Wednesday, March 7, 2018

A Great Man and a Great Savior!

It has been a couple weeks now, since the world lost one of its most respected and revered men of faith, Dr. Billy Graham.  His death came at age 99, following years of dwindling health.  However, a general feeling of joy, mixed with sadness, has dominated the coverage of his death and ceremonies honoring the man and his ministry.

It was noted by Graham’s son, Franklin, that Billy would most likely have felt uncomfortable with the amount of press coverage and the high visibility of his passing.  Dr. Graham would most likely have wanted to spend more time talking about his Savior, to whom he had pointed well over 210 million people in over 180 countries during his career.  I agree with that sentiment.  One day, the world will forget about you and I.  Our memory will fade, but Jesus Christ, the savior of the world, will be remembered until the end of time for who He was, and for what He did for the world.  

As a young man, Billy Graham attended a gospel meeting held by a minister named Mordecai Ham.  Even though he was a fairly well behaved youth, Billy still felt the weight of the minister’s words as he laid out the law of God, showing his audience their need for a savior in light of their offenses against God.  When an invitation to respond to God’s offer of forgiveness through Jesus Christ was given, young Billy responded with heart-felt desire for God’s love and forgiveness.  A gospel message so simple and so clear rang through the heart of that young man, such that it became an undeniable call- a message to the world that he simply had to share.  

The message is simple:  mankind, though created by God with distinct beauty and dignity in all of creation, had fallen prey to the ravages of sin and become desperately needful of a Savior who could pay the just penalty for their offenses of God’s holiness.  In light of humanity’s urgent need and complete inability to earn their own salvation, God decided to enter into history and become the only satisfactory payment for sin on their behalf.  That’s the good news!  God loves you enough to pay the ultimate price for you!

The power and truth of this message still rings true to this day.  God offers forgiveness, mercy, grace and salvation through His son, Jesus.  Remember with me, words of the famous song that was the gospel call at every one of Billy Graham’s evangelistic meetings:  "Just as I am, without one plea, but that Your blood was shed for me, and that thou bidst me come to thee.  O Lamb of God, I come!"

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