Watch Billy Graham’s 30-minute program, “The Cross”
On his 95th birthday, Thursday, the best-known Protestant evangelist of the 20th century is releasing what is being described as possibly his final message.
The 30-minute program called "The Cross" – which is available now for viewing online – will be shown on a number of different broadcast outlets over the next several days, including the Fox News Channel and BlazeTV.
The broadcasts on the Fox News Channel are scheduled for Thursday night at 10 p.m. Eastern Time and Sunday night at 8 p.m. Eastern.
The Fox News broadcast Thursday night will be followed by a roundtable discussion led by Fox News host Sean Hannity.
In an interview on FNC's "Fox and Friends" show Thursday morning, Billy Graham's son, Franklin Graham, said his father's message hasn't changed in more than 65 years.
"His message is the same," he said, "and that is that God loves us and God cares for us, and our problem is that we are separated from God by our sins."
Franklin Graham, who now heads the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, said the focus of his father's message is "the true meaning of the cross," citing John 3:16 in the King James Version: "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life."
Billy Graham has preached to more people, 2.2 billion, than any Protestant in history and has appeared on Gallup’s list of the “Ten Most Admired Men in the World” an unprecedented 56 times since 1955.
As WND reported, more than 25,000 U.S. churches – one of every 12 – are participating in an outreach accompanying the showing of "The Cross" along with 2,300 churches in Canada. People are urged to show the broadcast in their homes, inviting neighbors and friends to join them.
'We're in a spiritual mess'
In the Fox News interview, Franklin Graham said he and his father are in agreement that America is in a political and economic "mess," but the main problem is "we're in a spiritual mess."
"Our country has turned its back on God," Franklin Graham said.
"And we've taken God out of our government."
He offered as an example a bill the Senate is preparing to pass that provides special job protections for homosexuals and transgendered people called the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, or ENDA.
Franklin Graham emphasized that the bill would require Christian organizations to hire people who "practice sexual sin" and who don't "believe what we believe."
He explained that "any type of sexual relations outside of the marriage relationship between a man and a woman is a sinful relationship."
He returned, however, to the essential point.
"We need God, and that is the issue," Franklin Graham told the "Fox and Friends" hosts. "We are in a spiritual mess in this country, and this film tonight is really my father's last call to this country, to come back to God and to put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ."
See the "Fox and Friends" interview with Franklin Graham:
'Take the narrow road'
Billy Graham, whose birthday will be celebrated Thursday with about 900 people at a hotel in North Carolina, delivered the message in "The Cross" from his log cabin home in Montreat, N.C.
He says in a trailer for the program: "Of all the things that I've seen and heard, there's only one message that can change people's lives and hearts.
"I want to tell people about the meaning of the cross."
As Graham recently told WND in an exclusive interview, he still believes people need to repent of their sins, turn to God and “take the narrow road that Jesus talks about in the Bible.”
He told WND he believes the signs of the end of the age are “converging now for the first time since Jesus made those predictions.”
In his new book, "The Reason for My Hope: Salvation," Graham wrote the Second Coming of Jesus Christ is “near” and the United States “can’t go on much longer in the sea of immorality without judgment coming.”
“We have been going down the wrong road for a long time,” Graham told WND. “Seemingly, man has learned to live without God, preoccupied and indifferent toward him and concerned only about material security and pleasure.
“And yet mankind is also adrift morally and spiritually, confused and fearful because he does not know where he is or where he is going. He lives in a world dangerously torn by hate and violence and conflict, and yet he feels powerless to do anything about them. He also knows his own heart is driven by destructive passions and motives he cannot seem to control or change.”
Graham said the "narrow road means that you forsake sin and you obey God, that you live up to the Ten Commandments and that you live up to the Sermon on the Mount desiring to please God in everything."
That road, he acknowledged is "hard and it is difficult," and it's impossible for anyone to do it alone.
"You need God’s help, and that’s the reason we ask people to come to receive Christ, because when you receive him, the Holy Spirit comes to live within to help us live the life," he said.
“Our world is desperately seeking answers to the deepest questions of life – answers that can only be found in the Gospel. That is the reason for my hope, that there can be changed hearts and a changed society as we yield ourselves to Christ.”