What are some practical steps we can take to live our lives fully, and appreciate each day?
Someone once observed that there are three days a week that we have no control over—yesterday, today, and tomorrow. We only have this moment in time, and we are confronted constantly with decisions about something. The most important decision anyone can make right now is where they will spend eternity. There is nothing more practical than to find truth that will guide us through each step of the day. Jesus said, “I tell you the truth…I have come that [the people] may have life, and have it to the fullest” (John 10:10 NIV). Today technology guides us by GPS. It knows where we are and can direct us to where we are headed. It will give step-by-step instruction—even help us avoid construction zones and traffic tie-ups. We may not understand how this works but we gladly accept the help. We’ve become dependent on this little device—we believe it will do what it promises. But when God who watches our every move from His throne in Heaven longs to guide each step we take in life, we turn away because we do not believe in Him. There is a profound passage in the Bible that says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV). The most practical decision we can ever make in life is to place ourselves in the hand of God who stands ready to forgive us of our sin against Him. He offers the gift of salvation through the sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ who paid our penalty so that we might have a relationship with Him and live life to its fullest. We are walking through this world blind, not knowing what the next moment will bring; yet God says, “I will bring the blind by a way they did not know… I will make darkness light before them, and crooked places straight” (Isaiah 42:16 NIV). This is the reason for my hope.
What new challenges do religious people face in the internet age?
The Information Highway intrigues me because I have always been a newshound; I have always been curious about why people believe what they believe. While I have never learned to use a computer, I am surrounded by family and friends who carry information to me from blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and various websites. There is no question that the Internet has allowed the Gospel of Jesus Christ to be carried to places I have never been. The danger is that it has given a platform to so many who speak out on every issue imaginable; stories become airborne and truth often gets twisted. People speak at times when they should be silent—particularly when they cannot support what they say and when they lead others astray. You may be surprised to learn that the ancient Holy Scriptures—the Bible—the best-selling Book of all time, speaks of such things. It tells us not to speak ill of others, not even in our own homes, “for a bird may carry your voice, and a winged messenger may repeat what you say” (Ecclesiastes 10:20 NEB). Technology has the ability to do this today. I encourage people to be guided by the Word of God when searching for truth, for God is the source of all truth. When technology is used to carry Good News it can be a vehicle of blessing.
What advice do you have for those who feel hopeless?
I am deeply aware of the enormous problems that face our world today and the dangerous trends that lead people into utter despair and chaos. The Bible calls this being under the power of the “god of this age” (2 Corinthians 4:4) who is Satan. He has blinded the minds of those who do not believe in Jesus Christ so that the light of the Gospel will have no impact. The Bible gives us warning to be “saved from this perverse generation” (Acts 2:40). Hopelessness can be replaced with hope by turning to Jesus Christ who willingly saves us out of our sin. When He returns to this earth as He has promised, a new social order will emerge. A fabulous future is on the way. The second coming of Christ will be so revolutionary that it will change every aspect of life on this planet. Disease will be eliminated. Death will be abolished. War will be eradicated. Nature will be transformed. The key is to know and belong to Christ. This is the hope for real change. We cannot change our past, but we can change our future through believing in the God of hope.
Billy Graham’s new book is available for pre-order here.