In an exclusive interview, the Rev. Billy Graham tells Newsmax that President Obama’s “hope and change” mantra is nothing more than a cliché and warns that the nation faces increasing threats to civil and religious liberties from its government.
Graham, who is preparing for possibly his last crusade, this time via video, said America is drenched in a “sea of immorality” and suggested that the second coming of Christ is “near.”
Graham, who turns 95 this month, and just published his book, “The Reason for My Hope: Salvation,” was asked whether he believes the government may be so large and powerful, in light of the pervasive collection and monitoring of digital communications, that it becomes an inherent threat to basic human liberties.
“Our country is turning away from what has made it so great,” he continued, “but far greater than the government knowing our every move that could lead to losing our freedom to worship God publicly, is to know that God knows our every thought; he knows our hearts need transformation.”
Graham continues to share his message of God’s love, a message he has imparted faithfully for decades, despite faltering health in recent years.
He was hospitalized for pneumonia in 2011 and again last year due to a lung infection. He held his first crusade in September 1947, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He would go on to present over 400 crusades in 185 countries. But in the United States, he has probably received the most media attention for his role as a spiritual adviser to many presidents.
To say Graham’s ministry has had a far-flung impact would be an understatement. His staff has estimated that Graham led some 3.2 million people to faith in Christ.
When he made Gallup’s top 10 list of Most Admired Men in January, it marked the 56th time he made the list since 1955 — more than anyone else.
But perhaps his greatest legacy will be the members of his own family who carry on the spiritual tradition he established in 1950 when he founded the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA).
They include son Franklin Graham, president and CEO of the BGEA, and also the global Samaritan’s Purse charitable ministry.