What hope does my friend have to know God’s forgiveness?
May 1, 2021
|From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Q: I have a friend in prison who says God cannot forgive her for what she has done, because she committed the worst sin – taking the life of another. What hope does she have to know God’s forgiveness? – P.D.
A: Many see God as able to forgive the small sin, but incapable of forgiving the gross sinner. In our own weakness as humans, we tend to grade sins. Here’s a little sin on our scale, but over here there’s a very, very heavy sin.
The story is told about many war criminals being put on trial for their crimes after their defeat at the hands of the Allies in 1945. Many leaders who committed some of the most infamous crimes known to man were brought to trial. The world watched as sentences of imprisonment and death were brought against them. However, an amazing account was given by a prison chaplain who recalled the sincere conversion to faith in Jesus Christ by some of these men who had committed despicable crimes – one of them a former general.
At first, the chaplain was very leery of confessions of faith. He said the first time he saw this criminal reading his Bible he thought he was a phony. However, as the chaplain spent time with him he wrote, “But the longer I listened, the more I felt he might be sincere. He insisted he was very glad that a nation which would probably put him to death thought enough of his eternal welfare to provide him with spiritual guidance.”
With Bible in hand he said, “I know from this book that God can love a sinner like me.” There is always hope. What an amazing love God exhibited for us all at the cross!
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)
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