Billy Graham on true repentance and conversion:
“If repentance could be described in one word, I would use the word renounce. ‘Renounce what?’ you ask. The answer can also be given in one word – ‘sin.’…
“Not only are we told that we must renounce the principle of sin but we are also to renounce sins – plural. We are to renounce the world, the flesh and the Devil. There can be no bargaining, compromise or hesitation. Christ demands absolute renunciation…..
“…repentance and faith go hand in hand. You cannot have genuine repentance without saving faith and you cannot have saving faith without repentance….
“…[To repent] means a great deal more than just regretting and feeling sorry about sin. The Biblical word repent means ‘to change, to turn.’ It is a word of power and action. It is a word that signifies a complete revolution in the individual.
“When the Bible calls upon us to repent of sin, it means that we should turn away from sin, that we should do an about-face and walk in the opposite direction from sin and all that it implies….
“….True repentance means ‘to change, to turn away from, to go in a new direction.’ To be sorry is not enough in repentance….
“….repentance cannot take place unless first there is a movement of the Holy Spirit in the heart and mind….”
“….There must be a determination to forsake sin – to change one’s attitudes toward self, toward sin, and God; to change one’s feelings; to change one’s will, disposition and purpose.
“Only the Spirit of God can give you the determination necessary for true repentance….
“There is not one verse of Scripture that indicates you can be a Christian and live any kind of a life you want to. When Christ enters into the human heart, He demands that He be Lord and Master. He demands complete surrender….
“…He must have first place in everything you do or think or say, for when you truly repent you turn toward God in everything.
“We have the warning of Christ that He will not receive us into His kingdom until we are ready to give up all, until we are ready to turn from all sin in our lives. Don’t try to do it part way. Don’t say, ‘I’ll give up some of my sins and hang on to some others. I’ll live part of my life for Jesus and part for my own desires.’”
“God demands a total change, a total surrender.”
-- “Peace with God," pp. 100-107