Wednesday, March 12, 2008

CRUSADE

Billy Graham’s Crusade

 

In what might prove to be the crowning achievement

of an illustrious career in ministry, the 87-year-old evangelist,

Billy Graham shocked the 16,300 in attendance at the Celebration

of Hope Crusade in New Orleans Arena on Sunday Night. Touted

in advance as possibly his last Evangelistic crusade, Graham

invited the packed house of evangelical Christians and the

hundreds of new converts to join him on the one mile walk

from the arena to New Orleans’ infamous Bourbon Street.

“While we have seen God do tremendous things here

in the past couple of evenings. Yes, it is true that a great healing

and a great many salvations have occurred within the confines

of this auditorium. Still yet, there lies a great mountain in

this city which needs to be conquered.”


Then taking from the Biblical Book of Joshua Chapter 14

he read, “I am this day, eighty-five years old. As yet I am

as strong this day as on the day that Moses sent me; just as

my strength was then, so now is my strength for war, both

for going out and for coming in. Now therefore, give me

this mountain of which the Lord spoke in that day,” his voice

suddenly sounding more forceful than during his 22 minute

sermon. “I last preached in the City of New Orleans in 1954

and I felt then that there was some unfinished business.

Tonight, in what very well might be my last evangelistic

service, I aim to finish that business and lead as many of you

that would follow me to the multitude of lost souls that fill

Bourbon Street tonight. That is my mountain! That is where

we shall see the harvest!” said Graham as the stadium erupted

in cheers that lasted the next several minutes.

 

Utilizing a waiting mobility scooter, the elder Graham

joined his son and heir to the ministry, Franklin, across the

Arena floor and through the opened doors leading towards the

French Quarter. In a show of solidarity and determination

reminiscent of civil rights marches of the 1960’s, nearly the

entire capacity crowd joined in the 20 minute trek while singing,

“When the Saints Go Marching In.” As the march crossed

Canal Street and headed northward towards Bourbon Street,

many onlookers stood in stunned silence as the massive crowd

of people began singing in unison the Christian hymn, Amazing

Grace.

Upon entering the west end of Bourbon Street, Billy

Graham was soon recognized by partiers. Soon those joining in

the march began to approach those partying on Bourbon Street

with the Gospel message that they had heard preached just a

half hour before. Graham himself joined with a group of local

street evangelist in ministering to a man who had survived

Hurricane Katrina in the lower 9th Ward.


Within 30 minutes the entirety of Bourbon Street was

packed with Christians and the once blaring music of nightclubs

and strip joints had been replaced by weeping and worship

as people poured out their drinks and sought prayer from the

Christians who were now reaching out to them. “I have never

seen anything like this in my life,” said 20 years New Orleans

Police Department veteran, Tom Phillips. “This is unbelievable!

We thought a riot was going to break out, but this looks more like

a Revival than a riot!”

Two hours later, a glowing Graham sat back down on his scooter

and smiled. “Now I know how the Apostle Paul must have felt

at the end of his ministry. Do the work of an evangelist; make

full proof of thy ministry. For I am now ready to be offered, and

the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight,

I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.”

Hours later hundreds of Christians remained on the street

ministering to the many people eagerly waiting to receive prayer

and ministry. New Orleans will never be the same. And the press

remained mute on this “news item?”

 

Did anyone saw it on TV, heard it on radio, read it in

the paper? Why are we not surprised? Can’t have THAT just

prior to a major election, now, can we?

Well, just on a whim, spread the news, anyway. It cost

our elder brother, Billy Graham, more than any of us know to
make that effort. The least we can do is publicize it.


JESUS IS LORD!!!

 

AMEN!

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