The Holy Spirit Billy Graham Pdf – Billy Graham was perhaps the most important religious figure of the 20th century, and the organizations and movements he helped create continued to shape the 21st century.
During his lifetime, Graham preached in person to more than 100 million people and to millions more via television, satellite and film. Nearly 3 million people have responded to his invitation at the end of his sermons to “receive Jesus into your heart.” He preached the gospel to more people than any other preacher in history. In the process, Graham became “America’s pastor,” attending presidential inaugurations and speaking during national crises, such as memorial services after the Oklahoma City bombing and the 9/11 attacks.
The Holy Spirit Billy Graham Pdf
“He became a friend and confidant of popes and presidents, queens and dictators, but even in his 80s he has a boyish charm and an understated demeanor for the masses,” said Randall Balmer, a historian at Columbia University.
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Billy Graham was born in Charlotte, North Carolina in 1918, attended (briefly) Bob Jones College, graduated from the Florida Bible Institute near Tampa and Wheaton College in Illinois. He was ordained a minister in the Southern Baptist Church (1939), pastored a small church in the suburbs of Chicago and preached on a weekly radio program. In 1946, he became the first full-time employee of the Youth for Christ organization and began its evangelistic campaigns. He also served as president of Northwestern Schools in Minneapolis for four years (1948-1952). His evangelical tent meetings in Los Angeles in 1949 brought him to national attention, and his meetings in New York in 1957, which filled Madison Square Garden for four months, established him as a major presence on the American religious scene.
Graham regularly appeared on lists of “most admired” people. Between 1950 and 1990, Graham earned a spot on the Gallup organization’s “Most Admired” list more often than any other American. Ladies Home Journal once ranked him second only to God in the category of “achievements in religion.” He received both the Presidential Medal of Freedom (1983) and the Congressional Gold Medal (1996).
Sherwood Wirt, who edited the Graham organization’s Decision magazine for 17 years, described a Scottish minister who made this observation about Graham: “My first impression of the man up close was not his good looks but his goodness; not his extraordinary looks. his different duties, but his of one’s ‘devotion’ to one’s lord and master. To be with him even for a short time is to know a uniform person; it mars and shakes when the want of ability and cleverness does the trick.”
Graham was a model of integrity. Despite the scandals and missteps that beset other leaders and ministers, including Graham’s friend Richard Nixon and televangelists, no one has ever seriously accused him of wrongdoing in six decades of service.
Billy Graham On The Love Of God
That is not to say that he has not been heavily criticized. Some liberals and intellectuals called his message “simplistic.” Some fundamentalists considered him “compromised” in working with the mainline groups and the National Council of Churches.
His moderate anti-segregation stance during the civil rights era drew fire from both sides: white segregationists were outraged when he invited “agitator” Martin Luther King Jr. to pray at a crusade in New York City in 1957; he was accused of cowardice by civil rights activists for not joining them in protest marches and was arrested for that reason.
In 1982, when he visited the Soviet Union and accepted the government’s invitation to preach the gospel, he faced criticism. Despite having met The Siberian Seven, Pentecostal dissidents seeking political asylum, Graham was quoted as saying he had “not personally seen any evidence of religious persecution”. Some called him a “traitor”. But he insisted that he should go where he preached as long as there were no restrictions on his freedom to preach the gospel. He returned claiming to have seen the hand of God at work in the Soviet Union. He was heavily attacked for being naive and “a tool of the Soviet propaganda machine”.
However, in 1990, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, his foresight was confirmed when then-President George H.W. Bush told the National Religious Broadcasters, “Eight years ago, one of the Lord’s ambassadors, the Rev. Billy Graham, went to Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, and when he came back, he talked about the movement there to increase religious freedom. And perhaps he saw it before many of us, for to perceive God from the early movement of the hand, a man of God is needed.”
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Perhaps Graham’s lasting legacy was his ability to present the gospel in the language of culture. He did this brilliantly by innovatively using new technologies – radio, television, magazines, books, newspaper columns, films, satellite broadcasts, the Internet – to spread his message.
In the 1990s, he reformulated his formula for “crusade” (later called “mission” out of respect for Muslims and others offended by the connotation). His usual “youth night” was turned into a “Concert for the Next Generation”, headlined by Christian rock, rap and hip-hop artists, followed by Graham’s sermon. This format attracted a record number of young people who cheered on the bands and then amazingly listened attentively to the octogenarian evangelist.
In addition, he helped launch a number of influential organizations, including Youth for Christ (he was the first full-time employee of this enterprising and innovative organization), the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, and Christianity Today. His formative influence rippled through schools such as Wheaton College in Illinois, Gordon-Conwell Divinity School in Massachusetts, Northwestern College in Minnesota, and Fuller Seminary in California. His encouragement and support helped develop the Evangelical Council for Financial Responsibility, the Greater European Mission, TransWorld Radio, World Vision, World Relief and the National Evangelical Association.
He brought the worldwide Christian community together through international conventions: the 1966 World Evangelism Congress in Berlin, the 1974 International World Evangelism Congress in Lausanne, Switzerland, and three major conferences in Amsterdam for itinerant evangelists in 1983, 1986, and 2000, which brought nearly 24,000 workers evangelists to 200 from the country.
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In many ways, Billy Graham shaped and embodied the evangelical movement. Theologian J. I. Packer attributes the evangelical “convergence” to Graham. “Until the 1940s, it was every institution for itself. There was nothing uniform about the situation. There were small outposts trying to hold their own against the liberal mob. Beginning in the 1950s, evangelicals increasingly joined Billy Graham and the things he stood for and devoted himself to. That continues to this day.”
For many, however, William Franklin Graham will not be remembered for these achievements. He will always be “Billy” as she preferred to call him. He titled his autobiography Just As I Am, a reflection of his humble spirit, taken from the hymn most often sung when urging people to come forward and accept God’s love.
I was coming down from Black Mountain, North Carolina in the fall of 2009, heading north on I-40 to Charlotte, when I decided to call my mom. It’s not the usual thing for a guy in his late 50s to do after a meeting, but this wasn’t just any meeting.
“Mom, you’ll never guess who I just spent an hour with,” I blurted out excitedly, the words over my head. “Billy Graham!”
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“Yes, Mom,” I said. “Actually!” In that moment, he was transported to a Saturday night Christian Youth Voice rally at the Masonic Temple in downtown Detroit over 65 years ago. As a 15- or 16-year-old girl, she was brought there to hear an evangelist by her boyfriend, who was on fire for the Lord.
He definitely had ulterior motives. He fell in love with this girl, but he knew their courtship would not go much further unless he gave his life to Christ.
As the story goes, the evangelist that my father-to-be hoped would deliver the altar call convincingly that night was for some reason unable to attend, so another evangelist, unknown to any of the teenagers at the time, stepped in. And that night, God alone, my mother’s eternity was redirected.
God graciously used this backup evangelist, Billy Graham, to lay the cornerstone for what would eventually become a family of four. It was a home characterized by an infectious love for Christ and His Word, where the testimony of the gospel was a preconceived conviction (and given enthusiastically to all who darkened our doorway), and where the name of Graham was held in the highest esteem.
The Holy Spirit: His Priority, Necessity, And Identity
I accepted Christ as a young boy, and then as a freshman at the University of Michigan, I asked Him to truly be Lord in my life. I found refuge and spiritual nourishment in God’s Word and in many Christian authors and journals – such as
And as God would have it (for I did not feel fit to work for such a famous journal), my chapter in the Graham-Smith story fell into place when I arrived
Two years after meeting Graham, I was back in Asheville, this time for a Christianity Today board meeting in Graham.
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