DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: Does God ever give up on someone? My brother hasn’t had anything to do with God since he was a teenager more than 50 years ago, and he just laughs when I tell him I’m still praying for him. Is he hopeless? — M.G.
DEAR M.G.: No one is absolutely hopeless in God’s eyes, and God never gives up on even the most hardened or rebellious sinner. The Bible says, “he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).
At the same time, the longer a person resists God and refuses to respond to him, the harder it becomes to hear his voice as the years go by. Have you ever worked in your garden (for example) and used a tool that rubbed repeatedly against your hand? Over time, that hand probably grew calloused and tough, so it was able to resist the constant rubbing of that tool’s handle.
In the same way, when we constantly refuse to listen to God and insist on going our own way, over time our hearts and minds become calloused and hard. Then we no longer feel the “nudges” God sends our way or are sensitive to his voice. This is one reason the Bible urges us to respond to God today, “so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness” (Hebrews 3:13).
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Ask God to help you be an example of Christ’s love to your brother. In addition, keep praying for him; God is able to do what we can’t do. God’s ways with others admittedly are often hidden from us, but he is still able to work. The Bible says, “Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear” (Isaiah 59:1).
Write “My Answer,” Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; or visit www.billygraham.org.
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