Billy Graham was America’s Pastor
I was a kid ‘way back in the 1970s before internet, cell phones, and tablets. We had one television and could receive only two network channels. Primitive, eh?
However, there was one television program that me, my parents and my sisters watched together. As a matter of fact, it was an event. An event, in which my parents demanded participation. A Billy Graham Crusade was must-see TV in those days. Supper was finished, homework was done, and the rotary dial phone hung idly on the wall as the whole family sat down to watch America’s Pastor.
Cliff Barrows would start the proceedings by leading a beautiful chorale made up of various local church choirs. Maybe Johnny Cash and June would be there to sing a hymn. Of course, George Beverly Shea would be called upon for his stirring rendition of “How Great Thou Art.” All of this led up to the preacher. Billy would hold his Bible in one hand, while gesturing sharply with the other, expressing the importance of the message he thundered.
It was, and still is, an important message, the most important message ever given. Simple. Not complicated. But one that must be received by faith. Times have changed since I sat in front of that television to watch those crusades. But, the message of America’s Pastor rings as clearly today, as it did then — “You must be born again!”
We lost that great man of God a very short time ago. He counseled every president from Truman to Obama. He has always been among the most respected persons in the world. His name is known in every continent. Yet, this humble man would be the first to tell you, he wasn’t perfect. He’d tell you that even he was a flawed messenger of the Gospel. That he was born in sin and in need of a Savior, just like the rest of us.
Billy confessed, up to his final passing to Glory, that God loves you. That God gave His Son for you. And that Jesus died for your sins and was risen for your justification. Billy’s message was a simple message; it was Christ’s message. Receive that message of love, and tell it to everyone you can.
Finding Faith is written by area pastors. This week’s column comes from Pastor Rob Archey of Jersey Shore Area Assembly of God.