A Nation at the Crossroads | Billy Graham Classic

A Nation at the Crossroads | Billy Graham Classic


From our archives, The Billy Graham Classics. (applause) Now tonight I want you to turn
with me to 1 Kings, the eighteenth chapter. 1 Kings, the eighteenth chapter
in the Old Testament. 1 Kings 18 and this is one of
the most dramatic stories in all the Bible. 18:21 “How long halt ye
between two opinions? “If the Lord be god,
follow him, “but if Baal be God,
follow him “and the people answered
not a word.” Elijah is the most remarkable
character, to me, in all the Old Testament. I like to read about him. He’s mentioned 30 times
in the New Testament and when Jesus Christ went to
the Mount of Transfiguration there were two men that were
there with him; Elijah and Moses. So, we know that hundreds of
years after Elijah had died or had been taken to heaven,
we know that he came back. And we know that he was living,
and he was talking because he was on
the Mount of Transfiguration, but here in his life story
he suddenly appears at the darkest moment
of Israel’s history. Never had the nation gone
so low morally, spiritually, militarily,
economically, as it was at this hour. The nation was struggling for
its very existence and out of nowhere there came
this rugged, strong, craggy, young, long-haired, sun-tanned
son of the desert, Elijah. And he suddenly announced to
the people, Elijah is here, and the king trembled
on his throne, because Elijah came in the power
and the anointing of the Spirit of God. It used to be said that Mary,
Queen of Scotts, was more afraid of the prayers
of John Knox, one preacher, than she was all
the armies of England. One man and God constitute
a majority anywhere. Elijah was a mighty prophet
of the Lord. And what had happened in Israel
that Israel to go down rapidly was that a very wicked man
had come to the throne. His name was Ahab, and the Bible
says he did more evil than any other king that had
ever proceeded him. And then he did something else. He married a woman from
one of the heathen nations which was against
ancient Israeli law. He married Jezebel and
she worshipped Baal. She didn’t believe in God. She didn’t believe in
the God of ancient Israel. She didn’t believe in
the God of Moses. She didn’t believe in
the God of Abraham. She believed in Baal and Baal was one of the worst
forms of worship that we’ve ever known. Filled with sensuality, sex
orgies, human sacrifice and all the rest. And this is a very
interesting thing, that in a time when people turn
away from the true God, many times, you’ll find that
they will put sex, violence and their religion together. And we’re seeing indications of
that in America with the rise of Satan worship,
and the occults, the emphasis on sex,
the emphasis on violence. Put them together
and you have something the Bible says
that God abhors, and God will judge, and the wrath of God will fall
on that people. And that was the situation when
Elijah appeared on the scene. And the first thing that
Elijah did was to protest, except Elijah was almost alone. He thought he was alone, but God had told him later that there were 7,000 that
hadn’t bowed the knee to Baal. And Elijah said to the king, “All right, here’s what
I want you to do. “I want you to gather
all the prophets of Baal “that believe in idolatry “and lead idolatry
in this country. “I want you to gather them
at Mount Carmel, “that looks out over
the Mediterranean Sea. “And I’ll come up there “and we’ll let all the people
come and watch “and we’ll have a contest. “I will debate the 450 prophets
of Baal publicly “and let the people decide
who is God.” And the king said, “All right.” So, all the people gathered, thousands of people gathered
on Mount Carmel and the 400 prophets of Baal. And Elijah was standing for God
alone. He was just one man, one solitary prophet standing
there all by himself. He said, “Here’s what
I want you to do. “I want you to get two bulls. “Build two alters. “You call on your god, Baal. “I’ll call on my God, the true
and the living God “and we’ll see who answers
by fire.” They said, “All right.” So, they built their alter. They cut their bullock up, laid it on the alter, thousands of people watching and then they began
to call on Baal. They said, “O Baal, Baal, Baal,
Baal, answer by fire. “We know you’re the true god.” And nothing happened. And Elijah stood there
and laughed at them. And it’s one of the most
humorous things in all the Bible. He said, “Go ahead, yell. Maybe your god is
on a trip somewhere.” (laughter) And from morning til noon,
they screamed, and they yelled, and they cried,
and they prayed. And then they began
to cut themselves until blood was gushing out
all over the place. Trying to get Baal to answer. But, of course,
Baal couldn’t answer. Then Elijah said, “All right,
it’s time for me to take over.” He said, “All right,
build the alter.” And they built the alter, put the bullock on the alter. He said, “Now, I want you to get “twelve barrels of water
and pour it on top. “Dig a trench around,
fill that with water, “and everything is soaking wet.” Then Elijah called upon God, and the fire came down
from heaven and burned up the bullock, and burned up the alter, and burned up the whole thing. And the people said, “We believe in the Lord God
who has answered by fire.” And Elijah won the day and left Mount Carmel victorious over the false prophets of Baal. I want you to notice
who was there. Three groups of people. One group, one man, Elijah. On the other side,
450 prophets of Baal, all experts in religion,
philosophy and psychology; and out in between were the vast mass of people
who were not sure. They were uncommitted. They were not sure whether
Baal was god. They were not sure whether
Elijah’s God was God. Their ancient traditions made
them want to believe in Jehovah. Their interest though was
in pleasing the king and being relevant
and being in. They didn’t want to be old
fashioned and traditionalist and out of step. They didn’t want to be
caught believing in the Ten Commandments if that wasn’t the in thing. You see men have always been
sort of faddish. We go after fads. That’s true in every generation. And the in thing at that moment
was to believe in Baal, with all the freedom of sex and
sensuality and the orgies. Now, they didn’t like
the human sacrifice, but all religion demands
some sort of sacrifice, so what they would do
they would take their babies, many times, a chosen baby and put him in the hands of
this great god and the baby would be burned up and they’d give their babies
as human sacrifices. That was Baal worship. But then there were many
who were secret followers of the true God. They didn’t believe all that
hocus-pocus about Baal. They had a guilty feeling
about it, but they were afraid. They were afraid of
standing up for God; afraid of standing up for
what they believed to be truth, so, they didn’t
take a stand publicly. You see, Jesus demands
a public stand. That’s why I ask people
to come forward. He demands a public stand. You can’t be a secret follower
of Jesus and please him. He said if you’re not willing
to take your stand publicly and openly, I’ll not take my stand
openly for you in heaven and without the intersession of
Jesus Christ, none of us would ever make it. And then Elijah said something
to all these people. “If the Lord be God,
follow him; but If Baal,
then follow him.” He said, “Make a decision.” God’s not going to allow you to have an alter to Baal
in your home to materialism in your home and then go to church on Sunday
and think that’s going to do it. You’ve got to come all out
for Jesus Christ. He must be first and Lord
in every area of your life if you’re to be acceptable
to God. Now the people had seen
the evidence. They knew Baal couldn’t give
them peace and joy and happiness. They knew that. You know, one of our most famous
film stars said the other day, I won’t call her name, but she was quoted in one of
the magazines saying this, “I was the victim of
the American Dream. “I’ve been brought up to believe
that when I found success, “I would automatically be
terribly happy. “We were all taught that. “Well, I got the success. “I’d spent 21-years
believing that “as soon as all
these wonderful things “happened to me, “all my troubles would vanish. “Well, they didn’t. “It was a big disillusionment,”
she said. And she’s only 21 now. Twenty-one years thinking that
if she made it on television and she’s famous on television and she’s famous in motion
pictures around the world, that she’d be happy, but she’s said, “It’s been
a big disillusionment.” You see Baal can’t bring inner
peace and satisfaction to the human heart. Pascal one said it,
the great scientist. He said, “Happiness is neither
within us nor without us. “It is in God and only
when God is in us “is happiness within us
and without us.” How true that is. Happiness and peace and joy come
in knowing God. Baal couldn’t answer
their deepest needs, their great philosophical
questions of where did I come from? Why am I here and
where am I going? Baal gave them no answers. Neither does capitalism
and materialism and secularism
and humanism. It’s found only in
a relationship with God. You see, you were made for God. Made in God’s image. Made for fellowship with God. And you can try all your life and a thousand
different directions to find that certain something,
and you’ll never find it. I’ve seen men strive to become
the most brilliant scientists and I know some of the most
brilliant scientists in America that are miserable. I’ve seen men spend
their lifetime making money and I know some of
the richest men in America and I know how miserable
some of them are. I’ve seen men strive all their
lives to obtain political power, and they get political power. They get the office
they were seeking, but it doesn’t bring
the peace and the joy and the happiness and
the fulfillment they thought it would. But here’s an interesting thing. I’ve never seen a person give their lives to Jesus Christ
sincerely, but what they didn’t find
what they were looking for. He satisfies the deepest
longings of our hearts and of our lives. Now Elijah taught us one thing
and Jesus teaches it, too. You must make a choice. You have a will of your own
and you have to decide how long will you hold between
two opinions. Jesus said there are
two ways of life. Now the Bible says, “There’s a way that
seemeth right unto man, “but the end thereof are
the ways of death.” Some of you think
you’re all right and you’re on
the right road now. You don’t realize you’re on
the broad road that leads to destruction. Jesus said there are two roads, the broad road and
the narrow road. The narrow road leads
to eternal life. The broad road leads
to destruction and every person
in this audience tonight is on one or the other. Which are you on? He said there are two masters. He said you cannot serve God
and mammon. You’ll either hate one
and love the other or love one and hate
the other. He said make a choice. He said there are two fathers. You know the Bible doesn’t teach the fatherhood of God and
the brotherhood of man. Not in the sense that
many people teach it. By creation, He’s our father. By creation, we’re all members
of the same human race. And that’s why
we’re to love each other, no matter what race
we come from. We’re all brothers
in that sense. But spiritually speaking, spiritually speaking
we’re not all of the same father and all of the same blood. There are only two groups. Those who are lost and
those who are saved. Those on the broad road
and those on the narrow road. You must be on one or the other. And there are two destinies. There is a heaven
and there is a hell. I know its not popular today
to believe in hell. You can believe in heaven, but people would rather not
think about hell. I don’t blame you. It’s a terrible place, but the Bible teaches
it’s going to be a hell. There is a hell where
men are going to be separated from God forever. And there’s a heaven where
we are going to fellowship with each other and fellowship
with Christ forever. You must make a choice. You young people,
you have to make a choice. This is one choice you can’t depend on your parents
to make for you. Your parents can teach you and
help you and do their best; and many of you parents have done your best
with your children. You’ve prayed for them. You’ve loved them. But there comes a time when they
have to make their own choice about Jesus Christ. They have to decide
for themselves, in the lonely arena
of their own hearts. The greatest battle
that’s ever fought is this battle in the heart
of a young person about Jesus Christ. And this is one thing
you can’t depend on anybody to make for you. You have the ability
to make it. You have the right
to make it. You can say yes or
you can say no. It’s one or the other. And Jesus does not allow
for neutral ground. And he warns against
waiting too long. The Bible says, “Now is the
acceptable time. “Today is the day of salvation.” “He that hardeneth his heart,
often being reproved, “shall suddenly be cut off
and that without remedy.” Come while you can. Don’t put it off any longer. How long halt you
between two opinions? Now when you make that choice, there’s going to be a price
to be paid. The people who choose
Jesus Christ will pay a price. There are thousands of people
in other parts of the world. The price they have to pay is they are ostracized
from their family, In some parts of the world they can never go farther
than grammar school if they make a decision
for Christ. They can never get a job
above menial labor. if they make a decision
for Christ. But in those parts of the world,
thousands upon thousands are living for Jesus Christ. In America, we’ve had a sort of
unnatural situation. It’s almost popular
to follow Christ in some areas
of the country now. That won’t last long. There’s always a price and if you receive Christ
as your Savior and try to live for him, some people are going to sneer and they’re going to make fun
behind your back and in this period of conformity we don’t want to be considered
too different, but He calls upon you
to be different. When the gang is doing certain
things you know to be wrong, You take your stand and say, “No, I can’t do that
because I’m a Christian, “because I believe
in Jesus Christ.” It costs something
to follow Christ. And Jesus said you better sit
down and count the cost one day. You see, a big crowd was
following Jesus and he said, “Wait a minute. Count the cost. “Do you know that I’m going
to die on a cross “and if you follow me, “you’re going to have to
go die with me?” “O, we didn’t know that Jesus. “We thought you were setting up
a big kingdom. “We were going to be
in the kingdom with you.” So, they left him. There will be the cross for you
to bear before the crown. When you do come
to Jesus Christ, you’re going to be
tested by God. God never has anyone come to him
that he doesn’t test. Some of you have made your
decisions for Christ this week and already
you’re being tested. Temptation has come. A friend doesn’t understand
the step that you’ve taken. Already you’re filled with
some doubts and weakness. This is all normal to every
person who ever came to Christ. We don’t just start and jump
right out and be full grown. Grady Wilson,
his daughter just had twins. Well, they weren’t born
full grown. One was five pounds
and one was six pounds and they’re just
little tiny babies. But they will be full grown
some day. But it takes time to grow. God will test you
when you come to Christ. And he demands
an immediate decision. I wonder how many more
sermons it would take to win you to Christ? How many more warnings
will God have to give you? How many more graves will
have to be dug? How many more wars will
have to be fought? How many more earthquakes or
tornados and floods will have to come
before you make your decision? The thief on the cross took
that one moment and said, “Lord, remember me,” and in that moment Jesus said, “Thou shalt be with me
in paradise.” That quick, you can make
your decision and commitment. And remember, God loves you. He has a plan for your life. You’re sinful, you’re separated
from God by sin, and some of the results of
this sin are worry and irritability and
lack of purpose in life as well as some of
the gross immoral sins that we read about. God has provided the cross
as a means for you to be forgiven of sin, but you must individually
receive Christ as your Lord and your Savior. You and you alone, in the quiet arena
of your heart, will have to make
that decision. How long will you halt
between two opinions? Charlotte Elliot was
a beautiful woman. And a great preacher by the name of Caesar Malan went
all over Switzerland. He was put out of his church
because of his faith, but once he was in England and he met this beautiful,
charming young woman by the name of Charlotte Elliot. She was suffering ill health. He went up to her and asked her
if she would become a Christian. She rebuked him and said,
“I resent you asking me that.” And she was very irritated
at him. He said, “I didn’t mean to be
offensive to you, “but I only meant to tell you
that God loves you “and God’s willing
to change your life “and give you peace
in your heart.” That night, Charlotte Elliot
could not sleep. The words that
the preacher spoke to her kept ringing in her ears. And during the night she got up,
got on her knees and gave her life to Christ and she sat down
and wrote the hymn that we sing every night, “Just as I am,
without one plea, “but that Thy blood
was shed for me “and that Thou bidst me
come to Thee, “O Lamb of God,
I come, I come.” Just as you are. You don’t have to go home
and change cloths. You don’t have to go home
and get better. You can’t improve yourself. You come just like you are with all your sins
and all your failures and all your mistakes;
with all your hypocrisy. You come just as you are. He will forgive you
and change you and come into your life. I’m going to ask you to do
just that, publicly and openly right now. I’m going to ask hundreds of you to get up out of your seat from all over this stadium
and come and stand in front of this platform and say by coming,
“I do receive Christ.” You may be
a member of the church. You might have thought
you were right with God before, but somehow you know you’re not. You’re not sure. You’re not certain,
but you’d like to be. I’m going to ask you
to come right now. From up in the top galleries, it will take a minute or two
to come, but we’re going to wait. Hundreds of people have come
every night. You come. This is your moment and
your hour of commitment. And after you’ve all come
and stand here quietly, I’m going say a word to you,
have a prayer with you, give you some literature and you can go back
and join your friends. And if you’re with friends
or relatives or if you’ve come on a bus,
they’ll wait for you. You get up and
come right now and make your commitment to Christ. We’re going to wait. ♪ Just as I am
and waiting not ♪ As hundreds are responding
to Mr. Graham’s invitation to make a public commitment
to Jesus Christ, 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. ♪ And cleanse each thought ♪ ♪ O Lamb of God, I come,
I come ♪ To you that are
watching by television, You can make your commitment
right now In your home or wherever
you happen to be watching. Hundreds of people here at the University of Kentucky
Coliseum are coming to Jesus Christ. They are choosing between
these two opinions. They are choosing Christ. They are coming
just as they are. You can come just as you are
where you are. May God help you to make
that commitment tonight. God bless you. If you just prayed that prayer
with my father, or if you have
any questions about a relationship
with Jesus Christ, why don’t you just call that
number on the screen. There’ll be someone there
to talk with you, pray with you and answer those questions. And remember,
God loves you! If you would like to commit
your life to Jesus Christ, Please call us right now
toll free at 1-877-772-4559. That’s 1-877-772-4559. Or you can write to us at Billy Graham 1 Billy Graham Parkway Department C Charlotte, North Carolina 28201 Or you can contact us
on the web 24/7 at PeaceWithGod.tv We’ll get the same helps to you that we give to everyone
who responds at the invitation. On behalf of Franklin Graham and the Billy Graham
Evangelistic Association Thank you for watching and thank you for your prayers. (Billy Graham)
There’s only one way,
only one hope. ♪ Hear the sound of
a brand-new day. ♪ (Billy Graham) Come and
give your life to Christ and see what happens. ♪ Witness the story
that never fa-a-ades. ♪ ♪ Come, come with me, ♪ ♪ To the Billy Graham Library ♪

17 thoughts on “A Nation at the Crossroads | Billy Graham Classic

  1. ⚡⚡⚡❤⚡⚡⚡ the parallels are incredible for our nation today and what Mr. Graham is describing here in this sermon. His approach is so striking to me, just like that of a Lightning Bolt!

  2. 🌹🍃🍂🍃Thank you to God for sending 🍃🌹🍃 Billy Graham 🌾🍃🍂to teach us about the Bible 🌹🍃🍂 🌹🍂🌾All Your Sermons are so profound and so so True Billy Graham 🌹🍃🌾 We all need to take Spiritual Times to listen, pray and practice the Word of the Bible…… 🍂🌹🌾🍃 Thank you for watching over us…🌹🌾🍂

  3. I love me some Billy Graham!!! He will always be my favorite evangelist!!! We miss you Billy! I hope you are walking those streets of gold with your beloved Ruth!!!

  4. Rolling out these old videos in an attempt to reinvigorate a politically skeptical congregation. Next they'll be having grahams corpse hugging admiral BONESPURS.

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