Billy Graham on Vinyl, Part 9: “The Cure for Loneliness”

January 20, 2015

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In honor of Billy Graham, a hero of mine, I’m digitizing some of his sermons from long out-of-print records and making them available as MP3s. This sermon is found on an LP called Jesus, My Friend Unfailing from 1986 (Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, JMA0986).

In today’s sermon, from a Crusade in Washington, D.C., in May 1986, Rev. Graham preaches about loneliness, whose root cause is sin.

We are born in sin, the Bible says… The seed of sin started at the moment of conception. And it goes on and on and on and on, until, tonight, in the sight of God, you are a sinner. And the word “sin” means lawbreaker. You’ve broken the laws of God. And if you’ve broken the laws of God, you are under the sentence of eternal death. All that’s implied in the word eternal death—all that’s implied in judgment, all that’s implied in hell—is yours. Unless, of course, you repent of you sin and turn to the cross, where you can find wonderful forgiveness. Because, you see, God is a God of love, a God of mercy. He loves you. He has the hairs of your head numbered. He knows all about you. And he wants to come into your and take away that loneliness. And he wants to come into your life and give you new hope and new assurance, no matter what your condition is!

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From the back cover of Jesus, My Friend Unfailing.

He says that Christ, in his atoning death, experienced loneliness more severely than anyone.

Even at the end the scripture says all the disciples forsook him and fled. The crowd who on one day were shouting “hosannas” and throwing palm leaves down deserted him, and began to yell, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” What loneliness he must have felt! Then they hung him on a cross, and his blood was flowing, and they taunted him, “Come down, come down, you’ve saved others. Save yourself!” And they said that, 72 thousand angels in heaven pulled their swords ready to go rescue him, and he said, “No! I love them. I’m dying for those people in 1986 in Washington, D.C. I’m dying for those people in generations unborn. I’ll stay here and bear their sins. I know they’ve committed every type of sin. I know they’ve broken the laws of God. But I’m going to bear their penalty and their punishment and take it upon myself. And the loneliness of that moment when he said, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”—no theologian quite understands what happened there. But in that moment God took your sins and mine and laid them on Christ. And he became guilty of our sins. The loneliness of it all! For you… and for me! And how anyone can reject the Savior I do not know. Christ hanging on the cross experienced the ultimate loneliness.

We also experience a kind of loneliness when we decide to place our in Christ.

And then, eighthly, there’s the loneliness of your decision. You cannot depend upon parents or friends. You must make this decision for Christ yourself. And that decision means this: that you repent of sin. And what does that mean? You say, “God, I have sinned.” Will you say that tonight? Sure you will! You know you have. Then the next part of repentance is, I’m willing to turn from my sins. The word “repentance” means change your mind. Turn. I’m going in one direction in my life… I’m willing, Lord, if you’ll help me—I can’t do it alone—but I’m willing to turn and change directions. And any attempt to deal with sin apart from that will not work.

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Graham’s words about “punk-rock kids in England” received well-deserved applause:

There was an article in the press about punk-rock kids in England. And this lady that was writing the article says, “They’re a generation of alienated young who are going nowhere and looking forward to nothing.” I don’t know. I’d say that they’re young people for whom Christ died, and he loves the punk-rock kids, and died for them, and he would receive them and love them.

To listen to the sermon, click the play button above or right-click here to download as a separate mp3 file.

Click here for Part 1.

Click here for Part 2.

Click here for Part 3.

Click here for Part 4.

Click here for Part 5.

Click here for Part 6.

Click here for Part 7.

Click here for Part 8.

2 Responses to “Billy Graham on Vinyl, Part 9: “The Cure for Loneliness””

  1. bthomas Says:

    Thank you for this post. Amazing how these messages resonate with post-modern life.

    • brentwhite Says:

      Couldn’t agree more. As someone who was too young to hear Billy Graham in his prime, I’ve been very impressed studying these old sermons. Even by 1986, he’d lost a step in terms of energetic delivery, but his message is spot-on—engaged with culture, theologically nuanced.


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