“When you come to Christ, sin no longer rules—Christ rules.” Hear Billy Graham explain how committing to Jesus Christ can change your life in this 1979 message from Tampa, Florida. Watch more #MondayNightClassics every Monday at 8 p.m. ET. CONNECT with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association: on Facebook:   / billygrahamevangelisticassociation  

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From our

archives, the Billy Graham Classics.

Now, I want you to turn with me
to Luke to 14th chapter

the 14th chapter, beginning at verse 25.

And there went great Multitudes with him.

great multitudes as a great multitude here

tonight, in spite of the fact
that here at Tampa Stadium,

it’s a little chillier than Tampa
normally has this time of year.

And many people
have their coats on tonight.

But the weather man promises
it will be real warm tomorrow.

And there’s a great multitude here.

35,000 people here in spite of the chill.

And that’s a tremendous
crowd anywhere in the world.

And great multitudes

were with him.

And he turned and said to them,

you know, every time a big crowd started
following Jesus, he had separate them.

He’d say,
you know, I’m going to die on a cross.

If you’re not willing to go with me,
don’t follow me.

And that had separate people right there

because they didn’t want to go to a cross,
because the cross

was the place of Roman execution
where they executed criminals.

And he said, if any man come to me
and hate not his father

and his mother and his wife
and his children and his brethren

and his sisters, and yea his own life
also cannot be my disciple.

Now, of course,
this is an idiom of preference in which

Jesus is using an exaggerated statement

in order to put across the point

that God is to be first
and foremost in our lives

at all times, even above your father,

your mother, your brother, your sister,
or even your life,

Christ is to be first.

And he said, if you’re not willing
to make that decision and not willing to

make that choice, you cannot follow him.

And then he goes on and whosoever

do it, not bear his cross.

And coming after me
doth not bear cross and cometh after me.

Cannot be my disciple.

For which of you
intending to build a tower?

sitteth not down first and count
at the cost whether he have sufficient

to finish it less happily
after you have laid the foundation

and is not able to finish it
all that behold it began to mock him

saying this man began to build

was not able to finish it.

In other words, Jesus is saying,
If you’re going to follow me,

sit down and count the cost,

because the people that followed
Jesus were young.

He was a young man himself.

Jesus died at 33,

and on this occasion he is on his way

to Jerusalem

for the last time.

And if you take Luke

from the oh, about the 13th chapter
and the 31st verse

to the 19th chapter and the 27th chapter,
it has to do with this journey

that carries him through various parts
of what we call the Holy Land,

on his way to Jerusalem,
to the cross, to die

for our sins.

And, you know,
when we deal with young people today,

there are three kinds of tensions
I find among young people.

First, there’s the tension between youth
and their elders.

They think that they’re standing
in their way toward a better life.

And the real test of this
generation has not come yet.

The real

test of our generation is still to come

because our world is facing some ominous

storm clouds, the armament race,

the creeping hunger in the world,
and the cries of the hungry.

In many parts of the third world
that do not have enough to eat.

And whether we like it or not,
we’re going to have to listen to them

because they are getting more
and more and louder and louder.

And we cannot go on with extreme
rich and extreme poor.

And our generation has not yet faced up.

The new generation has not yet faced up
that you will have to carry the burden.

You’re going to have to carry the burden
of the mistakes of my generation

and the generation just past.

Because you see, we’ve built up

a gigantic debt for you to pay.

The interest on that debt at this

moment is $60 billion a year.

Just the interest

and somebody has got to pay it.

And you are
the ones that have been chosen to pay it.

We have not lived up to our means

and the debts getting bigger and bigger
and bigger and bigger

and $400 billion

are being spent on arms in the world.

Somebody can push the trigger

that can destroy your generation.

And those are the terrifying things
that face you.

And you haven’t faced up to it yet.

And neither have we.

And I, for one, am and am ashamed
at what our generation has handed

you and the problems
we’ve handed you and the mistakes

we’ve made.

And one of those mistakes is
we haven’t really clearly presented to you

the Gospel of Christ
and what it costs to follow Christ

and the joy and the thrill
and the excitement of following

Christ and knowing Him
and having your sins forgiven

so that even if you’re in a wheelchair,
you can have that marvelous smile and say,

Thank God, what a message
we have to give to you.

And then the second tension I find
is created by young people themselves

who don’t like any part of the world
that they will inherit and are seeking

to abolish the whole society.

Like one of them said that they feel like
they’re locked in the back of a vehicle

that has been built to corrupt

It’s unsafe at any speed and it’s
being driven by a middle aged drunk.

They don’t want to drive.

They don’t even want to go
where the car is going.

They just want to get out of the car
as quick as they can before the wreck.

And if they succeed, they will camp
where they happen to be hoping to make it.

If they can stay together.

And then the third tension that I find is
a tension that comes from those

young people who use a word that they used
a couple or three years ago.

I don’t think young people

are using this anymore
because it’s a little out of date,

but it’s a pretty good expression
that I find among young people

even today, even though they use different
terminology, they mean the same thing

hanging loose.

They’re disturbed by biting discontent.

They’re testing the winds of change before

committing their mind
and their body and their soul.

And they represent many of modern youth.

Our boy gets caught cheating

in school and his peers
tell him, Hang loose.

A girl gets pregnant.

Hang loose.

pressured by parents to get better grades.

Hang loose. Don’t worry about it.

When a problem gets rough, hang loose.

Walk away from it.

Don’t try to think your way out of a mess.

Feel your way through it.

Abandon absolute standards.

They only hang you up.

But you know the generation before you.

My generation.

In the past generation,
they were idealists, too.

You see.

They were tempted to drop out
and hang loose.

A thousand times.

But instead they held on to their jobs
and paid their bills and their taxes

and fought in wars that had to be fought

to keep Hitler from taking the world.

Perhaps we’ve been naive, but

we’ve expected that the young generation
might pick up

society’s load.

And we find it difficult to understand
the lack of commitment today.

And that’s really the lack that we find
that I find among many young people.

They really haven’t committed themselves
to any philosophy or ideology

or religious faith.

They’re just hanging loose,
sort of waiting for

wind to come along
and blow them in any direction.

I’m asking you tonight to commit yourself
to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Count the cost.

Surrender it all to Him.

Let him be your Lord. Let him do it.

You are thinking for you

as to what you should do
about vocation in marriage

and these great problems that you’re going
to have to personally face,

as well as the corporate problems

we’re going to have to face
as a whole generation.

Our world is moving very,

very fast toward a climax of some sort.

I think we’re on the verge
of an international earthquake,

and I think it could happen any time,
certainly before the end of the century,

unless unless
unless millions of young people

begin to march for Jesus Christ
with love in their hearts,

surrendered, committed, studying

the word, a knowledge of the scriptures.

And that’s what I would beg of you.

Young people,
most of all, is get to know this book.

If you’re going to be a doctor

or a lawyer or a businessman or whatever
your vocation.

Get a knowledge of this book first.

I’m glad I went to Bible school before
I went to a liberal arts college

because I was grounded in the

Scriptures before I went.

And when you get to the university

and this this is where I have a little bit
of a hang up on some churches.

Not all of them.

You know, our Sunday school teachers
are not properly trained to teach.

They don’t know the scriptures themselves.

They don’t know how to communicate
the scripture.

They do know.

And our young people need training.

And the church can do it.

And in many instances, in most instances,

they are doing

and thank God

for the Bible schools
and the Bible departments

in many of our Christian schools
that are teaching the Word of God

to our young people.

But some schools be very careful
when you take a Bible course.

I want to tell you this now.

I had a young fellow

come to me the other day and he said
he wanted to go to a certain university.

And I said, Go,

It’s a great university,
but don’t take any Bible courses,

because in that university,
the professors of that university

are out to destroy your faith.

And that is happening all too often

in some of our universities today.

In fact, one professor that I heard about,
in fact, I know his name,

he walked into the classroom.

He said, I’m
supposed to teach you the Bible.

He said, I want to tell you, first of all,
I don’t believe a word of it.

And he said, secondly, I’m going to try
to prove to you why the Bible isn’t true.

Well, you can see these young kids
that were sitting there awed by the

knowledge of the professor

coming from their

homes where they’d been taught
to love the word of God.

How many tragedies take place that way?

And it’s up to the church

to teach

and to be sure that our teaching
is the truth of God’s word.

Now, you know,
when you work among young people,

there are three problems that you face
when it comes to.

I think when it comes to

the word of God.

First is an intellectual problem.

Now, that’s not as much of a problem
as it used to be.

Years ago, because you see, science today
tends to confirm the word of God.

When I was going to school, science
seemed to be against the word of God.

Today, the vast
majority of scientists believe in God.

35 years ago, the

vast majority did not believe in God.

So the intellectual problem
is not so great,

but the intellectual problem that I did
face is one that many of you face.

I had to decide who Jesus Christ was.

Was he the son of the living God?

The way the truth and the life,

the embodiment of all truth,
all scientific truth,

psychological truth,
moral truth, spiritual truth.

Was he the embodiment of all truth,
as he claimed?

Or was he a liar?

Oh, did he deserve to be
put in a mental institution

and studied by some psychiatrists?

Which was it?

That’s the decision
that you have to make tonight.

You have to make a decision about
Jesus Christ an intellectual decision.

The Bible does not say anything
against the mind.

In fact, the Bible has a lot to say
about the mind, we are to love the Lord

God with all our heart, soul and mind.

Let this mind being you
that was also in Christ Jesus.

The mind is important, but remember that
the mind has been affected by sin

and you cannot come to

Jesus Christ intellectually alone.

That last step has to be taken by faith.

And so by faith, I say, Lord Jesus,
I believe you are who you claim to be

the Son of the living God,
the Creator of the universe,

who died on the cross for my sins
and rose again for my justification.

I believe you are coming back
to set up your kingdom.

I know that you are my savior,
and by faith I accept.

And when I do that, he changes my life

and he comes into my heart
and makes me a new person.

And he he’ll do that to you tonight.

The second problem that young people face

in coming to Christ is a moral problem

meeting the high standards of Christ.

Because you see, Christ demanded

first place in everything

and you have to come to

Christ realizing
you will have to pay a price.

You can’t drag those dirty sins with you.

You’ll have to quit your lying.

You you’ll have to quit
sleeping with that girl.

That’s not your wife.

You’ll have to quit cheating in school.

You will have to take some responsibility
and work.

You will have to study the Word of God
to show yourself approved unto God,

a workman that needed not to be ashamed.

All of these things are costly.

Are you willing to pay them?

That’s the moral problem.

His standards are very high.

And he hasn’t changed
to accommodate himself to our generation

and to our changing permissive standards.

He’s still the same yesterday,
today, and forever.

God never changes.

Now, those are high standards,
and I don’t believe you can keep them

without Christ

sex thrown at you

from every angle.

The sex instinct very strong.

God gave it to you. It’s a gift from God.

There’s nothing wrong with it.

The peer pressure,

the things we see in the motion pictures

and in the literature,

all stimulating your sexual desires.

And you can’t live a clean life today

except one way.

And that’s with Christ in your heart.

Paul said,
I’ve been crucified with Christ.

I no longer live

but Christ liveth in me.

The Scripture says Sin shall no longer

have dominion over you.

There was a time
when sin ruled in your life,

but when you come to Christ, sin
no longer rules.

Christ rules

and He can help you
to meet the high standards

that he set in morality and ethics.

Now, suppose

you accept Christ and you slip and fall.

What happens?

You’re not going to become perfect


If you really know Christ, you get up
and you get on your knees and say,

Oh, Lord, I’m sorry. Forgive me.

Turn from that sin.

I don’t ever want to commit it again.

And you confess it, acknowledge it.

And he is faithful and just
to forgive you your sin.

So tonight, if you have sinned,

come back to him tonight and say, Lord,
I have sinned.

I’m sorry

I surrendered.

And then, of course,

there’s another problem,

and that’s the emotional problem.

Because you see, we’re made of mind

and will and emotion.

He wants Lordship over

your career, your marriage,
your friendships, your morals, everything

surrendered to him.

You’re not to be swept
off your feet emotionally.

Nobody says
you have to cry when you come to Christ

or you have to laugh
when you come to Christ.

But I’ll tell you this You can’t
look at that cross very long and realize

it’s deep significance without being moved

that God would send His son,
the Lord Jesus Christ, to die

and shed his blood for you
so that you might have forgiveness of sin

and eternal life
and know that you’re going to heaven.

Now God makes three claims
or three calls to you.

First, He called you to the person of
Jesus Christ.

Okay, come now.

Let us reason together.

Sayeth the Lord, though your sins.

Be as scarlet, they shall
be as white as snow.

That can be made white
as snow because of the cross.

So he called you to Christ tonight?

It’s not a church call.

It’s not a family call.

It’s not a national call.

It’s a call to a person,
the person of Christ.

How many people here tonight
are in the church?

But you really don’t know
the person of Christ for yourself.

And then secondly,
God called you to consecration.

The word consecration means to set apart.

Now we do the dedicating,
but only God can consecrate.

I beseech you, therefore, brethren,
by the mercies of God, that you present

your body as a living sacrifice
wholly acceptable

unto God.

Think of your life as a as a house.

Your the owner of the house.

You have a ring of keys.

And when you respond
to the call of Christ,

you give God the key
to the front door of your house.

You commit your life to Christ
as Savior and Lord.

And when you respond to God’s call
to consecration,

you take off the other keys
from the ring one at a time

and give them to God for a mother,
or father.

It means that you go to the nursery
and give your baby to Christ.

For a student, it means that you give
God the key to your education.

For a businessman,
it means that you give God the key

to your business,
the key to your pocketbook.

You give God the key to your romance.

You give God the key

to your future marriage.

He becomes the Lord as you have
therefore received the Lord.

So walk ye in Him.
How did you receive Christ?

You received Him by faith.

Now walk according to faith.

Give him the rings on that.

Give him the keys on that key ring.

And then thirdly, God

called you to training.

I’ll tell you, I wish we had a million
young people right now

that would say, I’ll go where you want me
to go and be what you want me to be.

how God could use you in places of India

that I know about in Africa
and Latin America, and right here

in the United States or in Europe,

right in your own neighborhood,
right on the west coast of Florida.

God could use you.

He needs you.

My own denomination is

going to appoint
a thousand new missionaries

in one service in Houston, Texas, in June,

and they’re praying that a thousand
new people will come that same night,

new young people and say, Lord,
I’ll go where you want me to go.

I’ll be what you want me to be.

I’ll be a missionary.

He needs nurses and doctors

and businessmen and yes,

Christian politicians,

Christian leaders

that are ready to step out
and pay the price and serve Christ.

I’m calling you tonight to join his army,

March with him
under the banner of the cross

with his love in your heart.

But first,
you’ll have to take that first decision

and that first step and say yes by faith.

I receive your Lord into my heart.

I’m going to ask you to do it right now.

Hundreds of you, young and old alike.

I’m going to ask you to do something.

We’ve seen several
thousand people do already.

I’m going to ask you to get up out
of your seat right now, hundreds of you,

and come and stand on this field and say,

by coming,
I receive Christ, I want to follow Christ.

I want to give him all the keys in my ring
to him, no matter what the cost.

I’m willing to pay the price tonight.

Whatever it is, if you’re with friends
or relatives, bring them with you.

But come.

If you come in a bus, they’ll wait on you.

Whoever you’re with, they’ll wait.

And after you’ve all come down here,
I want to say a word to you

and have a prayer with you

and give you some literature
and you can go back and join your friends.

But you come.

Don’t let this night escape
because the Bible says he that hardeneth

his heart being often

reprooved shall suddenly be cut off
and that without remedy,

you may never have another moment
in all your life

when you are so close to the kingdom
as you are tonight.

This is your moment in your hour.

You come quickly from everywhere.

We’re going to wait
as hundreds are already coming.

You join them and come

while you come

and the choir is going to sing.

You that are watching by television

can probably see every aisle

in this great stadium here in Tampa,
Florida, is filled with young

and old alike
coming to make their commitment to Christ.

You can make that commitment
wherever you are right now.

I’m going to ask you to do it.

God help you to make that commitment now
and go to church

next Sunday.

It has been a privilege
for us to bring you

this special television
series from the Tampa Crusade.

And it is our prayer that for many of you,

it has been a time of commitment
to Jesus Christ.

Until we have this privilege again
from some future crusade city,

this is Cliff Barrows for Billy Graham
and the team saying goodbye.

And may God richly bless you

if you
just prayed that prayer with my father

or if you have any questions
about a relationship with Jesus Christ,

I want you to just call that number
that is on the screen.

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

those questions
and remember the 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.

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