DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: My cousin wants nothing to do with God. If he were a bad person or had messed up his life, then maybe he’d realize he needs God. But he’s not this way, and he just laughs at me and says he doesn’t see any reason to bother with God. How can I convince him otherwise? — A.G.
DEAR A.G.: You may not be able to convince him; it’s very hard to persuade an independent, successful, self-sufficient person that he or she really needs God. Their problem is pride, and pride refuses to make room for faith.
But God can convince him, and that’s one reason why you should pray for him. Remember: God can do what we can’t do, and that includes persuading someone of their need for Christ. God has promised to work in the lives of others through his Holy Spirit, overcoming their resistance and pointing them to Christ’s truth and life-changing power.
Jesus said, “When he (the Holy Spirit) comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment” (John 16:8).
Does this mean you can’t have an influence on your cousin? No, of course not. God can use your words; as you have opportunity, share your concern with him, and express how serious it is to ignore God. He needs God now, and he also needs him for eternity. The Bible says, “Nothing in all creation is hidden from … the eyes of him to whom we must give account” (Hebrews 4:13).
But God can also use your example to convince him he needs Christ. Is Jesus real to you, and does he influence the way you live? Ask God to help you be a living demonstration of Christ’s transforming power to your cousin, so he’ll face honestly his own need for him.
Write “My Answer,” Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; or go to BillyGraham.org.
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