ON CHRIS­TIAN­ITY

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - STYLE - BILLY GRA­HAM Write to Billy Gra­ham in care of Billy Gra­ham Evan­ge­lis­tic As­so­ci­a­tion, 1 Billy Gra­ham Park­way, Char­lotte, N.C. 28201 or visit the web­site at bil­ly­gra­ham.org

DEAR REV. GRA­HAM: Do you con­sider your­self an op­ti­mist or a pes­simist? I ad­mit I’m a pes­simist, be­cause I don’t see much hope of the world ever get­ting any bet­ter. Do you?

— F.R. DEAR F.R.: If I only looked at what is hap­pen­ing in the world to­day (or for that mat­ter, what has hap­pened through­out his­tory) then I too would be a pes­simist. The writer of Ec­cle­si­astes in the Bible put it this way: “What has been done will be done again; there is noth­ing new un­der the sun” (Ec­cle­si­astes 1:9).

But I am not a pes­simist — and the rea­son is be­cause I’ve read the last chap­ters of the Bible. The fu­ture is in God’s hands, and some day He will in­ter­vene and all the evil and heartache we presently ex­pe­ri­ence will come to an end. Je­sus Christ will re­turn to es­tab­lish His king­dom, and He will rule the world in per­fect jus­tice and peace. We can hardly imag­ine this — but it’s true. The Bible says, “Na­tion will not take up sword against na­tion, nor will they train for war any­more” (Isa­iah 2:4).

Why does the world never seem to get any bet­ter? Why do wars and con­flicts still threaten us? I’m thank­ful for ev­ery ef­fort that’s made to bring about peace, and some­times they are suc­cess­ful — at least for a time. Je­sus said, “Blessed are the peace­mak­ers, for they will be called chil­dren of God” (Matthew 5:9).

But why don’t our ef­forts at peace last? Why can’t we seem to get along with one an­other — even in our own fam­i­lies? The prob­lem is within us — within our own hearts and minds. And this is why we need Je­sus Christ, for only He can trans­form our hearts and re­place our self­ish­ness and hate with His love and com­pas­sion. Is this hap­pen­ing with you? Sub­mit your life to Him to­day.

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