– Foreword by Franklin Graham
While his earthly vision dims, the glory of Heaven is illuminated as my father, Dr Billy Graham, shares the reality of eternity in his new book, ‘Where I Am’. Although he no longer preaches from the stadiums of the world, his heart still beats strong with the resounding assurance that he will spend eternity with Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world and he still invites others to secure their eternal hope.
My father has always stayed in tune with world news – he still does – and has said, “My heart breaks to see the world in such turmoil.” We are watching governments crumble; newscasters and people from around the world are asking, “Is there anyone who can set the world on the right track? Is there any hope? Where will it all end?” Yes, there is hope, and when the end of this life comes, eternity will be realised.
A warped idea of Heaven and hell
The CBS News programme has, in the past , reported that two-thirds of Americans believe in life after death, either in Heaven or hell and most believe they can describe them both. Yet their beliefs seldom, if ever, come from the Bible. Most develop their visions of both places from the arts: from painters, musicians, films and poets.
Opinions on eternity, therefore, gain a hearing based on cultural conjecture rather than the time-tested truth of Scripture. This supports a popular theory that because God loves the whole world, He will change His nature to embrace the universal hope that all mankind will go to Heaven when they die. This is troublesome, however, for others who cannot possibly imagine a loving God allowing some of history’s most vile criminals to gain the glory of Heaven. The truth is: God does not change (Mal 3:6), and He has prepared Heaven for those who believe and obey Him. He also has prepared a place for satan, his demons, and all those who reject Christ.
The issue of death and eternity
A friend of ours, the late Zig Ziglar, wrote, “The good news is there is nothing we can do that is bad enough to keep us out of Heaven; the bad news is there is nothing we can do good enough to get us into Heaven.” My father has preached on this truth for years, and it is the heart of this book. From his earliest outline, my father envisioned that the book would be fleshed out using his archival sermons that span his seven decades of preaching and written works. He now invites you to reflect on the questions and answers that ultimately lead the souls of mankind into death’s tomorrow. From the beginning of God’s Word to the end, he shines the light on the answers to people’s questions: When does eternity begin? Where are the destinations? How do we get there?
Comparing all against Scripture
As the world travails in the midst of political, economic and cultural uncertainties, readers will find comfort in the hope that comes from the unchanging truth of God’s Word. This book is a gathering of God’s promises by a man who is still a preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
You will catch glimpses into some of the conversations about eternity that my father has had with people from all walks of life. Whether talking with a world leader, the media or the common man, my father always begins his answers to their questions with “The Bible says…” Now he shares what the Scripture says about eternity from all sixty-six books of the Bible. Each chapter examines the Biblical reality that mankind chooses where to spend life after death.
From the Old Testament writer who wrote, “[God] has also set eternity in their heart” Ecc 3:11, to the New Testament writer who penned these words about Jesus: “Whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” John 3:16, there is hope for everyone who will put their faith and trust in the One who gives us this promise: “Where I Am, there you may be also.”
Where will you be for eternity?
When asked, “Where is Heaven?” my father once wisely replied “Heaven is where Christ is, and I’m going to Him soon.”
This thought prompted the title Where I Am, taken from Jesus’ words of comfort: “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me…I go to prepare a place for you…I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I Am, there you may be also” John 14:1-4.
JOY! Magazine (October 2015)