Honoring the Life of Billy Graham
March 2, 2018
Song: “Until Then” Linda McCrary-Fisher
Rev. David Bruce:
Thank you. You may be seated, please. Good afternoon, and welcome to Charlotte, North Carolina and the grounds of the Billy Graham Library. We’ve gathered in this very beautiful place for a service of thanksgiving and celebration for the life of William Franklin Graham, Jr., better known to the world as Evangelist, Billy Graham, a preacher of the Gospel of our Lord, Jesus Christ. For more than eight decades Mr. Graham preached the Good News of the Gospel. In it he spoke the very words of Jesus who said of Himself, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me though he were dead yet shall he live, and whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die.” “I know that my Redeemer liveth, and He shall stand at the latter day upon the Earth, and though this body be destroyed yet shall I see God, Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold and not as a stranger. We brought nothing into this world, and it is certain that we can carry nothing out. The Lord has given, the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.”
Our service continues as Mr. Graham’s long-time pastor, Dr. Don Wilton, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Spartanburg, South Carolina reads scripture and leads us in prayer.
Dr. Don Wilton:
Mr. Graham had a profound and deeply spiritual conviction concerning the Word of God, the Bible. He loved the Bible. It governed how he lived, and it governed how he died. He believed that the Bible teaches us the truth about God in Christ Jesus. And one of the passages that he requested that I read at his funeral service speaks most eloquently to the life and testimony of our beloved Mr. Graham. I’m reading to you from Ephesians Chapter 2, and verses 4 thru 9. “But God, being rich in mercy because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses and sins, made us alive together with Christ and raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the Heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in and through the Lord Jesus Christ. For by grace you have been saved through faith and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God not as the result of works so that no one may boast.” Would you join me as we pray together?
Our God and Our Father, we lift high the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ today, recognizing that You alone are Lord. You are God. You created us, and Your purpose for us would be that through the love of God in Christ Jesus we would be reconciled to a holy and a righteous God. Mr. Graham would want us most desperately today to think of nothing other than lifting high the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, his Lord and Savior. We give You all praise and all glory, and as we celebrate the life of Your servant we pray, O God, that You would bless us today, that You would speak to us in our hearts and that we as a people would rise up and be determined to live lives that would be well-pleasing in God’s sight just as Mr. Graham did. We pray these things in the wonderful Name of the Lord Jesus Christ and for His sake alone. Amen.
As we continue this wonderful celebration let me ask you to join in as we sing a great coronation hymn, All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name. The verses are in the program. May we stand as we continue to rejoice in our Savior’s love.
Congregational Hymn: All Hail the Power of Jesus’s Name
Jean Graham Ford:
You don’t know how funny it makes me feel to sit here and look at my house, and my husband and I just had an argument about which room was mine, but thank you all for being here, and you’re here because you love him, but you don’t love him like I do, and you haven’t loved him as long as I have. When the President saw me today he said, “My goodness! Your family has good genes.” Well, he didn’t know my name was Jean.
My brother, Billy, my sister, Katherine, my brother, Melvin, and I grew up here in this house. We learned hard work. We learned to love the Lord. Learned to pray. We learned to love the scriptures, and that’s never left any of us. My other brother and sister have gone on, and I was reminded when I heard that my brother had died of the song that the choirs used to sing, “Heaven Came Down and Filled My Soul with Glory.” On February the 21st Heaven came down and took my brother from me. One day, Heaven will come down and take me, and I know what he would want me to say today is Heaven is coming again and would like to take you also.
Virginia “GiGi” Graham:
I’m the eldest. I tell people that I don’t want to be called the oldest or the eldest anymore of the family I want to be called the one that daddy loved the longest. But, you know, I read many, many articles. I’ve seen things on television, the cards that so many have written, and there are so many adjectives that have been given about daddy, and they’re all so wonderful, but you know, I wanted to read something, and I’m going to share. There’s a little girl that was born many, many years ago on a faraway country, and, she, I don’t believe had probably ever heard of Charlotte, North Carolina, but she was born many, many years ago a long time away. But you know, her parents had taught her to pray, even at that early age, for the man that God would prepare for her. And so, there was a little boy here in Charlotte milking cows every morning and every afternoon, and he had no idea that there was a little girl praying for him in China. But, you know, mother, many years after that wrote…really, she was about thirteen when she wrote this little poem, and I couldn’t think of any adjectives that have been said that could do better than this poem, and I want to share this poem with you that many of you maybe have heard, or ever quoted it, but it’s worth doing it again.
Thirteen-year-old girl remember…
Dear God, I pray, all unafraid as we’re inclined to do…
I do not need a handsome man, but Oh God, let Him be like You.
I do not need one big and strong, or yet very tall,
Nor need he be a genius or wealthy, Lord, at all,
But let his head be held high, Dear God, and Let his eye be clear.
His shoulders straight what ere his state but ere his earthly sphere,
And, oh God, let his face have character and a ruggedness of soul,
And let his whole life show, dear God, a singleness of goal,
And when he comes, as he will come, with those quiet eyes aglow,
I’ll understand that he’s the man I’ve prayed for long ago.
And, you know, the Lord answered every single one of those prayers that mother…and many more…and of course, that little girl, my sisters and my brothers and I called “Mama,” and the little boy was daddy, and how grateful God has now brought them back together again for eternity.
Anne Graham Lotz:
When I was a girl growing up mother led us in family devotions every day. She read the Bible, and she prayed, and that was that. When daddy was home he led in family devotions. He read the Bible, but he didn’t just read it. My daddy would stop and make a comment. He would ask a question, and we would discuss the scriptures. So, my mother taught me by her example to love reading my Bible every day, and my daddy taught me by his example to think about what I was reading. So, about ten years ago, eleven years ago, when my mother went to Heaven my daddy started asking me to read him the Bible, and at first it was very intimidating, and then it became such a joy, and there were times when I would sit in front of my daddy. He was hard of hearing. So, I would sit in front of him knee to knee, and he would ask me to give him a full sixty-minute message, and he never took his eyes off my face. Once in a while he would interrupt me, and he would ask a question, or we would discuss it, but he loved to hear God’s Word. And then as he got weaker we went from sixty minutes to five to ten minutes, but the pattern was always the same. Whoever was in the house was called to gather around him, and we did that whether he was in the kitchen or if he was in his study, or more recently, when he was in his bedroom. But the pattern was the same. People would gather around, and I would read a passage of scripture, but before I did I would explain to him why I had chosen that particular passage of scripture.
Sorry, I don’t need ‘em. Those were all Kleenexes. Well, I may need ‘em actually, but we would gather around, and I would explain to him why I had chosen that passage of scripture, and then I would read the passage to him, and I would always end by saying, “Daddy, I love you.” So, I want to do that this time, when we’re gathered around daddy, and I want to read a passage of scripture, but I want to explain to you why I have chosen this particular passage of scripture. And the reason is this, I believe that from Heaven’s perspective that my father’s death is as significant as his life, and his life was very significant, but I think when he died that was something very…strategic from Heaven’s point of view, and I know that before the foundations of the world were laid, February 21, 2018 was the date that God chose to take my father home. Why? And I had a sweet friend who urged me to look that up on the web, so I looked up what was significant about that day, and I found out that February 21, 2018 is the day when Jews focused on scripture reading that focuses on the death of Moses. Moses was the great liberator. He brought people, millions of people, out of bondage to slavery, got them to the edge of the Promised Land, and God took him to Heaven, and then God brought Joshua to lead them into the Promised Land to take them home. And my father is also is a great liberator. He brought millions of people out of bondage to sin, and he gets us to the edge of Heaven, the edge of the Promised Land, and then God has called him home. And then could it be that God is going to bring Joshua to lead us into the Promised Land to lead us to Heaven, and do you know what the New Testament name is for Joshua? It’s Jesus, and I believe this is a shot across the bow from Heaven. And I believe that God is saying, “Wake up, church! Wake up, world! Wake up, Anne! Jesus is coming. Jesus is coming.” And Jesus said, “When the Gospel is preached to the whole world as it is today in this service as it is through churches, missionaries, ministries, Jesus said in Matthew 24:14, “When the Gospel is preached to the whole world then the end will come.”
So, I would like to read to you 1 Thessalonians, Chapter 4, beginning with verse 13. I’m going to read it to you the way my mother taught me. I’ll put my name in and make is personal, and then I’ll read it to you the way my daddy taught me. I’ll make a comment here or there. And it says, “I do not want you to be ignorant, Anne, concerning those who have fallen asleep.” And “fallen asleep” is just the Biblical term for when God’s children die. It’s just a falling asleep. It’s when you close your eyes to this life. You open them to the face of Jesus. It’s when your faith becomes sight. “So, I don’t want you to be ignorant, Anne, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if you believe that Jesus died and rose again,” and I do, “Even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the Word of the Lord.” This is God’s Word. It’s not fantasy. It’s not wish. It’s not a hope so. “This we say to you by the Word of the Lord that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord, Himself, Joshua, Yeshua, Jesus, will descend from Heaven with a shout with a voice of an archangel and with a trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.” That’s my daddy, that’s my mother, that’s my husband. “Then you and I who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore, comfort one another with these words.”
And this is the comfort. There is hope for tomorrow. This life is not all there is. The best is yet to come. So, I want to make a pledge to my daddy, and I pledge to you, daddy, that in view of His appearing, and in front of all of these witnesses I will preach the Word. I will do the work of an evangelist. I will share the Gospel, and I will run my race and live my life so that five minutes before I see Jesus I have no regrets. I will live my life to exalt and glorify the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. So, I love you, daddy.
I have followed her all my life. I want to thank each one of you for being here today from those in the very back here in the tent to the very front row. We are blessed and honored that you are here. Thank you. And I have learned this week as never before that everybody has a Billy Graham story, and even this week President Trump told us about his Billy Graham story. As a little boy his father took him to Yankee Stadium to hear my father preach, and he said, “This is a big deal!” Little did they know that their paths would cross many, many years later. But I have my own Billy Graham story, so I’m going to tell you that one. And I’ve told it many times, and some of you have maybe heard it many times, but it bears repeating, because to me it speaks to the essence of who my father was and is.
After twenty-one years my marriage ended in divorce. I was devastated. I floundered. I did a lot wrong. The rug was pulled out from under me. My family thought it would be a good idea for me to move away, to get a fresh start somewhere else. And so I decided to live near my older sister and her family and near a good church. The pastor of that church introduced me to a handsome widower, and we began to date fast and furiously. My children didn’t like him, but I thought, you know, they were almost grown. They didn’t know…they couldn’t tell me what to do. I knew what was best for my life. My mother called me from Seattle. My father called me from Tokyo. They said, “Honey, why don’t you slow down. Let us wait to get to know this man.” They had never been a single parent. They had never been divorced. What did they know? So, being stubborn, willful, and sinful I married a man…this man on New Year’s Eve, and within twenty-four hours I knew I’d made a terrible mistake. After five weeks I fled. I was afraid of him. What was I going to do? I wanted to go talk to my mother and father. It was a two-day drive. Questions swirled in my mind. What was I going to say to daddy? What was I going to say to mother? What was I going to say to my children? I’d been such a failure. What were they going to say to me? “We’re tired of fooling with you.” “We told you not to do it.” “You’ve embarrassed us.” Let me tell you. You women will understand. You don’t want to embarrass your father. You really don’t want to embarrass Billy Graham. And many of you know that we live on the side of a mountain, and as I wound myself up the mountain I rounded the last bend in my father’s driveway, and my father was standing there waiting for me.
As I got out of the car he wrapped his arms around me, and he said, “Welcome home.” There was no shame. There was no blame. There was no condemnation, just unconditional love, and you know, my father was not God, but he showed me what God was like that day. When we come to God with our sin, our brokenness, our failure, our pain and our hurt God says, “Welcome home,” and that invitation is open for you. Thank you and God bless you.
And I followed her my whole life. I was told we have three minutes to try and sum up the life of my father, Billy Graham. I’m going to take less than three minutes, because my siblings took a little more. I just want you to know that my father was fat. He was faithful. He was available, and he was teachable, and I want each of you to remember that; faithful, available, teachable. May we all be that way. And thank each one of you for coming and giving us this honor and the honor to my father. Thank you.
Song: “Above All” Michael W. Smith
Rev. Sami Dagher:
We are here to celebrate and honor the life of Billy Graham. When we talk about Billy Graham in the Middle East we describe him like this. We say that he is a faithful man. He is faithful for the Word of God. He has never preached his own opinion or his ideas or philosophy, but he preached the Word of God, and we say about him he is a courageous man. He has never run away from for the word “repentance.” He spoke exactly [as] our Lord Jesus spoke. Our Lord Jesus said, “The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand.” He said, “Repent and believe the Gospel of Christ.” When we talk about Dr. Graham in the Middle East we don’t say he is only a great evangelist, but we say he is a great teacher, and Dr. Graham has used the best method of teaching. He has taught by example. He has never used a computer or a Facebook or a blackboard, but he taught by example. And when Paul wrote to Timothy he said to him, “Be an example for the believers in contact in love in faith and purity.” And this is exactly what Dr. Graham has taught us. He lived a holy life. When he spoke about holiness he lived a holy life, a blameless life, and when he spoke about prayer or he spoke about humbleness he was a humble man, and his greatness, really, is from his humility. One time I was in Amsterdam in 1971, and Mrs. Graham said, “Have you made an appointment with Dr. Graham?” And I said, “No. I am a little man, and he is a great man, and I was afraid to go and see him or [make] an appointment with him,” but she took me to the prayer room, and she opened the room so slowly, and here I saw a giant on his face before God praying and crying before he went to preach the Gospel. He was dependent completely on God.
At one time he said to me, “Do you want to be successful in your ministry?” I said, “Of course I want to be.” He said, “Sami, people, they all want to talk about themselves. They love it. They want to talk about themselves, but don’t talk about yourself. Talk about Jesus. Lift him up, and when we [lift] Jesus up He will draw all men to Himself.” He said, “Remember what Paul said, “We don’t preach ourselves, but we preach Christ as Lord and ourselves as slaves for you for the sake of Christ.’” He was a great man, and he was really a humble man, and he has made a great effort in the Middle East for all the believers. Dr. Graham, rest in peace. You have a wonderful family. You have wonderful children and grandchildren, and I am sure that they’re going to take the light of the Gospel to all the world. American people, I thank you in the Name of Jesus for standing behind this great man to fulfill the mission which was given to him by God, and I do pray that God will bless America for giving the world such a great man like Billy Graham. Glory and honor be to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Rev. Billy Kim:
Mr. Graham, on behalf of millions of international Christians around the world, those who have heard you proclaim the Gospel message and who touched, challenged, and saved, I join all of them to say thank you. Thank you for your bringing [the] salvation message to our part of the world. Since the news of your home-going hundreds of letters and phone calls came to me to bring condolences to your family and friends. Indeed, you have had [an] impact on millions of lives including Kings, Presidents, and Vice Presidents, and common people around the world. Mr. Kim Jong-pil, the former Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea has to say this, “The crowd[s] attracted were unprecedented in our history, but more than mere size and scope of the meetings I am convinced radiating an intensity that amounted to an outpouring of the Holy Spirit which will change the lives of each and every participant and plant a sacred message of scriptures in the hearts of all those who were within the sound of your voice. The fruit of [righteousness] it is a tree of life, and he that wins souls is wise. You have done that all your life in all the world.”
On a personal note, you [impacted] my life far greater than one can imagine. My wife, Trudy, when she was 12 years old went to the Crusade that you had in Grand Rapids, Michigan. After your preaching when you gave the invitation she gave her heart to Christ and [dedicated] to become a missionary. She has kept that decision until now. During the Seoul Crusade my family went every night. At the final meeting [in which] an estimated 1.1 million people attended, all of our children dedicated their lives to serve the Lord. The church I pastored at that time attendance was a mere 300. Now, after your Crusade there are more than twenty thousand members. The rapid growth of the megachurch movement in Korea [has] started…[has] more churches and missionaries than any other country in our region all because you came to preach the Word to our people.
The last time I saw you when GiGi took me…your eyesight and hearing was not too good. GiGi said, “Daddy, your favorite Korean preacher is here.” You said, “You’re kidding.” I said, “Dr. Graham, I’m here to thank you,” and then you say, “Billy, let’s have one more Crusade in Korea.”
To conclude my remarks you and Mrs. Graham have been such an inspiration and encouragement, and your family, [wonderful friends] in the ministry. Your journey has ended on this Earth, but may the Lord give you perfect rest in the presence of our Heavenly Father. You have fought a good fight. You finished the course. You have kept the faith. Henceforth, there is laid up for you a crown of righteousness. God bless you all. Thank you.
Song: “Because He Lives.” Gaither Vocal Band
Rev. Robert Cunville:
Shall we pray…Almighty God, our Heavenly Father, we have come together here and joined with millions of your people around the world to praise You and to worship You. Open the gates of Heaven, Oh God, and pour Your Holy Spirit upon us. We’ve come, Oh God, to thank You for a life that has been so precious and will always be very precious to all of us. God, You had foreordained for Jesus Christ to shed His blood on the Cross and to die for our sins, and You raised Him up on the third day that He might be our Savior. You, Oh God, had also foreordained that Your servant, Billy Graham, might be the champion of the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Oh God, at this time we know that You, You Who brought the countless souls to the foot of the cross. For this is what your servant would say, Oh God, “Not me. Not me, but God did it.” We rejoice, Oh God, at this time, that as we gather together the seed that Your servant has planted will multiply, Oh God, that the whole world may hear of the Gospel, that we as sinners, Oh God, should repent before the Cross, and invite Christ into our lives. We thank You for the Gospel, Oh God, and at this time, Lord, we pray for the children of Dr. Graham, for GiGi, for Anne, for Ruth, for Franklin, and for Ned. We pray for their families, Oh God, and the wonderful ministries through which they’re involved in.
But Lord, at this time, we pray very especially for Franklin and for Will as they continue to uphold the legacy that Your servant, Billy Graham, had to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the nations of the world. May this day, Oh God, be a dawn of a new era in the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Father, at this time we pray for a fresh anointing upon Thy servant, Franklin Graham, as he comes, Oh God, to share from his heart, as he comes, Oh God, to share from Your Word the message, Lord, the message that Your servant has lived His life for. Lord, prepare our hearts that at this moment we might respond to Your love and Your forgiveness. For we pray in Jesus’ Name, amen.
Mr. President, First Lady Melania Trump, Vice President Pence, Karen. To my family, Government leaders, notable guests, my father’s friends and pastors and church leaders, and the wonderful supporters who stood behind him with their prayer support all these years, and to my father’s incredible staff; we’ve come here to honor a man of God. The Library in back of us tells about the journey of faith that my father traveled his entire life. My father preached on Heaven, told millions how to find Heaven. He wrote a book on Heaven, and today he’s in Heaven. His journey is complete.
You may wonder how I best remember my father. Well, I cannot remember my father without remembering my mother. She loved my father. He loved her. He adored her. She was his soulmate in life, and when she passed away eleven years ago this coming June it was a big hole in his heart. He missed my mother. He had a big picture of her at the foot of his bed on the wall, and he could lie in bed and look at that picture of my mother. Sometimes I’d come in there to see him, and he’d say, “Franklin, I miss your mother more today than I’ve ever missed her in my life.” The last few years of my mother’s life my mother was sick in bed, and she would lie in bed on her side, and my father would come in, and he would sit beside her, and the two of them would look at each other, just look at each other, I mean, eye to eye for hours. And if I sat in the room I felt a little uncomfortable like I was intruding. He loved her, and she loved him. My mother was a part of my father’s life at every turn.
When I think about my father I can sit quietly, and I can still hear his voice, a word of encouragement, and sometimes a word of caution. There were quite a few of those. I can recall him at home just laughing with their children. He had a great sense of humor. He loved his grandchildren, great grandchildren, all of his family, and I remember we would take walks together along the mountain trails about his log home there in Montreat, but the Billy Graham that the world saw on television, the Billy Graham that the world saw in the big stadiums was the same Billy Graham that we saw at home. There weren’t two Billy Grahams. He loved his family. He stood by us. He comforted us. He left us an enduring legacy. His uncompromising testimony of God’s great love, all of us children came to see the world and our Father in Heaven through my father’s eyes.
I think the most compelling vision I have ingrained in my memory is my father, the preacher, the evangelist standing behind this pulpit right here…in stadiums around the country and around the world, and his voice booming, proclaiming the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. He has often said, “Someday, you will read that Billy Graham is dead.” He said, “Don’t you believe one word of it.” He said, “I’ll be more alive than I am now. I will just have changed addresses that’s all.”
Every Sunday that I was home I went to visit my father. He’d love to walk when he could. I’d share with [Him] things that we were doing. He would ask questions. We’d talk about the Bible. He liked to talk about politics, sports, but the last few years he became rather quiet, and in this last year of his life he said very little at all, and I believe that his mind was on Heaven. He often said, “I’m not afraid to die for I know the joys of Heaven are waiting.” If he could speak to you today he would ask, “Will you be making this journey to Heaven someday?”
My father’s greatest longing has been granted. He’s in the presence of God. There are a few things that my father would want me to share with you today, and I’ll take just a moment. My father would want you to know that he believed the Bible to be the infallible Word of God. He didn’t understand it all, but he sure believed it all. The Bible was his soul authority. When he preached he always took the Bible to the pulpit with him, and for most of his messages he would hold the Bible in his hand, and he would quote scripture after scripture. His sermons were filled with scripture, and when he would quote the scripture he’d always say, “The Bible says…” Why? Because it was his authority. My father believed in Heaven. He also believed in Hell. You see, Jesus preached on Hell. Hell is reserved for the wicked, for those who refuse to repent of their sins and acknowledge God’s Son, Jesus Christ, as their Lord and Savior. The Bible says that God doesn’t want anyone to perish, but all should come to repentance. This motivated my father to preach the Gospel with urgency. He wanted to warn men and women of the consequences of their sins, that one day we would all have to stand before God to give Him an account of our lives, that there was a judgment coming. The Bible tells us that man has been separated from God by sin, and sin is a disease of the human soul, the human heart, and it has infected the entire human race. The Bible tells us that we have all sinned, and we have all come short of God’s standards, His glory, and the penalty of sin is death, not just physical death but spiritual death for eternity. The best news ever declared is that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that Whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but should have everlasting life.
This verse was probably in every message my father ever preached, because it demonstrates the love of God. It gives hope to the lost world. When one reads the papers or listens to the news we wonder, “What hope is there?” But two thousand years ago God broke through the darkness of sin and sent His Son down from Heaven to this Earth to identify with us to bring us the light of salvation, a man, Christ Jesus, came to seek and to save that which was lost. The Bible says, “For it’s by grace that you have been saved through faith, and it’s not of yourselves it’s the gift of God, not of works lest anyone should boast,” and Jesus said, “I’m the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No man comes to the Father but by Me.”
Millions today are searching for the Way. “Where do I go? What do I do?” Jesus said, “Follow Me.” He said, “I’m the Way.” Just a few days ago my father followed Jesus all the way to Heaven. Most of his life was spent traveling the world, but the last week he embarked on the journey he had been looking forward to all of his life, the journey from Earth to Heaven.
How about you? If this were your funeral would you be in Heaven? Are you sure? Jesus still calls us to follow Him today. Jesus said, “I’m the Truth.” Many ask today, “What is truth? With all the lies and false information what is the truth?” Jesus said, “I am the Truth, and all truth is found in Him.” He said, “I’m the Life.” Most people spend their wages improving and trying to have a more comfortable life. If we follow Him and trust Him and believe Him to be true he will give us, not a better life. He doesn’t promise that. He doesn’t promise us a more comfortable life, but he does promise us eternal life. Jesus tells us that no one comes to the Father except through Him. The world with all of its political correctness would want you to believe that there are many roads to God. It’s just not true. How could Jesus make these claims? How could he say that He’s the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and no man comes to the Father but by Him? You see, Jesus was God in the flesh, because He is the only one in history to take our sins and to pay the debt of sin, and my father would want me to share this with you today, that God sent His Son, His only Son, from Heaven to this Earth to take our sins, and he took our sins to the cross, and he died in our place. He shed His blood for each and every one of you, and when He hung on the cross God poured out the sins of mankind on His Son; the sins past, present, future. He shed His blood for our sins. He was buried for our sins, and on the third day God raised His Son to life. Jesus is not dead. He is alive, and He’s here today. Are you trusting Him? He’ll come into each and every heart that invites Him, and if we repent of our sins and by faith believe on the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ the Bible says we will be saved. Are you saved? Are you forgiven? Are you trusting Jesus as Your Savior? Are you following Him as your Lord? If you’re not sure there’d be no better time than right now at Billy Graham’s funeral to settle this once and for eternity. It’s simply by faith, simply by believing, and if you were just to pray a simple prayer like this, just say in your heart, just say this in your heart, “God, I’m a sinner. I’m sorry for my sins. Forgive me. I believe that Jesus Christ is Your Son, and I want to trust Him as my Savior, and I want to follow Him as my Lord.” If you just pray a simple prayer like that God will forgive your sins, and you can have that hope of eternal life.
I last visited with my father Sunday, February the 18th, and on the 21st of February he was escorted by God’s angels to the throne of God, and I can only imagine what it was like for my father to step into Heaven, and there was the Lord Jesus Christ to say, “Well done good and faithful servant.” There was the throne of God. Can you just imagine that? My mother…his mother, father, friends, clapping, cheering, bells ringing, trumpets blowing, not because it was Billy Graham. It’s just another child of God who’s come home, another child of God.
Daddy, I won’t see you on this Earth again, but I will see you again. I’ll see you maybe soon, but not yet. To God be the glory.
Thank you, Franklin, and those last words that he said is something that we should all leave with today as we sing a wonderful hymn, “To God be the glory. Great things He hath done. Great our rejoicing through Jesus His Son.” Will we stand together as we sing this wonderful hymn for the benediction, but everyone sing, join in. Lift your voice. Let Him be heard.
Song: “To God Be the Glory”
Rev. George E. Battle, Jr.
Let the church say, “Amen.” Let us say us one more time for the Father, and the Holy Ghost. I had the privilege of praying as Dr. Graham dedicated the highway out there, so I have the privilege now, my great honor to give this benediction to this great service. Hasn’t it been a great service? Let’s give God the praise. Celebration, celebration.
And now, may the grace of God, the sweet communion of his Holy Spirit, may it rest, rule, and abide with us henceforth and forevermore, and the church said, “Amen.”
Now, I’m going to ask you to do one thing for me. They asked me to do this last night, and I told them I would get it right. So, help me please, because I won’t get to do this again. Please remain standing until all…until you’re told to do the next thing. God bless you.