Rev. Franklin Graham, head of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. (AP)
(CNSNews.com) – Rev. Franklin Graham, head of the international Christian aid group Samaritan’s Purse and son of world-renowned preacher Billy Graham, said that given all the “bad news” about the killing of Christians by Muslims in some countries, and attacks on Christians by the media and the government even in America, he cannot “help but wonder if we are in the last hours before our Lord Jesus Christ returns.”
“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,” said Rev. Graham in a post on the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) website.
“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,” said Graham. “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.”
American journalist James Foley, a Christian, just before he was beheaded by an ISIS jihadist. His excution was videotaped and posted on the Internet. (Photo: YouTube.)
The BGEA was founded in 1950 by Rev. Billy Graham, and Franklin Graham is vice chairman and CEO of the evangelical organization.
In his remarks, Rev. Graham talked about the spread of Ebola in Africa, noting that just in 2014 “the virus has already claimed the lives of over 1,000, making it the deadliest outbreak in history.” One of the American doctors, Kent Brantly, infected with Ebola in Liberia and flown back to the United States for treatment last month was working with Samaritan’s Purse.
As for the religious persecution in the Middle East and elsewhere, Rev. Graham questioned whether “the world is coming apart at the seams,” adding, “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,” said Rev. Graham. “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.”
An Orthodox Christian church destroyed by ISIS jihadists in Syria. (AP)
“In our own country as well, there is great opposition to the church of Jesus Christ,” he said. “We see this throughout the media, the entertainment industry, government, and politics.”
Rev. Graham continued, “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.’”
Franklin Graham is married, has five children, and lives in Boone, N.C. His father, Rev. Billy Graham, 95, is in poor health and not expected to live much longer. Over the years, Billy Graham preached to more than 215 million people in 185 different countries, and he wrote 31 books. For more than 50 years he has regularly been ranked among one of the most admired people in the world.