A: Yes, we can be sure God has forgiven us - once we understand what Jesus Christ has done for us, and trust Him alone for our forgiveness.
Let me illustrate it this way. Suppose you were carrying a very heavy burden - so heavy that you knew it would crush you if you kept carrying it. But then suppose someone came along who was much stronger than you, and offered to take the burden and carry it for you. What would you do? The logical thing would be to hand it over to him - and once you did, you'd be completely free of it the rest of your life.
This is what Jesus Christ did for us. Our sins are like that burden - a burden so great it will destroy us eventually. But on the cross Jesus Christ paid the penalty for all our sins - and now He offers to take that burden of sin from us. All we have to do is turn it over to Him - and it's gone forever! Jesus' promise is for you: "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28).
By a simple prayer of faith commit your life to Jesus Christ, repenting of your sins and trusting Him alone as your Lord and Savior. Then thank God that even when we do sin, "we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense - Jesus Christ, the Righteous One" (1 John 2:1).
Q: I've taught a Bible class for the youth in our church for more than 15 years, but some of the students who were in my class several years ago just had a run-in with the police, and now I wonder if I've just been wasting my time. Should I give it up? - Mrs. V.W.
A: Don't give up just because a few of your students didn't seem to take your teaching to heart. Undoubtedly, many have profited from your teaching - and even those who've gotten in trouble may recall something you said and turn to Christ for forgiveness and new life.
Do you remember Jesus' parable of the seed and the sower? (You can find it in Luke 8:1-15.) In it, Jesus said that the Word of God is like seed, and when we sow it (just as a farmer does), some may land on hard or rocky ground and not grow. But some falls on fertile soil - and there it produces a bountiful crop. What Jesus was telling us is that there is power in God's Word, and when we teach it, some lives will be changed. The Bible says, "'Is not my word like fire,' declares the Lord, 'and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?'" (Jeremiah 23:29).
Ask God to help you be the best teacher you can possibly be. Prepare well; don't leave everything to the last minute. Pray for your class, that God will open their hearts to His truth. Always focus on Christ and what He has done for us, and urge your students to commit their lives to Him.
Some day, God may want you to step aside - but don't do it until He tells you. In the meantime, be faithful to Christ, both in your teaching and your life.
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.