Every person has a past of sin

Published 9:26 am Monday, June 13, 2022

From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Dear Rev. Graham: I recently discovered that my father has a prison record, something that happened when I was too young to know. The respect and admiration that I have had for him is dead and I am in agony to think I was never told the truth. Am I wrong? — P.P.

Dear P.P.: So many people react with disappointment when they learn that someone they have loved and respected ended up with a regretful past. When we come to respect someone, there are usually good reasons for it and we must reconcile the fact that people can change and be converted. This is actually the truth about what salvation in Jesus Christ has done for mankind. Every person has a past of sin, but when Christ comes into our lives and cleanses our sinful hearts, a transformation takes place.
The Bible is filled with such testimonies. Saul, the Pharisee, sought and killed Christians until he was transformed by Christ and spent the rest of his life serving God and proclaiming the Gospel; he became known as the Apostle Paul. Jesus’ disciples came to love and respect this mighty man of God.
Most of all, we must remember that we too are sinners. Those who repent of sin and turn from sin and surrender their past to the Lord Jesus will experience the amazing love of God that turns darkness to light, and despair to joy.
The greatest need in the world is the transformation of human nature. We all need a new heart. We must feed the new nature on a steady diet of the Word of God. We must starve the old nature, our sinful past, and no longer make provision for such things (Romans 13:14). The Lord will empower us to turn away from sin and look to Him.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)

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