Graham’s True Legacy: by Ed Stetzer

Graham’s True Legacy: by Ed Stetzer

While most articles and memorials portray Graham as a famous Christian or as "America's pastor," this is not how Graham wanted us to remember him. Graham's true legacy — why so many people are celebrating him — is not that he was famous. Graham's place in American history is due to his singular devotion to making someone else famous.

Winsome, intentional and gracious, Graham distinguished himself in American culture with his singular devotion to making Jesus famous. In fact, when someone commented to Graham that he had done some great things, his response was, "God has done some good things through me." At the heart of his vision was the simple belief that the gospel of Jesus Christ was the needed answer for a struggling world.

It's really an odd thing: Graham was world famous for talking about someone else.

What drew evangelicals to Graham's leadership and what continues to draw so many from various Christian traditions and denominations to his message was his recognition of the truth in Paul's words to the first century church in Corinth: "For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures."

If you are not a Christian, or if you don't know or feel included in Billy Graham's legacy, please understand that his humanitarian and bridge-building work around the globe was inseparable from his belief that salvation was offered to all through Jesus' death on the cross and resurrection. Graham would want you to know he was always striving to show and share the love of Jesus to a broken and hurting world.

If you are a Christian, Graham's legacy of evangelism and cultural engagement is yours to maintain. Graham understood what it meant to be a good and faithful servant. Today, that baton has been passed. It is up to us to join the race now that his run is completed.

Ed Stetzer


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