Home Christian News ‘You’re Going To Have To Choose’—What Billy Graham Told His Son, Franklin,...

‘You’re Going To Have To Choose’—What Billy Graham Told His Son, Franklin, 50 Years Ago

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Screengrab from X / @Franklin_Graham

Billy Graham had a special exhortation for his son, Franklin Graham, 50 years ago in Lausanne, Switzerland, when Franklin turned 22. In a video posted to social media July 1, the president of Samaritan’s Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association said that his father’s challenge angered him at first.

“Fifty years ago I was right here on the shores of Lake Geneva, here in Lausanne, working for my father,” said Franklin, indicating the body of water to his left as he sat on a concrete wall with a boulevard to his right. “We were doing a conference. It was my birthday, and he said, ‘Franklin, let me take you to a restaurant.’”

Franklin Graham: ‘I Knew He Was Right’ 

Franklin Graham said his father took him to a now-closed pizza joint and then suggested that they take a walk down the very boulevard where Franklin was filming his video. At first, what Billy Graham had to say was what any son might hope to hear from his father: “Franklin, I want you to know your mother and I are proud of you and we love you.”

Franklin thanked his father, after which Billy said, “Franklin, your mother and I want you to know you can always come home. Whatever you do in life, you’re always welcome home.”

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Franklin told his viewers that he had “never doubted that,” but said he thanked his father for those words as well. Then Billy said, “Franklin, your mother and I sense there’s a battle for the soul of your life, and you’re going to have to make a choice. You’re going to have to choose to accept Jesus Christ or reject him.”

“There’s no middle ground,” Billy Graham continued. “There’s no riding the fence. Either you’re going to live for him or not. And we’re praying that you make the right choice.”

“When he said that, it made me angry,” said Franklin. “It really did.” The Samaritan’s Purse president said he didn’t reveal those feelings to his father, but “in my heart, I was just, I was mad. Because I knew he was right.”

A week later, Franklin was in the Middle East, and decided to commit himself entirely to Jesus. “I got down on my knees by my bed,” he said, and then he prayed, “God, I’ve sinned against you, and I’m sorry. Forgive me. I believe Jesus Christ is your Son. I believe that he died for my sins and that he was buried. He shed his blood and…you raised him to life. I ask that you forgive me. I surrender my life to you tonight.”