For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
The above verse was noted as Billy Graham’s favorite verse as taught to him by his mother. It makes sense as John 3:16 depicts the simplicity of the gospel Jesus, forgiveness and the cross. This is the way Billy Graham preached, he did not complicate the message, he wanted people to know God loved them and was calling them to repentance and if they did not repent and accept Christ’s gift of salvation through the cross they would not see inside of heaven. It does not get more straight forward then that.
One of the greatest things about Rev. Graham is his unwavering commitment to the task that God had called him to and that was to preach the gospel to all nations. This man of God preached tirelessly to all ends of the earth including 215 million people in 185 countries over a span of 70 years. He was known as “Americas Pastor” and counseled many people of leadership encompassing numerous Presidents. What a powerful legacy he left behind. It is hard to imagine how many people surrendered their lives to Christ because of his ministry. Dr. Graham was considered a world changer for the Kingdom of Heaven…no question!
As we reflect on Billy Graham and the success of his ministry we need to be cautious that we do not put him or any man on a pedestal above God. God alone deserves all the praise, worship and accolades because without God’s spirit and empowerment man’s words are empty and ineffective. There is no question that Dr. Graham not only believed in this, but he lived it, he knew our only hope was Jesus. Read this quote of his, “Everywhere I go I find that people… both leaders and individuals… are asking one basic question, ‘Is there any hope for the future? My answer is the same, ‘Yes, through Jesus Christ.”
I believe that Rev. Graham had a special calling on his life to be an ambassador for the Kingdom of Heaven and that he was living out God’s plan and purpose for his life. It is incredible what God can do through a man that is totally sold out to Him and has yielded his life for the purposes and agenda of Heaven. Dr. Graham did not live a life without adversity or challenges but he did react to those in a manner that drew Him closer to God. He once shared the following: “Without dark clouds in our lives, we would never know the joy of sunshine. We can become callous and unteachable if we do not learn from pain.”
The question becomes who will carry on the torch, who will step up and say, “Lord use me?” I pray that we will become that people, we will take the message that Billy shared with the world that God sent his son to die for the sins of mankind on the precious cross. Christ died for us and defeated sin and death once and for all as God raised Him from the dead three days later where He sits at the right hand of the Father. That gift of life (eternal life) is available through faith to both you and me, we just need to accept it. I pray friend that you will choose Jesus and surrender your life to Him, there is no sweeter life then know you are right with God and that someday you’ll spend eternity with Him in heaven.
“Someday you will read and hear that Billy Graham is dead. Don’t you believe a word of it! I shall be more alive than I am right now. I will just have changed my address. I will have gone into the presence of God.” Billy Graham