In his latest book, evangelist Billy Graham declares that non-Christians are doomed to live in a fiery hell, a message his son said he has wanted to share for several years. “There were some family members who thought that he shouldn’t do it because it was a negative subject,” said Franklin Graham in an interview Friday (Oct. 2). “And Daddy said, ‘It is a negative subject. It’ s a real subject. It’s a real place.'” “Where I Am: Heaven, Eternity and Our Life Beyond,”released this week and billed as the “final work” by the 96-year-old, offers a vivid depiction of hell that harkens back to his youthful zeal as an emerging evangelist on the national stage.

“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,” 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.” Scholars who have followed Graham’s ministry say his words are a significant shift from the approach he took after the first decade of his ministry, which gained prominence in a Los Angeles crusade in 1949. CONTINUE