God can declare sinners righteous

Published 9:42 am Tuesday, October 25, 2022

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From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Dear Rev. Graham: Is it true that all people know about God? If so, why do so many reject His claims? — G.K.

Dear G.K.: The Apostle Paul writes that God has seen to it that all people everywhere possess basic knowledge of Him, His attributes, power, and divine nature (Romans 1). Through what they can observe, and through their consciences, they can respond to Him as they wish.
But people turn away from Him. Their minds do not love the truth enough; their wills do not desire to obey Him. The prospect of pleasing Him is not the focus of life. Why? The Bible says that mankind suppresses the truth, mixes it with error, and develops the religions of the world. Humanistic religions are often offended by Biblical faith, which is the belief that accepts the Bible as the authoritative source of what sin is, and how through the life and atoning death of Christ, God can declare sinners righteous. Natural religion contains just enough truth to make it deceptive. It may contain elements of the truth, or high ethical standards. Some of its followers at times use terms that sound like the language of the Bible.
The English scholar C.S. Lewis said that all religions are really a preview or perversion of Christianity. Religion of man may have a very pleasant sound. Thomas Paine wrote, “The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion.” While morality or “do-goodness” may win the approval of men, it is not acceptable to God, nor does it reflect His full moral demands. In fact, some of the crudest immorality in human history has had the approval of natural religion. There is a great counterfeiter who adapts himself to every culture, even deceiving true believers at times. This is why the Bible warns us to be on guard and stay connected to the vine (John 15).
This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.

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