“Now at 56, I continue to be grateful for my complete salvation, which started one night in 1963 while watching Billy Graham alone one night.”
Another story is told of an enthusiastic, well-meaning young Christian man who visited a nursing home a few years ago. As he spoke to the senior citizens there, he challenged them to share their faith. He asked the retirees how many people they had led to Christ.
One old man in a cardigan sweater calmly raised his hand.
“Maybe three or four million,” he said.
“You led three or four million people to Jesus?” scoffed the young man.
“Yes,” smiled the old man. “I was Billy Graham’s Sunday School teacher when he was a boy. I encouraged him to become a preacher.”
Billy and Franklin Graham
“I am convinced the greatest act of love we can perform for people is to tell them about God’s love for them in Christ,” Graham recently told gathered leaders.
A while back, businessmen and Christian leaders in Charlotte, North Carolina, invited Graham, to a luncheon in honor of his upcoming birthday. He initially hesitated to accept the invitation because of his struggles with Parkinson’s disease.
However, the Charlotte leaders said, ‘We don’t expect a major address. Just come and let us honor you.’
So he agreed.
After wonderful things were said about him, Dr. Graham stepped to the rostrum, looked at the crowd, and said: “I’m reminded today of Albert Einstein, the great physicist who was honored by Time magazine as the Man of the Century.
“Einstein was once traveling from Princeton on a train, when the conductor came down the aisle, punching the tickets of every passenger. When he came to Einstein, Einstein reached in his vest pocket. He couldn’t find his ticket, so he reached in his trouser pockets.
“It wasn’t there. He looked in his briefcase but couldn’t find it. Then he looked in the seat beside him. He still couldn’t find it.
“The conductor said, ‘Dr. Einstein, I know who you are. We all know who you are. I’m sure you bought a ticket. Don’t worry about it.’
“Einstein nodded appreciatively. The conductor continued down the aisle punching tickets. As he was ready to move to the next car, he turned around and saw the great physicist down on his hands and knees looking under his seat for his ticket.
“The conductor rushed back and said, ‘Dr. Einstein, Dr. Einstein, don’t worry, I know who you are; no problem. You don’t need a ticket. I’m sure you bought one.’
Einstein looked at him and said, “Young man, I too, know who I am. What I don’t know is where I’m going.”
Billy Graham at home
Having said that, Graham continued to his Charlotte crowd, “See the suit I’m wearing? It’s a brand new suit. My children and my grandchildren are telling me I’ve gotten a little slovenly in my old age. I used to be a bit more fastidious.
“So I went out and bought a new suit for this luncheon and one more occasion. You know what that occasion is? This is the suit in which I’ll be buried. But when you hear I’m dead, I don’t want you to immediately remember the suit I’m wearing.
“I want you to remember this:
“I not only know who I am. I also know where I’m going.”