When it comes to using television and radio to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ, Billy Graham and Franklin Graham have worked to maximize their impact over the decades.
But now Franklin Graham has a somewhat dire warning to those who use these mediums to spread Good News.
“The storm is coming where we’re going to be off the radio and television and the internet,” Graham said.
During his 29-minute keynote speech in Orlando, Florida, the evangelist gave examples of the challenges facing Christian media. He also offered advice to those concerned about religious persecution in areas like data centers, banking, and insurance.
“If you’re not going to preach the Gospel, you don’t have anything to worry about. If you’re not going to talk about sin, you’re not going to have anything to worry about; but if you’re going to proclaim the Gospel, they’re going to try to shut you up.”
Franklin Graham shared examples of the power of media in his early ministry and how his father used it so effectively. But in between standing ovations, stories, and laughs, he charged the crowd to be prepared, to start thinking now about a world where standing on God’s Word could be punishable by law.
“Jesus told us the world hated [Him] first and they’re going to hate you,” he said. “If you stand for Christ, the world is going to hate you.”
Debbie, who works with an evangelical Christian media outreach in Fort Lauderdale, was moved by Franklin Graham’s message.
“I appreciate he tackled the cultural mandate. If we’re not speaking to the culture, we won’t retain the rights, we won’t retain our freedom of religion to preach the Gospel.
“That’s what Franklin is doing. He’s got the platform. And he doesn’t pull back. It needs to be said and people need to hear that.”
Debbie’s co-worker William gave an amen to that.
“He’s just so open and honest about where we are,” William said. “The storm is coming. It was all about the Gospel.”
Besides the “coming storm,” the main point driven home was to “preach the Gospel” as long as humanly possible—without reservation.
“Preach the Gospel,” Graham said. “Use your radio, television, blogs, internet, to communicate the Gospel.
“There’s Holy Spirit-filled power in the Gospel. When you try to tell a person they are a sinner, it’s offensive. When you tell someone that Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life, and there is no way to heaven or God except through Him, you offend people.”
The problem with cultural Christianity, he added, is that people place too much emphasis on offending people. The Gospel, in and of itself, is offensive, but that doesn’t mean we need to water it down.
“Preach—don’t back up, don’t make excuses. Paul said, ‘I am not ashamed of the Gospel.’ … Don’t apologize for the Gospel—just declare it, just preach it.”
And, most importantly, leave the results up to God.
“How does that work?” he asked. “I have no clue. All I know is it works, I’ll tell you that. If you preach the Gospel and give the invitation, someone is going to respond to it, but it’s got to be clear. The Gospel pierces their heart.”
Pray for all those in Christian media as they share the hope of Jesus Christ in print, online, over the airwaves, on TV, and more. Ask God to produce a rich harvest as His Word is proclaimed.