(Photo: Reuters / Allison Shelley)
Just days before the U.S. presidential election, evangelist Franklin Graham, son of the Rev. Billy Graham, has suggested that "this could be America's last call" before the return of Christ, and has asked voters to pray for guidance.
"In just a few days, we in the United States have the privilege of electing the people who will serve in office for the next several years," Graham writes in a piece titled "This Could Be America's Last Call..." on the Billy Graham Evangelical Association (BGEA) website.
"Since we believe this is one of the most important elections in our lifetime, my father and I have taken a strong stand in the past few months to encourage voters to support candidates on the national, state, and local levels who embrace biblical values," he adds.
Much like his father, Graham has been warning Americans that they must turn to biblical values on Nov. 6 when they choose among candidates including President Barack Obama and GOP candidate Mitt Romney for the White House. While stopping short of officially endorsing Romney, Graham met the candidate earlier this month at his home in North Carolina, where he and his father praised Romney for his position on pro-life issues and traditional marriage.
The BGEA faced some criticism both from the left and right with observers saying the organization had never backed one particular candidate over another before, and that getting into politics should not be what the BGEA mission is about. In response, the BGEA told The Christian Post that "Mr. (Billy) Graham has been careful to remain non-partisan, but has been a consistent advocate for a biblical worldview and taken a strong stand for biblical values with respect to political issues."
In his letter to the nation, Franklin Graham writes that a "crucial hour" for the nation is approaching.
"Above all, this is a time for deep, intercessory prayer on behalf of our great country, which is in grave danger unless we repent of our sins and turn back to the God of our fathers," he writes. "The Bible says, 'First of all, then, 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 (1 Timothy 2:1–2).'"
Without naming names, Graham continues his letter by stating that "when America's leaders actively promote and legislate immorality, restrict the religious freedoms that our country was founded on, and are openly hostile to men and women of faith, then I believe we are ripe for God's judgment." He also asks the public to pray for God to protect the U.S. against sin.
The evangelist concludes his letter by summarizing the important work the BGEA is doing in places like Sudan, the Middle East and across North America.
As for his "last call" warning, Graham notes that Jesus Christ is "coming one day very soon" to "save His own and to judge those who don't know and worship Him" – and that now is the time more than ever for Christians to pray and repent.