"Why Christians Should Visit Israel," by Dr. Billy Graham,

An Excerpt from Roy Gustafson's Israel Tour Itinerary, June 18-29, 1987

A Wilcox World Travel and Tours, Asheville, North Carolina, Israel Itinerary brochure was handed to me by my mother just the other day, and I saw the piece written by Billy Graham urging Christians to travel in Israel is all the more timely than it was in 1987, so I am reprinting it here for you and for Israel's benefit though Mr. Gustafson, the tour leader, is no doubt in heaven. Roy Gustafson was an associate-evangelist with Billy Graham for 27 years. As of 1987-88 tour season, he had made 100 trips to the Holy Land. The 1987 tour was 12 days and took in Switzerland. Be sure and check out the various tour companies and ministries that offer tours. There are numerous excellent tours led by Christian pastors and evangelists. Israel remains a land of miracles, and you will no doubt experience this yourself if you take the opportunity while you still can travel. I can testify myself that I met with many miracles there on two tours--which are unforgettable (and one even saved my life!), and which bless me to this very day. My mother and sister also got to go to Israel, and they were richly blessed too.

Go to Israel and, as Billy Graham says in mentioning the Emmaus Road among other sights, and Jesus will walk beside you, as it is His land in a special way beyond all other acreage on this planet. Jerusalem will be his future capital, the scriptures say. You can go and be transformed. What would that be worth to you?--Ronald Ginther, Editor

One of the most exciting developments of this century is the rebirth of the nation of Israel. The Bible speaks of a nation that will be "born in a day," and just think, it was born in our time.

This little land, though scarcely more than 150 miles in length, and 90 miles in breadth, is big in history and tradition.

Civilization was cradled here. The Ten Commandments were given just to the south at Sinai. Ancient drama was written and played on its plains and valleys.

But, to Christians it is the land where the Master was born, was reared, where He wrought His miracles, where He was crucified, buried, and rose again. It is where His feet last touched before He ascended into heaven, and where He promised to return as Prince of Peace and Lord of Lords.

To visit this land is like a pilgrimage into the past, and walking in the shadow of greatness. But, it is more. Here today one rubs elbows with the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. With Bible in hand one can see the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy, and can sense God's promise for the future--the shafts of hope which portend a brighter tomorrow for the world.

No one can visit Israel without a deeper appreciation and a stronger faith in the Bible. This is where "holy men of old spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost" (II Peter 1:21). Both the Bible and the Land have been preserved as physical evidences that "He endureth forever." The "places" validate the person of the Scriptures, and when we walk where Jesus walked, somehow He seems to walk beside us, as He walked with the disciples on the Emmaus Road.

Israel is more than sightseeing, however. It is an experience. On a starry night in Bethlehem one can almost fancy the clear voices of angels saying: "Unto you is born this day in the City of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord." When one walks the shore of Galilee, it is easy to interpret the gently breaking waves whispering the words of the Saviour, "Peace be still."

As one stands on the Mount of olives, it is the perfect setting for the Galilean, who said, as he looked longingly across the Valley of Kidron, "O Jerusalem, often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!" (Matthew 93:37)

And as one stands on that low hill outside the city walls called Calvary, the words, "Forgive them; for they know not what they do," come to mind.

Then as one goes to the tomb, the words, "He is not here; He is risen," spell the glorious climax to the New Testament drama.

It is all there. And more! In fact, around every corner in Israel are surprises--history and prophecy leaping out!

--Dr. Billy Graham

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