"God is so awesome, no one can understand Him - you just have to accept Him," said a sobbing Larry Flynt, who did just that during a startling confession for Christ last Sunday that was prompted by months of discussions with Ruth Carter Stapleton.

In an interview from a private jet last night - with the President's sister at his side - Flynt said he has resigned as chairman of the board of his company, Larry Flynt Enterprises, which publishes the raunchy sex magazines, Hustler and Chic. He has handed the reins to his wife, Althea Leasure. Though Mrs. Flynt has not accepted Christ, Mrs. Stapleton says she hopes her husband, Robert, will help Mrs. Flynt accept the change in her husband's life when the two families meet to share Thanksgiving dinner.

"I feel like I've been on the outside of a cyclone for the last 72 hours." said Mrs. Stapleton. "It's really for real - Althea is a bit upset, she said Larry's not the man she married and I said you have to talk to my husband."

Added Flynt: "I said, 'Honey, there's more people who believe in God than pornography, so we ought to be able to make a living some way.'"

Because of Hustler's publishing schedule, the next several issues are already prepared; but Flynt promises these changes beginning with the March issue:

"I will no longer hang women up as pieces of meat," vows Flynt, who said he wanted to speak before the Houston women's conference "to apologize to Gloria and Bella and Flo Kennedy."

A standing cartoon character, Chester the Molester, who in the December issue is pictured stalking Amy Carter, will become "Chester the Protector," defending little girls everywhere.

His feature "A - - of the Month," Flynt's forum for chiding politicians and judges with whose views he disagreed, will become "Hypocrite of the Month,"

The section that invites women to send in photos of themselves nude may include men, so as not to discriminate, Flynt said, though he is unsure just how explicit the features will be.

Beginning with a small staff and budget several years ago, Flynt parlayed a chain of Ohio go-go bars into a publishing empire; Hustler's circulation, at over 3 million copies per month, ranks behind Playboy and penthouse, both of which began printing more daring shots of women after Flynt pushed back the boundaries of men's magazines with a close-up photos of genitalia.

Last February Flynt was sentenced in a Cincinnati courtroom to 7 to 25 years in prison for conspiring to publish obscenity, and he is free on bail pending appeal. Flynt attributed his conversion not to his court setback but ot an inner restlessness that new wealth did not calm.

"Remember when Lenny Bruce said we are all hustling?" Flynt asked. "He said we're all as honest as we can afford to be. Well, Lenny was struggling, just like I was searching, and they killed him before he found God. I kept saying I was taking what Lenny said and putting it on paper; but until I let Christ into my life, I just didn't understand what it all meant."

Charles Colson, the former Nixon White House "hatchetman" whose conversion to Christ several years ago was greeted with skepticism, says he expects Flynt will receive similar treatment.

"The angles in heaven rejoice when a sinner turns to Christ," Colson said, "and I rejoice along with the angels. Having experienced the ridicule, skepticism, cynicism, laughter and derision, I know no man makes that kind of statement unless he means it - it isn't an easy thing to do. I think God is in the business of saving the Larry Flynts of this world and turning them into believers."

Late this summer, a producer for "60 Minutes" suggested that Flynt and Mrs. Stapleton meet. Shortly thereafter Flynt joined the Stapletons for dinner at a country club near their home in Fayetteville, N.C. Mrs. Stapleton and Flynt spoke frequently during the next months, spoke frequently during the next months, and she spent the first weekend of October at the Hustler mansion in a wealthy suburb of Columbus, Ohio. "Imagine," Flynt said, "the courage it took her to do that. She later told me she was literrally petrified when she came to my home, not knowing what to expect."

"He called me last Friday at my (religious) center in Dallas," Mrs. Stpleton said. "He was talking like a wild man; he woke me up at mid-night."

The two families spent the weekend together in the South while Mrs. Stapleton spoke at various churchs; and Sunday, in Texas, Flynt decided to commit his life to Christ publically.

"I'm going to introduce you," Mrs. Stapleton told him at the Braeswood Assembly of God Church.

"What are you going to say?" Flynt asked.

"I don't know, she replied.

"That makes two of us," stid Flynt, who then told the packed church that he owed "every mother here" an apology and promised to turn Hustler into a magazine "that would extol Godly living." His other magazine, Chic, according to Flynt, will become a "lifestyle, unisex publication."

"Ruth is the one who really made it all happen," Flynt said last night. "If some of her can rub off on her brother, Washington would solve all of our problems. The courage of that woman . . ." Flynt said, his voice beginning to crack, " . . . they just can't write any more bad things about her - they can say anything they want about me, because I can handle it. All the people who hated me can now say 'thanks' this Thanksgiving. She is the toughest woman. . ."

Though Flynt said that his wife is assuming the day-to-day control of his magazines, he will continue to exercise his editorial judgement. And he intends to "promote a healthy attitude toward sex rather than a perveted one."

Said Flynt, as his private jet flew over Indianapolis toward Los Angeles last night: "Moses freed the Jews, Lincoln freed the slaves and I want to free the nuerotics.