A disturbing letter

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I had written an article about God's love. A reader responded with a letter that disturbed me. She described the type of life that no father would want for his daughter - but a life that has been the lot of some in all ages. The article concerning God's love had led the unfortunate woman to think about her own life. The tone of the letter was one of despair: Life continues as before, I have no strength and at times even no desire to go on. It would be better not to talk about God.

The Bible offers hope even to those who have fallen deeply into sin. In the final analysis in God's sight there are no great sinners or sinners who have fallen only a little. Because of original sin, all have sinned. Everyone needs the entire grace of Christ in order to be saved. God's Son was born a human being from ancestors who were sinful people like the rest of mankind. Rahab, the harlot, was an ancestor of His. So was Solomon, who was born to Uriah's wife as a result of David's adultery. The person who has fallen into gross sins often finds it difficult to believe that God could be merciful to such a great sinner. But the genealogy of Christ shows us what kind of people Christ came to save. Jesus Himself was sinless, but the guilt of our sins was attributed to Him, so that He suffered for us and experienced untold agony under God's wrath. Jesus did this for all people, even for the outcasts of society. Although He Himself was sinless, this did not cause Him to condemn and reject the fallen. He did not approve of sin, but this did not stop Him from loving sinners and forgiving the penitent.

The Bible tells us of many who repented and believed. Rahab, who helped the representatives of God's people, became a heroine of faith. The New Testament presents her as an example of true faith. David confessed his sins and was forgiven. A certain woman with a bad reputation anointed Jesus' feet with costly ointment. Earlier she had sought only the treasures of this world and had been willing to exchange her chastity for them. Now this world had lost its appeal for her. She loved Jesus as one, who had learned to know the love of Jesus with which He first loved us.

Jesus is the same yet today. His wounds tell us that the whole world has been redeemed. Therefore: No more despair, no more impenitance, no more unbelief! Let everyone confess his sins to Him and believe them forgiven in His blood! This is the message of Rahab and other fallen women to those who share their fate today: That they would also share the same salvation in Christ. Their example also shows us that it is possible to break free from a life of sin and to begin a new life with the strength that faith in the forgiveness of sins provides.