America the Troubled
To the Point
December 1, 2012
By Franklin Graham
Last month’s election should convince us how crucial it is for Christians to take a stand for biblical values.
Just 100 years ago, churches and pastors were leaders in the moral and civic arena. Their influence was felt across our entire nation. Today, churches are told by the IRS to remain silent on political endorsements or fear losing their tax-exempt status. Technically, that may be true, but in October more than 1,500 churches defied that ban by endorsing candidates for political office on Pulpit Freedom Sunday. I applaud their courage.
State universities and colleges that once promoted high moral standards now openly express their hostility and disdain for Christians and their values. If our children are not grounded in God’s Word before they leave home, their faith is in serious jeopardy when they attend college.
A recent Pew Research Center poll discovered that 20 percent of Americans—the highest number ever—say they are not affiliated with any religion; in the generation under 30, it’s one out of every six. And 6 percent call themselves agnostic or atheist.
It’s going to be hard in the days and years to come, but believers in Jesus Christ must continue to take a bold stand for the Gospel. We may think of missions as reaching countries abroad, but the truth is that our own country is now a mission field. Our neighborhoods, offices, ballparks—everywhere in our communities, large or small—are ripe fields for spiritual harvest.
That’s why the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association is gearing up for My Hope with Billy Graham, a nationwide evangelistic event to be held in November. We need you and your church to get involved as we work to reach every corner of our country.
We should not be surprised at the rising tide of evil around us. The Bible calls our time on earth “this present evil age,” which the Lord has “delivered us out of” (Galatians 1:4).
Our feet are still firmly planted on earth, but our hearts belong to Christ, and we are controlled, empowered and led by the indwelling Holy Spirit. We are still “in the world, but not of the world.”
But although we are primarily citizens of Heaven (Philippians 3:21), we are also citizens of this country with responsibilities to be salt and light in all that we do and say.
This Christmas let’s also remember that regardless of the election results and the decaying moral fabric of our nation, our Savior has come, and died, and rose again, to save us from our sins.
Writing almost 900 years before the birth of Christ, the Prophet Isaiah said: “For a child will be born to us, a Son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders, and His Name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government” (Isaiah 9:6-7, NASB).
Our hope is in Christ alone, not in governments nor men nor nations. He will never disappoint us, never fail us, never forsake us. Nothing, absolutely nothing “can separate us from His love” (Romans 8: 39).
Jesus Christ is the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. He is coming again. Very soon, I hope. ©2012 BGEA
Unless otherwise noted, Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, New King James Version. The Scripture quotation marked NASB is taken by permission from the New American Standard Bible, ©1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977 The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, Calif.