Billy Graham Dead? Don’t Believe It!

“The people’s pastor,” Billy Graham is dead. Or is he? He ranked decade after decade as one of the most admired people on the planet, and yet he was the first to admit his flaws. And that, perhaps, was the key to his strength: he was us. Unlike other admired leaders, the Dalai Lama, the Pope, Billy Graham seemed to represent all of us:

  • He prayed at the National Cathedral for the victims of 9/11, and in New Orleans for the victims of Hurricane Katrina.
  • In the American south he refused to “preach Jim Crow,” insisting on speaking to all of God’s people. In my own adopted city of Cincinnati, he brought black and white people together in large numbers for the first time after the riots of 2001. Black and white leaders still speak of the changes that began that day.
  • He counselled world leaders, not politically but personally—trying for political influence at one point, then abandoning it and asking God’s forgiveness. He spoke of that same forgiveness at Nixon’s funeral. He convinced President George W. Bush to renew his faith and quit drinking. President Bill Clinton said, “When he prays with you, you feel like he is praying for you, not the president.” He was the only preacher the contentious president of North Korea, Kim Il-sung, was willing to listen to.

Real humility can’t be faked. It comes from knowing who you are, and who your Creator is. Billy returned again and again to the message of John 3:16, a message displayed so frequently that we forget how cosmically important it is: We were created for a love relationship with God, but have turned away from that purpose, bringing death (alienation from Him) upon ourselves. And so He has reached out to do what we could not–restore us to eternal life with Him and one another (in the original language “eternal” refers not only to infinite time but infinite quality of life).

The Apostle Paul said that if the message Jesus’s followers embrace is false, then they are to be pitied (I Corinthians 15:9). But if it’s true, it’s everything: “The only thing that matters is faith expressing itself through love” (Galatians 5:6).

Billy Graham never forgot that. 

“Someday you will read or hear that Billy Graham is dead. Don’t you believe a word of it. I shall be more alive than I am now. I will just have changed my address. I will have gone into the presence of God.”

~Billy Graham

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in For Pastors and Teachers, Quips and Quotes, Religion/Faith and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

31 Responses to Billy Graham Dead? Don’t Believe It!

  1. amycloud says:

    Beautiful tribute to a Great Man of God! My husband and I were talking this morning about all Bro. Graham has done to influence people everywhere with the powerful message of the gospel. May we do the same. Thanks for sharing this post.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Myrtle says:

    Sad! My spiritual life was enriched by his books. 😦

    Liked by 2 people

  3. What a great man of God. Thanks for the very thoughtful tribute. His message will be missed.

    Be blessed. God is with you.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. @vapor_sage says:

    A genuine man and his relationship with Christ shines through, what an inspiration

    Liked by 2 people

  5. notdonner says:

    A wonderful tribute to a disciple of Jesus

    Liked by 2 people

  6. revruss1220 says:

    Amen. Thanks for this perfect tribute to an imperfect, yet deeply faithful man.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. numrhood says:

    1 corinthians 40:34 stand on the word, thou shall soar thy wings, like an eagle in the sky.
    john 3:41

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Beautiful tribute, Mitch! He was truly a godly man and he will be missed so much!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Jennie says:

    A wonderful tribute and post, Mitch.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Thank you for the post and the remarkable quote – “I will just have changed my address. I will have gone into the presence of God.”
    I still have the photos taken when he went to Hong Kong in 1975, I sang in the choir conducted by Cliff Barrows and never forget Gorge Beverly Shea’s I’d Rather Have Jesus!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. When I heard the news a few mornings ago I was at a loss for words. The impact of this man who gave his all to the Savior of the world will be felt for generations to come. His very presence and influence in our world will be missed in ways we can’t even imagine. We are a better world because God anointed this man for such a time as this.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. I so love his quote about his own death! He will be missed!

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Nancy Ruegg says:

    I can only imagine the throng gathered near the gates of heaven to welcome Billy Graham home: thousands who accepted Jesus into their lives as a result of his preaching, others who came to faith through his writing, and still more souls impacted by the ripple effect. Praise God for his faithfulness, selflessness, and passion for God and his people.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Ann Coleman says:

    You’re right, anyone can achieve short-term fame. But the kind of long-standing success that Billy Graham achieved only comes from sincerely doing what we are called to do, humbly and thankfully. Rev. Graham’s good works will live on for a long time….

    Liked by 2 people

  15. carhicks says:

    He was a great man. I didn’t know all that about him, thanks for sharing your tribute. The last quote says so much.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Amen!!!!to every line and paragraph. I came to faith in Christ after watching a crusade that looked like heaven; black, white and brown people all praising God in the 60’s. He moved from his old house into a new one. That’s the joy of being home.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Pingback: AMBASSADOR GRAHAM – MOVED!!! – His Story News

  18. Aaaaaand, now the room is full of dust…

    Liked by 2 people

  19. I love that Billy Graham quote at the end. That is my favorite one.

    “Someday you will read or hear that Billy Graham is dead. Don’t you believe a word of it. I shall be more alive than I am now. I will just have changed my address. I will have gone into the presence of God.”

    There are a lot of people who try to fake boldness. But our boldness comes from our assurance. Doctrinally, he believed he was assured, but authentic boldness is also tied to how we live. He lived for Christ and it seeped out of him at every turn.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. gpavants says:

    Hi Mitch.

    His impact was Jesus always has done through His children. It is fruit that lasts and man do we ever have hungry people now.

    Thanks brother,

    Gary

    Liked by 2 people

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