This is one of those stories that fill me with concern but also with hope. I'm sure you'll understand the "concern" part easily, but the "hope" part perhaps is not as obvious. I'll get to that momentarily.
First, let me share with you the news circulating last week that Franklin Graham, the evangelical preacher son of Billy Graham, has been barred from 7 planned venues in his upcoming tour of the United Kingdom. The reasons provided by these venues? The supposed "anti-LGBT" views maintained by the preacher. Activist group "All Out" said on its website
"Graham travels around the world telling tens of thousands of people that Satan runs the LGBT+ movement. [...] Let's send a clear message to this US hatemonger that he's not welcome in London or the UK!"
To their credit, they do seem to understand that the basic message of sin is that Satan runs it...and that's the biblical message. Now, I don't know if Graham says "Satan runs the LGBT+ movement", but if he does, he would be consistent with what God tells us in the Bible. You see, Satan runs ALL sins, not just LGBT+ type of sin. He rules murderers, liars, pedophiles, cheaters, and generally speaking all sins. So in that regard, this particular group is being accurate as to who is to blame for all sin: Satan. The problem is they think they're being singled out, when in fact they're just one of many groups of sinners. What they fail to understand is that we ALL are sinners, not just them, and we need a Savior - that's Jesus.
After the ban, late last week, Franklin Graham sat down with UK's "Christian Today" (not to be mistaken for the NeverTrump "Christianity Today") for an interview. He said in this interview that his message is of love, not of hate. And that is, naturally, also consistent with the message of the Bible: it's about love. The love that Jesus has for us, to the point of laying his own life to pay for our sins.
One of the most quoted verses in the Bible is John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life". That's the Gospel. That's the good news. The bad news is we're all sinners. The good news is that if we trust Jesus, God the Father forgives our sins - no matter how terrible they may be.
So, activist group All Out knows Satan, but they don't know Jesus. And Franklin Graham wants to introduce Jesus to them, so they can be saved too. That is a message of love.
Among the many things he discussed in the interview with Christian Today, which I recommend you to read, is Religious Freedom. Here's what Franklin Graham said to the British publication:
"What I'm concerned about, though, is that if we don't stand up for the right to free speech and freedom of religion, there are lots of churches in this country that meet in public who are at risk. They could be kicked out, they could be forced to go somewhere else, just because of their faith."
Naturally I agree with Graham's concern. But, you see, that's the least of the Church's concerns. While persecution is no fun, the truth is we rest in Christ. We are saved. When we die, we'll go to heaven and enjoy God in a way that the unsaved will never know. So the biggest problem with jeopardizing Religious Freedom is not so much persecution itself but rather the fact that these groups, like "All out" who clearly accept the fact that Satan does exist, will never have the chance to know Jesus - at least not in this life. In the next life, they're all going to meet Him and they won't like where they're headed. Again, it's not just about LGBT - it's about all unbelievers. All of them will have no chance of ever knowing Jesus and His redemptive work while here on Earth. It's the very people who are persecuting us that will suffer the most in the end.
When Graham says his message is of love, not of hate, what he means is that Jesus is the way. Groups like All Out are being deceived by Satan, who's a fallen angel and much smarter than human beings. They're being deceived and they will have a high price to pay, unless someone helps them hear the Truth. The Truth is that Jesus saves. The Truth is that, no matter what you did in the past or what you're doing now, you don't have to spend eternity in hell. And silencing Christians will only result in those who persecute us being utterly condemned forever. Graham wants to give everybody the good news - the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Without Him, we're lost. The more they silence us, the worse their damnation is going to be. We're only trying to help them.
Now, I did say in the beginning of this article that this situation gives me hope. What's the hope that it gives me? Well, you see, when things get this bad in the world - tribulation that the Bible itself prophesies - what with Drag Queen story hours for little children, Superbowl halftime shows of utter vulgarity and so on, there are only two possible outcomes after all of this: either we're headed to a religious revival or to the Rapture of the Church. Either way, Jesus' second coming gets closer and closer. And that gives me hope.
"Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth."
We bring you the TRUTH that the Left denies you. You'll live a more joyful and victorious life, because the Truth will set you free...