Billy Graham on the Crisis of Moral Deterioration

By   •   May 27, 2015

The great need in America is not for a new organization. Our great need is not for more economic prosperity. Our great need is for a real spiritual awakening, a revival in which men and women will humble themselves and pray and turn from their wicked ways to the God of our fathers.

In my opinion we’ve had four major crisis periods in American history. The first was the Revolutionary War. We did not even know whether we could be born as a nation or not. It was my privilege to be at Valley Forge when President Eisenhower made this statement there: “This is where they got [our independence] for us.”

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In the midst of that winter, General Washington was seen time and again on his knees out in the snow calling upon God for victory. Out of that winter of prayer, George Washington led that little, beaten, discouraged, tattered army to a great victory that brought about the independence of the United States from Great Britain. I believe God helped that little army as it marched all the way to Yorktown.

The next great crisis in American history came when a Constitutional Convention was called in Philadelphia to ratify a Constitution for the new country that was being born. The delegates got angry with each other; they couldn’t agree on a thing. Benjamin Franklin eloquently called on the Convention to pray for God’s assistance: [“We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings, that ‘except the Lord build the House they labour in vain that build it.’ I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without His concurring aid, we shall succeed in this political building no better than the Builders of Babel.”]

Out of that Convention came the Constitution of the United States.

The next great crisis came during the Civil War. Men on both sides were killing each other, brothers against brothers, and it seemed that our little country would be torn apart. It seemed that we would become two separate nations or that some European power would come and take us over because we had weakened each other. But, thank God, on both sides we had some men and women who believed in God.

A man came to Abraham Lincoln one day and said, “Mr. Lincoln, don’t you believe that God is with us?” Mr. Lincoln said, “I’m not interested as to whether God is with us; I’m interested as to whether we are on God’s side.” President Lincoln called the nation to a day of prayer, and in his call of prayer he recommended individual repentance. He called for a renewed faith in God. He said, “We are a nation of sinful people, and God has brought us to this point; let us pray to God.”

The day that General Lee surrendered, President Lincoln called the Cabinet to prayer, and at the suggestion of the president the whole Cabinet dropped to its knees and offered thanks to Almighty God for the victory that preserved the Union.

Down in the South many people had also been praying. Robert E. Lee had been asked one day, “Aren’t you praying for victory?” General Lee said, “No, I’m praying that the will of God be done.” We believe that God’s will was done. The shackles of slavery were thrown off. The Union was preserved and the nation reunited.

The fourth great crisis in American history was not World War I. We were never threatened in World War I. Nor was it World War II. We were really never threatened as a nation in World War II. The fourth great crisis in American history is the crisis of the present moment. Our nation at this moment is being threatened as it has not been threatened since the Civil War. We are being threatened by moral deterioration.

We have seen this country plunging deeper and deeper, at a rapidly gaining momentum, into moral deterioration. Honesty and truthfulness have been thrown out the window. The nation is on a mad pursuit of amusements, pleasure and immorality.

The same symptoms that were in Rome during its last days are now seen and felt in America. Walk down the streets of our cities and see the current names of today’s films. Many are either psychopathic or centered on sex.

What is this country coming to?

We need a moral revival. We need a spiritual revival that will put a new moral fiber into our society, or we will have collapsed internally before any enemies even get here. We are being softened up right now by the devil for the kill.

We are also being threatened today by racial tension, strife that has at times brought us to the brink of cultural war between the great races in this country.

It is high time that we come to the foot of the cross. When you come to the foot of the cross and receive Christ as Savior, He gives you the capacity to love your neighbor.

There is no superior race in God’s sight. God does not look upon the outward appearance. God looks upon the heart. God sees our pride. We are going to have to come to where we love each other as neighbors and to where we look through the eyes of Jesus at sin.

God is looking for real and genuine repentance. To whom much is given, much is required. Much is given to America, and much shall be required of America.

There are several reasons why God has spared us this long. First is the very nature of God. Psalm 130:3 says, “If You, Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand?” The Bible teaches that God is a God of mercy, long-suffering and love. And God loves you as an individual. He is a God of mercy. He gave His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to die on the cross, to shed His blood for your sins, to rise again for your justification. He loves us, and every time I look at the cross I see written over it in letters of fire, “God is love, God is love, God is love. He loves you, He loves you.”

Second, He is not willing that any should perish. God does not want you to go to hell. He does not want you to be lost. He loves you so much that He sent His Son to die for you. But God gave you a will of your own. You can say “no” to God or you can say “yes” to God.

Third, God has spared America because of the great number of born-again Christians in America.

Isaiah 1:9 says, “Unless the Lord of hosts had left to us a very small remnant, we would have become like Sodom, we would have been made like Gomorrah.” If it were not for God’s people in this country, it would have been in hell long ago. Don’t despise that godly Christian who lives next door to you. Don’t laugh at that Christian student you go to school with. I tell you he, or she, is one of the reasons that this nation has the blessings and prosperity that it has.

But unless the Lord’s people discipline themselves to prayer, unless the Lord’s people discipline themselves to Bible study, unless the Lord’s people discipline themselves to living a Spirit-filled, Christ-honoring life, that blessing will not last very long.

There was a time when Christians would not dare to look at some of the things we are now seeing every day. We are gradually taking in the amusements and the pleasures until our spiritual life is being dulled and the Bible no longer has the glow to it. The time of prayer no longer has the desire that it used to have. You know that is true. We need to repent of our sins.

I am convinced that our nation is in peril. The handwriting is on the wall. The signs of the times are everywhere. American people cannot long continue in their moral degeneracy. A cancer is eating at the heart and core of the American way of life.

The Bible says that we are to humble ourselves. No man or woman can come to the kingdom of God proudly. You must come in humility.

The only prayer that you can pray if you have never come to Christ is, “God, be merciful to me a sinner” (Luke 18:13). Have you prayed that prayer?

I’m not asking if you have partaken of the sacraments. I’m not asking if you belong to a church. I’m asking you, have you said, “God, be merciful to me a sinner”? Have you come to the foot of the cross in humility and received Him as your Savior and Lord, and asked Him to cover your sins with His blood? If you haven’t, you can right now. Your life can be changed and transformed.

The only way that we can have our lives changed and find peace, joy and the fulfillment of life; the only way to have sin forgiven; the only way to know that you are going to Heaven, is to receive Christ as your Lord, Savior and Master. “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name” (John 1:12). “If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9).

The place where we belong is at the foot of the cross. The great need in America is not for more guns or more smart bombs—it is for more men and women who have been transformed by the power of Christ and are living dedicated lives for Christ in the office, on the production line and in the school. The great need is for men and women who will take their stand for the Lord Jesus Christ, no matter what the cost may be.

Receive Christ! Give your life to Him! ©1988 BGEA

Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, New King James Version.

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49 Comments

  1. Patricia Edgar says:

    This was so very well said. I know that it was put on his heart by God.

  2. Brady says:

    America needs revival. America needs a great awakening. Everyday it seems as if the United States is sinking farther and farther into the darkness of sin. May God have mercy on this nation and change the hearts of the people of this nation before it’s too late.

  3. Deborah B. says:

    A timely message – isn’t it amazing that this message was written over 27 years ago and is still so relevant? Praise God that He has spoken truth through Billy Graham, and Lord, Please have mercy on us as a nation. Like Adam was pleading for You to have mercy on Sodom, so shall I beg You Lord for mercy on America. May I ask that You spare this country if there is 10 righteous people in this land! For You are the God of mercy and love!!! Amen

  4. Busola says:

    So touched by this write up. This is a time for Christians to renew themselves. Thank you Billy Graham.

  5. Wayne Ware says:

    Victory for us to God’s Kingdom is right here in the Bible. All we have to do is read it, study it, obey it and live it. May God Bless all of us.

  6. Herbert Otim says:

    It was great message, I love it , it has changed my life… may God bless you….

  7. francis brampah says:

    God drive home message into every heart that reads it!
    What a warmth I receive!