We all have heard rumors, scandals, or just nasty talk about preachers in today’s world. Whether they were true, false or maybe a little of each, the fact is that they were all in the press and they all got attacked and mocked and accused of many things. The reason I bring this up is because I was thinking about Billy Graham these last few days. I was recalling all of the times I heard about his affairs, scandals, money hungry ways, and every behavior that I remember hearing about Billy Graham in my lifetime. The problem was, I could not recall any. Not one incident that was in the media concerning Billy Graham.
At first I thought to myself maybe I am too young to remember all his dark times. However after doing some research on him I was surprised to find out that not only was he a straight shooter with very few accusations of any type, but that to the contrary he had set records on the other side. He preached in nearly all the countries in the world, he was called on by more presidents and world leaders than anyone in history for spiritual advice, and he lived a clean life throughout his ministry. Was Billy Graham a sinner? Of course. He had the same disease we all have, according to the Bible, the sin disease we were born into. But he had an outstanding way of standing firm against the sins that so easily entangle many people and preachers today.
I want to give my two cents as to why Bully Graham lived and died as the greatest spiritual mentor in the history of this planet. There are five things I believe he did that made him the man able to excel at his calling like no other.
1- He was humble. There was never a hint of him thinking he was better than anyone in the world, as a matter of fact I think he pointed that out himself all the time.
2-He obeyed his calling. Billy Graham sacrificed much of his beloved family time and missed out on many important events simply because he put God’s call on his life before everyone and everything else.
3-He was consistent. Billy Graham was the same whether he was preaching in Haiti, or Egypt to the rich. There was no favor for either. He did not try to please people according to their culture, although respectful of each.
4- He could not be bought. Billy Graham was not interested in perks and special treatment and often turned down any opportunity to have greater housing, or meals then who he was around. He was equal to everyone and better than nobody.
5- By far and the most powerful reason I believe Billy Graham was the man he was is because he did something that is rare in today’s pulpit. He preached the Gospel as it reads in the Word of God. Never watered it down whether he was talking to a muslim imam, or to an atheist. The reason Billy Graham produced more spiritual fruit than any human in history other then Christ Himself, is because he understood that the power of the Gospel is what draws people and fills pews. Not canoe trips and fancy luncheons. It was his passion to preach the Jesus of the bible and Him alone. He knew the secret that most today don’t know or don’t practice today; stay true the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit will move in mighty ways.
John 14:6 says ” Jesus said ” I am the way, the truth and the life. No man shall see the Father except through me.” This is a truth that Billy Graham NEVER compromised no matter who he was speaking to. He knew that sticking with the truth would bring forth a harvest, and boy did it. Stadiums filled to capacity all over the world everywhere he went. The most admired of spiritual leaders. Even those who professed another ” way” or ” religion ” flocked to see him, and I believe it was because no matter what hat they wore in the religious world, something inside them knew that they knew that they knew that what Billy Graham preached was the absolute truth.
I would love to have a front row seat at the judgement when rewards are handed out to the faithful of believers. I don’t think any eye has seen nor has any ear heard the things Billy Graham is now facing. How awesome of an example for us all, and what an incredible honor to live in a time when we got to hear him and see him, even if on television and in books. Thank you Rev. Graham for giving us all something to hope for in Christ, and someone to be like on earth, in you.