Franklin Graham: Time to Take a Stand

Franklin Graham: Time to Take a Stand

In just a few days, midterm elections will be held across our nation. Many of the races for governors, senators, representatives and local offices will be very tight for many Democrats and Republicans who are running for state and congressional offices.

The worldview held by millions of Bible-believing Christians—the sanctity of life and marriage, God’s design for gender and sexuality, the authority of Scripture as it touches on all facets of living—is under daily assault from those on the political left who hate God and His ways. 

Much is at stake for the future of our country. If progressives continue to hold both houses of Congress for several more years, I can only imagine the damage they will do. Already the White House, with its liberal policies on abortion, gay and transgender rights, and attacks on the sanctity of marriage, has sought to drive an immoral and godless agenda. 

This is why I hope that every believer will head to the polls on Nov. 8 and vote for those who best align with Biblical values. The lines are well drawn on critical moral issues, so I encourage you to pray and to cast your ballot for those men or women who are not afraid to take a stand on the truth of Biblical principles. 

Elections are crucial, but as a preacher of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, I know that no decision is more important than whether we know and receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. Will we spend eternity in the presence of God and His glorious light? Or away from His glory in eternal darkness and punishment? It’s a choice each of us must make. 

One day soon, “when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire” (2 Thessalonians 1:7-8), unbelievers shall be punished “with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe” (2 Thessalonians 1:9-10).

I recently returned from preaching the Gospel in Mongolia, and here in our own country during our God Loves You Tour in six cities scattered across the Northeast and Midwest.

The response to the proclamation of God’s Word was tremendous. In Mongolia, more than 2,000 made decisions for Christ. Then, more than 50,000 people heard the Gospel in Allentown and York, Pennsylvania; Youngstown, Ohio; Flint, Michigan; Waukesha, Wisconsin; and Rochester, Minnesota, and more than 2,600 of them made decisions for Christ. 

We saw the unmistakable power of the Gospel. When the Apostle Paul preached for the first time in Philippi, a woman named Lydia became the first believer in Europe, because “the Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul” (Acts 16:14). 

In Mongolia, we held our Festival in the capital city of Ulaanbataar. The entire country lived under the oppressive hand of godless socialism for decades, and the first church in that nation began after the fall of the Iron Curtain in the early ’90s. Our Festival was the first large evangelistic event in decades. Among the Mongolians who gave their heart to the Lord Jesus was a deaf, mute and blind man who came forward (see cover photo). As the Gospel was relayed to him via “tactile sign language,” God moved him to put his faith in Christ.

On the God Loves You Tour, our first stop was Allentown, a city that used to be powered by steel mills. As in many cities across the Northeast and Midwest, that’s not the case anymore. Our venue was at the local fairgrounds, and I wondered how many people would come. There had not been any large evangelistic events there for over 30 years, but by the time I stood to preach, the place was packed, and people were eager to hear the Gospel.

When I gave an invitation, people couldn’t come forward because it was so crowded. I asked them to stand where they were seated. I wanted them to know that “by standing, you’re saying to God, ‘I’m a sinner.’ By standing, you’re staying, ‘I’m sorry for my sins.’ By standing, you’re saying to God, ‘I believe that Jesus Christ is Your Son, who took my sins on the cross and died in my place.’ By standing, you’re believing. By standing, you’re saying, ‘I want to invite Jesus Christ to come into my heart and follow Him as my Lord.’” When I gave the invitation, hundreds stood.

In York, it had been pouring rain before the Tour event, and there was lots of lightning. By the time we arrived at the arena, the sun had popped out, and people were streaming in. When the invitation came, hundreds again stood to commit their lives to the Savior.

In Waukesha, like in Ulaanbataar, a blind woman was among those who stood to receive Jesus Christ as her Savior.

I love the Gospel account of blind Bartimaeus in Mark 10, and I preached from that text one night during the Tour. As Bartimaeus begged by the roadside in Jericho, his situation seemed hopeless. Then he heard a commotion, and someone told him that Jesus—the Messiah from Nazareth—was passing by.

Bartimaeus had heard that Jesus raised the dead and healed the deaf and blind. Sitting by the road, he cried out to the Lord, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” (Mark 10:47). 

He kept crying out until Jesus called to him and asked what he wanted Him to do. “Rabboni, that I may receive my sight” (Mark 10:51).

Bartimaeus didn’t give up. And even though Christ was on His way to Jerusalem, ready to face the cross, He stopped and looked around when He heard a call in faith. Out of all those people, there was one prayer of faith. Jesus heard it, stopped and healed him.

Jesus’ words, “Your faith has made you well” (Mark 10:52), meant not only that he had received physical sight, but that his faith in Jesus Christ had brought salvation to his soul. The Bible says Bartimaeus followed Him along the road. I have a feeling Bartimaeus followed Him all the way to Jerusalem, all the way to the cross.

If we want to see the lives of people around us changed now and for eternity, and our nation rescued from spiritual blindness, we must first fix our own eyes on Christ and pray for a new passion for evangelism. Our nation needs repentance. 

This is the time for all Christians to take a stand for Christ—in every aspect of life. The ballot box is just one way to do that. We need godly leaders who are “not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16). ©2022 BGEA

Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, New King James Version.

Photo: Logan Ryan/©2022 BGEA

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