God Desires All People to Be Saved

By   •   March 20, 2012

We have just completed a Crusade in Sendai, Japan, held to coincide with the anniversary of last year’s massive earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear reactor accident. Sendai is the largest city in the area overwhelmed by the triple disaster.

Japan has few Christians relative to its large population, and northwest Japan has fewer than most other parts of the country. Churches in Sendai typically average less than 30 in attendance, so it was a wonderful answer to prayer and brought great joy to Japanese Christians when nearly 12,000 people attended the Festival of Hope to hear the Gospel. The final meeting was the largest Christian gathering ever in that region of Japan.

We held the Crusade in the Grande 21 arena, a sports complex that had served as a temporary morgue after last year’s disaster. Many Christians asked God to transform the stadium—which had been a place for families to come and seek their dead—into a place where people found new life. God answered. Hundreds made decisions for Christ, and we give God the thanks and all the glory.

Members of one family said that they decided to attend the Crusade for a simple reason—after the tragedy, it was the military and Christians who came to help, and Christians were still there a year later, volunteering, rebuilding, and providing encouragement. That made them want to learn more about the Gospel.

I believe that God may be bringing a turnaround for the churches of Japan. The Bible says, “He … opens their ear by adversity” (Job 36:15, ESV). Before the disaster, the churches were not united. But one of the pastors told me, “Today the church is one.”

Two business owners in Sendai, neither of them followers of Christ, had formed a nonprofit community development organization to help their home city. Both suffered significant loss during the disaster. Though Buddhists, they decided to help the local churches promote the Crusade because they felt it would bring hope to the struggling area. Using their own time, money and resources, they advertised the Christian event and urged people to attend.

The night before the Crusade, one of the men explained that he wasn’t fully familiar with the Christian faith and wasn’t sure what to expect. “If there is a revelation from Jesus or a miracle at the event,” he said, “I think many hearts will be opened.”

He never expected the miracle to happen to him. At the Saturday night meeting, as he listened to the music, the testimonies, and the preaching, the “gospel came to [him] not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction” (1 Thessalonians 1:5). He walked forward to declare his faith in Jesus Christ. “I had great guilt, and I needed to be forgiven by God,” he said after talking and praying with a counselor. To his surprise and delight, the Buddhist businessman who had partnered with him also responded to the Gospel the same night.

Pray for the new believers in Sendai and for the churches across Japan, and pray also for us. Delegations from four other cities—Tokyo, Hiroshima, Sapporo, and Fukuoka—came and requested Crusades during the next couple of years. I believe the Lord has opened up a door for effective ministry in that country, and we need His wisdom and His provision as we respond.

As this letter is being posted, my son Will is in the middle of two Crusade events in the Dallas, Texas, area. Although Dallas–Fort Worth is home to three major seminaries and eight of America’s largest megachurches, only about a fourth of those living in the region attend an evangelical church. Large numbers of people there have never really heard and understood the Gospel.

Pray that those who respond in “repentance toward God and … faith in our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21) will find a church home, grow in their walk with the Lord, and begin to share their faith with others.

In April, I am headed to Ghana, West Africa, for a Crusade in the capital city of Accra. After that I will preach the Gospel in two European cities—first in Budapest, Hungary, and then at a youth evangelistic Crusade in Riga, Latvia.

Immediately afterward, I’ll return to the United States for Rock the Lakes, a multi-city series of evangelistic events in America’s Great Lakes region, beginning in Rochester, New York.

Millions of people today live their lives “having no hope and without God in the world” (Ephesians 2:12). And every day, people die without Christ. At BGEA, we work to proclaim the Gospel to those who have not heard, because God “desires all people to be saved” (1 Timothy 2:4). Thank you for being a part of this ministry through your prayers and your giving.

May God richly bless you,

Franklin Graham Signature

Franklin Graham

Help Spread the Gospel

You gift can help BGEA spread the Gospel through every available means and to every nation. Donate online today to support Festivals or other ministries.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published but you will receive our next BGEA ministry update. You can opt out of future emails at any time.


  1. Barb says:

    I am happy that you are reaching out to all the countries that you go to but please have a crusade here in the Chicago area. I know you had the rock river crusade but that was for teens. I pray that I can attend one crusade before I die.

  2. benny says:

    thanks for all you do to bring gods word to the lost.

  3. Kandra says:

    Jesus is my rock most of all my personal relationship with him gives me my strength and wisdom for everyday.He has really blessed us all for choosing Billy Graham and his family to do his work here on earth.Thank you for being relentless men of God.

  4. Noemi says:

    Lord, I thank you for the Graham family, they are all your servants and we have seen mighty works and lives saved because of them…God Bless them all….my prayers are for them that they will continue with Your work….Amen

  5. Rebekah says:

    Dear Franklin,I honestly believe God put all the Graham family on earth for ''such a time as this!'' God has used your dad mightily and then yourself, and now your offspring is following in your footsteps! Thank you for your obedience and love!

  6. SALUD says:


  7. Gatot says:

    Praise our Lord Jesus Christ for He showed His mercy to the people of Japan. I believe He will continue to save the Japanese.

  8. Michael says:

    God bless you richly!

  9. Rayanne says:

    I'm praying for you Mr. Graham and your outreach…God is faithful! … and know If its Gods will he'll pay the Bill!

  10. Nancy says:

    Praise God for the work that he is doing in Japan through you and I pray that he will continue to draw and disciple the new believers through the Holy Spirit working through the churches. May this be Japan's “time”.