Rescued by God

as told by Billy Graham

The bible says that we have been separated and alienated from God because we have willfully turned our backs on Him and are determined to run our own lives without Him. This is what the bible means by sin - choosing our way instead of God's way, and not giving Him His rightful place in our lives. The evidence of this is all around us, in the moral chaos and the heartache of our world. The headlines scream every day that we live in a broken, sin-ravaged world.

But in addition, the message declares that God still loves us. He yearns to forgive us and bring us back to Himself. He wants to fill our lives with meaning and purpose right now. Then He wants us to spend all eternity with Him in Heaven, free forever from the pain and sorrow and death of this world.

Moreover, God has done everything possible to reconcile us to Himself. He did this in a way that staggers our imagination. In God's plan, by His death on the cross, Jesus Christ paid the penalty for our sins, taking the judgement of God that we deserve upon Himself when He died on the cross. Now, by His resurrection from the dead, Christ has broken the bonds of death and opened the way to eternal life for us.

The resurrection also confirms for all time that Jesus was in fact who He said He was: the unique Son of God, sent from Heaven to save us from our sins. Now God freely offers us the gift of forgiveness and eternal life.

 

Finally, this message is about our response. Like any other gift, God's gift of salvation does not become ours until we accept it and make it our own. God has done everything possible to provide salvation. But we must reach out in faith and accept it.

How do we do this?

First, by confessing to God that we are sinners and in need of His forgiveness; by repenting of our sins and, with God's help, turning from them.

Second, by committing our lives to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. The best-known passage in the New Testament states the Gospel concisely: "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him" (John 3:16-17). God in His grace invites us to receive His Son into our lives today.

If you have never done so, I invite you to bow your head right now, and by a simple prayer of faith, open your heart to Jesus Christ. God receives us just as we are. No matter who we are or what we have done, we are saved only because of what Christ has done for us. I will not go to Heaven because I have preached to great crowds. I will go to Heaven for one reason: Jesus Christ died for me, and I am trusting Him alone for my salvation. Christ died for you also, and He freely offers you the gift of eternal life as you commit your life to Him.

When you do, you become a child of God, adopted into His family forever. He also comes to live within you and will begin to change you from within. No one who truly gives his or her life to Christ will ever be the same, for the promise of His Word is true: "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation" ( 2 Corinthians 5:17-18).

We have seen this happen countless times all over the world, and it can happen in our life as well. Open your life to Christ today.