Rev. Dr. Billy Graham Dies

Another Godly Man Passes Away

Rev. Dr. Billy Graham passed away at the age of 99. He truly was “America’s Pastor.”Picture of Dr. Graham

I don’t think we will see as godly a man as Dr. Graham again in my lifetime. His message was clear and to the point: Jesus came, died, rose again, and asks each individual to repent of their sins and receive him by faith as one’s only Lord and Savior. He proclaimed this message powerfully and with a gracious southern accent.

I heard Dr. Graham speak live several times. Once, many years ago at the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Florida, I took a group of young people to see him and hear his salvation message. The stadium was so packed that even though we arrived an hour before the crusade we had to watch the whole event in the parking lot through a huge projection screen. Back then that was high-tech stuff—watching a live event via a jumbotron was an event in and of itself. More people attended that revival meeting than attended a Superbowl!

Dr. Graham’s body will be taken from Asheville to Charlotte today at 11:25 am, Saturday, in a procession expected to take 3 ½ hours and ending at the Billy Graham Library at 2:20 PM.House and Barn at the Library

His body will lie in repose Monday and Tuesday (Feb 26, 27) in his Charlotte home where Graham grew up, which was moved from its original location to the grounds of the Billy Graham Library. To view the closed casket of such a powerful spiritual leader as Dr. Graham is a once in a lifetime opportunity. The Library will be closed until March 5th, so you’ll have to schedule visiting it for a later time.

There will be no on-site public parking during this period of lie in repose at the Library. All public parking will be accommodated at the Operation Christmas Child Processing Center located at 7100 Forest Point Blvd., (just off I-77) a few miles from the Billy Graham Library and at the Charlotte Business Valet, Lot 2 at 5807 Wilkinson Blvd. Complimentary public shuttle buses will run continually from these lots to and from the Graham Family Homeplace. The shuttles will run from 8 AM to 9:30 PM. The last shuttle will depart the parking lot 30 minutes before the public lie in repose closes. You can find a public visitation guide on the Library’s website here.

Ruth and Billy grave siteA private funeral service will be held on Friday, March 2nd. Mr. Graham will be buried beside his wife, Ruth, at the foot of the cross-shaped brick walkway in the Prayer Garden, on the northeast side of the Billy Graham Library.The funeral is private so you won’t be able to attend. However, the grave site will be made available to the public shortly after his internment.

President Trump tweeted last Wednesday, soon after Dr. Graham’s passing was reported, “The GREAT Billy Graham is dead. There was nobody like him! He will be missed by Christians and all religions. A very special man.” I can’t think of anyone living today that I would like to honor after their death than such a godly and humble man as Dr. Graham. In many ways, he has been a model for me as a young minister, especially his high moral commitment to financial integrity and faithfulness to his wife (Ruth).

We need to pray that God will raise up another who can win the hearts and minds of our nation and who can gain the attention of millions all over the world encouraging them to confess Jesus as their Lord and Savior. I thank God for blessing our nation with such a leader who was not ashamed of the gospel or to bring the name of Jesus to the highest authorities of power around the globe (Rom 1:16).

Global Hymn Sing

How can you participate in this worship experience?

Sunday, February 25, Global Hymn SingGlobal Hymn Sing notice

On Sunday, February 25 there will be over 400,000 people from 2,300 churches in 55 countries singing the great hymn “Jesus Shall Reign” as an act of unity in God’s mission. This is the third year the Global Hymn Sing has organized this event.

Check out their website below to find out how you and your congregation can participate. There you will find a three-minute information video by Keith Getty about the event and a beautiful video rendition of the song in English. Keith and Kristyn Getty along with Ed Cash perform the song and the video is stunning.

Free sheet music and other resources are available on the website too. Everything on the website is free for churches to use.

As of February 13, 439,298 people have committed to singing this song throughout the world. Wow! Isn’t that amazing to think that the entire globe will be singing praise to Christ our Lord. There is also a global map showing every congregation that has signed up to participate. There are “dots” all over the world!

Click here to view the information video. If you scroll down you can watch the music video rendition of the hymn.

Nick Foles’ Testimony

Superbowl winner and MVP talks about Jesus

It’s always exciting to hear a person who is extremely successful at what he or she does and for them to give Jesus Christ the glory for their efforts. Nick Foles, the quarterback for the NFL Eagles football team is no exception. Immediately following his victory, each national interview mentioned Jesus. He’s not ashamed to identify himself with Christ (another Tim Tebow and Kurt Warner).

Here’s a video of him sharing the importance of knowing and following Jesus. It has over 1.5 million views already.

I thought you might enjoy hearing a strong man give a strong testimony.  What a great video to share with teens and men’s groups.  Jim

 

R. C. Spoul’s Memorial Service

We have lost a great man of Faith

I had the privilege of working with R. C. and his executive team on the radio program “Renewing Your Mind” while planting an ARP church in south Orlando. During my last consulting meeting with the Ligonier staff and R. C., I handed him a stuffed animal to help him visualize what he needed to do to be effective on radio. It was the Disney character Dumbo.

The elephant’s large floppy ears were to remind R. C. that as he taught God’s Word through the medium of radio all he had to work with was sound. The waving of his hands, the writing of Latin Dr. R. C. Sproulphrases on the chalkboard, and his classic passionate leaning into the pulpit toward the audience could not be visually conveyed over the radio. His mannerisms had to be translated into audio only.

R. C. mastered the medium of radio in record time and his program has since reached millions of people all over the world. A few weeks after our sessions, the radio show was in full production. I visited a recording session to see how things were going. And, perched on the podium was Dumbo. R. C. told me that Dumbo was his favorite stuffed animal as a child. Truth be told, the Dumbo belonged to my second daughter and I had to purchase her another one.

As a thank you gift, R. C. asked how he could repay me for helping him and his media team. I asked him to preach the gospel at the opening service of the church I was planting. He arrived with Vesta his wife and a few of the executive staff. It was a wonderful service and a powerful way to begin a new congregation.

The memorial service for R. C. features a number of well known Bible teachers whom he has influenced. R. C. has also been a significant influence on my teaching ministry too. Over the past few years, we have experienced the loss of several great men (including D. James Kennedy and James Boice) and we can expect to lose several more who have laid the foundation for ministries we have grown to depend on.

Who will take up the torch of the gospel in their stead? R. C. is one of a kind. He can’t be replaced. Yet, you and I are called by the same God who called Isaiah to preach to a nation filled with stubborn hearts. We must speak. We must continue to engage our culture with the gospel. We must remain faithful to our calling and ask God for a vision that, if he is not in it, it will be doomed to fail. Dr. Sinclair Ferguson communicates this so well at R. C.’s memorial service.

May we say as Isaiah said, though he was and we are lacking in so many things, “Here I am Lord, send me.”

Dr. R. C. Sproul went to be with the LORD on December 14, 2017. His memorial service was held at the church he planted, St. Andrews Chapel in Stanford, Florida, this past Wednesday. If you would like to view R. C. Sproul’s Memorial Service, you can click on the link here.

We may miss having Dr. R. C. Sproul with us, but none of us would wish him to leave the God he loved as he now stands “Coram Deo” before the face of the One he served and loved. May God bless his family, Ligonier Ministries, and Saint Andrew’s Chapel as they grieve his passing and rejoice in his victory over death.

Jim