Sunday, October 14, 2012
Billy Graham's Letter Hits Responsive Chord
In America, television channels are filled with political advertisements, debates, as well as arguments and attacks. This is a high-stakes election, but the stakes go beyond electing the president, senators, representatives, and judges. In many states voters will decide on issues that go to the moral fabric of America. For example, on the Washington state ballot, there is a referendum for voters to retain or overturn the legalization of gay marriage—a measure passed by the Washington-state legislature months ago. In other states, voters will decide whether or not to legalize the use of marijuana. At every turn, America’s longstanding moral and ethical cornerstones seem to be crumbling. The upcoming election simply shines a spotlight on continuing economic corruption and uncontrolled spending, immorality, secular humanism, and attacks on religious freedom.
Billy Graham, the great evangelist, wrote a letter July (2012) decrying the downward spiral of America. The letter titled, My Heart Aches for America, compares modern-day America with Sodom and Gomorrah and Nineveh. Dr. Graham says, “Yet the farther we get from God, the more the world spirals out of control."
Dr. Graham continues by writing, "My heart aches for American and its deceived people. The wonderful news is that our Lord is a God of mercy, and He responds to repentance. In Jonah’s day, Nineveh was the lone world superpower—wealthy, unconcerned, and self-centered. When the Prophet Jonah finally traveled to Nineveh and proclaimed God’s warning, people heard it and repented.
"I believe the same thing can happen once again, this time in our nation."
Dr. Graham, his son Franklin Graham, and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA), have launched prayer and witnessing outreach programs that are currently underway. Dubbed My Hope with Billy Graham, this grass-roots initiative begins with prayer and training so that by November 2013, Christians across the United States and Canada are prepared to help bring the unsaved to Christ.
For those who sign up to participate, they identify and begin praying for friends and family. Then the friends and family are invited into homes where they watch a special program with messages from Dr. Graham. The hosts share how they found Jesus Christ and how He changed their life. And finally, friends and family are invited to accept Jesus as their Savior. The timeline for the initiative is detailed on the My Hope Web site. You can sign up as an individual, or churches can sign up. Participants are trained and have access to resources. The initiative culminates the week of Nov. 7, 2013, to coincide with Dr. Graham’s 95th birthday.
In the shorter term, BGEA and other organizations have called Christians to nationwide prayer in advance of the upcoming elections. This call to prayer rests on the promise in 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV), "If my people who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land."
To join in prayer for healing of America, go to the Pray for Our Nation in 2012 Web site.
Right now, satan must be a happy man. The very principles that guided America to greatness are in danger of being discarded as antiquated thinking. But God is the God of yesterday, today, and tomorrow. His thinking, His commands will never be antiquated. When men and women of the world choose to ignore Him and what He has already judged to be sinful and abominable, then we can expect the blessing of the Lord to be lifted from us.
As for me, I pray that this nation and the nations of the world will repent and turn or return to the Lord. Please join me in that prayer.