Billy Graham: Revival or the Spirit of the Age

Billy Graham: Revival or the Spirit of the Age

We are living in days of tangled thinking. Purposes, ideals, motives and ideas are all crashing. Lawlessness and revolutions have now become the spirit of the age. And it has penetrated into every realm of human thinking.

The Apostle Paul warned us that in the latter days a spirit of lawlessness would prevail in the entire world. We are told that this spirit of lawlessness is the spirit of antichrist. The New Testament even warns that this spirit will invade the church and that the church must constantly be on her guard. 

Mental revolution is in the air. People are turning consciously or unconsciously against the established thing. In every relationship of life, some of the commonly accepted opinions have been thrown on the scrap heap. Any method or idea that is old has come under suspicion. There is a general opinion that if an idea is to be useful in this generation, it must be new. 

There is a revolt against authority of all kinds. Lawlessness is the spirit of the times. Analyze every expression of it, and you will find in it an unwillingness to be controlled. Tradition, substance and precedent are all discarded. Moral standards are laughed at and the church is considered a useless institution. In the United States, even the Constitution is considered out-of-date.

Jesus Christ can give mental rest to those who are confused and bewildered. He can quiet your heart and give you inner serenity and joy if you will let Him have control of your mind and heart. 

Today there is revolution in the industrial world. It is too bad that in labor-management discussions, selfishness reigns. Selfishness is sin, and people are sinners. The heart must be made right before there can be any proper adjustment of external affairs. 

The spirit of lawlessness is in the home. There is very little discipline in many homes. Each child is a law unto himself. The modern rendering of Paul’s familiar injunction might well be, “Parents, obey your children, for this is right.” In many of our homes, if there is a voice of authority at all, it is the voice of the child. Parents have little or nothing to say about the life of the child. As a result of all this, there is a grand rush for amusement on the part of the children. 

If children do not hear in the home a voice that speaks with authority, how can we expect them to obey any authority? We are now reaping exactly what we have sown for many years. We have allowed our children to run wild without discipline. 

There is one answer to the many problems that beset the average home, and that is Jesus Christ. As Christ blessed the home of Mary and Martha long ago, so He can bless your home. If the individuals in your home will put their trust in Him, there is not a problem that you and your family face today but what He has a solution. 

There is a revolution in the realm of morals. Never in the history of the world have we seen such a casting aside of moral restraint. Things that a generation ago were considered shocking are now accepted as commonplace. The entire country is obsessed with an excess of sexual individualism. The principal topic of conversation seems to be sex. Why are we suffering from such an excess? Because all the Christian social barriers and moral restraints have been broken down. People have little or no restraint. They refuse to be controlled. They insist on setting their own standards. 

If the church raises its voice against the deplorable morals of our day, we are called old-fashioned and puritanical. The moral restraint placed by God upon men and women is now laughed at and ridiculed. Every person wants to do what is right in his or her own eyes. A congressman once told me that immorality was the curse of Washington. Where will this end? Where will it stop? How much farther can we go without falling apart at the seams? 

There has never been a nation in the history of the world that has ever improved morally apart from a revival. Nearly all great nations of the past have been destroyed by disintegration of moral character. That is now happening in the United States. History gives us only one remedy, and that is a spiritual revival. As revival injected into Great Britain brought a new moral fiber during the days of Wesley, so turning to Christ now can save us. 

I warn you—the issue in the United States at this moment is not political. It is spiritual. What are we going to do with Jesus Christ? That’s the question that should confront every person today. The modern expressions of revolutions are the natural results of a lawlessness in the hearts of men. We are rebels against God. 

Thank God, however, there is a splendid company of people who have not bowed the knee to Baal. The true child of God has nothing to fear in all of today’s threatening situations.

God is not surprised at these happenings. He is not dependent upon our puny plans and political conventions for a solution. The hope of the world is the Man whom the world has rejected. It is for us to uphold that God-man, Jesus, as Redeemer and Savior and leave the rest to Him. 

There are times when revolts and revolutions are right and just. Great Britain has the Magna Carta because of her revolution. The United States has its Declaration of Independence because of a revolution. 

We have come to a place where we must have another revolution if we are to be saved. The church must lead this revolution. We must have a revolution against corruption in high places, against immorality, licentiousness and sensuality, which are pervading every realm of our society. We must have a revolt against alcoholism and drug trafficking. We must have a revolt against lying, cheating and cutting corners in business. We must have a revolt against discrimination because of race, color or creed. We need a revolt against hypocrisy, spiritual indifference and slothfulness on the part of church members. 

I call upon the church today to fall on its knees before God and ask the God and Captain of our salvation to lead us in a spiritual revolution that will shake the very foundations of the social structure. 

Christianity is not a religion for weaklings. The challenge of the hour in which we live is so tremendous that it calls for the very best in us. We must be strong, virile and dynamic if we are to stand. The only thing that can give us this moral spiritual strength is a return to Christ. Unless we turn to Christ, I despair for our future. I am convinced that unless we have a great spiritual revival, we cannot endure much longer. We are at enmity against God. We have disobeyed His laws. 

We are fighting and rebelling against God and His plans, laws, statutes and commandments. The Bible says that we are enemies of God. However, thanks be unto God, there is a way to be reconciled to Him. The Scripture says, “For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life” (Romans 5:10). 

An enemy, reconciled, is a friend. A disturbed relationship has thus been made right, and the result is one of joy and satisfaction with each other. This is what God has done through Christ Jesus. Man, the enemy of God, has been reconciled through the death of Jesus Christ, and, the Bible says, “… much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life” (Romans 5:10). 

The Bible teaches that you are at enmity with God, that you are separated from God. The Bible teaches that there is no way back to God except through Jesus Christ. And if God says that to the individual, God also says it to the nation. Until this nation humbles itself and prays and seeks God and falls upon its face and receives Christ as Savior, there is no hope. There is only one road—one way out—and that is through a personal knowledge of Jesus Christ. 

And for your own personal life—the problems you face and the sins that beset your soul—there is only one way to peace, joy, rest and the hope of eternal life. That is by personal faith in Jesus Christ. Right where you are now, you can say “Yes” to Christ. You can trust Christ. You can surrender yourself to Christ. ©1957 BGEA

The Scripture quotation is taken from The Holy Bible, New King James Version.

Say Yes to Christ!

Jesus Christ is the only One who can save your soul and give you real hope. What do you need to do to be saved? First, confess your sin and turn away from it. Second, receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior, putting your faith in Him alone to save you. You can do that right now. He promises to live in you and transform your life. You can have a new life, a new beginning, if you will surrender to Christ.


You can pray a prayer like this:

“Dear God, I know that I am a sinner. I’m sorry for my sin. I want to turn from my sin. Please forgive me. I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son; I believe He died on the cross for my sin and You raised Him to life. I want Him to come into my heart and take control of my life. I want to trust Jesus as my Savior and follow Him as my Lord from this day forward. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”


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Photo: Russ Busby/©1957 BGEA

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