On Nov. 7, 2013, Billy Graham will celebrate his 95th birthday. This is the man who may be responsible for more people coming to Christ than any single figure in the history of Christianity. He has carried the gospel to almost every nation in the world. He wants to be clear that his mission is not over.
Graham still passionately carries a burden for his homeland, the United States of America. It is his conviction that many do not know Jesus as Savior.
While his health and natural aging limits his ability to preach regularly, Graham, his family and his staff believe God can use the video recordings of his preaching to reach the lost. Coupled with current testimonies of changed lives, the evangelist’s sermons are being hailed as an effective tool to help believers reach their neighbors with the good news of Jesus Christ.
Labeled “My Hope with Billy Graham,” the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) has launched a major evangelistic outreach to America, culminating on the evangelist’s 95th birthday. Some organizers believe My Hope could be Graham’s “final call to America to turn to God.”
The strategy is built around relationships and has been used in 57 nations around the globe over the past decade. The BGEA believes more people have come to Christ as personal savior through this worldwide video outreach than all of Graham’s crusade ministry over a span of about 60 years.
The strategy has been a good fit in multiple cultural settings. When the vision to bring My Hope to North America was first considered, some were reluctant, believing it may not be effective in our culture. But the cultures of other nations are here on our shores. Maybe My Hope is ready for its day in the USA.
Biblical Recorder Managing Editor Shawn Hendricks interviewed BGEA’s Preston Parrish and wrote a story on My Hope, published in the Sept. 29, 2012, edition of the Recorder. Parrish is vice president of My Hope. In that article Parrish said, “North Carolina, and specifically North Carolina Baptists, represent a swing constituency that can help set the pace and develop the momentum for this gospel effort across our nation.”
“We’re asking every single person in North Carolina who loves Jesus Christ to begin getting involved right now with their prayers. We’re praying that the beginning, the epicenter of this great national movement, will indeed be right here in North Carolina,” Parrish said.
A powerful video entitled “Defining Moments” was posted on the ministry’s website recently, providing clearer definition for the movement.
In it, Billy Graham shares the timeless message, quoting Romans 6:23 “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
He repeats the appeal we have heard him proclaim over the years, “No matter how much time you have wasted in the past, you can still have tomorrow.”
His son, Franklin, says, “It’s going to be the largest evangelistic effort that this nation has ever seen. … Let’s fight for every soul [in this nation.] Let’s tell them about Jesus.”
We believe sharing the gospel is not an option for Christians. It is our divine assignment.
Sharing the gospel is not limited to select Christians. All who have received the grace of God through salvation are called to share that same grace with those who have either not yet heard or not yet responded to the gift of eternal life.
If we really want God to be glorified in our lives and through our lives, we need to seriously ask, “What gives Him glory?” Is it our impressive music or skillful preaching? Is it our attractive buildings and spacious parking lots? Is it the display of our talents and abilities?
I believe God is most glorified when the purpose of His Son’s mission to earth finds fulfillment in a repentant, changed life – a life that has completely abandoned to Jesus Christ, His death on the cross for our sin and His resurrection from the dead. Therein is God glorified.
In John 14:13 Jesus promised, “And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” Ask God for the salvation of your neighbors. Build relationships that will last for eternity. Be committed to joining Graham in bringing hope to America.
Visit MyHopeWithBillyGraham.org for more information.