God’s forgiveness doesn’t come cheaply

Published 11:00 pm Friday, September 23, 2022

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From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Dear Rev. Graham: My son and his girlfriend are preparing for the arrival of their first child. My heart is broken to see them bring this child into the world without parents who are married and committed to one another for life. I’m afraid for their future as a fractured family. When I try to help them understand what they’ve done and the necessity to make their lives right before God, they claim that their church told them God has already forgiven them of any sin they may have committed. Doesn’t this go against Scripture? — T.M.

Dear T.M.: God forgives, redeems, and transforms humbled souls but that doesn’t mean He grants forgiveness automatically. That would devalue the sacrifice of Christ on the cross for the sins of the world. Before asking God’s forgiveness, each individual must first repent of sin, turn from a life of disobedience to God, and accept God’s salvation.
The consequences of past sins will not vanish, but He does show us how to live victorious lives in the midst of difficulties. King David sinned greatly when he committed adultery with another man’s wife, but God forgave him when he truly repented and asked God’s forgiveness. When people humble themselves before holy God, He most certainly forgives unwed mothers and fathers — and all sinners — but His forgiveness doesn’t come cheaply.
The salvation Christ offers mankind cost Jesus His life. The wonderful news is that while He shed His precious blood to save lost souls, He overcame death and lives today for the purpose of bringing new life to those who accept His work on the cross. God is the giver of life and every life is precious to Him. Every parent has the responsibility — and privilege — to raise their children to love and obey God, but this first must start with their own personal relationships with God and with each other.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)

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