Eternal life isn’t cheap. It requires a costly sacrifice, Billy Graham explains in this 1978 sermon from Toronto, Ontario. Watch more #MondayNightClassics every Monday at 8 p.m. Eastern.

From our archives,

The Billy Graham Classics.

Now the nineth chapter of

Hebrews, the nineth chapter,
the twenty-second verse.

These words–

“And almost all things are
by the law purged with blood,

“and without the shedding of
blood there is no forgiveness.”

No remission.

And everywhere we turn,
we meet blood.

Whether it’s
a highway accident,

or whether it’s
the various wars

that are being fought
in the world today,

blood is being shed.

Wherever we look,
blood is being shed.

And there is so much to say
about blood in the Bible.

Crime is
the shedding of blood.

The Red Cross
stands for blood.

A few years ago, one of
the most popular novels was

“In Cold Blood.”

And Judaism and Christianity
have both been called

a bloody religion,

or a slaughterhouse religion.

And it’s true that the Bible
speaks often about blood.

And I want to answer in
just a few moments tonight

what the blood means and
how you cannot get to heaven,

and you cannot have
your sins forgiven,

unless the blood was shed
for you on the Cross.

In Leviticus 17:11,
the Bible says,

“For the life of the flesh
is in the blood.

“And I’ve given it to you
upon the alter

“to make an atonement
for your souls.

“For it is the blood that maketh
the atonement of the soul.”

That word atonement is used
80 times in the Old Testament.

It’s used 101 times
in the New Testament.

The word atonement,

bringing God
and man together.

Making an atonement.

Taking man’s place in
death and suffering and hell

upon that cross.

Now in the average person
you have five quarts of blood.

It circulates every 23 seconds,
so that every cell in the body

is constantly supplied and
cleansed at the same time.

The blood carries
the garbage off,

and it carries
the oxygen in.

And it’s the most mysterious
substance probably of the body.

It composes
the real life of the body.

And the Bible teaches that
all of us,

whatever the color of
your skin,

your background,

we’re all related by blood
to Adam.

We’re made of
the same blood.

We don’t know
what color skin Adam had.

We’re not told whether
it’s black or white

or yellow or brown,

but we know that
the blood is the same.

We know that Jesus was
not a white man.

Nor was he
a black man.

He came from
that part of the world

that touches Africa,
Asia, and Europe.

He probably had a brown skin as
the people of that day did have.

But the Apostle Paul said,
in Acts 17,

“He hath made of one blood
all the nations of men

“that dwell on
the face of the earth.”

We’re made of
one blood.

We’re all related to
each other.

And we all have
our common origin

in Adam and Eve.

Now it’s Adam’s blood which
courses in every man’s veins,

whether he be
black or white,

Jew or Gentile,
pagan or cultured,

whoever you are,
Adam’s blood is in your veins.

And this blood of Adam
carries in it a disease.

A fatal disease.

The sentence of death.

The moment you’re born,
you’re sentenced to die,

because in the bloodstream
is death.

A fatal disease that
the Bible has labeled sin.

In Romans 5,
the Apostle Paul says,

“Wherefore, as by one man
sin entered into the world,

“and death by sin,

“and so death passed on all men,
for all have sinned.”

And he said,
“In the day–

God had said
to Adam and Eve,

“In the day that
thou eatest thereof,

“thou shalt surely die.“

You cannot eat of
this particular tree.

If you eat of it,
you’ll die.

God was testing man,

because God had given man
a gift.

The gift of choice,
the freedom of choice.

Man could serve God and love God
and build a world with God,

or he could rebel
against God

and try to build his world
without God.

But God said
if you choose that way

you will suffer
and you will die.

You will die physically,
you will die spiritually,

you will die eternally.

And man was tempted.

He yielded to
the temptation.

He sinned,
and by that one man’s sin,

Your father and my father, Adam,
death passed by sin to all men.

And tonight, you and I,
whoever we are,

are under
the sentence of death.

Man suffers from
blood poisoning.

but so powerful was
the poison of sin

that thousands of years later

all of us who are related to
Adam by human birth,

still succumb to
the poison of sin

which is transmitted to us
through the blood.

The penalty is death.

And every person
in this audience

a hundred years from
now will be dead.

Fifty years from now
most of us will be dead.

Ten years from now

a great portion of
this great audience

of 30,000 people
will be dead.

Now, where does
the blood come in?

God said,

“Without the shedding of blood,
there’s no forgiveness.”

There has to be
an atonement.

There has to be
a substitute for you,

who will take the judgment
that you deserve,

the death that
you deserve.

And that substitute became
the Son of the living God,

Jesus Christ.

Even in the very beginning,
God was teaching man that

he could only come to Him
by the way of blood.

Adam and Eve had sinned.

They were naked.

God slew some animals,
the blood was shed,

and they were clothed
with those skins,

so that they would not see
their nakedness.

The first murder was committed
by Cane, their son,

who slew Able.


Because he became jealous
of Able.

They had both brought sacrifices
to God,

but Kane had disobeyed God.

He did not come
by the way of blood.

He tried to offer
some vegetables to God.

and God had
apparently taught him that

the only way
is by blood,

but Cane said, “No, I don’t want
any of that kind of religion.”

God refused his sacrifice.

He accepted Able’s sacrifice,
which was blood sacrifice.

And Cane became jealous,
and he slew his brother,

and that was the first murder.

And the first murder
was committed in

the name of religion,

and all through history men have
fought in the name of religion.

That’s another subject entirely.

But Noah–

And Noah built an altar
unto the Lord,

and took of every clean beast
and every clean foul,

and offered burnt offerings
on the altar.

Blood was shed
in Noah’s day.


God said, “Abraham, I want you
to go and take your son. Isaac.

“I want to you to offer
your son, Isaac,

“as a sacrifice.”

Abraham did not doubt God.

He didn’t argue with God.

He obeyed God implicitly.

And he took his son
on a three-day journey

to Mount Moriah, where
Jerusalem is located today.

And there, he laid his son
on the altar, took his knife,

and was ready to plunge it
into his son’s heart,

when God reached out and
grabbed his wrist and said,

“No, Abraham.

“There’s a ram caught in a
thicket over there in his horns.

“Get him,
he’s the sacrifice.

“I now see that
you trust Me and believe in Me.”

I want to ask you something.

Do you believe in Christ?

Do you believe in God that much
that you’d do what Abraham did?

No wonder he was called
a man of faith.

No wonder he’s called
the father of nations.

He believed God saw implicitly
that he was willing to offer

the only son,
or he had had Ishmael,

but the son of the bloodline
on the altar,

because God had told him
to do it.

And then remember that night
in Egypt?

All the plagues had come,
and God had said,

“And the blood shall be to you
for a token

“upon the houses
where you are,

“and when I see the blood,
I will pass over you.”

In other words,
go out and get a lamb.

I’m going to destroy
the firstborn

of every family
in Egypt.

I want you to get a lamb,
slay it, take the blood,

put it up on the doorpost,

And when I see
the blood tonight,

when I pass
through Egypt,

killing the firstborn
of every house in Egypt,

there’s a judgment
upon Egypt

because of their refusal to
let the people of Israel go,

I will pass over.

It’ll be a sign.

And when the death angel
came across Egypt that night,

and there was groaning and
moaning and wailing in Egypt.

because the firstborn of
every family died, unless,

unless the blood was there.

He didn’t say, “When I see
your good resolutions,

“when I see
all your religious credentials.”

He said, “When I see the blood,
I will pass over.”

I want to ask you,
“Have you been to the cross

“to have your sins washed away
in the blood of the Lamb?”

You say, “Billy, I don’t like
that kind of preaching”

“That’s not modern preaching.”

I know,
but the Bible is full of it.

And without the shedding
of blood on that cross,

there’s no forgiveness of sin.

You can’t be forgiven without
the shedding of that blood.

Let’s come to
the New Testament.

The cross is
the symbol of Christianity,

whether it’s Catholic,
Protestant, Orthodox,

whatever it is.

On every church,
you’ll see a cross.

The communion,
what is it?

We take communion
every Sunday in some churches.

What is it?

The heart of the worship is
the communion table.

And it speaks about the blood
that was shed on the cross.

Whether you’re a Catholic or
Anglican or whatever you are.

When you take that cup
to your lips,

it’s symbolic of the blood
that was shed for your sins.

John, the Baptist, looked at
the Lord Jesus Christ,

and he cried out,
“Behold, the Lamb of God

“that taketh away
the sin of the world.”

Why did he use
the word lamb?

Jesus was coming as
the sacrificial lamb.

The Lamb of God that God Himself
was going to offer.

for the whole human race.

And because that Lamb
shed His blood on the cross,

you can have eternal life,
you can have forgiveness of sin,

you can know
you are going to heaven,

and you can become a new person
tonight in Jesus Christ.

I see Jesus weeping
over Jerusalem.

I see Him perspiring
in the garden.

I see Him shedding His blood
on the cross.

Fourteen times,
Jesus predicted his own death.

He said He’d come to give
His life as a ransom for many.

Remember the interview with
Nicodemus where he said,

“You must be born again.”

He also said,

“As Moses lifted up the serpent
in the wilderness,

“even so must the Son of man
be lifted up.”

The death of Christ is mentioned
255 times in the New Testament.

It is the very heart of
the gospel.

One half of all
the Gospel of John,

one fourth of
the other gospels,

given over to
the time around–

The events surrounding
the death of Jesus Christ.

The death of Christ and
the resurrection of Christ

is the most important
single historical event

in the history of the world.

Nothing else compares to it.

If the blood of Christ doesn’t
forgive our sins and cleanse us,

and isn’t an atonement
for our sins,

and if He didn’t
rise from the dead,

we’re of all men
most miserable,

and there is no hope upon
the horizon of this world.

There’s no hope for you, and
there’s no hope for the world.

We are heading toward
an Armageddon

that’ll destroy the human race
and wipe it all out.

But Christ did die,
He did rise from the dead,

He is coming again.

There is hope.

And I find that young people
are reaching out

for something to believe in,

something to give themselves to,

a cause to believe in,
a flag to follow,

a song to sing,
something to change them,

something to believe in.

Give yourself to Jesus Christ

who was willing
to go to the cross for you,

and who is going to
rise from the dead,

and who’s coming back someday
to be the world ruler.

Peter said that
the blood redeems.

“For as much as
you know that

“you’re not redeemed
with corruptible things,

“such as silver and gold,

“from your vein conversations

“received by tradition
from your fathers,

“but with
the precious blood of Christ,

“as of a lamb without blemish.”

That’s how you redeemed.

Not with silver and gold.

You can bring
all the silver and gold

you can get
your hands on

and bring it
to the church.

That won’t save
your soul.

You can do good works
all the rest of your life,

but that won’t save
your soul,

because you are saved
not by your works,

not by your goodness.

You are saved by grace
through faith

and that not of yourselves,

not of works
lest any man should boast.

When I get to the entrance to
the kingdom of heaven,

and if they should ask me
what right I have to be there.

I’m not going to say,

“Well, Lord, I’ve read the Bible
through a number of times,

“and Lord I’ve preached a lot of
people while I was down there.”

“I’m going to say,
‘Simply to that cross I cling.’”

I come by the mercy
and the grace of God

that was in Christ
on that cross.

I come because of
the shed blood upon the cross.

You see the blood carries with
it the idea of life,

and Jesus gave his life for us
on the cross.

Salvation is free to you and me,
but it cost God His Son.

He had to redeem us

because, you see,
God is a just God

and God could not just
come along and say,

“Jim and Bill and Susie,
Mary, Charlie, I forgive you.”

He would no longer be God.

He couldn’t be just,
He couldn’t be righteous.

He would’ve been
a liar.

Someone had to pay
the price for your sins.

Christ paid
the price for you.

He took the judgment
and the hell

that you and I deserved
on that cross.

The Bible says
that without Christ,

we are slaves of sin.

Whosoever committeth sin
is the slave of sin.

And many of you tonight
are slaves of sin.

Somerset Maugham, in his book
“Of Human Bondage,”

rejected God and became
a slave to sin.

The other night we saw on
television in the United States,

the story of slavery,

the terrible and horrible
story of slavery,

but it featured
John Newton.

John Newton was a slave trader
on the west coast of Africa.

And John Newton became
a slave of a slave.

But one day in a thunderstorm,
he was converted to Christ

and he went back to England, and
became an Anglican clergyman,

and he influenced Wilberforce

and he helped stamp out
slavery in Britain,

the first country in the world
to stamp it out

and led the way to
the freeing of slaves

all over the world.

And he wrote that song.

“Amazing grace,

“how sweet the sound,

“that could save
a wretch like me.”

And he was a wretch.

“If the Son therefore
shall make you free,

you shall be free indeed.”

There was a girl came up here
last night and she yelled out,

“I want my freedom.”

I wanted to shout back at her,

“You can be free in Christ.”

“Ye shall know the truth and
the truth shall make you free.”

She might have been
talking about

she wanted freedom
from her husband.

I don’t know,

but Christ can free you
and give you a free spirit

and give you a joy and a peace
that you’ve never known.

The Bible says we are justified
by the blood.

We’re not only redeemed,
we’re justified.

much more than being now
justified by his blood,

we shall be saved

Just as if
I’d never sinned.

Justification is
more than forgiveness.

You and I say,
“Well, I forgive you.”

God says,
“I justify you.”

I place you in my sight
as though

you’ve never committed
a single sin,

totally innocent
because of the blood.

When He looks at you,

He looks through the blood
and he can’t see your sins.

That’s the thrilling and
marvelous thing.

And one other thing,

he can’t even remember
your sins.

You can remember
your sins.

The devil sees to that
and he worries you with it,

but God can’t remember them.

He can erase the tape
of the sins in your life.

And then the Bible says that
the blood of Christ brings peace

and having made peace through
the blood of the cross,

peace between you and God.

I wrote a book once called
“Peace with God.”

And when you have peace
with God,

you have the possibility of
having peace in your family.

You have the possibility of
having peace in your heart.

You have the possibility of
easing those tensions

and those problems
in your community

because you have peace
with God,

but it was brought by
the blood of Jesus Christ.

Man craves peace
all over the world.

The blood brings peace.

And then next, the Bible says
the blood cleanses.

“Unto HIm that loved us and
washed us from our sins

“in His own blood,”

in Revelation,
the first chapter.

Have your sins been cleansed?

“This is my blood of
the New Testament,

“which is shed for many,
for the forgiveness of sins.”

Are you sure that
you’ve been to the cross

and had your sins cleansed?

The Bible says
the blood reconciles.

Your iniquities have separated
between you and your God,

and your sins have hid
His face from you.

But now the scripture says

“They’ve overcome by
the blood of the Lamb.

I read about a man that was
trying to climb to heaven

by a ladder that
he had built.

And he thought
the way you did it was

to put
your good works here.

And then your good works
in the next rung

and your good works and
you climbed up, up, up,

and you’d finally get to heaven.

But he heard a voice that says,

“He that climbeth up
any other way,

the same is a thief
and a robber,

and the ladder fell.

And he woke up out of his dream
in his sleep.

And he said,
“If I go to heaven,

I’m going to have to go
a different way.”

Yes, you’ll have to go
by the way of the cross.

And Jesus said,

“If you’re not willing
to deny self

“and take up the cross
and follow me,

“you cannot be my disciple.”

You know,
we have blood banks

and I’ve had blood transfusions

And there’s a blood bank
that we can apply to by faith

that will take our guilt
and our sin away.

We’ve read a lot about
heart transplants,

especially in South Africa
a few years ago.

And there were two factors

that were needed
for heart transplants.

there had to be a donor.

Jesus Christ is the donor
tonight to you.

Secondly, the patient had to
accept or reject

the heart that he received.

Tonight, you have to
accept or reject.

Which will it be?

There’s no neutral ground.

The gospel offers
no neutrality.

You take your stand
with Christ at the cross

and trust totally and completely
in Him

or you trust in your own
goodness or something else,

which is a false way
and a false road.

I’m asking you tonight to
surrender your life to Christ,

To come to
the blood that cleanses

and let him wash
all that past away

and give you peace and
justification and eternal life.

What do you have to do?

First, you must repent of
your sins.

You cannot repent
except with the help of God.

Salvation is of the Lord.

The Holy Spirit has to help you
do the repenting.

He’ll do it.

All you have to do
is be willing.

And that repenting
means that you say,

“Lord, I’m sorry,
I’ve sinned.

“And I’m willing to change
my way of living.

“I’m willing to change
my lifestyle.”

Are you willing to do that?

Think about it.

Jesus said,
“Count the cost.”

Are you willing that every part
of your life come under

the Lordship of Christ,

and all your priorities
be centered in Him?

And then the second thing
by faith,

by simple faith like a child,

you receive him as
your Lord and Savior

and your only
Lord and Savior,

trusting only in Him,
in what He did for you.

And then thirdly,

you are willing to follow
and serve Him as a disciple,

going out to do good works
in His name

because of what he’s done
for you.

If you are willing to say that

I want you to get up
out of your seat right now,

hundreds of you
from all over this great stadium

and stand in front of
the platform and say, by coming,

“I want to join those 6,000 that
have already come this week.

“And I want to find Christ
as my Lord and Savior.

“I want my sins forgiven.

“I want to know
I’m going to heaven.”

And after you’ve all come,

I’m going to say a word to you,

have a prayer with you.

You may be
a member of the church.

You may be
an officer of the church,

or you may not be a member of
any church.

You may be Catholic or
Protestant or Jewish,

whatever you are,

or you may not have
any religion,

get up and come and join them
right now as they come quickly.

And everyone else in an attitude
of prayer as the choir sings.

You’re watching
the Billy Graham Classics.

Please call the phone number
on the screen right now

for spiritual help and guidance.

♪ To rid my soul
of one dark blot ♪

As hundreds are responding
to Mr. Graham’s invitation

to make a public commitment
to Jesus Christ,

you can make
that same commitment

right where you are.

Just pick up the phone
and call the number

you see on your screen.

Special friends are waiting to
talk with you and pray with you

about this most important

You that are watching by
television can see that

down the aisles
in this great stadium,

every aisle is filled with
people who are coming,

hundreds of people,

to make their peace with God

and to have forgiveness
of their sins

because of the blood
that was shed on the cross.

That can happen to you
where you are in your home,

in a hotel room, in a bar,
wherever you are,

you can say yes to Jesus Christ.

He’ll come into your heart.

God help you
to make that commitment.

I’m praying that you will
and go to church next Sunday.

If you just prayed that prayer
with my father,

or if you have any questions
about a relationship

with Jesus Christ,

I want you to call the number
that is on the screen

There’ll be someone there to
talk with you, pray with you,

and answer those questions.

And remember,
God loves you!

If you would like
to commit your life
to Jesus Christ,

please call us
right now, toll free,
at 1-877-772-4559.


Or you can
write to us at:

Billy Graham

Billy Graham

Department C

North Carolina

Or you can contact us
on the web, 24/7, at

We’ll get
the same helps
to you

that we give
to everyone
who responds at the invitation.

On behalf of
Franklin Graham

the Billy Graham
Evangelistic Association,

Thank you
for watching,

and thank you
for your prayers.

It’s Anne,
she’s in trouble.

If you don’t take it to the edge
every chance you get,

you’re dead already, baby.

I was in trouble

and I didn’t know what to do.


Where are the Jews?

I knew that I could
take on the world.

It’s like you’re in a dream,
but not really a dream,

this is reality.

I don’t really believe
in all this but

I know something crazy

is happening right now.

Tonight, I’m glad to tell you
as we close

that the Lord Jesus Christ
can be received,

your sins forgiven.

The Billy Graham Library
is a place for all walks of life

to recharge,


renew your faith,

and return again and again!