From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Dear Dr. Graham:

Why does God pardon some people from sin and other people are sent to Hell for their sin?

— U.S.

Dear U.S.: A young boy joined the British army, but when the shots and shells began to fly, he deserted. In time he became a great astronomer and discovered a new planet. He was sent for by King George, but the man recognized his guilt and his unworthiness to be in the presence of the king. Before the king allowed the man to appear before him, the man was sent an envelope and was requested to open it. When he did, the man discovered he had received a royal pardon. He was brought before the king who said, “Now we can talk, and you shall come up and live at Windsor Castle.” The name of the pardoned man was Sir William Herschel.

Herschel was guilty and did not deny it. But King George had mercy on him and made him a member of the royal household. That is what God promises to do for us. He has extended His mercy to all who will receive His pardon bringing those who accept His gift of forgiveness into fellowship with Him in His heavenly kingdom.

The Bible says that if we will forsake our ways and return to the Lord, “He will have mercy...” (Isaiah 55:7). “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” (John 3:17)

God’s forgiveness is not just a casual statement; it is the complete blotting out of all dirt and degradation of our past, present and future. There have been people who have extended forgiveness to others; there have been those in authority to extend pardons. How much more does a loving God grant mercy to those who humble themselves before Him in repentance and receive His great love.