You Can’t Be Born a Christian

By   •   February 14, 2012

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 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 more than 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 Lakes 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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  1. samson zambia says:

    I I bless the lord for my spiritual father Billy preaching a conviction message on boldness.i also desire to have a such favor. continue praying for me. God bless man of God and all who listens to preachings.boldness is my desire as well.

  2. Michael K - Kenya says:

    Inspired by Billy Graham, preaching the Gospel In Nairobi Kenya, pray for me for the Spirit of Boldness and Divine Wisdom to live above the Cloud of evil that Isaiah spoke about in Chpt 60:1,2

  3. Edem says:

    Good day. I am a young man who has the desire to be a soul winner for Jesus. Please help me in prayers. Edem . GHANA.

  4. Nathan says:

    Please I want that boldness with which the man of GOD Billy Graham preaches and I also want the spirit of Billy Graham to come on me to preach with that much conviction. Thank you all who pray for us, may the LORD water as you water us with ur prayer

  5. I miss your father. I pray for says:

    Your Comment (Limit up to 250 characters). This area is for comments only. For prayer requests, click the Request Prayer tab above.

  6. Lisa says:

    Amen. = ) John 14: 6; Romans 10;14-15~yes, Amen. = ) God bless you!

  7. NELI says:

    Thanks for what you all are in God´s Kingdom, where I found international friends on Facebook, blessed christian people who became part of my daily routine to share scriptures and life as a christian, churches controversial issues, motherhood, family

  8. Bryan says:

    Dear Franklin, I would encourage you not to discount the providence of God in placing you in a believing home where you would be brought up in the light of the Gospel. Christian parents don't need to travel the world to have a mission field.