Honoring and remembering God, Jesus Christ, and their servant Billy Graham by preaching an adaptation of one of his powerful messages.
TEXT: Matthew 26:36-39:
36 Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder.
37 And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy.
38 Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.
39 And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.
The last twenty-four hours in the life of Christ were the darkest in history, yet it was the darkness just before the dawn. I believe that history repeats itself. And when the world comes to that moment of despair — that moment when it is about to blow itself apart, that moment when it seems there is no solution — at that moment, the sun will rise. The kingdom of God shall come because we have the promise in Scripture that Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, is coming back to this earth again. He is going to set up His kingdom and then shall the prayer that He taught be answered, “Thy kingdom come.”
But before the triumph, before the crown, before the kingdom, before the victory, there had to come the suffering. Before you can share in Christ’s victory, before you can have a new life here and now, before you can go to heaven, before you can claim the promise that we shall someday reign with Christ, you, too, must come to that same cross. You, too, must come in simple faith and stand at the foot of that cross and receive the Saviour who was willing to go to the cross.
Look at Jesus on the night before He died. He has had the last supper with the disciples in the upper room, and they have gone now to the Mount of Olives. Now they are in the garden that is called Gethsemane. And Jesus leaves eight of His disciples on the outskirts of the garden and He takes three with Him — Peter, James and John. He goes a little further into the garden, and He tells these three disciples to watch and pray. Then He goes about a stone’s throw farther along and falls prostrate on the ground and begins the agonizing prayer. Before He was finished, the Bible says, “He sweat, as it were, great drops of blood.”
What agony! How Christ must have prayed that night. Many times in Scripture you find Christ praying all night. If Jesus Christ had to pray all night, what about us today? With our racism and bigotry, with our political and cultural division, with the problem of crime getting worse with every passing day, with all the social problems that we face in the world, the personal problems, and the problem of sin, we are not praying. We are not calling upon God. We give lip service to God, but our hearts are far from Him.
There are Christians living in America, and Christian influence has been felt in this country; but we today are a heathen, pagan nation. We are away from God. We have beautiful churches, but our hearts are far from God. We are not spending time in prayer. We are living today in the blackest hour in history since the last twenty-four hours of the life of Christ. We are living on the brink of hell itself, the brink of annihilation. And we are not praying. We are not calling upon God. What strength would God give us — what changes would be wrought if we pray in our dark hour like Jesus prayed in the world’s darkest hour!
Now, if you are with us today and you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to show you how you can place your faith and trust in Him for Salvation from sin and Hell.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the Cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at [email protected] and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.