Rev. Franklin Graham: Christmas Celebrates God’s Greatest Gift

Sunday, 25 Dec 2011 11:35 PM

By Henry J. Reske and John Bachman

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Christmas is a time to celebrate giving, as it marks God’s ultimate gift of his only son, Jesus Christ, to redeem humanity’s sins, the Rev. Franklin Graham tells Newsmax.

Graham, the son of renowned evangelist Billy Graham, didn’t hesitate for a second when asked during an exclusive Newsmax.TV interview what this season means, declaring: “We celebrate God’s love. That God gave his son. Jesus Christ is real. He’s God in flesh coming to this Earth to take the sins of mankind. The Bible says we’ve all sinned. We’ve all come short of God’s glory, his standards, but yet God gave his son to take our sins. The Bible’s very clear, very specific that he took our sins to the cross and he died and shed his blood on the cross.

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“That he was buried for our sins and that God raised him to life. And if we’re willing to accept Jesus Christ by faith — simply by faith — to believe in him and trust him, God will forgive our sins. He’ll heal our hearts, and we can have that hope of eternal life. So as we come to Christmas, it’s about God giving. It’s about God giving the greatest gift of all and that is his son, Jesus Christ, for our sins.”

Graham said that, in times of trouble, his faith gives him hope and serves as his anchor and foundation. In these tough economic times, people of all political persuasions pledge to turn things around, “but it seems like we only go further down in a tight spiral and it’s like we’re out of control,” he said.

“I believe we are out of control,” he said. “My hope is not in a party. My hope is in almighty God and I know that, when my life comes to an end, I know that I’m going to be received by God and he’s going to accept me in his presence not because I’m a good guy, not because I’ve done anything good — I’m a sinner. He’s going to receive me and accept me because I confessed my sins when I was 22 and I asked God to forgive me and I put my faith and trust in his son, Jesus Christ. My hope is not in this world. My hope is in heaven and in almighty God who is preparing a place for me one day and that’s what I look forward to.”

The 2012 election campaigns are occurring with the country at a crossroads in its history, with secularism rising and supplanting God, said Graham, CEO and president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and the international relief organization Samaritan’s Purse, which is noted especially for its Operation Christmas Child.

“When communism failed, secularism began to take root in this country in an accelerated way,” Graham said. “And we see that our nation has turned its back on God. Our members of Congress are turning their backs on God and his standards. It’s important that we elect leaders in Washington, men and women, who believe in God and who trust in him because we have turned our back on God and what has it gotten us? Are we a better nation for it? Do we have a better economy for it? Are our families better off for it?

“No, our families are disintegrating, our economy is disintegrating, our morals are disintegrating, and we need some leadership who will take a stand for morality, for what’s right, and not be afraid to speak out against those things that are wrong.”

The list of ills facing the country is long, and the poor economy is hurting the poor and middle class at every level, Graham said, adding that the country must curb spending.

“You cannot continue to give out and to continue these entitlements that we have gotten used to — we’ve become drunk on them. It’s going to have to stop,” he said.

“Whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican, sooner or later, the politicians are going to have to say we can’t do this anymore and someone’s going to have to be the bad guy and cut the flow of the money that’s just pouring out in every direction. If we don’t do this, we’ll be in trouble.”

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