Truth and Freedom | Billy Graham Classic

In 1949 a bold and dynamic
young preacher set out on a journey
that would have an impact on every continent
for generations to come. For more than 50 years and
to more than 210 million people Billy Graham has
passionately spoken about the certainty of hope
found in Jesus Christ. There are many things about God that I don’t understand
or comprehend. I accept His revelation
of himself by faith. He’s brought races and
denominations together toward a common purpose as he’s preached in 185
countries around the world. Christ belongs
to all people. He belongs
to the whole world. He has stood alongside
presidents, met with dignitaries
and world leaders and today,
Billy Graham is recognized among the most influential
religious leaders in the history of the world. From our archives, The Billy Graham Classics. (applause) Tonight, I want to turn to
John’s gospel, the 8th chapter. The 8th chapter
of John’s gospel. And this passage of scripture,
the 32nd verse. The 32nd verse of the 8th
chapter of John’s gospel. “And ye shall know the truth and
the truth shall make you free.” These are the words of
our Lord Jesus Christ. He’s having a debate with some
of the religious leaders of his day and he said,
“Ye shall know the truth.” Now that word shall could be
translated must. You must know the truth
if you’re to be free. Tonight, I want to talk about
truth and freedom. We hear a great deal
about both today. You know, there’s an old
Scottish oath upon which our American oath is based
and it reads this way, “I pledge before Almighty God, “before Whom I will give an
answer on the day of Judgement “to tell the truth,
the whole truth and “nothing but the truth.” Jesus said,
“Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall
make you free.” Now in this passage
of Scripture, Jesus discussed
two personalities. He discussed God on
the one hand, who is truth and Satan on the other, who is
a liar and the author of lies. Now here’s what Jesus said. He was pretty rough in
some of the things he said. He turned to these religious
leaders and he said, “You are of your father,
the devil, “and the lust of your
father you will do. “He was a murderer
from the beginning “and abode not in truth, because
there was no truth in him. “When he speaketh a lie,
he speaketh of his own “for he’s a liar and
the father of lies.” Jesus said that there’s
the lie and the truth. And in II Thessalonians,
the second chapter, we are told that
in the latter days of this age there will be a system
called the lie and a great delusion will
sweep over the people of that generation. They will believe a lie and
they will reject the truth. Many people think we are living
in that generation. And the apostle Paul said in
the first chapter of Romans, that the people of that day had changed the truth of God
into a lie. And then secondly, not only to we change the truth
of God for a lie, but Paul said in Romans, the first chapter,
the eighteenth verse, “who hold the truth
in unrighteousness.” In other words, you can know
the truth and not live it. This is holding the truth of God
in unrighteousness. The Bible says the wrath of God
is against such people. And that’s why Christ was so
bitter in his denunciation of the hypocrites. You hold the truth
intellectually, but you don’t live it. Jesus said, “You serve me with your lips,
but your heart is far from me.” You can hold the truth
in unrighteousness. and that brings about
the wrath of God. And then thirdly, Paul said,
judgement according to truth. Romans 2:2. “But we are sure that
the judgement of God is “according to truth.” In other words, some day God is
going to judge the world. Yes, there is a day of judgement
coming. Just as certain as
I’m standing here, a day of judgement is coming and God is going to judge us
according to the truth. Did we live by the truth? Did we believe the truth? Did we accept the truth? What was our attitude
toward the truth? or, did we exchange the truth
for a lie? or, did we hold the truth
in unrighteousness? God will hold us accountable
the Scriptures say. Jesus said you must know
the truth and the truth will
make you free. Now you know that’s what
philosophy has been doing and that’s what science does and
that’s what we do in psychology and every field of study
and every discipline. We’re searching for truth. We’re trying to find
what the laws are. We’re trying to find
what the truth is. Now early in childhood we soon learn the truth
that fire is hot. We learn that ice is cold. We learn that doing wrong
makes us feel guilty and doing good
makes us feel good. We learn that early. You see all of us really are
on a quest for truth. What is the truth about myself? Where did I come from? Why in the world did God ever
put us on this planet, if there is a God,
and where are we going? Is there life after death? I’m searching for answers. All of us are, consciously
or unconsciously. We ask ourselves
these questions. What is truth? The same question Pilate asked
2,000 years ago. And that’s why a lot of these
kids are taking LSD and mind expansion
psychedelic drugs. They’re trying to find
some experiences that will lead them into
some sort of spiritual truth. Now truth is important
in mathematics. It’s important in chemistry,
it’s important in science, and it’s important in
the spiritual life. It’s important in morality. It’s important to find
the truth. Jesus said, “You shall know
the truth.” No guesswork,
no speculation is allowed. In aviation you can make one
mistake nowadays and may crash into another plane. You must know the truth. Now Job said, “I know
my Redeemer lives.” The Apostle Paul said, “I know
in Whom I have believed.” The Apostle John said, “You can
know that you are saved.” The Bible teaches that
you can know the truth. You can find the truth. You can believe the truth. But what is the truth? Every religion and every
philosophy may have some of the truth, but there is one place
you can find all the truth. Where is it? Jesus said, “Everyone that is
of the truth heareth my voice.” Buddha said, “I’m still
searching for truth,” at the end of his life. But Jesus made
this astounding claim. Jesus said, “I am the truth.” Jesus said, “I am the truth.” I am the embodiment of
all truth. and if you’re going to
get to heaven, you’ve got to believe that. And you’ve got to take it
by faith. Well, you say, anybody that
would come along and say I’m the embodiment of all truth,
he must be mentally deranged. He’s an egomaniac. Yes, you can make that,
you can make a case for that. Or, maybe,
Jesus just told a lie. He knew is wasn’t true
and he just lied. Yes, that’s one of the options. But suppose he is the truth. Suppose he is
the embodiment of all truth and you reject it and exchange
the truth for a lie. Then you have made
a fatal error for eternity. Now I personally believe
that Jesus is the truth. I believe that he is
the embodiment of all truth. I have accepted that by faith
and when I took that step and took that stand,
it changed my life. And it’s very simple. He made it so simple that
you can know the truth that a blind man, a deaf man,
a black man, a yellow man, or a red man can come
and know the truth. The educated man can
know the truth. The uneducated can
know the truth. I know people that don’t have
any education at all, and they know this truth and it gives them
a satisfaction and a joy And I know professors
at great universities, and I know some of
the great scientists. They have come and accepted
this as the truth and bowed in humility before
the Christ back of science. And it has changed their lives. Truth. The profoundest truth
in simplicity, so that anybody can come,
and anybody can believe, even children. Whittier once said, “We search
the world for truth; “we cull the good and the pure
and the beautiful “from the graven stone
and written scroll. “From all the plowed fields
of the soul; “and, weary seekers of
the best; “we come back laden
from the quest “to find that
all the sages said “is in the book
our mothers read.” It’s here. Jesus Christ, the story of
Christ, he is the truth. And Jesus said this in that same
chapter, the 24th verse, He said, “If ye believe not,” Listen to this. “If you believe not that I am
He, you will die in your sins.” If you believe not that I am the
embodiment of all truth, you are going to die
in your sins. You must come and believe
and accept and commit. Yes, Christ claimed to be
ultimate truth. And Jesus told the truth. He told the truth about sin. Where does the lust and
the greed and the pride and the hatred and the jealousy
and the fighting come from? Why do people hate each other? Why do they fight and kill, and
every generation has a war? We’ve had 55 wars
since World War II. Why all of this
throughout history? The Bible tells us man has a
disease of the heart called sin. For from within, out of
the heart of man proceed evil thoughts and adulteries and
fornications and murders and thefts and covetousness
and wickedness and deceit and blasphemy and pride. All of these things come from
within and defile a man. We’re suffering from only one
disease in the world. Our problem is not
a race problem, really. Our problem is not
a poverty problem. Our problem is not
a war problem. Our problem is
a heart problem. We need to get
the heart changed. The heart transformed. That’s why Jesus said,
“You must be born again.” You must have a new nature,
a new heart, that will be
dominated by love. Ah, but we go out and we say
we ought to love each other and we soon find that
we don’t have the capacity to love each other. Where are we gonna get it? We get it from Jesus. You see, the Spirit of God comes
into our hearts the minute we receive Christ and he begins to produce in
your heart love and joy and peace and patience
and temperance. All of these fruits of
the Spirit are produced supernaturally by
the Holy Spirit when you receive Christ. He told the truth about
what is wrong with the world. And then he told the truth about
our social responsibility, our responsibility to
our fellow man, in the 25th chapter of Matthew,
beginning at verse 35, you’ll find it. People were hungry. They were sick. They were tired. They were cold. And they were visited in prison. They were visited
and they were helped. And at the judgement
Jesus commended them. They said, “But Lord, we didn’t
know that we visited you. “We didn’t know that we fed you. “We didn’t know that we did that
for you.” Jesus said if you’ve done it
unto the least of these, you’ve done it unto me. And every time you give of
your time, and your energy and your money
to help those in need, you’re helping Jesus. You’re giving to him. And then he told the truth
about judgement. He warned us to flee
the wrath of God. Every idle word
a man shall speak they will give an account in
the day of judgement, he said. There is a judgement coming. He told the truth
about repentance. He said except you repent
you shall perish. You say, but how do I repent? You say, O God, I’ve sinned. I’m willing to change the way
I’m living. I’m willing to live in
a new dimension of life. I’m willing to follow you
and serve you no matter what the cost. That’s repentance. And Jesus said if you don’t
repent, you’re going to perish. He told the truth about that. He told the truth about
conversion. He said except ye be converted
and become as little children, you cannot enter
the kingdom of heaven. Be converted. We’re frightened of that word
in religion. We use it in everything else,
but not in religion. Young people want an experience. They want something that means
something. They have their happenings and
they want to do their thing. And they want to take
their drug. They want their kicks. And in the church, we’ve stifled out any kind of
religious experience. Jesus said you need to be
converted. I can remember the day
I was converted. I had an experience with God. It wasn’t an emotional
experience with me. Some people it is. Nothing wrong with emotion. We’ve got certainly emotional
intellectualism today on campus. I see these intellects on campus
on television and boy, they’re shouting it up
pretty loud for their cause and what they believe. No, we allow emotion for
everything except Christ. If anybody sheds
a tear on religion, they say too much emotion. And that’s one of the devil’s
lies and the devil’s tricks so that we’ve lost all feeling
in our faith and all joy in our faith. And all the excitement
and the thrill that these early Christians had. Jesus said you need
to be converted. Now the word conversion
simply means to change. Turn-a-round. You’re going in one direction on the broad road that leads
to destruction. Turn-a-round and go in
the right direction. Go the narrow road that leads
to eternal life. That’s what it means,
conversion, to change, to turn around. Has that happened to you? Have you changed
your way of living? Have you had
an experience with Christ? Do you know him personally? Ye shall know the truth and
the truth shall make you free. Now I know that there are
many people who think they are free already, and they don’t know Christ. They think they know
how to live. The Bible says there is a way,
outside of Christ, that seems right unto man, It seems the right thing. But the end is death
and judgement. I have a little boy. When he was much smaller,
3 years of age, we were loaned a boat
down in Florida and we were going
down the river. My friendl, Lee Fisher was
back there trying to get the fishing gear ready,
and I was running the boat and my little boy Ned said, “Daddy, I want
to run this boat.” And I said, “No, I don’t think
you know how to run it.” “Oh, yes, I know exactly
how to do it,” he said And he pushed my hands out of
the way, so I let him have the wheels and he was heading
right toward the rocks. You see, we all say, Lord,
we know how to run our lives. Don’t you interfere. We’re going to be all right. We can handle it. Nothing we can’t handle. But Jesus warns us that
you’re heading for the rocks. You’re in trouble. Emptiness, neuroses, complexes
of various sorts set in and ultimately, the judgement. Repent. Be converted,
while you can. Now is the accepted time. Today is the day of salvation. Now what does the truth do? It sets you free. “Ye shall know the truth and
the truth shall set you free.” From what? First, it sets you free, Christ sets you free
from the penalty of sin. Yes, there is a penalty to sin. Now we’re all sinners. Everyone of us is a sinner. And we’re all under the penalty
of sin which is death. “The wages of sin is death”,
the Bible says. Now death carries with it
the idea of separation from God; It this life and in the life
to come. The rich young ruler came
to Jesus and he said, “What must I do
to inherit eternal life?” He wanted life here and
he wanted life to come because he felt
the deadness of his spirit and the deadness of his soul. But he wasn’t willing
to pay the price. There’s a price
if you come to Christ. The rich young ruler tried
to bargain with Jesus. He wanted Jesus to lower
the flag. He wanted Jesus to change
the rules for him so he could get
into the kingdom. But Jesus will never
lower the flag, he’ll never compromise,
he’ll never change the rules. You’ve got to come to Christ
just like people did two thousand years ago
if you’re ever to get to heaven. We live in
sophisticated America. We thought we had
all the answers and look at us. Sending a man to the moon
with one hand and building gigantic bombs
and rockets with the other to blow the world to pieces. Campuses torn apart. Society being ripped apart. No, we don’t have
all the answers, because, you see,
we rejected the truth. We rejected Christ. Receive Christ in your life. Let him come and put the pieces
back together in your life. Forgive your sin. Give you purpose and
meaning to your life. And take the penalty of sin
away. There is therefore now
no judgement to them that are in Christ. He removes the penalty. Secondly, he can set you free
from the power of sin. He said, “Whosoever committeth
sin is the servant of sin,” in this chapter. But when you receive Christ, this power of sin to dominate
your life is broken. Sin shall no longer
dominate in your life, said Paul to the Romans. Sin will no longer have
dominion over you. You can reckon yourself to be
dead to sin. So that sin may be in your life,
you may commit a sin but it doesn’t dominate you. You don’t make sin
a practice in your life. You have power over sin. The Spirit of God living in you through a new nature
that God gives you. And then thirdly,
He sets us free ultimately from the very presence of sin. You read Revelation the 21st
chapter and the 22nd chapter, and you will see
the most glorious description of heaven and the future world. And then it says this. It says on the outside
of this new world, this utopia that is called
heaven that God is building now
for those that trust him. For without are the sorcerers,
the whoremongers, the murders, the idolaters, and whosoever
loveth and maketh a lie. All liars, all people that live
a lie will be on the outside, he said. Excluded and banished from
the presence of God. Jesus said, “I am the truth.” Ye shall know the truth, and
the truth shall set you free. There was an ad in
the New York Times today, a whole page that said,
Come to life. Great big boxcar letters;
COME TO LIFE. I’m asking you tonight
to come to life. Come to the truth,
to the source of life, to Jesus Christ,
the Son of God. Someday we’ll be removed from
the very presence of sin and the devil and all lies. We shall overcome, some day. Til then, we can have God’s life
right here on this earth. We can have
a little bit of heaven. We can be set free from
the bondage of sin and slavery and the devil right now. Christ can set you free. I’m asking you tonight by faith
to receive him. To receive the truth. Notice I said by faith. You cannot come
with your mind alone, because your mind was
affected by sin. You have to come
like a little child. Except you become as children
and be converted, says Jesus. You have to come like
a little child, by simple childlike faith
and receive him. And if you will, he comes into
your heart, gives you a new nature and you
can go out and live a new life. Now it’s hard and it’s tough
and it’s rough to follow Christ. I don’t want you to come
under any false allusions, but when you make
that commitment you don’t go back
into the world, and back to your house,
back to your neighborhood to live the Christian life
alone. He goes with you. I’m going to ask you to come
tonight and receive him openly and publicly. Every person he called
in the New Testament, he called publicly. There was a reason for it. He said, “If you’re not willing
to acknowledge me before men, “I’ll not acknowledge you before
my Father which is in heaven.” Come publicly. I’m going to ask you from all
over this stadium to get up out of your seats, hundreds of you, and come and
stand in front of this platform, quietly and reverently, and say tonight,
I want to receive Christ. I want the truth. I want the truth
to dominate my life. You get up and come right now
from all over; men, women, young people. God has spoken to you tonight
and you need Christ. You come. We’re going to wait. ♪ Just as I am,
without one plea ♪ 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. ♪ Come to Thee ♪ ♪ O Lamb of God, I come ♪ ♪ I come. ♪ I do not know whether you can
see this great scene here at The Garden in New York,
or not, but hundreds of people are
coming from all over this great amphitheater
to receive Christ as the Way, and the Truth and the Life
in their hearts. You can make that
same commitment right now in your home where you are
watching by television. God help you to make that
commitment tonight. 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 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. Jesus Christ died for the world. Whatever country. Whatever the color of your skin. Whatever language you speak. Jesus Christ died for your sins. It’s Jesus.

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