It's easy to give good news. And it's hard to give bad news. But here, in his final book at 97, beloved evangelist Billy Graham wanted to tell the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, in “Where I Am: Heaven, Eternity and Our Life Beyond."
Originally, he wanted to focus the whole book on Hell, but after talking with family members, he decided to include the whole scope of eternity. When first told that Hell was such a negative topic, Graham replied, "It is a negative subject. It’s a real subject. It’s a real place," reports the Sharon Herald.
Another reason for his burning passion? He felt that the truth about Hell was not being portrayed in the media.
“One of his concerns was that hell and heaven were being distorted by Hollywood,” said his son, Franklin Graham. “And you have these films that have come out and books and so forth about heaven or hell. And my father wanted people to know what the Bible has to say about them.”
So what does the Bible have to say about them? “As a Christian and a preacher of the Gospel, I am always grieved to have to interrupt a marvelous picture, such as eternal life in Heaven, to talk about another eternal place that Jesus calls Hell,” Billy Graham writes. “It has no similarities to what is typically called home, nor is Hell a resting place, a holding place, or a graveyard. Hell is a burning inferno.”
And to those who would say the Bible is using figurative language to talk about Hell, Graham writes: “I can say with certainty that if there is no literal fire in Hell, then God is using symbolic language to indicate something far worse. Just as there are no words to adequately describe the grand beauty of Heaven, we cannot begin to imagine just how horrible the place called Hell is.”
Billy Graham wholeheartedly believes--and seeks to communicate in his book--that each of us choose where we go when we die. “We need to say either yes or no. But some of us say maybe. Some of us try to straddle the fence and live in both worlds, but Jesus will not compromise with us. The Gospel plan is all set. We must accept His Son if we are to enter into His eternal kingdom. If your answer is not yes, then the choice is made.”
He urges people searching for answers, “You may wonder what Hell is really like. Don’t look to comedians for answers. The Bible tells you the truth. Hell is a place of sorrow and unrest, a place of wailing and a furnace of fire; a place of torment, a place of outer darkness, a place where people scream for mercy; a place of everlasting punishment.”
What do you think about Graham's strong teaching on Hell in his last book? Do you think it is important for people to hear this message? What are your thoughts on Hell? Please share your thoughts in the Comments! We love to hear from you!