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[Review] Facing Death And The Life After by Billy Graham

Title: Facing Death And The Life After
Author: Billy Graham
Publisher: Word Books in Waco, Tx 1987
Genre: Non-fiction
Theme: Dealing with death and the afterlife.
Format: Hardcover
Age: Adult
Pages: 280
Rating: 5 Stars
Source: Borrowed from library.

In the front cover of the book we are reminded that culture and society places emphasis in trying to prolong a youthful looking body. Billy Graham teaches that this life will end period. No amount of chemicals or money can keep us alive indefinitely. When death comes, and it will, where will our spirit go?

My Thoughts:
I've read remarks (criticism) on Billy Graham's writing style. I've heard opinions that he does not write theology in a deep manner. I feel that his writing style is one of the best features about him: Billy Graham speaks and writes on a level any person can understand.
Unless you are new to my blog you are aware that my precious daddy died on August 18. Because I am a reader I look for books that address whatever I am going through at the time. When I was in the local public library I saw this book and felt it was exactly what I needed to read. Before I give my thoughts on why I love this book, I'll answer a key question you are probably wondering-did this book help me? Yes, very much.
In chapter one a stunning quote sets the tone of the book (but does not end it): Death is the "final certainty" and "the last enemy."  The final act of death is fearful. The fear of how we will die and when we will die, we have no control over and it's frightening. We do have a choice as to how we will live this life on earth. We do have a choice as to where we will spend eternal life.
"Only those who are prepared to die are really prepared to live." Dr. Nelson Bell. 
I can relate to the above quote by Dr. Bell. In 2005 I had breast cancer and had both breasts removed. It was caught early, surgery is all I needed. After having a cancer diagnosis life feels different. The sky seems bluer. Family and friends are dearer. The stars in the black velvet night sky twinkle brighter. Never again will I take life for granted. In a way cancer was a gift, yes you read that right, cancer was a gift.
When I believed by faith in Jesus Christ as God's Son, and believed by faith that He died on the cross for forgiveness of sin and that He arose from the grave, I have eternal life in Jesus Christ. The life I'd lived before has been changed, because of His Spirit who came to live in me at the time of my belief in Jesus Christ. His Spirit works in me changing me from the depths of my inner person and is reflected in my outward person.
I changed in my perception and attitude of the world around me after I'd had cancer; however I was radically transformed and continue to be transformed in my life, both in the inner core of mind, conscious and spirit. This inner transformation is displayed in the outward demonstration of my life.

"For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away." James 4:14b NKJV.
I've thought of this verse often since my dad's death. He was with us in body and spirit. His physical body is now absent, but his spirit lives.

Chapter five was one of my favorites.
"God doesn't comfort us to make us comfortable, but to make us comforters." page 101.
"Sometimes God delivers us from death and sometimes He doesn't. Only God knows the reason." page 109.
I'm reminded of painful events that my parents went through, both of them had been married before and had spouses who died young. My parents shared this painful time from their life with me, in response and without knowing it at the time, they prepared me for when I would experience their deaths.
Sharing what we've gone through comforts others when they are going through a similar situation.

Chapter twelve is entitled "Before I Die."
"In the last days before a Christian goes to be with the Lord, Satan will seek to steal his peace. The weakness caused by disease or pain, the confusion of the mind, may cause even the greatest saints to have moments of doubt." page 257. 
It's very difficult to watch a loved one die. Knowing they are going to die, but not knowing at what moment it will happen there a word that can describe it? My mother died of end-stage Alzheimer's, she lived until her brain "forgot" how to swallow. Her body was shutting down. This process began on February 12, she died March 2. This was a long 3 weeks. Mother's last two years had been spent sleeping, except when she was forcibly wakened in order to be fed. While mother lay unconscious in the fetal position in her bed dieing, we watched. It is a very hard thing to go through, to watch a loved one die. Everyday daddy and I would go to the nursing home and sit beside mother. We would watch for signs that the ending was near. I was reminded that none of us have a choice as to how or when we will die, but we do have a choice as to where we will spend eternity. Later dad and I both discussed our thoughts and feelings about this period, he and I had been thinking the same thing.
It is easy for our mind to focus on the horrors of death, because that is what we perceive as the final act. It is not.
After reading Facing Death And The Life After I was reminded of the most important truth of this book. We believe by faith in Jesus Christ and His redeeming work on the cross. We should also have faith in Jesus Christ in our manner of physical death and in the afterlife of heaven.
I've noticed that when I think about my dad's last week, when he was in the hospital and his final day when he died, I am sad. When I think about where he is, in heaven with Jesus Christ, I have joy.

Link @ Amazon, available used, bargain book:

Link @ Barnes and Nobles for the Nook eBook:


Joyful Reader said…
I have this one on my shelf and it has sat there for a couple years now. I think I better get to it sooner than later. I LOVE Billy Grahams writings. I don't feel he tries to talk (or write) over my head to make himself look very theological. I have read 2 other books, The Coming Storm (i think that is correc) and Nearing Home. Both great books! Thank you for sharing so intimate a story!
Annette said…
JoyfulReader you are faithful to read my blog and comment-I appreciate you so much.
Thank you!