Dr. Billy Graham Dies at 99; 'He Chose to Obey God Rather Than Man'

By CNSNews.com Staff | February 21, 2018 | 9:31 AM EST

Dr. Billy Graham has died at age 99. (Photo: Screen grab)

(CNSNews.com) - Prayers and praise are pouring in for the Rev. Billy Graham, who has died at age 99 following years of declining health but unshakeable spirit.

Shortly after the news broke, President Trump tweeted: "The GREAT Billy Graham is dead. There was nobody like him! He will be missed by Christians and all religions. A very special man."

The Family Research Council issued a statement on Wednesday morning, saying, "In the face of naysayers, he chose to obey God rather than man and he turned the world upside down."

Here's the full statement from FRC's Tony Perkins:

Billy Graham grew up in what most would consider humble, ordinary beginnings but because he yielded himself to God, he was used to accomplish the extraordinary -- forever impacting the lives of countless people. In the face of naysayers, he chose to obey God rather than man and he turned the world upside down.

Billy Graham was empowered by a reverent fear of God -- so much so that he overcame the seemingly insurmountable and took the gospel to people and places thought virtually impossible. He even ventured to countries most hostile to Christianity including North Korea and the Soviet Union. Dr. Graham's deep faith in God overruled the fears of his time. He never failed to give glory to God and the power of prayer for his ministry's success.

I remember how easily Dr. Graham discussed current events while always relating them to God's timeless truths. A newspaper once described his preaching style as "holding the Bible in one hand and a newspaper in the other." He knew how to relate the gospel to the daily life experiences of his audience. This understanding of social trends led him to call attention to family breakdown and the consequences for future generations.

He leaves behind a legacy of faith as well as family. I am honored to know and often co-labor with his son Franklin Graham and daughter Anne Graham Lotz. Franklin's clear proclamation of Christ as the only way of salvation and his compassionate outreach to those in need through the ministry of Samaritan's Purse have made him an effective messenger of the gospel in this generation. Anne has taken up her father's passions and leads a vital ministry that calls the church into prayer and our nation back to God.

Billy Graham finished well. He truly lived a life of integrity that each follower of Jesus Christ can emulate. His fear of disappointing the One who created him was so strong that he avoided the temptations and pitfalls that have brought others down.

His example of servant-leadership will continue to inspire Christians around the world to be salt and light. What a joyous moment it had to be when Dr. Billy Graham heard the words that he has longed to hear from his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, "Well done good and faithful servant."

Please support CNSNews today! (a 501c3 non-profit production of the Media Research Center)