The Third Choice – A Tribute to Dr. Billy Graham
In 1968 during my freshman year at Indiana University (Bloomington, IN) I was dating Ralph, a graduate student. One time he asked me if I knew where I would be if I were to die. I figured that it depended on how good my relationship with God was when my time came to die. Ralph gave me a book called World Aflame by Billy Graham. In the book he told about how wonderful it would be to become a Christian with your life in God’s hands and not your own. This was the first choice. The second choice told about people who rejected Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. They went to you know where, as in a place that is very hot and is separated from God. The church where I grew up did not deal much with describing what happened to those who rejected Christ, but I knew without a doubt that I did NOT want to go there.
But it was the third choice that appealed to me. Billy Graham wrote that becoming a Christian was a serious consideration and should not be approached as a short-lived fad. Being in college I thought this could be a fad. However, Billy Graham did not stop there. Although it was important to consider the cost of being a disciple of Jesus Christ, to remain on the fence and to not make a decision in favor of receiving Jesus as Lord and Savior was the same as denying Jesus! So there really was no third choice! By God’s grace and working in my life, that night I prayed and received the Lord Jesus Christ confessing that I, too, was a sinner. John 3:16 says, ” 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.” KJV
I acknowledged that when Jesus, being both fully God and fully man and yet without sin, died on the cross that he actually took all my sin on himself and paid my penalty of death and separation from God. So when I die, I will be with Jesus in heaven forever. Well, it has been almost 50 years ago and God has been faithful so this does not appear to be a fad. Am I perfect? No, but I am forgiven because Jesus paid the penalty for all of my sins and I will be perfect in heaven. Yes, I am a member of a Christian church and read the Bible, as suggested by Billy Graham. Did this solve all of my problems? No, I am not in heaven, yet, and still need to grow in Christ and share Him with others; however, it did determine my final destiny. How grateful I am to be a child of God. May you, too, receive Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord. Thank you, Billy Graham!