Prepare for Persecution: A Message From Billy Graham

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Billy Graham gives five ways to fortify yourself in the days ahead.
Billy Graham gives five ways to fortify yourself in the days ahead. (Courtesy/BGEA)

3. Assimilate Scripture

Third, we should fortify ourselves with the Word of God. Begin reading, studying and memorizing Scripture as never before. The Bible says, "Stand therefore, having your waist girded with truth" (Ephesians 6:14). The truth is the Word of God. We are to be girded and undergirded with the Word. Read it, assimilate it, feed on it; let it be your staff and strength. It is quick and powerful. It is the bulwark of the soul. Too many Christians today are entangled with the affairs of this world, caught in a net of material interest and diversion. Scripture, to many, is little more than a reference book for biblical facts. It is seldom opened and rarely relished as the spiritual staff of life that it is.

Many souls are anemic and starved for the things of God. They are totally unprepared for a time of crisis. Store these Scriptures away so that if your Bible is ever taken from you, you will have the Word of God written on the tablet of your heart. Many stories have come out of prison camps, of Christians who had no Bibles but had committed to memory great portions of Scripture. What a comfort, blessing and strength these Scriptures were as they repeated them over and over again to themselves. One missionary who was in a concentration camp for three years in China told me that during that time his greatest regret was that he had not memorized more of the Bible.

4. Pray Always

Fourth, fortify yourself with prayer. The Bible, referring to "the evil day," says, "Pray in the Spirit always with all kinds of prayer and supplication" (Ephesians 6:18). If we are to stand uncompromisingly for Christ when a national crisis comes, we must rediscover the power of prayer.

The early church knew the value and necessity of prayer. Earnest, fervent prayer preceded every major triumph. Prayer preceded Pentecost. Peter and John were en route to the temple to pray when they witnessed for Christ, and thousands were converted. Paul and Silas prayed in prison, the Philippian jailer found Christ, and Paul and Silas were delivered.

If Christianity is to survive in a world filled with materialism, the church must have a revival of prayer. As individuals, we must repent of prayerlessness. The prayer meeting must become the vital institution it was when evangelical Christianity was the mightiest force in the world.

5. Meditate on Christ

Fifth, we must fortify ourselves by meditating upon the person of Christ. Charles Haddon Spurgeon once said, "There have never been 15 minutes in my life when I did not sense the presence of Christ." We must learn again to practice the presence of God. We must say with David, "Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer" (Psalm 19:14). Christ must be vitally real to us if we are to prove loyal to Him in the hours of crisis.

Will You Stand?

Today our nation ranks as the greatest power on the face of the earth. But if we put our trust in armed might instead of Almighty God, the coming conflict could conceivably go against us. History and the Bible indicate that mechanical and material might are insufficient in times of great crisis. We need the inner strength that comes from a personal, vital relationship with God's Son, Jesus Christ.

The wheels of God's judgment can be heard by discerning souls across the length and breadth of nations. Things are happening fast! The need for a return to God has never been more urgent.

The words of Isaiah are appropriate for us today: "Seek the Lord while He may be found, call you upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return to the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon" (Isaiah 55:6-7).

God needs men and women who will "stand in the evil day." Will you be one of them? Will you come to the cross and in humility confess your sins to God and receive Jesus Christ as Savior? Will you become one of God's warriors in this crisis hour? You can enlist today in the army of God by giving your life to His Son Jesus Christ and letting Him become the Captain of your soul. "Yet to all who received Him, He gave the power to become sons of God, to those who believed in His name" (John 1:12). ©1957 BGEA

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