The Road to Hell—and the Way of Salvation
November 1, 2004 - Billy Graham preached the following message on Nov. 20, 1949, the final day of his landmark, eight-week Crusade in Los Angeles. This month, exactly 55 years after this message was preached, Mr. Graham is scheduled to be preaching again in Los Angeles: Nov. 20 will be the second-to-last night of the Greater Los Angeles Billy Graham Crusade at The Rose Bowl. The Crusade's setting and music will be different from that of the tent meetings in 1949. But the timeless message of Christ's salvat
A Message by Billy Graham
The Bible teaches that people are lost. Listen to this. The Bible teaches that "all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23, KJV). The Bible teaches that "the wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23, KJV). The Bible teaches that everyone outside of Jesus Christ is lost and on the road to hell.
You say, "Well, I don't know whether I believe that or not." But the Bible says so. Let's come back to the Bible. I didn't say it; God said it. God said that there is a place prepared for the devil and his angels, toward which every man and woman and boy and girl is going, outside of Jesus Christ.
And father and mother and sister and brother, whoever you are, get this straight right now! We've been here for eight weeks. I've tried to warn you. I have preached to you. I've tried to bring you to a knowledge of Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. But it seems that it's been impossible to get some of you to Jesus Christ. Let me warn you: The summer is almost ended. The harvest is past. And you're still not a Christian. You're still not saved.
Here is God's warning: "My spirit shall not always strive with man" (Genesis 6:3, KJV). Scripture says, "He that hardeneth his heart, being often reproved, shall suddenly be cut off, and that without remedy" (Cf. Proverbs 29:1). And the Bible warns that if you reject or neglect Jesus Christ today, having heard the Gospel, you may never have another chance. You may never go to heaven, because you've rejected Jesus Christ.
"Well," you say, "so what? I'm all right. I go to church. I pay my debts. I live a pretty good life."
Do you know what God says? God says that your works are as filthy rags in His sight. God says that our works will never get us to heaven. "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9, KJV). God says that "the wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23, KJV). And God says, "The soul that sinneth, it shall die" (Ezekiel 18:4, KJV).
What is death? Death is spiritual death, and that death means the lake of fire and brimstone that burns forever. That means that every person who rejects Christ and His atoning work is cast into the lake of fire and brimstone. And God doesn't cast him there. You know who casts him there? He casts himself! He sends himself to hell because he's rejected God's only Way of salvation, which is through Jesus Christ.
You say, "Well, what kind of a place is hell?" I'm going to read to you right out of the Bible what kind of place it is. This is where some of you are going to spend billions and billions of years. You'd better listen. This is God's Word.
Revelation 20:15 says it's a lake of fire. Psalm 11:6 says it's a horrible tempest. Psalm 18:5 says it's a place of sorrows. Matthew 13:42 says it's a place of wailing, a furnace of fire. Luke 16:23 says it's a place of torments. Matthew 8:12 says it's a place of outer darkness. Revelation 14:11 says it's a place of unrest. Luke 16:24 says it's a place where people scream for mercy. Matthew 25:46 says it's a place of everlasting punishment.
That is God's description—not mine. And God says that all people outside of Jesus Christ are headed to that place unless they repent of their sins and turn by faith to Jesus Christ.
Now, listen. The same Bible that teaches the wrath and the anger and the judgment of God also teaches the love of God, the mercy of God and the long-suffering of God. I could read you scores of Scriptures.
Psalm 103:8 says, "The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy" (KJV). Deuteronomy 4:31 says, "For the Lord thy God is a merciful God; he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them" (KJV). Isaiah 55:7 says, "Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon" (KJV).
God hates sin with a holy hatred. And as long as you're attached to your sins, you're going to spend eternity in hell. But thanks be unto God, He's provided a way out of hell. He's provided a way to heaven, and He's done it because He loves us. Always remember this; always keep this in mind—that God is a God of love. God is not only a God of holiness; He is a God of love. And God is not willing that any person should ever perish or spend eternity in hell (Cf. 2 Peter 3:9).
God the Father doesn't want you to go to hell. God doesn't want you to be lost. He's done everything He can to keep you out of hell, because He loves you.
And then He gave His greatest Gift: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16, KJV). That's how much God loves us. God sent His Son in the form of flesh to die on the cross, so that you might never go to hell. What more can God do? If you reject the finished work of Calvary, then there's no other way of sacrifice and no other way of repentance. There's no other way of salvation except through the atoning work of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary.
I see the Lord Jesus Christ as He goes to the cross of Calvary, and I think of a Father's love that's bursting for those that have wandered away from Him. God wants you to return today. God wants you to be saved by accepting and trusting and receiving the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior.
God the Father does not want you to go to hell. Neither does God the Son. And God the Holy Spirit doesn't want it, either. And let me say this: Unless you're convicted by the Spirit of God, you can never be a Christian. Unless you're wooed, unless you've been drawn by the Spirit of God, you can never be saved.
And you know who is speaking to you right now? Listen. Do you hear that still, small voice in your soul that says you're not right with God? Do you hear Him say that you ought to get right with God? That's the Spirit of God. The Spirit of God is speaking to you today and trying to get you to trust Christ, and you haven't done it.
When the Holy Spirit draws you and the Spirit of God speaks to you and points out Christ and tells you of your need of Christ, to resist the Spirit of God is a dangerous thing. He speaks because He loves you. But you've turned down His voice. You try to quench the fire in your breast. You turn Him down and you resist, and you resist until it's all over. Then your heart is too hard, and you can't hear the Spirit again.
This is the last meeting of this campaign. If you're ever going to be saved, if you're ever going to be sure you're saved, you'd better do it today. This may be the last chance you will ever have. Come. Make sure. Settle it today.
God the Son doesn't want you to go to hell. Look at the Lord Jesus Christ as those steel pellets on the end of those leather thongs beat across His back. Look at Him as they pull His beard. They spit upon Him. They put a crown of thorns upon His brow. And He staggers underneath the load of the great cross. He makes His way to Golgotha's mount, and there they put Him between heaven and earth and between two thieves. They crucify Him there.
And He hung on the cross while legions of angels were ready to come down and rescue Him and sweep the whole mob into hell. But thanks be unto God, He loved us. He loved us—so much so that He was willing to stay there and endure hell and torment, that you and I might never go there.
The only person who wants you in hell is the devil. He's the only one. And you know what he's doing today? He's whispering in your ear. He says, "Don't you make a decision for Christ; you've got plenty of time." That is the devil's big lie: "You've got plenty of time." But you don't have plenty of time.
Scripture tells us, "Today is the day of salvation; now is the accepted time" (Cf. 2 Corinthians 6:2). I cannot find one place in this Bible where it says that you have one more hour. I can't find a place in this Bible where it says that you have even one more minute. The Bible says that today is the day of salvation, and the Bible warns us to come to Christ now—before it's too late.
Listen. One of these days the door of grace and mercy is going to be closed, and it'll be too late. And today may be the last time you'll ever be in a meeting like this. And if you're to ever come to Christ, if you're to ever make sure of your salvation, do it today. Now is the time!