Evangelist Billy Graham has encouraged believers to take comfort in the reality that one day, Jesus will return, and on that day, all wars will end and the world will finally find peace.
The 97-year-old Baptist minister made his comments in response to a question submitted to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
The questioner asked: Do you think the world will ever be at peace, and we won't need armies or weapons ever again? I get very depressed reading about all the wars that still go on, and I wonder if they'll ever end.
Graham first explained that unfortunately, "Conflicts and wars have raged almost since the beginning, when Cain killed his brother Abel (see Genesis 4). Even in our own time, terrorism and open warfare threaten many parts of the world."
Citing Matthew 24:6-7, Graham lamented that conflicts and wars will be ongoing until Jesus' return.
"You will hear of wars and rumors of wars. ... Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom," the verses read.
"The problem isn't just economic inequality, or racial conflict, or social injustice - although these are certainly serious issues," Graham wrote. "The problem is deeper than these, however - because the basic problem is within our own hearts and minds.
"Would wars happen if we weren't greedy, or power-hungry, or filled with envy and hate? This is why we need Christ, because only He can change our hearts and fill us with true peace and love. Have you opened your life to His transforming power?"
But there is hope for Christians, Graham reminded readers, because "some day all wars will cease - when Christ comes again!"
"He alone gives us hope for lasting peace - in our hearts, and in our world," the renowned evangelist leader concluded.
Billy Graham is one of North Carolina's most famous sons and has made the annual "Most Admired" list a record 58 times. Since beginning his ministry in 1947, Graham has written 33 books and preached in more than 185 countries.
The evangelist grew up in Charlotte and currently resides in Montreat, North Carolina. In addition to advising numerous political leaders, Graham is known for his crusades that brought the gospel to 215 million people, according to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
Just before his birthday, Billy Graham released his final book: "Where I Am: Heaven, Eternity, and Our Life Beyond."
"Heaven seems a mystery to many people," Graham writes. "They wonder if Heaven is above the lofty clouds, or if Heaven will come down to earth. When I am asked, 'Where is Heaven?' I simply answer: Heaven is where Jesus is."
Graham testifies about his confidence in his salvation. "[Jesus] told His disciples, 'I go to prepare a place for you ... that where I am, there you may be also!' So when my earthly life has ended and you wonder where I've gone, this will be the answer: I will be with Jesus-that's where I am."
This fall, the iconic statue of the evangelist will be moved from Nashville, according to LifeWay Christian Resources, and will be erected at the company's Ridgecrest Baptist Conference Center near Asheville, North Carolina.
Donated to LifeWay in 2006, the statue pays tribute to Graham's career as an author and evangelist, according to The Tennessean. During the presentation of the statue at the Southern Baptist Convention, sculptor Terrell O'Brien said he "tried to bring the Gospel to the forefront in this sculpture and pay tribute to a man who has dedicated his life to preaching all over the world without compromise."