In the following message, originally preached in 1960, Billy Graham points to the reason for world chaos, unrest and evil. And he tells what the Bible says about the solution. Regardless of the specific situations, the root problem and God’s solution remain the same today.
There is no adequate explanation for what is happening throughout the world except that there is a moving of gigantic spiritual forces of evil that are gaining momentum and strength, and that behind these activities are the person and power of Satan.
The Scripture says: “We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).
Those who do not study the Bible cannot possibly see beyond human affairs. They see only the human actors in the drama of history. Wicked rulers, ruthless dictators, tyrants, oppressors, kings, governors and presidents are to them the only real characters in the drama of political life. They have no conception of the unseen realm of evil personalities that energize and motivate these human agents.
Nevertheless, the Bible is clear that the unseen personalities of the evil, supernatural sphere are just as real–and even more active–than their visible human agents. Any true interpretation of history must take into account this invisible demon activity and warfare that has been waged for centuries.
The Bible teaches that demonic activity has always been prominent in history, but as the age draws to a close, it will be intensified. God is permitting, under certain restrictions, Satan and his myriad demon helpers to work at his unholy ambition.
However, Scripture promises that Satan’s program is doomed to failure and destruction. This doom and destruction began at the cross, where Christ died for our sins. It continued with the triumph of the resurrection, and it is going to be culminated at the coming again of Jesus Christ. Satan’s destruction will demonstrate to the entire universe the folly of a creature acting in independence of and in opposition to God.
Though Satan’s powers are curbed by God, he nevertheless exercises tremendous authority and power today. Paul referred to Satan as the “prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience” (Ephesians 2:2). Jesus referred to him as the “ruler of this world” (John 12:31). The Bible teaches that those outside of Christ can be organized and directed by Satan in a great evil federation. Because the world system has rejected Christ, it furnishes an ideal sphere for the operation of Satan and his demons.
In order to oppose this violence, revolution and chaos throughout the world, spiritual forces must be employed. Some politicians say that the answer to our problems is to spend more money and build a bigger military machine. I warn you that this is a deception.
The world battle is being fought on a spiritual level. Our desperate need is for a spiritual counterrevolution that will throw back the forces of evil. I am convinced that on the spiritual battlefield, Christ has taken up His position and is summoning His followers to stand with Him.
God said in the Book of Ezekiel, “I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one” (Ezekiel 22:30). But we have such a One–Jesus Christ.
The people for whom God is waiting are men and women who have caught the vision of the battlefield with all its possibilities and perils, who are awake to the devices of the enemy, and who have set themselves in union with the living Christ to attack every position Satan occupies and give deliverance from his oppression.
There can be no victory while we depend on military power alone. There can be no victory as long as we depend on our wealth to buy more friends around the world. We will only be postponing the day of reckoning. Our only hope is that the remnant of God’s people will pay the price of intercession, prayer and obedience.
A few years after King Jehoshaphat came to the throne, a great multitude from beyond the sea came against him. There seemed no possibility of victory. There was only one way out of the difficulty, and he took it. Desperately he called upon the Lord and proclaimed a fast throughout all of Judah. A swordless victory was won because the Israelites first repented of their sins and sought the Lord.
On the spiritual battlefield today, the Lord is calling for volunteers who will pay the price to throw back the enemy. It is in prayer and obedience that we fight the battle. Because of the authority that belongs to the crucified and risen Son of God, situations on the earth can be controlled, forces in the unseen realms moved, changes effected, powers of evil dislodged and routed, and the purposes of God pressed forward to final triumph.
World leaders have asked me, “What is wrong with the world? Why can we not solve our problems?” Each time I have replied, “It is impossible for you to understand what is happening in the world until you understand that this is spiritual warfare.”
The Bible teaches that the whole human race has a spiritual disease, a disease called sin. It has gripped the human heart. Until we understand that man is sinful before God and that he has the possibility of being controlled by evil forces under the direction of Satan, we never will understand what is wrong with our world.
In this hour of the plight of the nation, we should not ignore the hand of God, which has worked miracles of deliverance when God’s people have understood that the problem is sin, repented of their sin and turned to God. The tragedy is that we have so few statesmen who understand what is actually happening in our world.
Let us stand together in prayer, making possible a release of divine power in this nation. The call to each of us who loves Christ is to pray for His intervening mercies.
Mere eloquence in prayer is without value. Moses stammered, but his prayer was answered. Hannah muttered words that men misunderstood, but she triumphed in her intercession. Her problem was physical barrenness; our problem today is that we are spiritually barren.
Oh, that Christians would cry with passion for the lost and unconverted, that they might be born from above. Oh, that the thousands of pastors might be heartbroken about the barrenness of their people.
Spiritual revival comes as a result of the broken and contrite church, bowed in supplication and intercession, distressed at the sight of perishing millions. They may wait for days, weeks and even months until the Spirit of God moves upon and through them, until Heaven opens in revival blessing and a nation is stirred and blessed and even saved. In our barrenness today, let us call upon God and believe He will give us fruit in this hour of world crisis.
I am convinced that hell’s legions can be stopped and turned back. I am convinced that the invading heathen darkness can be hurled back. It is not too much to believe that the Lord can endue people with a baptism of the Holy Spirit for this end-time ministry as He did at Pentecost. Then Jerusalem trembled under the God-intoxicated men from the Upper Room.
It is not too much now to believe that God can shake this nation in a matter of months. But we must repent of our unbelief, weep over our unfruitfulness and take time to be holy.