In the wake of Monday’s tragic Las Vegas mass shooting that left 59 dead and more than 500 wounded, Rev. Franklin Graham warned about the rising tide of “wickedness” sweeping the United States and urged Americans to check the “evil” brewing in their own hearts.
The Christian leader used the Las Vegas killer Stephen Paddock as just one example of people’s hardening hearts today that are turning further away from the goodness and righteousness of God’s Word.
“Many people don’t understand what would be in a person’s heart to spray bullets into a crowd to kill and wound as many as he can,” Graham started off his Facebook post on Wednesday. “Or what’s in the heart of a person who drives his car across a bridge in London and into a crowd of people, get out with a knife, and stab innocent people and police officers. Or what’s in the heart of a person who would take a knife and cut off the head of another human being.”
The president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) went on to say that this callousness has even permeated the Left-leaning mainstream media.
“Many don’t understand what’s in the heart of a person who’s a senior attorney for CBS and says she has ‘no sympathy’ for those killed or wounded in Las Vegas simply because people who listen to country music might be Republicans,” he added.
A universal problem
The bond that ties the godless examples together was then divulged.
“The common thread that runs through the heart of each of these is evil,” Graham continued, before sharing Scripture that drove his point home. “The Bible says, ‘The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?’ (Jeremiah 17:9).“
The lack of love and compassion in today’s world was attributed to its separation from God, and he says the displays of depravity will continue to escalate as we enter the End Times spoken about in the Bible.
“Evil exists in the world today and the Bible warns us that ‘because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold.’ (Matthew 24:12),” Graham quoted from the New Testament.
The North Carolina native insisted that the unprecedented persecution, massacres and genocides taking place today on a regular basis is typical of a generation that has turned its back on God and His Word – a people that instead embraces and celebrates the sin and abominable lifestyles that the Bible warns about.
“We see a rise in wickedness – not just in this country but around the world,” Graham pointed out. “And Hollywood filmmakers continue to promote evil, wickedness, violence as a form of entertainment.”
He warned that this generation will continue to sink into its godless tailspin unless it repents and turns to God.
“Our nation is in trouble, and only God can heal the human heart,” Graham concluded. “That’s why Jesus Christ came – to pay the penalty for our sins and to offer forgiveness through faith in Him.”
Like day and night
In another Facebook post this week, Graham pointed out the difference between President Donald Trump’s response to the Las Vegas shooting to that of former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s.
He was writing about the following tweet by the former secretary of state, who used the shooting as an opportunity to push her gun control agenda and attack the National Rifle Association (NRA).
“The crowd fled at the sound of gunshots – imagine the deaths if the shooter had a silencer, which the NRA wants to make easier to get,” Clinton posted on Twitter in the wake of the Las Vegas tragedy. “Our grief isn’t enough. We can and must put politics aside, stand up to the NRA, and work together to try to stop this from happening again.”
Graham, who is also the president and CEO of Samaritan’s Purse, had this to say about Clinton’s political grandstanding – in comparison to how Trump handled the tragic incident.
“What’s the difference between Hillary Clinton & Donald J. Trump as president?” the global evangelist posted on Facebook. “Well, there are many. But it is impossible not to notice the difference in response to the crisis of the Las Vegas shooting massacre yesterday. Hillary immediately – and ineffectively – tried to make it about gun control, her agenda. President Trump brought comfort from God’s Word and pointed America to the importance of prayer. I’m thankful millions noticed the difference.”
Graham was referring to the following address Trump gave after the mass shooting, which he quoted.
“Scripture teaches us the Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit,” Trump proclaimed to Americans on Monday shortly after the Las Vegas Strip shooting, according to WND. “We seek comfort in those words, for we know that God lives in the hearts of those who grieve. To the wounded who are now recovering in hospitals, we are praying for your full and speedy recovery, and pledge to you our support from this day forward. … We pray for the entire nation to find unity and peace, and we pray for the day when evil is banished and the innocent are safe from hatred and from fear. … May God bless the souls of the lives that are lost, may God give us the grace of healing and may God provide the grieving families with strength to carry on.”
Healing in ‘Sin City’
Wasting little time to meet the spiritual and emotional needs of the victims of the Las Vegas shooting, one of Franklin Graham’s ministries has been turning a curse into blessings.
“In response to what is now the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, a group of Billy Graham Rapid Response Team (BGRRT) chaplains is ministering in Las Vegas, offering emotional and spiritual care to people who are suffering,” BGEA announced on its website. “Each chaplain is trained in crisis response and has previous experience ministering after a violent attack in a place that seemed safe.”
BGRRT International Director Jack Munday said the “unimaginable, traumatic situation” at the country music festival across from Mandalay Bay has spurred him to pray for the injured, the grieving and the first responders.
“My prayer is that they know they’re not alone and that hundreds of thousands of people are praying for them,” Munday expressed in the BGEA report.
His team has faithfully brought the love and healing of Christ to people around the world who have fallen victim to terrorist attacks.
“This year, Billy Graham chaplains have responded to terror attacks in Quebec, Canada; London, England (March and June); Manchester, England; and Barcelona, Spain,” BGEA reported. “In 2016, the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team ministered after terror attacks in Belgium, France and in Germany (Munich in July and Berlin in December). In June 2016, 40 crisis-trained chaplains prayed with and comforted more than 1,600 people in Orlando, Florida, following the attack at Pulse nightclub. Chaplains have also responded to mass shootings in San Bernardino, California, (2016); Umpqua Community College in Oregon (2016); Newtown, Connecticut, (2012); Aurora, Colorado, (2012); Northern Illinois University (2008) and Virginia Tech University (2007), among others.”
The ray of hope that pierces through tragedy after tragedy is found in God’s Word, Munday explained.
“In the midst of great suffering – whether it’s a shooting in Orlando or Virginia Tech or Newtown – we always see good that comes out of it, because that’s God’s heart,” the tragedy response missionary shared. “Evil and sin are never satisfied, but as God touches lives and brings healing, we see the good.”