You Can’t Be Born a Christian

By   •   October 4, 2010   •   Topics: ,

you-can-not

Being born the son of Billy Graham didn’t make me a Christian. Neither did being raised in a strong church, nor the prayers of my grandparents, nor memorizing Scripture, nor the good deeds I tried to do.

I knew all about Jesus, but I was reluctant to surrender my life to Him. Then on my 22nd birthday, my father challenged me with the same message that he preached to millions around the world: “Franklin, your mother and I sense there’s a struggle going on in your life,” he said. “You are going to have to make a choice either to accept Christ or reject Him.”

I wrestled with that choice for a few weeks. Then one night in Jerusalem, of all places—where I was helping a friend of my father lead a tour of the Middle East—I went to my room early and read the third chapter of the Gospel of John. I knew I needed to get right with God. I kept coming back to what Jesus told Nicodemus in the seventh verse: “You must be born again.”

I knelt beside my bed, confessed and repented of my sins, asked God to forgive me, and finally trusted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. Only then did I become a Christian—when I was born again through the life-giving work of the Holy Spirit.

I was reminded of this during a recent series of interviews with reporters who were comparing Christianity to Islam. These are powerful and influential people who shape the opinions of millions. Yet in terms of understanding what it means to be born again, they can be as confused as Nicodemus was. They assume that all religions are more or less equal. Christians know better.

For many people around the world, religion is part of their heritage. Jews and Muslims both claim to be children of Abraham. In that context, a person can be born a Jew or a Muslim. By contrast, you can’t be born a Christian. Like Jesus said, you must be born again. The only bloodline that counts is the blood Christ shed on Calvary’s cross as a sacrifice for the sins of those who repent.

How did our society forget that truth? More important, what can Christians do about it?

The Apostle Paul expressed similar concern for the empire where he was a citizen. “How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent?” (Romans 10:14-15).

For 60 years, that’s what we have been doing at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. We are committed to using every effective means to proclaim the Gospel to a world wallowing in bad news. That’s why we organize evangelistic events like Rock the River that enable us to reach a whole new generation who are searching for truth.We preach Christ, and Him crucified and risen. Only Jesus Himself is “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6).

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8 Comments

  1. Princess says:

    I agree with what is written here. Jesus is the only way to God the Father, His words are truth and only through Him can we experience life. :)

  2. Ted says:

    I had a sudden cardiac arrest and was in a coma with my body cooled dow to 92 degrees F for a week. When I was able to understand things again, the world looked so unreal to me. I prayed to the Lord, is this real? The big impression I received from the Lord was that it is not reality, heaven is reality for those who believe in Jesus as Lord and Savior. Thank you Jesus for saving my soul!! He is so real and hears us, and knows us all. Nobody can hide anything from Him. God said to listen to Jesus. Even through the death experience I had, Jesus was holding me in His hand. Thank you Jesus!!

  3. velaphi says:

    Jesus Christ is Lord( uJesu Krestu uyiNkosi)

  4. Nithin says:

    I believe in Jesus, the son of God. I believe he died on the cross for my sins and rose again. I am struggling with the confession part, I request prayer to help me with this. I want to be God's child, but my heart is hard and stubborn. Please support me with prayer.

  5. Charles says:

    All things work for good to those that love Christ and are called according to his purpose. Take heart we are praying with you.

  6. J.KEITH says:

    PRAISE JESUS FOR WHAT HE WAS, HE IS , AND HE IS ALWAYS WILL BE. I LOVE YOU'LL OUT THERE MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS. PLEASE, PRAY FOR ME AND MY FAMILY IN OUR CURRENT SITUATION. IN DECEMBER WE'LL BEING GOING TO COURT FOR EVICTION OF OUR HOME. I DON'T GET MAD AT MY HEAVENLY FATHER,BUT INSTEAD, PRAISE THY LORD AND SAY WHAT CAN I LEARN FROM THIS STUATION. THANK YOU ALL FOR TIME AND PATIENCE. MAY GOD BLESS !!

  7. anne says:

    Praying for you. You pray for me..God Bless

  8. kanawha1kanobi says:

    One of the messages throughout the years of my being in – and out – of the church that I must have missed or misunderstood or perhaps never heard was that of being careful not to mistake a “book knowledge” of what a Christian is for a “heart knowledge” of what a Christian is. I wonder if for so many years of my life that I knew what a Christian is because I'd heard it preached; I'd read about it – even in the Bible; I had even professed it. But, not until fairly recently did I understand the difference. Now I know that He is mine and I am His by His unfathomable Grace. The difference? He is now in my heart and not just in my mind. To those who may read this, I ask for your prayers that I will grow even closer to Him.