If today was your last, would you be proud of how you spent it? Get motivation to live well in Billy Graham’s 1988 message from Buffalo, New York. Watch more #MondayNightClassics​​ weekly at 8 p.m. Eastern.

From our archives…

The Billy Graham Classics.


Now, tonight,
I’ve been in a quandary

as to what I should
speak about,

but also, I was thinking
this morning,

when I woke up,

what I would do if I had
life to live over again.

What would I do if I had it
to live over again?

And I find
in First Corinthians,

the seventh chapter
and the 29th verse,

a little phrase that says,
“The time is short.”

And then also in
the 12th chapter of Ecclesiastes

these words,

the 11th chapter
beginning with

the ninth verse.

“Rejoice, O young man,
in thy youth;

“and let thy heart cheer thee
in the days of thy youth,

“and walk in the ways
of thine heart,

“and in the sight
of thine eyes:

“but know thou,
that for all these things,

“judgment is going
to come to you.

“Therefore, remove sorrow
from your heart,

“put away evil
from your flesh

“for childhood and youth
are very short

“and are vanity.”

Like a bubble that burst.

“Remember now Thy Creator
in the days of thy youth,

“while the evil days
come not,

“nor the years
draw nigh,

“when thou shall say,
I have no pleasure in them.”

There’s going to be
a time

when the things that
you enjoy now,

you will have
no pleasure in at all.

“While the sun, or the light,
or the moon, or the stars,

“be not darkened,

“nor the clouds return
after the rain:

“in the day when the keepers of
the house shall tremble.”

That’s when a person gets old

and his hands and his arms
and his legs began to tremble.

“and the strong men shall
bow themselves,

“and the grinders cease
because there are few.”

That means
the teeth wear down.

That’s what
he’s talking about here.

That day is going to come when
the teeth are going to give out.

“And then while the sun
or the light of the moon

“and the stars
be not darkened.”

And that means your eyes are
going to grow dim,

as age comes on.

It happens to everybody.

You watch on television,

people that used to be
young film stars,

and you see them
as they were

30 years ago.

And today they’re
sort of bent over

and they have wrinkles,
and they have gray hair.

And I’m sure if
you examined their mouth,

their teeth are
grinding down.

And if you go to
their doctor,

you’d find
that their eyesight

is not as good as
it used to be.

What about you?

Have you ever thought about life
like that?

I remember that one
of the members of our team

died this past year.

The first one of
our original team,

Grady Wilson went to be
with the Lord.

What a glorious
home going he had.

The last week of his life is
a wonderful story in itself.

And I went in to see him.

And about three or
four weeks earlier,

I had seen him before and
he told me an interesting thing.

He said, “Billy.”he said,

“Tell them how short
time is.”

And I thought about that.

Then I thought about the person
in a university that asked me,

“What is the greatest surprise
of your life at your age?”

And I said,

“The greatest surprise of
my life is the brevity of life.”

How short life is.

Time is collapsing on us.

How much longer
do we have?

We read about the ozone,
the acid rain,

the pollution,
the atomic bombs.

I’ve heard that
South Africa has

as many as 20 or 25
atomic bombs.

What will they do with those in
case they’re pushed to the wall?

Israel has
atomic bombs.

Iraq, Pakistan, all working on
the atomic bomb

and it’s estimated that
15 small countries

now have
the atomic bomb.

What’s going to happen

when one of these small
countries explodes one

and it starts
a chain reaction

and the whole world
could blow up.

Technology has
no morals,

Man is the same as he was
in Jeremiah’s day.

And Jeremiah said,

“The heart is deceitful
above all things

“and desperately wicked.

“Who can know it?”

How do we know when
some Hitler or Stalin

is going to come along again

and have the whole world
at his feet?

First, there’s
the brevity of time.

The Bible says
our time on earth is very brief.

“Behold, thou has made
my days as an handbreadth;

“and mine age is as nothing
before thee,”

the Bible says in Psalm 39.

Think of a handbreadth from
the thumb to the little finger.

In God’s sight, that’s
as long as your life is.

So quick,
it’s over with,

but you can’t tell
young people that

because you know,
when you’re young,

you think the whole thing is
in front of you.

And you never realize that
you may be gone tomorrow.

The Bible says in Psalm 90,
the fourth verse,

“For a thousand years
in thy sight

“are but as yesterday
when it is past,

“and a watch
in the night.”

A thousand years in God’s sight
is but a day.

II Peter 3:8 says,

“One day is with the Lord
as a thousand years,

“and a thousand years
as one day.”

None of us are going to live
to be a thousand years old.

There may be one or two
in this crowd

that may make it
to a hundred.

But even then you will hardly
know what’s going on around you.

A few do.

And then in Isaiah 40:22
it says,

“It is He that sitteth upon
the circle of the earth,

“and the inhabitants thereof
are like grasshoppers.”

God looks down
and sees all of us.

And we look like
grasshoppers to Him.

The Bible says
we’re like the grass.

We spring up

and like the grass
were mowed down.

The Bible says
in Psalm 102,

“My days are like
a shadow that declineth,

“and I am withered
like grass.

“For Thou, O Lord
shalt endure forever;

“and Thy remembrance
unto all generations”.

God is from everlasting
to everlasting.

God had no beginning.

God has no end.

You had a beginning,
and you have an end.

And God promises that
you may live to be 70.

Three score and ten.

But beyond that,

He doesn’t give
any clear promise.

And that’s not long,
let me tell you.

It comes quicker than
you could ever dream.

The days of our years are
three score years and ten.

We’ve each been given the same
amount of time in a day.

Do you know how many minutes
there are in a day?

Fourteen hundred and forty

You have already lived today,
and it will never be repeated.

It’s already written down
in God’s books.

It’s on God’s tapes.

The things you did,

the things you did not do
that you should have done,

and the things
that you think;

because God records
even our thoughts,

as well as our words
and actions.

You know how many hours
there are in a week?

168 hours
in a week.

And a week ago yesterday,
we arrived in Buffalo.

A week has passed
since we arrived.

just like that.

It seems like yesterday
we began the meetings.

Yes, 70 years
God allows.

The first fifteen is
in childhood.

Twenty years
you spend in bed.

The last five years,

the physical limitations are
curtailing your activities.

Only thirty years left.

That’s all you have really
thirty years out of the seventy.

And part of that time
has to be spent

eating and working and
figuring out your income tax.


And the Bible says
in James 4,

“For what is your life?

“It is even a vapour,

“that appeareth
for a little time,

“and then vanisheth away.”

Just a vapor.

Jesus said that the road
to heaven is narrow.

The gate to the entrance
to heaven is narrow.

And Jesus said,

“I am the way, the truth,
and the life.

“No man comes to the Father
but by me.”

You must come to Christ
by simple childlike faith

and repentance of your sins.

Then there’s
the urgency of time.

The Bible says,

“Redeeming the time,
because the days are evil.”

The days are very evil
in which we live.

Read your newspapers
and watch the television

and see how many muggings
and rapes and crime

and how many wars are
about to break out

or wars that are being fought

and how many thousands
have been killed

in the Iraq-Iranian war.

And it seems that
the whole world sometimes

is just about
ready to explode.

I had a letter from a man
out on the West coast

several years ago.

And he said that
he promised God

that he was going to give
the Lord two days a week.

And he was going to visit
his neighbors and friends

and invite them to church.

Do you know that over 20 people
joined his church that year

because of his being willing
to tithe his time.

I have so much time,
but time for what?

Time to serve Christ,

time to live
according to His will.

But there’s
a tyranny to time.

It controls us to a frenzy
and we become frustrated

and we run here and there
and everywhere.

And we don’t feel that
we have enough time

to get everything done
that we ought to get done.

I feel that way.

And we do too much.

You know, it used to be
awfully nice

when you only had a train
or a bus to get on

and now you plan your schedule
by airplanes.

You plan your schedules
by computers

and you become a statistic
after a while.

And we do too much
or try to do too much.

Jesus said, “I must work
the works of Him that sent me

“while it is day.

“The night cometh when
no man can work.”

There’s going to be a time
when you can’t work

for every one of us.

I mean,
for every person here,

there’ll come a time that

your life on this earth
is going to cease.

Jesus said,

“I have finished the work which
Thou gavest me to do.”

There was an urgency,

but there was
a serenity about Jesus.

You never find him
hurrying anywhere.

You never read about him
running anywhere.

He said,
“I finished the work.”

He was only
33 years of age.

And He said, “Lord, I’ve done
what you asked me to do.”

And there were still
people by the thousands

that needed to be healed;

lives that needed
to be touched.

But Jesus said,
“I finished my task.”

You see,
time can be our tool,

but we can be
its slave.

We are to take time
to believe,

time to study,
time to teach,

time to pray, time to be
friendly with people,

time to entertain,
time to visit,

time to fellowship,
time for witness,

time for work.

And all of my life,

I’ve spent too much time
at work,

too much time
in meetings like this.

If I had it
to do over again,

I would spend
a lot less time preaching,

and more time studying.

We need to be
better prepared

as ministers
of the gospel.

So, I’ve had to double up
as I got older,

keep doing
the crusades,

keep doing
all of these works,

but at the same time,
studying harder than ever.

I study a lot harder now

than I did when
I was in college.

I still wake up

and feel that
I’m in a nightmare

and a math class,

and I don’t know the answer
to the question in an exam

or in a Greek class

and don’t know the answer
to that question.

But we’re coming to
a final exam one day.

It’ll be at
the great judgment of God

and God is going to say,

“What did you do
with your time?”

That time that you had the
opportunity to receive Christ.

That moment
that you had

to repent of your sins
and come to him

and follow him.

What did you do with it?

Did you walk away,
turn away and say,

“I’ll take my chance.”

I heard about a little boy.

He was sick and he was
making slow progress,

so the doctor gave
a prescription to the father

and the doctor said,

“This prescription, sir,
is for you, not for your son.”

And it read, “Two gloves,
one ball,

“spend more time
with your son.”

I have two sons,
three daughters.

I wish that I’d spent more time
with all of them,

but thank God,

all five of them
know the Lord.

And all five of them are either
preachers or Bible teachers.

But I have to give
the glory to the Lord

and the earthly credit
to my wife.

Yes, we have to pay
a price.

I have no time in my life
for certain things.

When you know Christ,
certain things fall away.

You don’t want to do them

We are to redeem
the time.

You don’t have it
very much.

Life is brief.

The time is urgent,
so we’re not the waste it.

And then
the Bible talks about

the immediate action
of time.

The fact that time is short
calls for immediate action

because in II Corinthians 6,
the apostle Paul said,

“Now is the accepted time.

“Today is the day
of salvation.”

A crusade like this
so an opportunity like this

doesn’t come to
Western New York,

but maybe once
in every generation

or maybe once in every
two or three generations.

I think since you’ve had
meetings like this

it’s been many years

and it may never come again
in your lifetime.

And you have a chance now

to receive Christ
in a meeting like this.

And the scripture says,
“Now is the time.”

Do it now.

Every time the clock ticks,
it seems to say now.

The Scripture says
in Hebrews 3,

“Today, if you will hear
His voice,

“harden not your hearts.”

You see when you hear
the Scriptures quoted

and hear
the Gospel preached,

your heart gets harder
and harder

and harder and harder
until after a while,

you’ll reach a stage when

the Holy Spirit will continue
to speak to you,

but you cannot hear because
your heart is so hard.

You have turned it down
and you put it off

so many times.

Now is the time.

And then
the Bible says that

you ought to come
while you’re young,

before all those evil things
come into your life

and habits come and form.

And there comes a time when
you cannot come to Christ,

except under the most
extraordinary circumstances.

Come while your heart is
young and tender.

That’s the reason
I like to see children

and young people
come to Christ

because they have
a whole life,

as well as their heart
and their soul

to give to Christ.

The Bible teaches that
in the future,

we’re going to have
a wonderful future.

When you come to Christ,

you’re going to spend
eternity with him

in paradise,
in heaven.

You’re going to walk down
the streets of pure gold.

Your eyes will see the King
in all of His glory,

and that’ll be
total fulfillment.

None of us here
has ever known

total fulfillment.

You will see then that
the ungodly are not so,

but they’re like the chaff,

which the wind driveth away.

And you’re going to say,

“Thank God I made
my commitment to Christ

“and here I am in heaven
with Him forever.”

There’s a warning
to time also.

It will someday be
too late for your soul.

Time is too short for
indecisiveness and vacillation.

1 Kings 18, Elijah talking to
those false prophets,

and to the people said,

“How long halt ye
between two opinions?”

Here was the god Ba’al
and the goddess Ashtar

on one side
with their prophets,

about 850 of them.

On the other side
were the people

and Elijah was alone
and he said,

“You’re halting between
two opinions.

“If God is God,
then trust him.”

Go all the way with
the true and the living God.

You see,
time is too short.

There may be
no tomorrow for you.

Many movies are being
made today that are called

Armageddon movies.

Films dealing with
the end of the earth.

Some of them date back
to Vietnam

and we see almost
the end of everything

that we’ve ever
believed in

in some of
the films

that they’re making
on Vietnam.

The Scripture says,

“Seeing then that all these
things shall be dissolved,

“what manner of persons
ought you to be?”

If all this thing
that’s in this earth

is going to disappear

and the Bible says it is.

The world and the lust thereof
will disappear.

And the Bible talks about
a gigantic fiery conflagration

that will wipe away
all evil and all sin

and all ugliness
from this planet.

And God’s going to replace it
with His kingdom.

That day is coming
and it may be soon.

I’m going to speak on
it Sunday afternoon.

The hope of the world.

The Los Angeles times
said some time ago

that the world drinks like
there’s no tomorrow.

A French newspaper said
a couple of summers ago.

Europe is living very much like
those last hours on the Titanic.

In other words,
the earth,

the world is sinking
into moral depravity

and we’re drinking,
eating, making merry,

going our own way,

and giving no serious thought
to the fact that

there’s an eternity
out there.

Heaven and hell.

And the decision that
you make about Christ

will decide where you are
a hundred years from tonight.

There’s an old pop song in
England that was entitled,

“Another Time,
Another Place.”

Always that’s what the devil
will whisper in your ears.

Yes, you ought to do it.

You ought to make that
commitment to Christ,

but do it at some other time,
some other place.

God says,
“Here and now.”

A televiion network program is
called “One Life To Live.”

The Scripture says,

“Only one life,
’twill soon be past.”

Someone has written,

“Only what’s done
for Christ will last.”

“How long halt ye
between two opinions.

“If the Lord be God,
follow Him.”

You see Jesus Christ came
and died on the cross

and took your sins and
your judgment and your hell.

Shed His blood for you.

Now God says that
you must receive him.

God offers you a gift.

He’s offering you a gift and
all you must do is receive it,

but you have to receive it.

I was with the Governor
of Tennessee one time,

many years ago.

And we went out
to the penitentiary

and I asked him
a question.

I said, “Governor,

“if you pardon a man, here,
that’s on death row.”

There were about 18 men
on death row.

I said, “If you pardoned
one of these men

“and he refused the pardon,
what happens?”

He said,
“Then he dies,

because the Supreme Court
in our state has ruled

that if a man refuses
the pardon, he must die.”

And as we went
back into town,

I could see tears coming down
the cheeks of the Governor.

He said, “You know, this is
the hardest job

“of being governor
of any state

“is dealing with people that
you have the power to pardon,

“but you know that you can’t
because the law is so strong.”

And that’s
a whole other story.

But God offers
to pardon you tonight;

to offer you an
eternal pardon for every sin

that you’ve ever committed,
if you will come to Christ,

because you see somebody else
paid the price for you,

Christ did on the cross,

God laid on Him
our sins.

“He became sin for us
who knew no sin.”

And God raised Him
from the dead

and He’s alive now

at the right hand of
God, the Father.

And when we were in Romania
a couple of years ago.

In the old days,

they had no way
to teach the Bible

to those people
in the middle ages,

except by paintings.

And they used a paint

that they today
cannot duplicate.

They don’t know
what they put in it,

but the colors are
just as beautiful today

as they were
500 years ago.

And they painted
Bible pictures

on the sides of the barns and
wherever there was houses,

they painted Bible pictures

and the blue is
just as beautiful.

And the green is
just as gorgeous.

And I saw one
that I’ll never forget.

It was a ladder
that was going up

from earth
to heaven.

At the top of the ladder
was Jesus

with arms outstretched.

Going up the ladder
were the pilgrims

trying to make their way
up that ladder

toward heaven.

Down below were the devil’s
pulling them down.

Up above were the angels,
helping them along.

It was not totally biblical,

but it did tell
a story of how

there’s a struggle
that goes on

within all of our lives
about Jesus Christ.

And we have
to decide

what we’re going
to do with Him.

And I’m going to ask you
tonight to say,

“I want Christ
in my life.

“I need Christ
in my life.

“I need the joy
and the peace

“and the fulfillment
and forgiveness

“that He offers,

“and I’m willing
to serve him

“and follow him
from this moment on.”

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

and do what we’ve seen several
thousand people do already

in these three
or four days.

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

and come and
stand down here

in front of this platform
and say, by coming,

“I surrender my heart
and my life to Christ.

“I’m willing to follow him
and serve him.”

I’m going to ask you
to do that.

You may be
a member of the church.

You may not be a member
of any church.

You may be
in the choir.

You may be
an usher here,

and God has spoken
to you.

You may be
a clergyman here.

I don’t know,

but God has spoken
to you.

You get up out of your seat
and come.

And after
you’ve all come,

I’m going to say
a word to you

and have a prayer
with you,

and give you
some literature.

And then you can go back
and join your friends.

If you’re with
friends and relatives,

they’ll wait on you.

If you’ve come in a bus,
they’ll wait.

We’re only going to keep you
a few moments,

but it’s very important
to come.

Now, I’m going to tell you
why I ask people to come.

Jesus hung openly and publicly
on the cross for you

in your place.

He says,
“If you’re not willing

“to acknowledge Me
publicly before men,

“I will not acknowledge you
before My Father,

“which is in heaven.”

And if you start from
that top row up there,

it’ll take an extra minute,
so start now,

that top balcony up there,
so start.

People are already coming.

You come
and join them

and make this great commitment
to Christ

and say, tonight,

“I want to surrender
to Him

“and receive Him
into my heart

“and to make sure of
my relationship to God.”

We’re going to wait
on you.

You come.

♪ Just as I am
without one plea, ♪

♪ But that Thy blood
was shed for me. ♪

As you can see,

many hundreds are responding to
the invitation of Mr. Graham

to make Jesus Christ
Lord of their life.

You, too, can make
that same decision.

There’s a telephone number

on your television screen
right now.

This is your opportunity
to call and talk with someone

who really cares
about you,

so call that number now.

There are many people that have
been watching by television

and you have been spoken to
by the Spirit of God.

You realize that
time is very short

and you need to make
your commitment to Christ.

You can do it right now,
wherever you are.

Just say, “Yes, Lord Jesus,
come in,”

and He will.

May God bless you

and be sure and go to church
this weekend.

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
that 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 PeaceWithGod.tv.

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.

I hope
you don’t think

this is like one of
those cop shows

you see
on television.

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 came, I saw, I conquered!

We’re in a bad place.

God, where are you?

(Billy Graham)
Is there any hope?

Yes, there’s hope!

(Franklin Graham)
What should a man give
in exchange for his soul?

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 was forever changed,

and just said,
“I can’t believe this is real.”

I don’t really believe
in all this but

I know something crazy

is happening right now.