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Ro 15:14 says  And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another.

I)  Psychiatry does not work

The reality of Biblical counseling hits home with me in a personal way.  Before I was saved, I went to several psychologists, took various anti-anxiety and anti-depressant medication, went to a hypnotist, and took Psychology in college.  None of that changed me.  I just recently talked to one of the counselors employed at the state prison and I asked him what hope he offered the inmates. Most of them were “sexual offenders” and he said “I tell them they are like pit bulls.  We can’t cure you but we can train you to obey.”  Today people who struggle with drugs, alcohol, or have homosexual desires are really given no hope by the world.  “Once an alcoholic always an alcoholic” is the AA slogan.  I sadly recall the leader of a Road to Recovery Christian Psychology based program at a Wesleyan church I used to attend after I had been saved.   He utterly lived in terror of falling back into drinking at any moment ---and he had been sober for years.

II) I can promise hope because I’ve been changed

God has taught me a lot along the way, and looking backward through the lenses of this course, I can see important lessons, milestones, and changes needed to admonish people and produce real change.  The first criteria is a changed life myself.  Anyone can offer false claims and false promises.  When I have seen God do something real in my life, though, I know he can change others.  I think of the verse, in  1st Corinthians 6:11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.  Everything is for the glory of God and when God saves and changes someone trapped in a lifestyle of sin, people take notice and God is glorified.  God saved me from the penalty of sin, God is saving me from the power of sin, and one day in Heaven, I will be saved from the very presence of sin.  I can offer hope because I believe in a God of miracles.  I know in whom I believed, I met him, and the true and living God is the only one that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy (Jude 1:24).  When I’m tempted He provides a way out.  God’s grace covers my feeble efforts.  I’ve fallen –not dove—into sin along the way, but by God’s process of sanctification, I rebound quicker than I used to. 

III.  We must be specific if we want specific change

Another lesson I observed is being specific with sin, being honest with people, and emphasizing the Authority of the Bible.  In my several years on the street dealing with people I have observed that 99% of people think they are saved, 99% of people will admit they are sinners, and yet maybe only 1 of 250 people give any hint they actually know and worship the true Biblical Jesus.  We have had 50 years of generic preaching on sin and emphasizing the love of God to the point where even the sodomites think they are right with God.   Today people are Biblically ignorant, they tend to “convert” the Jesus we preach to a false (usually Catholic) Christ that cannot save, and they tend to add Jesus to their “American idols” instead of turning to God from their idols.  All across America people profess without possessing, and that doesn’t glorify God.  A missionary stated the reason why ministry is so frustrating today in the churches is because we’re wasting most of our time trying to train goats to act like sheep.  If we get back to old-fashioned Christianity and realize what a miracle salvation is and what a supernatural work of God it is, and we preach and expect repentance to the degree the old revivalists did, lives will change because we won’t settle for fruitless professions. 





IV.  We must use the BIBLE and we must depend on the Holy Ghost

We have a two edged sword to use at our advantage ---the word of God and the Holy spirit are tools that no Ivy League degree can give.  John  8:31-32 says  Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free  and Philippians  1:6 says Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. The authority of God’s word, and the Work of sanctification by the Holy Ghost go hand in hand.  When I got saved, something suddenly started drawing me to that Bible and drawing me to church.  I faithfully attending church services 2 or more times a week for 3 years and read my NIV Bible every single day for 3 years.  The Bible says the Holy spirit will guide us into all truth.  I thank God people along the way admonished me.  I think of a girl named Rachel who confronted me on the NIV several times.  I went to God.  Soon I was convinced about the King James. I searched the scriptures, and entered the Independent Fundamental churches.  I wanted discipleship, I craved fellowship, and while I wasn’t sure 100% of the time what was heresy and what was truth, something was guiding me and leading me on a path.  Jesus says My sheep hear my voice and they follow me.

In conclusion, I found true hope when I found the Gospel.  When I hit a bottom of sorts, I was again referred to counseling.  That time I ended up at a place where I was admonished and told the Gospel offered a cure.  I went on a search to see if what I was told was so, read a book that proved Jesus was Messiah, and I was confronted with absolute truth.  When I went from believing Jesus was Messiah to embracing this with a repentant heart, I was saved and changed.  The supernatural work of salvation changed me from that day on.  My desires changed, and the things I once loved I despised, and the things I once despised I loved.    As Christians, whether we admonish from the pulpit, at a booth in a coffee shop, or in our “office”, lives will change for eternity.  Once a Christian, always a Chrsitian.