DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: I know preachers like to say that even if we mess up, God will always give us a second chance. Well, I’ve messed up so much that God would have to give me a thousand “second chances” to make up for everything I’ve done wrong, but I don’t believe he will. Is there any hope for me? — W.W.
DEAR W.W.: The real question is this: How great is God’s mercy? Is it limited, so we can only count on it a few times? Or is it inexhaustible, so that no matter what we’ve done or how much we’ve sinned, God is still willing to forgive us and save us?
The Bible’s answer is clear: God’s mercy is inexhaustible, and far greater than all our sins. Did you ever hear about a man named Manasseh in the Old Testament? He was king over the nation of Israel, but he hated God, and did everything he could to stamp out the worship of God and destroy the people’s belief in him. He promoted idolatry and witchcraft, and even sacrificed one of his sons to a pagan deity. Manasseh has sometimes been called “the wickedest man who ever lived.”
But Manasseh’s kingdom was invaded and he was captured and imprisoned. And as he reflected on all the evil he’d done, he repented and turned to God, and God forgave him. The Bible says, “When he prayed to him, the Lord was moved by his entreaty and listened to his plea” (2 Chronicles 33:12-13).
The same can happen to you and it will as you turn to Jesus Christ and by faith repent of your sins and commit your life to him. God’s 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).
Write “My Answer,” Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; or go to BillyGraham.org.
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