DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: Why does God allow some people to turn their backs on him, and even lash out at him and treat him like an enemy? It seems to me that God ought to stop them. I know he doesn’t, but I don’t understand why. — Z.L.
DEAR Z.L.: If God treated us the way we deserve to be treated, would any of us be left? No, of course not, because every one of us has sinned against him and treated him as if he were our enemy. The Bible bluntly says, “All have turned away … there is no one who does good, not even one” (Romans 3:12).
It’s true, however, that some people deliberately live as enemies of God. They want nothing to do with him, and may even persecute those who do. Why doesn’t God judge them and strike them down? Sometimes he does, and that should be a sober warning to anyone who hates God and thinks they’ll get away with it. The Bible warns, “You may be sure that your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23).
But God often delays his judgment, hoping that those who hate him will realize the error of their ways, repent of their sins, and turn in faith to Christ. I think, for example, of a man in the Bible named Saul of Tarsus, who hated Christians and was determined to do everything he could to destroy them.
But one day, on the road to Damascus, he met Christ. His life was changed, and Saul became Paul the Apostle, devoting the rest of his life to spreading the Gospel.
Pray for those you know who want nothing to do with God or with Christ. And pray, too, that your life will be a living demonstration to them of Christ’s love and truth.
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