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Billy Graham to Release New Feature Titled 'Heaven' on 96th Birthday

( [email protected] ) Jul 09, 2014 10:51 AM EDT
As part of the Billy Graham ministry "My Hope," a new evangelistic video program titled "Heaven" is set for release this November around the country. The feature will be released to churches, enabling Christians to share the Gospel message with friends, family, colleagues, and neighbors.
Graham is a world-renowned Christian teacher, speaker and author. (AP)

A video message honoring world-renowned evangelist Billy Graham on his 96th birthday is set for release later this year.

The message, titled "Heaven," will be provided to churches as part of a ministry headed by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association's My Hope 2014 with Billy Graham campaign.

"Following a simple biblical model, My Hope with Billy Graham combines the impact of video programs with the power of personal relationships. Christians across America can open their homes to share the Gospel message with friends, family, colleagues, and neighbors using one of several evangelistic programs featuring life-changing testimonies & powerful messages from Billy Graham," reads the organization's website.

According to a recent Barna Group study, 73 percent of "born-again" Christians believe they have a personal responsibility to share their faith, only half (52 percent) have actually done so in the past year. Among "evangelicals" - the group which overwhelmingly believes they have a responsibility to share their faith - less than one-third (31 percent) have in the past 12 months.

"My Hope," which is a free of charge program, wants to change these statistics in a powerful way by partnering with local churches to present the Gospel to local communities.

"Evangelism is clearly the hardest activity of the Church, but it's also the one most closely tied to the health of the local church," said Steve Rhoads, vice president for My Hope. "We want to come alongside pastors and help them as they motivate their congregations to reach out in love. The local church holds a unique position of influence in our communities."

The film, which the producers say is "the easiest way to share your Jesus," will be shown around the country upon this release this November, and churches are encouraged to pray and reach out to neighbors and others in the community to attend the event.

According to the organization's website, over 110,000 people made commitments to Jesus Christ through My Hope with Billy Graham in 2013 alone. The organization has also been implemented into 59 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Americas, and the Middle East. More than 305,000 churches and 4 million homes have participated and more than 10 million salvation and rededication decisions for Jesus Christ have been recorded, according to BGEA.

"No matter how an individual or church uses these My Hope resources, it begins with prayer," added Rhoads, who oversees the efforts for My Hope 2014 and My Hope UK with Billy Graham, a similar evangelistic effort taking place in the United Kingdom this year. "It starts as individuals begin to pray specifically for people they know who need the hope found in a relationship with Jesus Christ."

To donate to MyHope or to preorder a DVD of "Heaven," visit the Billy Graham Ministry website.