DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: Years ago my cousin and I had a dispute over some property we inherited, and we never got over it. He died recently, and now I feel terrible because I never tried to patch up our relationship. I know I was partly to blame, but can God still forgive me? A.T.
By BILLY GRAHAM
Tribune Media Services
DEAR A.T.: The only sin God cant forgive is the sin of rejecting his offer of forgiveness through Jesus Christ. Gods promise is for you: If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).
Dont, however, take Gods forgiveness lightly because it was only made possible at the cost of Jesus life. God doesnt forgive us because were good, or because sin isnt serious. Sin is an offense against God an act of rebellion against the One who created us. In other words, when you wronged your cousin, you werent only offending him you were offending God.
But in spite of all the sins weve committed, God still loves us, and on the cross Jesus Christ took upon himself the judgment for sin that you and I deserve. Why not accept his gift of forgiveness by confessing your sins and committing your life to Christ today? Let the Psalmists prayer become yours: Wash me, and I will be whiter than snow (Psalm 51:7).
Your dispute with your cousin was unfortunate and I hope others will learn from it. But it also points to another issue: the danger of greed. On one occasion, a man urged Jesus to demand his brother split an inheritance with him. In response, Jesus warned, Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a mans life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions (Luke 12:15).
© Tribune Media Services 4/23