The son of the great American evangelist Billy Graham admitted before thousands of people that he too was a sinner.
Addressing the multitudes gathered during the All Liberia Life Festival in Monrovia, the capital city of the west African nation of Liberia, Franklin Graham stood at the podium delivering a message of true freedom and restoration offered by Christ alone. The event was held from March 25-27 but webcasted on March 29.
In a country devastated by war, terror and corruption following two civil wars, Liberia, once a refuge for freed slaves, hoped to rebuild the nation and become what their very name represented, a “Land of the Free.”
Speaking to the west African nation, Graham told listeners that freedom lies not in religion but in a relationship with Christ.
The pastor told the story of Manasseh, King of Judah referenced in 2 Kings 21, who did much evil in the eyes of the Lord, erecting altars to idols, sacrificing his own son, and shedding so much innocent blood that Jerusalem was filled from end to end.
God’s judgment fell on Manasseh and the king was captured, led off to Babylon, and thrown into a dark dungeon. And while he was in Babylon, he humbled himself greatly and called upon the name of the Lord.
“Think of this,” Graham stated. “This man that sacrificed his own son… this murderer goes into a prison and while he is there he calls upon the name of Almighty God… who hears him and [releases] him and [sends] him back.”
Declaring the Lord’s compassion and forgiveness, the evangelist asked everyone to humble themselves, repent, turn, and receive Christ by faith.
“God forgave Manasseh and restored him and he will restore you. Manasseh was in prison and was set free. What is your prison tonight?” asked Graham. “Sex? Temper? Anger? Hate? Jealousy? Revenge? Whatever it is, you can be set free if you come to Christ tonight.”
Knowing of the deep and persistent corruption that plagued much of the people in Liberia, the evangelist continually reminded the crowd that God would forgive them if they were willing to repent and turn from their sins like Manasseh had.
“In a stadium like this, there may be murderers here, men who are guilty of taking innocent life. [But] God will forgive you if you’re willing to repent of your sins and accept Christ. God will set you free.”
Relaying the same message to prisoners in Nicaragua, Graham told the audience at the festival that after his message one prisoner came forward and told him that while he will have to be in that prison for life, he was just set free.
But Graham insisted, “I cannot save you. You’re not coming to Franklin Graham. You’re coming to God through faith in his son Jesus Christ.”
Inviting thousands to come to the front of the platform and receive forgiveness and salvation, hundreds of people literally ran across the field and stadium from their seats to receive Jesus and witness liberation.
Worship groups including Vow to Pray, New Creation Mass Choir, Dennis Agajanian, and the Tommy Coomes Band led the crowd in praise.
Visiting guests from Ghana, Nigeria, and the United States attended the event and even the Liberian president, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, came to support the festival as well.
The event was organized by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
Over the three days, 91,000 people attended the event and 13,749 of those who attended committed their life to Christ.
Ministering to the people in every way, not just spiritually, Samaritan’s Purse, of which Franklin Graham is president, also launched a series of programs aimed at providing physical help to the people of Liberia.
Agriculture, livestock and fish projects are currently allowing thousands of rural families to provide for themselves.
Samaritan’s Purse also helped rebuild and reopen the African Bible College and provided materials and resources to over 300 rural churches destroyed during the conflicts.
“We have the opportunity here to preach the Gospel and we have the opportunity to help these people on every level,” Graham stated on the organization’s website.
Graham’s father, Billy Graham, and his daughter, Cissie Graham, have all been involved in the restoration of Liberia.
“Our only job here is to bring glory to the one and only living God,” stated his daughter on her blog. “The Lord is not done here in Liberia… he has something great in store for these people.”