From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
The greatest city on earth for 1,000 years, the dominating power of the world, a city of a million and a half people and the capital of the mightiest empire the world has known, built on seven hills—that was Rome. Gibbon’s Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire lists five contributing factors in its disintegration: (1) the rapid increase and the consequent undermining of the home; (2) the craze for pleasure; (3) the building of gigantic armaments when the real enemy was within; (4) the decadence of the people; (5) the decay of religion.
That which was the contributing cause of the downfall of the great nations of the past, entered the core of the Roman way of life until in A.D. 410 when Rome fell without a battle. Where were her mighty legions, strong shields and bucklers, and her mighty generals? They were powerless under the grip of the dread disease of sin! The foundations that had made her strong had been eaten by cancerous sin.
Our greatest enemy is the internal decadence that is causing us to rush faster than any civilization before us toward destruction and Hell. As a result, thousands of young people are coming out of our educational system either as skeptics, agnostics or atheists with little or no regard for God.
A U.S. governor declared, “Our country is sick because it has forgotten God. Democracy can be saved only by the spiritual strength God gives to His people, and spiritual life is needed today as it has never been before.” No nation which relegates the Bible to the background, which disregards the love of God and flouts His claims, can long survive.
The Bible says, “[God] makes nations great, and destroys them (Job 12:23). But the Psalmist also records God’s promise: “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord” (Psalm 33:12).
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)