Do the Work of an Evangelist
On February 21, 2018, evangelist Billy Graham (1918–2018) passed away at the age of ninety-nine. Graham is known as “America’s pastor” and counselor of presidents, but more importantly as an evangelist who preached the gospel to countless people worldwide over many decades of faithful ministry.
Graham is known as a man of integrity who made sure his dealings with financial matters and his relationships with others were impeccable so that nothing interfered with his gospel preaching or brought dishonor to Christ.
He is also known for transcending denominational boundaries in his ministry and for encouraging partnership and collaboration for the sake of the gospel.
All these attributes contributed to Graham’s stature as a leader who stood above the fray of petty partisan politics and as a man of conviction, wisdom, and character. He was a man who strove to put Christ first in everything (Colossians 1:18).
Above all, Graham was a man who had the love and courage to confront people with their sin and need for Christ. He bluntly told people that their greatest problem was their sin (Romans 3:23) and their greatest need was their need for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. In this way, Graham stood in the noble tradition of New Testament preachers such as Peter, Paul, and Timothy and more recently evangelists such as George Whitefield, John Wesley, and Dwight L. Moody.
As Paul wrote to Timothy, “Do the work of an evangelist” (2 Timothy 4:5). Billy Graham did the work of an evangelist and left a legacy of faithful gospel ministry and of innumerable lives changed by the gospel. May he rest in peace and enter the joy of his Master.
Note: Notable tributes to Billy Graham on the occasion of his passing include those by R. Albert Mohler, Timothy George, Justin Taylor, Russell Moore, David Dockery, John D. Woodbridge, and others (collected on The Gospel Coalition).