From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Dear Dr. Graham:

Why is the Gospel message a conflicting message? Preachers can’t even agree. Some say the Gospel is for everyone, and others say the Gospel is only for those God chooses. What is the truth?

— M.U.

Dear M.U.: The study of Scripture is important. When the Bible says, “The entirety of Your word is truth” (Psalm 119:160), it is vital to understand that the Bible does not contradict itself but interprets itself.

God’s message of salvation is for all people. He died for the sins of the whole world (John 3:16). “Whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13). God our Savior “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of truth” (1 Timothy 2:4).

This word “whoever” is a wonderfully big word; it speaks of the grace of God and His invitation that extends to all people: “For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him” (Romans 10:12).

Christianity is centered on the Gospel that brings comfort and the assurance that God will forgive sin. Now this doesn’t mean that all people will indeed call upon the name of the Lord for salvation. The majority of people resist Him, block His voice out, and ultimately reject Him.

The Bible teaches that life is only a vapor that appears for a moment and then vanishes (James 4:14). Every cemetery testifies to this fact. This is why God calls out to the nations of the world to get right with Him. History will someday come to an end, rendering the world’s system dominated by evil a total failure. Wickedness in every form will cease: hatred, greed, jealousy, war, and death. This “day of the Lord” will be glorious, when He comes to bring peace to the “whosoevers.” Be part of this wonderful host of people who love Him.