Billy Graham closed out a quarter of a century of big-time evangelistic campaigning last month with an eight-day crusade amid Arizona’s booming desert cities.
A sermon on exorcism highlighted the milestone meetings, Graham’s last before a special commemorative series in September in Los Angeles. It was during a Los Angeles tent crusade in the fall of 1949 that he first attracted national attention.
Graham warned a youthful audience at Sun Devil Stadium that there is a great intensification of evil in the world today. “The devil knows his time is short,” he said. Graham told of personal experiences in which people were freed of demon possession.
The 55-year-old evangelist, whose ministry has appealed increasingly to young people over the years, is especially concerned over the inroads occultism is making among youth—at a time when there is also a Christian revival among them.
One reason why young people get interested in demonic activity, Graham said, is that “it does get them involved. It’s a return to nature in a sense, a worship of the natural gods, a broadening of their minds and a finding of powers within themselves.”
Graham spoke from a platform on the fifty-yard line of the home field of Arizona State University’s Sun Devils. The stadium is nestled between two cactus-studded but otherwise arid hills in the city of Tempe, just outside Phoenix. People from nearby Scottsdale and other sections of the rapidly growing metropolitan area helped to swell the crowds to an average of more than 30,000 for each meeting.
The devil, said Graham, “is a deceiver, and he’s trying to deceive thousands of you young people tonight by promising you that if you only follow him and serve him and bow down to him and live for him, he will give you ...1
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