She sat front row center, and it seemed to her that Franklin Graham was speaking directly to her.
“Abortion,” Franklin said. “God sees it as murder. And there may be some of you here tonight, you’ve had an abortion, and it has haunted you every day of your life, and you regret making that decision. You wish that you could go back and you could turn it around, but you can’t. But I’m here tonight to tell you that you can be forgiven. Tonight, God will forgive you. He’ll forgive you, He’ll cleanse you, He’ll wash you.”
Linda’s abortion had occurred before she ever committed her life to Christ, but she still struggled with feelings of condemnation. She didn’t want to go another day like that. So when Franklin invited the people at Charlotte’s PNC Music Pavilion to stand if they wanted to put their trust in Jesus Christ, she stood to rededicate her life to Him.
A volunteer counselor reminded her that God promises to forgive us if we confess our sins. “If God can forgive you, you can forgive yourself,” she said. Linda left knowing at last that she is forgiven.
Hundreds of others also stood. A man in the second row said he had prayed to receive Christ in 1993, but he wasn’t sure that he was saved. Now, he said, “I know that I am.”
Back in the grassy area behind the amphitheater seats, a man in his 60s also stood and put his trust in Christ as his wife, already a Christian, rejoiced beside him.
A Pavilion employee was already standing when Franklin gave the invitation. He had walked away from his faith, and he wanted to start living for Jesus again. He went looking for a counselor, who prayed with him as he rededicated his life to Christ.
One counselor held his counseling materials in the air for several minutes, hoping for a chance to help someone. “I’ll be honest,” he said, “I was fixing to throw in the towel. It looked like everyone had been covered. I thought, I’m going to hold it up a little while longer.” A man in his 20s approached. “Do you know where I can go to get the literature?” he asked.
“I’ve got it right here,” the counselor said. He led the man in prayer to receive Christ. “I’m glad I held out a little while longer.”
Photo: Thomas J. Petrino/2019 BGEA