DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: I suppose I could believe in God if I tried hard enough, but I can’t see trying to live by a bunch of strict rules and not being able to do anything I want to do. I want to be free — and what’s wrong with that? — V.S. DEAR V.S.:
God will not force you to believe in him, nor will he force you to live in a way you don’t want to live. But he also won’t release you from the consequences of your decision to leave him out of your life.
Let me explain. Right now you want to be completely free to do anything you want to do. But have you honestly faced the truth of your so-called “freedom”? You see, in reality you aren’t free; instead, you are ruled by your own lusts and desires. They have you in their grip — and no matter how hard you try, you can’t free yourself from them. The Bible puts it this way: “They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity — for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him” (2 Peter 2:19).
Eventually your “freedom” will destroy you. It will ravish your body and mind — and most of all, it will cut you off from God. But God loves you, and he doesn’t want this to happen to you. He loves you so much that he came into the world in the person of his son, Jesus Christ, and gave his life for you.
Don’t be deceived; Satan promises freedom — but in reality he only gives slavery. Instead give your life to Jesus Christ and discover what it means to be truly free — free from sin’s grip, and free from fear and your bondage to self. “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32).