Dear Mr. Lazar.
Since you wrote this article some time ago, you may have done your research and corrected your misinterpretation of Billy Graham’s final testimony.
When Billy Graham stated that Christians should be “committing your life to Christ,” he meant to have true faith and trust in Christ to cross the “bridge.” He certainly did not mean by your works. Instead, Christians should have “personally committed themselves to Christ and invited Him to come into their lives to change them and make them part of His family.”
Billy Graham clearly stated his position on committing your life to Christ here: https://billygraham.org/answer/true-belief-in-christ-means-committing-your-life-to-him/
Hopefully, you will take his words to heart.
Thank you for reaching out about my blog concerning Billy Graham. I like Graham. He was often clear. But he was also often unclear.
The article you sent me, about Graham’s definition of commitment, supports the idea that he often gave a confusing evangelistic message that seemed to make salvation depend upon works.
For example, in that article, Graham literally says that believing is not enough:
And yet for far too many people, one thing is still missing, and that is commitment. To put it another way, they have believed in their minds, but they’ve never acted on it.
Graham says that people need commitment. What does commitment mean? “To put it another way,” he explains, “they’ve never acted on it.” So, for Graham, to commit to something means to act upon it. In other words, simply believing is not enough to be saved. You must also act. And to act means to work.
Do you think that is a clear faith-alone message? Would you tell people, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son that whosoever acts has eternal life and will never perish?” Or would you ever evangelize by saying, “For by grace you have been saved through commitment and action, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God”? Do you think that clearly communicates that salvation is by faith apart from works? I don’t.
Graham then uses a bridge analogy to further show why believing is not enough to get you across the bridge:
In your mind, therefore, you had faith in that bridge; you believed it would hold you. But simply believing the bridge would hold you wouldn’t get you to the other side! In addition, you’d have to put your trust in it and actually commit yourself to it. Only then would you really believe in that bridge.
Again, Graham explicitly says that simply believing is not enough. You need belief+. You must do something more than believe to “get you to the other side,” which represents being eternally saved. He says that “in addition” you must have trust and commitment, and only then do you “really believe.” But since he’s already explained commitment in terms of acting, that must be what he means here. To “really believe” in the bridge, you must act and walk across it. In other words, Graham is strongly implying that to “really believe” you need works.
I don’t know about you, but to me, that’s an illustration that fits a works-salvation gospel, but it contradicts a faith-alone gospel.
Now, I know I’ve read other sermons or messages where Graham insists on salvation by faith apart from works. He could be clear. But I would count the blog you sent as another example of how Graham contradicted himself and gave a confusing message about how to be saved.