Billy Graham began life growing up on a dairy farm in Charlotte, North Carolina. He was fifteen years old when he gave his life to Christ during revival meetings led by Mordecai Ham, a traveling evangelist. As a young man, Graham pastored several churches after being ordained in 1939 at Peniel Baptist Church located in Palatka, Florida. During World War II, Billy Graham became a part of Youth for Christ and began evangelizing to youth and military personnel. It was the Los Angeles Crusade in 1949 that launched Billy Graham onto the international stage. This particular crusade was scheduled for three weeks but ended up lasting more than eight weeks with packed out meetings every night!
The Great Commission
Billy Graham led a simple life that centered on Mark 16:15-16, “He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” He took Jesus’ words literally and travelled across the globe sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ. Graham led crusades anywhere, and everywhere he went. Graham preached the Gospel in large air-conditioned arenas and in open fields in third world countries.
Truly, Graham understood the weight of Jesus’ words that “whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16). He was so devoted to sharing the Gospel and seeing souls saved that he named his weekly radio program “Hour of Decision” and the official magazine publication of his ministry, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, “Decision” too. Billy Graham truly carried a revelation of eternity and offered the invitation to eternal life through Jesus Christ to anyone who would listen!
Throughout the course of his lifetime, Billy Graham wrote thirty-three books. Some of his most recent publications include “Where I Am: Heaven, Eternity, and Our Life Beyond” (2015) and “The Reason for My Hope: Salvation” (2013). As you can see, his message remained the same – Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6).
Billy Graham Preaches Identity in Christ
“My home is in Heaven. I’m just traveling through this world” – Billy Graham
Billy Graham, in this statement, reveals the truth that this world is not our home. We see this truth in Ecclesiastes 3:11 and Romans 10:13-15:
“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11)
“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? How can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And, how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And, how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!’” (Romans 10:13-15)
According to Ecclesiastes 3:11, every single human being alive on planet earth has a place in their hearts that longs for eternity. The only way to experience eternity is by believing in the work of Jesus Christ (Mark 16:15) and finding our identity in Him. The only way for people to hear about Jesus is if we, as believers, share the Good News. Billy Graham made this his life mission and responded to the call of God on his life by preaching. He was one that it can be said, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news?” (Romans 10:15).
Millions of people owe their salvation experience to his faithfulness to the Gospel. Billy Graham was a world changer through and through. His legacy lives on through his son, Franklin Graham, and his grandson, Will Graham. Together they continue to host crusades and conference. Additionally, they continue to host television and radio programs to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
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Written by Sarah Crockett
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