Evangelist Billy Graham died Wednesday, February 21st at the age of 99. His children issued a number of statements regarding the life and the loss of their father.
Franklin Graham issued a statement on behalf of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Center which read,
"My father, Billy Graham, went into the presence of the Lord on February 21, 2018.
The Bible tells us in Revelation 14:13: “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord … that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them” (NKJV).
Many have said that his death ends an era, but he would be the first to say that when God’s ambassadors die in Christ, the Lord raises up others, because the preaching of the Gospel will go forward until the end of the age. God’s blessing continues as He opens doors for the Gospel around the world. BGEA remains committed to preach the Word in season and out of season across the globe.
My siblings and I would appreciate your prayers in the days ahead as we honor a man who served the Lord with his life, loved his family, and was always grateful for God’s faithful people who supported him in the work of the ministry in Jesus’ Name.
As we lay to rest this very public ambassador, please pray with us that the testimony he leaves behind will touch many lives and point them to salvation in Jesus Christ. My father’s journey of faith on earth has ended. He has been reunited with my mother and has stepped into the eternal joy of Heaven in the presence of his Savior, in whom he placed his hope.
If you would like to know more about my father’s life, share a memory, or read public visitation details, please visit BillyGraham.org.
God bless you, and thank you for your prayers for our family and the staff of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association."
Franklin Graham also posted a powerful message to his Facebook page that included the gospel message. It read:
"My father Billy Graham was once asked, "Where is Heaven?" He replied, "Heaven is where Jesus is and I am going to Him soon!" This morning, at the age of 99, he departed this world into eternal life in Heaven, prepared by the Lord Jesus Christ—the Savior of the world—whom he proclaimed for nearly 80 years. He will be missed by our family, his colleagues, faithful ministry partners, and, yes, many around the world. But what joy he has to be welcomed by God the Father, and be reunited with my mother in the presence of Jesus who speaks peace to eternal souls.
What about you? When you depart this world do you know with certainty where you will spend eternity? You can know this today. Jesus said, "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). The One who comforts weary souls has given us this promise, "Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me … I go to prepare a place for you … I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also" (John 14:1-3)."
He posted a similar message on Twitter.
My father @BillyGraham was once asked, “Where is Heaven?” He said, “Heaven is where Jesus is and I am going to Him soon!” This morning, he departed this world into eternal life in Heaven, prepared by the Lord Jesus Christ—the Savior of the world—whom he proclaimed for 80 years.
— Franklin Graham (@Franklin_Graham) February 21, 2018
Similarly, Billy Graham's daughter Anne Graham Lotz tweeted about the loss of her father, directing readers to her website, where she shared this heartfelt message called, "Daddy Is Home."
DADDY IS HOME | Anne Graham Lotz - Angel Ministries https://t.co/WDm8iKnFCi
— Anne Graham Lotz (@AGLotz) February 21, 2018
"My Father's legacy is one that encompasses the world…and engulfs my own life. When I think of him, I don't think of Billy Graham, the public figure. I think of my Daddy. The one who was always a farmer at heart. Who loved his dogs and his cat. Who followed the weather patterns almost as closely as he did world events. Who wore old blue jeans, comfortable sweaters, and a baseball cap. Who loved lukewarm coffee, sweet ice tea, one scoop of ice cream, and a plain hamburger from McDonald's. Who was interested in everything and everyone, from the small to the great. Whose mind remembered details that even a computer would have trouble recalling.
But when I think of him I also think of his message because he was immersed in it. Saturated in it. He was his message…a simple man who had responded to God's love by placing his faith in Jesus, receiving the assurance that his sins were forgiven, that he would not perish, but would have everlasting life. Simple faith. Faith that now matters more than anything else.
For years, over his head as he preached was the banner that quoted the words of Jesus: I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Jesus completed that sentence by saying that no one comes to the Father but by Me. Based on what Jesus said, Daddy is safely with the Father. In Heaven. Daddy not only claimed Jesus as the only Way to God, he lived by the Truth publicly on platforms and privately behind closed doors, and is now enjoying real Life.
I have often stated that I was raised by a single parent because ministry took my father away from our family—for weeks and months at a time. Daddy estimated that he was gone from home approximately 60 percent of his children's growing-up years. Now, he has left again. This time, he will not be coming back. At least, not until Jesus does, too.
While he may be physically absent and his voice silent, I am confident that his message will continue to reverberate throughout the generations to come. My prayer on this day of his move to Our Father's House is that his death will be a rallying cry. That tens of thousands of pastors, teachers, evangelists, and ordinary men and women will rise up to take his place. That they will take up his message like a baton being passed in a relay race and faithfully pass it on to those with whom they come in contact. Because Daddy's message is God's message. And it's a message of genuine hope for the future, of love for the present, of forgiveness for the past.
It's a message, when received, that brings a fresh beginning, unshakable joy, unexplainable peace, eternal significance, meaning and purpose to life, and opens Heaven's door.
It was this message, which Daddy carried to the world, that penetrated my own heart as a young girl and has created in me a personal, passionate resolve to communicate it myself to as many people as possible. And so, even as my tears seem to be unending, I silently rededicate my life to picking up and passing on the baton. Would you do the same?"