Excerpt of Billy Graham 1955 Sermon that refers to the Painting "Checkmate"

The story of “The Chess Master and the Painting” 

“There is a picture of a chess game hanging in Paris. On one side of the painting is the Devil, and on the other side is a lad about sixteen years of age. They are playing chess. The Devil has a leering, triumphant expression on his face. He has just licked this boy at chess, and the boy is sitting there with his head bowed and big tears trickling down his cheeks. The Devil has just won in the game of life over this lad. He has no strength, he has no way out, and he has given up. The title of the picture is "Check Mate". He had him.

A famous chess player came through one day. He looked at the painting. He felt sorry for the boy and he hated the looks of the Devil.

He began to study the board where the men were placed, and all of a sudden he shouted: "Son, I have found a move, one move . . . if you will make that move you can lick the Devil." He forgot himself, he forgot it was a painting-he was so engrossed in it.

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We see all the men of chess in the game of life there, and in some of our lives it seems the Devil has almost got us. We look at the whole world picture ... it seems dark at times with its little bright intervals, but by and large the basic issues have not changed, in spite of the recent smiles on both sides of the Iron Curtain. We see the shadow of the hydrogen bomb and all the vast and terrible weapons being created behind scientific laboratories, and, as we look into the future of the next two or three generations, it seems that we are almost ready to say "Check Mate."

But I believe there is One looking down from above who looks upon the board and says to you and me: There is a move, there is one move that you can make, and you can win! That move is toward Jesus Christ. You can make that move today in your own souls.”

For a copy of Graham’s entire sermon, click here.

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