Billy Graham

February 21, 2018

Billy Graham: “It’s a Wonderful Thing to Die as a Believer”

Renowned evangelist Billy Graham led an extraordinary life sharing the uncompromised Gospel with the lost. His personal integrity and global ministries attested to his service to the Lord. While his passing is a sad loss to this world, Graham is now home with his Savior Jesus Christ. For this, and the faithful Christian legacy Graham leaves behind, we celebrate.

As I reflect on how best to honor this remarkable evangelist’s Christian legacy, I can think of no better way than to cite Graham’s 1985 ever-relevant sermon titled, “Living on Death Row” delivered in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in 1985. (You can watch the entire sermon below.)

“The vast majority of my life has already been lived,” Graham professed, “My record has already been made. I don’t have very much longer. I know that. We all die. I’m not going to escape it. I don’t want to escape it. I want to go. Because to be with Christ is far better, than to be even in Florida.”

Graham explained Christians need not view the end of this life as a frightening event. He encouraged:

In Christ the judgment is passed. The storm is over. The Hell is past. If you know Christ, there’ll be no judgment for you. There is therefore now no judgement to them that are in Christ Jesus. There is no hell for you. You will live eternally with the Lord Jesus Christ and with the saints of all the ages. By his death he destroyed death. In Christ we no longer regard death as the king of terrors.

It was death’s judgment for non-believers that gravely concerned Graham. Quoting Amos 4:12, Graham asked his audience again and again, “Are you prepared to meet thy God?”

“You don’t have long,” Graham warned. “You’ll be in eternity soon. And the decision you make tonight will determine where you’ll be.”

One notable point in Graham’s “death row” sermon was his recall of death-bed experiences for Christians versus non-Christians. “It’s a wonderful thing to die as a believer. I’ve seen believers die and I’ve seen those that don’t know Christ die. And there’s a vast difference in the way they die,” he shared, recalling memories of his mother hearing angelic music when near death.

At the end of the sermon, and while the hymn “Just as I Am” sounded in the background, Graham welcomed individuals to approach the alter to publically commit their lives to Jesus Christ. No doubt Graham’s honest discussion of death and judgment ministered to many hundreds of people in Fort Lauderdale that night.

As the world remembers Billy Graham today, watch his uncompromising, ever-relevant sermon on death and please ask yourself, “Are you prepared to meet thy God?”

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4 Responses to Billy Graham: “It’s a Wonderful Thing to Die as a Believer”

  1. god sure blessed him with along life and he,ll have a longer onr in the world too come

  2. Steve McC own says:

    Thank you, I watched his sermon as I have watched so many over the years. Dr. Graham was a very important man who we had the pleasure of his presence in our lives. Millions came to know Christ
    thru his ministry.

  3. How tragic that Graham substituted the biblical plan of salvation with the man-made sinner’s prayer (asking or accepting Jesus into your heart), found nowhere in the Bible.

    “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you–unless indeed you fail the test?” (2 Corinthians 13:5)

    Listen to audio series “I Had a Dream: Judgment’s Coming. Are You Under the Blood?,” beginning at

  4. Greg says:

    When J. Williard Marriott, founder of Marriott Hotels, died in 1985, Marriott’s magazine World had a special edition (Vol. 7, No. 4) honoring him. Here are a few excerpts:

    “J. Willard Marriott was active in the Mormon church his entire life….and devoutly believed in the precepts of the church.”

    One of those offering eulogies at the funeral was Billy Graham. Again, from World:

    “Bill was a religious man…He loved God and he loved his neighbor and he worked to help his neighbors as people who work in that great organization can say.
    “I remember one time we were riding along in Arizona and he said, “What’s your favorite passage in the Bible?” I told him, “John 3:16….” He said, “That’s a good one and that’s good enough for me.” And it was.

    “And so today, we do not say goodbye to you dear Bill…we say as the French do, “Au revoir,” till we meet again, because we will.”

    Anyone will any knowledge of Mormon beliefs should find Graham’s statement plainly at odds with Scripture.

    I could add other statements from Graham as to his sympathies for teaching of the Roman Catholics, but that can be easily found with a little bit of research–I’ve gone quite a bit. But what is almost unknown about Graham was his “softness” toward Mormon teachings; that’s why I provided the quotes. (Digital copy of what was cited is on file. It was obtained from a former employee of Marriott, who confesses Jesus Christ as Divine Lord and Savior.)

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