Tonight, a one-hour documentary aired on FOX about the life and impact of Rev. Billy Graham. I was brought to tears. I’m not sure if those tears were 100% tears of joy, because a part of me mourns the loss of a great champion of Jesus Christ. Then, a sense of selfishness overcomes me, and I understand that he’s reunited with those he loves most, and with the God he spent his life glorifying.
Being a millennial, the Billy Graham I’ve been exposed to is the aged version. Not a recluse in his later years but not the stalwart speaker of his youth either, he was still an enigma to my generation. We knew who he was – even if we didn’t experience firsthand his movement. Because of this indirect exposure, I spent my week researching Rev. Graham, stealing all his books from my church’s library, and listening to a few of his crusades on YouTube. I was humbled.
He never strayed from the Word of God. So many of today’s evangelists are frauds – not to be crass. There are evangelists who preach one thing, and who turn around and do the opposite. Adultery and greed are the two most common traps these “titans of the gospel” usually fall into but not Billy Graham.
Those same men and women who preach with one hand but do with another always twist the message. Jesus Christ is the Word of God; He is the exposition, rising action, climax, and falling action. It’s all about Him, yet many powerful figures in Christianity make the Bible about them. Billy Graham stayed true. For him, it was always (and I mean always) about Jesus. That’s admirable.
I listened to a commentator earlier in the week deliver her thoughts on the late reverend. HE never saw race. HE never saw political affiliation. HE never saw class. What this lady missed was the reason Billy Graham didn’t see any of these things is because Jesus Christ HIMSELF saw none of those things. Jesus wasn’t a white guy from California. He was a first-century Jew from the Middle East. He was the Son of God, yet He touched the diseased – a cardinal sin to the ancient Jew. He preached to women – an unheard-of feat in the first-century oriental culture He grew up in.
Billy Graham was a messenger, and I thank God every day that millions of people all over this world listened.
Watching the funeral, I was struck by the consistent theme: the only way to God is through His Son, Jesus Christ. Franklin Graham, Billy and Ruth’s eldest son, delivered this powerful message flawlessly. He noted that our politically-correct culture tells both believers and non-believers that there are several ways to heaven, BUT THAT IS FALSE! There is ONE way to God, and Jesus says as much. According to the disciple whom Jesus loved – the disciple whom Jesus entrusted the care of His own mother, “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; NO ONE COMES TO THE FATHER BUT THROUGH ME.’”
Communist nations, totalitarian states, hostile regions, Rev. Billy Graham waded into conflict armed with the Word of God. To the ends of the Earth the Word of God was to be preached, and to Billy Graham that rang true. He drew flak from all four corners of the “esteemed” American elite, but his response to them was that the ends of the Earth didn’t mean American and Europe; it meant the entire world. It didn’t just mean countries that weren’t communist but the entire world.
What a man of God. What an example the life of Billy Graham was and is.
Think on that, folks. Are you ready? Not one of us knows when the Rapture will occur. We only know that we’ll be tore up into the sky, and as much as I want to organize every aspect of my life, this is one thing that I can’t. In Revelation, Jesus says through John, “Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.” Not one of us knows. Billy Graham didn’t know, and that’s why he spent his life proclaiming the gospel with urgency. It could be tonight. It could be tomorrow. It could be moments after I load this blog post to our website.
To be a Christian is to live a life fraught with insecurities; however, there is ONE thing we can have the utmost security in, and that’s through Jesus Christ we have eternal life. Through Him, we are saved.
It rings true though – that there are some insecurities with Christianity. If you don’t feel a bit insecure at times, you’re crazy. I say that with the utmost love. Our church motto is faith precedes understanding. There’s nothing superficial about that motto. I’m a bit of a control freak at times. I must know the answers to all the questions in the Bible, yet here I am. With everyone thing I learn, two more questions pop up. It drives me crazy, but I wouldn’t change a moment of it. Perhaps that’s the way it’s supposed to be, right? The more questions you seek the answer to, the more you learn. Think about how much you’d learn about God and Jesus by studying His infallible word.
Look at Rev. Graham – He studied the Word of God until the day he died. Even when he couldn’t see and he was hard of hearing, his daughter read the Word of God to him. He never stopped learning – not once. So why don’t most Christians even bother to read the Bible? Why is it just a centerpiece on our coffee tables?
In honor of Billy Graham beloved, WAKE UP! As Franklin Graham said in his eulogy, are you going to heaven? Are you?
Let’s keep the legacy of Rev. Billy Graham alive. Give your life to Christ! Believe in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ! Believe He died for us! BELIEVE!