Accept God’s promise of forgiveness
by Billy Graham
columnist
November 03, 2012 12:53 AM | 1099 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Q: I keep asking God to forgive me for something I did many years ago that I know was very wrong, but I don’t think He has. Is He going to get tired of me because I keep begging for forgiveness? I still feel guilty over what I did, so I know He hasn’t forgiven me yet. — Mrs. D.U.

A: One of the devil’s most effective tricks is to get us to put our trust in our feelings instead of in God’s Word. But when we do that, the devil will deceive us every time by convincing us that God hasn’t really done what He promised to do.

Let me explain it this way. Suppose you bought a new house, and you went to the bank and took out a mortgage to pay for it. What would happen once you paid off the mortgage? The answer is simple: The bank would stamp “fully paid” on the mortgage, and you would now own the house.

Why, then, would you keep paying the bank? You wouldn’t — because the debt had already been paid, and you didn’t owe anything more. And yet this is what some people do when it comes to God. We owe Him an enormous debt we can never repay — a debt caused by our sin. But Jesus Christ paid the debt for us, by giving His life for us on the cross. And now, when we trust Him for the forgiveness we need, God stamps our debt “fully paid”!

Don’t doubt God’s promise of forgiveness. Instead, open your heart and life to Jesus Christ, and thank Him for forgiving you — not just for this sin, but for every sin you ever committed. God’s promise is for you: “God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins” (Colossians 2:13).

Q: Does the Bible say a husband and wife must go to the same church? We can’t agree where to go, and the simplest thing would be for us to go to different churches. Would this be wrong? — Mrs. W.M.

A: The Bible doesn’t say anything directly about this; the problem didn’t arise because Christians were few in number in those days, and they knew they needed to draw strength from each other.

If it’s at all possible, however, I certainly urge couples to attend the same church. Not only will it help them grow closer to each other and to God, but it will help their children learn about Jesus. Although my wife and I came from different denominations, we happily attended the same church in our small community.

However, I know it’s not always possible for couples to agree on this, and rather than cause discord, on rare occasions it may be better to take the path you’ve suggested. However, don’t do it casually or simply because it’s easy. Pray together about it, and ask God to guide you and help you know His will.

Don’t judge any church too quickly, but ask God to guide you to one where the Bible is preached and taught, and you can have fellowship with other believers. In addition, think through what you really need in a church. Do you simply want a church that reminds you of the one you grew up in? Or are you honestly seeking a church where you can grow in your faith, and you can serve Christ?

Above all, put Jesus Christ at the center of your lives — as individuals and as a family. When our lives are centered in Him, disagreements begin to fade. Remember the Bible’s admonition: “Let us not give up meeting together... but let us encourage one another” (Hebrews 10:25).

Send your queries to “My Answer,” c/o Billy Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; call 1-(877) 2-GRAHAM, or visit www.billygraham.org.
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