Billy Graham Dead at 99

Billy Graham, who became well-known for his various crusades across the U.S. and around the world, and who served as a counselor to numerous presidents, including Gerald Ford, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, has died at age 99.

The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association announced on Wednesday that Graham died at 7:46 a.m. this morning at his home in Montreat, North Carolina.

Graham, who had led hundreds of crusades since 1947, held his last event in 2005 at Flushing Meadows Park in New York, and delivered his final recorded message via television and the Internet five years ago. Graham practiced what is known as decisional evangelism through his altars calls, a method that some churches have discontinued out of the belief that man cannot make a mere decision for Christ, but must be truly regenerated.

“After two years of traveling as a speaker for the Youth for Christ organization, Billy Graham held his first official evangelistic Crusade in 1947; but it was his 1949 Los Angeles Crusade that captured the nation’s attention,” the Association wrote in a post on the organization’s website. “On the heels of this campaign, Graham started the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, which was incorporated in 1950.”

“During the week of his 95th birthday in 2013, Graham delivered his final message via more than 480 television stations across the U.S. and Canada,” it outlined. “More than 26,000 churches participated in this ‘My Hope’ project, making it the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association’s largest evangelistic outreach ever in North America.”

Since 1955, Graham has regularly made Gallup’s poll of the “10 Most Admired Men in the World,” being listed 61 times.

Graham, reported to be a registered Democrat, is stated to have prayed with every president from Harry Truman to Barack Obama, the latter of whom traveled to Graham’s cabin in 2010. In 1983, he was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Ronald Reagan.

  • Connect with Christian News

In his best-selling autobiography “Just As I Am,” Graham wrote about a meeting with then-President Bill Clinton, “It was a time of warm fellowship with a man who has not always won the approval of his fellow Christians, but who has in his heart a desire to serve God and do His will.”

Graham with Pope John Paul II in 1993

The popular preacher was known to be ecumenical in nature, as USA Today reported in 2012, “Graham forged relationships with Catholics up to and including Pope John Paul II, whom he met in Rome in 1981.”

“I almost feel as though one of my family members has gone. I loved him very much and had the opportunity of discussing so many things with him. And we wrote each other several times during the years,” Graham told talk show host Larry King following the Roman Catholic leader’s passing. “… He traveled throughout the world to bring his Christian message to the world.”

“Graham worked with local churches; in fact, he wouldn’t hold a crusade in a given area unless he was invited by a majority of area churches, including, eventually, Catholic churches,” also wrote Steven Greydanus for the National Catholic Register in a tribute to Graham on Wednesday. “Those who responded to his altar calls he put in touch with local pastors, including Catholic priests, to continue their discipleship. His mission was to promote Jesus Christ, not a particular Christian sect or even Protestantism over Catholicism.”

Some expressed concern over Graham’s practices and affiliations for this reason.

Statements made during a 1997 appearance on Robert Schuller’s “Hour of Power” also drew questions from Christians, even to the time of his death. During the broadcast, Graham suggested that Muslims and those of other religions may be saved without hearing of Christ or reading the Scriptures—just by realizing that they “need something,” although not pinpointing what it is.

President Obama visiting Graham in 2010

“I think that everybody that loves Christ or knows Christ—whether they’re conscious of it or not, they’re members of the Body of Christ,” Billy Graham said. “And that’s what God is doing today. He’s calling people out of the world for His name.”

“Whether they come from the Muslim world, or the Buddhist world, or the Christian world, or the non-believing world, they are members of the Body of Christ because they’ve been called by God,” Graham continued. “They may not even know the name of Jesus, but they know in their heart that they need something that they don’t have, and they turn to the only light that they have.”

“And I think that they are saved, and that they’re going to be with us in Heaven,” he declared.

Schuller then sought clarification on Graham’s remarks.

“What I hear you saying that it’s possible for Jesus Christ to come into human hearts and soul and life, even if they’ve been born in darkness and have never had exposure to the Bible. Is that a correct interpretation of what you’re saying?” he asked.

“Yes, it is, because I believe that,” Graham replied. “I’ve met people in various parts of the world in tribal situations, that they have never seen a Bible or heard about a Bible, and never heard of Jesus, but they’ve believed in their hearts that there was a God, and they’ve tried to live a life that was quite apart from the surrounding community in which they lived.”

Presidents Bush, Carter and Clinton join Graham for his library dedication in 2007

In 2005, when asked by talk show host Larry King if Muslims and others will go to Heaven even though they don’t believe in Christ, Graham replied, “That’s in God’s hands. I can’t be the judge.”

“How do you feel when you see a lot of these strong Christian leaders go on television and say, ‘You are condemned. You will live in Hell if you do not accept Jesus Christ,’ and they are forceful and judgmental?” King asked.

“Well, they have a right to say that, and they are true to a certain extent, but I don’t—that’s not my calling,” Graham replied. “My calling is to preach the love of God and the forgiveness of God and the fact that He does forgive us. … [Y]ou can get off on all kinds of different side trends, and in my earlier ministry, I did the same, but as I got older, I guess I became more mellow and more forgiving and more loving.”

Christian News Network had previously tried to obtain clarification on Graham’s “Hour of Power” remarks, including whether or not he still held to the belief, but efforts to receive a clear answer were unsuccessful.

Acts 4:12 states, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved.” Jesus also declared in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.”


Become a Christian News Network Supporter...

Dear Reader, has ChristianNews.net been of benefit and a blessing to you? For many years now, the Lord has seen fit to use this small news outlet as a strong influential resource in keeping Christians informed on current events from a Biblical worldview. Despite Facebook's recent algorithm changes, which has limited our readership, and, as a result, has affected operational revenue, we continue to strive to bring you the news without compromise and to keep Christ in focus. If you have benefited from our news coverage, would you please prayerfully consider becoming a Christian News supporter by clicking here to make a one-time or monthly donation to help keep the truth widely and freely published and distributed? May Christ continue to be exalted through this work!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
  • Amos Moses – He>i

    i never was a big fan of BG ….. but sad to see him go ….. and glad also …..

  • TheSayer

    Folks might question his stance on certain theology topics but the ones that mattered he was was on track and he did preach the gospel(the true gospel) fervently the Christian body has lost a great man ,but Heaven has gained one.

  • LynnRH

    I have to say he was the first to grab my attention for God. I was just a kid when I first heard him preach but he got my attention. That’s not when I was saved but from that time on I’ve had a heart for God and the things of God. It wasn’t until after I was baptized as a young adult that I was dedicated to learn more about God and what He wanted from me. So even though I know Billy Graham’s family will miss him so much I know he is ecstatically happy right now in the presence of God Almighty. And his saved family members can be comforted in knowing they will see him again and never, never, never have to go through the pain of separation again. Hallelujah! Praise Jesus! 🙂

  • Amos Moses – He>i

    i liked Dave Hunt but he had a few theological issues himself ………….. sad that he is no longer with us ……….

    • maranathagen67

      Who hasn’t got a few theological issues these days…. there is no one perfect outside of Christ Himself. Even the apostles had issues; e.g., Peter. Calvinists have issues; Arminians have issues; Charismatics have issues…. and on and on.

      • “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.” Galatians 1:8-9 (KJV)

        “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Matthew 7:21-23 (KJV)

        There are two types of Christians; those who are self-identified, and those who are Christ-identified. The many self-identified Christians respond to the call, but they believe another gospel. The few Christ-identified Christians respond to the call and believe Paul’s gospel.

        Jesus said He does not know the self-identified Christians who believe another gospel. “[Y]e believe not, because ye are not of my sheep … My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me” John 10:26,27 (KJV)

        He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. Matthew 11:15 (KJV)

        • maranathagen67

          Let God be true and every man a liar. Thy Word is Truth. There is but one gospel that saves and sanctifies; there is one Savior, one Deliverer and Redeemer … Jesus Christ; there is one Lord and Master; there is one God and Creator … Jehovah; and there is one way to Heaven…. you have it or you don’t have it. Paul : “But I fear, least by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:3). Paul knew that the Corinthians were too susceptible to false teachers. He was saying, “You are too open, too willing to listen, too anxious to hear something new!” “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:6-8). The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” “I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them” (Acts 20:29-30). Beware of false prophets and teachers, wolves in sheep’s clothing, Pharisees, legalists and liberals who follow “another Jesus” and the devices of Satan, the flesh and the world. But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. God will send strong delusion in the last days that men will believe a lie. Those days have arrived. The falling away has commenced. Christ came into the world to seek and to save that which was lost. What are you doing to fulfill the Great Commission? The truth shall set you free… and set others free as well as we share the infallible truth of God’s great salvation in Jesus Christ with the lost around us. With all of his foibles and failings, Billy Graham did his part…. his mission is complete. I thank God for the harvest. May we in these last days be earnest about finishing our course and laying up treasures in Heaven.

          • I’ll put this another with a couple of questions?

            First question: Is Roman Catholicism Biblical Christianity? Are RC’s ideas of a pope, priesthood, transubstantiation, veneration of Mary and the saints, repetitive prayers on a rosary and to icons, prayers to Mary and the saints, purgatory, indulgences, et al, taught in Scripture?

            Second question: Which comes first, regeneration or faith? In other words, did you come to Jesus, or did Jesus come to you i.e., were you willing or did God make you willing to come to Jesus?

          • maranathagen67

            Why do souls end up in Hell? Does God elect them to be damned and punished in that place of everlasting condemnation? Or is it because they freely reject God’s offer of mercy, grace and forgiveness? What is God’s will for lost souls? Who said, “Thou almost persuadest me to become a Christian”? What about the rich young ruler… could he have been saved? To be saved, regenerated, born again, one must exercise trust and faith in the substitutionary work of Christ on the Cross. RCC? An apostate church out of which the False Prophet (the Pope?) could arise. One of the points that I disagree with Billy Graham on. He blundered at times.
            Why? Because He was of the flesh like the rest of us.
            Remember the apostle Paul … I do the things that I shouldn’t do and fail to do the things that I should do. He will have to answer to God.

          • Why do souls end up in Hell?
            ANS: God sends them there.

            Does God elect them to be damned and punished in that place of everlasting condemnation?
            ANS: No. The elect are those whom God has chosen from the foundation of the world.

            Is it because they freely reject God’s offer of mercy, grace and forgiveness?
            ANS: No. Man has a will, but man’s will is not free; it is controlled by the lusts of his flesh and the desires of his heart. Man is born with a sinful nature he inherited from Adam’s Fall, and he is slave to the willful desires of that nature. Man’s heart is desperately wicked and his thoughts are only evil continually. He is separated from Christ, having no hope, and without God in the world. He is dead in his trespasses and sins. Unless God gives him life and makes him willing, man can’t come to Jesus because his sinful nature won’t let him. “[H]ow often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!” (Matt 23:37)

            What is God’s will for lost souls?
            ANS: Human beings are born with a sinful nature and as such are under condemnation and judgment. God’s will for those who are not His elect is condemnation and judgment. God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.” 2 Thessalonians 2:13

            Who said, “Thou almost persuadest me to become a Christian”?
            ANS: Agrippa.

            What about the rich young ruler… could he have been saved?
            ANS: No, and neither could Judas. Satan wanted to use Peter to betray Jesus, but the Lord prayed God would strengthen Peter’s faith to withstand Satan. “[T]he Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not.” Remember, Satan had spoken through Peter before, and the Lord had rebuked him.

            Notice the Lord didn’t pray for Judas’ faith to be strengthened. On the contrary, He commanded Satan, who had entered Judas, to go do what God’s will had determined to be done. “Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly.

            Your Comment, “To be saved, regenerated, born again, one must exercise trust and faith in the substitutionary work of Christ on the Cross.”

            My Response: We are born with a sinful nature separated from God and spiritually dead in trespasses and sin. How do spiritually dead men exercise “trust and faith in the substitutionary work of Christ.” The dead don’t exercise. What brought Lazarus forth from the tomb? Did Lazarus’ trust and faith in Christ bring him forth from the tomb, or was it Christ’s command the brought him forth? Did Jesus raise Lazarus’ from the dead to glorify God, or did He raise him from the dead to commend Lazarus for his trust and faith in Him?

            God’s sovereign choice in election is repeated throughout the Scripture. God chose Abraham from among all the Chaldeans; He chose Israel from among all the nations of the world; and He chose His elect from among all the people who ever lived.

            Yet self-identified Christians like you and Billy Graham can’t and won’t believe in God’s sovereign power of election. Only the spiritually dead can read Romans 9:11-23 and not understand that sovereign election is solely about God’s will and has nothing to do with man’s will or works?

            “(For the children (Jacob and Esau) being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)

            It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.

            As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.

            What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.

            For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.

            So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.

            For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.

            Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.

            Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?

            Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?

            Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?

            What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:

            And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory …”

            In Matthew 24:5 Jesus said that many would come in his name saying He is the Christ and would deceive many. He also said that many would come to him on the Day of Judgment and say, “Lord, Lord” didn’t we do these great works among men in thy name? And He will say to them, “I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”

            In both cases, Jesus is referring to the many self-identified Christians who call Him their Lord and say that they believe He is the Christ, yet He says they are not his, and He calls them deceivers.

            The gospel that Billy Graham preached is not Paul’s Gospel, and the christ he preached is not the Christ of Scripture. Graham called people to make a decision and to come forward and accept christ into their hearts. The elect don’t make a decision to come to Christ; Christ comes to them and renews their minds and gives them the faith to believe in the finished work of Christ crucified.

            Although Graham was lauded for his preaching of the gospel and fo his leading many people to Christ, he was nothing but a blind guide to the blind. He ministered to those in the visible church who are ever learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

            Paul says men like Graham have “a form of godliness” but deny “the power thereof”; therefore, he admonishes God’s people to “turn away” from such men. 2 Timothy 3:5 (KJV)

            I’m taking Paul’s advice, which means we’re done here.

      • Amos Moses – He>i

        yup ……..

      • NCOriolesFan

        That does nothing but divide Christianity into sects distracting from Jesus to be united under HIS name.

  • james blue

    thoughts and prayers to his loved ones

  • Amos Moses – He>i

    Televangelist Benny Hinn Admits Going Too Far With Prosperity Gospel in Wake of Billy Graham’s Death

    WOW ….. maybe his nephew Costi has gotten through to him with Christs true message …………..

  • How tragic that Graham substituted the biblical plan of salvation with the man-made sinner’s prayer (asking or accepting Jesus into your heart), found nowhere in the Bible.

    “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you–unless indeed you fail the test?” (2 Corinthians 13:5)

    Listen to audio series “I Had a Dream: Judgment’s Coming. Are You Under the Blood?” Click on my name, then our website. Go to our Audio Messages page and scroll down to T 1111 for Part 1.

    • maranathagen67

      Ask and ye shall receive; seek and ye shall find; knock and the door shall be opened unto you. Seek ye the Lord while He may be found; call ye upon Him while He is near. If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10For with your heart you believe and are justified, and with your mouth you confess and are saved. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name. The Biblical plan of salvation is to believe and receive. God has granted us free will to accept or reject His offer of saving grace. God is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. It’s definitely not His will that those He created should spend eternity in everlasting Hell. Sinners are faced with a choice…. they can surrender their will and heart to the Lord or they can turn away and continue following the gods of this world and the dictates of the flesh and end up damned forever in the fires of perdition. For God so loved….who? THE WORLD, of course! However, there will always be a broad road and a narrow road. It’s up to an individual to decide who and what he wants to rule in his life and subsequently the destiny that he will embrace as a consequence of that decision.

      • Thanks for responding.

        Amen to those passages. But still you’ve yet to provide a passage that speaks of asking Jesus into your heart or an example of someone doing it for their salvation. Why not just accept what Jesus and His inspired disciples all declared as the means of being covered by the blood of Christ.

        Hoping you’ll listen to at least the first message of the series posted above.

        • maranathagen67

          Ted, I assume (as well as hope and pray) that you are a child of God through the new birth. If so, then we both know that there is but one way to be reconciled to God and it’s through the shed blood of Christ on the Cross and His ensuing resurrection from the dead, gaining victory over sin, death, Hell and Satan. Believe and receive. When we repent of sin and turn to Jesus for salvation/cleansing, recognizing Christ as the only way, the only truth and the only life and means of knowing God personally, then He adopts us freely into His family and prepares us for service. And ultimately when we have completed our journey down here, He receives us into Glory, the home He has prepared for us in Heaven. In my Father’s house are many mansions… He has gone to prepare a place for us and eventually He will come and receive us unto Himself. But where does Christ reside now? I know He is on the right hand of God the Father interceding for His beloved children. But is He not also living and dwelling in your “heart” as part of the triune Godhead… your very being and life. Consider … “Ephesians 3:17-19 King James Version (KJV)
          17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
          18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;
          19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
          Now how did He get there? “But as many as received Him….” and you know the rest. As they say, the heart of the matter is the heart.

          • I am indeed a born again per John 3:3, 5, 2 Corinthians 5:17, as well as a Christian pastor.

            Praise God for all the Scriptures you cited. Of course, I accept those as very pertinent to our salvation in Christ. I also accept many that you didn’t cite.

            Still hoping you’ll at least listen to the first messages of the series found n my first post.

          • maranathagen67

            thanks, Pastor Ted! What I cited were but a few of the many passages relating to salvation. The bottom line: salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. And mankind is offered so great salvation not on the basis of our merit but according to His grace and mercy … not of works, lest any man should boast. Eph. 2, 8-10. Just a quick question, Ted…. what is your position on Calvinism/Arminianism ? You can be brief since there are whole books written on the subject.

        • NCOriolesFan

          Try Matthew 7:7.

          • Matthew 7:7 is a wonderful verse but it has nothing to do with our initial salvation in Christ.

            Try Matthew 7:13-14, 21-23, etc.

          • NCOriolesFan

            Ok, so I was close, But why argue the point. The Holy Bible is God’s AUTHORITATIVE word, not you, me, not even Billy Graham. We’re simply the messengers and Christians do a better job at killing the message and the messenger. My problem with Christians, everyone has to prove they are right when all this does is confuse an unbeleivng, dying world.

          • “The Holy Bible is God’s AUTHORITATIVE word, not you, me, not even Billy Graham.”

            I couldn’t agree with you more! It’s that very premise upon which the “I Had a Dream…” series is based upon. I hope you will make the time to listen to the first messages and then decide if the rest of the series merits your attention, not based upon my preaching, God forbid, but the Word of God found therein.

            Blessings!

          • NCOriolesFan

            I had a dream, what, Martin Luther King?

  • The Scripture is God’s revelation in written form, and “the Scripture cannot be broken.”

    “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.” Galatians 1:8-9 (KJV)

    “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Matthew 7:21-23 (KJV)

    There are two types of Christians; those who are self-identified, and those who are Christ-identified. The many self-identified Christians respond to the call, but they believe another gospel. The few Christ-identified Christians respond to the call and believe Paul’s gospel.

    Jesus said He does not know the self-identified Christians who believe another gospel. “[Y]e believe not, because ye are not of my sheep … My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me” John 10:26,27 (KJV)

    He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. Matthew 11:15 (KJV)

  • NCOriolesFan

    Wow, is one controversial quote from Billy in 1997 all this website has to offer for the legacy of Graham, while missing the GREATER good he brought to the Cross. Sad, really sad.