Evangelist Franklin Graham began year 2010 by declaring he is not ashamed of the Gospel as he predicts greater obstacles for Christians who want to share their faith.
"I believe that a time is fast approaching – I think it will be in my lifetime – when the preaching of the Gospel is referred to as hate speech," Graham wrote in a commentary posted on the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association web site.
He predicts a time when public statements about what the Bible says regarding homosexuality, abortion and other moral issues will be banned by "politically correct cultures," and when preachers could be imprisoned for following the teachings of the Bible.
"It is already happening in some countries," Graham noted.
But the BGEA president declared, "I am not afraid or ashamed of the Gospel. We will proclaim the Gospel of Christ's sacrificial death for sin and His triumphant resurrection as long as we have breath."
Graham's declaration of his commitment to preaching the Gospel was partly triggered by the recent climate change conference in Copenhagen, Denmark.
The American evangelist said that while there is "legitimate concern" for the stewardship of resources, he finds it "frightening" that those concerns have shifted to "a radical, godless worldview that elevates the creation to idolatrous status."
"People who have rejected God – and the idea that man is made in His image – are worshiping and serving creation, rather than the Creator," Graham, who also heads the humanitarian relief agency Samaritan's Purse, contended.
"I feel that our responsibility is greater than ever to preach the saving Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ," he stated.
Recently, BGEA, in partnership with Christianity.com, launched the "I am a Christian" campaign that calls on Christians to declare their faith in Jesus Christ "in a time when God's truth is being attacked on all sides."
Graham will have the opportunity to preach the Gospel in the mostly non-Christian country of India in late January, which will mark his first evangelistic crusade in year 2010.
Other Graham evangelistic festivals scheduled for this year include events in Brazil (May 27-29), Alberta, Canada (August), Japan (Oct. 22-24) and Latvia (Nov. 5-7), which will be the former communist country's first-ever evangelistic event.