Billy Graham passed away this week at 99 years of age.
His message was simple and powerful to a world hurting under the effects of sin. Billy Graham met with several Presidents to pray for them and would give advice to lead the nation in righteousness. Billy Graham had many standards he lived by. One that I try very hard to do is to never travel or be alone with one other woman that is not your family. That is not easy to do but a good standard.
In 1999 Billy Graham came to Indianapolis.
In his upper seventies Billy Graham was at the final stretch of public crusades. Many people came because of the name (although I would argue the Holy Spirit was drawing them as well.) His message was clear. The terrible problems of today are not racism, violence, rebellion, addiction, loneliness, depression, or school shootings. They are a result of a deeper issue. That being S-I-N. And sin cannot be dealt with by man. Only the power and blood of Jesus can cleanse sin and restore a darkened heart. Only the Holy Spirit can give direction and power to follow God’s teaching in a world bent on pushing God out. Only God can make healthy a family destroyed by lack of discipline and the invasion of pornography, violence, and rebellion through TV, social media, games, and music.
The cause of all these problems is S-I-N.
The answer to all these problems is J-E-S-U-S.
The attraction to Billy Graham crusades was his stature as a historical evangelist. But also a longing to hear truth and an inward desire to have the freedom he spoke of. A desire to become right with God drew people to the meetings. A desire to bring health and direction to our homes and society. It was like a light shining bright in the darkness. The message and attraction of God’s presence attracted hungry souls. As the alter call was given, thousands responded. Being a pastor in Lebanon, I was part of a group of ministers and leaders that had prepared for months in planning and prayer for this moment. A powerful presence of God followed Billy Graham and now has received him home.
I pray another world evangelist of some kind will be raised to challenge the problems of today. The message and the cause is still the same as when Jesus looked over the crowd in His day in Mark 6:34 NIV When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.