DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: A few weeks before Christmas, a group claiming to be pagans demanded the city take down its holiday decorations (although they aren’t really Christian; just snowflakes, candy canes and things like that). Were they sincere, do you think, or just trying to get some attention? — D.W.
DEAR D.W.: They may or may not have been sincere, but I have no doubt that some like them definitely are sincere and are definitely opposed to anything even remotely related to Jesus’ birth, life or influence. I often think of the Bible’s warning that in the latter days, “People will be lovers of themselves … not lovers of the good” (2 Timothy 3:2, 3).
It was never easy to be a true follower of Jesus in the past, nor is it today. For one thing, although Christ has come to live within us by his spirit, our old sinful nature still lives on, and Satan will do everything he can to get us to obey it instead of Christ. This is why we need to stay close to God every day, praying, studying the Bible, drawing strength from other believers. Is this happening in your life?
We also live in a world that doesn’t have the same goals we do and doesn’t live by the same standards we do. Sometimes it may ignore Christians or dismiss them as insignificant, but more often it opposes them. Jesus warned, “If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also” (John 15:20).
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Pray for those who are opposed to the truth of the Gospel, that God will turn back their efforts and convict them of their need of him. Most of all, pray that you and the other Christians in your community will be living demonstrations of Christ’s love and compassion and truth. Jesus said, “You are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14).
Write “My Answer,” Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; or go to BillyGraham.org.
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