We Do Not Rejoice When Wicked Men Perish

By   •   May 26, 2011   •   Topics:

“As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die?” (Ezekiel 33:11, NIV).

It grieves God when people die in their sins because the Bible says that He is “not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).

As the father of a son serving in the U.S. military, I am very proud of all who guard our shores and protect our freedom. We continue to remember the victims of 9/11, their families, and all those who have shed their blood for the freedom of this land. How grateful I am for the freedom we have in Jesus Christ, who went to Mount Calvary and shed His blood for our sins and the sins of the world.

Recently I was a guest of Bill O’Reilly on Fox News, and he was questioning me about whether a person who has never heard of Jesus will go to Heaven. What I know is that Jesus Christ spoke very plainly when He said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).

O’Reilly also asked me about children of the Holocaust who died with no opportunity to be introduced to Christ. What will be their eternal destiny? To make a point, I replied that before we talked about children, we should make sure of our own destiny. I asked him, as well as the TV audience, “How about you?”

The Bible says, “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). Jesus Christ came for sinners, not for the righteous. He shed His blood on the cross for the sins of mankind, died, and on the third day rose again. When we admit our sinfulness and turn in faith to Jesus Christ, we receive forgiveness and the gift of eternal salvation. That is the good news of the Gospel. God “wants all people to be saved and to come to knowledge of the truth” (1Timothy 2:4).

My question to Bill O’Reilly is my question to you. What about you? You must accept Christ.

About young children who have died, I’ve had many parents raise that concern with me over the years. I take comfort in God’s Word. The Bible tells how God brought His people out of Egypt, delivering them from slavery, and led them through the wilderness to the Promised Land. When they were ready to enter, the people refused out of fear to go forward, failed to trust God, and disobeyed. Because of their rebellion, God described them as an “evil generation” (Deuteronomy 1:35) and declared they would never see the Promised Land but instead die in the wilderness.

However, God said that “the little ones, … your children who do not yet know good from bad–they will enter the land. I will give it to them” (Deuteronomy 1:39). I believe children who die under the age of accountability are safe in God’s arms.

Our nation today is in trouble

We’ve seen years of lavish spending, greed, and borrowing money from the future, and we were warned it might affect our great-grandchildren–but the economic recklessness is already affecting us all today. We have fallen victim to Satan with loans we couldn’t sustain, credit cards we couldn’t pay, and purchases we couldn’t afford, all because we believed the same promise that Satan offered Adam and Eve: “Surely you will not die” (see Genesis 3:4). We thought we could live life as though there were no limits. This happened on an individual level, with our financial institutions, and among the politicians in Washington.

At the same time, we see moral decay spreading throughout the land. Our country is deteriorating rapidly, an ever-tightening spiral downward–financially, socially, and spiritually. America is decaying from within.

The real problem is that as a nation we have turned our backs on God, removing Him from schools, businesses, and government, and unfortunately many a family has taken God out of their home as well. If this country hopes to make it through the enormous crises we now face, if we want America to be a nation worth leaving to our grandchildren, we have to turn back to God.

Upcoming Outreach

At BGEA we are committed to taking the Gospel across our land and to the whole world. This summer from the Jersey Shore to Southern California and from the Rocky Mountains to the Great Lakes, we are preaching “the true message of the gospel” (Colossians 1:5), calling people to repentance, forgiveness, and salvation through Jesus Christ.

In several weeks I will lead Festival de Esperanza in Los Angeles, our first ever all-Spanish Crusade in this country. Nearly 600 Spanish-speaking churches are joining with us in the preparations. Pray for an outpouring of God’s Holy Spirit this June 25–26 upon the Greater Los Angeles area as we invite men and women to come to faith in Jesus Christ.

As I write this, I am traveling in North Korea and China. Pray that a significant foundation for future ministry will be laid as a result of visits with key leaders in these two countries. While in China, I am preaching in two churches in Beijing.

My son Will has just returned to the United States after preaching at a Crusade in the Philippines. We praise the Lord that more than 21,000 people there made public decisions for Christ, receiving the “hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began” (Titus 1:2, NKJV). As we mail this letter, Will is preaching the Good News at a three-day, region-wide evangelistic event in New Jersey.

We are deeply grateful for your prayers and your financial help as we unapologetically proclaim the power of the Gospel in cities across the land of America as well as in countries worldwide.

May God bless you,
Franklin Graham

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  1. Evlyn says:

    Thanks Franklin. Am not an American. Am a Kenyan but am happy about the new message we receive daily in your ministries. The word is a journey that involves a lot of commitment thanks again. Please pray for us to be committed. Thanks again to your dad he is a real preacher.

  2. VivianAnn says:

    I will be praying. Sincerely in Christ Jesus, Love in the Lord.

  3. Thomas says:

    I am praying for you and your outreach. I am glad to hear about the all Spanish crusade in LA. This can only further outreach from here in the USA to other countries, resulting in even greater activity than is occurring now. I am glad to see your letter on not rejoicing over the death of a wicked man after that Bin Ladin ordeal. I offered up a prayer for him in case his sins can be forgiven him. The many lives he caused to be lost and was going to be caused to be lost are not equal to an eternity in hell fire. Who knows! In his twisted reasoning he thought he was doing good. Isn't the rejoicing we saw, on his death, comparable to the rejoicing of Arabs on 9/11?

  4. Joe says:

    When I was a little kid in the 1950s my grandmother said Billy Graham was a wonderful man. She was right. Now you just keep on keeping on Rev. Franklin, we need you now as ever.

  5. walter says:

    Thank you Franklin for laying it on the line about the decline of the US- We need a Wake UP Call and I'm so glad you so elequently stated just that. What a pity that God is not a pat of so many households in the US. The Old Testement tells how God will put up with a countrys drift from Godliness just so long and then Gopd takes action against the country. The best remedy- READ YOUR BIBLE and live your life accordingly.

  6. Doris says:

    I Praise God for you and your father's ministry. I came to know the Lord Jesus in a personal way thru his book Peace with God many years ago when the description of His Suffering on that Cross for my sins brought me to my knees. God is so faithful to His Word. He has met my needs all my life even before I knew Him. I am so glad I know where I am going because He took my place down here so I could go free. I know your father was chosen of God to save souls and there will stars without number in his crown and yours. Stay strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. He is able to keep you.

  7. Don says:

    Thank you Franklin for the work you and the BGEA do around the world. We were in Paraguay in a nationwide effort and 25000 people came to Christ with television remote broadcasts nationwide and we were greatly blessed as we saw the Paraguayans come to Christ. We served there almost 40 years and your ministry was a highlight.

  8. Rose says:

    Thank you Franklin for what you do and especially for sharing the truth about Jesus Christ. I love supportint BGEA and you because our first concern needs to be to “go into all the world” and tell them about Jesus.

  9. Diane H. says:

    Thank you for the scripture about the evil man. The day the evil one died, my spirit was unsettled and I know it was because he died lost. Everyone needs the gospel. God bless you and all who work with you.

  10. Donna says:

    Rev. Graham. May God continue to bless you and your family. I was raised listening to your father and thank God that you have followed in his footsteps. I too had misgivings about rejoicing in Bin Laden's death. It is always a tragedy when anyone dies without knowing Jesus as their Savior. I am praying for you while in N.Korea. God be with you as you bring the word to an unsaved world.