Won't Be Long Now!
I never knew that Billy Graham preached that you must do anything other than believe to be saved, until I read this thread. I never listened to his full speeches, but I knew he always referred to John 3:16 which is one of the first scriptures I memorized. This scripture just says you need to believe and nothing else.I know this may upset some, but I disagree about BG. He preached salvation by grace thru faith in Christ plus living a Christian life to be saved.
I can appreciate his sincerity, but he was sincerely wrong. He preached "another gospel."
If what you say above is what BG preached, this is not simply believing the gospel, it is adding to the gospel. He takes the burden of salvation from what Christ completely accomplished and puts it on people like you and me; as though Christ did his part, now you have to do your part to finish your salvation. This is aka, LS.
I would have been saved and known it as a teen if BG had simply presented Christ's finished work and said trust Him as your only Savior and be saved. It took reading Paul's Epistles years later when I believed and was saved. But what BG does is present salvation as a package of things you have to change about yourself plus trust Christ, which no one can possibly do to be saved.
As for believing with ones heart. This means simply putting ones faith in Christ alone for salvation.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Just like you PhilR, I would have gotten saved at 16 rather than 28 had I know it was a free gift and there was nothing for me to do but believe and accept it. I thought you had to believe in Jesus and be extremely good. The believe part I would have been comfortable with, it was the being extremely good that I had a problem with. I didn't feel I could be extremely good. By man's standards, I was not bad even before I was saved. However, I was not extremely good either.
Yes as you stated we must believe with our heart, but that is different from believing with all your heart. There are some Christians that have been saved and attending church for many years, that still don't believe with all their heart.
As far as Billy Graham, I don't personally know enough about him and what his full teaching was during his life, so I reserve judgement regarding his teaching. However as I stated in my first post, I disagree with his last statement of what was posted in this thread. (see below)
"Do you believe with all your heart? Have you committed your life completely to Christ? Is He yours? Have you said, “I want Christ to be my Lord and my Master and my Savior”? Make your commitment to Christ right now."
His last statement speaks of commitment, rather than just belief. That would not be a FREE GIFT.