Family and friends joined Rev. Billy Graham this weekend for a private celebration of his 96th birthday.
The Bill Graham Evangelistic Association also marked the milestone with a special video called, “Heaven: A New Message from Billy Graham.”
The video includes a personal message from the celebrated evangelist, which was shot at his home in North Carolina.
It includes crusade footage from his younger days and the story of how his personal relationship with Christ began.
“For me, I was a member of a church, but I hadn’t really come to Christ,” Graham explains in one of the interview excerpts. “From the very beginning, I was raised in Christian atmosphere. My father and mother both were Christians. By the time I was a teenager, an evangelist came to town, named Mordecai Ham, I remember I got under such conviction and one night, they gave the invitation to receive Christ and I reluctantly went.” But I really meant business with the Lord,” he said. “I came just as I was with all my sins and all my failures and the Lord received me and changed me. That has transformed me till this day. I have never been the same.”
At the heart of his message Graham encourages people to ponder the question: What really happens when we die? It ends with a familiar call to accept Christ as savior. Billy is facing the twilight of his life and admits that he is in the twilight of his life.
Don’t let your pride get in the way, and don’t try to face life’s problems alone. Instead, turn to Christ and commit your problems, and your whole life, into his hands. God is greater than your problems, and he loves you and wants to help you.
Graham has had Parkinson’s disease since 1992.Graham has also had hydrocephalus, pneumonia, broken hips, and prostate cancerIn April 2010, Graham, at 91 and with substantial vision and hearing loss, made a rare public appearance at the re-dedication of the renovated Billy Graham Library.
There had been controversy over Graham’s proposed burial place; he announced in June 2007 that he and his wife would be buried alongside each other at the Billy Graham Library in his hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina. At the time of Ruth Graham’s death, it was announced that they would be buried at the library site.
Graham has preached Christianity to live audiences of nearly 215 million people in more than 185 countries and territories through various meetings, including BMS World Mission and Global Mission. He has also reached hundreds of millions more through television, video, film, and webcasts.
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