Billy Graham was known as an evangelist to world leaders and presidents, yet he also spent time sharing the Gospel in villages, towns, and cities across the globe. From the Cold War to Vietnam to 9/11, Billy Graham would be a voice of hope during crisis, preaching to more than 215 million people during more than 70 years of ministry. Over the next few weeks we will be sharing some of these messages.
Today’s excerpt is from Billy Graham’s 1991 New York City Crusade. More than 250,000 people were there to hear Graham’s message in Central Park.
Many people ask me if God loves the world, why does he allow so much suffering in the world. War, disease, poverty, hate, loneliness, boredom, emptiness, psychological problems, unemployment, violence, tension, all of these things.
Why doesn’t God just come and stop it all? That’s the question many people are asking.
Some people here in New York are saying, I can’t take it anymore and they are committing suicide. The pressures of life are too great. They can’t take it.
Why? If there is a God why doesn’t He end it? Some people say, why has God abandoned us?
But God has not abandoned us. We’ve abandoned Him.
Why do people do the things they do? Why do people commit the crimes they do? Why do people tell the lies they tell? Why is there so much jealousy? Why are there so many problems in the world?
It’s because man has a disease and the disease is called sin.
What’s the basic cause of war and crime and deceit and fraud? Why do we have to have hospitals and jails with bars and windows and police forces and military forces?
Our social problems are basically moral and spiritual problems and the moral problems require a religious solution. All these problems indicate that something is wrong with human nature. People have been looking to technology or political force to save us.
But God says, your problem is in your hearts.
The first sin ever committed was committed in a paradise. It’s a heart problem.
Yes, communism did not win. No -ism is going to win. Only Christ is going to win. Someday He’s going to rule the world but tonight He wants to rule your heart. He wants to come into your home and into your family, into your neighborhood. He wants to come into our country and He wants to be King of Kings and Lord of Lords.