Amid multiple intense hurricanes, a powerful earthquake, wildfires and worldwide unrest, many are compelled to ask - are we living in the End Times? Evangelist Billy Graham says that while the world is arguably the most dangerous it has ever been, it's important to remember that evil will not win, and some day Christ's victory over evil and injustice will be complete.
In a recent "My Answers" blog post on the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association website, the 98-year-old evangelist responded to a question posed by a reader.
"I can't help but wonder if we're living in the last days," the reader wrote. "Are we? There's so much conflict and turmoil in the world, and I don't see any answer unless God intervenes and brings it all to an end. Am I being too pessimistic?"
Graham first agreed that we are, indeed, living in a world that is "constantly torn by conflict and chaos and fear."
"And because of the development of nuclear and biochemical weapons of mass destruction, the world is arguably the most dangerous it has ever been," he said. "Jesus warned that as the end of the present age approaches, 'You will hear of wars and rumors of wars. ... Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom' (Matthew 24:6-7)."
However, Jesus also cautioned against trying to predict exactly when He would come again, or when the present age would come to an end.
"From time to time people have ignored His warning, claiming they knew exactly when Christ was coming-only to be discredited," Graham said. "At the same time, Christ repeatedly promised that someday God will intervene and Christ will come again to rule in perfect justice and peace. No wonder the Bible calls this 'the blessed hope-the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ' (Titus 2:13)."
In the midst of our chaotic world, it's important to take comfort in the fact that evil will not win, and some day Christ's victory over evil and injustice will be complete, Graham said.
"Take comfort especially in the fact that when we know Christ and have committed our lives to Him, we have hope-hope for our lives right now, and hope for all eternity," he concluded. "In the meantime, make it your goal to live for Christ, and to point others to the peace and hope we have in Him."
Billy Graham's son, Franklin Graham, weighed in on the same issue in a recent Facebook post.
"Wildfires raging on the West Coast. Violent hurricanes, one after the other, ravaging everything in their paths, with one of the worst - Irma-bearing down on Florida. A magnitude 8.1 earthquake shook the southern parts of Mexico this week, and we even recently experienced a rare solar eclipse," Graham said on Sunday.
"The Bible says in Luke 21:25, '...there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves.' In Matthew 24:7 it says, 'For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places.' These are some of the Biblical signs before Christ's return."
Graham, who is the CEO and president of Samaritan's Purse, one of the Christian relief groups helping in the hurricane disasters afflicting America, said "nobody knows the day or hour, not even the Son of God" - but it is a "reminder to all of us to be ready-to repent and confess our sins, and ask for God's forgiveness."