(Photo: David Duncan)
In remarks given at Liberty University, the Rev. Franklin Graham explained to students gathered that there are "costs" to following Jesus.
Graham, who is president and CEO of Samaritan's Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, focused his remarks at a Liberty University's regular event Convocation about "what it means to give your life to Christ."
"What does that mean? To say 'God here is my life, take it and use it'? Because there are some costs associated with this," said Graham, who read from Luke 14 to illustrate his point. "You have to be willing to give up everything…If you are going to follow me, if you are going to be my disciple you have got to understand the cost. You have to put me first."
Johnnie Moore, vice president of Executive Projects at Liberty, provided The Christian Post with a statement from Liberty Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. regarding Graham's visit.
"While other evangelists have chosen a path of political correctness, Franklin has taken a stand for the unborn and traditional marriage and against radical Islam in national elections and has endured vicious attacks from the left as a result," said Falwell.
"Like my father before him, Franklin speaks the truth in love regardless of how unpopular that truth might be in today's culture. Dad recognized Franklin's courage and hand-picked Franklin to speak at his funeral in 2007."
Graham also told the Liberty students gathered there about his own personal walk of faith and some of the uncertainty he had about the direction his life was supposed to take.
"There was a period in my life where it wasn't that I rebelled against God, it wasn't that I didn't believe in God. I just didn't want God to run my life. I just wanted to push the buttons myself," said Graham.
"I got on my knees one night and I just – I had a conversation with God…I went to bed. The next morning I got up and I said okay, I prayed that prayer in a minute. Alright. And to this day, I still mean it."
Graham's remarks were done at "Convocation," a regular gathering of students held at the Vines Center at Liberty University every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning during a semester.
Since the beginning of the spring semester, in addition to Graham, the Convocation has featured Elmer Towns, co-founder and Dean of the Seminary and School of Religion at Liberty and Mark Batterson, author and head pastor of National Community Church of Washington, DC.
Other speakers presently scheduled for this semester include former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, NFL quarterback Tim Tebow, CBS' NFL Today host James Brown, and Jonathan Falwell, Senior Pastor of Thomas Road Baptist Church of Lynchburg and the son of Liberty's founder, the late Reverend Jerry Falwell.
Graham also talked about the excuses that many have had when discovering the issues that can come from following Jesus, citing the passage from Matthew 8:19-20 wherein a man says he will follow Jesus.
"This guy just shows up. 'I'll follow you wherever you go.' I like that. Jesus said to him 'Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head'," said Graham.
"You don't hear another word from this guy. He just vanishes off the pages of history."