Should Jesus have waited until now to come to earth, instead of coming 2,000 years ago, as He could have reached the whole world with radio and television and the internet? No, says evangelist Billy Graham, and explains why Jesus came to earth at exactly the right time.
Millions of people who have lived since the coming of Jesus on earth would never have had the opportunity to hear of Christ if His coming had been delayed, Graham writes on Billy Graham Evangelistic Association's website, in response to the question sent to him by a reader.
Graham then quotes Galatians 4:4, "But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman," and reminds the readers that the prophets had foretold of His coming for centuries.
"God's timing is always perfect, and when Jesus was born, God knew the world was fully prepared for His coming," the 98-year-old evangelist explains.
Most people are looking forward to Christmas even though it's still several weeks away, he adds. "In the midst of all of its busyness, however, don't lose sight of the miracle of that first Christmas: the coming of Jesus Christ, our Savior, into the world. Make Him the center of your Christmas—and your whole life—this year."
Christians should ask God to help them tell others about His love, and His power to change lives, Graham concludes. "Because of Him, we have 'hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure' (Hebrews 6:19)."
Graham celebrated his 98th birthday Monday.
"It's a party every Sunday when I go see him because he's made it through another week." the evangelist's son, Franklin Graham, told The Charlotte Observer. "At 98, you count the days and weeks. I don't think we'll have any more big parties. Those days are over with."
About his father's health, the younger Graham said, "He's real quiet. Doesn't say much… Can't see. His mind is clear. ... But he speaks in sentences of one word."
Earlier a reader asked Billy Graham what should Christian parents do if their daughter runs off with her boyfriend and later seeks to return home after being dumped? Graham said she must be forgiven and welcomed back as the parents' "only opportunity" to influence her for good, with God's help.
"What your daughter did was both foolish and morally wrong, and sadly she's now paying the price for her folly," he wrote. "But this doesn't mean you should turn your back on your daughter, or rejoice that you were right and she was wrong," Graham warned, referring to Jesus' parable of the prodigal son in Luke 15:11-32.