merica has gone a long way down the wrong road. We must turn around and go back and change roads. If ever we needed God's help, it is now..."
- stated Billy Graham, as he received the Congressional Gold Medal, May 2, 1996.
Billy Graham continued:
"If ever we needed spiritual renewal, it in now. And it can begin today in each one of our lives, as we repent before God and yield ourselves to Him and His Word."
Billy Graham has had an unprecedented friendship with every U.S. President since Truman.
Born NOVEMBER 7, 1918, Billy Graham wanted to be a baseball player, but after attending a revival at age 16, his life changed. He became an evangelist and addressed crowds around the world.
At a news conference, March 21, 1956, President Eisenhower stated:
"This is what I see in Billy Graham - A man who clearly understands that any advance in the world has got to be accompanied by a clear realization that man is, after all, a spiritual being."
John F. Kennedy told the Presidential Prayer Breakfast, March 1, 1962:
"We bear great responsibilities and great burdens not only to ourselves in this country but to so many around the world...
I commend...Reverend Billy Graham, who has served this cause about which I speak so well here and around the world. He has, I think, transmitted this most important quality of our common commitments to faith in a way which makes all of us particularly proud."
Ronald Reagan introduced Billy Graham at a California rally:
"Why is a representative of government here? To welcome with humble pride a man whose mission in life has been to remind us that in all our seeking...the answer to each problem is to be found in the simple words of Jesus of Nazareth, who urged us to love one another."
Billy Graham stated:
"Bad politicians are elected by good people who don't vote."
Upon receiving the Congressional Gold Medal, May 2, 1996, Billy Graham continued his message, "The Hope for America":
"After World War II...we had the opportunity to rule the world...
Something has happened since those days and there is much about America that is no longer good...the list is almost endless...
We have confused liberty with license - and we are paying the awful price. We are a society poised on the brink of self-destruction..."
Billy Graham continued:
"What is the problem? The real problem is within ourselves...
I believe the fundamental crisis of our time is a crisis of the spirit.
We have lost sight of the moral and spiritual principles on which this nation was established - principles drawn largely from the Judeo-Christian tradition as found in the Bible...
What must be done?
Let me briefly suggest three things.
First, we must repent. In the depths of the American Civil War, Abraham Lincoln called for special days of public repentance and prayer.
Our need for repentance is no less today.
What does repentance mean?
Repentance means to change our thinking and our way of living. It means to turn from our sins and to commit ourselves to God and His will.
Over 2700 years ago the Old Testament prophet Isaiah declared
"Seek the Lord while he may be found, call on Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the Lord, and He will have mercy on him, and to our God, for He will freely pardon" (Isaiah 55: 6-7, NIV)..."
Billy Graham added:
"Second, we must commit our lives to God, and to the moral and spiritual truths that have made this nation great.
Think how different our nation would be if we sought to follow the simple and yet profound injunctions of the Ten Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount.
But we must respond to God, Who is offering us forgiveness, mercy, supernatural help, and the power to change."
Billy Graham concluded:
"Third, our commitment must be translated into action - in our homes, in our neighborhoods, and in our society.
Jesus taught there are only two roads in life. One in the broad road that is easy and well-traveled, but which leads to destruction.
The other, He said, is the narrow road of truth and faith that at times is hard and lonely, but which leads to life and salvation...
What are YOU going to do?...
As I look out across this distinguished group gathered here, I see more than a few men and women who have what it takes, under God, to lead our country forward 'through the night'"