Billy Graham turns 97 today, please pray he repents before he dies

The Bible records many truly devastating promises from the Lord Jesus Christ, Messiah, Creator, Judge. There are two which are particularly weighty on my heart. One is from Revelation 14:16,

So he who sat on the cloud swung his sickle across the earth, and the earth was reaped.

Are there any four words anywhere more devastating? "...the earth was reaped." All wicked flesh crushed under the weight of the holy gavel.

The other terrible promise is this:

Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ (Matthew 7:21-23)

Billy Graham is just such a one as these. He is at grave risk for standing before the Lord he claimed to serve, only to learn that despite his longevity, despite his seemingly 'mighty works', the Lord never knew him. All the crusades, all the fist pounding podiums, all the books written- it was all a sham, all for nothing, all as filthy rags.

But how can this be? you ask. How can a man live so long and speak of Jesus so much and not know Him? This set of verses shows us that it is possible. The Pharisees spoke with Jesus face to face, knew Jesus was from God (John 3:2) and they witnessed His many miracles, and yet they refused to believe. And not only that it is possible, there are MANY who will tragically and eternally discover that they had missed the mark all their years. People underestimate the power of how deeply sin blinds us. We are totally blinded to sin and to the deceptions of our own heart. 

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? (Jeremiah 17:9)

So far we have learned about the how and that not only is is possible to labor for Christ, use His name for their works, and yet not be saved, we have learned that this verse is a reality for MANY.

Now, why do I say that it is a likelihood for Billy Graham? There are many reasons, if one cares to look and examine what the Bible says compared to what Mr Graham has said and believes.

Here is one web page with a list of compiled facts and their references which demonstrate the troubling theology and personal behavior of Mr Graham. If this link goes dead, here is another one.

I can understand that the approach the evangelist takes is different from the one the pastor takes. The two men have different roles. Despite that difference, however, the message remains the same. Sin-death-Jesus-blood-cross-wrath-resurrection-ascension-glorification. This is the message. This is the Gospel.

Mr Graham deletes critical components from the message. For example, the blood.
And then there is Graham's preaching what he says and what he does not say. Graham is famous for exhorting people to "commit to Christ," but precious little is said regarding "repentance" over sin. It is a much easier gospel than what Jesus preached. And there is precious little said of atonement through the blood of Christ. Perhaps this helps explain: in a letter dated Feb. 29, 1968, Rev. W. H. Martindale, Spiritual Counselor of Graham's home office, wrote: "Mr. Graham believes that we are saved through the blood of Christ; however, this aspect of Christian doctrine he does not emphasize in his messages. This is the duty and prerogative of pastors." If Graham does not emphasize "salvation through the blood of Christ," then we can only ask which Jesus he is preaching. It plainly is not the Jesus of the gospel. (source)
Mr Graham also deletes from the Gospel message the exclusivity of Christ as the only way to salvation. In 1978 McCall's Magazine interview, Mr Graham said that,
In a January, 1978, interview with McCalls Graham said, "I used to play God, but I can't do that any more. I used to believe that pagans in far-off countries were lost were going to hell if they did not have the Gospel of Jesus Christ preached to them. I no longer believe that. I believe that there are other ways of recognizing the existence of God through nature, for instance and plenty of other opportunities, therefore, of saying "yes" to God." (source)
Romans 10:13 says, "for everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." 
Romans 8:1 says, "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus."

Graham's words were not a one-time mistake. They are not a statement spoken unwisely by an aging evangelist. They are firmly held beliefs Mr Graham has spoken or written about since 1960 when he wrote the same in his Decision Magazine. He said it again in 1997 to Robert Schuller, on a defunct television program called the Hour of Power,
Billy Graham was interviewed on television by Robert Schuller, a noted infidel widely recognized for his alteration of historic Christian doctrine. Part 1 was an approximately 7-minute-long broadcast in Southern California on Saturday, May 31, 1997. The following is an exact transcript of an excerpt close to the end of this broadcast. 
SCHULLER: Tell me, what do you think is the future of Christianity? 
GRAHAM: Well, Christianity and being a true believer you know, I think there's the Body of Christ. This comes from all the Christian groups around the world, outside the Christian groups. I think everybody that loves Christ, or knows Christ, whether they're conscious of it or not, they're members of the Body of Christ. And I don't think that we're going to see a great sweeping revival, that will turn the whole world to Christ at any time. I think James answered that, the Apostle James in the first council in Jerusalem when he said that God's purpose for this age is to call out a people for His name. And that's what God is doing today, He's calling people out of the world for His name, whether they come from the Muslim world, or the Buddhist world, or the Christian world or the non-believing world, they are members of the Body of Christ because they've been called by God. They may not even know the name of Jesus but they know in their hearts that they need something that they don't have, and they turn to the only light that they have, and I think that they are saved, and that they're going to be with us in heaven.
So the noted and celebrated evangelist believes that a person can never hear the Gospel, can be outside the body of Christ, not even know Jesus, and be saved? Graham believes the Body of Christ comes from outside Christianity? Aren't the folks who believe these things the very people we're called to evangelize? Not be the evangelist?

Matthew 10:33 also make a devastating promise: "but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven."

Dr John MacArthur spoke of this interview and Graham's false view four times in detail over the years, herehere, and here. Also here:
Then he went on to say, “I’ve met people in travel situations that have never seen a Bible, heard about a Bible, never heard of Jesus, but they believed in their hearts that there is a God and they’ve tried to live a life that is apart from the community in which they live.” Is that enough? You might not be surprised to hear the Pope say that. But you might be surprised to hear Billy Graham say that.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6)

And there's this essay from a faculty member at Westminster Seminary, titled The Myth of Influence
Evangelicals who succumb to the myth of influence do so in part because of their own flawed theology. They have developed theologies which depart from the rich biblical theologies of the Reformation. 
Some evangelicals have embraced the myth of influence out of an Arminian view of salvation. Since salvation ultimately depends on the consent of the free will, many theological compromises are justified in order to gain a hearing and move the unbeliever. Other evangelicals are motivated by a defective doctrine of the church. They see the church, not as an essential institution in God's economy founded on and regulated by his Word, but as a helpful support group for the individual Christian in his walk of faith.
Both of these theological weaknesses surface in Billy Graham. His Arminianism is clear. (7) His weak doctrine of the church is seen in his sending inquirers back to false churches
Did you know that? In an effort to ensure high attendance and in order not to rock the boat with local churches, the Billy Graham Crusades were always designed to work with any church, including Synagogues and Catholic churches? And that seekers streaming down the aisles once they were "counseled", were sent back to their false churches?

Mr Graham also says he personally believes in the virgin birth but that such a belief is not necessary for salvation; that aliens exist on other planets but they are not in rebellion against God and therefore don't need His blood; that the Roman Catholic Church has the same Gospel as the Protestant Church; that evolution is a possibility; and that baptism regenerates the soul. 

Here is a quote from an interview program:
Islam is misunderstood, too, because Muhummad had a great respect for Jesus, and he called Jesus the world’s greatest prophet except himself, and therefore I think we are closer to Islam than really we think we are. (David Frost, On May 30, 1997)
Through simple longevity and staying power, plus popularity, Graham's apostasy has escaped many. This gentleman, Christopher J.E. Johnson, made remarks that I also would like to state clearly as my beliefs also:
It sounds like Billy Graham is a real Christian, and it's also why I believe he's one of the most deceptive men of our day. Due to quotations like this, I have had many objections to my statements about Billy Graham and his teaching of false gospel; so many I found it necessary to write a full-length article about him. Billy Graham may SAY these things on stage, but he doesn't truly believe them.  
Because people tend to take extremes and take my words out of context, I want to make it clear that I am NOT saying people have not been truly born-again saved at a Billy Graham event. I am NOT saying all people who work in the Billy Graham organization are apostates. I am NOT saying Billy Graham has never preached a good sermon. However, what I AM saying is that we have VERY little evidence of Billy Graham's faith in the Jesus Christ of the Bible, and a LARGE amount of evidence that he believes in a false, new-age idol he calls "Jesus Christ."
This evidence is present on video, in articles, and in interviews. Graham's age has given us numerous opportunities to see and read and watch his statements regarding Jesus and the way to salvation. We have an ability in this day and age of the world wide web to not only research this evidence for ourselves but also to watch his apostasy from his earliest days to the present day, over 81 years of his alleged Christianity.

I say these things with no glee and no shred of joy. It grieves me to see a soul go down to Sheol. It is a heartache to watch streams of seekers flow down the aisles of a Billy Graham crusade and know that they will be re-consigned to darkness, thanks to the pragmatic, popularity seeking ecumenical evangelist known as Billy Graham.

I urge you to seek out the information I've presented. Confirm it. Compare to the Bible. Remember that we are warned that many ministers of light will come in and devour the unwary. (2 Corinthians 11:14, 1 Peter 5:8). Meanwhile I pray Mr Graham comes to repentance. The Lord has already graciously prolonged his days.

Seek the LORD while he may be found;
call upon him while he is near;
let the wicked forsake his way,
and the unrighteous man his thoughts;
let him return to the LORD, that he may have compassion on him,
and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. (Isaiah 55:6-7)


Further Reading

Billy Graham: The Man and his Message. Video of a talk delivered by Cecil Andrews of Take Heed Ministries.


  1. I counted five "I think" in Billy Grahams paragraph....very troubling.

    1. Joel Osteen says "I think" alot, too.

    2. Hi servant and Anonymous,

      You have good discernment. You notice that themore a teacher is false, the less he will quote the Bible. Not *mention* the Bible, but actually have memorized the verses, states them and best of all says the address. In the earliest days, Graham used to say "It says in Matthew 25:12 that..." then in middle years he'd simply say "the Bible says" then in later days, simply "I believe".

      Listen for how a teacher uses and talks about God's word. It is very telling.

  2. As I've matured and read more, I've become more troubled with all of this. The thought that you must "choose Christ", invite Him in, and such. Saying the sinner's prayer, but never getting any farther than that. So many things I was taught as a child really are perplexing to me now. Grace, faith, redemption, justifcation, sanctification. It all leads somewhere, to a specific outcome. Anyone can believe in God. It's having faith in Jesus Christ that makes the difference. My God is not the same as the the other gods.

  3. Reading things like heart just feels heavy. I sincerely hope the Lord will grsnt him repentance and open the eyes of many who think he is orthodox.

  4. It was August of 1979, the summer between my freshman and sophomore years of college. I went into the kitchen after dinner and turned on the small television we had in there; remarkably, no one else in the house bothered me. I turned on a Billy Graham crusade, and came to faith in Christ before the show was over. It is amazing to me that God would use a man who isn't saved to bring me into the kingdom. May He repent and turn to Christ before it is too late!

    1. I'm so glad that you came to faith during hsi show. I'm also glad that God seemed to have used an unsaved and blasphemous man to that end. You ar ein the high minority, however. In one of the links I provided, Cecil Andrews of Take Heed Minsitries' video, remarks about the famous Harringay Crusade in London. An English man himself, having grown up in that area of London, Andrews said that a team went about the area some years after the Harringay Crusade. They talked with people who had attended the crusade and who had gone forward to see what difference Graham's sermon had made in their life. Of the people who went forward and claimed to be saved, there was almost zero fruit, almost zero church attendance, and almost zero biblical understanding of anything spiritual. They seemed to have come forward and "made a decision for Christ" (which is not in the bible), and then went on their carnal way- for the rest of their lives.

      I'd gently suggest that though you may be sure you're saved, to examine yourself to see if you are int he faith as it says in 2 Corinthians 13:5. SOme of the things that should be evident in you that others see and yourself also, are that you regularly attend church, you regularly pray, you seek the Lord's wisdom through the Bible, AND understand it., you have submitted your life to Christ, your sanctification over time is clearly demonstrated to those who know you, you exalt others above yourself,and you bear fruit in His name. Here is a practical guide to aid you in this important self-examination:

      Thank you for reading and for being sensitive to the looming chasm under Graham's feet, Graham is only held up by a gossamer thread of the will and pleasure of God. (paraphrase, Jonathan Edwards, Sinners in the Hands of and Angry God).

    2. Thank you, Elizabeth, for your concern about my soul. Interestingly, I have never been able to recall exactly what Mr. Graham said during that broadcast I saw. All I know is that I realized that what I thought would get me to heaven (church membership) wasn't going to; only turning from my sin and faith in Christ could. Your list of evidences of salvation have certainly been seen in my life, and I know others see them too. Many people commented on my faithfulness to Christ during the extremely difficult eight years I was caregiver to my late husband and dealing with my own health issues. Christ is my life, and without Him, I would be, well, lost. Praise God that He used an unsaved man to bring me to Himself!

    3. Ginny there will be thousands of people in heaven as a result of this mans obedience to Christ and the call to make disciples.
      I shudder to think of the judgement coming for those who oppose the work he has done.

  5. Jesus said let those who do good in His name do good.
    Only God can judge the heart of man. This man's heart thirsts after God outwardly, he lived his younger days helping people and loving people.
    Be very careful not to say the work of the Spirit of God is ungodly, if you understand what you're saying you will then be accountable for blasphemy and it will be unforgiven.

    1. 1. Only God can judge the heart of man. But man can and is commanded to judge the works and the words of men. (Mt 7:16, 1 John 4:1, 2 John 1:10-11, 2 John 1:7, Revelation 2:2- and so on).

      2. Helping people and loving people outside of Jesus's grace is to Jesus filthy rags. If we are apart from Him our works are nothing and He will say so on the Day. (John 15:5, Is 64:6, Mt 7:22)

      3. The only blasphemy here is Graham saying you can get to heaven without knowing Jesus. That you see me as blasphemous for calling out his blasphemy is sad.

      4. Be very careful not to be ignorant. Be aware of satan's schemes (2 Corinthians 11). Pray for discernment so that you, too, someday will be able to reliably compare the bible's word against a teacher who is seeking your destruction.

  6. Historically, I WAS an Active member of several Southern Baptist fellowships (Church). Most, but not all, proclaimed an easy believe-ism (as John MacArthur would say). The SBC would largely train its members to peddle this “easy believe-ism” and thus end up getting someone to “pray the prayer”. Most of the alleged new Christians that I have personally seen would end up giving no demonstration as having been authentically Born Again! This is the same “easy believe-ism” peddled by men like Billy Graham, Rick Warren and MANY others!

    Sadly, I too went about this aberrant form of evangelism and VERY passionately so! Thank God that several years ago the Lord God corrected many of my doctrinal errors and has thus moved me out very near daily with genuine evangelism.

    Several years ago I learnt of the serious deceptions propagated by Billy Graham, I too have heard MacArhur speak on this. Moreover, I seen the actual video on Graham at Robert Schuller’s false Church, and herby confirm what sister Elizabeth has correctly written. Furthermore, I also seen the interview of Graham and “Larry King Live” likewise denying Christ ALONE with regards to the exclusivity of Jesus Christ.
    Little wonder why Graham is ecumenical! Little wonder why he gets along so well with so many! Little wonder why he too has been invited so many times to the office of the United States president, and to many other world leaders too!

    I remember my state of shock that took several days to work through when I became aware of the Graham deceptions. I had looked up to Graham, had read several of his books, watch his life story told on DVD, been to the Tangerine Bowl in Orlando to attend one of his crusades. I take NO DELIGHT in now forsaking him! Moreover, what is a Biblically thinking and practicing Christian to do, or to think, when we see any Evangelist, Pastor, Christian leader, etc. sharing the platform with those whom spew out heresy, and speak it themselves? Sound Biblical TRUTH has been given to the saints for a reason! Run saints run, run from any twist whatsoever on the Biblical gospel, and run from those who pervert any form of Biblical TRUTH! See the book of II John.

    I share all of this in heartfelt care, compassion, love, and the TRUTH! You do NOT want to be part of the “Lord, Lord crowd” (Matthew chapter 7) my dear friend - and then end up in HELL forever! You never know when you will gulp your last breath - that day is fast approaching for each and everyone of us - it is inevitable and will be here SOON ENOUGH (other than the exception for those whom will be raptured : > )
    You had better search out your Bible for the truth now with contrition and prayers of brokenness before the God of the Bible, and the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ!

    Brother Rick Buffington
    Metro Atlanta

    1. fwiw Paul Washer is in the SBC.

      The SBC's confederate association in contrast to the top-down hierarchies of the episcopalian/presbyterian models has comparative strengths and weaknesses. While on the one hand, there is no excommunicative power vested in an SBC authority, this same bishop-power can have the negative effect of forcing apostasy on the churches under its authority, as seen in how quickly so many of the other denominations have folded theologically in recent decades.

      The SBC might have difficulty keeping heretics out from the doors of churches that name the name 'southern baptist,' but unlike the methodist, lutheran, presbyterian, episcopalian etc denominations, its looser leadership structure (emphasis on local churches acting independently) prevents the cancer of the easy-believism you mention from metastasizing as rapidly as it otherwise might if there were a central governing authority. The consequence is that the SBC, while it is besmirched by some of the more radical looney tunes in the evangelical movement, can fairly lay claim to the most influential and conservative theological drivers that are present on earth today.

      I share this for a big picture synthesis. It's not an argument, so much as it is a "hey, let's look at how this all fits together."

      I think I'm motivated to do so partly because your sentiment, unqualified, can encourage other young people to take the view of rejecting Church, though I doubt you meant to let it be seen as supportive of that.

    2. To Hakam Adam

      You write;
      “I think I'm motivated to do so partly because your sentiment, unqualified,” 
      Sentiment, unqualified…REALLY? Do you know me enough to say?

      You write;
      “…can encourage other young people to take the view of rejecting Church”

      My response;
      Reject ecumenical, mystic, new age doctrines of devils and demons. Reject a false gospel, and nothing more saints!

      Southern Baptist dedicate statue to Billy Graham

      A VERY large number of SBC Churches have, and DO embrace Billy Graham, as is the case with many other denominations! FACT! It is as I wrote, an ECUMENICAL deception! Take a look at the third picture once at the link above, the pastor in the picture was the SBC president at the time. He was my pastor beginning at 34 or 35 years ago! I still deeply care for the man too!

      2014 SBC pastor conference
      Rick Warren, Francis Chan, James MacDonald AND MORE.

      There are a number of speakers scheduled for PC14 such as:
      J.D. Greear, lead pastor of The Summit Church, in Raleigh-Durham, NC, Johnny Hunt, former President of the Southern Baptist Convention and senior pastor of First Baptist Church Woodstock, in Woodstock, Georgia.

      Johnny Hunt Was ALSO a former pastor!

      I have written about a few of the deceptions because I was not in another denomination, such as the ones you quoted! The deceptions are wide spread across all denominational lines.

      If I were a writer, I would be saying a whole lot more that the little bits of my occasional comments that you read.

      We can each benefit from Biblically sound essays like Elizabeth Prata’s End Time Blog, and hopefully helpful comments by fellow mature Christians.
      Rick ; > /
      Metro Atlanta

    3. I think you misunderstood my words quoted in your first line-item response. That it was 'unqualified' was a reference to the statement, not your history or credibility. An example of an unqualified statement that showed up on this blog a while back was 'catholics aren't Christians.' Someone got angry in the comments, and Elizabeth qualified the statement by clarifying that anyone who actually understands and believes RC doctrine or understands it and keeps going to an RC church for decades, we can confidently say are unsaved. Not that anyone who calls themselves catholic necessarily believes let alone understands catholic doctrine, or that someone who was recently converted isn't in the process of leaving the church soon. Note: qualifying a statement doesn't mean it has to die the death of a thousand exceptions--in the RCC case, the fact that some "catholics" might be believers is an insignificant rarity (and probably only a hypothetical), enough so that it doesn't warrant hemming and hawwing to blunt the force of criticism.

      In that sense, my concern about your post being unqualified was not a disagreement about the appropriateness of your zeal/anger, or doubt over whether it is a worthwhile warning/rebuke to express. Only a minor thought that it could benefit from the addition of what you said in your follow-up post -- which I only cared to suggest *because* of my awareness of the existence of anti-churchians, which I was briefly before being pointed out the various Scriptural commands to be in fellowship, under authority, meet together, etc that defy an attempt at lone-wolf, falsely-pious "God's enough for me, I don't need a church" sanctimony.

      ***other than that hopefully defusing correction/clarification*** , I see nothing that I'm motivated to be defensive about, and hope you don't think that was what drove me initially (you could make a better case for it being youthful ignorance). Thanks for sharing what you have.


  7. Supplement to my comment;

    I highly recommend the most important book that I have ever read (other than the Book of Books - The Bible), concerning the question of “What is the real gospel“

    Book Title: “The Gospel According To Jesus” by John MacArthur


  8. Hakam,

    Thank you for you humble attitude and clarifications.
    Thank God that we do make gracious allowances for one another, for we too have been forgiven such a huge sin debt. Thank you too for your contributions to Biblical TRUTH, and for the glory of our resurrected and soon coming Lord Jesus Christ!

    Iron sharpens iron,
    and one man sharpens another.
    Proverbs 27:17 ESV

    Rick : > )
    Metro Atlanta

  9. If it's true that Billy Graham is not truly saved (there is no way you can really know this, ONLY GOD) then no one who says they were saved in one of his crusades are truly saved. How can a false gospel bring true salvation? You should write for all those that heard him speak as well because they are in danger as well. That's millions upon millions going (or gone) to hell since they estimate that he has spoken to over 250 million people. Please make a plea for all those poor souls!

    Romans 10: 5-17

    5 For Moses writes about the righteousness that is based on the law, that the person who does the commandments shall live by them. 6 But the righteousness based on faith says, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down) 7 “or ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); 9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. 11 For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. 13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

    14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard?[c] And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” 17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.


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