April 1, 2014
By Franklin Graham
The plan of redemption unfolded as Almighty God sent His Son to earth on a mission to die, to “give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45, NIV). And not simply to die, but to die on a cross in punishment for our sins so that we might be forgiven and receive the gift of eternal life.
To many, that sounds like nonsense. But the Bible says, “The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18).
I preach a simple Gospel, a message that some say is not sophisticated enough for today’s world. They wonder how the actions of a Man who lived 2,000 years ago could have any impact on their life today.
The truth of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection appears as foolishness to them. But for those who believe—those who freely admit they are sinners in need of a Savior—the Gospel is “the power of God for … salvation” (Romans 1:16). It’s that simple.
For more than 60 years, our calling at BGEA has been to “preach the Gospel—not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power” (1 Corinthians 1:17). Wherever I go, whether to a modern city in Europe or Asia, or a rural village in Africa or South America, I always proclaim Jesus Christ as “the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6).
When the Gospel is preached, it has power. The power is not in the preacher or because of the persuasive eloquence of his message, but rather that “God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe” (1 Corinthians 1:21).
There is only one thing powerful enough to transform hearts and lives from the inside out and to deliver us from the penalty and power of sin—it is the Gospel of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Jesus described the process in radical terms: “You must be born again” (John 3:7, NKJV). The Apostle Paul wrote, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17, NKJV).
That’s the message our self-centered world desperately needs to hear.
Help us share this message of hope this Easter. Plan a My Hope event in your church and show “The Cross,” the video program featuring a powerful new message from Billy Graham.