Friday, July 27, 2012

Billy Graham’s Call to Repentance

In an open letter this week, Billy Graham wrote: “The farther we get from God, the more the world spirals out of control. My heart aches for America and its deceived people. The wonderful news is that our Lord is a God of mercy, and He responds to repentance. In Jonah’s day, Nineveh was the lone world superpower—wealthy, unconcerned, and self-centered. When Jonah proclaimed God’s warning, people heard and repented.”

As I reflected on Billy Graham's words, the thought came to me that the Bible says judgment will begin with the house of God—the Church (1 Peter 4:17). Of what might the Church in America need to repent?  Many Christian leaders are concerned that the American Church is trying so hard not to offend the world she has forgotten to be other-worldly.  God is looking for a new generation of non-conformists (Rom 12:2) who will reject the world’s influence and everything that undermines His Holiness.

Billy Graham is 'right on' that deception is at an all time high.  The American Church is at risk!  David's ancient prayer seems quite relevant for the 21st century Church: “Search us, O God, and know our hearts; test us, and point out anything we're doing that offends you” (Psalm 139:23-24).


  1. Hi Dr. Greg,
    The big loss in doing sinful things is not the guilt, not the expectation of judgment, nor the debilitating consequences that sin brings. It is not broken promises nor strained and disrupted emotional relationships when trust has been betrayed. It is separation from God. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. It is not that God is removed, but that our experience of Him is significantly diminished. It is my assertion that all sin is the lack of mature belief in the comprehensive love of God for us. And when we believe something more about the deception than we believe about God's best for us, we stray. The compounding of that problem is, we also do not understand God's love in that estranged place. It is not, "we have to repent." It is, " we get to repent." It is not, "we have to confess." It is, "we get to confess." Anyone caught in a judgmental unloving relationship understands the difference.
    Eternally glad that we "get to...,"
    Larry Q

  2. What refreshing way to look at confession and respentance.

  3. Hi Dr. Greg,
    As the bible has declared, it is the kindness of God that leads us to repentance. If that is what is says, then that is the frame of understanding that we need to use, regardless of how we feel about it. And since (not if) it is the kindness of God that leads us to repentance, and since two of the main pillars in our relationship with God are mercy (not getting what we deserve), and grace (getting what we do not deserve), then repentance and confession are the channels for unleashing those in an experiential way, the mercy and grace of God into our lives.
    Godspeed! Larry