One of the greatest needs in our world today is hope. In this 1988 Billy Graham sermon preached in Rochester, New York, hear how you can find it. Watch more #MondayNightClassics every Monday at 8 p.m. ET. CONNECT with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association: on Facebook:   / billygrahamevangelisticassociation  

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From our archives…

The Billy Graham Classics.


Is it possible that man,
with his fallen human nature,

can bring about
peace in our world?

Winston Churchill said,

Winston Churchill said

that our morals are
lagging far behind

our technological advance.

Just think what’s happened
in a hundred years.

A hundred years ago
we didn’t even have radio,

and certainly,
no television,

and we barely had
a few automobiles,

and no one had seen any,

at least in the part of
the world I lived in.

We didn’t have airplanes.

The first airplane flew
in this century, 1903,

at Kitty Hawk,
North Carolina,

and it just flew
a few yards.

And all of this has happened
so quickly.

And our human nature
has not changed.

We’re still human beings
capable of any kind of crime.

And we’re capable of war.

And so, the time has come

for us to look up some of
those passages in the Bible

that have to do with
the future of our world.

And we ask ourselves,
“Is there any hope?”

A person can live
a lifetime without sex.

A person can possibly live
75 days without food.

I read about a man
on a hunger strike in Britain

that lived 70 days
without food.

And it’s possible to live about
10 days without water.

It’s possible to live maybe 6
minutes without air or oxygen.

But it is almost impossible,
we’re told

by sociologists
and psychologists

and psychiatrists and clergy,
to live without hope.

And one of the great needs
in our world today is hope.

And many young people
have lost hope

and that’s why many of them
are rebelling

and turning to drugs and
turning to other things.

They see no hope
as they look into the future.

We read about
the green house ecology,

and they talk about Armageddon,
they talk about global genocide,

they talk about
the end of the world.

And we see, almost daily
in the press

and on radio or television,
some reference to it.

A New York philosopher says,
“As never before,

“America needs a philosophy of
hope and confidence.”

The former Prime Minister
of Canada,

making a speech
recently said,

“Billions of people today
are living without hope.”

And he said,

“Hope is the greatest need
of our generation.”

They’re tempted
to give up.

They opt out.

And so, we tend to hide from
reality and responsibility.

As many people today
are searching for hope,

so the zodiac signs are being
studied as never before.

Spiritual mediums
are prospering.

Computers are being used
on a massive scale

to predict the future.

We hear a lot
about astrology

and the best-selling author,
Herb Cohen says,

“The most wide-spread feeling
of these days

“is one of hopelessness
and helplessness.”

And what oxygen is
to the lungs,

such is hope
to the meaning of life.

In our passage,
that I want to read now,

there are four things that
I want you to see.

They all begin with a “V”.

Luke, the 21st chapter
beginning at verse 25.

“And there shall be
signs in the sun,

“and in the moon,
and in the stars;

“and upon the earth
distress of nations,

“with perplexity; the sea
and the waves roaring;

“Men’s hearts failing them
for fear,

“and for looking after
those things

“which are coming
on the earth;

“for the powers of heaven
shall be shaken.

“And then shall they see

“the Son of man coming
in a cloud

“with power and great glory.

“And when these things
begin to come to pass,

“then look up,”

Look up with hope,

“and life up your heads;

“for your redemption
draws near.“

The four things beginning with
“V” that I want you to see.

First, there’s a view of
the world today.

When these things begin
to come to pass.

What things?

Things that we’ve just been
talking about.

The disciples just asked him
a question.

They said,
in Matthew 24,

“When shall these things be,

“what shall be the sign
of your coming,

“and what will be the sign
of the end of the world?”

Jesus said,
“Don’t speculate.”

He said don’t speculate
about the end.

There is going to be an end to
the world system of evil,

but the kingdom of God is
going to ultimately triumph.

God is not going to retreat.

God is going to control
the whole thing

before it’s over

and the Kingdom of God
will prevail.

Jesus’ answer in Matthew 24
to these questions

took 94 verses.

He gave a whole scenario.

Jesus said one of the factors
would be fear.

Fear of
the impending annihilation.

And that’s what
Greek scholars tell us

“the powers of heaven
shall be shaken” means.

We will be fearing.

There will be wars and
rumors of wars, He said.

And in this century,

which was called
the Christian century,

there’s a magazine
called The Christian Century

that was started in 1900,
because they predicted that

this was going to be
the Christian century.

It looked like the whole world
was becoming good

and filled with love

at the beginning of
this century.

And there was
tremendous optimism

in Europe and America
and all over the world.

And in this century,
what’s happened?

We’ve fought
the bloodiest wars,

and more people have been killed
in wars in this century

than all the other centuries
put together

in the past thousand years.

What happened?

Human nature was not put
into the equation.

God’s answer to the real
deep problems of our lives

was not taken into account.

Wars and rumors of wars.

Then He said there will be
signs in the sky.

Signs seeing the militarization
of outer space

involving American and
the Soviet killer satellites,

equipped with
laser weapons.

Nuclear bombs and
neutron bombs

that can descend
from the skies

in the world.

All of these things
taking place.

Signs in the sky.

We talk about SDI
and other things

has to do with
signs in the sky.

We now are told that
many nations have

or are on the verge of
getting the atomic bomb.

Suppose some little nation
gets its back to the wall

and starts throwing bombs?

And that could start
a chain reaction.

There are so many things
that I’ve heard

at some of these conferences
as scenarios

coming from scientists and
some of our top educators.

Jesus said another sign
would be disease and famine

and hunger and suffering

on a scale unprecedented
in the history of the world.

And more people today are

starving and suffering
from disease

with all of our modern medicine,
with everything we have.

And then he said there would be
immorality on a wide scale.

People would be
swapping wives

“As it was
in the days of Noah,

“so shall it also be
in the days of

“the coming of
the Son of man.”

They ate,
they drank,

they married wives and
they were given in marriage.

And the divorce statistics
all over the world,

including the Soviet Union,
including Great Britain,

where we have our friends
on the platform.

They could tell you
stories of what’s happening

all over the world.

And in II Timothy 3:1 and 5.

I was sitting on a plane
one day

and sitting beside me was
a man that I met.

And he was a very well-known
sociology professor

from one of
our great universities.

I happened to be reading
the third chapter of Timothy

in Phillips translation.

And he said,
“What are you reading?”

I said, “Well, I’m reading
a part of the Bible.”

He said, “Do you mind if
I read and see it?”

He said, “I’ve never really
read much in the Bible.”

I let him read this passage.

“But you must realize that
in the last days

“the times will be
full of danger.

“Men will become
utterly self-centered

“and greedy for money,
full of big words.

“They’ll be
proud and abusive

“without any regard
for their parents.

“They will be utterly lacking
in gratitude,

“reverence and
normal human affection.

“They will be remorseless,
scandal mongers,

“uncontrolled and violent and
haters of all that is good.

“They will be treacherous,
reckless and arrogant;

“loving what gives them pleasure
instead of loving God.

“They will maintain
a façade of religion,

“but their lives deny
the truth.

“Keep clear of people
like that.”

When he finished reading that
he turned to me and he said,

“You know, that’s really
a description of

“our country today.”

He said, “Is that really
the Bible?”

I said, “Yes,

“and that was written
more than 2000 years ago.

“It’s a prediction of what’s
going to happen in the future.”

He said,
“It’s happening now.”

He said,
“We see it every day

“in all the papers
that I have to see

“and the papers
I have to read

“and the books
I’m writing.”

He said,
“I’m going to take this.

“I may use this whole thing in
the next book that I put out.”

And then Jesus said there’ll be
worldwide evangelism.

Matthew 24:14 “And this gospel
of the kingdom

“shall be proclaimed
in all the world

“for a witness
to all nations.

“Then shall the end come.”

Now the whole world,
at this moment,

can hear about Christ

by radio, television,
the printed page.

There’s nowhere
that you could go

that someone couldn’t
tune in.

Do you know how many
television sets they have

in China,
in color?

Over 400 million
in China.

Who’d a thought that.

And the television they have
in the Soviet Union

has different lines to it,
more along the European line

and much clearer than we have
in the United States.

And in China,
it was our privilege

to go to the universities,
to several universities,

and proclaim the Gospel
and answer questions.

Who would have ever
thought that?

I was talking to a Chinese man
here last night, a leader.

He said, “You know,
that’s the first time,

we think,
in history

that a clergyman
has gone to see

the Prime Minister of China.

On the second day
after he was inaugurated,

the new premier, Mr. Li Peng,
invited us to come.

And we went,
our entire party,

and we spent
50 minutes with him.

And the Chinese press
reported it in some detail.

And they reported what was said
by me and what was said by him,

because we were the only two
that did the talking.

Jesus does not say when
these things will take place.

But the next word
that I have is vigilance.

It says that we’re to watch
and we’re to look.

When it begins to come to pass,
we’re to look up.

There should be hope,
not fear.

The world that’s outside of
Christ may fear

at the possibility
of annihilation,

but you and I,
as believers,

we look forward with great hope
to the coming kingdom of God,

because Christ is
going to come back.

He may come tonight
in your sleep.

When a person dies, that’s
the end of the world for them.

People ask me,

“When is the end of the world
going to come?”

When you die, that’ll be
the end of the world for you.

But the end of the age
that we now live in,

with all of its sinfulness
and all that,

is going to be
wiped away

and the kingdom of God
is going to come.

“Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done on earth,”

Jesus prayed.

I believe that prayer is
going to be answered

in some future day.

But for you,
it’s an immediate decision.

It’s an immediate thing.

How do you stand
before God?

Jesus doesn’t say

when these things reach
their worst point,

nor does he say

when these things have
reached completion look up.

He says, when these things
begin to come to pass.

In my judgment, many of them
have begun to come to pass

and we could look up and
put your eyes on Christ,

not on the newspapers,

not on the television screens
for your hope.

Your hope is in Christ.

He’s the one that has made
the promise

that His kingdom is going to
ultimately prevail.

He’s going to come back.

And in First Thessalonians,

the apostle Paul said
in the fifth chapter,

“And when men shall say
peace and safety,

“then sudden destruction comes.”

Several times the expression is
used concerning His coming.

“A thief in the night.”

A number of places
in the New Testament,

“He will come when
you least expect him

“as a thief in the night.”

And it may be at death.

And that may be
as a thief in the night.

And Jesus is in heaven now,

“He’s preparing a place for us,”
the Scripture says.

And Paul said, “Behold,
I show you a mystery.

“We shall not all sleep, but
we shall all be changed.

“In a moment,
in the twinkling of an eye.”

Christ’s coming in a moment,
in the twinkling of an eye.

Do you know how fast that is?

It’s not like a clap of thunder
that takes a long time.

General Electric reported that
an eye blink takes

11 hundredths
of a second.

That’s how quick.

And Christ is going to come
like a flash of lightning,

and for you that know Him,
it’s something to anticipate.

Many of us are so taken up
with this world

and the pleasures and
the sensualities of this world

and the money
that we make

and the lifestyle
that we live,

that we don’t want to leave
this earth.

We hold on
as long as we can.

But for all of you, the world
and the lust thereof,

is going to pass away.

But he that does the will of God
shall abide forever.

I would rather know Jesus Christ
as my Lord and Savior

and live in the poorest country
in the world,

where you had nothing,

than to be a millionaire
in America

and not have Christ.

Christ gives
hope and peace

in the midst of
all the troubles

and all the difficulties that
the world has today.

But Jesus said,
“Then shall two be in the field.

“The one shall be taken
and the other left.”

“Watch, therefore,

“for you know not what hour
your Lord doth come.

be ye also ready

“for in such an hour
as you think not,

“the son of man cometh.”

Are you ready?

He said,
“Be ready.”

How do you get ready?

Be sure that you have
repented of your sins.

Repentance means
to change your way of living,

means to change
your mind.

It means a change
takes place.

You’re going in this direction
in your life.

You turn and go
another direction.

You can’t do it
by yourself

because God has to help you
in the repenting.

And then you must by faith
receive Him into your heart.

You come to the cross
where He died for you.

He took all of your sins
and He took your judgment

because the scripture says
when you die,

you’re going to go
to judgment.

There’s going to be
a day of judgment

in which all of us will give
an account of

what we’ve done here and
the things we’ve thought,

and our thoughts and intents
will be judged.

And then the third V,
the vision of hope.

We’re to look up.

The Scripture says,

“Where there is no vision,
the people perish.”

Peter Jenkins writing in
The Guardian in Great Britain

said some time ago,

“We’ve all moved into
unknown territory,

“and there’s no clear vision of
what the future will resemble.”

Jesus gives us a clear picture
of the future.

Paul said, “If in this life only
we have hope in Christ,

“we of all men
most miserable.”

If this is all there is,
this life,

we’re of all men
most miserable.

But there’s
a future life.

There’s something
to look forward to,

something to be
happy about,

something to be expected.

Many times,
my wife and I go to bed

and we talk about it,
and we say,

“Wouldn’t it be wonderful if
Christ would come tonight?

“Wouldn’t it be wonderful if,
while we are sleeping,

“we would just slip into
His presence?”

I’m looking forward to it.

I’m looking forward to
His coming,

if He comes
in my lifetime.

I’m looking forward to death
because, you see,

the sting of death has been
removed by His resurrection.

He’s alive.

And because He lives,
we’re going to live too.

What a hope we have.

I remember many years ago,
I was preaching in Germany

and I was invited to visit
Konrad Adenauer.

I had never met him.

I didn’t know
he knew I existed,

but we were preaching in
various parts of Germany,

and it was a lot
in the press about it.

So, he invited me
to come and see him

at 11 o’clock
in the morning.

And I went and
when I walked in,

he offered me
a cup of coffee.

He was in his last year
as Chancellor of Germany.

And he started right in
and he said,

“Young man,
do you believe in

“the resurrection of
Jesus Christ?”

Well, I was surprised.

I said,
“Yes, sir. I do.”

He said,
“So do I”.

He said, “If Jesus Christ
did not rise from the dead,

I see no hope for
the human race.”

He said, “There’s not
one glimmer of hope,

“as I sit here
in my office,

“unless that hope lies in
the resurrection of Christ.”

And he said,
“When I leave office,

“I’m going to spend my time
writing about this hope.”

And we talked for
about 40 minutes

about the hope of
the resurrection.

Many people are
thinking about that today.

People in high places
and low places,

people at universities.

I go to universities today,

whether it’s in
the Soviet Union

or China or Europe,

or in Britain where
it has been my privilege

a number of times to be
at Oxford and Cambridge

and take the questions
from faculty

and from staff
and from students.

And they all ask
the same questions,

almost all over the world.

What’s the purpose of
my life?

Where did I come from?

Why am I here?

Where am I going?

What is the hope
of our world?

What a mess
the world’s in.

What’s the cause of it?

And I try to answer them
from the Scriptures.

And it’s interesting how deep
their questions are,

how profound
their questions are

how thoughtful their questions
in all those universities.

Do you know Christ?

Does he dominate
your life?

Dante once wrote about
a man entering hell.

And he said, “All hope abandon,
ye who enter here.”

There is no hope for those
that are outside of Christ,

but there’s hope, which is
laid up for you in heaven.

Hope for
handicapped people.

Hope that you’re going to have
a new body.

Hope for the poor people
that some day

you’ll have more than you can
ever possibly dream.

Hope for the people that have
been discriminated against,

because you’re going to go
to a place

where there is absolute total,
total social justice.

There’s hope
even for rich people

that God will forgive us
for having so much

in a world that has so little
because all of us are rich.

I’m rich compared to
the world’s standards.

Paul wrote to Titus,

“Looking for
that blessed hope

“and the glorious appearing of

“the great God and Savior
Jesus Christ.”

He wrote,
“In hope of eternal life,

“which God,
that cannot lie,

“promised before
the world began.”

And Peter said,
the Apostle Peter,

“Looking for and hasting unto
the coming of the day of God.”

We are looking for

a new heavens
and a new earth

“wherein dwelleth
righteousness,” said Peter.

The Apostle John wrote,

“Beloved, now we,
the sons of God,

“and it doeth not yet appear
what we shall be,

“but we know that
when He shall appear,

“we shall be like Him,

“for we shall see Him
as He is.

“And every man that
hath this hope in Him

“purifies himself,
even as He is pure.”

Do you have that hope
in your heart?

We’re to thrive
on hope.

The Bible says
in Romans 15.

In Romans 12 it says,
“We’re to rejoice in hope.”

Romans 5 says,
“We’re to witness in hope,

“knowing that
experience worketh hope.”

Do you have this hope
in your heart?

That there’s a great future
out there for all of those

who let Christ dominate
their lives.

Happy as he whose hope is
in the Lord.

Isaac Watson sent
millions of people singing,

“O God, our help in ages past,
our hope for years to come.”

Shakespeare wrote in
The Merchant of Venice,

“Through the medicine of hope,

I have the hope to live
and am prepared to die.”

Do you have that hope?

Then the last V,
the victory assured.

The Scripture says
in Psalm 24:7,

“Lift up your heads.”

And today I can recall

so many of those great songs
set to music.

“I will lift up mine eyes
unto the hills.

“From whence cometh
my help?

“My help comes
from the Lord,

“which made
heaven and earth.”

I lift up my eyes and
I look to Christ

and my help comes
from Him.

He enters into us

and He will give you the lift
to the kingdom of God

at no cost to you
because He paid the price.

The only cost to you is
that you submit,

surrender, believe, repent,
follow Him, and serve Him.

Oh yes,
when you go to serve Him,

it’s not going to be easy.

You may lose a friend.

You may have problems

that you never dreamed
that you’d have,

because it’s not easy
to follow Christ

in our present generation.

But when you surrender to Him,

the Holy Spirit comes to live
within you.

He gives you a power
that you don’t now have

to produce the fruit of
the Spirit,

love and joy and peace and
long suffering and gentleness.

All these fruit is
yours because

the Holy Spirit will produce it
in you and through you

and give you a love
that you never knew before.

It’ll be a supernatural love
that he’ll give you

with your wife
or your husband

or your neighbors,
or your friends,

or the people that
you’re at school with.

It’s all yours in Christ.

Yes, there’s hope.

Hope for the future.

It’s centered in
the person of Christ

who died for our sins
and rose from the grave

and is alive now.

And I have staked
everything I have

or ever hope to be
on Him.

And so must you,
if you are to know Him,

and if you are to be
a member of

the kingdom of God.

I’m going to ask you today
to do something

that we’ve seen
several thousand people do

this past week.

I’m going to ask you to get up
out of your seat right now

and come and stand
in front of the platform

and say,
by coming,

“I want to rededicate my life
to Christ.”

You might’ve been baptized.

You might’ve been confirmed,

but you’d like to think,

what you’ve promised
at confirmation,

you’d like to
rededicate yourself to that.

Or, you may have never
received Christ before.

You might’ve thought that
you received him,

but you’re really
not sure.

And you want to make certain,
you come.

We’re going to wait.

Hundreds of you that
God is speaking to.

You may be in the choir
all these weeks.

Don’t let this day finish

without you making
your commitment.

And you over there.

And I’m going to ask that people
not leave the stadium

and block the aisles, because
this is a marvelous moment.

♪ Just as I am,
without one plea ♪

You can make that decision
to follow Jesus Christ

just as
these many hundreds are doing

here in Rochester, New York.

The number on your screen is
the number that you can call

for spiritual help
and for counseling.

Call that number right now.

It could well be
the most important call

you’ve ever made.

♪ To Thee whose blood
can cleanse each spot ♪

♪ O Lamb of God,
I come ♪

♪ I come. ♪♪

There are many of you
that have been watching

by television,

and you can see that here
in Rochester, New York,

many hundreds of people
have come today

to make their commitment
to Christ.

You need to make
your commitment to Christ,

and you can do that
right now.

I’m going to ask you to do it
wherever you are.

Say yes to Christ.

And if you will,
pick up the telephone

and call that number that
you see on the screen.

There’s somebody
there that will have

a prayer with you and say
a word to you.

God bless you and help you
to make that commitment.

If you just prayed that prayer
with my father,

or if you have any questions

about a relationship
with Jesus Christ,

why don’t you just call
the number on the screen.

There will 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


That’s 1-877-772-4559.

Or you can write to us at:

Billy Graham

1 Billy Graham Parkway

Department C

Charlotte, NC 28201

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 and

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.

(woman) 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.