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IS THERE HOPE FOR THE NEXT GENERATION OF EVANGELICALS?

Russell Moore recounts a conversation with the evangelical theologian Carl Henry. As Moore and some of his friends were lamenting the miserable shape of the church, they asked Dr. Henry if he saw any hope in the coming generation of evangelicals. Dr. Henry replied: "Of course, there is hope for the next generation of evangelicals. But the leaders of the next generation might not be coming from the current evangelical establishment. They are probably still pagans. Who knew that Saul of Tarsus was to be the great apostle to the Gentiles? Who knew that God would raise up a C. S. Lewis or a Charles Colson? They were unbelievers who, once saved by the grace of God, were mighty warriors for the faith."

Russell Moore added: "The next Jonathan Edwards might be the man driving in front of you with the Darwin Fish bumper decal. The next Charles Wesley might be a misogynist, profane hip-hop artist right now. The next Billy Graham might be passed out drunk in a fraternity house right now. The next Charles Spurgeon might be making posters for a Gay Pride March right now. The next Mother Teresa might be managing an abortion clinic right now."

(From a sermon by David Ward, Gospel Without Walls, 8/15/2012)

 
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Christian Cheong
 
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Billy Graham shared this in his book, ‘The Secret of Happiness’: (pp. 74-75)
A man and his wife visited an orphanage where they hoped to adopt a child. In an interview with the boy they wanted, they told him in glowing terms about the many things they could give him.
To their amazement, the little fellow said, "if you have nothing to offer except a big house, nice clothes, toys, and the other things (that most kids have) - why - I would prefer to stay here.”
"What on earth could you want besides those things?" the woman asked?
"I just want someone to love me," replied the little boy.

 
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Dan Mahan
 
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Rev. R.S. Jones was a missionary to Brazil. He had many years of Christian service. In 1936, he was retiring due to ill health. At the Southern Baptist Convention that year, this missionary was talking to the songwriter BB McKinney. Jones told McKinney that his doctor would not let him return to Brazil to continue his missionary work. McKinney asked about his future plans. Jones replied: “I don’t’ know, but wherever He leads I’ll go.” These words stuck in McKinney’s mind. Before that evening was over, McKinney had written the words of our invitation hymn:”Wherever He leads I’ll go, Wherever He leads, I’ll go. I’ll follow my Christ who loves me so, Wherever He Leads I’ll go” (Crusader Hymns and Hymn Stories by the Billy Graham Team,, Hope Publishing Co, 1966)

 
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Steve McQueen was a top billing actor who lead a life as tough as the ones he portrayed on the screen. Success filled his life until alcohol and a failed marriage left him empty. In his despair he attended a crusade led by one of Billy Graham’s associates. McQueen made a profession of faith and requested an opportunity to speak with Billy Graham. A connecting flight in Los Angeles allowed Dr. Graham to spend a couple of hours with Mr. McQueen in the actor’s limousine. Dr Graham shared numerous scriptures in his quest to give spiritual hope and assurance. Steve McQueen struggled with the thought of God giving eternal life to a man who had such a checkered past.
In Titus 1:2, however, he found a promise that spoke to him - "the hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised long ages ago" He requested something to write down the verse, but Billy Graham gave McQueen his Bib...

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Doane Brubaker
 
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Billy Graham wrote in "The Key To Personal Peace"
“One of the powerful, enduring images that my wife, Ruth, and I have of our early years together is of the ticker-tape parades in New York City celebrating the end of WWII. The war was finally over! And those who were spared from death by the enemy were jubilant beyond words.
“Millions of multicolored streamers and mountains of confetti rained down on the returning heroes… Friends, family, and fellow citizens danced in the streets to express their own happiness and excitement.
“Emotions ran extremely high – unfettered joy, exuberant hope for the future… But the emotion that ran deepest, causing tears to rush down the faces of moms and dads, grandparents, and even stalwart soldiers – from privates to generals – was relief. The war was over! … there was peace at last.”

 
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Rev. R.S. Jones was a missionary to Brazil. He had many years of Christian service. In 1936, he was retiring due to ill health. At the Southern Baptist Convention that year, this missionary was talking to the songwriter BB McKinney. Jones told McKinney that his doctor would not let him return to Brazil to continue his missionary work. McKinney asked about his future plans. Jones replied: “I don’t’ know, but wherever He leads I’ll go.” These words stuck in McKinney’s mind. Before that evening was over, McKinney had written the words of our invitation hymn:”Wherever He leads I’ll go, Wherever He leads, I’ll go. I’ll follow my Christ who loves me so, Wherever He Leads I’ll go” (Crusader Hymns and Hymn Stories by the Billy Graham Team,, Hope Publishing Co, 1966)

 
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The concern may be for an individual. One night in 1962 in a hotel in Seattle, Billy Graham was sound asleep. Suddenly he awoke with what he later described as "a burden to pray for Marilyn Monroe," the movie actress. When the feeling continued the next day, one of Graham’s associates tries to reach the actress through one of her agents. The agent offered no hope for a meeting immediately. "Not now. Maybe two weeks from now," he said. Two weeks later Marilyn Monroe’s suicide shocked the world. Two weeks was too late.

 
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A few years ago Billy Graham was honored in his hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina. Billy Graham is in his eighties and suffering from Parkinson’s disease. He agreed to respond briefly at the end of this great tribute from his hometown. His brother-in-law, Leighton Ford, described his response.

Billy Graham stepped to the podium. He briefly related an incident that had happened in the life of Albert Einstein. This great man, chosen by Time magazine as The Man of the 20th Century, was on a train. The conductor came to punch his ticket. The great scientist became quite flustered as he searched his pockets, his briefcase, and even the floor underneath his seat, to try to find the ticket. He couldn’t find it. The conductor responded, ’Dr. Einstein, we all know who you are. I believe you bought a ticket. Don’t worry about it. I know who you are.’

The conductor continued up the aisle, only to glance back and see the renowned professor down on his hands and knees, looking under the seat, still fumbling with his pockets, frantically trying to find the ticket. The conductor came back and once again assured Dr. Einstein that he knew who he was, saying, ’Don’t worry, I don’t need to see the ticket.’ To which Einstein responded, ’I, too, know who I am. The problem is, I don’t know where I’m going. I need that ticket to remind me.’

With that, Billy Graham concluded by saying, ’See this suit I’m wearing? It’s a brand new suit. It’s a very good suit. My children and my grandchildren are telling me that I’m not keeping my clothing as up-to-date as I used to. So I went out and bought this suit. I don’t know how much longer I’m going to be alive. And, fra...

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Contributed By:
Dr. Franklin Kirksey
 
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Dr. Adrian Rogers tells, "Before the late and great Dr. R.G. Lee died I was in his home with Billy Graham, Cliff Barrows, and Tommy Lane, our minister of music at Bellevue Church. Dr. Lee was one of my predecessors at Bellevue, considered perhaps the best preacher of the twentieth century and one of the greatest in the history of Christianity. His adopted daughter came out and gravely announced, ’I believe Dr. Lee is dying.’ We were shocked. An elderly doctor rushed over and found that Dr. Lee was alive but unconscious.
Because we thought he was close to being with Jesus, Tommy suggested, ’Let’s sing him into heaven.’ So we sang as best we could ’Majestic Sweetness Sits Enthroned,’ Dr. Lee’s favorite hymn. Then Cliff Barrows led us in ’Come Thou Angel Band.’ I was ready to enter heaven myself.
Then Dr. Lee revived and opened his piercing blue eyes, and his daughter said, ’Papa, Billy Graham is here.’ Dr. Lee pulled Billy’s head down and kissed him. Later, Dr. Lee testified, ’I saw heaven. I saw Jesus. I saw my mother. I never did justice to heaven in my sermons.’ You say he was hallucinating? Oh, how I hope God gives me an hallucination like that!”

 
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Scott Brewer
 
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A few years ago Billy Graham was honored in his hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina. Billy Graham is in his eighties and suffering from Parkinson’s disease. He agreed to respond briefly at the end of this great tribute from his hometown. His brother-in-law, Leighton Ford, described his response.

Billy Graham stepped to the podium. He briefly related an incident that had happened in the life of Albert Einstein. This great man, chosen by Time magazine as The Man of the 20th Century, was on a train. The conductor came to punch his ticket. The great scientist became quite flustered as he searched his pockets, his briefcase, and even the floor underneath his seat, to try to find the ticket. He couldn’t find it. The conductor responded, ’Dr. Einstein, we all know who you are. I believe you bought a ticket. Don’t worry about it. I know who you are.’

The conductor continued up the aisle, only to glance back and see the renowned professor down on his hands and knees, looking under the seat, still fumbling with his pockets, frantically trying to find the ticket. The conductor came back and once again assured Dr. Einstein that he knew who he was, saying, ’Don’t worry, I don’t need to see the ticket.’ To which Einstein responded, ’I, too, know who I am. The problem is, I don’t know where I’m going. I need that ticket to remind me.’

With that, Billy Graham concluded by saying, ’See this suit I’m wearing? It’s a brand new suit. It’s a very good suit. My children and my grandchildren are telling me that I’m not keeping my clothing as up-to-date as I used to. So I went out and bought this suit. I don’t know how much longer I’m going to be alive. And, frankly, this is the suit in which I’m going to be buried. Thank you for honoring me this day. The final word I want to leave with you is this: One of these days I’m going to die. When I do, I want you to know, because of Jesus Christ, I not only know who I am, but I know where I’m going. I hope you do too!’ And he sat down."
(- As told by John A. Huffman, Jr., "God’s Promise for When You Confront Death," February 13, 2000, St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Newport Beach, California.)

 
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