Christians should never feel like it's too late to renew their relationship with God, the Rev. Billy Graham wrote in a recent post.
Graham, a Baptist minister and founder of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, made his comments this week for the "My Answers" portion of his website, writing that no matter how far you've turned from God, He has not turned His back on you.
The evangelical preacher uses the classic example of the prodigal son from Luke 15:11-32, explaining that although the son turned away from his family and attempted to live independently, he was welcomed back home with open arms and love by his father.
"Just as the father in Jesus' parable never lost his love for his son, so God has never lost His love for you. The proof is that Jesus Christ gave His life for your salvation. Don't let your pride, or anything else, keep you from Him any longer, but by faith put your life and your future into Christ's hands," Graham writes.
Graham wrote in another post from October 2013 that although God will always welcome us back into a relationship with Him, that doesn't necessarily mean that Christians should wait until the last minute to ask for repentance, as they never know when their time to enter eternity will come.
"We don't always know what God is doing in someone's life — His ways are often hidden from us. But we do know this: When someone truly turns to God — even after years of rebellion — God always forgives them and welcomes them into His family," Graham writes. "No matter how rebellious we've been, God yearns to welcome us home."
"At the same time, the Bible solemnly warns us not to assume we can leave our repentance to the last minute. The more we resist God, the easier it becomes to keep on resisting Him — until suddenly it is too late," Graham adds.
The Baptist minister also said in January 2016 that Christians never know when their time will come.
How do you know you will have the opportunity to repent to God? Graham asks.
"Look around you: how many people die each day without any warning? A fatal accident [...] a massive heart attack [...] even a violent terrorist assault—these and a hundred other events can unexpectedly cut life short and usher us into eternity. Or think of those with impaired memories who are unable to realize what is happening to them," the evangelical preacher says, closing with Hebrews 10:31: "It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God."
Graham added in a post from earlier this year that although God will always welcome us back, turning away from Him does have its consequences.
"[…] [W]hy does God discipline us when we do wrong? Is it because He is an angry, vengeful judge who takes delight in seeing us suffer? No! God loves us, and He cares what happens to us — and He doesn't want us to destroy our lives," Graham writes. "What kind of parent would you be if you let your children do anything they wanted, no matter how dangerous or harmful?"