Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Hear Billy Graham explain how Jesus’ death and resurrection can change your life today in this 1986 message from Washington, D.C. Watch more #MondayNightClassics every Monday at 8 p.m. EDT. CONNECT with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association: on Facebook:   / billygrahamevangelisticassociation  

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From our archives…

The Billy Graham Classics.

Today, I want you
to turn with me

to the fourth chapter of
Luke’s gospel.

But in the fourth chapter of
Luke’s gospel,

beginning with verse 16,
we read these words,

“And Jesus came to Nazareth
where he had been brought up.

“And as his custom was,

“he went into the synagogue
on the Sabbath day

“and stood up to read,

“and there was delivered
unto him

“the book of
the prophet Isaiah.

“And when he had opened
the book,

he found the place
where it was written,

“‘The Spirit of the Lord
is upon me because

he hath appointed me
to preach the gospel

‘to the poor.

‘He has sent me to heal
the brokenhearted,

‘to preach deliverance
to the captives

‘and recovering of sight
to the blind,

‘and set at liberty them
that are bruised,

‘to preach the acceptable year
of the Lord.

‘And he closed the book, and
he gave it again to the minister

‘and sat down and
the eyes of all them

‘that were in the synagogue
were fastened on him.”

This is the inauguration address
of Jesus Christ.

He had just been baptized
by John the Baptist.

He had been tempted by the devil
in the wilderness.

Now he goes back to his hometown
of Nazareth, and it says,

“As his custom was,
he went to the synagogue.”

Notice as his custom was,
he went to the synagogue.

Now the synagogue was
a very important beginning

because it spread out
the worship of God

in many parts of
the ancient world.

They used to worship God
high up in the hills

or they worshiped God
at the temple

where the sacrifices were made.

But now they built synagogues
so that people could worship

any where, any time.

And Jesus went to the synagogue
and here’s what he said.

He said,
“Here’s why I’ve come.

“To preach the gospel
to the poor.”

He not only meant
the physically poor

and there are many poor people
in the District of Columbia,

and many wealthy people.

And there are many poor people
throughout the world,

but the poverty that we see here
doesn’t compare to the poverty

I’ve seen in a place like
Bangladesh or India,

or some places in Africa
where there so much poverty,

but Jesus was also talking
of spiritual poverty.

You can be a rich person
with material possessions,

with the big bank account
and be poor toward God.

And many of us here tonight
are poor toward God.

And then he said,
“To heal the broken hearted.”

How many people here today
have broken hearts.

You feel alienated,
you feel you don’t belong.

Some of you have come
to Washington for a job

and you haven’t gotten over
that loneliness yet.

It’s to you that
Jesus comes today to speak.

He has a message for you.

Or to preach deliverance
to the captives.

Who is this that can bring
peace to the heart?

The scripture says that in that
little synagogue in Nazareth,

that the eyes of all them
that were in the building

were fastened on him.

Fastened on Jesus.

They looked at him
and they saw in him

the possibility of

their deliverance
and their healing.

The scripture says
in Hebrews 12, “Consider him.”

Let’s fasten our eyes
on Jesus today.

I want you to see him as
he’s taught in the scriptures.

First, he’s the creative Christ.

The script says, “All things
were made by him

“and without him was not
anything made that was made.”

The Bible teaches that God is
expressed in three persons.

God, the Father, God, the Son,
God, the Holy Spirit.

One God and three persons,
hard to understand.

Somebody has asked me
on several occasions

to explain it.

I cannot.

I’ve never heard
a theologian explain it

to my satisfaction.

We’re taught in scripture

that God is one God,
manifest in three persons.

But the scripture says that
Jesus created the whole thing.

The whole world.

It’s hard for us
to believe it.

God created man and woman,
Adam and Eve

in the garden of Eden,

and put them in
a perfect paradise.

You look at the world
through a telescope.

and we’re told today

that they estimate there are
8 billion galaxies and

an average of 10 to 20 billion
stars and planets

in every galaxy.

It boggles the mind.

Our minds cannot comprehend
anything like this.

Where I live
in North Carolina,

I live up on the side of
a mountain,

almost 4,000 feet up.

And the stars are
so brilliant at night

We go out
and look at them.

And I think of
every one of those stars

is a planet in
our universe.

But think of 8 billion
other universes,

so that the shots
that we’ve sent to

Mars or to Uranus
haven’t even begun

to touch our
own universe,

much less these
8 billion others.

The magnitude of it all.

And the scripture says
that God made it all.

And then not only is he
the creative Christ,

but he’s
the compassionate Christ.

The scripture says
he went about doing good.

He made the blind to see,
and the crippled to walk,

and the deaf to hear.

He took the immoral
and cleansed them,

cleansed the lepers.

Stilled the storms at sea.

Jesus was never asked for help
without responding.

And we’re a world
filled with problems,

searching for purpose
and meaning in your life.

What is life all about?

Why are you here?

What’s the purpose?

Where did you come from?

Where are you going?

Do you ever ask yourself
those questions?

The Bible says God created you
for a purpose.


Because God loves.

God wanted other people
in the universe

to respond with love
to Him.

We are created
in God’s image.

In other words,
we are little gods

in the image of God.

And he loves you.

You are important to God.

And if you forget everything
else that is said this week,

remember two things.

You are important to God,
and God loves you.

And God wants you to love
your neighbor as yourself.

Remember those things.

And then there’s fear.

The Philippian jailer was afraid
when the earthquake came

and the walls of the jail came
tumbling down and he thought

the Roman authorities
would kill him

for allowing the prisoners
to escape.

But the apostle Paul, who was
one of the prisoners said,

“Don’t harm yourself.
We’re still here.”

And this jailer fell down
trembling and said,

“What must I do
to be saved?”

HG Wells said before he died
at Oxford, he said,

“That’s the greatest question
of the 20th century?

“What must we do
to be saved?”

Because he said,
“I have very little hope

“that we’ll live out
the 20th century

“as a human race.”

What must we do
to be saved?

Paul gave
a very simple answer.

He didn’t give
a very complicated

scientific mathematical

He simply said,
and he was one of

the most brilliant men
of his day, he said,

“Believe on
the Lord Jesus Christ

“and thou shall be saved.”

That word believe
means commitment.

I commit everything
I’ve got to him.

Just as I stood
on this platform,

I committed
my weight to it.

I’d never stood on it
before in my life.

But I believed that
the people that built it

were committed to
building a platform

that would hold a man.

And so, I commit myself to
Christ for my forgiveness,

for my salvation,
to fill my empty heart,

to give me purpose
and meaning to my life.

Then there’s spiritual diseases
that people have.

Nicodemus came
to Jesus by night.

And Jesus said
to Nicodemus,

one of the most religious men
of his time,

“You must be born again

if you’re to see
the kingdom of heaven.”

He said,
“You must.”

He didn’t say
I think you ought to.

He said,
“You must.”

And then the third thing
about Jesus,

he was not only
the creative Christ

and the compassionate Christ,

but he was also
the crucified Christ.

I remember
being in Ireland

and we walked down the street
on Sunday morning at 10 30,

where the bombs were going off
and where they were shooting.

And then we saw a church,

a Protestant church
on this side

and a block away,
a Catholic church.

And we knelt down in
the middle of the street

between the Protestants
and the Catholics,

and we said, “Oh God,
bring peace to Ireland.”

And that’s still my prayer

because on top of
the Protestant church

and on top of
the Catholic church

was a cross.

And that’s one thing
we have in common.

We believe that
the cross is

the central fact
of Christianity,

that Jesus Christ died
for our sins.

Let me tell you,

Jesus did it all
on the cross.

When he bowed his head
and he said, “It is finished.”

It’s finished.

And you, you cannot buy
your way to heaven.

You can have all the money
in all the world,

and you couldn’t even get
a glimpse of heaven.

You could do
all the good works.

You could have yourself nailed
to a thousand crosses.

That wouldn’t get you
to heaven.

The thing that gets you
to heaven is

what Jesus did on that cross,
shedding his blood for us

on that day at Calvary.

Why did he die?

Not because
he had sinned.

He died
in our place.

The scripture says,

“For he hath made him
to be sin for us

“who knew no sin

“that we might be made

“the righteousness of God
in him.”

Think of it.

He was made sin.

He became guilty
of your sins.

He became guilty
of adultery,

of murder, of lying,
of envy, of jealousy.

He became guilty, took all
the guilt on him,

and because he did that,
God says, “I can forgive you.”

Now why couldn’t God forgive
everybody anyway?

If God had forgiven
everybody anyway,

he would not have been God,

because God had said
to Adam and Eve

in the day that
you break my law,

you’re going to
suffer and die.

They broke God’s law

and they passed it
to Cain and Abel

and Cain became
a murderer.

They passed it from generation
to generation, to generation

down to you and me.

And we’re all guilty.

The Bible says,
“All have sinned

“and come short of
the glory of God.”

And that sin is going to
keep us out of heaven.

It’s going to cause us
to endure the pangs of hell.

What can we do?


It’s done for us
by Christ.

And God so loved the world
that he gave

his only begotten Son
on that cross for us.

He was crucified
in our place

so that we might be made
the righteousness of God.

Think of it.

That you can be
as righteous as God

in the sight of God,
because of Christ.

How glorious that is.

The Bible says,

“He that spared not
His own Son,

“but delivered him up
for us all.”

Because of the cross,

God offers you today

justification, just as if
you had never sinned,

peace, joy, a new nature,
eternal life, the Holy Spirit,

eternal glory is all yours
because of Christ.

Jesus Christ didn’t just risk
his life in a treacherous sea

to save you.

He died on the cross and
you must come to the cross

and confess that you have sinned
and say to God,

“I’m sorry. I’m willing
to change my way of life.”

Are you willing to do that?

You can’t do it by yourself,
but God will help you,

if you say that
you’re willing.

He was not only
the creative Christ,

the compassionate Christ,

the crucified Christ,

He’s the conquering Christ.

Paul wrote, “We are
more than conquerors

“through him
that loved us.”

Yes, Jesus rose
from the dead.

He’s alive.

I do not preach
a dead Christ.

He is alive now.


In Time Magazine
on April 14th of this year,

they quote Pope John Paul

in his newly released
pronouncement entitled,

“Instruction on Christian
Freedom and Liberation.”

He says this, “That the basis
of liberation is

“the crucifixion and
resurrection of Christ

“which have freed us from
the most radical evil,

“namely sin and
the power of death.”

Everybody in Jerusalem
that day said he’s dead,

but the scripture says
he was buried,

but he rose again
on the third day.

And Jesus said
in Revelation 1,

“I’m He that liveth
and was dead

“and behold, I am alive

“and have the keys
of hell and death.”

Think of it.

I’ve got the keys
of hell and death.

You don’t ever have to see
eternal death and eternal hell

because I have the keys.

I’ve come to deliver you.

Let me.

I’ve come to pardon you.

I remember one time
I was in Tennessee

and the Governor of Tennessee
at that time

was named Frank Clement.

I’ll never forget that.

And he took me
out to the prison

to speak to 21 people
on death row.

And I spoke to them,
and he spoke to them,

and I asked him,
and I said, “Governor,”

I said, “If you pardoned
one of those men

and he rejected it,
would it still be a pardon?”

And he said,

He said, “We had
an example of that,

“that was before the court
some years ago in this state.”

He said,
“If you offer a pardon

“to a man who is condemned,
and he refuses it,

“the courts have ruled that

“the sentence must be
carried out.”

God offers you
a pardon today,

but you must receive it.

I’m going to ask you
to do that today.

To receive it.

And then he is also
the contemporary Christ.

The most recent
Gallup poll of Americans

indicate that 68% of
Americans profess

to having been
born again.

I don’t know how many of them
are genuine,

but I do know that
whoever is born of God

is someone who has
repented of sin

and confessed Jesus Christ
as Savior and Lord.

Have you?

You can today
before you leave here.

And that’s what
this crusade is all about.

And the last point
I would like to make is

that he’s the coming Christ.

Jesus said,
“I will come again.”

Do you know anybody that can
solve the problems of the world?

I’m going to be praying
the whole time

those men are meeting
in Tokyo,

but I want to tell you

No summit meeting
has ever solved

all the problems
of the world.

I read today
in the paper that

there are now 40 wars
going on in the world.

And then I read
a little bit further

and they said that does not
take into account many more

that they don’t talk about.

So maybe there are 50 or 60 wars
going on in the world today.

And in one sense,

this new terrorism is
a new kind of warfare.

It’s war.

And do you know anybody
that’s going to settle it?

All the greatest brains are
working on it.

The Bible teaches that

Jesus Christ is
the Prince of Peace

and He’s coming back and
bringing peace someday.


He’s coming back
to save us

from bombing ourselves
off this planet

and set up his kingdom
of peace and prosperity.

When Martin Luther King gave
that dream speech

over here on the mall,

that dream of his,

he quoted
so many scriptures

and all those scriptures
really have to do with

the kingdom age when
Christ will be the ruler

as King of Kings
and Lord of Lords.

Someone said the other day
quoted in the press that

America needs desperately
a philosophy of hope.

Well, our hope is in Christ
and you can…


Do you know Christ?

You say,
“Well, Billy,

“what would I have to do
to know Him?

“What does God require
of me?”

Christ died for you.

He rose again.

He loves you.

He wants to help you.

He has arms outstretched
toward you

to take you in his arms
and love you

and help you
and forgive you.

But you must
do something.

You must repent
of your sins.

And the word repentance
means to change,

to change your mind
about him,

to change your mind
about yourself.

It means that you’re willing
to start living a new life.

You’re going in this direction,

and you start going
in a new direction.

Now God has to help you
even in the repenting

you can’t do it alone.

And then the second thing,

you must receive Him
by faith, by faith.

You’ll never understand it all

If you wait until

you can understand it
all intellectually,

you’ll never come.

The scripture says, “By wisdom,
men cannot know God.”

You come
with your mind,

but you also come
with your heart,

but primarily
it’s your will.

I remember when
I got married.

We stood in front of
the clergyman,

in the little
Presbyterian church

in North Carolina.

And the minister asked,

“Will you have this woman to be
your lawfully wedded wife?”

I didn’t say
I hope so.

I think so.

She’s a lovely girl.

I’m in love with her.

I didn’t say
any of that.

That all been settled and
assumed by the clergyman.

I said,
“I will.”

Not that loud,
but I said it.


And she became
my wedded wife.

In the same way
you say to Christ,

“I look at the cross,
where he died for me,

and I could love him.”

That’s your emotion.

And then you listen
a little bit further

and you say,
“Well, it’s logical.”

I don’t see any other philosophy
in the world comparable to it.

I don’t see any other religion
that could do any more.

I believe that is
the right way.

But you really don’t come to
Christ until you say, “I will.

“I’ll follow him,
I’ll serve him,

“I’ll surrender
to him.

“I will, with his help,
turn from my sins

“and receive him
into my heart by faith.”

I’m going to ask you to do what
we’ve seen thousands do.

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

Hundreds of you.

You may be
a member of the church.

You may be
a Sunday school teacher.

You may be
a good person,

but deep inside,
you’re not sure.

Last night
I asked the choir

and quite a number
in the choir said

they weren’t sure of
their relationship to Christ.

I would like those people
to come today.

And I want you to come and stand
in front of this platform.

And as you come and stand
in front of this platform,

quietly and reverently,
you’re saying,

“I open my heart to Christ.

“I want him to give me peace
and joy and forgiveness.

“I want to know
I’m going to heaven.

“I want to know
my sins are forgiven.”

If you’re with friends
or relatives, they’ll wait.

If you’ve come with a group,
they’ll wait on you.

And after
you’ve all come here.

I’m going to say a word to you
and have a prayer with you

and give every one of you
some literature

that you can
take home and study

and help you
in your Christian life.

But you get up
and come.

Hundreds of you, men,
women, young people,

whoever you are,
black or white,

Jew or Gentile,

You come.

God is speaking to you today,
quickly from everywhere.

We’re going to wait.

From way back
in the back,

it’ll take you
about a minute,

maybe a minute and
a half to come,

but don’t let distance
keep you from coming.

You’ve been watching
on those screens back there.

You get up and come.

We’re going to wait.

♪ Just as I am
without one plea. ♪

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

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

That’s +1 877-772-4559

♪ Bidst me
come to Thee. ♪

♪ O Lamb of God,
I come. ♪

♪ I come. ♪

To you that had been
watching by television,

you can see here
that scores of people,

hundreds of people
are coming

to make their commitment
to Jesus Christ

here in Washington, D.C.

You can make that commitment
where you are,

in a hotel room,
in your living room,

in your bedroom,
maybe at a bar somewhere.

You need Christ
and you need him tonight.

You commit your life to him.

Pick up the telephone and call
that telephone number

that you see on the screen.

And it’s my prayer that tonight
you’ll make that commitment

along with these many people
that are still coming here.

May God bless you
and help you to do it.

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

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.

You’re invited on
a journey of discovery.

at the Billy Graham Library.

Retrace Billy Graham’s path

from humble farm boy

to international ambassador

of God’s love,

through multi-media,

photos and memorabilia.

“But the fruit of the Spirit
is love.”

Tour the restored
Graham Family Home Place,

browse Ruth’s Attic Bookstore

and have a meal at
the Graham Brothers Dairy Bar.

Enjoy special exhibits,

events and seasonal activities

for the whole family.

Admission is free so come,

walk this journey of discovery

at the Billy Graham Library.