Discover the joy of knowing God is with you — even in prison
by Billy Graham
columnist
August 25, 2012 12:00 AM | 1109 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Q: I’d always tried to be honest, but in a moment of weakness I got involved in something that promised lots of money but was illegal, and now I’m in prison. Sometimes I think it would be better if I just ended my life. Is there any hope for me? — K.F.

A: Yes, there certainly is hope for you, because God loves you and wants to help you — and He will, as you open your heart and life to His transforming power. I pray you won’t give in to the temptation to end your life, because God hasn’t given up on you!

How do I know this? I know it because Jesus Christ willingly gave His life for you. He was without sin — but all your sins were placed on Him, and He submitted to the worst punishment a criminal could ever endure by being nailed to a cross. He did this so we could be forgiven of every sin we’ve ever committed. By a simple prayer turn to Him and ask Him to forgive you and come into your life — and He will.

Whenever I receive a letter like yours, I often think of a notorious prisoner in the Bible named Barabbas. (You can read about him in Matthew 27:16-26). He was under the sentence of death, but when the Roman governor asked the crowds if he should release Jesus, they demanded he release Barabbas and execute Jesus instead. The governor agreed — and Jesus died while Barabbas went free.

We, like Barabbas, deserve to die for our sins. But Jesus died in our place, and now by faith in Him we can be free from sin’s penalty. Turn your life over to Jesus, and discover the joy of knowing God is with you every moment of the day — even in prison.

Q: My sister has gotten involved with an obscure religious group that claims to be the only way to God. She’s very committed to them, and it’s nearly impossible to reason with her about it. I am a Christian, but how can I refute her? — Mrs. C.J.

A: One of the characteristics of most cults (which is what this group seems to be) is that they claim they alone know the truth about God, and they alone can bring a person into contact with Him. And they will do everything they can to convince their members that their claims are true (although in reality they aren’t).

Cults reject, therefore, what Christians have believed for almost 2,000 years, and substitute instead their own ideas and philosophies. They may claim they believe the Bible, or they may reject it entirely — but the result is the same: They deny Jesus was the unique, divine Son of God who came from heaven to save us from our sins by His death and resurrection. Nor do they believe the Bible’s clear teaching that we are saved only as we put our faith and trust in Christ.

You may not be able to convince your sister that she’s wrong; people in cults often have very closed minds. But let me suggest two things you can do (in addition to praying for her). First, let her see your life. Is Christ’s joy and peace evident in the way you live? If so, God can use you to show her that Christ is real and can change her life.

Then let her see your love. Jesus said, “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:35). No matter how strong the barriers in her life may be, Christ’s love is stronger.



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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