Billy Graham: He Finished Well


This morning we woke to the news that Billy Graham had died. Immediately we are reminded of Grahams own words on the subject of his death…

“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.”

I’m amazed of how many people during the course of his ministry heard him preach. Even more amazing are the number of people who gave their lives to Jesus as a result of hearing him preach!

Graham grew up on a farm. Was saved at the age of 16. Went off to college and met and married the love of his life. Started a family. And then God reached down and in an unusual way called him to preach to the masses.

By all accounts he lived a simple life dedicated to faith and family.

Perhaps, the most amazing thing about his life is how well he finished. He finished strong and was able to avoid the pitfalls that entrap so many preachers. He was able to stay faithful to Christ to the very end.

Recently, I was reading in 1 Kings a brief description of the second king of Israel – King David. 1 Kings 15:5 contains an interesting description of King David. It says…

“David did what was right in the Lord’s eyes, and he did not turn aside from anything He had commanded him all the days of his life, except in the matter of Uriah the Hittite.”

Wow – David lived a great life and left a great legacy – yet even David had an asterisk beside his name. There was that one time that he really screwed up. There was that deal with Bathsheba and the cover up and the death of her husband Uriah. Unfortunately, most of us have a Uriah like asterisk that follows us all the days of our lives.

Remarkably, Billy Graham seems to have made it to heaven without a nasty footnote regarding some glaring moral failure. Surely, he was not perfect. Probably, not even close.

Nonetheless, there was no, “except in the matter of Uriah the Hittite” that was ever attached to his legacy! 

Today we mourn the loss of a spiritual giant and thank God that he faithfully finished the race set before him!