As you watch the news, do you feel as I do—that it seems the world is coming apart at the seams? There appears to be no end to the bad news. The killing of Christians by Muslims from Indonesia to Bangladesh to Pakistan. China tearing down church buildings. Christians tortured, beheaded and crucified in Iraq, with villages burned and churches destroyed, and much the same in Syria.
American pastor Saeed Abedini is still imprisoned in Iran for his faith. Throughout Northern Africa, the Middle East, and many parts of the world, the church of Jesus Christ—and anyone or any group who bears His Name—is under attack. In our own country as well, there is great opposition to the church of Jesus Christ. We see this throughout the media, the entertainment industry, government and politics.
Jesus warned His disciples in Matthew 24 when they asked Him about the signs of the end of the age. He said there would be wars and rumors of wars, famines, earthquakes and pestilence. He told them, "Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake" (Matt. 24:9, KJV).
As I read the news, I can't help but wonder if we are in the last hours before our Lord Jesus Christ returns to rescue His church and God pours out His wrath on the world for the rejection of His Son. I don't know if we have hours, days, months, or years—but as Christians, God calls us to take the truth of the Gospel to the ends of the Earth. Our job is to warn sinners of the consequences of sin and show them that God is loving and gracious, willing to forgive if we come to Him in repentance and faith. We have to accept God's provision for our sins—the shedding of Christ's Blood on the cross. This is what we preach at BGEA—Jesus Christ, dead, buried and risen! Ultimately this is what matters most in this world.
We have seen firsthand the pestilence of Ebola. This year the virus has already claimed the lives of over 1,000, making it the deadliest Ebola outbreak in history. A medical doctor serving with Samaritan's Purse in Liberia was infected with this deadly virus, but through the prayers of many righteous, God spared his life. All this reminds me of the urgency of preaching the gospel while we have the opportunity. Jesus tells us, "As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work" (John 9:4, NIV).
I have just completed a major evangelistic Crusade in Pittsburgh, and we have another coming up in Toronto, Ontario, and then Erie, Pennsylvania, where the Good News will be proclaimed to thousands and broadcast over the Internet to reach even more. This fall we have a powerful new My Hope film being released with a never-before-seen message from my father about heaven. This is a great chance for you and your church to partner in My Hope 2014 with Billy Graham and invite your friends and loved ones to hear the Gospel. Plan to show it to people you know and encourage your church to show it as well.
Whether we are holding evangelistic Crusades in stadiums or reaching the lost in closed countries in the Middle East through the Internet as they search for answers to questions like "What happens after I die?" or "Who is Jesus?"—through whatever means we are able to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ, your prayers and financial gifts make this ministry possible. We are grateful for your partnership and your heart for the gospel.
Franklin Graham, son of iconic evangelist Billy Graham, is the president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan's Purse.
This article originally appeared on BillyGraham.org
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