Transcript of Billy Graham’s sermon titled “Choices We Make” which was preached in Tallahassee, Florida in 1986.
Listen to the MP3 Audio here:
Billy Graham – Evangelist
Tonight, I want to take my text from my new book. It’s found 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. And 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?”
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.” (Jeremiah 21:8) Which road are you on?
Jesus Christ said, “I am the way.” (John 14:6) 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.” (Proverbs 14:12)
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 you. 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?”