Q: I've always heard that "God hates the sin but loves the sinner," but is this really true? How can God love someone who abuses children, kills innocent people, or things like that? I know I sure can't. -- L.H.
A: If God only loved people who are perfect and worthy of His love, then He wouldn't love anyone -- because we're all imperfect and unworthy. As the Bible says, "There is no one righteous, not even one" (Romans 3:10).
The greatest demonstration of God's love, however, was in Jesus Christ, who gave His life so we could become God's children and go to be with Him in heaven forever. We deserved to die for our sins, but Christ died in our place, because of His love for us. The Bible says, "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8).
Human beings are capable of terrible deeds; you have mentioned some of them. Because of them, we deserve nothing less than God's judgment -- and His judgment is certain. But God's love is greater than our sin, and when we repent and turn to Christ for our salvation, God forgives us and gives us new hearts and new lives. Have you turned to Him for the forgiveness you need?
(Send your queries to "My Answer," c/o Billy Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; call 1-(877) 2-GRAHAM, or visit the Web site for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association: http://www.billygraham.org.)