Billy Graham

Here’s something Jerry Root and I wrote about Billy Graham in our book, The Sacrament of Evangelism (Moody Publishers, 2011):

“Evangelistic preachers almost always have an altar call. They ask people to make a decision—or to make public the decision they have already made in their hearts. Why? Simply because God seems to work when they do.

“Stan used to work at Wheaton College’s famous Billy Graham Center. In his three years there, Stan never had the opportunity to see the renowned preacher in the flesh—except once. Graham and his team had scheduled a June crusade at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis, and Stan and other BGC staffers and family members were invited to ride down in a chartered bus from the Chicago area to attend.

“That warm night Graham, who was getting well on in years, needed help to get to the podium. His youth and energy were things of the past, yet his commitment to see people come to Christ was undimmed. His message, as always, was simply about our need to trust Christ. Truth be told, the sermon was not notable for its erudition, and Stan quickly forgot it.

“But he didn’t forget Graham’s simple but powerful invitation at the end—and the thousands of people who streamed forward in response. Mothers, daughters, fathers, and sons came down to floor level as the music for ‘Just as I Am’ played. The Holy Spirit, working through the prayers, preparation, preaching, and invitation, was palpably present, and people responded. He will make his presence known through us, too.”

About Stan Guthrie

Stan Guthrie is an editor at large for Christianity Today magazine and for the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview. His latest book is God's Story in 66 Verses. He also is author of All that Jesus Asks: How His Questions Can Teach and Transform Us, Missions in the Third Millennium: 21 Key Trends for the 21st Century, and A Concise Guide to Bible Prophecy. He is co-author of The Sacrament of Evangelism. Besides authoring, writing, and editing books, Stan is a literary agent, bringing together good authors, good books, and good publishers. Stan writes the monthly Priorities colum for BreakPoint.org. He has appeared on National Public Radio's €œTell Me More,€ WGN's Milt Rosenberg program, and many Christian shows, including The Eric Metaxas Show and Moody Radio'€™s €œNew Day Florida.€ A licensed minister and an inspirational speaker, he served as moderator for the Christian Book Expo panel discussion, Does the God of Christianity Exist, and What Difference Does It Make?
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