Billy Graham Is Not Dead, and It's His Failure That Inspires Me

Billy Graham addressing a crowd in San Diego, California, in 2003.
Billy Graham addressing a crowd in San Diego, California, in 2003. (BGEA/Courtesy)

For true believers, death is no longer a mystery, no longer a fear or a bondage, but a glorious transition into the highest dimension of life there ever could be. So in essence, the announcement of his death is fake news. Even Rev. Graham said so:

"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."

Billy Graham is more alive now than he's ever been for he is in the presence of the Lord he served while in his body. Why is it so difficult for many people, even believers to grasp that we are not bodies with a spirit on, but we are spirits with a body on. The real you is a spirit that shall never die. When uninformed people say of the deceased "rest in peace," they are being body-conscious and unscriptural. Spirits don't rest in peace. They soar into the heavens at the speed of light and are thrust into heavenly activity upon their arrival.

Never feel sorry for a believer who dies. Yes, we miss them and feel their loss if they are family or a close friend, but they are in glory with the Lord and all the departed saints waiting for the rest of the redeemed.

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Here is a poem I wrote and read at the closing of my Daddy's memorial service in 2016 that expresses the glory more than the grief of a departed saint:

Why should I cry? My daddy is alive and in the midst of the glories of heaven,

Why do I want to think of my loss?

Instead of my daddy's gain?

Why should I wail in a pagan dirge of despair?

When my daddy is with Jesus in the Father's care,

My daddy didn't die; he just went home,

To the born-again Christian death is not a defeat,

It is a victory and a triumph of the highest degree,

So can I be full of sorrow when my daddy is so happy?

Should I be full of mourning when he is rejoicing with great joy?

You see, my daddy didn't die—he just went home.

Rev. Billy Graham just went home. We celebrate his life so well lived and a ministry that touched millions. What an inspiration he should be to all of us, especially ministers. He is being called "America's pastor," and rightfully so. He touched so many throughout many decades, from the lowest to the highest in our society. His evangelistic crusades brought salvation to multitudes the world over. He counseled with presidents, kings and prime ministers. He spoke privately to well-known athletes, singers, musicians and celebrities. Nearly everyone in modern civilization on every continent was familiar with his name. But always he sought to glorify the name above all names, Jesus Christ, and win souls for Him. Even now, after he's gone, CNN, one of the most liberal media networks, is running his sermons. He had tremendous favor with all audiences. He was a man of integrity and humility, and people sensed that he genuinely cared about them.

One of the greatest lessons that I learned from him, however, was not from his successes but from his failures. What? How did he fail? you might be wondering.

Shortly after Billy Graham's 80th birthday, Larry King interviewed him and said: "It must be rewarding to you to look back on your life and not have to live with regrets." Here's Dr. Graham's compelling response:

"I am the greatest failure of all men. I was too much with men and too little with God. I was too busy with business meetings and even conducting services. I should have been more with God, and people would've sensed God's presence about me when they were with me."

Let's not wait until we're 80 to say that. You see, in spite of all of Rev. Graham's accomplishments, he sensed there was more. The greatest thing man can still do with his time is to spend it in holy communion and solitude with God. True eternal life is to know Him.

"And this is eternal life: that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent" (John 17:3).

Rev. Billy Graham's life inspires me to be faithful to my calling as a Christian, a husband, a father and a friend, but it is what he called his failure that inspires me most—to be less with men and more with God.

May this little book help you to know God better. Prayer: The Language of the Spirit

 

Bert M. Farias, revivalist and founder of Holy Fire Ministries, has authored several books with an emphasis on helping to restore the true spirit of Christianity in the Church today, including his latest book, Passing on The Move of God to The Next Generation. Follow him at Bert Farias and Holy Fire Ministries on Facebook and @Bertfarias1 on Twitter.

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