One of the things about growing up in the Anglican Church in Canada is that we didn’t pay much attention to “evangelicals” and typical revival/tent meetings and stuff- so I really never knew who Billy Graham was until I got married. My ex mother in law was from Texas and grew up solidly southern Pentecostal, and my ex father in law was Baptist, so both of them knew of and had listened to Billy preach many, many times.
My real first learning about Billy Graham, the man, not only “America’s Pastor” came by my buying his book, “Just as I Am”, his biography. It was an amazing life before, during and after his years in ministry. The first time I saw him on TV for a “Billy Graham Crusade” it was a ‘re run’ of an old one, but I watched, wanting to see what made him so popular. And I have to say he was an amazing, gifted and powerful voice of the gospel. Back then though, I wasn’t yet a born again believer so I while I loved his passion and preaching, I didn’t understand the whole ‘born again’ thing, or the mass exodus from the seats to the field during the altar call.
It’s been a long time since I’ve watched, and I have grown in my love, commitment and walk with the Lord and I understand it now- and understand too how easy it is to tear up seeing so many people coming to answer the Lord’s gentle knock… just as they are.
He was a rarity in the world. He hated the attention and glory, knowing that Jesus deserves all of it. He was real- not like so many televangelists that I’d seen over the years whenever my ex mother in law would be watching on tv. Billy Graham was humble, and real. He didn’t evangelize the world for his own glory, and he used every ounce of what God blessed him with to bless millions. I can’t imagine the homecoming he received when he finally let go of this world and entered into the Lord’s presence.
Our world is a duller place now that he’s not in it anymore. We are losing the last great teacher/preachers who love the Lord and His Word with all of their hearts and dare to share in truth and love. That’s why I love to post Pastor Adrian Rogers here so often. As his passing was another candle blowing out, so was Pastor Graham’s. He will be missed, but thank God his messages live on, and like that re run I watched years ago, the message is timeless and eternal, as God’s Word is never outdated.
I hope folks get as much out of this as I did the other night when I watched, and anyone who may need the message, would know how much Jesus loves them…
And find comfort, knowing that we can come to Him, just as we are, and some day He is coming back…
As a sweet little bonus about the hymn played at every Graham Crusade,
I hope everyone has a blessed day!