February 22, 2018

A Final Lesson From Billy Graham

I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.

Reverend Billy Graham, even in death, is teaching us all about the unconditional love of Christ. Our society writes inmates off as lost causes and prefers to simply put them away and forget about them. But what does God think about our most feared criminals?

He loves them.

Despite whatever crimes they have committed, God continues to love those whom He has created. That means He loves not only you and me, but the Charles Mansons and Jeffrey Dahmers of the world. He offers forgiveness and redemption, and allows each individual to choose whether to accept this amazing gift… or not. The blood of Christ covers any sin which can be committed by a human being (see note below*). Brother Graham realized this, and worked to spread the gospel message to those who arguably need it the most.

What few people realize is that there is a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit in our prisons today. Many correctional facilities offer faith-based programs, and the results are impressive. Inmates who graduate from these programs experience a significantly lower rate of recidivism (return trips to prison after release). These programs are truly life-changing, because they rely not on any human being’s wisdom, but upon the power of the Holy Spirit.

Billy Graham's Casket Built By Inmates
Billy Graham’s final lesson for us is also a daunting challenge. His burial in a casket made by some of society’s worst criminals reflects not only the principle of God’s unconditional love, but Reverend Grahams’ personal willingness to share God’s love with these people. Do you believe that God can forgive any sin, no matter how vile? He can, of course.

But what about you? Christian, can you honestly say that you deserved God’s forgiveness? Surely you understand that forgiveness can never be earned. It can only be given as a gift, out of love.

Will you offer forgiveness to those who, like yourself, do not deserve it?

*except for blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, which is a topic for another time.

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