This world lost its truest modern-day disciple of Christ Wednesday with the passing of Billy Graham.
Iconic yet humble, always faithful to the gospel and to bringing others to Christ, Graham’s life always reflected the words he preached from pulpits across the globe.
Yet today, even as we mourn the loss of such a great man, Christians around the world know that Graham has gone home to be with the Lord he faithfully served throughout his life.
In Graham’s own words: “I am not going to Heaven because I have preached to great crowds or read the Bible many times. I’m going to Heaven just like the thief on the cross who said in that last moment:’Lord remember me.’”
Words will never fully express our deep love and appreciation for the work Graham did, nor the thousands who came to know Christ because of the work he did on behalf of God. It is our prayer that thousands more will find their way to the Lord because of him even today and beyond.
While we don’t believe our words could possibly do Graham justice, we leave our readers with the words of Graham’s daughter, Anne Graham Lotz, in a Facebook post Wednesday, praying they will touch others as they have touched us:
…”when I think of him I also think of his message because he was immersed in it. Saturated in it. He was his message…a simple man who had responded to God’s love by placing his faith in Jesus, receiving the assurance that his sins were forgiven, that he would not perish, but would have everlasting life. Simple faith. Faith that now matters more than anything else.
“For years, over his head as he preached was the banner that quoted the words of Jesus: I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Jesus completed that sentence by saying that no one comes to the Father but by Me. Based on what Jesus said, Daddy is safely with the Father. In Heaven. Daddy not only claimed Jesus as the only Way to God, he lived by the Truth publicly on platforms and privately behind closed doors, and is now enjoying real Life.
“While he may be physically absent and his voice silent, I am confident that his message will continue to reverberate throughout the generations to come. My prayer on this day of his move to Our Father’s House is that his death will be a rallying cry. That tens of thousands of pastors, teachers, evangelists, and ordinary men and women will rise up to take his place. That they will take up his message like a baton being passed in a relay race and faithfully pass it on to those with whom they come in contact. Because Daddy’s message is God’s message. And it’s a message of genuine hope for the future, of love for the present, of forgiveness for the past.
“It’s a message, when received, that brings a fresh beginning, unshakable joy, unexplainable peace, eternal significance, meaning and purpose to life, and opens Heaven’s door.
Lotz said she was rededicating her life “to picking up and passing on the baton,” and her final question to all of us: “Would you do the same?”