a message for Christians

Admired evangelist Billy Graham is now 98-years-old and he has an important message to deliver to all of humankind before he passes away. It’s a message that everyone should heed, especially nowadays.

Billy Graham wants people to know that the devil is real. The devil is the root of all evil and he is everywhere around us. He is a “powerful, spiritual being whose goal is to turn us away from God.”

In a column he wrote, he said one of the devil’s greatest tricks is to convince people that he doesn’t exist.

“But Satan really does exist-just as surely as God exists. And he isn’t just a vague, impersonal force; he is a real person-that is, he has a real personality. Just as you and I can think and make decisions and act, so Satan can think and make decisions and act. The difference is that everything he does is evil-without exception-because he is totally opposed to God.”

Citing scripture as proof, Billy Graham wrote that “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against… the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12). Billy Graham believes that Satan is engaged in a “constant cosmic battle” with God and it reaches out and tempts our very souls. He is our enemy.

“The Bible says the most important fact you need to know about Satan, however, is that he is a defeated foe! By His death and resurrection Jesus Christ overcame all the powers of death and evil, and some day His victory will be complete. On whose side are you? Don’t turn your back on what Christ has done for you, but by faith put your life into His hands today.”

While Americans reportedly believe in God, they don’t believe so much in Satan. The Gospel Herald said a Gallup survey shows almost 90 percent of Americans do indeed believe in God, which is comforting. But only 61 percent believe in Satan, according to the survey.

The Gallup survey also asked respondents about their beliefs in angels, heaven, hell and Satan, with results showing beliefs in those four concepts dropped noticeably from 2007. This concerns Billy Graham, who said Satan is very much real.

“I also know Satan is real by looking at the world around me, and even within my own heart. How else can we explain terrorism, or racism, or injustice, or a hundred other examples of evil and destruction and brokenness? Satan, the Bible tells us, ‘was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him’ (John 8:44).”

In a similar column that appeared in The Kansas City Star, Billy Graham wrote that there are two important things to remember about Satan. First, he is a “very powerful spiritual being who is absolutely opposed to God.” Second, he will do everything he can to derail God’s plans. People should be wary.

“He tempts, he deceives, he destroys and he even kills when it suits his purpose. The Bible says, ‘Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him’ (1 Peter 5:8-9).”

Billy Graham’s overall message to people is not to buy into Satan’s “false promises.” Instead, turn to God and seek his help and his forgiveness. Only God can help humankind reject Satan’s temptations. His final bit of advice: “Jesus is the only way, truth and life.”

Sources: Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Gospel Herald, The Kansas City Star

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