Beloved evangelist Billy Graham turns 97 next month and is prepared for death and entry into heaven — but not until he celebrates his 100th birthday, his son Franklin Graham tells Newsmax TV.
"People have asked him, where is heaven? And my father very wisely has answered, heaven is where Jesus is and I will be with him soon," Graham said in an interview aired Monday on "The Steve Malzberg Show."
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"And that day is coming … he knows that his day is soon, but at the same time, he's confident in what he believes and what he knows and he believes the Bible to be the word of God."
"And he believes it from cover to cover and he believes that Jesus Christ is the way, that he's the truth, and that he's the life and there's no other way to God except through Jesus Christ and him alone."
The elder Graham is the author of a new book, "Where I Am: Heaven, Eternity, and Our Life Beyond,"
published by Thomas Nelson, in which he describes how in the midst of political, economic and cultural uncertainty, people we can find comfort in the unchanging truth of God's word.
Franklin Graham, who is president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, said his father never expected to live as long as he has.
"At his 90th birthday, there was a large crowd of people. We were in West Virginia … and he told all of his family that he was going to live to be 95, and so he invited everybody at this 90th birthday to come back for his 95th," Franklin recalled.
"Well, as he got close to his 95th he moved the goal post a little bit. He said he's now going to live to be 100. So he's 97 and he's just finished this book."
"He started it before his 95th birthday and he got a lot of it written, he got all the chapters and the whole outline done and began to work on it. And then he had some bad health and put the book aside and we thought that he would never finish it, and he did."
Is Billy Graham finished writing? Probably, his son says. But then again.
"It's his last book. I don't think – I mean, who knows, he could. You never know," Franklin said.
He said of his dad's new tome:
"My father was concerned that Hollywood and books of the culture today had painted a different picture of heaven and hell."
"And my father wanted the reader to understand what the Bible has to say about heaven and about hell and about eternity and the choices that we make."
"The Bible says all of us are sinners, all of us are separated from God by sin, but yet that God so loved us that he gave us his own and begotten son that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish but shall have everlasting life."
Over his lifetime, Billy Graham has preached to hundreds of millions of people around the world through rallies, television and radio broadcasts and books. He was also spiritual adviser to Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon.
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