Because he loves us, God does not overlook evil

08/10/2013 6:38 PM

08/10/2013 6:38 PM

DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: If God loves everyone, then why won’t everyone go to heaven when they die? It seems to me that if he really loved us, he’d overlook the bad things we’ve done and welcome us into heaven anyway. Or maybe he doesn’t really love us. — Z.N.

DEAR Z.N.:

I want to assure you as strongly as I can that God really does love us. He loves us far more than we can ever imagine — and far more than we’ll ever deserve.

After all, if he didn’t really love us, he never would have sent his son into the world to give his life for us. But he did send his son into the world, and by Christ’s death and resurrection he made it possible for us to spend eternity with him in heaven. Would God want us to be with him forever if he didn’t love us? No, of course not. As the Bible says, “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

But God isn’t only kind and loving; he also is holy and just. And because he is just, you can be confident that evil will not go unpunished. Do you honestly believe that God should ignore the evils of a Hitler or Stalin? Should he overlook the evils of a child abuser or terrorist or swindler?

Don’t take lightly either God’s love or God’s justice — for both are true. But also don’t take lightly his offer of forgiveness and new life in Christ. Someday you will die and enter eternity, and then it will be too late. Instead, make your commit to Jesus Christ today. The Bible says, “Now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2).

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