February 5, 2014
By Franklin Graham
When Jesus died on the cross and was raised to life, He commanded the apostles to go into all the world, make disciples, and baptize them in the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (see Mark 16:15, Matthew 28:18).
A few weeks later, as the disciples and followers huddled in Jerusalem, the Holy Spirit was poured out at Pentecost with the sound of a mighty rushing wind.
Immediately, Peter stood up before huge crowds and began preaching the Gospel of Christ’s atoning death and triumphant resurrection. In one day, the church grew by 3,000 souls as men and women repented of their sins and received God’s forgiveness. This shook Jerusalem, and the aftershocks are still being felt today.
Since then, the Gospel has indeed gone to the ends of the earth as tribes and nations have heard the Good News and millions have been added to the church. This past November, there was a tremendous move of the Holy Spirit in our own country, as the My Hope America telecast aired across the nation. Tens and tens and tens of thousands of people turned from their sins and put their trust in Jesus Christ as they listened to my father preach on The Cross. Churches and homes were shaken as the Gospel—God’s power for salvation—was proclaimed.
We are still receiving reports almost daily of people who were saved as they watched this life-changing My Hope America telecast, The Cross. Pastors have told us again and again that the program is Spirit-anointed. Some churches have told us that they are going to show The Cross on Good Friday or Easter. This is a tremendous idea—what a perfect time! I know that the Lord will open blind eyes and bring life to dead souls as the Holy Spirit uses the preaching of the Word to convict of sin and call people to salvation.
Showing The Cross at Easter is a wonderful idea for individuals as well. I want to encourage you to invite your own unsaved loved ones and neighbors to watch it. Begin by praying about whom God would have you invite.
Write their names down and ask God to prepare the way for you. He will. Remember, everyone without Christ will spend an eternity in Hell, where they will suffer “everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power” (2 Thessalonians 1:9, NKJV). But for those who turn to Christ in repentance and faith, God offers a living hope for today and promises “an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you” (1 Peter 1:4).
Whether or not your church has already participated in My Hope America, I hope you can sit down with your pastor or someone on staff and tell them about this opportunity to show The Cross on Good Friday or Easter Sunday. If they don’t know about the program, simply go to MyHopeWithBillyGraham.org and let them watch the program online. It’s just 30 minutes long, and I promise you, once they see it, they will want to show it to their congregation.
The message we proclaim—the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, God’s Son sent to rescue us from our sin—is the same message that Peter preached when he stood in the midst of Jerusalem 2,000 years ago: “This Jesus … you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it” (Acts 2:23–24, ESV).
The same Spirit that filled the Apostle Peter and turned the world upside down is with us and at work today. It’s the Spirit that our nation so desperately needs to turn from our sinful ways and receive the gift of everlasting life.