Billy Graham & the Gospel

Billy-Graham

Isn’t it funny that even when you know things will happen it’s seems to always be at least a bit of shock when they do? That’s how I felt this morning when I saw the new that Billy Graham had died at the ripe old age of 99.

What a life and what a man!

As far back as I can remember in my walk of faith Billy Graham was there. I had heard of him and knew that he was the most famous evangelist in the world. He didn’t have anything to do with my decision to believe the Gospel and follow Jesus but I knew about him.

In our Youth Group (embarrassingly enough called the “Key Teens”) we watched several of the movies the Billy Graham Association put out. They always ended the same way too – the star of the movie would go to one of his crusades, hear him preach and then give their life to Christ.

Sure enough that’s a good ending for a movie intended to be evangelistic, but I always wished they would have followed the character to see how he or she did in their new Christian life. I was probably secretly hoping they would have some of the struggles I had with understanding and living out my faith.

Billy was a fantastic role model for anyone in the ministry. I am tempted to say the role model given how most famous “evangelists” act and live today. But of course that’s not true. There are thousands of good people in the ministry out there and I hope God blesses them all. Hopefully I can number myself among them.

Still I can’t help but wish we had more Billy Grahams.

But we don’t and we won’t. He was a one of a kind. A man called to minister to a specific time in world history. That time has passed and so has Billy Graham. Let us remember him warts and all and learn all we can from him.

I’ve decided that I’m going to devote next weeks edition of Disciple Up to Remembering Billy Graham, I hope you’ll check out the episode when it drops next Wednesday morning. Listening to people talk about him on TV made me realize how most of them don’t understand the Gospel that the Bible teaches and that Billy preached. I want to talk about that and some personal memories of him as well.

Thanks Billy, God bless as you enter into your rest and the presence of your Lord Jesus.

#BillyGraham  #RIPBillyGraham  #Welldonegoodandfaithfulservant  #BillyGrahamandtheGospel

 

 

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Billy Graham & the Gospel

The Disciple Up Low Down on How To Effectively Communicate the Gospel.

[As I do each week when a new episode of Disciple Up comes out I’m publishing last week’s Disciple Up Low Down (the only scripted segment of the show). Hope you enjoy and that you’ll check out the new episode today!]

As we’ve seen over the past two episodes real disciples of Jesus must have a deep and accurate knowledge of the Gospel of Jesus before they can share it. Once we understand the Gospel then we have to under the culture and figure out a way to clearly explain it to the culture we live in. That of course will take very different forms depending on what culture you are a part of.

And once we’re done sharing the Gospel are we then finished? Of course not. Jesus said to “Go…make disciples.” So we aren’t just people who announce the Good News. We are also called to work with people to try and help them understand their need for Jesus and then to show them how to respond to the Gospel properly.

Of course this can take a lot of time and effort and presupposes that we are actively trying to establish relationships with the people around us who don’t know Christ so that we can show them His love and grace and help them to come to him.

Once that’s done we’re still not done, as then we get to help disciple them!

But if there’s one thing certain in this culture it’s that time is at an all time premium to most people. So we not only have to learn how to clearly communicate the Gospel and how to respond to it, but we have to do that quickly as well.

Haste may make waste, but rambling and ranting will all but assure that you’ll be the only one still listening when you get the end of your speech. So how can we do this? Well let me give you two examples from some work I did a while back on another project.

Here’s how I might explain both the Gospel and how to respond to it with BASIS in about a minute and a half.

Because God loves us He chose to end our separation and reconcile us to Himself by sending His Son Jesus to be the one perfect sacrifice for sin. He came to earth as God in human flesh, lived a perfect life, died on the cross to forgive our sins, was buried and then rose from the dead conquering both death and hell and now lives forever more. He offers everyone salvation by accepting the gift of salvation that He died to provide.

BASIS is how we respond to the Gospel of Jesus. First I must BELIEVE that Jesus is my Savior and that he saves my by His grace. Then I must ACCEPT Him as my personal Lord, this is where I begin to give my life to Him and live according to His commands. This submitting to Christ continues when I SWITCH or repent. This means I turn away from sin and self and turn to follow Jesus and His word. This is the real engine of change in the believer’s life. This is not a onetime only event but a regular activity as I continually turn away from all sin and selfishness that I discover in my life. Next I INFORM others of my choice both verbally, by telling others about my decision to follow Jesus and by the way I’m now living. Finally I SUBMERGE myself in Christ through water baptism and by seeking to be in Christ every moment of every day. This is the essence of what it means to live fully submerged in Jesus, faithfully following Him no matter how difficult or painful His way might be.

And here’s how I’d explain BASIS in just about 36 seconds – call it the elevator pitch if you wish.

BASIS is how we respond to the Gospel of Jesus. First I must BELIEVE that Jesus is God in human flesh that he died to forgive my sins, rose from the dead and is alive today at the right hand of his father. Then I must ACCEPT Him as my personal Lord, this is where I begin to give my life to Him. This continues when I SWITCH I turn away from sin and self and turn to follow Jesus and His word. As this occurs I INFORM others of my choice both verbally and by my deeds. Finally I SUBMERGE myself in Christ through water baptism and by seeking to be in Christ every moment of every day.

Now of course it’s going to take a lot more than this to bring most people to Christ. Unless they have some sort of Christian background they’re almost certainly going to need much more explanation than this. But presenting the Gospel and how to respond to it like this can help get you started.

And that’s the Disciple Up Low Down on how to Effectively Communicate the Gospel.

The Disciple Up Low Down on How To Effectively Communicate the Gospel.