From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Years ago in a baseball game, the score was tied in the last inning with two outs. The batter came to the plate and hit a home run out of the park. The crowd went wild. For baseball fans, it is about the most exciting thing that can happen. But when the hero crossed home plate to score, the umpire yelled, “Out!” The crowd was stunned. The umpire explained that the batter had not touched first base.
That is the way with many people. They are Christians outwardly; they go to church and talk about being baptized, but have missed the most important thing—they have not been born again. They haven’t touched first base.
Nicodemus was one such man who came to Jesus. Though he was deeply religious, fasting, tithing, and teaching theology—he was not satisfied. He had missed first base—salvation—and then Jesus told Him what it means to be “born again.”
There are many proclaimers who teach that being baptized, going to church and doing good works will get us to Heaven, but it simply is not true. One of the saddest passages in all of Scripture is found in Mathew 7:22-23. Jesus said that many will say to Him that they have done great things in His name, but He will have to say, “Depart from Me—I never knew you.”
Salvation in Christ means being born again. We are all born physically, but to get to Heaven, one must be born spiritually. This is the gift of God that only He can give; and He freely gives it when we repent of our sin and come to Him with a humble heart by faith. This is truth.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)