From our friend, John
A friend of mine recently recommended an article from “Decision Magazine”, a periodical published by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Organization. I went to the website for that magazine and perused the titles from several back issues, before coming across an article dated September 12, 2012, entitled “How to Be Sure You’re Saved.”
There were five steps offered by Graham, at least two of which constituted a false gospel of works.
They were as follows:
1. You must recognize your need
2. You must understand the cross
3. You must count the cost
4. You must take a definite step
5. Allow God to change your life
Under number 3 (you must count the cost) is the following quote:
“Many people come to Christ without first counting the cost. The cost includes repentance, the forsaking of sin, and a continual, daily, open acknowledgment of Christ in your life.”
My Comment: Graham is not clear whether he believes that “counting the cost” is a requirement for salvation or for discipleship.
Under number 4 (you must take a definite step), Graham is explicit in his view that something besides simple faith in Christ is required for salvation:
“We ask people to make a public confession of Christ in our meetings because Christ demanded a definite commitment. Christ had reasons for demanding that people openly follow Him. He knew that an unwitnessed vow is no vow at all. Until you have surrendered to Christ by a definite act of your will, you are not a Christian.”
My comment: there is no vow, commitment, or confession required to be a Christian. Salvation is by Grace through faith in Christ alone.
Graham finishes with this invitation:
“Would you not like to know that every sin is forgiven? Wouldn’t you like to know that you are ready to meet God? It could happen today, if you will only let Christ come into your heart. Invite Him in right now. The Bible says, “Whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13).”
My comment: this invitation is not Biblical. One is saved by Grace through faith. Once that happens, Jesus comes into his heart. It is not the means by which one is saved. It is the result.
I saw Billy Graham live once when I was in junior high. We watched his crusades on television when I was growing up. Now, I pass by the Billy Graham Library each time I drive to the airport. I am reminded every time I see a billboard advertising Graham’s self-promoting “library” of the extent to which he is considered the authority on matters of faith by the religious establishment, government and the mainstream news media. But, now that I believe the Gospel, I don’t believe Billy Graham.
Billy Graham was the leading icon of evangelicalism in the twentieth century. His theme song was “Just As I Am.” The words to the first verse read as follows:
“Just as I am, without one plea
But that Thy blood was shed for me,
and that Thou bidst me come to thee,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.”
If Billy Graham ever believed those words, he denies them by his current teaching.