Franklin Graham: Sin Is the Problem

Oct 1, 2023 | News

You don’t need to look long to see that our country—and our world—is in serious trouble. Every day, we hear reports of growing crime, lawlessness and violence, and especially the bullying from those on the progressive left against those who stand publicly for God’s truth. Polls show that Americans are less religious, less patriotic and less Biblically literate than ever before, especially young adults.

Our nation is a staggering $33 trillion in debt. Many states are finding ways to expand abortions since the Supreme Court has struck down the national right to abortion. People are oddly confused about the definition of male and female. Even the newest Supreme Court justice, Ketanji Brown Jackson, couldn’t answer the question posed during her confirmation hearing of how to define a woman.

Abroad, nuclear saber rattling has been heightened among rogue nations like North Korea and Iran. The war in Ukraine has dragged on for nearly two years, and there are worries that the fighting could spread to nearby countries. Poland recently sent 10,000 troops to its eastern front with Belarus, where relocated Wagner mercenaries have dug in. Countries across sub-Saharan Africa have undergone coups. Three prominent politicians in Ecuador were assassinated on the eve of elections.

As ominous, chaotic and unsettling as all these troubles are, the Bible points to the fundamental, root cause of the turmoil that grips our world.

It’s sin.

From the fall in the Garden with Adam and Eve, until now, and until the Lord Jesus Christ returns to establish His Kingdom on Earth, sin has and will continue to infect and stain our planet. There is no place in the human heart or on the Earth where sin hasn’t wrought its deadly work.

Here’s how the Apostle Paul put it to the church at Rome:

“Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned” (Romans 5:12). Sin brought death, both physical and spiritual, to the entire human race. When you took your first breath, outside your mother’s womb, you were already a sinner, alienated and separated from a holy God.

“For the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23).

Greed, violence, pride, wickedness and evil of every sort are all the product of sinful hearts that need to repent and put their trust and hope in the substitutionary, sacrificial, all-sufficient, atoning death of Christ on the cross. Unregenerate behavior stems from an unregenerate heart and soul. When we see all manner of evil across the face of our nation and world, we should recognize that the fundamental issue is a sinful heart. Speaking of lost mankind, the Bible says “There is none righteous, no, not one … there is none who does good, no, not one” (Romans 3:10, 12).

Sin not only brings death and destruction, but it also horribly deceives. Remember that the enemy’s primary tactic in the Garden was to deceive Adam and Eve, causing them to doubt God’s spoken word, thus leading them into rebellion.

When a culture can no longer decide exactly what defines a man or woman, or accepts that a person can somehow change his or her biological identity and gender, it is gravely deceived. “So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (Genesis 1:27). When a culture thinks that gay and lesbian behavior is acceptable, it has been terribly deceived. The Bible warns us against “vile passions. … And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting” (Romans 1:26, 28).

The Prophet Jeremiah also was concerned about rampant sin when he wrote, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9).

When a culture thinks that a baby in the womb is simply a mass of tissue that can be clinically aborted with no consequences, it is completely deceived. “For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb … My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret” (Psalm 139:13, 15).

The only cure for sin is the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, who bore our sins on Calvary’s tree, so that we can be forgiven and receive new, everlasting life in Him. A transformation begins at salvation and continues throughout the believer’s entire life. This person has a transformed way of thinking and living, and seeks to live in obedience to the truth of God’s Word.

I just returned from a Crusade in London, where many repented of their sins and placed their faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. This fall, I will be preaching the transforming power of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ in Essen, Germany; and Rome, Italy. Early next year I am planning to preach in American cities along the Mexican border, from the mouth of the Rio Grande to the surf of the Pacific. I preach the Good News of God’s love and power to save through repentance of sin and faith in Jesus Christ, “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6).

I would appreciate your prayers as we go. The Bible says that believers are to be salt and light in whatever culture they may live. We are stewards of the transforming truth of God’s Word, and we can influence the culture through good works that glorify God and holy, obedient lives.

The Bible also instructs us as Christ-followers to live honorably, even in the midst of unbelievers, “that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God” (1 Peter 2:12). That’s what Christians are called to do, empowered by the Holy Spirit and endowed with new life in Jesus Christ.

Yes, the world is in trouble, but it aways has been since the fall. Our only hope has been, and always will be, the transforming power of the Gospel. ©2023 BGEA

Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, New King James Version.

Photo: Shealah Craighead/©2023 BGEA