I am reading A Prophet with Hope, the Billy Graham story. One thing is for sure, Billy was not perfect he made a lot of mistakes but he always tried to stay on message.
He understood the gospel Is not about the man who delivers the message, it's all about the God who became a man, and is the message! Jesus Christ.
Billy Graham stayed on message, no matter if he had an audience of 1 or 100,000 he spoke the gospel, to friend and foe, from heads of state to people in the streets.
He was not perfect sometimes he said the wrong things but he would correct that, he is no more a saint than you or I, but he held true and faithful to Christ.
The 1954 London Crusade marked one of the most controversial, yet celebratory moments in the history of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
After a mistake in the wording of a U.S. brochure that promoted prayer and fundraising for the Crusade, Billy Graham was accused of interfering with British politics. Despite admitting the inadvertent mistake and apologizing to Parliament, Mr. Graham’s arrival in England was met with hostility from some.
But instead of ruining the Crusade, the negative publicity appeared to draw larger crowds. Over a period of three months, more than two million heard the Gospel, and more than 38,000 indicated making decisions for Christ.
The reports of the London Crusade so impressed Prime Minister Winston Churchill, that he requested to personally see Mr. Graham on short notice.
For years, the conversation between the two men was kept a secret. Only after Mr. Churchill’s passing did Mr. Graham share details about their time together, recalling that Mr. Churchill began by congratulating him for drawing crowds of such staggering numbers in London.
Churchill joked that he and Marilyn Monroe combined couldn’t attract an audience of such a size. Mr. Graham assured Mr. Churchill that it was all God’s doing.
“I’ll tell you, I have no hope. I see no hope for the world,” Churchill shared. “I am a man without hope. Do you have any real hope?”
“Are you without hope for your own soul’s salvation?” Mr. Graham asked.
“Frankly, I think about that a great deal,” Churchill replied.
In his autobiography, Just as I Am; Billy Graham described the rest of the meeting:
I had my New Testament with me. Knowing that we had but a few minutes left, I immediately explained the way of salvation. I watched carefully for signs of irritation or offense, but he seemed receptive, if not enthusiastic. I also talked about God’s plan for the future, including the return of Christ. His eyes seemed to light up at the prospect.
At precisely 12:30, Mr. Colville [Churchill’s secretary] knocked. “Sir Winston, the Duke of Windsor is here for your luncheon,” he said.
“Let him wait!” Mr. Churchill growled, waving Mr. Colville off and turning back to me. “Go ahead.”
I went on for about another 15 minutes, then asked if I could pray. “Most certainly,” he said, standing up. “I’d appreciate it.”
I prayed for the difficult situations the Prime Minister faced every day and acknowledged that God was the only hope for the world and for us individually.
When Billy Graham did Richard Nixon's funeral he spoke these words.
Years ago, Winston Churchill planned his own funeral. And he did so with the hope of the resurrection and eternal life which he firmly believed in. And he instructed after the benediction that a bugler positioned high in the dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral would play Taps, the universal signal that says the day is over.
But then came a very dramatic moment as Churchill had instructed. Another bugler was placed on the other side of the massive dome, and he played the notes of Reveille, the universal signal that a new day has dawned and it is time to arise.
That was Churchill’s testimony that at the end of history, the last note will not be Taps, it’ll be Reveille.
There is hope beyond the grave because Jesus Christ has opened the door to heaven for us by his death and resurrection.
Billy always stayed on message, he knew it was the gospel of Jesus Christ that changed lives, not him.
God’s word says this:
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, first to the Jew, and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith, just as it is written: The righteous will live by faith.” Romans 1:16-17 CSB
“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God. Give no offense to Jews or Greeks or the church of God, just as I also try to please everyone in everything, not seeking my own benefit, but the benefit of many, so that they may be saved.” 1 Corinthians 10:31-33 CSB
“Imitate me, as I also imitate Christ.”1 Corinthians 11:1 CSB
“Now I want to make clear for you, brothers and sisters, the gospel I preached to you, which you received, on which you have taken your stand and by which you are being saved, if you hold to the message I preached to you — unless you believed in vain. For I passed on to you as most important what I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the Twelve. Then he appeared to over five hundred brothers and sisters at one time; most of them are still alive, but some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one born at the wrong time, he also appeared to me. For I am the least of the apostles, not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. Whether, then, it is I or they, so we proclaim and so you have believed.” 1 Corinthians 15:1-11 CSB
Stories copied from
Band Of Brothers