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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Billy Graham » Billy Graham - Hanging Loose

Billy Graham - Hanging Loose

Billy Graham - Hanging Loose

Now, I want you to turn with me to Luke to 14th chapter Luke, the 14th chapter, beginning at verse 25. And there went great Multitudes with him. Notice great multitudes as a great multitude here tonight, in spite of the fact that here at Tampa Stadium, it's a little chillier than Tampa normally has this time of year. And many people have their coats on tonight. But the weather man promises it will be real warm tomorrow. And there's a great multitude here. There's 35,000 people here in spite of the chill. And that's a tremendous crowd anywhere in the world. And great multitudes were with him. And he turned and said to them, you know, every time a big crowd started following Jesus, he had separate them. He'd say, you know, I'm going to die on a cross. If you're not willing to go with me, don't follow me.

And that had separate people right there because they didn't want to go to a cross, because the cross was the place of Roman execution where they executed criminals. And he said, if any man come to me and hate not his father and his mother and his wife and his children and his brethren and his sisters, and yea his own life also cannot be my disciple. Now, of course, this is an idiom of preference in which Jesus is using an exaggerated statement in order to put across the point that God is to be first and foremost in our lives at all times, even above your father, your mother, your brother, your sister, or even your life, Christ is to be first. And he said, if you're not willing to make that decision and not willing to make that choice, you cannot follow him.

And then he goes on and whosoever do it, not bear his cross. And coming after me doth not bear cross and cometh after me. Cannot be my disciple. For which of you intending to build a tower? sitteth not down first and count at the cost whether he have sufficient to finish it less happily after you have laid the foundation and is not able to finish it all that behold it began to mock him saying this man began to build was not able to finish it. In other words, Jesus is saying, If you're going to follow me, sit down and count the cost, because the people that followed Jesus were young. He was a young man himself. Jesus died at 33, and on this occasion he is on his way to Jerusalem for the last time.

And if you take Luke from the oh, about the 13th chapter and the 31st verse to the 19th chapter and the 27th chapter, it has to do with this journey that carries him through various parts of what we call the Holy Land, on his way to Jerusalem, to the cross, to die for our sins. And, you know, when we deal with young people today, there are three kinds of tensions I find among young people. First, there's the tension between youth and their elders. They think that they're standing in their way toward a better life. And the real test of this generation has not come yet. The real test of our generation is still to come because our world is facing some ominous storm clouds, the armament race, the creeping hunger in the world, and the cries of the hungry.

In many parts of the third world that do not have enough to eat. And whether we like it or not, we're going to have to listen to them because they are getting more and more and louder and louder. And we cannot go on with extreme rich and extreme poor. And our generation has not yet faced up. The new generation has not yet faced up that you will have to carry the burden. You're going to have to carry the burden of the mistakes of my generation and the generation just past. Because you see, we've built up a gigantic debt for you to pay. The interest on that debt at this moment is $60 billion a year. Just the interest and somebody has got to pay it. And you are the ones that have been chosen to pay it. We have not lived up to our means and the debts getting bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger and $400 billion are being spent on arms in the world.

Somebody can push the trigger that can destroy your generation. And those are the terrifying things that face you. And you haven't faced up to it yet. And neither have we. And I, for one, am and am ashamed at what our generation has handed you and the problems we've handed you and the mistakes we've made. And one of those mistakes is we haven't really clearly presented to you the Gospel of Christ and what it costs to follow Christ and the joy and the thrill and the excitement of following Christ and knowing Him and having your sins forgiven so that even if you're in a wheelchair, you can have that marvelous smile and say, Thank God, what a message we have to give to you.

And then the second tension I find is created by young people themselves who don't like any part of the world that they will inherit and are seeking to abolish the whole society. Like one of them said that they feel like they're locked in the back of a vehicle that has been built to corrupt specifications. It's unsafe at any speed and it's being driven by a middle aged drunk. They don't want to drive. They don't even want to go where the car is going. They just want to get out of the car as quick as they can before the wreck. And if they succeed, they will camp where they happen to be hoping to make it. If they can stay together.

And then the third tension that I find is a tension that comes from those young people who use a word that they used a couple or three years ago. I don't think young people are using this anymore because it's a little out of date, but it's a pretty good expression that I find among young people even today, even though they use different terminology, they mean the same thing hanging loose. They're disturbed by biting discontent. They're testing the winds of change before committing their mind and their body and their soul. And they represent many of modern youth. Our boy gets caught cheating in school and his peers tell him, Hang loose. A girl gets pregnant. Hang loose. Students pressured by parents to get better grades. Hang loose. Don't worry about it.

When a problem gets rough, hang loose. Walk away from it. Don't try to think your way out of a mess. Feel your way through it. Abandon absolute standards. They only hang you up. But you know the generation before you. My generation. In the past generation, they were idealists, too. You see. They were tempted to drop out and hang loose. A thousand times. But instead they held on to their jobs and paid their bills and their taxes and fought in wars that had to be fought to keep Hitler from taking the world. Perhaps we've been naive, but we've expected that the young generation might pick up society's load. And we find it difficult to understand the lack of commitment today.

And that's really the lack that we find that I find among many young people. They really haven't committed themselves to any philosophy or ideology or religious faith. They're just hanging loose, sort of waiting for wind to come along and blow them in any direction. I'm asking you tonight to commit yourself to the Lord Jesus Christ. Count the cost. Surrender it all to Him. Let him be your Lord. Let him do it. You are thinking for you as to what you should do about vocation in marriage and these great problems that you're going to have to personally face, as well as the corporate problems we're going to have to face as a whole generation. Our world is moving very, very fast toward a climax of some sort.

I think we're on the verge of an international earthquake, and I think it could happen any time, certainly before the end of the century, unless unless unless millions of young people begin to march for Jesus Christ with love in their hearts, surrendered, committed, studying the word, a knowledge of the scriptures. And that's what I would beg of you. Young people, most of all, is get to know this book. If you're going to be a doctor or a lawyer or a businessman or whatever your vocation. Get a knowledge of this book first. I'm glad I went to Bible school before I went to a liberal arts college because I was grounded in the Scriptures before I went. And when you get to the university and this this is where I have a little bit of a hang up on some churches. Not all of them.

You know, our Sunday school teachers are not properly trained to teach. They don't know the scriptures themselves. They don't know how to communicate the scripture. They do know. And our young people need training. And the church can do it. And in many instances, in most instances, they are doing and thank God for the Bible schools and the Bible departments in many of our Christian schools that are teaching the Word of God to our young people. But some schools be very careful when you take a Bible course.

I want to tell you this now. I had a young fellow come to me the other day and he said he wanted to go to a certain university. And I said, Go, It's a great university, but don't take any Bible courses, because in that university, the professors of that university are out to destroy your faith. And that is happening all too often in some of our universities today. In fact, one professor that I heard about, in fact, I know his name, he walked into the classroom. He said, I'm supposed to teach you the Bible. He said, I want to tell you, first of all, I don't believe a word of it. And he said, secondly, I'm going to try to prove to you why the Bible isn't true. Well, you can see these young kids that were sitting there awed by the knowledge of the professor coming from their homes where they'd been taught to love the word of God. How many tragedies take place that way? And it's up to the church to teach and to be sure that our teaching is the truth of God's word.

Now, you know, when you work among young people, there are three problems that you face when it comes to. I think when it comes to the word of God. First is an intellectual problem. Now, that's not as much of a problem as it used to be. Years ago, because you see, science today tends to confirm the word of God. When I was going to school, science seemed to be against the word of God. Today, the vast majority of scientists believe in God. 35 years ago, the vast majority did not believe in God. So the intellectual problem is not so great, but the intellectual problem that I did face is one that many of you face. I had to decide who Jesus Christ was. Was he the son of the living God? The way the truth and the life, the embodiment of all truth, all scientific truth, psychological truth, moral truth, spiritual truth.

Was he the embodiment of all truth, as he claimed? Or was he a liar? Oh, did he deserve to be put in a mental institution and studied by some psychiatrists? Which was it? That's the decision that you have to make tonight. You have to make a decision about Jesus Christ an intellectual decision. The Bible does not say anything against the mind. In fact, the Bible has a lot to say about the mind, we are to love the Lord God with all our heart, soul and mind. Let this mind being you that was also in Christ Jesus. The mind is important, but remember that the mind has been affected by sin and you cannot come to Jesus Christ intellectually alone. That last step has to be taken by faith.

And so by faith, I say, Lord Jesus, I believe you are who you claim to be the Son of the living God, the Creator of the universe, who died on the cross for my sins and rose again for my justification. I believe you are coming back to set up your kingdom. I know that you are my savior, and by faith I accept. And when I do that, he changes my life and he comes into my heart and makes me a new person. And he he'll do that to you tonight.

The second problem that young people face in coming to Christ is a moral problem meeting the high standards of Christ. Because you see, Christ demanded first place in everything and you have to come to Christ realizing you will have to pay a price. You can't drag those dirty sins with you. You'll have to quit your lying. You you'll have to quit sleeping with that girl that's not your wife. You'll have to quit cheating in school. You will have to take some responsibility and work. You will have to study the Word of God to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that needed not to be ashamed. All of these things are costly. Are you willing to pay them? That's the moral problem. His standards are very high. And he hasn't changed to accommodate himself to our generation and to our changing permissive standards. He's still the same yesterday, today, and forever. God never changes.

Now, those are high standards, and I don't believe you can keep them without Christ sex thrown at you from every angle. The sex instinct very strong. God gave it to you. It's a gift from God. There's nothing wrong with it. The peer pressure, the things we see in the motion pictures and in the literature, all stimulating your sexual desires. And you can't live a clean life today except one way. And that's with Christ in your heart. Paul said, I've been crucified with Christ. I no longer live but Christ liveth in me. The Scripture says Sin shall no longer have dominion over you.

There was a time when sin ruled in your life, but when you come to Christ, sin no longer rules. Christ rules and He can help you to meet the high standards that he set in morality and ethics. Now, suppose you accept Christ and you slip and fall. What happens? You're not going to become perfect immediately. If you really know Christ, you get up and you get on your knees and say, Oh, Lord, I'm sorry. Forgive me. Turn from that sin. I don't ever want to commit it again. And you confess it, acknowledge it. And he is faithful and just to forgive you your sin. So tonight, if you have sinned, come back to him tonight and say, Lord, I have sinned. I'm sorry I surrendered.

And then, of course, there's another problem, and that's the emotional problem. Because you see, we're made of mind and will and emotion. He wants Lordship over your career, your marriage, your friendships, your morals, everything surrendered to him. You're not to be swept off your feet emotionally. Nobody says you have to cry when you come to Christ or you have to laugh when you come to Christ. But I'll tell you this You can't look at that cross very long and realize it's deep significance without being moved that God would send His son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to die and shed his blood for you so that you might have forgiveness of sin and eternal life and know that you're going to heaven. Now God makes three claims or three calls to you. First, He called you to the person of Jesus Christ.

Okay, come now. Let us reason together. Sayeth the Lord, though your sins. Be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow. That can be made white as snow because of the cross. So he called you to Christ tonight? It's not a church call. It's not a family call. It's not a national call. It's a call to a person, the person of Christ. How many people here tonight are in the church? But you really don't know the person of Christ for yourself. And then secondly, God called you to consecration. The word consecration means to set apart. Now we do the dedicating, but only God can consecrate. I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your body as a living sacrifice wholly acceptable unto God.

Think of your life as a as a house. Your the owner of the house. You have a ring of keys. And when you respond to the call of Christ, you give God the key to the front door of your house. You commit your life to Christ as Savior and Lord. And when you respond to God's call to consecration, you take off the other keys from the ring one at a time and give them to God for a mother, or father. It means that you go to the nursery and give your baby to Christ. For a student, it means that you give God the key to your education. For a businessman, it means that you give God the key to your business, the key to your pocketbook. You give God the key to your romance. You give God the key to your future marriage. He becomes the Lord as you have therefore received the Lord. So walk ye in Him. How did you receive Christ? You received Him by faith.

Now walk according to faith. Give him the rings on that. Give him the keys on that key ring. And then thirdly, God called you to training. I'll tell you, I wish we had a million young people right now that would say, I'll go where you want me to go and be what you want me to be. Lord, how God could use you in places of India that I know about in Africa and Latin America, and right here in the United States or in Europe, right in your own neighborhood, right on the west coast of Florida. God could use you. He needs you. My own denomination is going to appoint a thousand new missionaries in one service in Houston, Texas, in June, and they're praying that a thousand new people will come that same night, new young people and say, Lord, I'll go where you want me to go. I'll be what you want me to be. I'll be a missionary.

He needs nurses and doctors and businessmen and yes, Christian politicians, Christian leaders that are ready to step out and pay the price and serve Christ. I'm calling you tonight to join his army, March with him under the banner of the cross with his love in your heart. But first, you'll have to take that first decision and that first step and say yes by faith. I receive your Lord into my heart. I'm going to ask you to do it right now. Hundreds of you, young and old alike. I'm going to ask you to do something. We've seen several thousand people do already. I'm going to ask you to get up out of your seat right now, hundreds of you, and come and stand on this field and say, by coming, "I receive Christ, I want to follow Christ. I want to give him all the keys in my ring to him, no matter what the cost. I'm willing to pay the price tonight, whatever it is".

If you're with friends or relatives, bring them with you. But come. If you come in a bus, they'll wait on you. Whoever you're with, they'll wait. And after you've all come down here, I want to say a word to you and have a prayer with you and give you some literature and you can go back and join your friends. But you come. Don't let this night escape because the Bible says: he that hardeneth his heart being often reprooved shall suddenly be cut off and that without remedy. You may never have another moment in all your life when you are so close to the kingdom as you are tonight. This is your moment in your hour. You come quickly from everywhere. We're going to wait as hundreds are already coming. You join them and come. While you come and the choir is going to sing.

You that are watching by television can probably see every aisle in this great stadium here in Tampa, Florida, is filled with young and old alike coming to make their commitment to Christ. You can make that commitment wherever you are right now. I'm going to ask you to do it. God help you to make that commitment now, 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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