Repentance means more than just being sorry

Published 8:39 am Monday, January 8, 2024

From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Dear Rev. Graham: I’ve been told that I’ve committed a horrible sin – being immoral with a married man. I thought adultery happened with married people. Will I end up in Hell because of this, even though I’m single? – C.A.

Dear C.A.: The definition of adultery is when one person commits immorality with a person who is not his or her spouse. The reason that adultery is such a serious sin is that marriage is a picture of the relationship between God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Breaking the marital vow to “forsake all others until death do us part” and causing a rupture in a human relationship which God ordained is sin and causes severe damage to many other people.
Adultery leaves many scars that remain for a lifetime, but like all sin, adultery is forgivable if a person repents before Jesus Christ. As serious as sin is, God forgives repentant hearts (see John 8:3-11). When we sin, we not only sin against others but more importantly, we sin against God. This is what causes guilt. But God loves us in spite of our sins, and He sent His only Son into the world to die in our place – to save us.
Repentance means more than just being sorry for a sinful act. It means that with God’s help we renounce sin once and for all. The Bible says, “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to [all], teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live [righteously] and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people” (Titus 2:11-14, NKJV).
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(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)

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