From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Dear Dr. Graham:
Does God really forgive criminals that have committed horrific acts against others?
Dear C.A.: We may 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.
War crimes often put this on display, such as during World War II, which illustrates this graphically. A great world power had gone down to defeat at the hands of the Allies.
Many people who committed some of the most infamous crimes known to man were brought to trial, as the world watched sentences of imprisonment and death brought against the war criminals. However, an amazing account was given by a chaplain. He had been called as a prison chaplain to minister to these men, though his self-description was that of a humble preacher who had grown up a Missouri farm boy.
The chaplain recalled the sincere conversion to faith in Jesus Christ by some of these men who had committed despicable crimes. At first, the chaplain was very leery of confessions of faith. He said the first time he saw one criminal reading his Bible he thought him to be a phony. However, as he 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!