

We must go through with them each sin, identify it, explain it and they must accept that they are personally responsible.  No one else “made them do it” and no situation made them do it.  They made a choice to engage in the sinful activity that led their life to fall apart and hurt so many people.

  1. We must help them identify the associated sins and they must take 100% responsibility for them.

It’s likely they have lied, deceived, stolen, spoke evil of someone and hurt others by their sinful activities.  They must identify each of these and acknowledge they have done so and are 100% responsible for these other sins as well as their primary sin.

  1. They must make restitution to any they have offended.

A big deception of a person bound by a Life-Dominating Sin is that they have only hurt themselves.  This is 100% wrong thinking that must be corrected.  They have hurt and betrayed their spouse, their children, their close family, the people they work with, the people they had influence over and even future generations because they have lost part of the destiny God had for them that would have had positive influence over others.  They must go to every person possible and pay back anything they have taken and ask forgiveness. This process of humility is crucial in the healing process as the memory of pain is a huge deterrent to doing this again.

  1. We must help them discover their thinking and actions that led them to this place in the beginning.

They have wrong thinking about life, family, success, happiness, the way to relieve stress.  They must identify the “self-talk” that they have been telling themselves all this time.

They must also identify the specific actions they took that led them to the destruction of their lives and hurting so many others.  Places they went.  People they associated with.  There is a Cycle of Addiction they followed each time. They must identify that cycle and break it before they get to the point of no return.

  1. Help them to create a plan to overcome this cycle.

This is a key point in the healing process. Saying “I won’t do it again” is not enough.  They must have a clear plan on how they will combat the thoughts and temptations next time.  How will they flee temptation?  What thoughts will they substitute for the tempting thoughts?  Who will they contact when they are facing temptation?

They must create a “Never to do” list of things in the smallest degree that they will never do again.  This includes areas that become “yellow traffic lights” to warn them they are slipping back, as well as “red traffic lights” that warn them they have “crossed the line”.

  1. We must help them with their family.

Their family has been wounded:  their spouse and their children.  It will take much marriage and family counseling to rebuild the trust in the family.  (Once trust is broken it is very, very difficult to be rebuilt.)

  1. We must help them with their finances.

Most of these Life-Dominating Sins will have affected their finances.  They probably have mismanaged their finances.  They will need financial counseling.

  1. They must be accountable.

One of their thinking errors is that they could solve this on their own.  Most people cannot solve these kinds of issues on their own.  This person will need to be accountable to others to help him gain victory and live in that victory.

Conclusion

As you can see, it is a long-hard road for a person to travel on to restore their life after living with a Life-Dominating Sin.  It’s been my experience most people are not willing to pay the price.  In my opinion and experience the beginning is total repentance, regret and taking 100% responsibility for the damage done to him and others.  Unless this occurs there is little hope of getting healed.

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Evangelism, Missions, Personal Development

Will Jesus Return to Earth a Second Time?

Jesus Second Coming 1By Charles McCaul

I believed in Jesus as my Savior and Lord in May 1974.  The first Christian book I read was The Late Great Planet Earth, by Hal Lindsey.  I actually don’t remember much about the book but as I recall it focused on the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ to this earth, the Anti-Christ, Mark of the Beast and collapse of society and something called “The Rapture.”  One of the first books of the Bible I read was the Book of Revelation, which is a symbolic message from the Lord Jesus Christ about the final era of this earth, judgment of all those who have rejected The Way, The Truth and The Life and the creating of a new earth.

There was a lot of talk 41 years ago (as of this writing) of Jesus coming back to this earth.

Of late I’ve viewed several videos on You Tube about some interesting events happening in September 2015.  In fact, in Asia, where I live, we just past a significant milestone in September, that of 23 September.  This month and this day was supposed to be a significant event according to those who think they have figured out the Hebrew calendar and many other types, shadows and symbols in the Bible.  One Baptist man made several presentations on You Tube about this and said that possibly even “The Rapture” might occur on 23 September.  He was not adamant, but he strongly suggested it.  Well, I’m here on 24 September and you are.  Nothing happened again.

There have been countless times just since I’ve been a Christian, not to mention since the death, resurrection and ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ, that people have predicted the end times, Jesus returning and the end of the world.  (Remember when we entered the new millennium?

So what about all this?  People have been saying for hundreds of years that Jesus will return.  Is all this a myth?  Hype?

What I Believe

The God of the Universe anticipated scoffers and mockers in regards to the Second Coming of Christ, so don’t get discouraged about that:

2 Peter 3:1-15

Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking. I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles.

Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.

But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.[a]

11 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming.[b] That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. 13 But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.

14 So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. 15 Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation,

Here are some bullet point thoughts:

  1. Just because Jesus has not returned yet doesn’t mean he will not return.
  2. If we believe in a God who is powerful enough to create the heaven and the earth then he is surely able to fulfill his promises about returning a second time to this earth.
  3. God’s timing is different from ours. What seems like a long time to us does not seem like a long time to God.
  4. The Day of the Lord will come like a thief: We do not know the day nor the hour.  It’s true, there will be signs and hints to those who are paying attention, but his coming will be a surprise.  It will not be a day noted in your calendar.
  5. It’s clear from many passages in the New Testament Bible that things will deteriorate in the last days before Jesus returns. That’s why we get all hyped up about these things, for in truth, in my lifetime I’ve seen a complete turn around where now good is called evil and evil is called good.  In my mind I think, “Surely it can’t get much worse and Jesus must be close to returning.”  However, I remember…I’m not God.  His thinking and patience is different from mine.
  6. This earth will be destroyed. This earth on which we live has been tainted by sin and the demonic.  It must be consumed and cleansed by fire and a new heaven and new earth will be created for those who have been faithful to Jesus.
  7. If we believe this is going to happen then it will affect our character, our behavior, how we spend money and time. If we believe these things are true then it must affect our efforts to reach the world with the Gospel.

The Bottom Line for Me

For me, I don’t think much about all the Hebrew calendars, “signs of the times” and all that.  I pay attention.  I listen.  I consider.  But for me the bottom line is not to be distracted from the Main Thing:  Reaching this world for Jesus!

If Jesus truly is coming back soon then we must make an extra effort (actually an “extra effort” to us is just normal effort to God – “sacrifice” to us is just the normal Christian life God expects of us) to reach this world for Christ.  God is patient because he doesn’t want any to perish.

How about you?  Do you care if millions die every day who have not  heard the Gospel?  Are you living the kind of Christian life as if the Lord Jesus Christ is coming back next week?   This, my friend, is the normal Christian life.  Please consider the times.  Your life is limited.  If you don’t know for sure you will go to heaven when you die, please do something about that today.  Speak to Jesus right now and say something like this:

“Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner.  I have done many wrongs.  I know I must be punished for my sins – big and small.  But you died on the cross on my behalf. You took my sins and my punishment on your body.  Lord Jesus, please forgive me. Wash me clean.  Draw me to you.  Help me to change my life according to what pleases you and not what pleases me.  Invade and rule over every aspect of my life.  Thank you Lord Jesus.  Amen.”

Final Thought:  Find a local church.  Worship.  Serve.  Give.  Study.  Do everything you can to live a life pleasing to God. Help others know him, too.

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