I’m going to ask that we all bow our
heads and prayer every head bowed and every eye closed for many thousands of
people here today this will be an hour of decision and you
will never be the same today even if you refuse Christ you’ll never be the same
once you’ve faced him once you’ve heard the gospel and rejected it you can never
be the same it says when the rich young ruler rejected Christ he turned away
grieved emotionally disturbed because when you reject the claims of Christ
that’s a very serious thing it will be an hour of decision for many of you who
receive him today your life will never be the same your home will never be the
same so let’s listen carefully and prayerfully today and reverently to the
message of the Word of God shall we pray our Father we thank thee for this love
of God that reaches around the world and engulfs all of mankind doubt us love the
Russians and the Chinese as much as thou dost love the British or the Americans
or the African doubt us love the whole world about it send thy son to die for
the whole world and we’re all included in thy Redemption plan and we thank thee
that at this hour of history we can stand and proclaim good news that God is
love and that God is willing to forgive we pray that many this day will receive
that message accepted and act on it and live by it for we ask it in his name our
men we’ve been having a marvelous time here
in Chicago I think clip is already told you how big this building is there’s no
indoor arena in the world except the Astrodome in Houston Texas that’s bigger
than this and here today thousands of people just about filled to capacity
today as it has been almost every night during this crusade except I think the
opening night but we’ve had gigantic crowds that have come here to this great
arena night after night and we’ve seen thousands of people coming forward to
make their commitment to Christ now today I want you to turn with me to
Luke’s Gospel the 11th chapter the 11th chapter of Luke’s Gospel beginning with
verse 29 beginning with verse 29 I hope you have your Bibles how many have a
Bible today lift them up look at the Bible thousands of Bibles everywhere now
the twenty-ninth chap of the 11th chapter in the 29th verse of gluts
gospel and when the people were gathered thick together he began to say this is
an evil generation they seek a sign and there shall no sign be given it but the
sign of Jonah the Prophet for as Jonah was a sign unto Nineveh so shall also
the Son of Man be to this generation the Queen of the South shall rise up in the
judgment with the men of this generation and condemn them for she came from the
uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon and behold a greater
than Solomon is here the men of Nineveh shall rise up in the judgment with this
generation and shall condemn it for they repented at the preaching of Jonah and
behold a greater then Jonah is here now ancient Israel wanted
Jesus to do something sensational to prove that he was really the Son of God
but Jesus is saying in this passage you’re seeking for a sign all right I’ll
give you a sign I am the sign and Jesus was saying that the people of Jonah’s
day listen to the message of God and repented and they’re going to rise up at
the judgment as witnesses against the people of Jesus day that rejected him he
said the Queen of the South recognized the wisdom of Solomon but he said in me
you have a greater wisdom than all the wisdom of Solomon he said you’re blind
you cannot see the truth you’re deaf and you cannot give the truth he said I’m
the truth I’m the light of the world I’m the sign now when you face Jesus what is your reaction when you’re
confronted with Jesus Christ what is your reaction the reaction of the
scribes and the Pharisees was one of hostility the people of minimas day were
humbled and repented when they faced and confronted God I’m the question that we
all asked today is this question that thinkI of Christ there’s a rock opera at
the moment called Jesus Christ the superstar all over the country
thousands of young people are talking about Christ they can’t escape him
there’s a Broadway play right now entitled Godspell a musical version of
Saint Matthew’s Gospel there’s a new movie right now called brother John in
which sydney port plays Jesus Christ in the form of an
Alabama black man the front cover of Life magazine a few weeks ago when Jesus
Christ Superstar and this rock opera from England was confronting young
people with one question who is Jesus Christ
an 87 minute long electronic probe into the life of Jesus who is Jesus and the
Opera concludes with the voice of Judas coming back from the dead and still
questioning who Jesus is don’t get me wrong says Judas in the Opera I only
want to know and then the haunting chorus follows
Jesus Christ Superstar do you think you’re what they say you are Jesus
Christ do you think you are what they say you are it’s interesting to me that
in 1971 the plays the books the operas the movies about Jesus our generation
cannot escape Jesus and when good news for modern man came out a new
translation of the New Testament by the American Bible Society
they sold 25 million copies we cannot escape Jesus I’ve never heard of an
opera or a play even about Buddha or Muhammad or Gandhi but our generation
has become hung up on Jesus young people are talking about Jesus he’s the subject
of conversation today on the campus in the high schools everywhere young people
are discussing Jesus Christ and they’re asking the question
who is this Jesus we cannot escape you you remember that day when Saul was
persecuting Christians was on the road to Damascus and the blinding light came
and he fell down and the first question he asked was who art thou Lord the
question that our generation of young people on the campus are asking today is
who art thou Lord who is Jesus why cannot we escape him why is he in our
conscience in in our mind so that our plays and our poems and our operas are
about him is he just a revolutionary hero
why is he something more he only lived 33 years he never travelled more than a
hundred miles he never had any formal education and yet 2,000 years later an
entire generation it’s talking about Jesus Christ some say that he was a
madman some of the people of his day said he was mad said he was a maniac was
he Barabbas that said he was revolutionary he come to lead a
revolution was he a revolutionary in the sense they changed men’s lives he was
but he never led a revolution against Rome he never led a revolution against
the existing authorities as a matter of fact some of them tried to get him to
and some of them thought he was going to and when they found out that he was
building a spiritual Kingdom they were no longer interested in him and when
they tried to tempt him about that he said bring me a coin and he said who’s
pictures on that coin they said season he said all right render to Caesar the
things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are gods and the scripture
says they quit asking him students they didn’t know how to answer
that all was Jesus an establishment man some people say that he represented the
status quo some people say that Jesus Christ is the one upon which Western
culture has been built and that America is really Jesus organization on earth
well I want to tell you his organization depends on the bureaucracy we’ve built
up in Washington we’re finished he’s not much hope for the world Jesus Christ is
not the establishment Christ he’s building another kingdom he’s building
an eternal Kingdom and then there’s some people that say that he was the first
hippy they said he had long hair went around with his disciples in a commune you know actually we don’t know what he
looked like we don’t know whether he had a long
beard or not those are just pictures that artists have painted we think he
did we don’t know whether he had long hair or not he probably did because the
people of that day that was the style but we don’t know we don’t have a
picture of Jesus and God did that purposely so that we would not be
worshipping an image because God is a spirit and must be worshiped in spirit
and then there were people that said that he was deliberately evil that he
was an evil man that he was a devil boy see that’s the question
Jesus Christ who are you who is Jesus we can’t escaping we try to run from him
but there is he keeps popping up everywhere
our greatest philosophers write about him
our greatest historians write about it our greatest poems and plays are about
him our greatest architecture is about him
even in the Soviet Union you go to the Kremlin I’ve been in the Kremlin and
it’s all filled with paintings and pictures about Jesus you go anywhere in
the Soviet Union and you’ll see images in art and much of the music has to do
with Jesus they can’t escape him well we know some things about him we know he
was a man Jesus was completely human he was
representative of man because the Bible says he was identified he was numbered
with the transgressors we know that he was hungry we know he got thirsty we
know he got tired we know that he had the joys of friendship we know that he
wept at the tomb of a dead loved one we know that he had all the characteristics
of a man and yet very interestingly the Bible says that he never come into sin
in fact he stood in front of the people of his generation and he said I’ve never
committed a sin he said if any of you my neighbor’s ever seen me commit a sin
they couldn’t say a thing that wouldn’t that be something for a man to come
along 33 years of age and say who of you have ever seen me commit a sin well I’ll
tell you if I said that all my team had jumped straight up say I have my wife’s
here all of us are sinners but Jesus was tempted in every point like as we are he
went through every temptation you’ve ever been through there isn’t a trial or
our testing or a temptation that Jesus has not been through
before you and he resisted them and overcame them all everyone he was a man just like you but he was more than that
he claimed to be the unique only begotten incarnate son of God in fact he
claimed pre-existence the scripture says in the beginning was the word and the
Word was with God before time began he existed he said before Abraham was I am
I am in eternal existence no wonder they got angry no wonder they
threw stones at him no wonder they tried to kill him and no wonder they
eventually did crucify him he stood and said I am God was he was he who that he
claimed to be the son of the Living God one day he asked his disciples who do
men say that I am and Peter answered and said well some of them say you’re John
the Baptist come back are you Jeremiah you’re Elijah he said I’m really not
interested in what the people say I’m interested Peter in what you say what do
you say Peter said thou art the Christ the Son
of the Living God and Jesus said Peter you’ve done well you’ve passed your
examination but Peter those are not your thoughts those thoughts came from God it
has been revealed to you by God Jesus Christ claim to be the Son of the
Living God and you know at his incarnation or his birth that was not
his birth or that wasn’t the beginning that wasn’t the origin of Jesus that was
the beginning that was the beginning of his incarnation because he has always
existed from everlasting to everlasting he is God the Bible says and the Word
was made flesh and dwelt among us in other words the logos the Word of God
the eternal God became flesh in the person of Jesus Christ and lived like a
man among us that’s what the Bible teaches and when you come to Jesus
Christ you have to accept that he wasn’t just another revolutionary he wasn’t
just another hippy he was not just another great man he was God in the
flesh and oh the ethics that he taught never a man spake like that man when you
get hit on one side he says turn the other cheek
he never said what to do after that but he did say forgive seventy times
seven count data how about the little irritations from your wife or your
husband seventy times seven you forgive my wife once said that the secret of a
happy marriage is two good forgivers and that’s what it is two good forgivers
people that can forgive each other Jesus taught that we’re to forgive he taught a
revolution in the way we’re to live he taught us that it wasn’t just our
outward actions that God judges but it’s the inward thoughts and intents he said
Moses said that in the Ten Commandments thou shalt not commit adultery
but I tell you that if you even look on a woman to lust after you’ve already
committed it he said Moses said thou shalt not murder but I tell you if you
have hate in your heart against your brother without cause you’re already
guilty he lifted man’s ethics to the highest plane and demanded that we live
that kind of a life he himself lived that kind of a life and the scripture
says that he judges the inside the Attorney General of the United States
said the other day that America is imperiled more from within than without
and so are you here today in your personal life David said in sin did my
mother conceive me jesus said out of the heart proceed evil
thoughts and murders and adulterous and thefts and blasphemies all the evil in
the world comes from the human heart that’s got to be changed and that’s why
Jesus said you must be born again you must be converted you must have a new
beginning and he can do it how do you explain Jesus Jesus Christ are you what
you say you are you know they only brought three charges against him to
crucify one they said this man loves sinners that was one charge the second
he healed on the Sabbath day and the third he claimed to be the son of God was he the son of God
Boogie’s Authority Jesus came unto them and spake unto them saying all Authority
has been given to me I know one thing he forgave sin and no prophet ever did that Jesus himself forgave sin he said thy
sins are forgiven thee I nobody had authority over nature
one day heat one night he was in a storm the lightning was flashing the Thunder
was roaring the sea was raging the wind was blowing the disciples were afraid
and Jesus was asleep in the boot and he stood up in the boat and said peace be
still the Lightning quit its flashing and the Thunder quit it’s roaring in the
rain ceased to fall and the wind quieted down and the sea quieted down and nature
obeyed him and our young people believed that today because one of their top
tunes at the moment is put your hand in the hand of the one who calmed the sea
he combed the sea he had power over nature I was flying cliff barrows and
some of us were flying some time ago I think we were leaving we went a typhoon
leaving the Philippines and just before we got out of the typhoon I was the
captain of the plane it invited me to sit up front with him and it was fairly
smooth we had a lot of rain and all it wasn’t too rough but all of a sudden the
plane hits something it seemed to me as though it hit a wall it choked it and
jerked and quivered and went up and down for about two minutes and then all of a
sudden we plunged out into brilliant sunshine into smoothin and the captain
turned to me with the perspiration coming down his face he said you know he
said that was God telling us there’s something up here more powerful than
this airplane but Jesus could take a storm like that and turn it around he
could take the lightening and throw it back in the cloud he has power over
nature why because he’s the god of nature
those are his laws they’re obeying him he had authority over disease I read the
other day where Mao Zedong in China claims to have cured 80% of all
the deaf people in China and one of those men that came back on the ping
pong team said that Mao Zedong is the Jesus Christ of China today they talk
about personality cult looks like to me they’ve got quite a personality over
there but Jesus did make the blind to see
he made the Deaf to hear he made the dumb to talk he raised the dead according to the record he had authority
over demons you say Billa do you believe in demons I surely do and Jesus
confronted demons time after time and he could cast them out and people that were
insane under the powers of demons would regain their sanity and then look at the
death he died did ever a man die like Jesus the lightning flashed and the
thunder roared and the earth began to shake and even the soldiers confess that
this must be the Son of God anyone that can see Jesus on that cross
and not be touched has a heart of stone they first took off his clothes then
they took long leather thongs with steel pellets or lead pellets on the end and
beat him across the back until he could hardly stand up then they put a crown of
thorns on his brow and his face was bleeding and they laughed at him and
they spit on him and they mocked him and with one snap of his finger 72,000
angels had already drawn their swords ready to come to his rescue and wipe
this planet out of existence in the universe and Jesus said no to this end
was I born and he dragged and lifted and hauled that cross
and don’t you black people ever forget one thing the man that helped Jesus
carry that cross was a black man and don’t ever forget another thing Jesus
belongs to Africa as much as he does to Europe and Asia he was born in that part
of the world that touches Africa and Asia and Europe and Jesus was not a
white man like me nor was he as black as some of you we don’t know what the color
of his skin but it must have been a dark color like the people of his day because
he was a man like them don’t ever say it’s a white man’s
religion or a black man’s religion it’s a world religion he belongs to the world when he died on that cross and they
nailed him they put the nails in his hands and you know what he said forgive
them they know not what they do forgive them could you forgive somebody
that’s putting nails in your hands and you know you didn’t deserve it he didn’t
squirm he didn’t yell he didn’t scream he just took him and said Lord forgive
him they don’t know what they’re doing that’s how he confronted the violence of
his day and then on the cross he said my God why Stauf forsaken me and then he
dropped his head and said it’s finished what did he mean he meant your plan of
salvation was finished God can now forgive you of all your sins because
Jesus had finished God’s plan for your salvation because you see God knows
every one of you by name he has the hairs of your head numbered God looks
upon you as though you were the only person in the whole universe he sees you
and you alone and on that cross Jesus had the capacity to think of you and he
loved you enough to stay on the cross was there ever such a love is that when
he could have been rescued and taken back to heaven and to sit on his throne
but he didn’t he said no I’m doing it for the joy that is set before me
because he saw that he would be raised from the dead he saw that they would be
a gathering in the generations to come of a people for his name that would make
up his body he saw the day when we will reign with him in his kingdom yes they
laid him away in a tomb and that’s where Jesus Christ Superstar leaves him
but out in Kansas City some people got hold of the rock opera and they carried
it right on to the next step the resurrection and if you don’t have the
resurrection you don’t have any gospel Jesus Christ is alive and when they went
out to the tomb that morning they heard the greatest news the world has ever
known he is not here he is risen he is alive today and the thing that inspired
the disciples to turn the world upside down in their day which the resurrection
they went everywhere declaring that Jesus is alive you know some of us
Christians live as though Jesus is dead he’s not dead
he’s alive oh you’re going through your troubles and your trials and your
temptations and your testings and your pressures and you’re under satanic
attack all the time constantly you know I think in many ways in some ways it’s
easier not to be a Christian in this world because the devil may leave you
alone the moment you receive Christ as Savior you’re in for it unless you live
on your knees and live in the scriptures and keep your guard up and have your
spiritual armor on at all times because if you let down even one day as a
Christian you’re in trouble the moment you receive Christ you see all the world
is going this way you turn around and start against the tide as a Christian
and that’s hard but you know it’s hard to be a sinner too
the older you get because the Bible says the way of the transgressor is hard i
watch sometimes the programs on television where they have crime
I have never in my life seen criminals worked so hard for the money they get it
looks like to me they could get a legitimate business and have a much
easier time to get their money they work at it that is according to the script
and I’m sure they do in real life Jesus Christ is alive and if he’s not risen
from the dead if he’s not alive then there is no such thing as Christianity
we’re yet in our sins Paul said in the whole thing’s a farce forget it and then
the people very very seed Christ what has happened to them
we had a fella here the other night that was a black panther leader he said that
he thought he could change the world through the Black Panther movement until
he said he met Jesus and he said Jesus changed his life and took all the hate
out and now he said I believe the world can be changed but he said I believe it
can be done with Jesus power that’s it Jesus
coming in too hot you know if I had if I had no proof
whatsoever no scientific proof that Jesus ever lived I still would trust him
because of what he’s done for me the joy and the peace and the security and the
love that he’s given to me His grace that he’s mine
today and then the satisfaction that he gives to those who trusted him who art
thou Lord Jesus Christ are you who you say you are this is the question that
every one of you today are going to have to answer who is Jesus if Jesus claimed
to be God knowing he wasn’t God then he’s a liar and we will have to say
Jesus you’re a liar you’re a fraud and a hoax and you’re the biggest fraud in the
history of the human race or if Jesus thought he was God and did not know the
difference then he desperately needed mental health he needed several
psychiatrists the third alternative is that he was who he claims to be God in
the flesh I believe that the evidence is overwhelming that he is who he claims to
be the son of the Living God but I cannot prove it scientifically but I can prove it by the lives that he
transforms every day I can prove it because in my heart I don’t say I think
I hope I say I know and you know there’s another element in our lives that we
don’t think much about and that’s the element of faith you think of the faith
that you have to have every day you have to have faith that your wife didn’t put
poison in your coffee this morning you have to have faith in her she might have
felt like it but she didn’t you have to have faith in the bank when
you write a check and sign it you have money in the bank you have to have faith
that the bank’s gonna pay it you have to have faith in the government when you
pull out a dollar bill now I know it’s shrinking but you have faith that back
of it is a dollar that people will accept it is money everything we do is
by faith now for example when I come upon a hill and I live in the mountains
of North Carolina we have a lot of hills I don’t stop my car before I get to the
crest of the hill and get out and walk over and see if somebody’s coming up the
other side on the wrong side I have faith to believe that the drivers
are gonna stay on their side faith faith faith everything when you said in that
chair had you ever sat in that chair before I bet you didn’t pick it up and
examine it and put your hands on it to see it but it holds you by faith you
just sat down in it you had faith that people wouldn’t build a chair that
wouldn’t hold you everything we do is by faith all right take the same faith put
it in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and you will know who Jesus is
you accept him by faith and he comes into your life and into your heart and
you know that he’s who he claims to be on that Damascus Road that I referred to
a moment ago the Apostle Paul said who art thou Lord and then Paul asked him
another question Paul said what do you want me to do Lord
and Jesus said arise and go I’m asking you today to arise and come to him now
some of you can Riddick you some of you can reject him some can just put it off
and say I’m gonna wait till another time or you can accept it as your Lord and
your savior and your master I’m the son of God and he will come into your heart
and forgive your sin and change your life Jesus Christ Superstar Judas don’t
get me wrong I only want to know he said and then the haunting chorus Jesus
Christ Superstar do you think you are what they say you are yes and more
10,000 times more then two men in England ever put in those lyrics is
Jesus Christ the Son of God and you are asked today to receive it in fact if
you’re going to go to heaven the Bible teaches you have to receive him if
you’re going to have your sins forgiven you have to receive it
and I’m going to ask you to do it today and I’m going to ask you to do it
publicly how do you do it I’m going to ask hundreds of you to get
up out of your seat right now and come and stand in front of this platform
quietly and reverently and say I want Christ in my heart I want him to forgive
my sin I want to know I’m going to heaven I want him to change my life I
receive him as my Lord and Savior if you’re with friends or relatives or
in a delegation they’ll wait if you’ve come in a bus they’ll wait why do I ask
you to come forward because every person jesus ever called in the New Testament
he called publicly you come publicly and openly and declare
yourself you may be Protestant you may be Catholic you may be Jewish you may be
Orthodox or you may not have any religion but God has spoken to you today
and you know that you need Christ you come and make sure right now we’re going
to wait and I’m going to ask that no one leave the service please not at this
holy moment I know you want to go because of the crowd but don’t leave
just get up and come right now quickly from everywhere hundreds of you we’re
going to wait from all over the stadium as God is speaking you may be in the
choir and this may be your last moment with God you may never have another hour
like this you come you that are watching by television
there are hundreds of people coming here at McCormick Place in Chicago to make
their commitment to Jesus Christ to accept him as their Lord their Savior as
their master as the Son of the Living God I’m going to ask you to make that
same commitment where you are at home I’m praying that you’ll make that
decision god help you to do it and I hope that you’ll go to church next
Sunday god bless you