Evangelist Billy Graham will go down in history as one of the great spiritual giants of the Christian faith. Millions have come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ thanks to his preaching, teaching, and calls for discipleship. On Tuesday, Graham turned 99, and Christians are celebrating the beginning of his 100th year.
Franklin Graham, the evangelist’s son and president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA), announced that the family will serve his father his favorite cake, “a lemon cake with lard icing.” The Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, N.C., which opened 10 years ago Tuesday, will serve birthday cake for everyone who comes by.
Billy Graham has met with every U.S. president since Harry Truman, and President Donald Trump celebrated his birthday.
Franklin, such a great photo.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 7, 2017
To celebrate the occasion, PJ Media compiled this list of inspiring quotes from the great evangelist and follower of Jesus Christ.
1. Growing old in grace.
“When granted many years of life, growing old in age is natural, but growing old with grace is a choice. Growing older with grace is possible for all who will set their hearts and minds on the Giver of grace, the Lord Jesus Christ.” — Description of the book Nearing Home: Life, Faith, and Finishing Well.
2. Hope for the future.
“Everywhere I go I find that people … both leaders and individuals … are asking one basic question, ‘Is there any hope for the future?’ My answer is the same, ‘Yes, through Jesus Christ.'” — Statement on his 95th birthday in 2013.
3. Changing the world.
On the disciples who followed Jesus Christ: “The men who followed Him were unique in their generation. They turned the world upside down because their hearts had been turned right side up. The world has never been the same. History took a sharp turn for the better. Men began to behave like human beings. Dignity, nobility, and honor followed in the wake of Christianity. Art, music, and science, sparked by this new interpretation of life’s meaning, began to progress and develop. Man began at long last to resemble again the ‘Image of God’ in which he was created.” — The Secret of Happiness.
4. The power to solve heart problems.
“Racial prejudice, anti-Semitism, or hatred of anyone with different beliefs has no place in the human mind or heart. I urge everyone to examine themselves and renew their own hearts before God. Only the supernatural love of God through changed lives can solve the problems that we face in our world.” — March 16, 2002 statement against racial prejudice.
5. Why Billy Graham is going to heaven.
“We are not saved because of our own accomplishments or good works; we are saved totally and completely because of what Christ did on the cross for us. … I am not going to Heaven because I have preached to great crowds or read the Bible many times. I’m going to Heaven just like the theif on the cross who said in that last moment: ‘Lord, remember me.'” — Letter to Lyndon Johnson.
6. Evangelicals in politics.
Billy Graham chided Jerry Falwell Sr. for being too involved in politics. Here is the example he called Christians to take: “Evangelicals can’t be closely identified with any particular party or person. We have to stand in the middle, to preach to all the people, right and left.” — Interview with Parade Magazine early 1981.
7. Growing in Christian life.
“Being a Christian is more than just an instantaneous conversion — it is a daily process whereby you grow to be more and more like Christ. When you start out, you start out as a baby. You must be fed on the simple things of the Bible, and you learn to walk in your Christian life gradually. At first you will fall down and make many mistakes, but you are to continue growing. However, there are many people who have stopped growing. They remain spiritual babes all their lives. I am afraid that this experience is all too common today. Perhaps it is yours.” — Daily devotion, October 2, 2016.
8. Christians can disagree on many issues.
Billy Graham did not insist on taking every part of the Bible literally. “There are many things that I don’t understand … sincere Christians can disagree about the details of scripture and theology — absolutely. I am not a literalist about the Bible in that every word is from the Lord.” — Interview with Newsweek.
9. What the Bible is all about.
“The Bible was written by 40 writers, over a period of 1,600 years, in 66 books. And the great theme from one end of the Bible to the other is redemption—God’s love for the human race and God redeeming man and bringing man back to Himself after man had rebelled against God. That’s what the Bible is all about.
“Down through the years it’s been ridiculed, burned, refuted, destroyed, but it lives on. It is the anvil that has worn out many hammers. Most books are born, live a few short years, then go the way of all the earth; they’re forgotten. But not the Bible. The Bible is preserved. It lives on.” — “Why I Believe the Bible Is the Word of God,” August 2017.
10. True “hope and change.”
“Our early fathers led our nation according to biblical principles. ‘Hope and change’ has become a cliché in our nation, and it is daunting to think that any American could hope for change from what God has blessed. … Our country is turning away from what has made it so great, but far greater than the government knowing our every move that could lead to losing our freedom to worship God publicly, is to know that God knows our every thought; he knows our hearts need transformation.” — Newsmax interview, October 2013.
11. Preaching with our lives.
“We are the Bibles the world is reading; we are the creeds the world is needing; we are the sermons the world is heeding.”
12. My home.
“No sir, my home is in heaven. I’m just traveling through this world.” — Graham quoting a London bagpipe player who was asked if he is from Scotland, from Hope For The Troubled Heart: Finding God In The Midst Of Pain.