As Franklin Graham continues to preach the Gospel across Western Canada this month, his heart will be full of compassion for the lost.
He’ll also feel a stirring in his self-described fighting spirit. “I am a fighter,” says Graham. “I am going to fight for every soul that I can. I am going to fight for every kid that I can.”
On Aug. 7, Graham fought the good fight in the Fraser Valley area of British Columbia, outside of Vancouver, as part of Rock the River Tour West. Now the summer concert series travels to Calgary (Aug. 21) and Edmonton (Aug. 28).
In each city, Graham will be armed and ready with the power of the Gospel. “When I preach,” says Graham, “I preach the Gospel. Paul said, ‘I am not ashamed of the Gospel for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes.’ The Gospel is God’s power. When you preach the Gospel, God uses that to pierce the hearts of those He is calling. We’ll pray that there is a great harvest of young people this year who will give their hearts to Christ.”
The purpose of the Rock the River Tour is to reach kids who would never go to church—”kids who have no home life and no hope whatsoever,” Graham explains. This is about reaching out to a generation that doesn’t know God.
“When I was growing up,” he continues, “many people were familiar with church. They went to church. But today, so many people have turned their backs on God. We’ve become such a secular society and we’ve taken God out of government. We’ve taken God out of our schools. Kids today—many of them know nothing about God whatsoever. So if we don’t reach them, we’ll lose them.”
Graham says he wants these kids to know that God loves them. “I want them to know that Jesus Christ died for their sins and was buried and rose to life. If they are willing simply by faith to believe on His name and invite Him into their hearts, not only will God forgive them and cleanse them, but they can have a whole new life, a whole new beginning with the Lord Jesus Christ.”
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Along with the power of the Gospel, music, prayer and the support of local churches are other key parts of the Rock the River arsenal.
“Local churches will bring the kids,” says Graham. “I am asking Christians kids to reach out and invite their lost friends to come with them. Because of the quality of bands that we’re bringing, it will attract these lost kids. They will see the quality of the music and they’ll say, ‘Cool, I will come.’
“We are doing all that we can to fight for another generation,” he adds. “God has called us to do it. He’ll give us the resources, but He always gives the resources through Christian men and women, churches who have been praying, churches who believe in evangelism. We’re taking evangelism into Western Canada and it’s tough ground. So we need people to pray for us and stand beside us and support us financially.”
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Although Graham mentioned the ground is tough, it won’t deter him. In fact, he says, “I like tough places. We go to tough places. We need to preach the Gospel. The Gospel is God’s power for salvation. This generation—God loves them. He cares for them. But they don’t know Him. They know nothing about Him.”
The most important weapon is prayer, Graham reiterates. “We need people to pray. Pray for us as we go in the month of August. Next weekend we’ll be in Calgary. We’re going to be in Edmonton. This is going to be a tough time. There is going to be a battle that will be waged. It is a battle for the souls of men and women, of boys and girls there in Western Canada. We need people to back us with your prayers as we go.”