DEAR DR. GRAHAM: You often say in your column that the reason we’re separated from God is because we’ve sinned, but how do you know? Maybe God just doesn’t want anything to do with us, or maybe He doesn’t even exist. — K.S.
DEAR K.S.: I want to assure you that God not only exists, but He also cares deeply about us. And He not only wants us to believe in Him but also to come to know Him as our friend — both now and forever.
But something has happened that has cut us off from God — and that “something” is sin. If God didn’t exist, or if He were just a vague, impersonal force (like gravity), then sin wouldn’t be a problem.
But sin is a problem; in fact, it’s our greatest problem. God is holy and pure, and every sin is an act of rebellion that cuts us off from Him.
The Bible says, “Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrong” (Habakkuk 1:13).
How do I know this? I know it first of all because down inside, we all feel guilty. Why would we feel guilty if we didn’t realize we’d sinned? But I know it most of all because of Jesus Christ. He came down from heaven for one reason: to become the perfect and final sacrifice for our sins. He didn’t come to earth just to show us how to live; He also came to bridge the gap between us and God, by making our forgiveness possible.
The greatest discovery you’ll ever make is that God loves you and wants you to be part of His family forever.
And this can happen, as you turn by faith to Jesus Christ and commit your life to Him. Life without Him is a dead-end road — but life with Him leads to hope and peace.
DEAR DR. GRAHAM: Whenever I go back home, my mother’s friends go out of their way to say they’re praying for me. I know they’re just trying to get under my skin because they don’t agree with the way I’m living. Why can’t religious people mind their own business and quit trying to run mine? — J.P.
DEAR J.P.: Have you ever asked yourself why your mother’s friends seem concerned about you, and wish you weren’t living the way you are?
It isn’t because they think they’re better than you are, or because they like to gossip (or at least I hope not). The reason is because they care about you, and they know something that you don’t know (or at least something you refuse to admit), which is this: Whether you realize it or not, you’re on a wrong road in life, and eventually it will only bring you sorrow and heartache. It may even lead to your destruction. The Bible warns, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death” (Proverbs 14:12).
But your mother’s friends also know you have an even deeper problem: You’ve shut God out of your life. In other words, you think you know better than God does what’s best for you. But is that true? No, of course not. God created us and put us on this earth, and He knows far better than we do what’s best for us.
Don’t let pride, or pleasure, or anything else keep you from God. He loves you, and He alone can give you the security and peace you seek. Turn from your sins and open your heart to Jesus Christ. The Bible says, “In him was life, and that life was the light of men” (John 1:4).
DEAR DR. GRAHAM: We prayed and prayed that our daughter’s marriage would work out, but it hasn’t, and now her divorce has been finalized. Why didn’t God answer our prayers? Isn’t marriage supposed to be for life, according to the Bible? — Mrs. E. McF.
DEAR DR. GRAHAM: God gave marriage to us — and yes, His plan from the beginning was that marriage should be for life. Jesus said, “Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate” (Mark 10:9).
God’s original design for marriage is still part of His perfect will, and every husband and wife should strive to make it a reality in their lives — particularly today, when so many take their marriage vows casually or thoughtlessly. I believe churches and parents should do more to prepare our young people for the joys and responsibilities of marriage, helping them understand God’s plan for this sacred relationship. What will our children (and grandchildren) learn from observing our marriages?
Sadly, sin has invaded our world, corrupting everything it touches, including God’s institution of marriage. God’s perfect will has not changed, but marriages still fail, leaving heartache and confusion in their wake. Even in the midst of this, however, God is still able to forgive, and He is able to heal the brokenhearted.
Pray for your daughter, and do all you can to assure her of your love and compassion. Your pain may be great, but I suspect hers is even greater. In addition, encourage her to turn to Christ and find new strength and hope in Him. Jesus’ promise is for her, and for all who carry the burden of a broken marriage: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
Send your queries to “My Answer,” c/o Billy Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; call 1-(877) 2-GRAHAM, or go to www.billygraham.org.