Is Saying ‘You Live Only Once’ Improper?


Tribune Content Agency

Is saying ‘you only live once’ improperly secular?

Feb 4, 2020

From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Q: My friends tell me not to worry about how I live, saying: “You only live once.” Isn’t this a rather secular view that points to idol worship of self-pleasure? — I.L.

A: A comedian has said, “Enjoy as much as you can. Even if you live to be 90 that’s not as long as you’re going to be dead!” We can laugh and throw it off, but there is a penalty to pay when God’s Word is disregarded. Death brings an end to physical life, but the life of the human soul lives on for eternity, either in Heaven or Hell. The time to make peace with God is now — today!

In our fallen world, godless influences are everywhere persuading us toward idolatry (worship of the values of this age, the false gods among us) and sexual immorality. Right moral living (righteousness) is not easy. It demands difficult choices. We have at our fingertips every pleasure that mankind is capable of enjoying, and mankind has abused every gift God ever gave. Sinfulness and sensuality are inevitably destructive, dehumanizing and demeaning to God’s creation. At times it may create tension between what we want to be for God and others, and what we crave for ourselves. In that awful struggle to overcome, turn to God for His help by first repenting of sin and receiving His forgiveness. He enables us to live victoriously over sin that dominates the human heart. To His followers He says, “For you were bought at a price; therefore, glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:20).

What is that price? The shed blood of Jesus Christ on the cross. He paid the penalty for our sin so that we can live righteously and bring glory to Him.


(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)


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