For obvious reasons, warnings are not always warmly received by those to whom they are given, but they often mean the difference between life and death, heaven and hell. And those who are brave enough to utter such challenging words of caution are, in fact, displaying the highest degree of love. They risk the anger and attacks of those who furiously defy their warnings. Nevertheless, they choose the well-being of another person over their own personal convenience — as opposed to those who fearfully choose to tell people only what they want to hear.
The Watchmen on the Wall National Pastor’s Briefing was a three-day event (May 21-23) sponsored by the Family Research Council at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. At Thursday night’s dinner session, the Rev. Franklin Graham told a group of biblically-minded pastors that he is “not afraid of homosexuals,” and he loves them enough to warn them that they’re bound for “the flames of hell.”
Rev. Graham, president and CEO of Samaritan’s Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, presented a message entitled Standing Strong on the Controversial Issues, which was based upon Revelation 21:8, where God lists eight kinds of unrepentant sinners who will end up “in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”
Of those sinners listed in Revelation, Graham chose to focus on the cowardly during his evening message.
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“The definition of a coward: a coward will not confront an issue that needs to be confronted due to fear. That is a coward,” explained Graham.
“God hates cowards. And the cowards that the Lord is referring to are the men and women who know the truth but refuse to speak it.”
Graham also boldly challenged Christians to speak out against abortion and homosexuality, pledging to join them by saying, “You’re not going to shut me up.”
“We have a responsibility to speak on the moral issues. Abortion, homosexuality, these are moral issues,” Graham insisted, “This is a free country, you can do what you want to do, but I want you to know it’s a sin against God. This is a sin.”
Graham also referred to “friends who are pastors” who shy away from the difficult subjects because they fear that they might “become targets.” But he told the pastors in attendance that they should always be willing to risk their lives to preach the truth with regards to controversial issues.
“Well don’t you think the Lord Jesus Christ was a target?” Graham asked. “Could we get our heads chopped off?”
“We could, maybe one day. So what? Chop it off!” he confidently declared to the cheers of the crowd.
Graham then went on to assert, “We don’t want to be called a homophobic, and I tell people, listen, I’m not afraid of homosexuals, I’m really not — matter of fact, I love them.”
“I love them enough to care to warn them that if they want to continue living like this, it’s the flames of hell for you,” he rightly proclaimed.
“Now, if you don’t like that, don’t get mad at me,” Graham remarked, “I didn’t write the rule book. Almighty God wrote it, and it’s a sin against Him.”
“Listen gentlemen — we live in a world where there is so much compromise,” Graham regretfully admitted.
“This city that we’re in, that’s all they do is compromise. We cannot go down that road because you and I are going to have to stand before God one day and give an account to Him, and you don’t want Him to say from His lips, ‘You were a coward.’”
During a March newspaper interview, the son of famed evangelist Rev. Billy Graham stirred up controversy over similar remarks about the danger of eternal damnation faced by homosexuals. Graham also upset the LGBT activists when he expressed his disapproval of “gay”adoption during the same interview.
“You can adopt a child into a marriage, but you can also recruit children into your cause,” Graham told the Charlotte Observer reporter as he questioned the motives of homosexuals who adopt children, “I believe in protecting children from exploitation – all exploitations.”
Pastors everywhere would be wise to follow Rev. Franklin Graham’s lead in courageously proclaiming the full counsel of God and never backing down when it comes to defending the truth with regards to the hot-button issues of our day.
According to the Family Research Council, the annual Watchmen on the Wall conference is sponsored with the purpose of “championing pastors to transform America.”
Their website explains the specific goals of the conference: “What are we hoping pastors will do? Simply this: 1) Pray for our nation, 2) Preach without apology, and 3) Partner with other pastors who will lead their churches to become the salt and light Jesus spoke about and make a positive difference in their communities, state, and our nation.”
“Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work.” – 1 Thess. 5:12-13a.
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