FRANKLIN GRAHAM CALLS AMERICA TO UNIT AFTER BITTER ELECTION CAMPAIGN
Now that the votes are in, the people of the United States face the difficult task of coming together after a hard-fought and divisive campaign season. Whether your preferred candidate won or lost, you may be wondering, what now? “This election has been long, it’s been tough, and it’s been divisive. It’s time to put that behind us,” Franklin Graham said on Facebook. “Now is the time to come together in unity and work together. Our nation has so many problems that need fixing. Even more important are the spiritual needs of our country. Whether we are rich or poor, without Jesus Christ we are the most desperately in need, the poorest of the poor. We cannot ignore His hand and His supreme authority.”
All year long, Franklin Graham travelled from coast to coast, urging Christians to do three things: pray, vote and engage in the political process. The polls may be closed, but the need to pray and engage is just as important now as it was before the election. “One thing is for sure, we need to pray for our new president, vice president, and our other leaders every day, whether we agree with them or not,” Franklin Graham said. “They need God’s help and direction. It is my prayer that we will truly be ‘one nation under God.'” As the nation prepares for new leadership, read these five reminders for some Biblical perspective.
Remember the truth. How great are His signs, how mighty His wonders! His Kingdom is an everlasting Kingdom, and His dominion endures from generation to generation. Nations and kingdoms on earth appear and disappear throughout history. But God’s Kingdom is everlasting. You may be feeling uneasy, but remember that God was in control before the votes were in, and He’s still in control now. Before the election, Franklin Graham said this: The Bible tells us that ultimately “God reigns over the nations; God sits on His holy throne” (Psalm 47:8). I am praying for God to give us a president, a vice president, and other leaders who will acknowledge Him and look to Him for direction. But no matter who is in the Oval Office, God is still on His throne. My hope is in Him. He is what our country needs.
Start at home. Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting! (Psalm 139:23-24, ESV) It’s easy to focus on the flaws and the sins of the Nation’s politicians. But God’s Word instructs us to take a hard look at our own sins. Jesus said, “Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?” (Matthew 7:3, ESV). Throughout the Decision America Tour, Franklin Graham led hundreds of thousands of Americans in prayers of repentance for their individual sins, the sins of their families and the sins of the Nation. “Because the only hope for America is if God’s people repent of their sins and call upon His Name,” Franklin said.
Pray for the new president and all elected leaders. I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Saviour, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. (1 Timothy 2:1-4, ESV) “I pray that President-elect Trump will surround himself with godly men and women to help counsel him as he leads the Nation,” Franklin Graham said. Have you prayed for the newly elected president and vice president today? Regardless of who won the elections, pray for the salvation of those who are in leadership. And pray for unity within the Church.
Start looking for godly people to run for office. “We need men and women in office who love God, who fear God,” Franklin Graham said. “He said, ‘Get involved in the political process. I’d like to challenge every deeply-committed American who’s qualified to think about running for political office.’ He said, ‘I don’t believe that we as Christians should withdraw. We need men and women of integrity, of Christian commitment, who will run for political office.'” If you don’t like the current political landscape, ask God to show you what you can do about it. “Go back into your community and start looking, start praying for Christians, real, true, born again men and women of God, and begin to get behind them and organize for them. “Because if you can take your community back, we’ll eventually get our nation back.”
Take a stand. When the early Christians were persecuted and thrown in jail, they prayed for God to allow them to continue to preach with boldness. Their prayers were answered, and many people came to faith. Now is not the time for Christians to be silent. “We as Christians, we have been told we’ve got to be quiet,” Franklin said. “We don’t want to upset people. We don’t want to turn anybody off. But they accuse us of being intolerant if we speak up. “Well, we don’t want to be accused of being intolerant. So, we want to be Christlike. But I remember Christ one time taking a whip and chasing money changers out of the temple (John 2:15). I remember Jesus one time telling the Pharisees, ‘You’re a bunch a whitewashed tombs’ (Matthew 23:27). “There are times that we need to stand up and speak out.”
A magnitude 7.8 earthquake shook the East Coast of the South Island of New Zealand last week, especially from Canterbury to Marlborough; and also Wellington, just after midnight on 14 November, followed by many aftershocks, which are still continuing. This comes just over 6 years after the 4 September 2010 earthquake first struck the Canterbury area followed by the fatal earthquake of 22 February the following year, which resulted in the deaths of 185 people, and about 2000 people injured. Two people died as a result of this recent earthquake, but it has caused major problems especially around the Kaikoura and neighbouring East Coast area, as well as renewed fear in the Canterbury area which has been affected by all three major earthquakes; and also in Wellington.
A number of church buildings have been affected, and an estimated 80,000 to 100,000 landslides since is combining with heavy rain to worsen the effects of the initial quake. The Anglican church bell tower at Waiau, in the diocese of Christchurch, has sheared off from the body of the church. And in Wellington, St Paul’s cathedral was evacuated over fears that a nearby building may collapse. The cathedral itself survived intact; but its pipe organ has been severely damaged with pipework thrown over the choir area. The diocese of Nelson has not been able to make contact with anybody in the parish of Kaikoura, which bore the brunt of the quake. Phone lines to the region are down and road access destroyed.
The New Zealand Navy and Air Force have evacuated hundreds of people from the town using helicopters and the warship HMNZS Canterbury. Naval warships from Australia, the US and Canada, heading to New Zealand to take part in celebrations for the 75th anniversary of the New Zealand Navy, have diverted to Kaikoura to deliver aid and assistance to the remaining population. Canon Robert Kereopa, the chief executive of Anglican Missions in New Zealand said in a conversation with the Anglican Alliance. “Thankfully reports thus far from Christchurch, Nelson, and Wellington dioceses all say everyone is OK. “We are in good heart, and poised to give support where it is needed, but it will take some time to assess the damage, which is substantial.”
* giving thanks to God there were not more fatalities or serious injuries in this recent quake. Pray too for all those people who are suffering as a result of the earthquakes, whether because of the injury or loss of loved ones;, from stress and fear, or financially through loss of income or employment, homes and property; or in other ways.
* for all those people who have been part of the emergency teams which have helped rescue people, treated the injured, and helped in a multitude of other ways, people who have given their time and skills and efforts to help others. Pray too for the resources (including monetary resources) to repair or replace what has been destroyed which is expected to run into the billions of dollars. Pray too for wisdom for all decision-makers in the days and years to come, as they try to restore the areas damaged by the quake, and how to prepare for the future.
* that God would use this natural disaster to bring people to the end of themselves and for this time to be a major turning point for the people of New Zealand and in their relationship to the Lord God Almighty. Pray for a nationwide return of backslidden Christians to Jesus. Pray for nominal Christians, and people who know the Gospel but have never responded to the call of Jesus; pray for those who do not even believe in Jesus or in the one true God, that a major work of God’s Holy Spirit will be done in their lives and that they will be born again and follow Him for the rest of their lives, for their sake, and for the nation’s sake!
NATIONS PREPARE FOR BIGGEST VOTE ON HOMOSEXUAL AGENDA EVER PUT BEFORE UN
The UN General Assembly is preparing the battlefield for the most important vote on the homosexual agenda it has ever faced. The African Group tabled a resolution last week challenging the legality of a narrow decision of the Human Rights Council in June to establish the first-ever UN bureaucratic post on LGBT issues. The 54 nation-strong Group said it was “disturbed” by the incessant focus on “sexual interests and behaviours” and asked that these notions not be linked to binding human rights law. “The African Group is strongly concerned by the attempts to introduce and impose new notions and concepts that are not internationally agreed upon,” Botswana’s ambassador said, presenting the position of the African Group.
He asked for the “suspension” of the UN post until further consultations on the legal basis of the mandate take place. Delegations did not waste time in laying out their positions. Countries backing the homosexual agenda scrambled to counter the Africans, revealing the high priority Western nations afford the new post, ostensibly aimed at reducing violence and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. A US diplomat said they were “deeply concerned” by the African proposal to re-open negotiations on the resolution of the Human Rights Council because it would “set a very dangerous precedent.” She suggested the Africans were claiming the absence of a legal basis for the mandate as a pretext to block the mandate.
The United Kingdom said the proposal would “undermine” the Human Rights Council. Earlier this week the UK’s deputy foreign secretary, Alan Duncan, said his country would fight to save the independent expert. Seventy-six countries throughout the world prohibit sodomy. If all of them voted in favour of the resolution it would virtually ensure its passage. In recent times, however, U.S. diplomats have boasted that they are able to twist the arms of such countries to make them abstain in controversial votes or even vote against their own laws on sexual relations.
UNQUENCHABLE REVIVAL RAGING THROUGH IRAN AS OVER 300,000 CONVERT TO CHRIST
Hundreds of Iranian and Afghan Muslims are coming to Christ despite the very real threat of violent persecution or death. Elam Ministries reportsd that more than 200 Iranians and Afghans were baptized just outside Iran. Doing so inside the country could mean death. “I never thought I would find freedom from my past, but Jesus has set me free,” one newly baptized Christian said. Despite the dangers of converting to Christianity, revival is breaking out in Iran, one of the most dangerous places to be a Christian. “Twenty years ago, everyone thought there were 2,000-5,000 Believers in Iran,” says Elam Ministries’ Mark Howard. Today that number has grown more than ten-fold.
Howard says a “conservative estimate” is 300,000 – 400,000 Muslim converts to Christianity are now living in Iran. “The Lord is really doing something,” Howard said. “Every day we have many coming to the Lord. If you give a starving person food and water they will want to share it. That’s what they find in Jesus. They are so hungry and thirsty for the truth. They are experiencing it in a powerful way. When they do they want to share it with others,” He says so many people are tired of Iran’s iron-fist government and are ready to find the truth. “The Iranians are spiritual people. As many search for truth and hunger for the truth, it is natural to look for that in Jesus. When someone tells them about Jesus they are eager,” Howard said.
MUSLIMS ARE LEAVING ISLAM IN DROVES AND BEGGING CHRIST FOR HEALING
Thousands of Muslims disillusioned by the violence and unrest in Mosul, ISIS’ last stronghold in Iraq, are embracing Christianity and “begging” Christ for healing after experiencing the love of Christ and hearing the truth of the Gospel. A ministry director working in northern Iraq’s autonomous region of Kurdistan shared with Christian Aid Mission how his organization has been distributing Bibles, leading Bible studies and holding discipleship training sessions for displaced people for more than two years. He revealed that before ISIS seized Mosul in 2014, it had the reputation as the Iraqi city that was most closed to the Gospel. However, triggered by the lack of freedom in Islam and gratitude to Christians offering help to refugees fleeing war-torn countries, thousands have turned to Christianity.
“So now they see the true face of Islam, they saw the teachings of Islam and they know what it means to be under the Islamic State,” he said. “I believe a lot of heart-breaking stories will come out of Mosul with people who are ready to leave Islam and beg for Christ to take their lives and give them healing.” As Iraqi forces push ahead with their offensive to drive ISIS out of their stronghold, militants have forced about 1,500 families to retreat with them and abducted 295 former Iraqi Security Force (ISF) members from villages on the outskirts of the city, Reuters reports. Eighteen of the town’s 30 sheiks have also been killed, according to a report received by the United Nations.
Clifford Burton Barrows longtime music and program director for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association has passed away at age 93. He was part of the Graham organization since 1949. Barrows is best known as the host of Graham’s weekly Hour of Decision.