From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Q: I like to help people in need, so it troubles me when friends that go to church tell me that God does not see me as I see myself. If God can see everything, and knows what I do for others, does He really still condemn good people? — G.P.
A: There’s a dichotomy of man and God. Man is in conflict with the truth of God. God speaks of a fall and a condemnation, and His key word is “grace.” Modern man speaks of the soul’s native goodness, its aspirations and takes pride in natural good will. Man’s key word is “works.”
God speaks of the depths into which men have fallen. Man boasts of his ideals and his progress. God calls men to believe in Christ or be lost. Man says that it is enough to try to be like Christ. Man’s goal is imitation, not redemption. God declares that Christ is the Savior of the world. Man claims that Christ is just a great example.
Slowly we have drifted away from the Biblical truth that without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness (Hebrews 9:22). Man would like to make of the cross a thing of sentiment — a trinket to be worn around the neck — an ornament on a church steeple or an emblem stamped in gold on our Bibles.
A certain romantic interest has gathered around the story of the cross. But it is the suffering and sacrifice of Christ on Calvary that symbolize man’s utter helplessness to save himself. The cross as the supreme symbol of suffering reveals two basic facts that cannot be denied: the depth of man’s depravity and the immensity of God’s love.
We must not ignore God’s call on our lives for He desires that all people come to His salvation and the knowledge of His truth (1 Timothy 2:3-4).
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)
©2020 BILLY GRAHAM LITERARY TRUST(c)2020 BILLY GRAHAM DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.