The second day of the Billy graham crusade proved to be the largest one, as the crowd experienced a 20,000 increase since yesterday up to the 80,000 mark.
Special guests included the Mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg who spoke at the opening address, top CCM artists, Nicole C. Mullen, Jars of Clay, and Tree63, and also a surprising visit from former President Clinton accompanied by his wife Sen. Hillary Clinton who came to greet Graham at his last event.
On stage, the former President thanked and blessed Billy for his 60 years of service to Christ. Clinton recalled knowing Graham ever since an event 46 years ago in Arkansas where Graham refused to preach to an audience had been experiencing bitterness as the state faced school segregation issues. “Hillary and I are honored to be here. It has been 46 years since I first attend my Billy Graham crusade. So I have been doing this a long time. I want to tell you all, what an honor it is for me to be here. He is about the only person I have known [who has] given over to live his faith.”
“They have been wonderful friends for many years and I feel very close to them. Many years ago, when I was speaking and he was in the audience, he has just spoken and I told him that when he left the Presidency, he should be a evangelist. Because he has all the gifts and he can leave his wife to run the country,” said Rev. Graham.
In the latter part of his message, Rev. Graham appeals to millions of youth beyond the crowd, calling them to acknowledge their universal longing of living meaningful lives. Referring to pop cultural contexts, Rev. Graham said:
“I read the other day a discouraging quote by Madonna. She said, ‘you read about the senseless killing, the famine, and I think where is this all going, where is the hope in life, is there a life beyond this world that we live in? Some of you are asking the same question. Why are you here? Where are you going?’
“On March 14th’s Time Magazine, the cover had a photo of a lifeless woman. She had three children clinging to her and the headline said, ‘How to end poverty.’ 8 million people die because they are too poor to live. It rips my heart, how can this be, but this is our reality. We live in a ravaged planet, the sky, the sea, the human family. But there is another type of poverty. Where longings are never satisfied and the hopes are unrealized and the fears are growing.
“Some of you tonight are in this situation. You have a boyfriend or girlfriend who left you or a death in the family or habit that you cannot control. The Bible says that God has put eternity inside of you, we long to know exactly what life is about. We live in denial everyday, but this is the inescapable truth. We have to live better life.
“Bono from U2 came to me and he composed a song. In his song, he said we are stranded by skin and bones… St. Augustine said that our hearts are restless until we find rest in you…
“At the Millenium, MTV counted down top rock songs of all time. The #1 song, do you know what it was? Satisfication, by the Rolling Stones, the opening line became the anthem of youth today. ‘I can’t get no satisifcation, but I’ve tried, and I’ve tried, and I’ve tried.’
“Jesus said to this young man, come to me you who are weary and burden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke up on you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest…
“You come to Jesus tonight, let him control your life and it will change your life... What young men want is that they want to be loved. And the Bible teaches us that God loves you and God loves everyone here… [Youth] want to be listened to, forgiven, they want the security and the discipline. They want something, or someone to believe in. They want to believe in something that satisfies their heart and gives them assurance…
“Buddha said at the end of his life, I am still looking for the truth. Jesus is the truth. Some of you are looking for satisfaction from drinking. But it is not there. You tried to find answer in sex but it is not there. There is pleasure in sex, no harm and no sin in sex, unless you are not according to the word of God. There is an emptiness and loneliness after it is all over.
“When this young man came to Jesus and asked what do I have to do to inherit eternal life, he asked the right question, he came at the right time, he came at the right answer, but he did the wrong thing. Jesus loved, Jesus loves you tonight, no matter what is wrong in your life. And he can change the life.”
Towards the end of the night, hundreds lined-up towards the altar waiting to meet counselors for the altar calling. Tonight, thousands, from renown figures to young students, whom Rev. Graham had touched all showed their appreciation to the Rev. Graham for his steadfast evangelistic efforts.