Billy Graham: A Voice of Hope in Crisis — Berlin, 1990
Just four months after the Berlin Wall separating East and West Germany was opened, Billy Graham preached in the once-divided city. His words regarding division and sin still resonate today.
Hope for the Future
There is no hope for the future of the world outside the Gospel of Christ. But materialism and hedonism have gripped parts of Europe and people are not as interested as they used to be in the Gospel of Christ.
Berlin has been the center of arts and culture for 750 years. It has been a meeting point between East and West. Once again it has been brought to the center of the world stage. Out of Germany great theologians have arisen and these theologians have had a great impact on the theological thinking of theologians all over the world.
I think we can rejoice over many of the things that have taken place in the past few weeks, but we’re seeing new dangers—new problems in our world. All we have to do is watch the news and read our newspapers and we see that there are differences all over the world beginning to emerge into violence. This is the time for repentance and prayer.
Some of the strongest Christians in the world today, I think, are in those areas of the world where it has been very difficult and where they have been restricted. Because Christians under pressure, and sometimes persecution, turn to God with greater faith. They have no alternatives and it causes them to really study and to seek what it means to be a follower of Christ.
God Is Already There
What is your message to the young people in the East part of Germany?
Do not believe that materialism, the pleasures like pornography can satisfy their hearts—only God can do that…And, come and receive Christ into your heart. It would be the same message I would give East and West, because the Gospel is the same and man is the same, regardless of our culture or background.
It’s a picture of our world today—state of confusion—and yet it’s a day of unprecedented possibilities for spiritual awakening and renewal. I come from America and we have confusions and troubles and difficulties of our own. We have fear, sensuality, materialism, loneliness, and you’re on the verge here of possibly getting a fresh start. A new day—perhaps in every area of your society—it’s going to be felt.
We have no idea what lies ahead of us, but we know that out there in the future God is already there. God is not going to desert us…he’s going to be with us as he’s been with us in the past.
Breaking Down the Wall
I would like to greet all of you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. I have not come here as an ambassador of the United States…I’m here as an ambassador of the Kingdom of Heaven. Thirty years ago it was my privilege to stand on this spot and preach to thousands of people every night. A year later the Wall was built. I hope that doesn’t happen after this, but now we come back at a time of rejoicing. A time of happiness and we in America were watching on our television you coming through the Wall…tears were pouring down our cheeks. Because we have been praying and working for peace…and we believe that only God can bring peace. Now he has answered our prayers…and to stand in front of the Reichstag, one of the most historic places in all of Germany, all of Europe, is a historic moment in the history of Europe.
Breaking the law of God is called sin in the Bible…and that is a law much stronger than the Wall that divided Berlin. I was here in this city six weeks ago. I saw people chipping away at the wall. I saw how hard and how strong that wall was and I knew it was going to take a lot of strength to bring it down. There’s a much stronger wall between you and God because of sin. And the Bible teaches that that wall must come down. And that’s why Jesus Christ came—He came to break the wall down. He came to open the way to God, so you can have fellowship with Him and have the peace and the joy that He can bring.