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Billy Graham - Hope for a Changing World


Billy Graham - Hope for a Changing World
TOPICS: Hope

Our world is changing so rapidly and I want to speak tonight on things that never change. I want you to turn with me to the 12th chapter of Hebrews, beginning with verse 26, talking about Mt. Sinai, when Moses was receiving the law. It says, "The whole earth shook but now God has promised saying, ‘Yet once more I will shake not the earth only, but also the heavens'". "And this word, yet once more, signified the removing of those things that are shaken, as of those things that are made; but those things which cannot be shaken shall remain. Wherefore, we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear, for our God is a consuming fire".

God shook the earth. Next time he’s going to shake both the heaven and the earth. And I believe we can feel the tremors already in the world in which we live. It’s beginning to shake as it’s never been shaken before. And the year 2000 has long been a mystical point in time. A year by which we would have solved racism, poverty, disease, crime, war. All of these things would have been solved by the year 2000, so we were told at the beginning of this century. And this century was called the twentieth century, The Christian Century.

In fact, a magazine came out that is still published today, and I read it, called The Christian Century, but this has been anything but the Christian century, with the two world wars and all the upheavals going on throughout the world. We solve one problem, and it seems another one breaks out somewhere else. And diseases that we thought antibiotics had cured, no longer cure them. Tuberculosis. And then there’s the dreadful disease of AIDS. Nobody knows the answer to it yet. Sometimes we hear about a new medicine or a new thing that has been done, but then they tell us it hasn’t been proven yet. And during the time of Jeremiah the prophet the people were too busy to listen to the Word of God. And people in America today are not listening to the Word of God. At least they’re not doing it. We say that 50% of the people or 70% of the people, in some polls, go to church. But what about the other 50%, what about the other 40%? What are they doing? People who pretend nothing was wrong have finally had to change their minds.

In Jeremiah he said, "We hope for peace, but no good has come. For a time for healing, but there was only terror". "The harvest has past, the summer has ended, and we are not saved". This is a period of political change. Look at the changes going on in the political world today. Then it’s a time of social change. A hundred twenty-five cities in the world have a population of one million or more. In five years, that will be three hundred cities. Then look at the fragmented families. Half of all marriages in the United States end in divorce. The structure of American society is changing. More Americans are living alone today than ever before. Twenty to thirty million adults live alone.

In Dade County, Florida, there are 123 nationalities in the school system. And the religious changes. One observer says this massive spiritual search in America is the most significant development in our country today. Many of you here tonight are here tonight because you’re seeking. You’re seeking for something that you don’t have. Money doesn’t supply. Sex doesn’t supply. Drink doesn’t supply. You’re looking for something else and you’re not quite sure what it is. And you’ll never find that total satisfaction till you find God, until Christ lives in your heart. Many of you are searching for forgiveness of your sins. You know that you’ve sinned against God. I know it. The Bible says all have sinned and broken God’s laws. The Ten Commandments are God’s moral laws, and if we break one of them the Bible says we’ve broken all of them, and Billy Graham has broken all of them, and Billy Graham is a sinner, and Billy Graham deserves judgement and deserves hell.

Albert K. Lewis many years ago said, "Man cannot live without meaning". The Bible says Jesus said, "And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth; for the powers of heaven shall be shaken". And that passage, that word that says, distress of nations means pressed from all sides. Perplexity means there’s no way out. There’s coming a time when we’re going to be pressed from all sides. You as an individual, or a family, or a state, or a nation, pressed from all sides, and there’ll be no way out. But there is a way out. But there’s only one.

President Kennedy said, a quarter of a century ago, "No man entering upon this office could fail to be staggered upon learning the harsh enormities of the trials through which he must pass in the next few years". "Each day," he said, "the crisis multiplies. Each day their solution grows more difficult. Each day we draw nearer the hour of maximum danger, and time is not our friend". What would he say today? The world is changing so rapidly. And they say the next five years it’s going to change more than the last 30-years put together. Technology is changing us. Our world is changing rapidly. But there are some things that never change. Some things that will always remain, no matter how much the world changes.

First, the nature of God does not change. "I am the Lord, I change not," it says in Malachi 3:6. "God is not a man that he should lie, neither the son of man that he should change," the Scripture says. In James 1:17 it says "There is no variableness nor shadow of turning with God". And that means that He doesn’t change as much as an eyelash. God is the same a million years ago as He is today, and He’ll be the same a million years from now. He doesn’t change in the slightest. We change, but God doesn’t change. God is unchanging in His holiness. He’s absolutely pure, and He is so pure He cannot look upon sin. "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come," the Scripture says.

God is unchanging in judgement. Yes, He’s going to judge the world. You and I are going to stand before the great judgement of God, if you don’t know Christ. And you’ll be judged not only by the things you do, but the things you think, your intents, your thoughts. The secrets will all be there. Think of how He can record everything. All your thoughts, all the things you’ve tried to sweep under the rug. He has it all on tape and he has it on a big screen. He’ll have big screens like you see up here and on this side. And it will all be there. There won’t be anything missing. And He is going to judge you accordingly. Because He is unchanging in judgement. "The Lord shall judge the ends of the earth," the Scripture says. But God is unchanging in love.

I’m so glad that’s true. Because if there is one thing I hope when this crusade is over that you will understand that God loves you. And God loves you. And God loves you. And God loves you. He loves you. And that word love is not the word that we use. It’s not eros love It’s not sensual, sexual love. It’s not phileó love, friendship love. It’s a love that’s found only regarding deity. God Himself. It’s a new word. It’s a new dimension of love. And He loves you with such a love that you cannot imagine. He loves you so much that when he saw you were a sinner and under the condemnation of sin and on your way to judgement and hell, He gave His Son on the cross for you. And He shed His blood for you. And because of that, God can say to every one of us, "I forgive you. Your sins are buried in the depths of the sea. I’ll remember them against you no more". I’m counting on that. That’s the grace and the love and the mercy of God.

And then the second thing is, the nature of God is not changed, but also, the Word of God is not changed. The Word that's in this book. "The grass withereth, the flower fadeth, but the Word of our God shall stand forever". Think of it. What’s in this book, and we carry it, or we have it in our homes and we let the dust collect and we have all kinds of little papers in it, things that we want to remember, but we never read it. And yet God is expressing in this book all the suggestions and rules and regulations for a happy and and successful life.

And then thirdly, the moral law has not changed. "Thou shall have no other gods before me". What is another god? Anything that you think more of than you do God. Maybe that television set is your god. Maybe that book that you’re reading, or that girl that you’re going with, or maybe that boy that you’re going with, or maybe your business, or maybe something else has become your god. It takes more of your time and love and energy than worshipping the true God. "Thou shall have no other gods before me".

And then, another one is, "Honor thy father and thy mother". And today we have a lack of authority, a rebellion against authority on the part of young people, and we read it every day in our newspapers. Suppose parents had the authority they had a few generations ago? We’d have a different world, but unfortunately, as somebody said, everything is run by a switch in the home, except the children. And parents are afraid of their children today. They’re afraid their children will sue them, because you can sue your parents today. I’m not going to get into all of that, but I want you to know that there’s something mixed up somewhere, and I think I know what it is.

Ted Koppel was right when he said, "When Moses came down from Mt. Sinai and he had those ten things, they were not just resolutions, they were Ten Commandments". They were commandments, and we’re to keep them, but we can’t keep them. You cannot keep any of the Ten Commandments except by the help of the Spirit of God. He will give you the supernatural power to keep those commandments. He can help you turn your eye the other way when you look at that beautiful woman to lust after her. He can help you to pull your hand back if you’re going to steal something. He can help you if you’re going to tell a lie. He will bring it to your mind and you’ll pull back from it and tell the truth.

And then fifthly, the way of salvation has not changed. "Neither is there salvation in any other, for there is none other name under heaven among men whereby we must be saved". Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the life. No man cometh to the Father, but by Me". Think of it. He said, "I am the truth". I’m the embodiment of all truth. Now either he was a liar, or he was a maniac and needed to go see a psychiatrist, or he was who he claimed to be. One day, that was the intellectual problem I had to face. Who was Jesus Christ? Was He who He claims to be, the Son of the living God; the way, the truth, and the life, that nobody can get to heaven, nobody can get saved, nobody can know God except through Him, or not?

I wrestled with it. And I finally said, "Lord, I believe". And just that little decision in my heart to say that I believe You are who You claim to be, and I accept you as my Lord and my Master and my Savior, and I repent of my sins, and I come to the cross. And I’m looking forward to that day of the resurrection. In the last generation, that was the only way of salvation. It’s the only way of salvation today, is through Christ. It’ll be the only of salvation a hundred years from now. But, you know, you can go to church, you can claim to be a Christian, but still not really know Christ. There are thousands of people that are church members, you’ve been baptized, or you’ve been confirmed, but deep down in your heart you’re not sure that Christ has forgiven you. You’re not sure that if you died tonight that you’d go to heaven. No, God does not change, but you must change if you’re to get to heaven, and if you’re to have salvation.

First, you must repent. What does repentance mean? It means to change, change your mind, change your way of living. "Repent ye therefore and be converted that your sins be blotted out," the Scripture says. "God now commandeth all men everywhere to repent," the Scripture says in Acts. He commands you to repent. Have you ever repented? Have you ever really changed your way of living? And then the second thing you must believe.

Now this is not just believing with your head. "To Him give all the prophets witness that through His name whosoever believeth in Him shall receive remission of sins". Are you sure that your sins are forgiven? I was a member of the church. I’d been baptized. I went to church every Sunday, because my parents made me. And yet, deep down inside, I knew something was wrong. I didn’t have the peace and the happiness and the joy that the Bible talks about. I didn’t have the absolute assurance that I was right with God. I wanted it, but I didn’t know exactly what to do.

So there came a time when I did get on my knees and I repented of my sins. I said, "O God, I’m a sinner. I’m sorry for my sins. I turn from my sin, and I turn to Christ, and I believe". "But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His Name". That means, believe means that you put your whole weight on Christ. You’re putting everything on Him. And then you must confess Christ openly. That’s why I ask people to come forward in our meetings, by the thousands, on every continent, all over the world.

I remember we held a crusade about five or six years ago, in the great Olympic stadium in Moscow, and it was packed to capacity, and it looked a little bit like this. And I asked the people to come forward to receive Christ, and a third to a half of the audience started coming. I told them to go back to their seats. I thought they’d misunderstood me. And then I explained it carefully again, and even more came.

And outside, there were thousands outside watching on a big screen and they came to that screen. We must confess Christ openly. Jesus Christ died on the cross openly for you and me. Out in the open, people could see Him, naked, bleeding, dying. He said, "If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved". Have you openly confessed Him?

Dr. Harrington told a story in one of his sermons about U.S. Air flight 427 that crashed near Pittsburgh. They were trying to find some of the things that came out of that plane, to see if they could find what caused the plane to crash. And they had to set about the gruesome task of salvaging and identifying whatever parts of bodies they could find. One rescuer, turning through the carnage, discovered a seventh pair of hands. One was female and one was male. They clasped in a last and lasting human bond. That’s all that was left of them.

We don’t know if they were husband and wife, or lovers taking a trip together, or perhaps even just strangers cast by fate to be sitting next to each other. We will never know. But that doesn’t matter. The lesson to see from it is that whoever they were, they grew strength and courage and love and support from a human touch. Holding hands, they went out into eternity. You’re going to go out into eternity, and Jesus has his hand outstretched to take yours. He wants to lead you into heaven, to the very presence of God Himself.

The question for us tonight is this, "Who’s holding your hand"? Are you trying to scramble in on your own, or are you going to take the hand of Jesus that’s outstretched to you tonight? I’m asking you to make that commitment tonight. Say yes to Christ. I’m asking you tonight to receive Christ in a new way in your life. And say, "Lord, from this moment on I want you to be my Lord and Savior and Master, and I want to put You first". I’m going to ask you to get up out of your seats and come right now. He has His arms outstretched saying, "Whosoever will, let him come". You come.

You’ve seen here in Atlanta, Georgia, these hundreds of people come to make a commitment to Christ. Whatever commitment they’re making, God knows, because He reads their hearts and their minds. And they’re saying yes to Christ as best they know how. And you can make that same decision where you are. You may be in a hotel room. You may be at home. You may be off in a foreign city somewhere, but you can say yes to Christ and He will receive you, and forgive you and change you, and go with you from this moment on to help you face the problems you’re facing in your life. May God help you to do that.

If you would like to commit your life to Jesus Christ, Please call us right now toll free at 1-877-772-4559.

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