'Every Generation Needs the Hope of the Gospel'
Backstage at Rock the River West with Franklin Graham
August 13, 2010 - As Franklin Graham answered media questions backstage at Rock the River in Fraser Valley, he offered insights into his heart and into the upcoming events in Calgary and Edmonton.
Q: You said rain has never stopped one of your father's Crusades and it has never stopped one of yours. You just keep going regardless of circumstances, right?
Graham: There has been a lot of work and a lot of prayer put into this. A lady who worked for my father years ago named Ethel Waters said, “God doesn’t sponsors no flops.” A lot people have prayed for this; a lot of people have invested their life, their time, and this isn’t by mistake. The rain hasn’t held people back. We saw at the invitation a great number of kids get up in the rain to give their lives to Christ, so we are very grateful for that.
Q: How important is prayer for an event like this?
Graham: Prayer is the most important part of all this. We couldn’t do it without prayer. People have been praying for their lost daughters and sons, husbands and wives. People have been praying. Churches have been praying. So now here we are. We wouldn’t see any of this if it wasn’t for the prayers of people back home, people praying here.
Q: The Biblical passage you used of the rich young ruler: “What must I do to be saved?” Did you pick that specifically for this generation?
Graham: In every generation, people want to know, “What do I have to do to have eternal life? Is there eternal life? What happens after I die?” The secularists will say, “You go the grave and that’s it. There’s no more.” That’s not true. There’s eternal life, and we’ll be in the presence of God or we will be in hell for eternity. God doesn’t want to see anyone perish. He wants everyone to come to repentance and faith in His son Jesus Christ. We are here to give God’s Gospel. That’s what we are here to do.
Q: When you look out and see that sea of faces, what goes through your mind and heart?
Graham: There’s always a little bit of fear, asking God, “Give me the right words to say.” I am getting close to 60-years old. These are kids that are a lot younger than I am. It’s a generation that needs to know about God’s son, Jesus Christ, so I just ask God to give me wisdom as I speak to them, that they’ll understand. I come praying that God will use me according to His will, that His purpose will be done.
Q: How can local people continue to support those who come forward at Rock the River after the event ends?
Graham: First, encourage people who made a decision for Christ to get involved in a church. That is one of things that I emphasize—get involved in a church. You want these people to be discipled. You want a pastor, a church, Christian friends to come alongside them and help them. That’s what is so important. I hope that when these events come to an end, people don’t quit praying and that everyone will reach out to these who made decisions for Christ and try to help them.
Evangelism is for every generation. Secularists try to get you to back up and want you to be ashamed. Paul said, “I am not ashamed of the Gospel because it is the power of God unto salvation.” Christians need to understand we have the power of God. When we preach the Gospel, that’s God’s power for salvation. We don’t need to be ashamed of that. We don’t need to be afraid.
We are here not to condemn people but to encourage people, to plead with people to confess their sins, to repent of their sins, and receive Christ by faith into their hearts and into their lives. That’s what this is all about.
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