Franklin Graham: What’s at Stake in the Coming Year

During the 2016 election year, I traveled to the capitals of all 50 states, calling on people to pray for our troubled country, asking God to heal our land and encouraging people to vote for candidates at the local, state and national levels who were best aligned with Biblical values. 

I believe the Lord heard our prayers, and under the current administration, we have seen amazing progress in many areas of moral concern. We have a president who has signed executive orders protecting religious liberty, advocated for pro-life causes and seen 158 of his judicial nominees confirmed to federal courts.

Never have I seen such hatred for a sitting president. I think most of the vitriol comes from the progressive left, whose positions on key moral issues are diametrically opposed to a Biblical worldview. Their lockstep with mainstream media outlets amplifies their animosity toward President Trump and his policies. 

As we head into another election year, Christians need to understand that the opportunities for reinforcing religious liberty that we have enjoyed under President Trump aren’t guaranteed to continue. Virtually the entire field of presidential challengers is openly hostile to Biblical values. 

This is why I am calling 2020 our “Year of Decision,” and in the January issue of Decision, you will read in detail some of the crucial challenges that our nation faces.

Can we sustain the advances we have made in the cultural battles of the past few years? Can we continue to have an administration that has greatly helped the cause of religious liberty, not only here in America, but also around the world? Will Christian businesses, churches and schools continue to enjoy the protection of their First Amendment rights, or might we see increasing persecution under a different administration? 

Much is at stake, and I will continue to do all that I can in speaking out on those issues that the Bible is very clear on—same-sex marriage, abortion and gender confusion. Already a number of countries consider the preaching of Scriptural truth on these issues hate speech, and anyone who stands firm on Biblical values is labeled intolerant and bigoted. 

When I visit Florida and other states in 2020 for our ongoing Decision America Tour, I will keep asking everyone to pray for God’s providential hand upon our country, and challenge Christians to make every effort to vote on Election Day. God hears the prayers of His people as we come humbly before Him, repenting of our own sins and interceding for our nation.  

But it is the preaching of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ that will—as always—be my first priority.

In the words of the Apostle Paul: “For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). 

It is the message of the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ—with His death, burial, resurrection and ascension into Heaven—that gives eternal hope. He has paid the penalty for our sins, and has made us a people for His own possession, eager to do what is right and good (see Titus 2:11-14).

As we celebrate Christmas, this is a wonderful time to rejoice in the miraculous birth of our Savior, who took on flesh and blood in order to die for our iniquities. 

The angel of the Lord declared to Joseph exactly what was happening as Mary gave birth to the Savior in a cold Bethlehem stable. “She [Mary] will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). 

It was also a moment that many of the Old Testament prophets had longed for. Hear this from Micah 700 years before the Savior’s birth. “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting” (Micah 5:2). 

And Isaiah, also about 700 B.C.: “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).

From cover to cover, from Genesis to Revelation, in every one of the 66 books of the Bible, there is woven a scarlet thread of redemption of the Savior who came from Heaven to Earth to rescue us from the bondage of sin. 

And while we celebrate His incarnation—God in the flesh in the person of His Son—we also look forward to His soon return. The First Advent of the Savior—His birth—will be followed by the Second Advent—His visible, bodily return in the fullness of His glory to establish a New Heaven and Earth, where sin and death are no more. 

When that happens, there will be no more nations or government. Indeed, the government will be on His shoulder. There will be no darkness or sin perpetrated by our enemy the devil, for he will be cast into the lake of fire and be tormented day and night forever. 

There will no longer be any kings or presidents or prime ministers, for the Savior will reign as King of kings and Lord of lords. The light of His presence will fill all in all. His glory will illumine every square inch of the New Heaven and Earth. 

I would cherish your prayers in the days to come. I will be preaching the Gospel this month in Cambodia, and next year in Florida, the United Kingdom, Germany and other places. It is God alone who can open the hearts of those who listen, and He alone who can save and redeem. 

And be in prayer for 2020, our Year of Decision, that our nation’s leaders and voters might make wise choices that heed the Bible and honor the Lord.  

 

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