I’ve had the privilege, for the last two days, to be with one of the most special people on the face of the earth. He is justly called America’s Pastor, a friend of presidents, a fearless preacher of the gospel.
Of course, I am speaking of Billy Graham.
Billy is 92 years old now, and his eyesight is failing him, and his hearing is not as good as it used to be. But he still has a fiery passion that drives him—in fact, it’s a burden on his heart:
Billy Graham wants to preach one last Sermon.
He said “I have one more message to give!” He wants to do it before a crowd of people. And he wants to do it soon.
Think about that. One last message from the world’s greatest evangelist. Have you ever thought about what you would say if you could give one last message? Even if you are not a preacher, per se, you still have a message to deliver. What if you could stand before family and friends, or even the world at large, and give one last talk about what really mattered to you? What would your topic be? What text from Scripture would you quote?
Billy Graham has prayed and thought deeply about this and has come up with an answer. I am sure if he does give this message that, quite literally, the world will sit up and take notice.
Lunch with Billy
I sat with him today at lunch and asked him, “Billy, I heard you want to give one last message. Is that true?”
Emphatically, he said “Yes!”
“Do you want to do that before a live audience or to a TV camera?”
“A live audience,” he said with certainty. “Maybe I could come do it at your church!” he said, with a twinkle in his eye.
“You have a standing invitation—trust me!” I told him. I then asked Billy what the text of his last message would be. He said it would be 2 Chronicles 7:14. “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
Billy wants to call our nation, and all who would hear, to turn back to God. Billy said, “I want to call the country to repentance.” Billy Graham listens to the news. He knows what is going on in our country. Throughout his ministry he always stayed in touch with his culture, and that has not changed.
In this great passage from 2 Chronicles, God tells His people what to do when they want to get right with Him again: humble ourselves, pray, seek His face, and turn from our wicked ways. What is fascinating is that this passage is not directed to the world at large, but to God’s people, to whom it was originally given. Billy wants to call the church and the country to turn back to God.
He wants to see spiritual revival in America.
That is a message that I, for one, would love to hear him give.
But there is another passage that burns on the famed evangelist’s heart. In fact, it is posted on his wall in large print so he can read it and commit it to memory. It is Galatians 6:14, where Paul writes, “But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” That is what Billy has always preached over the years: the cross of Christ. He has never wavered from that, always emphasized it.
Once, some years ago, I asked him the question,”If an older Billy were to speak to a younger one, what would he say? What would he tell the younger man to remember?” Without missing a beat, Billy said, “I would preach more on the cross and the blood of Christ. That’s where the power is.”
I never forgot that.
I don’t know if Billy will ever deliver this last message, but if he does, he wants us to know that we need to turn from our sins to God…and this was made possible through the blood of Jesus Christ. We need to humble ourselves and pray and turn from our wicked ways. God promises if we do this, He will heal our land. That sounds like good news to me.