With the passing of the great evangelist Billy Graham talk of eternal life is everywhere. Even skeptics of his message are wondering ‘where has Billy Graham gone?’. Christianity Today has an article – about a famous saying that DL Moody (a hero of Dr Graham’s and fellow evangelist) said that Graham embraced as his own.
“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.”
How can someone have that kind of confidence? Where does the belief structure evolve from? The answer plain and simple is the Bible. This morning I was reading in the Gospel according to John and the words of Jesus jumped off the page to me again.
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.” Jesus in John 5:24
The simple truth that
- If we hear his word- ie the Scripture
- if we believe that God the Father sent Jesus the Son to save mankind and receive His salvation
- then we have eternal life, we will not experience judgement but have passed out of eternal death to eternal life
That is what Billy taught and lived out for a watching world to see. This is a revolutionary message and is what so many people around the world are dying to hear. How can we have life after death?
Think of it. You have eternal life. What would you give to have a Grahamesque type faith that you will not experience judgement but have passed from death to life.
As I meditated on Jesus’ words this morning I was encouraged that I do believe that I have eternal life. Me, the unchurched kid from Central Arkansas. The sinner. The heathen. The weakling. Because of what Jesus did I believe that I have eternal life. What a blessing!
Could you or I embrace the Moody/Graham mantra? Could you fill in your name to the quote? “Someday you will read or hear that _______________ 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.”
I may pick that up. Thanks Billy for being a man of integrity that impacted a generation. Well done!