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The Cross – A Message of Hope from Billy Graham

Today, the Holy Spirit moved in my heart to share my thoughts about The Cross – A Message to America.

The Cross does contain an offensive message, but it offends as it calls us to a life of love and hope, that all the riches of the world cannot offer. I saw a wealthy man cry because he felt so poor in his soul.  He had every material thing he could ever want – houses, jewelry, a luxury yacht and the lust of many women. He turned to drugs and alcohol to ease the agonizing pain in his soul. He lost all of his wealth to the personal hell of his addictions, dealing with drug pushers to get his next fix.

The tavern ministry team I was on accompanied him to our church at the time, which was The Salvation Army North York Temple. We led him in the sinner’s prayer.  That man became rich beyond measure.  Sadness was replaced with joy – a joy that comes from really knowing Christ.

Billy Graham says we deserve judgment and Hell for our sins. ” The Cross is an offense to us because it demands, it doesn’t suggest, it demands a new lifestyle in all of us.  Sin is a disease in the human heart. It affects the mind and the will and the emotions. Every part of our being is affected by this disease. How can we break this bondage? How can we be set free?”

Billy Graham says we can break the hold sin has over us by becoming new creatures in Christ. God doesn’t judge us because of our past, no matter how dark it is with addiction, abuse, depression or even thoughts of suicide. He offers all of us the gift of His unconditional love that only asks that we repent, meaning we turn away from our sinful life. He can make a beautiful diamond of grace from all the garbage in your life if you reach out to Him in faith and ask Him to make a totally new person out of you.

I accepted Christ over 30 years ago. There have been hills and there have also been deep valleys in my walk with my Lord.  God even brought me to the gates of death itself, so I would make a full surrender of my life to Him.

My blood oxygen went down to 77% at Toronto General Hospital in 2009. An accumulation of mucus from an allergic reaction was causing me to choke. God needed to know if I was willing to surrender my very physical life to Him if He required it of me.

My wife, Karen, was by my bedside tears flowing down her face. No sooner would mucus be suctioned out only to have more come. I could feel myself drifting further away from life and closer to death. The chaplain held my hand as she asked me with directness and a heart of Christ’s loving concern, “Kevin, if the Lord asks it of you are you willing to release your physical life to Him?” I hesitated. I was prepared to say no, knowing it would mean my death, so God turned up the heat. He allowed even more mucus to accumulate. Finally, I gave in, nodding yes that I was willing to die if my Lord asked it of me.

Slowly, my oxygen saturation improved. I would be in the hospital two more weeks and several weeks more recovering at home. God would have taken my life if I hadn’t submitted to Him. My Lord was just waiting for my yes.

I beg of you, please don’t put yourself through the hell I did through my own wilful stubbornness. God is prepared to take you to death itself if you continue to refuse to fully submit to His will.

As you watch this video I leave you with this quote from St. Thomas Aquinas to prayerfully consider.

The soul is like an uninhabited world
that comes to life only when
God lays His head
against us.

Will you lay your weary head on God today?

Allow God to search your heart as you seek to answer this question.

The grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.