From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Q: If Jesus is so powerful, and I believe He is, why doesn’t He just make us believe in Him since there are no conditions put on people? – F.S.
A: A reading of the Gospels will reveal that Jesus did not impose Himself upon those who felt self-sufficient, righteous, and self-confident. People must come to the point of realizing their need for God’s forgiveness and salvation. Those who feel capable of meeting life head-on and under their own power will never find Him.
While the Bible declares that people cannot earn salvation, there is a critical step that everyone must take in receiving Christ. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). There must be a recognition and confession of sinfulness and spiritual need before there can be a response from Christ. He came to call not the righteous but sinners to repentance, the Bible says.
The natural man cannot comprehend the things of God, so how can people understand what happened at the cross when Jesus took our sins upon Him? It is only when we understand that Christ died in the place of sinners, for sin, that we find the elements of forgiveness. Jesus was born with the cross darkening His pathway. From the cradle to the cross, Jesus’ purpose was to die so that mankind may live.
We must take that definite step in obedience to Jesus. Jesus stepped out of glory and picked up His cross for us. Follow Him; He will never lead anyone astray.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)
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