We must not turn our backs on God’s forgiveness

Published 8:12 am Wednesday, November 23, 2022

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From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Dear Rev. Graham: I think God is mad at me and rightly so. I’ve not lived like I should. I was raised on the Ten Commandments and I know better, but I’ve made a mess of my life. Can I win God’s approval and turn my life around? — A.G.

Dear A.G.: Suppose you owed someone a very large sum of money. What could you do? One possibility would be to pay them back. But what if you did not have the money, and had no prospect of ever getting it? Then your only possibilities would be to undergo bankruptcy and suffer the loss of everything you had, or else go to the person and ask to have the debt forgiven. In human experience, that kind of forgiveness is very rare. But that is what God offers you — free and full forgiveness for your sins!
You see, you cannot “buy” God’s favor, nor can you somehow do enough good deeds to balance your bad deeds. Why? Because God is holy, and even one sin is an offense to Him. The Bible tells us that God’s eyes are too pure to look on evil (see Habakkuk 1:13). The only hope is if God will forgive. But is that possible? Yes! It is possible because Jesus Christ, the righteous Son of God, took upon Himself the punishment you and I deserved for our sins. “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21, NIV).
We must not turn our backs on God’s forgiveness any longer. Many ask how a person can receive Christ. Pray to the Lord and acknowledge and repent of sin and receive His forgiveness. Then turn from the old way of living. God helps us follow Him in obedience every day as we read His Word and depend on Him for guidance.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)

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