Going to church does not make a person a Christian

Published 8:26 am Thursday, August 10, 2023

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From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Dear Rev. Graham: I have it good. I have an interesting career. I travel. I have no money problems. I even have a good family and have developed volunteer programs at my church in order to reach out to the community. I thought my efforts would fill the void in my life, but this has not happened. It frustrates me when my friends say I have everything anyone could ever want, but down inside I’m still restless. Does the Bible address this condition? – R.S.

Dear B.A: Why are we so restless? Why are we constantly searching for lasting peace and contentment, and yet never fully satisfied? We are like a restless sea, finding a little peace here and a little pleasure there, but nothing permanent and satisfying. So the search continues.
The Bible says this happens to us for a very good reason: We are incomplete without God. If we leave Him out of our lives, we have an empty place in our souls, a yearning deep inside us that only God can satisfy. No matter how hard we try, if we ignore God that hollow place stays with us, and our search for lasting peace and happiness will be futile.
Centuries ago St. Augustine wrote, “You have made us for Yourself, O God, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in You.” Only God can satisfy the deepest longings of the human heart.
Going to church does not make a person a Christian. A Christian is one in whom Christ dwells and the person’s life will give evidence of this. Life has no true meaning without God at its center. He gives to His people inner strength and peace, a deep satisfaction. This comes through true repentance, a turning from sin, and a commitment to follow the Lord.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)

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