The hardness of God is kinder than the softness of men

Published 8:20 am Thursday, September 7, 2023

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From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Dear Rev. Graham: I’m a college professor who grew up on the classic books from the mind and pen of C.S. Lewis. Many people thought it impossible for me to be a Christian and a professor in a secular college, but Lewis inspired me. However, when I saw a PBS documentary about him, I was shocked to hear it reported that Lewis was an atheist largely because he had witnessed things that made him doubt God as caring for His creation. Is this true? I always thought he was a Christian. – A.R.

Dear A.R.: C.S. Lewis describes his own personal experience: “You must picture me alone, night after night, feeling, whenever my mind lifted even for a second from my work, the steady unrelenting approach of [God] whom I so earnestly desired not to meet. That which I greatly feared had at last come upon me. In 1929, I gave in, and admitted that God was God, and knelt and prayed: perhaps, that night, the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England. I did not then see what is now the most shining and obvious thing; the Divine humility which will accept a convert even on such terms. The hardness of God is kinder than the softness of men, and his compulsion is our liberation.”
How kind and understanding and compassionate God has been in revealing Himself to man through simple childlike faith rather than the intellect. Whether a child or a brilliant scientist, all must come to Jesus Christ in the same way. The new birth is what God does for people when they are willing to yield to God. He gives everyone who comes to Him in repentance a new heart and a new spirit (see Ezekiel 36:26).
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)

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