DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: If I become a Christian, will I have to be perfect? A friend of mine is urging me to ask Jesus to come into my life, but I don’t think I’d ever be able to do what God requires. — P.F.
DEAR P.F.: If God required us to be perfect, then no one — absolutely no one — could be a Christian. We’re all sinners, and no matter how hard we try, we still fall short of God’s standard. If this weren’t true, why would Jesus tell us to pray, “Forgive us our sins” (Luke 11:4)?
One of the Bible’s greatest truths is that God welcomes us just as we are. He knows all about us; he knows our failures and our sins, and he knows too the tendency we have to do wrong. But God still loves us, and he wants to forgive us and welcome us into his family — and he will, as we repent of our sins and turn in faith to Christ for our salvation. Does this mean we can live any way we want after we give our lives to Christ? No, of course not. But if we’ve truly committed our lives to him, we won’t want to live that way. Instead, we’ll want to live for him and follow him, because we now belong to him.
Be thankful for your friend’s concern. But most of all, be thankful for Christ’s concern. Don’t turn away from Christ, but accept the free gift of salvation he offers you, by inviting him to come into your life today.
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Tribune Media Services 10/21