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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Billy Graham » Billy Graham - Peace in Our Time

Billy Graham - Peace in Our Time

Billy Graham - Peace in Our Time

I don't know how you feel, but I feel proud tonight to be an American. This year, most of our crusades have been abroad, and we have been in various parts of the world holding evangelistic crusades like this Next year, We are staying the entire year in the United States, holding crusades from one end of the country to the other and participating in scores of bicentennial events. Because we believe that the greatest service we can make to America in her bicentennial year will be to strengthen the spiritual strength that we do have in this country our Year of Spiritual Revival and renewal in this nation. I believe that if we Americans will make it a year of prayer, we can see what could happen to this nation in just one year. And I hope that all of you will be participating in that.

Tonight, I want to turn again to what could be called a Christmas text, though I wasn't thinking of it when I prepared this message, but it's the 14th verse of the second chapter of Luke's gospel. Just one verse. Glory to God in the highest and on earth. Peace, goodwill toward men. I want to speak tonight on the subject of biblical peace. How do we have peace? Luke 12:49 Our same Lord Jesus Christ is speaking. I am come to send fire on the earth, He said. I have come to send fire on the earth. And then Matthew 10:34, he says something else. Very strange. He says, Think not that I've come to send peace on Earth. I come not to send peace, but a sword. It sounds like a contradiction. It sounds like he didn't know what he was talking about. He was announced as the Prince of Peace in the Old Testament. He came in fulfillment of the prophecies of the Old Testament.

The Angels announced him as the one that was going to bring peace. And now when he reaches the age of 30 years of age and he enters upon his ministry, he said, I have come to bring fire on the earth. And he says, I've come not to bring peace, but a sword. How do we reconcile it? What did he mean? There are those who've tried to reduce Christ to the level of a genial, innocuous appeaser. But Christ's said, you're wrong. I am a fire setter. I am a sword wielder. This generation has been called the tormented generation. And the reason that it's been called that is because it's an age of revolution, a technological revolution that is causing other revolutions throughout the world. Political revolutions, old orders, the dying and new orders are coming into being. Nations are being overthrown by revolution.

Almost weekly, as we read in our newspapers and on that tragic day here in Texas that November day, 1963, President Kennedy had prepared to say to the Dallas Citizens Council these words, We in this generation are by destiny rather than by choice. Watchmen on the walls of world freedom. We did not seek this responsibility, but we will not shrink from it. The 20th century will be called the century of revolution, and the whole world order is changing and changing rapidly right now, morally, structurally, in business, Labor, government. Everything is in a is in change and in crisis. God loves our world. He loves you so much that he gave his son to die on the cross to bring peace. And the Bible teaches three kinds of peace only three.

First, there is peace with God, therefore being justified by faith. We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, said the apostle Paul in Romans 5:1 the greatest need that you have right now, tonight as an individual is peace with God. You say, Well, Billy, I'm not at war with God. Yes, you are. You may not be conscious of it. God calls it war because you are in rebellion against Him. You don't do his will. You haven't yielded. Your life is to him as Lord and Master and Savior. Oh, you're a member of the church. You're a fairly decent person. But the Bible says we don't even know our hearts. Our hearts are deceitful and desperately wicked.

Now, that's how God looks at it. I go to the Mayo Clinic every year for an examination, and they always give me an X-ray, and they usually find a little something wrong somewhere inside of me. And on two or three occasions they've operated because of what they saw on the X-ray. And I didn't know it was there. But the X-ray shows it up. You see, you don't know that you're rebelling against God. You're not quite conscious of it. You're not shaking your fist in God's face, but you're not living according to the word of God. You're not giving time to prayer. You're not giving time to Bible study. You're not giving time to soul winning. You're not giving everything that you possibly could give. And so God looks upon you and God pronounces the verdict. And the diagnosis is that your heart is sinful.

That's God's diagnosis. That's the way he looks at you. He says, You're a sinner, You've broken my laws. You're in rebellion against me. And what you need is reconciliation. And the greatest need that we have tonight is reconciliation with God. How do you get reconciled with God? That's what the cross is all about. On the cross, the Lord Jesus Christ reached one hand and took the hand of God and the other hand and took your hand and brought us together and reconciled us to God at the cross. And you can only find God at the cross.

Alexander Solzhenitsyn was over here recently, remember? And he toured around the country and he told a little story that everybody ought to hear if you didn't hear it. He said when he was in that prison for so long, there came one time and one time only when he thought of suicide, he said he was not allowed ever to speak to his cellmate. For weeks on end, they could not speak to each other. And he said that his cellmates saw him growing weaker and weaker and more depressed and more discouraged all the time. And he said his cellmate took a little stick and in the sand or the dirt in the cell, he drew a picture of the cross. And Solzhenitsyn said at that moment, the whole purpose of my existence dawned upon me because he said, I realized that Jesus Christ shed his blood for me on that cross. And he said, That gave me the courage to live through my imprisonment.

Have you come to that cross? Not with all your religious trappings, not with all your pretenses and pride, but have you come in great humility and said, Oh, Lord, I have sinned against you and I'm sorry, and I'm willing for you to come into my life and change my life and change my way of living. I talked to a man this afternoon in a distant city, goes to church, sits on the front row. He said, I'm going to commit suicide in just a few minutes. I've become so depressed. I prayed with him. He promised to wait at least another 48 hours before he commits suicide. Are the pressures of life pressing in on you like that? The suicide rate in this country is rising every hour as people are coming to the end of themselves.

And some of it is right in the church. People who have religion but do not have Jesus Christ. Our pastor in this town told me yesterday, he said, Billy, the greatest problem we face in West Texas is that we have religion, but we don't really know Jesus Christ. That's what Jesus said to Nicodemus. You must be born again. And he was a religious man. Peace with God. That's why Christ died. That's why he rose again. That's what the cross is all about. Christ did his part on the cross in dying for you. Now you must receive him You see, God is willing to offer you a pardon. He'll pardon you and forgive you. But more than that, he will change you here and now. And you begin eternal life. Not when you die. You begin eternal life. Tonight. Right now. And you can have heaven on earth. Joy and peace and security in the midst of a world that's crumbling.

In fact, that's what peace means. Peace means tranquility, no matter what the circumstances. Let the bombs fall. Let the wars come. Let the world tear apart. Let your husband leave you. Or your wife leave you. Let death come to the family. All these things will cause tears. Yes, But in the midst of it is peace. Because you have peace with God. And that brings us to our second point. There's the peace of God Peace with God. Now. Now peace of God. Jesus said, peace I leave with you. My peace I give unto you not as the world give I give unto you.

Now the world can give you a peace. You can go out here and get drunk and get a little peace. You can go out and take some drugs and have some peace and tranquility for a short time. You can go out here and have a sex experience, have an affair, and you'll have a little peace and a little fun, a little merriment, a little joy for a little while. The Bible says this pleasure in sin for a short season. But then comes the terrible moment of truth when you must face reality. When you must face God, you must face the judgment you must face in eternity. And you don't have the peace of God. And the greatest legacy that Christ left us was His peace. He said, My peace I give unto you. Think of the serenity with which Jesus Christ moved in his life. He wasn't hurrying about here and there like we do. He seemed to take time with everybody. He only had three years. He could have fed all the hungry people in the world with one wave of his arm. He could have stopped all the wars, but he didn't do it.

That wasn't God's plan. God's plan was that He would go to the cross and take your sins. You see, God couldn't be just and just forgive you. God couldn't come along and pat you on the back and say, Jim, Bill, Susie, Mary, I forgive you. I know you've broken my law and you have sinned. You see, to us, sin seems trivial. It doesn't seem serious. But in God's sight, it's deadly serious. It means eternal death. It means judgment. God is a just God. Absolutely just. Somebody had to bear the punishment. Somebody had to spend the time in the prison. Someone had to suffer the pangs of hell in judgment. And Jesus Christ stepped out and said, I will. And he took your judgment and your hell And when he was on that cross, he said to the people that were driving the nails in his hands, he prayed to the father. He said, Father, forgive them, too. They don't even know what they're doing.

I expect to see the men that drove the nails in his hands. I expect to see them in heaven because I believe that God answered the prayer of his son that day. There's never been a person that called upon the Lord, even with a sign or a breath and said, Lord, remember the thief on the cross. He deserved death. He deserved to die. He was a murderer. He was a robber. And all he did was turn to Jesus Christ and say, Remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom And Jesus said, Today thou shall be with me in paradise. Remember me! That's all that quick people say when you can't come to Christ that quick and have your life changed like that, you certainly can. Paul and Silas were in prison. They were singing and they were witnessing and the jailer was listening and the prison walls fell down in an earthquake and it looked like the prisoners were escaping and the jailer drew his sword.

He was going to kill himself because he knew the Roman authorities would kill him the next day for letting the prisoners escape. And Paul said, Wait a minute, we haven't fled. We're still here. And the man fell down in terror. And he said, What must I do to be saved? And you know what the average person would say to him? Why, you're in no emotional state to be saved. When will you calm down? Think about it. Let's let's let's meet and talk this out tomorrow and explain it to you. Paul didn't do that. Paul said, Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shall be saved and thy house. Just believe right now, here. And at that moment that Philippian jailer received Christ was saved and was forgiven. And before the night was over, he was doing social work because it says that he washed the backs of the prisoners whom he had beaten just a few hours earlier.

Just like that, your life can be changed. You can be touched by Christ tonight and never be the same again. And then thirdly, and lastly, there is peace with our fellow men. Jesus said, have peace with one another. In other words, we had to work for peace. We had to do all that Mr. Kissinger has been doing. But man himself, without God will never bring permanent peace. Thousands of peace treaties have been signed in the history of the world, and we still have wars. Is there going to be a day and a time when we will have no more war? Yes, there is coming a day. Listen to what the Scripture says. And he shall rule the nations and they shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation. Neither shall they learn war anymore. Isaiah 2:4

That's going to happen. War will be eliminated. Peace will come. And then the scripture says in another place. And in that day I will make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven and with the creeping things of the ground. And I will break the bow and the sword in the battle of the earth, and all will lie down safely together. Did you see the picture the other night on television? How the insects are about to take the world? And there's a battle right now as to whether man is going to survive, but 2000 A.D. or whether the insects are going to survive. And we're at war with the insect world because they are moving so fast. Here it says those little creeping things, these insects, we're going to be at peace with the animal world. We'll be at peace with. You can have a tiger in your living room just like you have a cat now. It's going to be a wonderful time. There'll be no tears, no suffering, no hospitals, no armies, no navies, no wars and no death, no graveyards. A wonderful, glorious world to come.

What will be the government of the United Nations? No. Theocracy. God reigning God will be in charge and He will rule the world. The Scripture says with a rod of iron, that means with perfect justice and perfect love and perfect mercy. That's the future. And I want to tell you tonight, I've staked everything I've got ever will have on the promise of that word. I'm trusting in Jesus Christ and Him alone as my Lord and my Savior. And when my moment comes to die, if I should die before he comes, I know that there will be an angel that will come and take me by the hand and usher me into the presence of my Lord. And I will be with him forever. I know where I've come from. I know why I'm here. I know where I'm going. And I don't have any doubts about it. You can have that same peace, that same assurance, that same joy by putting your confidence and your faith in Jesus Christ. And I'm going to ask you to do it tonight. How? I'm going to ask hundreds of you to get up out of your seat right now and come and stand in front of the platform and make this commitment to Christ openly.

You say, Well, Billy, why do we have to come forward? Because Jesus said, if you don't confess me before men openly, I'll not confess you before my Father, which is in heaven. And every person that he called in the New Testament, he called publicly. There was a reason for it. if you're ashamed of following Christ, then you are no follower of His. He wants you to come out and be open about it. And I'm going to give you an opportunity to come out tonight and be open about it. You may be a member of the best church in town or you may not be a member of any church. You may be Catholic, Protestant, a Jewish, or you may not have any religion, but you want to come and give your heart and life to him tonight. And you want to make sure about this thing. You want his peace, you want his forgiveness, you want to know you're going to heaven. You want to choose his side, tonight. You get up and come.

If you're with friends that have come in a bus, they'll wait on you. Bring your friend with you. It'll only take two or three minutes. And after you've come, here's what we're going to do. I'm going to say a word to you. Have a prayer with you, give you some literature, and you can go back and join your friends. You get up and come. Right now, if you come from that top balcony, it takes about a minute longer. So get up and come right now, quickly from everywhere and all of you back here that God has spoken to and all around you get up and come. We're going to wait. You can make that same commitment right where you are. Just pick up the phone and call the number you see on your screen. Special friends are waiting to talk with you and pray with you about this most important decision.

You that are watching by television can see here at Texas Tech University Stadium, hundreds of people coming across this field to make this commitment to Jesus Christ and to find peace with God and the peace that passeth all understanding. That peace, that purpose, that joy can be yours wherever you are in a hotel room, in your living room, your bedroom at home, you can say yes to Christ. God bless you and be sure and go to church next Sunday.

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

Or you can write to us at "Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, NC 28201"

Or you can contact us on the web 24/7 at - We'll get the same helps to you that we give to everyone who responds at the invitation.

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