Franklin Graham on Overcoming Bad News

By   •   October 24, 2011

During the height of Soviet communism, my father sat down in an empty Lenin Stadium while visiting Moscow—and prayed. He asked that God would open doors for him to preach the Gospel in that city and other cities across Eastern Europe.

In time, God answered his prayer, and my father hoped to spend the latter years of his life preaching in what had once been the European communist empire. Age and health issues, however, kept him from fulfilling his heart’s desire. We thank God that with your prayers and support, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association is able to keep his vision to take the Gospel to the former Soviet bloc states in obedience to God’s Word, and one of those is Lithuania. 

That’s where I am headed and will be preaching an evangelistic Crusade in the city of Vilnius. While unemployment in the United States hovers around 9 percent, unemployment in Lithuania is over 20 percent. The entire Baltic region still hangs under a despairing shadow created by 70 years of communism, but the greater darkness is a spiritual void in the souls of men, women, and children who do not know the Savior of the world—the Lord Jesus Christ.

He came into this world to replace doubt, darkness, and despair with the assurance of His love to all who will receive Him, the promise of forgiveness of sin to repentant hearts through His shed blood on the cross, and hope of eternal joy in His presence.

This is the message that most Lithuanians have not received. As the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association has done for over 60 years, we are partnering with our brothers and sisters in Christ—the faithful churches of Lithuania—laboring in the work of the Lord. There is nothing more fulfilling than to follow the disciples in proclaiming Christ to all those who will listen.

When the Apostle Paul and Barnabas were taking the Gospel into places far from their homes, the Bible says, “They preached the gospel … and won a large number of disciples” (Acts 14:21, NIV). This is our all-consuming passion. We look for every opportunity to proclaim “Christ and him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2) so that those who are perishing might hear the Gospel and
be rescued from Satan’s grip.

Pray that those who respond in repentance and faith during the Crusade in Lithuania will grow in their walk with the Lord, connect with a local church, and begin sharing their new faith with others.

Then I would appreciate your prayers as we go from there to India to hold an evangelistic Crusade in Hyderabad, a city where 98 percent of the people do not know about Jesus Christ. There is great spiritual darkness in India, and they need to hear Good News. Bad news is everywhere, not just in India, but all over the world. 

Newspaper headlines boldly proclaim—bad news. When we turn on the television, we see the never-ending alerts about—bad news. When we log on to our computers each morning, we’re greeted with—bad news. In America there is fear of losing more jobs and falling into another recession. Politicians make promises, yet there is a sense of hopelessness and despair created by a dysfunctional government and by greed. People are fearful of investing in a shaky economy.

The weight of bad news can stifle the will and discourage the heart. But there is good news, and it is found in Jesus Christ. He instructed His people to store up treasure in Heaven. He instructed us to go into the world with Good News. Our hope is not in things, but in truth. Our hope does not come from the world, but Christ.

That is why the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association is investing in the kingdom work of God, and I want to thank you for partnering with us by investing in this ministry financially and through prayer, because doors are wide open to the Gospel today more than any other time in our history. The Bible speaks of those who support the work of the Kingdom as “generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age” (1 Timothy 6:18–19). We are grateful for all you do in service to the Lord.

May He richly bless you,

Franklin Graham Signature

Franklin Graham
 
President

P.S. If you haven’t seen the film Courageous, it is a great movie and I would encourage you to take your family and friends. The Gospel is clear, and the spiritual lessons are excellent.

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23 Comments

  1. Martha says:

    I pray that my grandfathers' relatives who live in Lithuania will attend a crusade and get saved. I only met them once, long ago, and I was awed by their simple lifestyle. One thing that always stuck with me was when they came to visit the USA and we took them shopping to the local grocery store, they cried when they saw the abundance of fruit and vegetables. What was so normal for me was overwhelming to them. I want them to have the blessings and abundant love of Jesus Christ.

  2. Eleanor says:

    Franklin, my prayer is that you and your team will be used in a mighty way in the power of the Holy Spirit to reach the lost with the Gospel. Thank you for fulfilling the Great Commission as you go in the name of Jesus.

  3. valerie says:

    Thank you for all you do to spread the Good News throughout our world. I am so thankful for Christians like you who are fulfilling God's Great Commission. May God richly bless you in all you do and keep you safe wherever you go to spread God's love and mercy to all the world.

  4. BEAR from VFCC says:

    ALMIGHTY GOD WE SERVE! VICTORY is OURS because WE are the VICTORS of JESUS CHRIST because WE HAVE VICTORY in JESUS CHRIST! Please pray for me, 2 things: Be healed from shingles and arthritis AND to graduate on time at Valley Forge Christian College at Phoenixville, PA! Thank You, JESUS for YOUR INDESCRIBABLE LOVE! Praying for the world to have JESUS, AMEN!

  5. joseph says:

    I had met a foreign exchange student from Vilnius Lithuania in 2006 in Virginia, and I spoke to her about the Gospel because she was atheist and that was the communists' fault for those years of oppression. I hope I made a difference and I hope this crusade will help her and many other Lithuanians to believe.

  6. Rose says:

    May God bless you.

  7. Toni says:

    I thank the Lord for you Franklin and my prayers for your father's health, Billy. The Lord has continued to bless you both in helping to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. My heartfelt thanks to your father for his Morning prayers that our Nation would turn their hearts back to the Lord I asked that Lord and called your number and asked if you or your father would do this and He did, Praise and thank you Jesus. My prayers go with you to Lithuania. Bless your family too.I have a sponsored child in India and Africa. In Africa Blessing is a Christian and in India “D' is Hindu.Peace be with you always,Toni

  8. Esther says:

    God bless your ministry of Peace to all who trust Him. Word of the Lord stands forever.

  9. Ada says:

    I'm sitting here reading your news of your trips, with tears streaming down my face, for the people who have never heard of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. May you bring many to Christ and may you travel safely. Amen for your whole family works with Christ. I enjoy Billy Graham's on TBN broadcasting on Wednesday and Saturday nights it gives me the true gospel.

  10. Bernie says:

    Those facts are staggering. That is a great multitude who are still living in darkness! I've been keeping up with “Decision” and am reminded that there is still a great deal of work to do for the Lord's harvest. My support and prayers will continue to be with you as you take the Good News to Lithuania and India. God Speed!