PORTAGE, MI – God called Billy Graham home on February 21, 2018. He was 99 years old (8 1/2 months before his 100th birthday). He was born 4 days before the end of World War I. He was born again during a Mordecai Ham revival at age 15. That was the day that changed his life.
From his first Chicagoland Youth For Christ (YFC) effort to reach WW II servicemen and young people in 1944 through his 95th birthday evangelistic presentation, The Cross, Billy Graham proclaimed the Gospel. His words in The Cross video express his lifelong purpose: “With all my heart, I want to leave you with the truth that He loves you and wants to forgive you of your sins.”
Considering Billy Graham's 74-year ministry is both challenging and encouraging. It challenges us to keep our focus where it really needs to be. Through all the distractions, difficulties, and opposition Billy maintained and even sharpened his focus on sharing Jesus in every setting and through every available means.
Billy's ministry challenges us to remember the real power is God's power, and He is reliable. Prayer must surround all we attempt as we place the opportunity and need in God's hand. Billy Graham considered himself an ordinary preacher who presented the simple message of the Gospel with the words of the Bible trusting God to use His Word by placing it supernaturally into the human heart.
Billy's ministry should encourage us as well. Through all the economic, political, and theological turmoil the Gospel message provides hope and direction. In all the turmoil of our day that remains true. So, the motto of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) is: Always Good News!
As this 100th year comes to end let Billy’s testimony lead you and your church in a prayerful consideration of your stewardship of the Gospel. The My Hope video “Heaven” might be a particularly appropriate resource. You can get a copy from the BSCM, BGEA, or online at myhopewithbillygraham.org/programs.
The task remains the same: share Jesus and encourage others to share Jesus.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jim Glidewell is the pastor of Amazing Grace Baptist Fellowship and serves as Associational Missionary for Souther Central Baptist Association.