Dr. Billy Graham
The Bible says that certain things will never change. The laws of nature will not change. The fixed facts of the universe will not change. Also, spiritual laws will never change. For example, the nature of God has not changed. In all these centuries He is still the same: “I am the Lord, I do not change” (Malachi 3:6). In James we read that “there is no variation or shadow of turning” with God (James 1:17).
God is unchanging in holiness. He is a holy God, a righteous God. There’s no impurity in God, no sin in God: “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!” (Revelation 4:8).
God is unchanging in judgment. The Bible says, “The Lord will judge the ends of the earth” (1 Samuel 2:10). And all the way through the Bible we read about judgment, about the fact that there will be a great Day of Judgment. Men and women will stand before God and give an account, not only of the things that they have done, but also of the things that they have thought and of the intents of their hearts. You will be there, if you are outside Christ.
You need to have a righteousness that you cannot build yourself. That righteousness is given to us by Christ, who died on the cross for our sins. That righteousness will get us through at the Judgment.
God is unchanging in His love: “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). God loves us, and He is willing to forgive us, because He gave Christ to die for us on the cross. “God is love” (1 John 4:8).
God loves us as individuals. God doesn’t look on us as a mass of people. He looks on us as individuals. He sees us, and He knows all about us from the time that we were born until the day that we die. God says, “I love you. I will forgive you. I will change your life. I will change the direction of your life, if you will let Me.”
The Word of God, the Bible, has not changed. “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever,” wrote the Prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 40:8). In the Psalms we read, “Forever, O Lord, your word is settled in heaven” (Psalm 119:89).
When God created Adam and Eve, another person was in Paradise—the devil. When the devil decided to tempt Adam and Eve, the first thing he said to the woman was, “Has God indeed said …?” (Genesis 3:1). The devil put that doubt there, and today he also asks us, “Can you trust the Bible? Can you trust the Word of God?”
Scripture is God’s revealed Word. This is God’s message to mankind. I believe it is inspired by the Holy Spirit. When we read it, when we study it, we are reading what God wants us to know.
Human nature has not changed. The Prophet Jeremiah wrote, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). The heart is the same today. The things we watch on our television screens—the violence in the world and the killings and the executions and all the other things—have taken place many times before. Those things took place in the days of Babylon. They took place in the days of Egypt. They took place in the days of Rome. They took place in the Middle Ages. It has all happened before, because human nature has not changed.
Although we are shocked by what we see and by what we hear, it is people acting like people. They have departed from God. When men and women disobey God, they become estranged from God, separated from Him. The great need today is to be reconciled to God.
The Good News from Jesus is that God did not come to condemn us. He came to save us, and He is willing to forgive the past and to put it under the blood of Christ that was shed for us on the cross.
God’s moral law has not changed. The moral law was condensed into the Ten Commandments that Moses brought down from Mount Sinai. They are not the Ten Suggestions. They are the Ten Laws, the Ten Commandments.
Scripture says that if we break one commandment, we have broken all of them. All of us have broken the Ten Commandments. We are guilty of sin, because “sin is lawlessness” (1 John 3:4). I am a sinner. You are a sinner.
Sin separates us from God. That’s why at times people feel lonely. That’s why at times people feel unhappy and despairing. That’s why at times there is jealousy or pride or lying or acts of violence. You say, “I don’t know why I did it” or “I don’t know why I said that—I really didn’t mean it.” But we have all sinned; we have all broken God’s Law. We all deserve judgment, and we will be judged.
The way of salvation has not changed. Scripture says, “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). The way of salvation is still through Jesus at the cross and the resurrection. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6).
We come to Christ by repentance and faith. And when we do come to Him, the Holy Spirit of God comes to live within our lives—in our hearts—to produce fruit. He helps us to love people whom we otherwise would not love. He gives us joy. He gives us peace. He gives us gentleness.
He is the only One in history of whom it is written: “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life” [we have everlasting life beginning when we believe on the Son] and “he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him” (John 3:36). The wrath of God abides on many people. If you know Christ, you are forgiven, and you are on your way to Heaven.
You may be like many people who attend church. You have been baptized. You have been confirmed. But you are not certain that Christ has forgiven your sins. You are not sure that you will go to Heaven when you die, and you want to be sure. You want to have the fellowship and companionship of a Person who can become your best Friend because He loves you, and you can return that love to Him. But you don’t have that. Receive Him into your heart, and start a new life and go in a new direction. Say, “O Lord, I give myself totally and completely to You.”
God will never change. He has always been the same. He will always be the same. But you must change. Jesus said, “You must be born from above” (Cf. John 3:7). He said “must.” Have you been born from above? Are you sure of it?“God will never change. He has always been the same. He will always be the same. But you must change. Jesus said, “You must be born from above.”
You ask, “What do I have to do?” First, you must repent of your sins: “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out” (Acts 3:19). The Scripture says, “God … commands all men everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30). The word repent means to change—change your mind, change your lifestyle. You are going in one direction; you turn and go in another. But you cannot repent by yourself. God has to help you to repent. And He will help you, but you need to be willing. You need to say, “Lord, I want to repent. I will repent, but You have to help me change.”
Second, you must believe. The word believe means that you rest totally upon God and God alone. You are not trusting your family to save you; you are not trusting your husband or wife to save you; you are not trusting the church to save you. You are trusting Christ, and Christ alone, to get you into Heaven.
“To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins” (Acts 10:43), the Bible says. “As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name” (John 1:12). You need to put your total weight on Christ. And then you must confess Christ openly: “If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9).
That is how you come to Christ. You must repent. You must believe. You must confess.
We don’t know whether we have tomorrow ahead of us. We don’t know what a day will bring. That is the reason that the Scripture says, “Now is the accepted time … now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2).
Come to Christ while you can.