The Commercial Appeal

Never put off what can be done today

- Billy Graham Columnist

From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Q: I grew up in a Christian home and my parents were wonderful believers. They raised me in church and taught me the basics of Christiani­ty, but I am unsure that I’ve been born again. Is this the same as being converted, and do the converted possess righteousn­ess? My parents both recently died and I don’t have the assurance any more that I am really saved.

– S.C.

A: Jesus told the great religious leader Nicodemus, “You must be born again” (John 3). Jesus knew that this man had covered himself with religion but had not yet found fellowship with God.

We can call it conversion, commitment, repentance, or being saved, but we must ask ourselves if we’ve been born again. Does Christ live in our heart? Every person needs a radical change by having sins forgiven by the One who died for us. The Bible says that those who receive Christ and believe in Him are born not of blood, nor the will of the flesh, nor of the will of men, but born of God (see John 1:13). We do not receive this gift through our mothers and fathers, though they may be great Christians. We may sing religious songs; we may even say prayers. But if we haven’t been to the foot of the cross and repented of sin before holy God, we haven’t been born again.

Never put off what can be done today. The Bible says, “Now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthian­s 6:2). Salvation brings a newness to life and Jesus provides the faith to receive Him. This reality empowers us to follow Him in obedience, in which the Holy Spirit helps us as we read the Bible, pray for guidance, and emboldens us to tell others about Him.

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