With his passing at the age of 99, we pause and reflect on the effects of Billy Graham's gospel message
When Billy Graham received his star on the Hollywood sidewalk in 1989, he expressed his hope that it would identify him with the gospel he preaches. Certainly his fame has surpassed most of those whose stars adorn that sidewalk, and his name has become almost synonymous with the Christian message of salvation. At this which may well be his last crusade, surely tens of thousands will be added to the millions who have come forward at his crusades to make decisions for Christ.
If only a handful of disciples in the first century were said to have "turned the world upside down,"1 what could we expect to be the impact of such a vast army of disciples? What would we hope to be the legacy that Dr. Graham leaves to this hurting world? Would that it be the "light to the nations" that causes salvation to reach the ends of the earth, as Isaiah prophesied!2 Would that it be a people who have "one heart and one way" as the prophet Jeremiah prophesied!3 Would that it be a people who love one another just as Christ loved them!4 Oh, that their unity would be corporeal,5 not ethereal,6 that the world could actually see it and believe that the Father sent the Son, as the Lord Himself prayed before He was crucified!7
But will those who respond to Dr. Graham's message be content to be nominal Christians, or will they actually persevere in their search until they find the abundant life the Scriptures promise? This paper is written in the hopes of helping those sincere ones who are willing to do God's will to actually do it. Our desire is that all who are called would also prove to be among the chosen and faithful unto death, so as to receive the crown of life.8