From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Dear Dr. Graham:

There have always been wicked leaders of the world. Is man capable of determining good leaders from bad leaders? Does the Bible call out wicked leaders?

– G.B.

Dear G.B.: While judging the soul belongs solely to the Lord, because He is the only One who can know the motives of the heart, we can know good from evil based on those who live in obedience to the Word of God. He has given us 66 books of the Bible to teach us about our fallen human nature and what happens when we defy Holy God, and the Bible says that we have all fallen short of His perfection (Romans 3:23).

The Bible names wicked leaders and Manasseh, king of Judah, was certainly a cruel tyrant. His story is told in 2 Chronicles 33. He was an idolater who turned against God and worshiped every kind of pagan deity. Manasseh was guilty of immorality, he practiced every conceivable evil and perversion, devoted himself to witchcraft, and was a murderer; even sacrificing his sons to a pagan god. God’s judgment fell on Manasseh. He was bound in chains and taken away to Babylon. But that’s not the end of his story. While he was confined in the dungeon, he had time to think and began to pray. This man who deserved Hell cried out to God for forgiveness — and God answered.

God’s mercy is vast and beyond our comprehension. He responds to repentant hearts. Not everyone is thrown in prison for their disobedience to God. In Manasseh’s case, imprisonment was turned to blessing because he found the Lord. We dare not neglect God’s warning to repent today, because not everyone will have a prison conversion. “He who is often rebuked, and hardens his neck, will suddenly be destroyed” (Proverbs 29:1). God extends to each person who repents His salvation and eternal life.

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