I was in Santiago, Chile when I heard about Billy Graham “changing addresses” as he would say. For a moment I was sad until I remembered the quote from Billy that “there will be a time when you hear the news that Billy Graham is dead. Do not believe it. I will have only changed my address.”
I immediately saw a picture of Billy in heaven and as far as your eye can see, millions upon millions of people were coming in from North Korea, Congo, the Middle East and from all over the world. Each one of them said, “thank you Billy Graham, thank you.” It was incredible to see how heaven was rejoicing over the impact of his life.
Jesus says in John 17:4 “I have glorified you here on earth.” The life of Jesus brought glory to His Father because He finished everything that He was called to do. I believe this is the same for Billy Graham. He lived such a lifestyle that brought glory to God in his life, his marriage, with his children and in ministry. He was a beloved son. There are a lot of people that start well but do not finish well. Billy Graham finished well.
As I watched Billy’s funeral and read the comments from people who were viewing, I realized the good news was being sent all over the world. The entire world was actually watching as the gospel of Jesus was being shared. I believe many people had an encounter with Jesus or received Him because of this man’s funeral.
Although he is no longer present with us in person, his mantle has been passed to a generation. On the day of his upgrade, I believe there was a release of new harvesters who will carry the same mantle – a mantle connected to the one billion-soul harvest.
As the mission movement of today, there is an urgency to live a life worthy of what Christ died for as we introduce people to a God that looks just like Jesus. The harvest is ripe, but we need the harvesters. God wants to send His fire but we need to cultivate fireplaces.
As a generation, we need to be willing to invest our time, talent and treasure in a radical step of faith in response to His call. We can draw on Billy Graham’s life as an example of what radical obedience looks like as we continue to impact the nations with the goodness of the gospel.
One thing I know is that God is a family and He wants his children back. He desires for people from every tribe and tongue to stand before Him in worship for all of eternity. The gospel, the good news of Jesus, is only good news if people hear it!
Just like Billy Graham, as a modern-day missions movement, we have an opportunity to re-present the Father just like Jesus so that sons and daughters would experience how good He is and how loved they are.