Transcript of Billy Graham’s sermon which was preached at Yankee Stadium on July 20, 1957.
Listen to the MP3 Audio here:
Billy Graham – Evangelist
And I’m going to ask you to give absolute attention. There are thousands of people here tonight that have burdens that need to be lifted, problems that need to be solved, sin that needs to be forgiven.
Many of you are searching for a new way of life. You’re searching for joy, peace, happiness, security, assurance. Assurance that if you died, you’d go to heaven.
But I want to tell you before you leave this stadium tonight, you can find an answer to the dilemmas and the problems and the perplexities of life.
Your life can be changed. It can be transformed. You can become a new person from this moment on, by surrendering your life to Jesus Christ.
I’m going to ask you tonight to listen not only with your physical ears, but I’m going to ask you to listen with the ears of your soul. The Bible teaches that your heart, your soul has ears. Listen as you’ve never listened. Tune in those ears to the God. He has a message for you tonight.
Our Father and our God, we pray that Thy Holy Spirit shall bring upon this vast congregation a holy hush. And we pray that Thy Spirit shall draw and convince and convict and bring men to the Savior, for we ask it in His name. Amen.
I do not feel that I can read my text until I say my word of appreciation to all of you that have sacrificed and worked and prayed for this great and historic day, and all of those gracious and thoughtful words that the Vice President has said. I want to hand over to the one to whom it belongs all the credit to the person of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Tonight, I want you to turn with me to Exodus, the 32nd chapter. The 32nd chapter of the book of Exodus. And the 26th verse. Night after night, I’ve asked people to bring their Bible. I hope that many of you have brought your Bibles tonight.
Exodus, the [32nd] chapter and the [26th] verse for our first Scripture. Here it is. Here we have a picture of Moses standing before a great crowd of people, something like this.
Exodus 32:26: “And Moses stood in the gate of the camp and said, ‘Who is on the Lord’s side? Let him come unto me’. And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto him.”
Then I want you to turn with me to the book of Joshua and the 24th chapter in the 15th verse and we read these words.
Joshua 24:15-16: “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land ye dwell: But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.’ And the people answered and said, “God forbid that we should forsake the Lord to serve other gods”.‘
In these two passages of Scripture, we find two of the greatest leaders of the Old Testament, Moses and Joshua. On both occasions, the people had wandered into idolatry.
On both occasions, Moses and Joshua preached to the people. On both occasions, Moses and Joshua said, ‘choose you whom you shall serve, whether the gods of the other nations or whether you will serve the true and the living God.’
Tonight I want to tell you before you leave Yankee Stadium, you too shall have to choose, because there is no neutral ground concerning Jesus Christ. You will have to choose whether you’re going to serve gods, or whether you’re going to serve the gods of materialism and secularism and the other gods of America.
Julius Caesar once ordered by Pompey to disband his legions in Gaul. He passed at the river that divided Gaul in Italy instead. If I pass not this river immediately, it will be the beginning of all misfortunes, that dice is cast. And then he drove his chariot into the river and stood on the Italian side, ready for battle and ready for destiny.
I tell you, tonight you will have to make a choice. Alexander the Great was once asked how he conquered the world. He said, by not wavering.
Tonight I’m going to ask that you not waver, that you not be indecisive, but that you make a clear cut choice and choose Jesus Christ as your Lord and Master and Savior.
Joshua was one of the greatest military heroes of all time, if you remember. He led the spies into the promised land. And with Caleb he made the minority report. He led Israel across Jordan’s River. He led Israel into the battle of Jericho and defeated the hostile tribes of Canaan.
He was a man of loyalty and obedience. He was courageous and faithful, and above all, he was a man of decision and action. But now the war was over, and Joshua found that the people were declining toward idolatry.
And many times the problems of peace are greater than the problems of war. And the great sin of America tonight is idolatry.
The first commandment says, ‘Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.’ (Exodus 20:3)
And God says, if you break that commandment, if you break any of the Ten Commandments, ye shall die. And that’s what sin is. The word sin means transgressor, a breaker of God’s law, a breaker of the Ten Commandments, or are coming short of God’s standards and God’s requirements.
And God said, we’ve all come short. We’ve all broken His laws. And one of the laws that every person in this stadium tonight has broken is the first commandment ‘thou shalt have no other gods before Me.‘
You say, ‘Well, Billy, I don’t have any gods that I make with my hands, that I go out in the backyard of my home or in my apartment and worship.’
Yes, but we have American gods, the gods of lust, the gods of secularism, the gods of indifference, the gods of amusement, the gods of all types of materialism that are rampant throughout America tonight. And God says you’ll have to make a choice.
He said if you want to continue in your lust, continue in your sins, continue in your materialism without giving regards to God, He said go ahead.
Because when God created you, He gave to you an ability that He did not give to any of His other creatures. He gave you the ability to choose. You can live any kind of life you want to. And I say this reverently, there is nothing God can do about it, because you have a will of your own.
You can choose to serve God or reject God. You can choose to serve God if you like, or you can choose to serve other gods if you like. You have the right to choose.
And thousands of people listening to my voice tonight have chosen other gods. You have chosen the other gods of America. And I tell you tonight the message of the Lord God to the American people tonight is this: choose you this day whom you’ll serve. Choose whom sides you’re going to be on.