Billy Graham Classic Sermon On The Root Cause Of Loneliness

Billy Graham Classic Sermon On The Root Cause Of Loneliness

From the archives comes a classic Billy Graham sermon on the root cause of loneliness.


The reverend opened up this particular teaching in Denver, Colorado to a humongous stadium in 1987. There are rows and rows of people. One glance around the stadium and the quantity of people is readily obvious.. People old and young gathered for a single purpose. They all gathered to hear a great word

Graham began the sermon reading from Psalm 102, beginning with verse 6.

“I am like a pelican of the wilderness: I am like an owl of the desert.” Psalm 102:6


Then he quickly shared a personal anecdote. He talked about walking a path in a particular set of foothills, but he only ventured so far because he was cautious of tales of rattlesnakes in the area. his wife was a different story.

“I let my wife kill those,” he said.

He remarked on how his wife had a childhood in a particular town in China where she experienced a lot of violence in the surrounding area, hearing about bandits, or hearing gunshots in the area. The lack of fear in her parents to these occurrences led to her also not having fear. In comparison, rattlesnakes were nothing to fear.

Reverend Graham went into talking about doves next, how they mate for life, and raise children, though he saw one that was alone. No mate, no children, posted atop a fence. The bird was like the people, those in the audience, and even in the city. The reverend said that 51% of the population was single and that many were lonely.

Today that gives us some interesting questions, especially if we are single. Just how many people today are single? Are more people single than not? Does singleness lend itself to loneliness at times?

There are a number of sources that discuss the single rate in America today. About half of people or more are single, according to The Washington Post and WNYC Studios.

“The modern city is a lonely place,” Graham stated, along with indicating that loneliness is a major problem. How poignant, for these words to be so true decades after this sermon in Denver.

Though being single does not automatically mean being lonely, something that married people experience too. Loneliness occurs not just in our relationship to people, but also to God and to self. When the bad feeling sets in we want to dong something, but sometimes we make bad choices.

Alcoholism and drug use cause loneliness but are also ways people try to escape the feeling. A better escape would be going with Christ on a “trip” as Graham stated, and allowing Jesus to be our “companion”.

Communion then is the solution that Graham cited and also indicates that is where we get the word communication.

“Loneliness began, actually in the Garden of Eden, in a perfect paradise.”

Man and woman separated from God. Since then, the seed of loneliness has been inherited by all. Graham remarks how people from different areas of life, no matter their occupation can feel loneliness. We all have sin in common and sin makes us lonely because of the separation from God.

He asked a valuable question, “How many of you are trying to put one foot in God’s kingdom, and one foot in the world’s kingdom?”

Over the course of the sermon, Graham outlines the suffering the comes with following Christ, but he points to the reward of taking up our cross (verse).

Loneliness doesn’t have to be the end of our story. We can pursue God to help with that area of difficulty, and find company with God, and as some call Him the “audience of One.” The earthly pursuits that we choose to handle loneliness: drugs, porn, money, nothing compares to what God can give. This doesn’t mean we don’t need people. We do.

“And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a help meet for him.” Genesis 2:18

Adam had Eve. Graham talked about praying for his sons and daughters, specifically for who they would marry. His daughters are all married. Now.

As we pursue stronger and healthy connections with people, let’s ensure that God is at the forefront of our hearts either by “committing” or “recommitting” to Jesus Christ.

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