Many spiritual giants have moved on to their heavenly homes in recent years. Mixed emotions come with the passing of faithful men and women such as these. Sadness and celebration. Grief and thankfulness.
But even in their absence, we as Christ-followers must carry on our God-given mission: to make disciples of all nations.
Remember Christ’s victory over the grave—and find strength to leave a spiritual legacy of your own—in these Biblical truths Billy Graham shared in a 1972 radio message.
1. Death is no accident.
“The death of a Christian is unlike the tragic passing of the unrighteous. Though the Christian has no immunity from death and no claim to perpetual life on this planet, death is to him a friend rather than a foe, the beginning rather than the end.”
2. Death is a rest from labor.
“It is as if the Lord of the harvest says to every weary laborer, ‘You’ve been faithful in your task. Come and sit in the sheltered porch of my palace and rest from your labors. Enter now into the joy of your Lord.'”
3. Death is a departure.
“Everything which happens prior to death is a preparation for the journey. Death marks the beginning, not the end. It is a solemn, dramatic step in our journey to God. … Separation always brings a tinge of sadness. But there is the high hope that we shall meet again.”
4. Death is a transition.
“Death to the Christian is the exchanging of a tent for a permanent palace. Here we are as pilgrims or gypsies living in a frail, flimsy home subject to disease, pain and peril. But at death we exchange this crumbling, disintegrating tent for a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.”
5. Death is an exodus.
“We speak of decease as though it were the end of everything. But the word ‘decease’ literally means ‘exodus’ or ‘going out.’ The imagery is that of the children of Israel leaving Egypt with its bondage, slavery and hardships. So death to the Christian is an exodus from the limitations, the perils and the bondage of this life.”