Franklin Graham shared a final message from his father, renowned evangelist Billy Graham, after his death Wednesday at 99.
The son recounted in USA Today his father’s 70 years of ministry spreading the message of the Gospel around the world from crowded stadiums during his signature crusades to intimate personal meetings with heads of state. He also shared his dad’s thoughts on death.
“Do I fear death? No. I look forward to death, with great anticipation. I am looking forward to seeing God face-to-face. And that could happen any day,” Franklin Graham recounted Billy Graham saying to Newsweek over 10 years ago.
To the very end, his father maintained the Gospel as his personal focus and his message to others, he said.
As for Billy Graham’s final message to the world, Franklin Graham offered his father’s closing words in a 2005 book in which he published his entire first three sermons:
No matter what your problem is, 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.
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.
This is the message of the Gospel—and this is the message you have read in this book.
Franklin Graham said that, without a doubt, his father would share that same message again were he still able to speak. It was, after all, “what he lived and breathed—until his very last breath.”
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