Remembering a Great

Man of God

By Vic Kohring, March 9, 2018

As with many Christians, I was deeply saddened upon hearing the news of Billy Graham's passing. A wave of grief swept over me, but as I recovered from the initial shock I began to rejoice, knowing that he moved on from this life to a much better place. 

Graham was a giant among Christians, one of the greatest of our age. A humble, modest man who was respected by many a president and whom I admired my entire life.

Whenever I feel worn down by the atheists, agnostics and Christian haters of this world, I think of the Reverend Graham and it reinvigorates me. His words have always been comforting, not to mention the hope they gave to millions worldwide. I recently listened to an old sermon on YouTube and was reminded of his strength of conviction, command of the Bible and convincing words delivered with sincerity and eloquence that made it difficult for his critics to refute.

I was thrilled when the Billy Graham Crusade came to Alaska 34 years ago. I remember one particular sermon at the Sullivan Arena in Anchorage in 1984. I sat next to my parents, both who attended a Billy Graham Crusade in Chicago decades earlier in the 1950's. I recall Graham referring to the new 9000 seat arena as a "room." Although big by Alaska standards, it was tiny compared with the mammoth stadiums where he preached around the world while drawing massive crowds. He once delivered a sermon at Yankee Stadium in front of 100,000 people, more than ten times that of the Anchorage gathering. Regardless, it was neat to be a part of history.

At the Sullivan, Graham was unable to complete his entire message after losing his voice to laryngitis, so an assistant pastor with the crusade filled in. But I heard enough of the man to be impressed. Until his voice gave out, he was in his usual form, conveying his exhortation of salvation in a convincing, crystal clear way with his serious demeanor, while referencing scripture to back up his words and demonstrating his underlying knowledge of the Bible. He also had an ability to make you feel as if he was speaking directly to you.

To see Graham in person was one of the hi-lights of my life. Awe-inspiring. It was just as special as seeing Pope John Paul II in 1981 in Anchorage and President Reagan in 1984 in Dallas, Texas at the Republican National Convention. At the end of the service, I was moved by the singing of the classic "Just as I am" and the calling of those desiring salvation to step forward.  

Many on the Left have been angered by Christian's (and Graham's) call for prayer for our country, with the mainstream media leading the charge who've encouraged the growing anti-Christian attitude. Liberals are largely responsible for banning prayer in public schools and constantly fight for the separation of church and state, despite the fact that our founding fathers were mostly Christian and believed the constitution was God-inspired.

The so-called "Progressives" are now working overtime to eradicate Christianity completely from society including traditional, long-established holidays like Christmas and Easter and even resent the simple term "Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers," taking the issue to the extreme.  

A Washington Post article on the day of Graham's passing was shameful, entitled, "Analysis: divorce, drugs, drinking: Billy Graham's children and their absent father." Instead of honoring the man on his final day on earth, the leftist mouthpiece chose to print garbage across their pages and slime the reputation of a great man of God. These angry Karl Marx and Joseph Stalin-loving atheists couldn't resist mocking an American Christian icon, even on the day he died. It's no wonder they're often referred to as "The Washington Compost." But what do you expect from the liberal, mainstream, anti-Christian (even anti-America) press?

Billy Graham once said that "We aren't only called to become Christians; we are also called to be Christians." So true as it's one thing to claim to be a Christian, but quite another to live your life as one.  

Bless you, Reverend Graham, as you now walk with God. I am so very grateful for your ministry and for being such an inspiration to me.  Through tears, I say goodbye as you live on in my heart.