Amid growing concern and speculation surrounding the End Times, evangelist Billy Graham has reminded those who put their faith in Christ that they need not worry about what the future holds.
In a recent advice column for the Kansas City Star, the founder of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association shared his thoughts in response to a question posed by a reader.
"I've heard a lot about asteroids that might hit the earth, or new diseases that could destroy all life, or new weapons of war, and I can't help but be worried about the future. Is this the way the world is going to come to an end?" the reader asks.
"The future is in God's hands, and that should give us great confidence and peace," writes Graham. "And it will, as we commit our lives to Christ and learn to trust Him in every situation. Then we can honestly say with the Psalmist, 'He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust,'" (Psalm 91:2).
Graham says the end of the world will unfold "in God's time and in God's way," but warns that one prominent sign of Christ's return will be renewed violence on Earth - "such as we are seeing today."
However, as wars and conflicts erupt all over the world, Graham writes, "The Bible says, 'When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. ... The end is still to come,'" (Mark 13:7).
"The world as we know it will only come to an end in God's time and in God's way - and only when He intervenes to usher in a perfect world of peace and righteousness," the theologian writes. "As the Bible says, 'In keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells,'"(2 Peter 3:13).
Recently, Billy Graham's son, Franklin, suggested that the world may be living in the end times, as we are currently experiencing a "global epidemic of political and economic instability" which could signal the return of Christ.
"While the United States is focused on its own politics, the world is unraveling," he cautioned. "The danger signals are everywhere."
Graham pointed to examples from around the world to demonstrate this point, such as the beheadings, rapes, murders and bombings taking place every day across North Africa, the Middle East, and India.
As the world is wallowing in "political and economic instability," it's not hard to realize that hope can only be found in Almighty God, Graham contended.
However, like his father, Graham ended with a note of encouragement for those who have placed their faith in God: "There is an eternal future with Him to look forward to," he wrote. "Jesus left us words of reassurance and hope, 'Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me...I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also' (John 14:1-3)."
While they frequently discuss the topic of the Second Coming of Christ, both Franklin and Billy Graham have stressed that Christians do not know specifically when certain things will occur.
As the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA), now headed by Franklin Graham, states: "All Christians do not agree on every detail of what will occur in the final events of this world's history. Some of these events and their order of occurrence have simply not been made clear in the Bible. What is important is that all Christians hold in common that Christ will ultimately return bodily, visibly, and gloriously to reign and rule with His resurrected and transformed saints forever and ever. The details of this great event will be made known in God's own time."