Less than a day before he died at the age of 99, renowned Christian evangelist Billy Graham shared one last Facebook post to drive home the message he preached for more than 60 years.
Graham, who touched the lives of millions of people over his evangelistic career, shared some wise words regarding those who wander away from God and the effects that can have later on.
“If you went for a walk in the woods, but then decided to wander off the path, and found yourself surrounded by a thicket of thorns and poison ivy, who would you blame? Would you blame the person who built the path?” Graham asked. “No, of course not. Instead you’d blame yourself if you were honest, because you alone were responsible for wandering from the path.”
He used this “woods” scenario as an analogy to explain what happens “when we decide to leave God out of our lives.”
“For a time, it may seem like wandering away from Him doesn’t make any difference; it may even seem easier and freer,” he said. “But eventually it catches up with us—just as wandering off that path and into the thicket caught up with you.”
The post was popular among Facebook users when it was first published on Tuesday afternoon, but following Graham’s death, it took on new meaning for many more people.
As of late Thursday morning, the post had been shared 12,500 times, in addition to getting more than 17,000 likes on the social media platform.
In the comments section, many users expressed their agreement with what Graham said.
“These words are so true, spoken by a Godly man who is a good example of how God wants us to live,” one user wrote, while another added, “His final message was as meaningful and heartfelt as his first.”
Others recognized Graham’s legacy and noted how happy they were that he is in a better place.
“A joyous birth into eternity I’m sure,” a user wrote. “I’m sure you are dancing with joy and a heart lifted up in praise to the One who created you. Job well done Mr. Billy Graham.”
“You will be missed but heaven is rejoicing for your family and all you have touched on this earth,” another said.
Prior to his death, Graham spoke publicly about what was going to happen when his time on earth was finished.
“I am not going to Heaven because I have preached to great crowds or read the Bible many times. I’m going to Heaven just like the thief on the cross who said in that last moment: ‘Lord, remember me,” the preacher once said, according to The Daily Caller.
When asked how he would like to be remembered, Graham indicated that he wanted people to think of him “as someone who was faithful — faithful to God, faithful to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and faithful to the calling God gave me not only as an evangelist, but as a husband, father and friend.”
In a post he prepared for publication following his death, Graham wrote, “By the time you read this, I will be in heaven, and as I write this I’m looking forward with great anticipation to the day when I will be in God’s presence forever.”
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