God Has Opened a Window of Mercy
From the Desk of Franklin Graham
April 30, 2009 - May 2009 — As a pilot, I can tell you that if you stray off course only a few degrees, it won’t be long before you are completely lost. The longer you continue heading in the wrong direction, the worse your situation becomes.
As a preacher of the Gospel looking at our country today, I can’t help but believe we have been wandering far off course from God’s will for some time now. We as a nation have departed from His ways, disobeyed His Word, and ignored His warnings to turn away from our sin.
The result is a nation where “everyone does what is right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25, NASB). Our hearts have grown hard and cold to the Gospel, and until genuine, heartfelt repentance and revival occur, our nation will experience God’s judgment, not His blessings.
There has been a rash of shootings in the past few weeks. Some people speculate that it is the fault of the economy or inadequate gun legislation. But the Bible says that evil is the result of the human heart, which “is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick” (Jeremiah 17:9).
This is in stark contrast to today's psychologists and educators who lay blame on a person’s background, family, or genetics rather than expecting people to assume personal responsibility for their actions. We live in a society where lies become truth, and truth is replaced by lies.
Until the heart is changed—and that happens only through repentance from sin and faith in Jesus Christ—we will never deal with the root cause of sin and wickedness.
Following the tragic shooting in Binghamton, N.Y., a few weeks ago, we deployed our Billy Graham Rapid Response Team chaplains. The team was able to minister to many who were affected by the shooting.
One person they led to Christ was a Cuban immigrant whose daughter had attended my Binghamton Crusade in 2007. Our chaplains shared the Gospel with him, and right there on the street near the site of the tragedy, the man eagerly asked Jesus to forgive his sins and change his life for eternity.
We thank God for the many lives He has touched with His peace through the Rapid Response Team.
Watch RRT chaplains in action following the tornado in Mena, Arkansas:
This summer, we’ll be taking this Good News up the Mississippi River for the Rock the River Tour, an evangelistic event targeted at young people. It’s something different than our traditional Crusades but still with the same purpose—lifting up the person of Christ.
Christian bands will play from early afternoon until late evening, and every couple of hours I will take the stage and give a clear Gospel message. Jesus said, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19). We’ll be fishing for the souls of America’s youth, and I would appreciate your prayers.
Later this month I will preach the Gospel in Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. I was there with my father 25 years ago, and today this former Soviet bloc nation may be the least religious country in the world.
The goal of our evangelistic Crusade is not to bring religion to Estonia, but to proclaim the saving power of a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Please pray that many Estonians who need Jesus will attend, hear the message, and be changed for eternity.
Later in the summer, I’ll be heading to Bogota, Colombia, long known as one of the capitals for the drug cartels. We have been invited by hundreds of churches who have a burden to see their countrymen come to know Christ. I believe God is giving us a strategic opportunity to take the redeeming Gospel of Jesus Christ to this beautiful nation, and I pray we will see the Holy Spirit of God poured across its mountains and jungles.
A world filled with wickedness and sin deserves eternal punishment, but God has opened a window of mercy for us until His return. “The Lord … is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).
Our continuing mission at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association is to proclaim this lifesaving Gospel message. Christ can forgive sin, change hearts, restore hope, and bring eternal meaning to people’s lives. In Him alone is abundant and eternal life (see John 10:10).
Your gift this month will bring the hope of Christ to people who so desperately need Him. We thank God for your partnership in proclaiming the only truth that “will make [people] free” (John 8:32). Thank you for praying.
May God richly bless you,
P.S. — Jesus Christ was very clear: One day He will return. Because there are still so many people who have never heard the Gospel, our work is urgent—and your financial support is critical.
When you send a gift this month, I want to thank you by sending a copy of John MacArthur’s book The Second Coming. It’s a great resource that will help you understand the signs of the times, remain watchful, and be ready whenever the Lord may come.
If you would like to know more about how you could become part of the Rapid Response Team, please click here or call us at 1-877-2GRAHAM.