As the news flashed across the world this morning, “Billy Graham, America’s pastor, dead at 99”, all we could think is that he is not dead but alive and with Jesus. Billy Graham influenced America and all the world. From his gospel crusades, to forming the Lausanne Movement with British evangelical John Stott, to his pastoral concern for our nation’s leaders, Billy Graham loved Jesus and it showed.
Rev. Graham’s message of God’s unconditional love and redemption offered to all is what set him apart. It’s a message that all Christians must rekindle for today. Amid judgmentalism, fear, and death, Billy Graham instead offered God’s love – a love that called for redemption and salvation for each individual as well as all creation.
As evangelicals called to care for God’s creation, we are deeply grateful for Rev. Graham’s creation care leadership and teachings, including this statement from May 12, 2006:
Why should we be concerned about the environment? It isn’t just because of the dangers we face from pollution, climate change, or other environmental problems—although these are serious. For Christians, the issue is much deeper: We know that God created the world, and it belongs to Him, not us. Because of this, we are only stewards or trustees of God’s creation, and we aren’t to abuse or neglect it. The Bible says, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it” (Psalm 24:1).
While we all mourn his passing, today we celebrate a life well-lived and thank God for sharing the Rev. Dr. Billy Graham with us for a short while. Praise God and thank you, Billy Graham, a “good and faithful servant.”