Jesus Christ the Lord proclaimed! In the spirit of an apostolic sweep through Asia Minor, through one Billy Graham, Northern California had in two months perhaps its greatest collective chance to meet God.
“You could be a dictator,” Vice President Nixon has reportedly remarked to Graham. No doubt many of Nixon’s fellow Californians would say the same of the evangelist, now that they have seen him draw thousands nightly to the Cow Palace, a gigantic cattle exhibition hall often shunned by entertainers because of its remote location. Yet is it not to Graham’s credit that he has been endowed with magnetic personality and authoritative delivery to an extent that more than 600 at San Quentin took up his challenge to confess Christ even though it inevitably meant incurring the ridicule of fellow convicts? If there can be faith to move mountains, can there not also be faith to move men?
The human conclusion might be that the San Francisco Bay Cities Crusade was characterized by a militant came-saw-conquered attitude. But as God would have it, the mood was rather like the loving planted-watered-increase sequence of 1 Corinthians 3:6.
Man’S Part And God’S
This planted-watered-increase pattern, which exhibits simultaneously power and charity—a tribute to the wisdom and love of God—provides the framework for evaluating the impact of an evangelistic effort. Someone plants the seed of the Word of God as containing the message of the only means to human salvation. Another lends impetus to the prospect of growth by watering the seed. And God gives the increase.
How does this pattern apply to the San Francisco Bay area? What stage of the sequence does the recently-ended Graham crusade represent? Is Northern California about to enter a new spiritual ...1
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