Christians are not perfect

Published 9:31 am Thursday, February 6, 2020

From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Dear Rev. Graham: Why does God put up with people in the church who behave less than Christian? — C.D.

Dear C.D.: A bumper sticker once read: “Christians are not perfect, just forgiven.” God does not ignore those who follow Him when they do wrong. The Bible tells us that He disciplines His own (Hebrews 12:7).

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There are indeed people in the church who talk one way and live another. The apostle Paul wrote of this conflict (Romans 7). But it is also important to understand that many in the church are not even saved; they have never surrendered their lives to Jesus Christ, they are simply going through the motions — performing religious rituals, community efforts, social reform, and other good works. But none of this can gain anyone a right relationship with God.

In thousands of churches people are being led astray theologically, spiritually and morally and are drifting aimlessly, without compass or guide. Christians have two natures, both struggling for mastery. Which one dominates, depends on which one is fed. The Bible tells us that we are not to make provision for the flesh (Romans 13:14). It is important to be part of a church that preaches the whole council of God.

We must keep our eyes on Christ, and not on man. We must not let disappointment in others cut us off from God. Disappointment, when it is harbored, often triggers other reactions: discouragement, anger, frustration, bitterness, resentment, even depression. Unless we learn to deal with disappointment, and keep our eyes on Jesus Christ, our souls will be robbed of joy, one of the many blessings that comes directly from the Father in Heaven.

We all have the capacity to disappoint others, but Christ will never disappoint us. “He who believes in [Jesus] will not be disappointed” (1 Peter 2:6, NASB).


(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.