A Tribute to Billy Graham
Billy Graham impacted the world with the gospel of Christ in a tremendous way. Will God raise up another Billy Graham to impact our world once again? I am sure only heaven has the true records of how many people were changed by Billy Graham’s life, as was mine. I believe God used him like a John the Baptist, preparing people to receive Jesus before Jesus came into His ministry. Today we await the return of Christ and we need another move of the Spirit of God through a minister like Billy that will prepare people for Christ’s return.
So this brings us to the question, “Will God raise up another Billy Graham? Who will replace the influence he had on the world? Before answering this question, I think we must all understand where Billy Graham’s power and influence came from. What caused millions of people to respond to altar calls in huge stadiums over the years? The answer to this is: it was the work of the Holy Spirit working through Billy Graham. The Spirit of God moved on the hearts of people to respond to the message of the cross and the Bible. Billy Graham was simply following the command of Jesus in
Mark 16:15 “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”
Mark 16:20 “And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.”
God has always sent mighty men and women of God over the centuries to minister to people because He has always cared about the people in the world He created. He is still doing this today through the many evangelists, pastors, teachers, prophets and apostles in the earth (the five-fold ministry).
11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.
From the above scriptures we see it is God who works with His people who have responded to the call on their lives.
Billy Graham’s Life and Death
Evangelist Billy Graham died on February 21, 2018, at his home in Montreat, North Carolina of natural causes and is now home with Jesus. He was 99. Throughout his life, Billy Graham preached the gospel of Jesus Christ to some 215 million people who attended his more than 400 Crusades, simulcasts and evangelistic rallies in more than 185 countries and territories. He reached millions more through TV, video, film, the internet and 34 books. Yet, he always deflected any credit to God: “If anything has been accomplished through my life, it has been solely God’s doing, not mine, and He—not I—must get the credit.”
Born November 7, 1918, William Franklin “Billy” Graham Jr. grew up during the Depression and developed a work ethic helping his dad at his dairy farm. It would carry him through decades of ministry on six continents. Graham was a man of human frailty and had his faults as any other man, but he had great humility and integrity as his personal life never brought any shame on the name of Christ during his ministry spanning over decades, as his moral life was exemplary. No other Christian minister in our generation has had as many accolades bestowed upon him from the world and the church as this one man.
His wife, Ruth Bell Graham, was the daughter of missionaries in China. Billy always credited Ruth as his helpmate in the ministry and declared he could have not accomplished all he did without her. She indeed, will receive the same rewards as Billy in her supportive role. He had 3 daughters and 2 sons: Virginia “Gigi” Graham Leftwich, Anne Graham Lotz, Ruth Graham, Franklin Graham, and Nelson Edman “Ned” Graham with 19 grandchildren and 41 great-grandchildren. His oldest son, Franklin, will continue to head the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association as they continue to reach out to the world. The numerous accolades of Billy Graham cannot all be listed here, but he was known as America’s Pastor and the President’s Pastor. Graham was only the fourth person to lie in honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda before being buried by his wife’s side at the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA.