Ron's Reflections

BILLY'S GONE
Thursday, February 22, 2018 by Ron Susek

       Read about Dr. Billy Graham's radical impact upon the Church and the world in today's FaithWalk: Courage for the Journey

                                            

 

Billy’s Gone
by Ron Susek
@Golden Quill Publications

Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.  
(Psalm 166:15)


       Billy's gone, but his message lives on.  The Gospel he preached is unstoppable and eternal.  Redemption through Jesus was the message. Billy was the messenger.       
 
       None can deny Billy's excellence as an ambassador of the Gospel.  A wall of resistance confronted him every place he went.  Some liberals mocked him as naive.  Many ultra-fundamentalists accused him of compromising the Gospel.  But Billy never responded to the attacks.  He continued preaching the pure and simple Gospel.

      Billy Graham was tall, strikingly handsome and walked with a stride of dignity.  He was a fiery speaker with a turn or burn message.  He was driven by the conviction that the Bible was and is the Word of God, and that there is an eternal heaven and hell.  Thus, he was certain of Scriptures like " . . . now is the day of salvation" (II Corinthians 6:2), and "choose you this day whom you wil serve" (Joshua 24:15).

       The southern states of America were filled with excellent evangelists, but an act of God swelled him to international fame.  He was preaching at a tent crusade in Los Angeles, California, when the newspaper mogul, Randolph Hearst, wrote two words to his editors on a slip of paper: "Puff Graham."  That night the tent was overrun with news reporters lifting Billy Graham to celebrity status.

       Such a rocket boost to fame would have destroyed many men.  Dr. Graham, however, gathered godly men to help him adjust to life in an orbit known to very few.  Thus, he used his enlarged platform to preach the same pure and simple Gospel that he was preaching before super fame knocked on his door.  God's hand was on Billy Graham!

       Wisely, he and his team agreed to disciplines that kept him and them above moral reproach.  He made decisions for properly handling money, thereby guarding himself from suspicion and scandal that could destroy the call of God upon his life.

       In truth, Billy Graham was not the evangelist.  He possessed the Spirit-given gift of an evangelist (Ephesians 4:11).  The evangelist was the Holy Spirit calling millions to salvation.  Through Billy Graham, the Holy Spirit set a mighty evangelistic movement aflame worldwide.  To this day, countless Christian leaders continue Billy's legacy . . . to preach the Gospel in season and out of season.

       Yesterday, Billy Graham transcended our natural realm through his death at age 99.  But he is more alive than ever in the heavenly realms with his Lord and Savior whose salvation he preached throughout the world.

       Billy's gone, but the real evangelist - the Holy Spirit - is still here, abiding in you and in me, appealing to the world to come to the salvation that is found in Jesus Christ alone.

Always remember,  Immanuel: God is with you!
Your friend,
Ron

A footnote:
According to news reports about Mr. Graham's funeral, plans are incomplete. What IS known is that he will be buried beside his wife at the Billy Graham Museum and Library (Charlotte, NC) in a simple plywood coffin made by prison inmates. Richard Liggett, who was serving a life sentence for second-degree murder, had found God in prison, and led a team of prisoners who built the coffins for the Graham family.   Dr. Graham's grave marker will read, "Preacher of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ."  


    

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