Billy Graham - Hope for Broken Things

Billy Graham - Hope for Broken Things

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Tonight I want you to turn with me to Mark the fourth chapter. The fourth chapter of Mark beginning with verse 15.

And the same day, when the evening was come, Jesus saith unto them, let us pass over unto the other side, and when they sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship, and there were also with him other little ships. And there rose a great storm of wind and the waves beat into the ship so that it was now full and he was in the hinder part of the ship asleep on a pillow. And they awoke him and they said, master, do you not care that we perish? And he rose and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, peace, be still. And the wind ceased and there was a great calm and he said unto them, 'why are you so fearful? Is it that you have no faith? And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, what manner of man is this that even the wind and the sea obey him?

And they came over unto the other side of the sea into the country of the Gadarenes. And when he came out of the ship immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit who had his dwelling among the tombs and no man could bind him. No, not even with chains. Because he had been so often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him and the fetters broke in pieces. Neither could any man tame him. And always night and day he was in the mountains and in the tombs crying and cutting himself with stones. And when he saw Jesus afar off he ran and worshipped him, and fell down before him, and cried with a loud voice and said, 'what have I to do with thee Jesus, thou son of the Most High?' I adjure thee by God that you do not torment me. For he said unto him, come out of the man, thou unclean spirit.

There was an unclean spirit in this man. A demon. And Jesus asked the demon, "What is your name"? And the demon replied, "My name is legion, for we are many". And I want to tell you the rest of the story, of what I want to leave with you tonight, because the Bible teaches that there is such a thing as a devil and the Bible teaches that there is such a thing as demons. And these demons have tremendous power and tremendous influence and they're at work in our world today. And they're at work in Philadelphia today.

Here's the disciples in a storm at sea. And there's nothing sadder than a wreck. But the saddest and the most tragic wreck of all is the wreck of a human soul. Christ said, "For what is a man profited if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul"? He was comparing the world with the soul. He said your soul, your spirit, is more valuable than all the rest of the world put together. How can that be? All the money, all the wealth that there is in this world is not as valuable in the sight of God as your soul. Your soul is that part of you that lives forever. When you were born, you were born a living soul, a living spirit. And that part of you is going to live forever. Nothing you can do about it. You were born to live forever.

Now your eternal home may be hell or it may be heaven but you are going to live and it is up to you to decide which road of life you're going to take. Jesus said there are two roads. There's a broad road that leads to destruction and a narrow road that leads to life eternal. And you have to make a choice. Now in the story that we read about, this boat with Jesus in it, and the disciples, lands on the beach. And all of a sudden they hear these wild cries on a cliff above them. They see a dreadful wreck and ruin of a man rushing down. He's disheveled, his body is naked, he's gashed, he's bleeding. Fragments of chains on his hands and feet. A wild, wretched remnant of a man. Probably came from a fine home. Perhaps a man of superior intelligence in every way. He begins to act strangely. He grows worse and eventually he leaves home. He was possessed by an unclean spirit.

Now the Bible teaches, that there are demons that can possess a person. And he was living among the dead. This man was possessed of an unclean spirit and he lived among other people with unclean spirits. He was spiritually dead. And in destitution and wretchedness the devil pays his wages. Yes, the devil pays. You serve him. Live separated from God. You may live in a fine home. You may have everything that will bring pleasure and happiness and money, but deep inside, you're not sure that you know Christ. There's something wrong. And eventually, the devil will pay you off because you have neglected Christ and turned your life over to the devil even though you didn't mean to. You just did it by neglect. You see, you are in torment. Your conscience is in torment. Your conscience acts as the salt in the wound or a whip on your rebellious back.

So many in the press tell the story of their torment in drugs. "What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou son of the Most High God? Torment us not". Many people say: "What do I have to do with thee"? That's what this man said. What do I have to do with you? A working man will say, well he's too busy for Christ. A rich man says that religion is for the poor people. An intellectual man says it's for the uneducated. The common man says I can't understand it. The radical says it isn't a revolutionary enough. Whether you like it or not, you will someday have something to do with God at the judgment. Every knee shall bow to me and every tongue shall confess that he is the Christ. Whether you like it or not, someday you will bow.

When I was taken to some of these areas in the Philadelphia area of disadvantaged people, people that don't have as much as maybe some other people, maybe some of them involved in certain types of crimes but there are people out in the suburbs just like them. They just live in better homes, maybe drive a better car, but their hearts and their souls are in torment from their own conscience. But Jesus moves among both groups. He moved among the wealthy. He moved among the poor. And he was unafraid. Always tender. Always loving.

And he asked this man, he said: "What is your name"? And the demon answered back: "My name is legion", because there are many of us that occupy this man's life and heart. And there are many demons today. The demon of sex perversion. The demon of lying. The demon of anger. The demons of drugs. The demon of strong drink. The demon of sex that's out of hand. You can't get it off your mind. You can't get away from it: it's everywhere. You look on a magazine stand and you see sex at every turn. You turn on the television, there's sex. You go to a movie, there's sex and profanity. And if you want to see a good picture, sometimes you have to sit through a half-dozen of that kind of picture to see one good one.

And today that's difficult to find even a good one. Because it seems that all of them are dripping with these sins that the Bible teaches are coming from the devil. Mary Magdalene had seven devils and this man was filled with evil spirits. And some of you are like that here tonight. You yield to temptation, and it becomes easier to yield the next time. You become a slave. A slave to lust and passion and your own evil nature. Jesus says to this man, with a voice of authority, Jesus said, "Come out of the man". This same voice that he used to still the storm at the sea, he says: "Come out of the man". And at once, a change took place in that man. His muscles relaxed. The stones fell from his hands. The wild look on his face left. A look of the reason came. Humanity was restored. A disciple leaned over and wiped blood from his face. Another one came and put some clothes on him.

And there were three prayers that were prayed in this story. Only one was answered. The first prayer came from the demons. There were 2,000 pigs or hogs that were feeding out in the fields, up on the cliff. And they were watched over by herdsmen. And the demon said to Jesus, "Send us into the swine". And I've often thought to myself how awful the existence of hell must be, if you want to live in a swine instead of hell. One of the most tragic and dreadful prayers ever uttered. They didn't want to go to hell. Hell must be awful if the demons begged Christ to send them to the swine. It's a terrible lesson for us to learn.

Hell is called in the Bible many names.
It's called "A horrible tempest" in Psalm 11.
It's called the "Place of sorrows" in Psalm 18.
It's called the "Place of walling" in Matthew 13.
It's called the "Place of weeping" in Matthew 8.
It's called the "Place of torment" in Luke 16.
It's called a "Place of outer darkness" in Matthew 8.
In revelation 20:15, it's called "The lake of fire".

Whatever all those things mean, it's terrible. It will be separation from God. That is hell. To be separated from God, and you can have hell on this earth. And some of you are living in hell now because you're separated from God. The problem with you is not your wife. It's not your husband. It's not your business. It's not your children. It's the separation from God. God loves you. He's there to help you every day. He died on the cross for you because he loved you.

And then the second prayer was the people's prayer. These herdsmen. They rush into the city to inform the people that an awful catastrophe has befallen the hogs. That's where they made their living, from those pigs, those hogs. They saw the transformed man but all they could think about was the loss of money. They begged Christ to leave their country. Leave us alone. Go somewhere else: we don't need you here. You're spoiling the money that we use for our pleasures and our livelihood.

Now here, Jesus was ready to bring healing and salvation to that whole area, but they were more interested in money and material things than they were in Jesus. And this is true today. There are many people who do not want Christ. They are afraid that if he comes into their lives, it'll be a revolution. They don't want to be disturbed. I know many church members today that are comfortable with their situation. They go to church. They live any way they want to. They don't want to be disturbed. They don't want the preacher to talk about sin. They don't want him ever to mention hell. They don't want him to talk about the blood that was shed on the cross. They don't want to be disturbed. They don't want to be told that they need to repent of their sins and receive Christ as Savior personally.

They think everything's all right. They've been baptized, as I was in the church. They were confirmed, as I was, in the church. And they say, well, that's enough. And I go to church once in a while. That's enough. I believe in God. I believe in Christ. Yes, you have a head belief. Jesus said, "You believe in me. You serve me with your mouth, but your heart is far from me". Does Jesus live in your heart? Do you know he's there? Are you certain that he's there? Because you see, if you're not sure, you ought to make sure tonight before you leave here. "Now is the accepted time of salvation". Today is the day of salvation. Come while he's able.

Those people that don't want Christ are like a drowning man who's throwing away a life belt. They're like a poisoned man throwing away the antidote. They are like a wounded man tearing open his wounds. They're like a lost man shuddering in the darkness on the brink of hell, refusing Christ. Do you fear that you'll have to give up something, and so you've asked Jesus to leave? You're afraid he might look in some secret chamber of your life. The most terrible verse all the Bible is found in Psalm 106:15. "And he gave them their request but sent leanness to their soul".

God is answering your prayer. He's sending you your request for a job. A decent home. A decent place to live. But your soul is lean toward God, and you're separated from him. And you need to come to him. That's what the cross is all about. That's why he died. And those two arms of the cross are to bring you together. And he reaches out with one hand and you reach out with the other and grasp his hand and he'll hold you. You don't have to worry about holding on to him: he'll do the holding. And then the scripture says: "Ephraim is joined to his idols. Let him alone". And three times in the book of the Romans, it says, "God gave them up".

See, God can give you up. Because you cannot come to Christ unless the Holy Spirit convicts you and draws you and speaks to you and gives you an opportunity like this. You better come while you can. If there's even the slightest disturbance in your heart, or the slightest indication that you need Christ you better come tonight. There may not be another night like this for you. What a terrible thing for God to quit speaking to you and for God to quit disturbing you. Thank God he does disturb you. Thank God he does use your conscience. Thank God he does use your brain. God will continue to love you and it's never too late. My father had this strange idea when he was a young man that he had committed the unpardonable sin. And he carried that with him for years. He thought it was too late for him. But one day Christ came into his heart and changed him when he was in his fifties, and made him a new person. And I will never forget what a change it made in our home.

And then the last prayer was the healed man's request. He wants to follow Christ and stay with Christ, and live with Christ. And Jesus said, "No. Go home. Go back to the street where you live. Go back to your friends. Go back to your neighborhood. Go back to your community, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you". And he had compassion on him. You see, we are to go back home tonight and tell people what God has done for us. Because Christ is going to do something for you tonight that you never expected before you came here. You can have a brand new life when you walk out of this stadium. You say, "Can it happen that fast"? It happens that fast.

Did you know that every person that Jesus called, he called publicly? Every one. Now Nicodemus came to him by night, I know that. But everyone that Jesus called and transformed and changed, it was instantaneous and it was public. And I'm going to ask you in a moment to get up out of your seat and come publicly and say tonight, "I want my sins forgiven. I want to know I'm going to heaven. I receive Christ into my heart by faith. I repent of my sins".

There were three things that this man had. He now had rest. "Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest", said Jesus. He now was clothed because he had been naked before, like Adam and Eve. And you and I are naked before God. Sin makes us naked and Christ provided the clothes at Calvary. And we're clothed in the righteousness of God. And when God looks at me, he doesn't see Billy Graham. He doesn't see the evil heart that I have. He doesn't see the sins I've committed. He sees the righteousness of Jesus Christ, because I'm clothed in his righteousness. "For by grace are you saved. That not of yourselves, not of works lest any man should boast".

You can't work your way to heaven. You can't buy your way. God gives it to you. But it comes by the way of the cross. Do you know that Christ lives in you tonight? If I had a doubt in my heart, you couldn't get me to leave this stadium till I'd found out. Because it's too dangerous. "What shall it profit a man if he gained the whole world but lose his own soul"? And then he had reason. He came to his senses. He was in his right mind. Sin destroys the mind and distorts the mind. And many people have moral insanity. So Christ can cure: he can cleanse: and he can change. And he will do that for you tonight, if you'll let him. And I'm going to ask you to get up out of your seat right now and come and stand in front, publicly and openly, and say, "I want to be sure".

You may be a member of the best church in your community. You may be looked upon as a good person but you're not sure how you stand, and you'd like to be sure. I'm going to ask you to come. Especially you from up here in the upper gallery, because it takes a minute or two longer. And after you've all come and stood here, I'm going to say a word to you, have a prayer with you and give you some literature to help you in your future Christian life. Tonight, you come. Men, women, young people, fathers, mothers, whoever you are... Grandparents. I'm going to ask that no one leave the stadium now. I know some people will want to go and leave, and be ahead of everybody else, but this is the holy moment, of this meeting tonight. You get up and come and make sure.

You've been watching tonight. You'd like to make your commitment to Christ. You can make that commitment where you are, in a hotel room, in a bar, in your home. Wherever you are, just say "Yes, Lord Jesus, come into my heart. Forgive my sins. I receive you into my heart by faith". If you'll do that, he'll come, and he'll be there because he loves you. It's my prayer that many will make that commitment tonight.

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"

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