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Sermon Notes
From our archives,

the Billy Graham Classics.

(applause)

Tonight, I want to take my text
from my new book.

It’s found in Joshua 24:15.

“Choose this day
whom you will serve,

“whether the gods
your fathers served

“in the region
beyond the river,

“or the gods of the Amorites
in whose land you dwell,

“but as for me and my house,
we will serve the Lord.”

As for me and my house,
we will serve the Lord.

He made a choice.

Joshua voted.

Now Joshua had led
the people of Israel

after the death of Moses.

He was a great general,

and now at the end of his life,

he’s called all the people
together at Shechem.

Now Shechem was
between two mountains.

One was the mountain of law.

The other was another mountain

and in between those two
mountains they gathered.

Now the history of Israel was
always up and down.

For a little while
they’d serve the Lord

and then they would fall back
into their old ways

and go to their old idols and
in this case, it was Baal.

And he was telling them,
you’ve got to make a choice.

It’s between Baal and God.

Which is it going to be?

Who do you vote for?

You know, we have old proverbs.

I suppose you have them
here in North Florida.

He who hesitates is lost.

Procrastination is
the thief of time.

A stitch in time saves nine.

A bird in the hand is worth
two in the bush.

Now they made decisions and
they cast their votes.

No matter what the cost was,

because of what they believed.

And Joshua said,

I’m calling my family together
and we’re voting for God.

We’re going to serve
the true and the living God.

Now, outwardly
they’re followers of God

but deep in their hearts
they were idolaters.

And Joshua says that such
a condition cannot continue.

You must decide whether

you’re going to worship
those idols,

or worship the living God.

And they must decide
immediately.

That was
Israel’s day of election.

Israel’s day of decision.

They must go on record
for God or against him.

And you must decide tonight.

There are hundreds of people
here tonight

that have to decide tonight

And your decision tonight,
yes or no,

will decide where you’ll be
a hundred years from now.

Because you see only one God can
occupy the throne of your heart.

Scripture says,
the first commandment,

“Thou shalt have no other gods
before me.

“I the Lord thy God am
a jealous God.”

Now, we have idolatry today
in subtle ways.

Our actors and actresses and
academics, many times,

and even athletes,

can very easily, subtly,
become our gods.

Richard Phelps wrote in
Time Magazine in September,

with regards to the cocaine
deaths of sports superstars,

he said, “The trouble is

that Americans tend to think of
athletes as god-like beings.”

And sometimes that is true.

We make too much of
some of the young players

and these young players
sometimes just cannot take it

and they crack up because it
takes experience and maturity

to take all the money and
all the fame so suddenly,

at such a young age.

And Paul taught
that a Christian is

someone who has
turned to God from idols

to serve the living and
true God.

But regardless of
what the people did,

Joshua said,

“As for me and my house,
we’re going to serve the Lord.”

I don’t care if the whole outfit
turns against God.

I don’t care if all of you
turn to idolatry.

My house and me,

we’re going to serve
the true and the living God.

Have you ever said that?

Have you ever said
I’m going to serve Christ

no matter what my peers think,

or what my classmates think

or what the people I work with
think,

or my neighbors?

Robert Browning exclaimed
a hundred years ago,

“This business of life is
made up of terrible choices.”

And it is.

We have to make some of
these choices in our lives.

Adam had to make that choice.

Was he going
to build his world with God

and have peace
in the world

and have justice in the world or
was he going to go his own way?

He decided to go his own way and
to listen to the devil.

And he led
the whole world astray.

The rich young ruler came
to Jesus

wanting to find some spiritual
help and Jesus said “All right,

“Would you like to have
eternal life?”

Or the rich young ruler said,

“What must I do to inherit
eternal life?’

And Jesus said, if
you want eternal life

you do this and this and this
and this and this.

The rich young ruler left sadly

because he couldn’t pay
the price

and Jesus would not
bargain with him.

Every person that ever lived
has to make the same choice.

It’s either the world and
its pleasures and its gods

or it’s Christ.

Which is it for you?

Now first, we must choose two
ways of life, between two ways.

The prophet Jeremiah wrote,

“Thus saith the Lord,
behold I set before you

“the way of life and
the way of death.”

Which road are you on?

Jesus Christ said,
“I am the way.”

“I am the way”

Come to Christ.

He will give you a new strength
and a new power

and a new joy and a new peace
and a purpose for living.

“There is a way which seemeth
right unto a man,”

the Bible says, “but the end
thereof are the ways of death.”

It looks right,
that road you’re on.

The path you’ve chosen
looks right.

It looks so good.

That business you’re in,
that school you’re in,

looks so good,
but one of these days,

unless you’re committed to
Christ and in the will of God,

you’ll soon find out that
you’re on the wrong road.

Some people say,

“Well if I follow my conscience,
isn’t that enough?

No, because your conscience
can be dead.

Many people have
a dead conscience.

But when you come
to Jesus Christ,

he re-sensitizes
the conscience.

You see, you tell a lie when
you’re a child and

your conscience bothers you.

Now you can look a person
straight in the face

and tell a lie and it doesn’t
bother you at all.

There was a time when you would
do some other things

and it would bother you

and now you can do it and
it doesn’t bother you at all.

You say, “Well it’s not
so bad then.”

Your conscience doesn’t bother.

Why?

Because your conscience has been
seared or it’s dead.

But when you come to Christ,
he gives you a new conscience

so that you can be sensitive to
those things that are wrong.

People say,

“Well, being sincere,
if I’m sincere in life,

isn’t that enough?”

No, it’s not enough.

You can be sincere.

My mother was very sincere
one time when I was sick,

and she gave me some iodine
by mistake.

She thought she was giving me
cough medicine.

But it was wrong.

Sincerely wrong.

Or they say, “Well, if I do
so many good things for people

“and I smile at people and
I’m friendly with people.

“Don’t you think God understands

“if I commit a little sin now
and then?

“He’ll understand.

“He’s a good God and
a loving God and all that.”

No, God doesn’t understand.

If you know Christ,
then those sins are forgiven.

But, you see, we’re not saved by
our goodness and our own works.

I’ve come from a country,
France,

where many people think that

they’re saved by
their good works.

They’ve been taught that since
childhood as a part of religion.

But you’re not saved by
good works.

You’re saved by
the grace of God.

“For by grace are we saved
through faith,

“and that not of yourselves,

“not of works,
lest any man should boast.”

If I was saved by
my own goodness,

I’d get up to heaven and
I’d walk around and

brag and say,

“Look what I did to get here.
I was a good boy.”

But we’re all sinners.

None of us deserve to be
in heaven.

God says we’re to be
as holy as He is.

I can’t be as holy as God.

So, what happens?

Christ came and died on
the cross and shed his blood

to provide for me a holiness
that I do not naturally have.

And he provides
a cloth of holiness for me

and righteousness
that I don’t deserve.

Then there are people who say,
“Well, I’ve reformed.”

Yes, you can reform the rest of
your life, but that’s not it.

You must come to Christ and
you must enter the narrow gate

and walk the narrow road.

So, there’s a choice
that you have.

You have to vote.

One life or the other.

Which will it be?

A life of surrender to Christ
as Lord and Savior

or a life in which you surrender
to yourself and your own desires

and your own pleasures and
your own lust

and your own greed and
your own jealousies.

And then you have to make
a choice between two masters.

Jesus said, “No man can serve
two masters,

“for either he will hate the one
and love the other

“or else he will hold to the one
and despise the other.”

You cannot serve God and
materialism.

You have to make a choice.

It’s either self or Christ.

Which will it be?

Not only two ways of life,

not only two masters,

but also, you have to choose
between two destinies.

What is your destiny?

Where will you be fifty or
a hundred years from tonight?

You’ll be somewhere.

The real you.

Your body will be in the grave,
perhaps,

but you, the real you,
your soul, your spirit,

the thing that thinks and
remembers and

loves and so forth,

that’s the part of you
that will live forever

either in heaven or hell

and you’ve got to make a choice
between the two.

Solomon wrote about
the way to hell in Proverbs 7.

C.S. Lewis, the great Cambridge
and Oxford professor,

used to emphasize that no one
ever had so much to say

about the way to hell as did
Jesus Christ and he was right.

On the other hand, no one ever
spoke of heaven

with such clarity and authority
as did Jesus Christ.

One of television’s most popular
programs during the last year

has been entitled
“Highway to Heaven”.

Jesus Christ is
the highway to heaven.

He said, “In my Father’s house
are many mansions.”

We were in Romania last year
holding meetings

and there were thousands of
people as far as you could see.

And they took me into
a place called Moldavia

and they took us on
a little sight-seeing tour

up into the hills and
the mountains and so forth,

and they took us
to churches and buildings

that were painted about
a thousand years ago

with a kind of paint that has
never lost his glow

and its color and they don’t
know how they did it.

They think maybe they used
honey, but they’re not sure.

All the paintings are
religious paintings

because the people didn’t have
any Bibles

and they didn’t have
any Christian literature

and they had no way of telling
the story of the Bible.

So, they taught the Bible
with paintings

on the sides of buildings

and you can see
the whole Bible story.

And I saw one painting in
beautiful blue and

the various colors that had
lasted a thousand years

and I thought to myself,
“Look at that.”

It was a picture of a ladder

that was going from
the fires of hell

up to where Jesus was

at the top of the ladder
in Paradise.

And down below were demons
all the way up that ladder

pulling at them,
pulling at them,

trying to get them
into the flames.

Then over them were the angels
helping them along

up that ladder.

And I thought that’s
a little bit like it.

It might be distorted.

It may not be
theologically exactly right,

but they had the idea,

because there is a constant
battle for your soul going on

all the time.

You see, your soul is important
to the devil.

He wants your soul.

He’ll pay any price and

some of you are selling
your soul so cheaply.

“What shall if profit a man

“if he gains the whole world

“and loses his own soul?”

The devil will give you
the whole world,

if you’ll follow him.

But some of you will follow him
and he won’t give you anything.

You just follow him because
you’re like the pig

that’s following the man that’s
dropping the beans,

going to the slaughter pen.

Every little bit he drops a bean

and the pig goes
(snort, snort, snort)

following right along.

And you don’t even think that
your following the devil

in the wrong direction.

Yes, Jesus Christ is
the highway to heaven.

But be aware,

“No man cometh to the Father,
but by Me”, He said.

And then this choice,

or this vote that you make
has got to be yourself.

You must make that vote
yourself.

For as for me and my house,
we will serve the Lord.

I don’t know when,

I guess one of the years’ most
popular songs is

Madonna’s “Papa Don’t Preach”.

Now Joshua didn’t hesitate
for one moment

to preach to those people.

He said, “As for me and
my house…”

He was voting for Christ,
for God.

He knew that he could not choose
for the tribes of Israel.

They must choose for themselves.

He had to choose for himself.

Man is a social being,

However, there is
an inner sanctuary within us

where we retire from
all other fellowship,

all other influences.

There’s a lonely arena in
the depths of your heart

where the greatest battle of
life must be fought alone.

That’s your decision
about Christ.

Your parents can’t make it
for you.

The church can’t make it
for you.

Your friends can’t make it
for you.

Your girlfriend, your boyfriend
can’t make if for you.

You have to make it yourself.

You must make the commitment.

One of the popular songs

according to Billboard is
entitled, “Lonely Alone.”

And how true that is.

Lonely alone.

And it’s in that part of you and
when you voted,

you yourself had to cast
your own vote.

Moses said, “I call heaven and
earth to record this day

“that I’ve set before you
life and death,

“blessing and cursing.

“Therefore, choose life.”

You choose life

that you and your seed may live.

It affects future generations.

It affects your children and
your grandchildren.

A decision that
my grandfathers made years ago,

affects my life today.

We read that
a generation earlier

Moses had chosen Christ,

and the writer to the Hebrews
recounts how Moses,

esteeming the reproach of Christ

greater riches than all
the treasures of Egypt.

He could have been
commander in chief of

the armies of Egypt,

or he might have been
the Pharaoh.

All the education,
all the wealth of Egypt was his.

He turned his back on all of it

to suffer with
the people of God.

He chose God.

Who are you choosing?

Who are you voting for?

Choosing rather to suffer
the affliction with

the people of God

than to enjoy
the pleasures of sin

for a season.

Oh yes,
there’s pleasure in sin

for a short time,

but it’s soon over.

The hang-over comes

and there’s nothing
you can do about it.

It’s going to be there.

Choose Christ and there will
never be a hangover

except joy and peace.

That doesn’t mean that he’ll
deliver you from

all your troubles and
problems and trials,

because that will go on and on.

But they may be different.

God allows them.

That’s a part of
our maturing process.

That’s how God trains us.

But down deep inside is
a deep river of joy and peace

in the midst of the life
that you’re living.

Now you can’t change your past,

but you can determine your
destiny by deciding for Christ.

But Christ can change your past.

He died on the cross

so that all the sins that
you’ve ever committed,

all the things that you’ve
ever done wrong are forgiven.

And when God says
they’re forgiven,

he means more
than we mean.

He means justification.

That means just as if you had
never committed any sin at all.

That’s the power of
the blood of Christ

that we heard them singing about
a while ago.

I know my sins are
under the blood.

And the choice involves a price.

The Apostle Peter wrote,

“You were not redeemed with
corruptible things

“as silver and gold, but with
the precious blood of Christ.”

The price that Jesus paid
on the cross

when he shed his life blood
for you.

Martin Luther once said,
the founder of, I suppose,

the reformation and the founder,

we could say almost one of
the founders of Protestantism

and certainly,
of the Lutheran churches.

He said, “When I look at myself,

“I don’t know how
I can be saved,

“but when I look at Jesus,

“I don’t see how
I could be lost.”

John Calvin, who founded
reformed theology in one sense,

and the Presbyterian church,
said,

“Upon a life, I did not live.

“Upon a death. I did not die.

“I hang my whole eternity.

“I hang it on Jesus.”

John Wesley,
the founder of Methodism,

when he lay dying, said,

“My mind is almost gone.

“I can remember only two things.

“I’m a great sinner,
but Jesus is a great Savior.”

Christ is a great Savior.

What do you have to do?

You have to repent of your sins.

That means to be willing to
change your way of living.

You may have no power to do it.

You may not have power
to give up some of those habits

you know are wrong.

You may not have power to fall
in love with your wife again.

You may not have power
to change your whole life

that you know
needs to be changed,

but if you surrender to Christ,
He’ll give you the power.

You say, “Well, Billy, I don’t
know what else to do.

“I’ve been baptized.

“I joined the church and
so forth,

“but I don’t really have peace
and joy and power in my life.

“All that you’re talking about.

“How do I get it?”

If you’re not sure that
you’re ready to meet God,

if you’re not sure
you’re going to heaven

and you’re not sure that
your sins are forgiven,

you come and make sure tonight.

I believe that none of you are
here by accident tonight.

I believe that you are here
on this particular night

because this is the night that
you are to meet God in a new way

and receive him into your heart

and it’s an urgent decision

because to delay makes
the right decision harder.

Indecision in itself
is a choice.

Not to decide is
to decide not to.

If you have a ticket for
a flight to Atlanta tonight

and can’t decide whether to go
or not,

if you wait past
the departure time,

the choice will have been made.

The plane will take off
without you.

Decisions are made whether
we make them or not.

Time decides if you will not

and time always decides
against you.

Joel said,
“Put you in the sickle

“for the harvest is ripe.

“Come get you down.

“Multitudes, multitudes in
the valley of decision

“for the day of the Lord is near
in the valley of decision.”

“Now is the accepted time,”
the Bible says.

Come now while you can.

You may not have a chance
tomorrow.

Today is the day to cast
your vote totally for Christ.

Sir Walter Scott,

“The most important
of three letters in

the English language,” he said,
“were N-O-W.”

Now.

Bartimaeus was a blind man.

Jesus was coming
through his town,

the little town of Jericho,

and he was blind,

and he had
that one moment

and he cried out
and he said,

“Jesus have mercy upon me.

“Jesus, Thou son of David,
have mercy upon me.”

And the Scripture says

that someone told him
that it was Jesus,

that Jesus of Nazareth was
passing by.

He took that one moment.

I believe this whole crusade has
been planned

and prayed for and organized,

and we’ve been brought here
maybe just for you.

I told people when
I came here that I felt

we’d come to Tallahassee
because of one person.

I do not know who
that person is,

but you may be the person

and it’d be worth all the effort
for you

because you see Christ would
have died on the cross

if there had been nobody
but just you.

On the rugged wave beaten cliffs
of the West coast of Scotland,

a man was once gathering the
eggs of the sea birds,

which nest there,

and he’d been let down from
the top of the cliff by a rope

to the ledge where
the nests were.

But in a moment of carelessness,

he’d let the rope slip
from his hand.

He knew that the first swing
of the rope would be

his only chance,

and with all the powers
of his body and mind,

he jumped for the rope.

He seized it and he was saved.

The rope is swinging
in your direction.

The rope of salvation from
the cross and the empty tomb.

God is saying seize it.

The Bible says,

“Tthere’ll come a day when
they shall call upon me,

“but I will not answer.

“They will seek me early,
but they shall not find me.

“For that they hated knowledge
and did not choose

“the fear of the Lord.”

There will come a day.

You’ll cry out to God,
but it’ll be too late.

Come now.

There may never be
a thing like this

in your lifetime
in Tallahassee again ever

when you were so close to
the kingdom of God.

I’m going to ask you
to do something

we’ve seen several hundred
people do in the last two days.

I’m going to ask you to get up
out of your seat and come

and stand in front of
this platform

and say, by coming,

I surrender my heart to
Jesus Christ.

I want to be sure that
I’m ready to meet God.

The first day we were here,
the wife of a pastor came.

People from the choir came.

An usher came, and God is
speaking to you.

You may be
the finest Christian in town

as far as people think,

but deep down inside,
you know you’re not.

You need to surrender to Christ

and make Him Lord and
Savior of your life.

Why do I ask you
to come forward?

Because every person Jesus
called in the New Testament,

he called publicly.

He said, “If you’re not willing
to acknowledge Me before men,

“I’ll not acknowledge you before
My Father, which is in heaven.”

He died on the cross publicly
for you.

Now you must come publicly and
say yes to him

and I’m going to ask everyone
to be in an attitude of prayer

as you get up and come,

men, women, young people,

to cast your vote tonight and
vote for Jesus.

You know you need him.

We’re going to wait on you

Quickly from up in the top and
all around here.

God is speaking to you.

You come.

♪ 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 I am
and waiting not ♪

There is still time for you to
make your decision for Christ.

Just call the number
on your screen

and talk with one of
our counselors.

They want to help you.

If the lines are busy,

write the number down
and call later.

We’ll be here as long as
the calls keep coming in.

This could be the most important
call of your life,

so call now.

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 that’s on the screen.

There’ll be someone there
to talk with you, pray with you

and answer those questions.

And remember,
God love 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.

(Franklin Graham)
We still have
a window of opportunity

to reach a lost
and dying world

with the truth of God’s love.

It’s not too late.

We’ve got an opportunity
to tell others Jesus Christ.

What are you going
to do with it?

(Billy Graham)
There’s only one way,
only one hope.

♪ Hear the sound of
a brand-new day. ♪

♪ Witness the story that ♪

(Billy Graham)
Come and give your life to
Christ and see what happens.

♪ never fa-a-ades. ♪

♪ Come, come with me ♪

♪ To the Billy Graham Library ♪

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