Sixty years on, a new message from Billy Graham

11 July 2014


Man of influence: the then Vice President of the United States, Richard Nixon, pours coffee for his lunch guest, Dr Graham, in Nixon's private office in Washington, in March 1960 

Man of influence: the then Vice President of the United States, Richard Nixon, pours coffee for his lunch guest, Dr Graham, in Nixon's private ...

SIXTY years after his London Crusade, during which he shared the gospel with more than 1.5 million people ( News, 23 May), Dr Billy Graham has produced a new "message of hope" for the UK as part of a new campaign of evangelisation.

My Hope UK is described by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) as "a nationwide effort to reach people across the United Kingdom with the gospel of Jesus Christ". The organisation has produced a new free film - The Cross - which churches can use as part of their evangelising efforts. It will be launched on 7 November, Dr Graham's 96th birthday. It will include a message from him, filmed at his home in Charlotte, North Carolina. BGEA is encouraging churches to start planning a screening.

On Tuesday, Steve Rhoads, the vice-president of My Hope UK, said that, while the UK had changed a great deal in 60 years, "we are certainly not in a worse world than we were in the first century in Rome, when the church grew and flourished amidst persecution. You have every reason to be pessimistic unless you are full of faith, and then you have to quote that when sin abounds, grace abounds. There is a greater opportunity to speak about Jesus than there ever has been before."

The Church in the UK had done a "very good job with the social aspects of the gospel," he said. "There are more churches out in communities than in anybody's recent memory, trying to be loving, trying to be relevant in the world we are living in, and in so far as we can demonstrate the love of Jesus by our actions, we should do this. But faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God, so at some point we have to open our mouths. . . That is intimidating because of the culture we live in, but God will help us."

It was not necessary to be a "great theologian" to evangelise, he said. "All you have to do is give a testimony about what God has done in your life."

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