By Billy Graham • October 3, 2005
You may have heard the old saying that “God hates the sin but loves the sinner”—and it’s true. If it weren’t, none of us would have any hope. The Bible says, “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
This means God loves even the worst sinner—hard as that is for us to understand. That doesn’t mean He overlooks their evil or pretends it isn’t serious—not at all. Their sin is so serious that only one remedy could be found to wipe it away: the blood of God’s dear Son, Jesus Christ. He was absolutely pure, but on the cross all our sins were placed on Him, and He took the terrible penalty we deserved. This is why the Bible says, “The blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).
Whenever I think of people who did great evil, I think of Saul of Tarsus. He was absolutely opposed to the Christian faith and did everything possible to stamp out Jesus’ followers. The Bible says he was constantly “breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples” (Acts 9:1).
But God changed his heart, and Saul was converted to Christ. He became the Apostle Paul, and spent the rest of his life urging others to give their lives to Christ. God can change even the worst person, and we should pray He will. But most of all, He can change our lives, and He will as we yield ourselves to Christ.