God accepts all those who repent and turn from sin
Published 8:04 am Thursday, November 30, 2023
From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Dear Rev. Graham: There’s a popular book out that says it is not necessary to repent of sin to be saved because God so loves us that He saves us from ourselves by His very desire to do so. This is contrary to what I’ve always believed. What’s really true? – U.S.
Dear Rev. Graham: There is one thing God’s love cannot do. It cannot forgive the unrepentant sinner. The human race is called on throughout the Bible to repent of sin and rebellion and return to God.
God accepts all those who repent and turn from sin. When they receive His salvation, God’s Spirit begins the work of transformation. We must all come to God on His terms, not our own. God showed His love to the whole world (see John 3:16) by sending His Son to pay the penalty of our sin against Holy God. The Bible tells us that God loves those who love Him (see Proverbs 8:17). Because of His love, there is a way of salvation, a way back to God through Jesus Christ, His Son.
The love of God can be entirely rejected. God will not force Himself upon anyone against their will. A person can hear a message about the love of God and say, “No, I won’t have it,” and God will let him go on in his or her sin and judgment.
However, if we really want to receive what God offers the world – His salvation from sin – we must accept it for ourselves. No one can do this for us. That’s the way God planned it from the beginning! We can choose or reject Christ.
Those who do not know Jesus Christ personally have not experienced a transformed life. But God desires that all people come to know Him as Savior and Lord.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)