Feb22ThuRetrospective #63 February 22, 2018 Randy C. Hicks
In light of the recent “promotion to Glory” of world renowned evangelist Billy Graham, I thought it appropriate to share the following thoughts. First of all a quote from CHRISTIANITY TODAY’S online magazine:
The most viral quotation from the late preacher—at one point shared every 15
seconds on Twitter—addresses Graham’s own view of his death:
“Someday you will read or hear that Billy Graham is dead. Don’t you believe a word of it. I shall be more alive than I am now. I will just have changed my address. I will have gone into the presence of God.”
It’s a stirring remark that captures the heart of the evangelist’s life and message—his focus on the gospel and his confidence in eternity…
The saying makes for a particularly apt tribute given that Graham, the most
prominent preacher and evangelist of the 20th century, actually adapted it from the most prominent preacher and evangelist of the 19th century, Dwight L. Moody.
The original version appears in the first line of Moody’s autobiography, released in 1900.
“Some day you will read in the papers that D. L. Moody, of East Northfield, is dead. Don’t you believe a word of it! At that moment I shall be more alive than I am now. I shall have gone up higher, that is all; out of this old clay tenement into a house that is immortal—a body that death cannot touch; that sin cannot
taint; a body fashioned like unto His glorious body.”
What an absolutely wonderful concept of death and dying shared by these two great saints of God.
Did you know that we Sally Anns can rightfully lay claim to this philosophy as well and we come by it honestly through our own 19th century evangelist?
In the final chapter of A HUNDRED YEAR’S WAR, The Salvation Army; 1865-1965, by Bernard Watson, you will find the heading: THEY DARE NOT DIE. Here’s some of what it says:
“Though the…officers and countless men and women in the Salvation Army are ordinary human beings who laugh and love, raise families, work hard, grow old, and are generally subject to the ills that flesh is heir to, one thing about them is odd – they dare not die. It is forbidden by the regulations.
To William Booth death was undignified and un-Biblical; he forbade it. A
salvation soldier can be ‘promoted to Glory’ but not deceased…”
Following up on a request from a student friend of mine I discovered this little gem! How I wish someone had told me about it sooner. It’s not that I hadn’t ever embraced or used this thinking, as those of you who know me can attest that funerals are often my favorite meetings; it’s just that I had never heard it expressed quite this way.
“A salvation soldier can be ‘promoted to Glory’ but not deceased…”
No doubt we may have a few skeptics among us and you don’t believe this but many of us are convinced of this truth.
Here’s our challenge to you: Check out and attend the nearest “Barracks” (or Church) in your neighbourhood on April 1, 2018.
You’ll get the message!
No fooling! 😁