Man seeks to excuse himself of sin

Published 8:12 am Tuesday, July 18, 2023

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From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Dear Rev. Graham: I grew up learning popular Bible verses, but grew to resent the pastor preaching on nothing but sin, never about the love of John 3:16 or the encouragement of Philippians 4:13. I don’t see how anyone can take serious a preacher who is obsessed with people’s sins, when often people are just struggling with human weaknesses and reacting negatively to disappointments in life. – S.O.

Dear S.O.: We may try to take a light view of sin and refer to it as “human weakness.” We may try to call it a trifle, but God calls it a tragedy. We may pass it off as an accident, but God declares it an abomination. Man seeks to excuse himself of sin, but God seeks to convict him of it and to save him from it. Sin is no amusing toy – it is a terror to be shunned! We all need to understand what constitutes sin in the eyes of God!
Examining the Ten Commandments reveals that people deliberately break them – and glamorize them. From idolatry, which is anything we put before God, to the lack of honoring parents, there is a concerted effort to break each one and offer excuses.
James, the apostle, made it plain that we are all guilty: “Each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin” (James 1:14-15).
Every Gospel preacher and pastor is responsible to proclaim God’s Word that says, “For all have sinned” (Romans 3:23). “Repent, and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15). “[God] loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:10). Ministers are to warn people of God’s judgment and tell them of God’s love. We must never take the holiness and judgment and love of God lightly, for it is the very essence of His character.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)

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