From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Dear Dr. Graham:

I cannot reconcile how people can believe in a loving God while believing that he judges people as sinners.

— G.J.

Dear G.J.: People are quick to label God as unjust for judging sin, but we must acknowledge God’s infinite compassion that sent His Son to show us the way out of our sinful nature. Jesus came to Earth and walked among mankind to experience the same temptations that were set before us and to triumph over them. Satan tempted Jesus, just as he tempted Adam. Satan offered Jesus power and glory if He would forsake God.

But Jesus resisted the temptation! When the devil showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and promised Him all the glory of them if He would but follow Satan instead of God, Jesus said, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God’” (Matthew 4:10). Jesus completely triumphed over the tempter to reveal to all peoples of all succeeding generations His sinless character. He is our victory!

But we have proved, by our depraved nature, to be the true sons of Adam and have followed in his steps. We may deplore Adam’s choice but we still imitate him! There is not a single day that we do not face the same test that was set before Adam. There is not a day that we do not have a chance to choose between the devil’s clever promises and God’s sure Word.

God, meanwhile, in His mercy, waits with patience and compassion. He waits to offer individual salvation and peace to those who will come to repentance. We are free to choose.

We are living in a period of grace while God withholds the eternal punishment we so justly deserve. His compassion triumphs over judgment.

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