Excerpts: Billy Graham on sin, salvation and ‘trendy religion’

Religion News ServiceOctober 1, 2013 

Evangelist Billy Graham, who preached the gospel for more than seven decades, has written his 32nd book: “The Reason for My Hope: Salvation.”

The book, to be released Oct. 15, comes at a time when the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association finishes preparations for the “My Hope America” evangelistic campaign that will involve more than 21,000 churches in November.

Here is a sampling of the thoughts of the 94-year-old evangelist in his newest book:

Sin

“The truth is that every last one of us is born in sin, and while some may not think of themselves as sinners, God does. He hears every word we utter and knows the deepest secrets we lock away in the vaults of our hearts.”

‘Trendy religion’

“Many churches of all persuasions are hiring research agencies to poll neighborhoods, asking what kind of church they prefer; then the local churches design themselves to fit the desires of the people. True faith in God that demands selflessness is being replaced by trendy religion that serves the selfish.”

A ‘simple’ gospel

“I am afraid that many Christians, in their zeal to share their faith in Christ, have made the Gospel message of making disciples for Him too simple. Just to say ‘believe in Christ’ can produce a false assurance of the hope of Heaven. Jesus spoke often about the gift of eternal life. To make it clear, He said, ‘Count the cost.’”

‘Earning’ salvation

“Giving up something to follow Christ is not earning salvation; it is giving up what keeps you from salvation. When we hold on to something that is dearer to us than receiving the greater gift of salvation in Christ, we lose.”

‘When terror strikes’

“We see the world kicking God out of education, government, marriages, the home, and even church. Yet when terror strikes, people clasp their hands and bend their knees, calling on God to meet them in their time of distress, asking Him to lift their burden, begging for a different outcome.”

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