Renowned Christian evangelist Billy Graham’s final message, as shared by his son Franklin Graham, is an echo of how he lived his life and the message he preached for over 60 years.
Franklin Graham wrote his reflection on his father’s life in USA Today and said that Billy Graham’s final message could be found in a 2005 book of his three sermons at Flushing Meadows Corona Park under the heading “A Final Word from Billy Graham.”
“No matter what your problem is,” Bill Graham had written, “if you and I could sit down and talk, I would want to tell you one great truth: God loves you, and He can make a difference in your life if you will let Him.”
Billy Graham continued, “God loves you so much that He Sent His son into the world to die for your sins. When we open our hearts to Christ, He forgives our sins and comes to live within us by His Holy Spirit. He also gives us strength for the present and hope for the future.”
“If my father could speak or write to us today, he would say the same thing,” Franklin Graham said. “It was what he lived and breathed — until his very last breath.”
Franklin Graham also recounted that his father reflected on death to Newsweek in 2005.
“Do I fear death? No. I look forward to death, with great anticipation,” Billy Graham said. “I am looking forward to seeing God face to face. And that could happen any day.”
Billy 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 the day before he died at the age of 99.
“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.”
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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