BILLY GRAHAM

God wants individuals and nations to honor him

Updated: 2013-09-18T01:15:17Z

By BILLY GRAHAM

Tribune Media Services

DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: How bad does a nation have to get before God steps in and destroys it? Sometimes I wonder if we aren’t getting close to that line. — S.T.

DEAR S.T.: You are right to be concerned about this because the Bible clearly tells us that God not only judges individuals but also judges nations that rebel against him and turn their backs on his righteousness and justice.

It happened most clearly in the Old Testament, when God eventually allowed the enemies of ancient Israel to invade and destroy it. First came the Assyrians, a cruel and heartless nation that destroyed the northern tribes of Israel; later the Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem and captured the southern tribes. Repeatedly, God sent his prophets to warn of judgment and urge the people to turn back to God, but they refused, and eventually God allowed their nation to collapse. God said, “Again and again I sent all my servants the prophets to you. … But you have not paid attention or listened to me” (Jeremiah 35:15).

No one can say exactly when that might happen to us (or any other nation) because God is patient, and he doesn’t give us what we deserve. But we must never ignore his warnings or assume he doesn’t care what we do — because he does. Sin is an offense to him because it’s a deliberate rejection of God and all the good things he’s done for us.

Pray for our nation, and pray for those around you who don’t know Christ or have turned their backs on him. God loves them just as he does you, and he sent his only son into the world to give his life for their salvation. God’s promise is true: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength” (Isaiah 30:15).

© Tribune Media Services 9/13

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