Billy Graham Applies Faith to New Years' Day; Evangelical Pastor Urges Christians to Give Thanks

Credit : Billy Graham
Billy Graham

Billy Graham cited the religious significance behind New Years before reminding Christians to give thanks to God on Dec. 30.

On the day before New Year's Eve celebrations got underway, Graham pointed out New Years as it is found in the Bible in response to a reader's inquiry.

"Every year, God's people in Old Testament times celebrated the end of the year and the beginning of the new one (just as people of Jewish heritage do today)," the 96-year-old minister wrote via Tribune Media Services. "For most people today, New Year's probably has little religious significance; it only marks the beginning of another year. However, people in Bible times saw the end of the year and the beginning of another very differently."

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Furthermore, Graham revealed that early Christians reviewed the past year, including the harvest, while they paused to honor God.

"In fact, they celebrated one of their major annual festivals then, setting aside time to thank God for his kindness and mercy (see Leviticus 23:16)," the Billy Graham Evangelist Association founder added.

The iconic evangelist went on to pose questions for Christians for this New Year.

"What will the end of this year and the beginning of the new one mean to you?" he asked, according to the Kansas City Star. "Will you celebrate it as so many do, not even thinking about God or how he wants them to live? Or will you pause to look back over the past year, thanking God for his goodness, and seeking his forgiveness for the ways you failed?"

"Most of all, will you pause and commit the coming year – and your whole life – to Jesus Christ," Graham continued. "Only God knows what the future holds, either for us as individuals or for our world. But when we know Christ, we know we belong to him, and we are securely in his hands forever. Let the Psalmist's words be your guide: 'Come your way to the Lord; trust in him.' (Psalm 37:5)."

Graham's latest message about 2015 arrived just as the famed leader was named for the 58th time among the Gallup Poll's annual list of men Americans most admire. The Charlotte, North Carolina native tied at the number four spot with former President George W. Bush on the 2014 list of 11 men, which also included President Obama at number one.

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