Franklin Graham kicks off UK tour with message of love and forgiveness

Franklin Graham on the first night of his God Loves You Tour in Liverpool, 14 May 2021.(Photo: Billy Graham Evangelistic Association)

The Liverpool Exhibition Centre was filled to capacity on Saturday night for the first night of Franklin Graham's UK tour.

The American evangelist and son of Billy Graham was greeted by a standing ovation as he took to the stage to preach on God's love and forgiveness.

"God's not dead, He's alive and He's in Liverpool tonight," he said. 

Graham drew from the prodigal son in Luke 15 as he appealed to the lonely, the hopeless and those "addicted to stuff" to turn to God instead.

"Sex, alcohol, drugs, you name it, you think that's just new to this generation? No, it goes all the way back to the Bible," he said.

Many stepped forward during the altar call.(Photo: Billy Graham Evangelistic Association)

"[The prodigal son] spent all of his money and he had nothing to show for it, and many of you have wasted your life and you look back over your life and you have nothing to show for it."

He continued, "Are you alone? Loneliness is a terrible thing and for many people that's the trigger for suicide. They are lonely and they have nothing and they'll take their life.

"Jesus said I'll never leave you, I'll never forsake you. What a promise."

Graham said he was praying for healing for the UK and the whole world in the wake of the pandemic.

(Photo: Billy Graham Evangelistic Association)

"The pandemic has changed the world. I'm not sure we'll ever be quite the same after this," he said.

"So many people are hurt, people have been sick, died, lost jobs.

"The fear that it put in people, the lockdowns, the separation, the isolation, all of these things affected so many people, and we just thank God that we are where we are today and we just pray for the healing not only of this nation but the nations around the world that are still suffering from the Covid-19 pandemic."

At the end of the evening, many responded to Graham's invitation to accept Jesus Christ as their Saviour by stepping forward during the altar call.

Graham assured them, "Remember this, even if you don't remember anything else: God loves you, you have been forgiven."

The Newsboys performing onstage during Franklin Graham's Liverpool event.(Photo: Billy Graham Evangelistic Association)

Liverpool was the first stop on Graham's God Loves You Tour, which is being hosted free of charge.

The tour will head next to Newport, South Wales, on 21 May followed by the Sheffield Arena on 25 May, and the Excel Centre, London, on 16 July.

Christian music group Newsboys performed on the opening night in Liverpool and will join Graham in South Wales and Sheffield.

The London date will be joined by worship artists CeCe Winans and Michael W Smith.