Storm Warning – Review

Billy Graham. Storm Warning. Rev. ed. Nashville TN: Nelson, 2010. Print.

Storm Warning is a revision of a revision. Evangelist Billy Graham came out with a book called Approaching Hoofbeats in 1983. He revised it in 1992 and named it Storm Warning. In 2010 he came out with a revised edition of Storm Warning. The revisions reflect updates on statistics and things that have happened in the world since the last edition. For example, the latest edition refers to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States. Graham’s overall message, though, is the same.

Storm Warning is Graham’s overview of the Bible’s Book of Revelation. He does an admirable job with it. He does not present a specific theological position that excludes others. As an evangelist, he always tried to bring churches of all types together. Here he does not take a position on such end-times theories as dispensationalism, amillennialism, postmillennialism, etc. In that sense, this book was quite refreshing.

While Graham does touch on most of Revelation, he especially focuses on chapter 6 which tells of the four horsemen. One of his main points is that the things that the four horses and their riders represent have always been with us, and they usually come in the order given in Revelation. Much of the updating of the book comes from news stories and statistics which show us that the things the horsemen represent have the potential for being far worse and more widespread than before.

Graham interprets the first horse as representing deception. Deception leads to the second horse, sin and war. War leads to the third horse, famine. And sin, war, and famine bring forth death, which is horse number four.

Graham notes that Jesus discourse on the last days follows the same order in Matthew 24:4-13. First comes deception (especially deceptive religious and political leaders), then “wars and rumors of wars,” then “famines and pestilences and earthquakes,” and finally “they shall deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you.” Graham does a respectable job harmonizing the Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24 and 25) with Revelation.

There is a tendency for a lot of writings by Christians who take the Bible seriously to speculate a lot on the future. Often they get very specific about what they expect to happen and even when they think certain things will take place. Graham avoids that. If he mentions the Middle East at all, it is only in the general context of world events. He does not speculate. He believes it will be clear to students of the Bible when it happens.

Graham, after all, is an evangelist. That is his real message. There is someone who can help you through the difficulties in this world, he says. There is someone who can save you from the very real consequences of your sin. It is not a church. It is a relationship with Jesus.

Like some of his sermons, this book is quite quotable. Some readers might feel it gets bogged down occasionally in describing the problems in the world today. But these problems are real. And so is Jesus. Graham and Revelation 19 remind us that there will be fifth horseman—Jesus. He will come as the true Prince of Peace claiming an inheritance He bought with His blood. Graham’s ultimate purpose is to do his part to insure that the reader truly does belong to Christ.

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