From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
The great 18th-century American preacher Jonathan Edwards wrote this about the Puritans who settled in America: “The practice of religion is not only their business at certain seasons, but the business of their lives.” The Puritans were ready to order their personal life, worship, church, business affairs, political views, even recreation according to the Bible’s commandments. What a contrast between the conduct of those earlier Christians and the permissiveness of our day!
Millions today want instant gratification. The whole world seems bent on pleasure that often brings pain. There, indeed, is an alarming preoccupation with self. When nations or individuals live only for pleasure, they begin to die morally and spiritually, oblivious to God’s will and scornful of His judgment.
The early fathers knew that the life of faith is a struggle. They knew, too, that sin is a stubborn reality and that believers are not immune to affliction, poverty, and suffering. Still they persevered in their faith. Like these our spiritual forefathers, may it be said of us that our faith is “the business of [our] lives” and we must protect the freedoms we have to worship the one true God, as we ought to protect the freedoms in this country as granted by Almighty God. May we never tire of exemplifying our trust and faith in Him, and pray that those who seek to take away such God-given rights will be convicted and turn to God who is ready to save all sinners.
“To know wisdom and instruction … justice, judgment, and equity … a wise man will hear and increase learning” (Proverbs 1:2, 3, 5).
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)