Billy Graham - Getting a Piece of the Rock
Now tonight I want you to turn with me to Deuteronomy the 32nd chapter and the 31st verse, Deuteronomy. That's in the Old Testament over toward the beginning of the Old Testament in what is called the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Bible and there's a verse tucked away in Moses' farewell address to ancient Israel that says this in the 31st verse. It says this, "For their rock is not our rock". For their rock is not our rock. In the latter part of the last century, a man toured America and Great Britain and many times, he used that text. I'd never noticed that text until I read one of his sermons a few weeks ago. D.L. Moody. Their rock is not our Rock.
Moses is now an old man. He has led the children of Israel for 40 years in the desert. He's been a king, a father, a president, a leader all these years. And now only Joshua and Caleb are left. All the other generation are dead and all the people standing out before him are young people. Young people just like you with the same desires, the same aspirations, the same longings, the same dreams, the same problems, the same sins, the same temptations that you have. And Moses looking upon this vast audience, an entirely new generation, with his long white beard, preaching to them, warning them, warning them of other gods and false gods that are going come up to take the place of the true and the living God. And he said, if you follow these false gods, that judgment of God will come upon you. And he referred to God as a Rock and he referred to these other gods as rocks, spelled with a little "r". The rock God was spelled with a capital "R".
Now why did he use the term rocks as an illustration? The children of Israel had been wandering around among the rocks for 40 years. They knew what a rock was. They knew the hard rocks and the soft rocks and all kinds of rocks. And he said, "Their rock is not our Rock". What are some of the rocks in America right now that young people are in danger?
You know, I talked to a man just a few weeks ago who claimed to be an atheist. I don't know whether he was really an atheist, but he said he was an atheist. He said, "I've been an atheist all my life". He said, "My father was an atheist". He said, "I am now 71 years of age", and I said, "What do you have to look forward to"? He said, "Nothing". He said, "Life has been miserable for me". "Well", I said, "why don't you give up your atheism"? "Why don't you believe in God"? He said, "My pride won't let me". Their rock is not our Rock. Compared with Paul, the apostle Paul said, "I fought a good fight. I finished my course. I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give me in that day".
What a contrast between an atheist and a believer. One man was facing death, fearful, empty. The other man was facing death full of confidence. Their rock is not our Rock. Secondly, young people, many young people are going after materialism. They fallen for the materialistic god that says things are more important than anything else. I find across the country today, a deep economic discontent among people. I find it in Europe. I find it around the world and people are wanting more and more things and we forget that we have the highest standard of living the world has ever known. We still have poverty.
The government is trying to do something about it. The church is trying to do something. Hundreds of social agencies are trying to do something about it, but the people that we call living in poverty would be considered rich if they lived in Bangladesh or in many other parts of the world. We're a rich nation, but still with all of our riches, we're dissatisfied. We want more, more, more, more. The more we get, the more we want. Jesus said, "You cannot serve God and mammon". He said, "A man's life consists not in the abundance of the things that he possesses". A famous man was quoted in the paper the other day as saying, "I'm worth millions of dollars, but I can tell you this, That's not where it's at". "I'm worth millions, but that's not where it's at".
Adolf Berle, in his study of power, points out riches make people solitary, lonely, and often afraid. Many times a rich man has a loneliness and a fear because you see, if you make riches your god, if you make things your god, if you make money your god, it leaves you empty. George Bernard Shaw said, "There are two tragedies in life. One is not to get your heart's desire and the other is to get it". You think if you had a lot of money, you'd be happy. Some of you have already got a lot and you're not happy. Two tragedies, you didn't get it and you did get it.
You see, without God, life loses its zest and its purpose and its meaning, even though you may have money. Young people in America today are revolting against affluency and yet today, many young people are prisoners of a culture which puts a premium on things rather than moral values. Their rock is not our Rock. Don't make money your god. There's nothing wrong with having money if you've got it legitimately and honestly. It's what you do with it. It's your attitude toward it. Do you love it? Has it become your god? Does it dominate you? Does it have such a hold on you that you don't have time for God? Their rock is not our Rock. That's not the rock we want.
And then thirdly, their aims and objectives are not our Rock. What are the objectives of the average person in America today? Power, pleasure, leisure, money. What is the objective of a Christian? To glorify God, to live for God, to do the will of God, to love your neighbor, to help your neighbor, to make an impact in society for God and to leave the world a little better place because you were here. What is your objective? Is your objective to get all the leisure time you can, to have all the pleasure you can have, to make all the money you can make? What is your objective? What's your goal in life? Where are you headed? Their rock is not our Rock. And then fourthly, there's pleasure. You know, in America today, we're searching for new thrills. We've worn out the old amusements. You're not to become so absorbed.
The Bible says, "Be temperate in all things". There are legitimate pleasures that can take most of your time and occupy most of your thinking that are legitimate in themselves, but they soon become sin because they've taken the place of God. "In Thy presence is fullness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures forevermore", said the Psalmist. Do you have that kind of pleasure? The kind of pleasure that's not dependent on circumstances. The kind of pleasure that's not dependent on how you feel. The kind of pleasure that runs deep that has been brought there by the Spirit of God.
When the tide comes in, the rock of pleasure will turn into a sand. The sweetness of pleasure turns to bitterness and disappointment. Life becomes empty, sick, and a tragic thing when pleasure is put first and becomes your god. Their rock is not our Rock. There's the rock of revolution. All over the country we hear the word revolution and many young people have fixed their hopes and their dreams on change in the political system and they believe that if they can get this revolution, it'll fix everything.
I was with one of these young leaders whose name is known to many of you in New York some time ago; and I looked out across Manhattan. He said, "We're going to burn it down". I said, "What are you going to rebuild in its place"? He said, "We haven't gotten that far". I said, "Well, before you destroy the American ship, you better be sure that you can know how to build a raft".
Many people have an idea that they, I think they, it's the excitement of revolution for revolution's sake. You know, every utopia has turned out to be a pipe dream in the history of the human race. Their rock is not our Rock. Yes, we need change in America, but let's keep our freedom. Let's don't have a revolution just for revolution' sake or we will destroy everything that's been built in the greatest nation in the history of the world.
Seventhly, religiosity can become a god. You know, there's a great emphasis today on the occult. I was asked about it on television today in an interview. Satan worship. People today that are going after all kinds of false spirits across the country and in Europe and in the far East as well. It's become a big thing and a big business, and many young people across the country are being fooled by all kinds of cults and spirits and devils and demons. Beware, you are dealing with the dark powers that are very real. How did Jesus overcome the devil? By arguing? No. By debating? No. He quoted Scripture.
The Bible says that He was filled with the Holy Spirit. He was walking according to the will of God and He quoted the Bible and every time He quoted the Bible; the devil was defeated. That's the reason it's important to memorize Scripture. Study the Bible. I'm so anxious that young people across America now that are finding Christ by the thousands, will get into the Scriptures, get into the Word of God. Learn it. "Desire the sincere milk of the Word that ye may grow thereby", Because if you don't, we're going to have a backlash in the next generation and young people who have had an experience with Christ and don't become taught in the Scriptures are prime targets for the devil. Get into the Scriptures. Get to work for Christ. Their rock is not our Rock.
Eighthly, their cure is not our Cure. That's one of the problems of psychiatry. I'm for psychiatrists and psychologists. I send many people to them, but there's a point beyond which a psychiatrist who is not a believer, there's a point beyond which he can't help. In many cases, he has no cure. And many of them have admitted this to me privately and some of them are beginning to do it publicly and they're doing it in books now. You'll see, the cure of the world, the Freudian cure is one direction, but the Christian cure is other. The Christian cure is the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. The cure for domestic problems. There's a father having problems with a son.
What is the cure? The son in rebellion, the son going out on his own, seeking his own identity, doing things that appalls the father. The father becomes angry. The parents become upset. There is a Christian cure. The cure is Christ. To go to our knees. And you know, I love the young people of this generation. I can see why a lot of them have rebelled. They have rebelled against the hypocrisies they've seen in us. They've seen us tell lies. They've heard us tell them not to smoke their pot and seen us drink our alcohol. They've heard us use those swear words. They've seen father and mother flirting with the next-door neighbor. They've seen the sharp business deals that they knew were not right. They've seen the emphasis has been on things even while you went to church on Sunday, yet the whole emphasis of your life is materialistic. They've seen the hypocrisy and they said, "We don't want it".
But let me tell you this. You young people. If you had lived a few years ago, your life expectancy wouldn't have been very long because, you see, this generation was able to make some breakthroughs in medicine and in science that has given you all these marvelous drugs so you don't have to worry today about small pox and polio and all of these other things that preoccupied people a generation or two ago and sent terror and fear through this community of Charlotte many times through disease. There are many wonderful things this generation has brought. Television, radio brought the world into our living room. And this generation of people, my generation, worked hard. We came through the Depression. We didn't want you to ever have to go through a depression again. We came through World War II and we determined that we were going to do all we could to keep out of another great world war.
And you young people must understand that this generation has done some good things even though we've done some bad things and we want to help you as we hand the torch to you. We want to help you change it and make it better, but we've got to, in all fairness, say that the problem lies deeper than we thought. The problem lies in the human heart. We've found that we cannot legislate morals. We've found we cannot pass a law and settle our race problem. We can help, but that doesn't solve it all. It's got to come from the human heart. That's why Jesus said, "You must be born again". Their rock is not our Rock. Their cure is not our Cure. Our Cure says you must be born again.
Now what is this Rock that is ours with the big capital "R"? The rock is God and the Bible tells us that the Rock in the Old Testament was actually Jesus Christ. He was the Rock, King of Kings and Lord of Lords, born of the Virgin Mary, died on the cross for our sins, rose again for our justification. He is the Rock that we're to put our confidence and our faith in and He's called in the Bible, the Rock of defense. When we put our trust in Him, He takes our side. He takes out part. He helps us carry the load and when you come to Jesus Christ as Savior, you don't have to, you don't have to live a life by yourself. You can't live the Christian life alone. Christ will be there. He is the Rock that will help you to live the life. If God is for us who can be against us.
I'm glad that my defense at the great judgment of God is going to be in the hands of the greatest lawyer in the universe, Jesus Christ, our advocate. And the devil is going to say, "Look at Billy Graham, ha-ha. Look at the sins he committed. Look at the things he did that are wrong". Jesus Christ is going to step, step up and be my representative and he's never lost a case. And then, He is a high rock, the Bible says, a watch tower.
Lead me to the Rock that is higher than I. Did you know that the Christian has a vantage point that the world doesn't have? Everybody's wringing their hands and saying, what's happening in the world? What's wrong with the world? Why is the world in such a mess? I can tell you. The simplest Christian in this audience tonight with no education at all can tell you exactly what's wrong with the world because the Christian has an insight that nobody else has. Their Christian can tell you what's wrong with the world and the Christian can tell you what could put the world right because you see we have a Rock, a vantage point.
Then the Bible teaches that our Rock is a refuge. The Bible speaks of the cleft in the rock, a hiding place from the storms of life. A place where we can go and pray and meditate and think and worship God. Rock is a foundation. For other foundation can no man lay than that was laid in Christ Jesus. Is Jesus Christ the foundation of your life? There were two men that Jesus told about. One built his house on the sand, one built it on the rock. The storm came and the one that was built on the sand crumbled and the one that was built on the rock lasted. Where are you building your life? Is it on the Rock or is it on a false rock?
A sandy rock that will crumble and erode, a shaley rock. Oh, there are some things that are eternal in our Rock. The Bible says God is eternal. The eternal God is thy refuge. The Bible says that spiritual truth is eternal. The Bible says that God gives us eternal life. The Bible tells us that heaven is eternal. The Bible says God's judgment is eternal. He is an eternal rock. The Bible says, "Prepare to meet thy God". The Bible says, if in this life only we have hope, we are of all men most miserable. Even His enemies recognize that their rock is not our Rock.
Paul says of the Rock in the wilderness in First Corinthians 10, that Rock was Christ. Other rocks crumble and slide and erode and fall, but not Christ. Is He your rock? Is He your Lord and your Master and your Savior? Have you surrendered everything to Him without reservation? You can tonight. You say, what do I have to do? You have to be willing to turn from your sins. You have to be willing to receive Him as your Lord and your Master and your Savior. And you have to be willing to do it publicly. Jesus said, "If you're not willing to acknowledge Me openly and publicly, I'll not acknowledge you before My Father, which is in heaven".
There's no such thing as secret discipleship. You come publicly. That's why I ask people to come forward to receive Christ openly. That's part of it. It's an open acknowledgement that He is your Rock. But I want to tell you what I said across Japan and India and across Africa. When you come to Jesus Christ and make Him your Rock with a capital R, you must turn from the other rock. And it will cost you something because some of the rocks in your life are wrong. Will you make Jesus Christ your Rock of Gibraltar and stake your eternal destiny on Him?
I am asking you to do that tonight and I'm asking hundreds of young people to make Him their Rock tonight and go out of here saying, from this hour on, I'm going to follow Him and serve Him and I'm going to help change the world for Christ. That's the revolution we need. I'm going to ask you to do it right now. I'm going to ask hundreds of you to get up out of your seat; men, women, young people, and come and stand in front of the platform and say, tonight, I want Christ to be my Rock. I want Him to be my Lord and my Savior. I want Him to forgive my past sins. I want to know that I have eternal life. Men, women, young people. You may be a member of the church. You may not be a member of any church. I don't know who you are, what you are, but you want Christ tonight. You get up and come. We're going to wait.
To you that are watching by television, I'm sure that you can see that hundreds of people are coming here in the great Charlotte Coliseum to make their commitment to Jesus Christ as the Rock of ages, the one that they're going to give allegiance to tonight and surrender to as Lord and Master and Savior. To receive everlasting life. Where you are in your home or a bar or hotel lobby, wherever you are, you can receive Christ into your heart. I hope you'll make that commitment. It'll change your life. God bless you.