Finishing Strong 2 by Olatuja Oloyede

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Graham, Templeton, and Clifford.
In the Christian life, it's not how you start that
matters. It's how you finish. There are a lot of
guys who have started in the Christian life, but
God is looking for some finishers.
You've heard of Billy Graham. But what about
Chuck Templeton or Bron Clifford? Have you ever
heard of them?
Billy Graham wasn't the only young preacher
packing auditoriums in 1945. Chuck Templeton
and Bron Clifford were accomplishing the same
thing. All three young men were in their
midtwenties. One seminary president, after
hearing Chuck Templeton preach one evening to
an audience of thousands, called him "the most
gifted and talented young man in America today
for preaching."
Templeton and Graham were friends. Both
ministered for Youth for Christ. Both were
extraordinary preachers. Yet in those early years,
"most observers would probably have put their
money on Tempteton." As a matter of fact, in
1946, the National Association of Evangelicals
published an article on men who were "best used
of God" in that organization's five-year
existence. The article highlighted the ministry of
Chuck Templeton. Billy Graham was never
mentioned. Templeton, many felt, would be the
next Babe Ruth of evangelism.
Bron Clifford was another gifted, twenty-five-yea
r-old fireball. In 1945, many believe Clifford the
most gifted and powerful preacher the church
had seen in centuries. In that same year, Clifford
preached to an auditorium of thousands in
Miami, Florida. People lined up ten and twelve
deep outside the auditorium trying to get in...
At the age of twenty-five young Clifford touched
more lives, influenced more leaders, and set
more attendance records than other clergyman
his age in American history. National leaders
vied for his attention. He was tall, handsome,
intelligent, and eloquent. Hollywood invited him
to audition for the part of Marcellus in "The
Robe." It seemed as if he had everything.
Just five years later, Templeton left the ministry
to pursue a career as a radio and television
commentator and newspaper columnist.
Templeton had decided he was no longer a
believer in Christ in the orthodox sense of the
term. By 1950, this future Babe Ruth wasn't even
in the game and no longer believe in the validity
of the claims of Jesus Christ.
What about Clifford? By 1954, Clifford had lost
his family, his ministry, his health, and then. . .
His life. Alcohol and financial irresponsibility had
done him in. He wound up leaving his wife and
their two Down's syndrome children. At just
thirty-five years of age, this once great preacher
died from cirrhosis of the lives in a run-down
motel on the edge of Amerillo. He died as John
Haggai put it, "unwept, unhonored, and unsung."
In 1945, three young men with extraordinary gifts
were preaching the gospel to multiplied
thousands across this nation. WITHIN TEN
===>coined from STEVE FARRAR'S BOOK
Let he that thinks he stand take heed, lest he

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