God commands all people everywhere to repent

Published 12:55 pm Monday, August 2, 2021

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From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Dear Rev. Graham: My husband has informed me that he is involved with another woman. He admits he has violated his vows but he said that God will forgive him and so should I. What is the point of a vow if we just shrug off our sin? — D.H.

Dear D.H.: The Bible asks, “Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?” (Romans 6:1, NIV). It is dangerous to be so flippant about sin as though God turns His eyes away. God’s forgiveness is always connected to the sinner’s repentance.
Repentance involves a recognition on our part that what we are doing is wrong, and it also involves a deliberate turning from sin as well. It is not enough to know that what we are doing is wrong in God’s eyes. We also are commanded to turn from it.
Jesus declared that He came to Earth to call sinners to repentance (Luke 5:32). Paul stated that God commands all people everywhere to repent (Acts 17:30). Many other verses could be quoted.
We make a mockery of God’s forgiveness when we deliberately engage in sin because we think He will forgive it later. People deceive themselves while believing that they will find true happiness while sinning. Rejecting God is embracing a life of sin. The Bible warns that wickedness is like a tossing sea, restless and casting up mire and mud (Isaiah 57:20-21).
For the Christian, the most powerful thing to do on behalf of those steeped in sin is to pray that God’s Holy Spirit will infiltrate their minds and hearts and respond in repentance, desiring to do God’s will and live according to His Word.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)

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