DEAR REV. GRAHAM: I grew up believing that it didn’t take much to make God angry at me, and I always needed to be on my best behavior or He might do something bad to me. But my cousin says I’m wrong and that God loves us and treats us kindly no matter what we do. Which of us is right?
DEAR T.M.: In reality, you both are partly right, but you both are also partly wrong! Let me explain.
On one hand, you have understood a very important truth about God: He is absolutely holy and perfect, and sin is an offense to Him. The reason is because when we sin, we are actually rebelling against Him and telling Him we don’t want Him to interfere in our lives. When the prophet Isaiah was given a vision of God’s holiness, the Bible says he cried out, “Woe to me! … I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips” (Isaiah 6:5).
But your cousin is also right when she says that God loves us - for He does. The proof is that He sent His Son into the world to give His life for our sins. Would He have done that if He didn’t love us? Of course not.
But listen: God isn’t a vengeful, angry God (as you seem to picture Him). Nor is He so kind and gentle that He never intervenes when we sin or hurt others (as your cousin seems to believe). Instead, He loves us and wants to come into our lives, to cleanse us of sin and make us more like Jesus. By faith ask Christ to come into your life today, and then begin to see God as He really is by making His Word, the Bible, a part of your life every day.
Write to Billy Graham in care of Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C. 28201 or visit the website at billygraham.org
HomeStyle, Pages 36 on 03/08/2014
Print Headline: ON CHRISTIANITY