Editor’s Note: With the announcement of the death of Dr. Billy Graham we are running this article which originally appeared at toddstarnes.com and is used by permission.
As a young boy Billy Graham dreamed of becoming a baseball player
But all that changed at a revival meeting in 1934 – when the lanky teenage boy walked the aisle and accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior.
Ironically, he would make a name for himself inside baseball stadiums — not by winning games — but by winning souls for Jesus.
Over the years, Billy Graham shared the Gospel message to more than 200 million people in 185 countries.
The North Carolina farm boy went on to counsel kings and queens — presidents and prime ministers.
But in his heart Billy Graham was always a simple tent revival preacher with a life-changing message.
It was a message that transcended politics and religion and race and bank accounts. It was a simple message – God loves you and he wants to have a relationship with you.
And that’s how Billy Graham lived his life – foregoing fame and fortune for the sake of something much greater. It was something George Beverly Shea sang about during those historic crusade meetings:
I’d rather have Jesus than silver or gold I’d rather be his than have riches untold
I’d rather have Jesus than houses or land
Yes I’d rather be led by his nail pierced hands
Than to be the king of a best domain and beheld in sins dread sway
I’d rather have Jesus than anything this world affords today
I’d rather have Jesus than worldly applause I’d rather be faithful to his dear cause
I’d rather have Jesus than world wide things I’d rather be true to his holy name
America’s pastor died today at his mountain top home in Montreat, North Carolina. He was 99.
And I can only imagine what it must be like in Heaven today as all of the folks who walked the aisle at those crusade meetings embrace the North Carolina farm boy who wanted to become a baseball player – and say, welcome home.
Billy Graham was a good and faithful servant. Well done.
The account in Acts 8:26-40 of the conversion of the Ethiopian eunuch through the witness of Philip fascinates me every time I read it. There are so many surprise factors in the story.
The passage overflows with surprising providences of God. Perhaps I’m only surprised because, like many people, I underestimate God’s supernatural ability to order the daily details of our lives. Continue reading
This question seems to presume that not everyone has heard, seen and understood enough about God to respond positively to His revelation. Scripture, however, indicates otherwise. In Romans 1:16-2:16 for instance, the apostle Paul declares that the powerful gospel appeal has been sent first to the Jew and then the Gentile (1:16) and the “righteous live by faith” (1:17). This is in contrast with those who continue to “suppress the truth in unrighteousness” (1:18) and as a result will be “given over to their defiled minds” and cut off from further light of God’s gracious truth (1:24-26). (See also Psalm 19)
In other words, those who continually suppress the truth by “trading it in for lies” will grow more and more calloused and cut off from the light of divine revelation. Eventually their consciences will become seared, their hearts hardened, and they may no longer be able to see, hear, understand and turn to God for healing (see also Acts 28:23-28). Continue reading