Loneliness | Billy Graham
If you’re lonely today, Jesus wants to be your friend. Hear why in this 1987 Billy Graham sermon from Denver, Colorado.
God doesn’t make any mistakes. When He created you, He wasn’t having a bad day. He didn’t accidentally leave something out and now you’re at a disadvantage. God calls you a masterpiece. You have royal blood flowing through your veins. He’s crowned you with His favor. You’re not lacking; you’re not at a disadvantage. You have everything you need to fulfill your destiny.
From our archives, the Billy Graham classics.
Now, tonight, the hundred and second Psalm,
and beginning with verse five. Well, say just six. I’m like a pelican
of the wilderness, I’m like an owl of the desert.
I watch and ever as a sparer alone upon
the house top. Today, I went for a few minutes out into the foothills,
and took a little walk
down a little road I didn’t want to go too far because they told me there were rattlesnakes around there.
I’m not a friend of rattlesnakes for some reason. You know, they’re not my friend.
We have a lot of them where I live. So we have experience with them.
I let my wife kill those. And she does.
She’s not afraid of well, she’s not afraid of anything that I have hired out, but she’s certainly not afraid of snakes.
She was born and red in China in a town that
she said she never went to sleep a single night that she didn’t hear gunshots.
And so she learned not to be afraid. Because she’s never saw fear in her father
and mother because the town
would change hands every once in a while as band So warlords would come in, and then finally the Japanese came, and my father-in-law had a big hospital, and he lived through all that.
And she was there seventeen years.
But I want to say that today, as I walked out on that little place, I began to think and meditate a little bit And I watched a bird.
I don’t know the name
of that bird. It’s a big bird, and it has different colors. It may be a magpie.
I’m not sure, but it’s now has a strange sound to North Carolina ears.
And then the bird sat
on a fence post.
And he sat there by himself. No mate came around.
Now we have a lot of doves where I live,
and as you know, they mate for life.
And they would go around together. And they have friendship and fellowship and, uh, produce little children.
Little birds. And, uh, but this bird today seemed to be all alone.
And I thought about this passage of scripture, that’s found in the hundred and first off hundred and second Psalm.
I’m like a pelican in the wilderness.
I’m like an owl in the desert. I’ve watched him as a sparrow alone upon the
house top. You know, tonight, there are many lonely people here.
Many single people in the
city of Denver, fifty one percent of your population is single.
And many of those people are lonely.
And one of the supreme problems of modern society
is loneliness. The modern city
is a lonely place. Here in America, seventy percent more people are living alone in one person dwellings than ten years ago.
A New York psychiatrist was quoted the other day as saying, New York City is the loneliest place in the world for millions.
What would you say about Denver or the town you come from? An American university study reported that university students
are the loneness people in the United States, followed by divorced people. Are you lonely?
One of the principal causes of loneliness is alcoholism and drug use.
Alcohol and drugs are efforts to
escape loneliness. Drugs take you on a trip, and being drunk makes you feel that you’ve got somebody with you.
On the other hand, going with Christ is
a trip in which you really always have Jesus with you as your lord and companion.
You cannot drink your way out of loneliness.
Most young people turn to drugs for kicks and get hooked, or peer pressure.
But thousands turned to drugs because of loneliness. A magazine cover story recently had a neglected youth
It said that, actually, most of them are properly clothed and fed, but something is missing in the lives of millions.
a neglect of the spirit
the article said, which leaves them lonely and prone
to drugs and alcohol, but all too often.
Leads to suicide. What can be done about it?
One of the key words in the Bible is
communion. From which we get our word communication. Jesus came to a
man one time that was lonely and sick and paralyzed.
Thirty eight years, he’d sat in the same spot, lonely
and tired without a friend. And Jesus looked at him
and said, do you need a friend? And he said, yes.
This bundle of loneliness and human pain had
been buffeted by the surging tides of thousands of people, but Jesus singled him out. He became his friend
that day, and he healed him.
He can become your friend tonight if you’ll let him.
Loneness began actually in the Garden of Eden in a perfect paradise.
When man and woman declare their independence of god. They said, we don’t need you god.
We can build this world without you. So they made a terrible choice.
They chose to turn away from god.
They went their own way. Tried to build their world, and sin entered at that beautiful garden, and it was given to the next generation, the next generation, the next,
the next down to you and me.
And we all have the disease, and it’s a fatal disease.
Nobody ever escapes the judgment of the disease of sin.
So the roots of loneliness were planted in the human soul, and we
has been inherited by every inhabitant ever. Because you see in that garden, god went looking for Adam.
He knew where he was, but he went looking for him. He wanted Adam to know where he was.
He said, Adam, where are you? And Adam tried to hide.
Got some fig leaves and sowed them on. He didn’t know he was naked till then.
But he couldn’t hide. Lonliness has never been
a respective persons, the world’s greatest artists, writers, and composers, kings, and queens, and carpenters, and plumbers, and everybody.
Have felt this terrible thing called loneliness.
In John thirteen, It tells about the last supper, and it tells about the betrayal of Judith.
And the scripture says he went out, and it was night.
No one ever went away from Jesus, but what it was night.
Perhaps there was a time that you knew the fellowship of god’s people, and you had peace with god.
But you’ve backslid and you’ve gone away. You’ve turned away. You’ve fallen aside.
There was a time when you knew Christ,
you felt you knew him.
There was a time when
you felt you meant business with god, but
now your heart has grown cold and hard. Toward spiritual things.
You’ve been pulled away by others and other things and other gods and other pleasures that you know to be wrong.
And you went out from the presence of god,
and you have found that it’s night out there.
You don’t have fellowship with true believers,
and you don’t feel really at home in the world you’re living in. And certainly you
no longer have fellowship with Christ.
And there’s no loneliness, quite so bitter as the loneliness of a backslidden Christian.
Who claims with his mouth that he knows Christ, but deep in
his heart, he knows he doesn’t.
How many of you are straddling the fence, trying to put one foot in god’s kingdom and one foot in the world’s kingdom.
Sin makes us lonely. Because it separates us from god.
And it was never
in god’s intention for you to
be lonely. Hundreds of surveys proved that our society has not made us a better, adjusted, or happier society.
Oh, yes. We can have fleeting moments of sensual satisfaction.
Creates a bitterness and a loss of sense of pleasure that no psychiatrists can cure.
The Bible says that the wicked are like the troubled sea when it cannot rest whose water cast up mire and dirt.
Remember the story of Jesus with the woman on the at the well?
She was a lonely woman.
She had several husbands, had had several husbands, no satisfaction, no peace, no joy.
Jesus came and talked to her.
Forgave her her sins, transformed her life, made her a new person.
She went into the village of Saikar, and told all the people that hear with someone that knows all about you,
come and see him, and they
all went out to see Jesus.
The Bible says he’s despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
Even though great crowds surrounded him at times, he was alone.
Even at the end, the scripture says all the disciples forsook him and fled the crowds who shouted one day, hosanna.
That same week, five days later, they were crucifying you.
And at last, we hear from the cross.
Jesus, on the cross, dying for you and for me.
God laying on him all of our sins and our judgment and our hell, which he took on that cross.
He says, my god, my god. Why hast thou forsaken me?
In that terrible moment, something mysterious happened,
No theologian can explain it.
Jesus took your sins, your judgment,
your hell. All the penalty that I deserve for my sins he took on that cross, and
it was a lonely moment, a lonely period when he alone
had to bear the cross, and he became guilty
of all the sins of the whole world.
He experienced ultimate loneliness as he died for you and died for me.
I’ve never understood how a person can turn away from Jesus when they actually see him on that cross,
dying for you and to reject him
to turn away. When he offers you forgiveness, he offers you a new life.
He offers you peace and joy and friendship. Never to be lonely again.
Through his death, Christ dealt with the primary cause
of human loneliness separation from god.
Because hell essentially is separation from god. Hell is the lowness place in the universe.
Jesus suffered its agonist for you.
Jesus was lonely for you.
I remember when my grandmother died, I had the privilege of being there at that time.
She sat up in bed, With a smile and a glow in her face, her husband had been wounded at Gettysburg.
Lost an eye, lost a legged gettysburg.
And she sat up, and she said, I see Ben, her husband.
Who had died some years earlier.
And she said, oh, the music is so beautiful.
And then she fell back on the pillow. Out an eternity.
I remember when my mother was dying a relatively short time ago.
And all the wonderful sayings that she left behind on her deathbed, because she just
lived only for the lord.
She had a joy and a peace.
You never went into her room that you didn’t come out and feel that she
was ministering to you. You didn’t minister to her. And even when she was in a
coma, she woke up one night and quoted scripture.
And the nurse said she never saw such a look on anybody’s face.
And fell back into her coma and went into eternity.
There’s a great difference, even in the last hour, between those who know Christ
and those who don’t know him. Then there’s the loneliness of your decision.
Because you see, Christ died for you. He rose again. He’s living.
He wants to come into your heart.
He offers you forgiveness and salvation and assurance and peace and joy.
And he offers you a tough life. I’m not going to
play games with you and tell you that it’s easy to follow Christ. It’s not.
He said, if you’re not willing to deny self,
and take up a cross and follow me, you can’t you can’t be my disciple.
Now, the cross was a place where they executed criminals. It would be like today.
He said, take up the electric chair and
follow me. He said, I’m going to suffer.
I’m going to die. And he
said, if you follow me,
he said, you’re going to have troubles and difficulties and problems, and persecution, and maybe death.
Are you willing to do that?
Are you willing to go all the way with me to the cross?
Oh, yes. In the midst of
it, there’ll be his peace and his joy.
And his friendship and his forgiveness and his promise and the hope that he offers for the future.
But there will also be the possibility of persecution and suffering and problems that you never dreamed of when you come to Christ.
We’ve been in those parts of the world where people suffer because they come to Christ.
You must make the decision about Christ yourself.
Our reaction to loneliness is often to deal with the symptoms rather than the cause.
We get involved in pleasures, parties, good times, sex, We get involved in our work.
We throw ourselves into the social whirl
at the school. We read one of
the best selling books, which urges us to take control of our lives, any attempt to deal with sin without conversion is like struggling in quicksand.
And how many young people today and older people are struggling in quicksand trying to save yourself, but you can’t.
You’ve come to the end of your rope.
Turn your life over to Christ.
Let him bear your burdens, help you solve your problems, help direct and lead you in your life.
How many young people here tonight do not really know what you want to do with your life.
It’ll help you in your marriage, who you ought to marry.
This is a lady talked to me tonight, who said she’s just waiting for the right man to come along.
And there are many like that. Be sure it’s god’s man, a god’s woman,
I remember I took my three daughters aside when they were, oh, there couldn’t have been more than eight, nine, or ten years of age.
And I said, let’s stop here in
the mountain and pray for your husbands,
who you’re going to marry, their boys somewhere, And let’s just pray that god will lead them and
lead you and that they will be men of god. Well, they looked at
me as though their dad had gone crazy.
But we prayed, and they got the right men too.
One of them’s here tonight.
And we prayed the same way for our sons, both for the first time
in many several years, at least, both of my sons are here tonight.
I don’t know where they are, but they’re here somewhere.
But you have to make this decision alone.
If we search for an antidote to loneliness and drugs and alcohol and sex and encounter groups and psychological experiences, often it only serves to admire us deeper in despair without a remedy.
Through Jesus Christ, we can have the most fundamental relationship in life restored.
He says, behold, I stand at the door and knock If any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come into him and will suffer with him and he with me.
The psalmist that wrote that about the Pelican, and the owl said, oh, my soul, why be so gloomy and discouraged?
Trust in god, I shall again praise him for his wondrous health.
He will make me smile again for he is my God.
Loominess is often god’s way of letting us know it is time to reach out, reach out to the cross.
And you’ll never be lonely again.
A couple of weeks ago, I received a letter which said, quote,
About a month ago,
my wife and I separated, she moved out of our house, saying that she could not stand to be around me anymore.
We’d gotten to a point where we could not communicate with each other anymore. We were throwing accusations.
Some founded and some not. And bitter, spiteful words at each other.
So she moved out and went to live with another man until she could get an apartment of her own.
On June the eighth this year, I had come home from work.
And after dinner, I felt a compulsion
to turn on the tube
I attribute it to the loneliness and frustration I was feeling.
Sometimes, the tube can be an excellent fire escape for a short while.
But it’s not a good fire extinguisher, he said.
Anyway, I turned the set on and randomly flipped the dial The station I am chosen was just announcing the beginning of the Billy Graham crusade from South Carolina.
I don’t mind telling you.
I was more than a little skeptical about televised religious programs, but I continued to watch.
At the end of your sermon, which I felt was directed at me and my when you called those people who wanted to change the direction of their lives to come forward and receive Christ as their savior, I hesitated, but then I did.
At this time, my wife and I are starting to put things back on track.
Last night, I preached on John three sixteen, and the people here said it all together for god’s soul of the world that he gave his the begotten son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life.
And last night, more than seventeen hundred people came. And made their commitment to Christ.
A few weeks ago, no longer.
A few weeks ago, and one of our crusades, a man looked at that same verse,
and the counselor told him You can put your name in that verse. You are theosoever.
For god so loved the world, but
he gave his only begotten son that Hussah will put your name there. Whosoever, believeth, or commit him,
s his life to him will never perish, but have everlasting life.
And then he had a grin on
his face, and he said, I like that.
You can put your name tonight in that same way.
As all of those did last night, god so loved the world, for you, that he gave his son.
And you put your name and say, lord, I open my heart and my life to you.
I commit myself to you. For some of you, it may be that you’re going to recommit your life.
For others, you’re going to make a brand new start you want to be sure how you stand before god tonight.
I’m going to ask you to do what we saw those people do last night.
We’ve seen people in every continent of the world do.
And more than three score countries,
we’ve seen people do what I’m asking you to do.
I’m going to ask you to get up out of your seat. Hundreds of you.
And say tonight, I want to serve Christ. I want to follow Christ. I want to receive Christ.
I want to come to the cross. I want to put my confidence and my trust in him.
I want my sins forgiven.
I want to know I’m going to heaven.
I want to be sure that Christ lives in my heart.
And after you’ve all come,
I’m going to say a word to you and have a prayer with you.
You say, well, Billy, why do you ask people to come forward publicly?
Because Jesus, every person Jesus called, he called publicly.
And he said, if you’re not willing to acknowledge me before men, I’ll not acknowledge you before my father, which is in heaven.
There’s something about coming forward publicly and taking a stand in public that makes it count.
I’m going to ask you if you come from that gallery up on top, it’s gonna take you two or three minutes.
So start now. And I’m going to
ask that no one leave the stadium, please.
This is the holy moment. And god is speaking to you wherever you are.
And if you’re with friends or relatives, they’ll wait on you.
If you’ve come in a bus,
they’ll wait on you. And after you’ve all come, I’ll say a word to you, have a prayer with you, give you some literature to help you in your Christian life.
Or you can bring your friend with you,
but just get up and come quickly. Hundreds of you back over here, over there, upstairs.
You may be in the choir,
and god has spoken to you, even though you’re in the choir.
You may be a sunday school teacher.
You may be a leader in your church, but god spoken to you about your need of Christ,
you get up and come. Over here on the ends, everywhere quickly.
As you can see, many hundreds are responding to the invitation of Mr.
Graham to make Jesus Christ lord of their life. You too can make that same decision.
There’s a phone number on your screen right now. This is your number for spiritual health. And counseling.
Write the number down if the lines are busy, just wait a few moments and call again.
Special friends are standing by to with you and pray with you. Make that call now.
And you other parts of the country that have been watching by television, you can make this same commitment tonight.
And whether you’re in, at home, or in a bar, or in a hotel room,
You can have that knowledge that your sins are forgiven, that you’re justified, and the word justified means just
as though you had never sinned in your life.
That’s how god looks at you through the blood of Christ. People come into your heart where you are.
And if you’ll make that commitment, pick up the telephone and call that number that you see on your screen, may god help you to make that commitment that many hundreds here in Colorado are making on this beautiful Colorado evening.
God bless you.
And this reminder again as Mr. Graham has just told you.
We’d like to talk with you and pray with you, so make that telephone call now.
The number is there on your screen.
If you just prayed that prayer with my father or if you have any questions about a relationship with Jesus Christ, I would 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, God loves you.
If you would like to commit your life to Jesus Christ, please call us right now toll free at one eight seven seven seven seven two four five five nine.
That’s one eight seven seven seven seven two forty five fifty nine.
Or you can write to us at Billy Graham, one Billy Graham Parkway, department c, Charlotte, North Carolina two eight two zero one, or you can contact us on the web twenty four seven at peacewithgod dot tv.
We’ll get the same helps to you that we give to everyone who responds funds 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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