Billy Graham 1918 – 2018: How May We Honor the Greatest Evangelist of All Time?
This author has read several biographies that outline the life and times of Billy Graham, many of those facts and events have been popping up across the media since Graham died in his home in Montreat, North Carolina on February 21, 2018.
Many stories are well known like the fact that he counseled 12 different U.S. Presidents and visited with leaders all over the world. From the initial story of how newspaper owner William Randolph Hearst gave the order to “Puff Graham” to the L.A. Times in 1949 which catapulted Graham to instant notoriety.
After that, came the countless conversions from across the nation and the globe. They were comprised of people from every walk of life.
The story of his life is a shining example of singleness of mind and the ebullient quest to glorify God and lead people to the unquenchable love of Jesus Christ. Some were criminals, gangsters, thieves and drug abusers, but most were ordinary citizens who came to realize that they were lost without a Savior.
It is clear that Graham came at a time when America and much of the world were in a receptive state following the ravages of World War 2, and before abortion and homosexuality came to the fore along with the falling away or apostasy of many of the old historical denominations. The world wanted to know who Jesus was and what he expected of them.
Billy Graham preached a true Biblical gospel, but he never used abstract, rather he addressed important questions of the day and current events.
One example of this is the inspiring sermon entitled, “Who is Jesus” which he preached to overflowing crowds in Chicago in 1971.
After abortions began to number in the millions and perversions of every kind began to creep into the social patterns of the world Graham’s messages took on a new shape. He often preached on the second coming of Christ and the judgments that will follow his return, Such sermons became frequent much like the sermon called, “Will our world end?” preached to crowds in Sheffield, England in 1985.
America helped to produce the world’s greatest evangelist to the whole world, but Billy Graham helped to produce the salvation of millions of souls who would otherwise die and be separated from God forever.
How should we respond to this? How can we offer a lasting tribute to such a servant of God? This question is the easiest to answer.
The best way to honor Billy Graham is to heed the gospel he preached.
At the close of each of his crusades the choir would sing the well-known hymn, “Just as I Am.”
During the hymn thousands came forward to give their lives to Jesus Christ.
Michael W. Smith offers a wonderful rendition of the old hymn along with a photo collage of Billy Graham and his family.
Let this writer strongly urge you to listen carefully to these words and respond with a decision to receive Christ as you Lord and Savior. (John 1:12)
Nothing would honor Graham more and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Just as I am, without one plea, But that Thy blood was shed for me,
And that Thou bidst me come to Thee, O Lamb of God, I come, I come.
Just as I am, and waiting not To rid my soul of one dark blot,
To Thee whose blood can cleanse each spot, O Lamb of God, I come, I come.
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