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Building On the Rock

Doug Batchelor
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Doug Batchelor grew up in a wealthy home where he could get just about anything his heart desired. In spite of having so much, nothing ever satisfied him. It drove him to a life of drugs, crime, and even the cusp of suicide. It wasn't until Doug ran away from his affluent home at the age of 15 to live in a cave that he found God and discovered true satisfaction.

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Doug Batchelor

Speaker and Director of Amazing Facts

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  • October 20, 2017
    8:00 PM

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Good evening friends and. For those in this part of the hemisphere happy Sabbath are very glad for each of you that are here both in the building and for those who may be watching on the a number of venues Facebook amazing fact Facebook and U.I.C.. And I like to start with an amazing fact this one is a sobering fact. One of the most severe architectural failures in history was in one nine hundred ninety five and it had to do with the structural failure of the sampling department store. The store was averaging forty thousand people a day were going through. A very dubious contractor lesion had built it you substandard material and after bribing some officials he was persuaded them to build it on an area that they knew was a garbage landfill the ground was unstable engineers when they tried to advise against it it bribe them. Then after they approved the plans he said let's add more stories to it sell more space make more money and let's even add a pool. And I said oh no that won't work he bribe them. And then when the building began to show signs in one thousand nine hundred five that something was wrong it began to settle gas lines were breaking he wanted a vacuum in the building business was booming didn't want to do it. And then even after a ceiling on the fifth floor started to collapse he said well let's wait until after the work day some of the executives ran out of the building and they ordered people to move equipment that might be damaged out from under the cracks. Well then there was a sudden catastrophic collapse five hundred people died nine hundred thirty seven were injured and it can be traced back to building on the sand. They built on the wrong kind of guy. It's very important when it comes to your life that you're building on the right foundation. Jesus said When we talk to you about were Jesus is in Matthew Wiseman builds on the rock foolish man builds on the sand Luke shares the same parable but he throws in a few other words that Jesus must of shared on another occasion. Luke six forty seven whoever comes to mean here's my Sainz and does them I'll show you who he is like he's like a man building a house who dug deep I told you my name's in the Bible. And he laid the foundation on the rock and when the flood arose in the stream beat the imminently against that house it could not shake it for it was founded on the rock but he who heard in did nothing is like a man who built his house on the earth without a foundation against which the stream beat vehemently and immediately had fell in the ruin of that house was great as and when the lost will say the harvest is past the summer is ended and we are not saved Oh what a horrible thing that will be to realize you had a chance to live forever and you blew it because you built on the sand of popular opinions you need to know what your foundation is you know at the heart of building on the rock is something very simple. What is your world view. Your world view describes your philosophy about life it really covers three things where you came from. Which will help define what you're doing here and determine where you're going. You really need to have the answer to those questions where did you come from what are you doing here and where are you going. There's a lot of popular theories out there some are thinking Well you've got the option that humans are just highly evolved. That of ard. Just complex biological accidents Another option is that we're really kind of dormant gods that are traveling through a series of reincarnations until we're sort of reabsorb by the divine essence I believe that for a while reincarnation. Or we are moral creatures made in the image of God with free choice. Everything's going to sort of fall into one of those options or a variation of that So what is your worldview what are you building on what is your life built on what's your philosophy about where we've come from why we're here and where we're going but I mentioned George Barna last night he said that if you've got a Christian worldview you'll be able to say yes to these eight points do absolute moral truth does exist that's one is absolute truth defined by the Bible did Jesus Christ live a sinless life is God the all powerful and all knowing creator of the universe and does he still rule it today. Is salvation a gift from God that cannot be earned. Is Satan real it's not just believing in Christ and God. Does a Christian have a responsibility to share or her or his faith in Christ with other people. Is the Bible accurate in all of its teachings now after imposing those questions they did a survey and they found that only nine percent of people who call themselves born again Christians could say yes to those eight definitions of having a Christian worldview. So many other things are shaping the view and. Their foundation is turning to sand little by little it's a road in. Your belief about what the purpose of life is is going to define every other belief what you think about death sin marriage the Sabbath the inspiration of scripture the words of Jesus the Ten Commandments family health everything is going to be connected with what is your basic foundational world view. Now the false teachings that are given in this world. You know the world is being told that we've all evolved and this is what I grew up believing and I told you tonight that I would share a little bit of my personal testimony and I'm going to weave that into what I was going through in my trying to understand what is the purpose of life my worldview and struggling. To extricate myself from the false things I had been taught growing up it's really hard when you're taught something from your youth to sue suddenly come through the appearance of saying I believe the lie all of my life it's hard to admit that quickly. I was born. A little girl was doing a book report one day and she wanted to make a big impression her book report was on Abraham Lincoln and so she stood up and she said Abraham Lincoln was born at a very early age in a log cabin he built with his own hands. And so when you start to share your personal testimony you know there's always a risk you can become hypnotized by your own voice. And elaborate a little too much so you know pray for me as I share because I really want to open my heart and just share with you what I've discovered someone asked how do you know your truth is is true wanting to tell you how I came to that conclusion. I was born with some unusual parents total opposites so it's kind of given me an understanding my father was a conservative Republican redneck born in Oklahoma. My mother was a liberal hippie Democrat born in New York City you heard of the country mouse and this is how they got married it is still a mystery. They met in California. My father on just talk about him for a moment he was very poor grew up his father died when he was seventy grew up during the Depression and had three younger brothers went through the dust bowl some of you read the book Grapes of Wrath my dad was in that story somewhere what I mean by that is he lived that experience of coming out of Oklahoma during the Dust Bowl and going to California looking for work. He taught himself to fly when he was still in his teens in World War two broke out and he enlisted was a pilot in Europe during D.-Day came back and started buying and selling airplanes. He bought an airplane he would buy these government army surplus planes in Hawaii fill them with gas and fly them by himself all the way from Hawaii and back then to D.C. three doesn't go that fast. And he'd have to be up twenty four hours by himself no autopilot flying this plane. And he'd tire belt around the stick and go back and switch to gas things because the regular tanks want to hold in the fuel but he buy em cheap in Hawaii because he couldn't get rid of them and he started an airline he eventually own two airlines. Used to own part of Western airline thinking on controlling his interest in Western airline he was friends with people like Howard Hughes and Kirk Kerkorian and had a lot of money. At one point he lived on an island in Miami Beach with. With a butler and a maid and dad had Rolls Royce and and lived in a mansion and a yacht in the backyard and other decision on your pictures I don't know if there's the yacht dunno if they're going to show you yeah it was called the bachelor party. And. Matter of fact we had three boats in our backyard in our back yard on the water. Had a ski boat the yacht and I had a little sail boat and. A. Few years ago dad's funeral I went back and show Karen where I used to live and. I've had to get the security guard to let me on the island it was quite a chore. And. I said all right I'm going to pull in the driveway a roll in the window take a picture real quick and and so as we pulled through the circular it's private island you mentioned pull through the driveway Karen jumps out of cars and not get out of the car so if someone lives here now sure enough someone saw her and they came out. And they said can I help you oh my husband used to live here. Who's your father George bachelor welcome audience. He brought us in the house nothing to change. He bought it for my father he and his wife were accountants even care about the decor they had not touched a thing in thirty years it was a strangest thing I'd ever shag carpet still on the floor it was the strangest thing that we had ever seen anyway I don't know why I went down that road but. Now days of it all over again. So you know he had a lot of money. But he wasn't happy and on the island where I lived I was telling the salt students yesterday you've heard of Firestone tires I dated he Firestone. And you've heard of Lake Hoover vacuum cleaners. Our Chris Craft but it's all these kids are the kids that I played with growing up but something that I noticed was they weren't very happy. My dad drank himself to sleep every night he was married five times. Fighting in the home just a lot of unhappiness. He had been raised a Baptist but after World War two He thought if there's a God why did you allow all that suffering you had that question before so he was pretty much and he theist. And my mother was Jewish by birth but you know there's a lot of secular Jews very zealous about being Jewish but didn't believe in God. And so I saw that happiness didn't come from money. My dad had all the toys of Lear jets yachts Rolls Royce. I wasn't happy. My mother on the other side she was the artsy one very talented very beautiful woman. She could saying she could taught herself to play the guitar she would write songs she started writing songs for. I don't know if any of you here even remember these names of this generation people like Frankie Avalon Andy Williams Elvis Presley. And a number of people recorded her her songs she has some standards that she wrote she wrote scores for movies and. Moved to New York City and was doing plays and but she really made it as a film critic she was hired by A.B.C. to be the film critic on Good Morning America and she founded the Beverly Hills film critic Association Hollywood film critic Association and is very powerful position because if you say that a movie is good or bad. They make millions more or less in ticket sales so the critics are always you know getting gifts and free trips and things like that sort of trying to bribe you but. Mom you a lot of people in Hollywood. I don't know if they'll have time to put any of these pictures up but I've got pictures of mom with Paul McCartney and Dustin Hoffman and Clint Eastwood and Sylvester Stallone and George Burns and Jimmy Stewart it is a lot of famous actors and actresses Natalie Wood Sally Field There you go there is Muhammad Ali George Burns you can flip through these quickly I think I already there's Yes Sylvester Stallone Paul McCartney has Mom That's what Warren Beatty and if you got some others here this is just during her film Bob Hope not only would they kind of look like nothing. Sally Field Roger Moore so I just threw some of those up there Paul Newman Clint Eastwood but because I tell people this they go yeah. Sure but when we were growing up in Southern California and in New York City it wasn't uncommon for these people to come to our homes we had friends that were Academy Award winners but something I observed. Is some of these people that were talented rich famous. They were miserable a lot of them were on drugs and they were addicted some of them alcoholics I remember I had a young friend he was an actor a very well known child actor handsome talented. Unhappy empty locked himself in the garage turned on the car and killed himself. And I thought what a waste and so I began to think life doesn't make any sense you know money doesn't bring happiness. Fame and beauty popularity doesn't bring happiness I thought is everybody miserable. Now when I was. About seven years of my parents divorced when I was three I have one real brother that passed away and I have a step brother still alive and I grew up in New York City. Life didn't make any sense I got into a lot of trouble because I thought my worldview was we're born you live a little while you die you turn into fertilizer. That's what I thought you know I thought why are we here there's no purpose just trying to have as much fun as you can I remember seeing a commercial on T.V. when I was a kid it was a beer commercial I still remember it was let's beer commercial and it said you only go around once in life get all the gusto you can and I wasn't sure what gusto was at that age but I thought I'm going to try and get all I can and so I just started living a wild life. I often thought of suicide because I just felt so empty I was in trouble all the time I went to fourteen different schools mad if they may have pictures up here I went first a military school there I am now just a little you want hear some trivia I want to military school with Donald Trump. But I didn't know him so don't hold me responsible for anything. So. He went to New York Military Academy I don't ever remember seeing him he's about ten years older than I am as a couple pictures here I think that's me in a friendly guy on the left Bobby Boyer that's me and Bobby Boyer Bobby Boyer ended up working for Ronald Reagan and if you ever see the picture where Ronald Reagan is shot in front of his limousine Bobby is in that picture with him and so I reconnected with Bobby after forty years and something that was kind of fun but. Any event so I went to the strictest school in North America I I got to so much trouble I was getting kicked out all these schools because I was a very precocious young man and you never would have thought. And so you know I was looking for attention because my mother was so consumed with being famous and my father was so consumed with being rich that my brother night and my brother was sick so he got more attention I just felt like nobody noticed me. And so I. Was in that I went to fourteen different schools before graduating high school. And so finally my mother told my father he needs more discipline. And I actually with my father told my mother he needs more discipline and so they found New York Military Academy and I went there and it was the strictest school in North America still around today they had a rule for everything talk about leaving with them you don't know what legalism and. They would measure our underwear the way we folded it they would measure the books on the shell when measurement you had to stack them in rows and everything in your closet had to be hung in perfect order in our rooms were inspected every day but Sunday and if they failed inspection they tore you will pardon you had to fix it up and still get the class on time or you got punished for that and I mean and if you talk back this was back before they knew about those laws and said you can't hit the students and they would whip us they slap this around I didn't know I could file a complaint back then but I mean they were wrong. So I went there for a couple of years and then one summer I got into trouble my mother said my father had run away and I got arrested and I was doing some stealing I was using drugs I should probably stop here and tell you that. I remember my mother telling me Doug I know you're going to run into this out on the streets and I just assume you did it at home and so she rolled a joint smoked it with me. My mom smokes cigarettes but I always wondered about the funny cigarettes she was smoking. And after that sometimes she'd make you know Hashi's cookies or brownies and and she said I if you can use it use it at home and she said you know I don't want to keep anything from my mother was a very open about life talked openly about all kinds of things way too young and as so I you know I simply as a kid forty second of Broadway My mother would say seven years old go out and play you and your brother we just went up up and down the streets of New York and you know I guess parents get arrested for not supervising the kids roaming the streets but they just sent us out to play all the parents did back. And. So I started using drugs at home. My brother couldn't smoke pot so when Falcon because he had cystic fibrosis when he would come to visit he make marijuana or hashish cookies for him. At one time I took some of those to a school party and gave him to the teachers. But they. Don't give me ideas. But I was a troublemaker. And so. And when I was living with that I learned how to drink because that in the mansion he had a bar one room was just a bar big bar and his bar was better stocked than some you would find in a city and I could go in whenever I want them nothing was locked up and I'd bring my friends over what that was at work and we mix our own drinks and he never really knew he never confronted me on that because the butler would always restock the bar thinking that my father was drinking it my father never knew it was missing so I began alcohol by the way was gave me a lot more problems than all the other drugs put together alcohol is one of the most deadly drugs in North America. So I was in a lot of trouble. And. When you don't believe that you're created most of the schools I went to taught evolution. And when you believe evolution you essential believe that everything around you is just sort of a biological accident. And I thought you know if people are unhappy and if you die and the pain is over why not kill yourself. This is a very sobering. This question in this group because you know the highest suicide rate is among teenagers and young adults. It's especially serious in communist countries because they say there's no God It's even worse. And if you ever thinking that suicide is somehow going to make things better it permanently seals a bad situation and you lose all of your options but I used to play with suicide all the time I climb to the top of these apartment buildings in New York twenty stories up and and I get out on the roof they still leave it open and I stand there and put my toes over the edge and I play the game right lean out and see how far I could go before I felt my center of gravity and I just think why don't I just jump in and it all just be like going to sleep I kind of wanted to get my parents' attention if I kill myself I know they'll come to the funeral get their attention Adama's it. Or my mother I knew she took sleeping pills every night and one day she was off my brother had gone to live with my father for his health in Florida and I thought I just want to go to sleep I was in trouble depressed. You know a lot of times I can look back now just to be very honest with you. Look back now and I think sometimes I was depressed I thought life wasn't worth living and I thought I mean here I was healthy I was young I was semi intelligent and I was ready to take my life and some of it was. Just hormones and you need a good night's sleep. Your whole perspective often change the next day. And I wonder how many people because they're just feeling really low and it's momentary they lose their lives so my mother called me one day she said she was thinking of suicide I said Mom The nice thing about suicide is you can always postpone it you might miss something tomorrow just wait one day at a time she said that saved her later. But I remember I went to my mother's bathroom when she was gone I got her sleeping pills out and on the bottle it said vallium take one at bed time and I filled my hand with these pills and I was getting ready to swallow more go to sleep and never wake up never felt that way. And just before I took the pills I thought I better vallium it doesn't really say sleeping pills anywhere on the bottle I was thirteen Back then I thought value I think the sleeping pills but. Kind of a feminine sounding word it could be medicine for ladies and then I just get sick as a lot of old Zachary what this is I mean you can be anything you take in bed time and I don't know what that means and so I've so afraid I don't want to get sick I want to die so I put them all back in the bottle and I mean there's a difference isn't there. One reason I didn't jump is that I read in the paper one day about this man in New York City he jumped nine stories and he lived through it but he was all crippled up and I thought what what if I fail. I was failing in school I might fail in suicide and then I really be a failure. And so I was afraid you know it wasn't gonna work but. Then I just said well look why died doing something boring I just started living as crazy as I could and I was I was drinking and smoking and using drugs and I was in and out of jail I started breaking into homes and stealing I'd be down with my dad in Miami's I went by. Back and forth between Florida New York City and when I was living with dad. All the millionaire's kids would get bored and we go break into the other millionaires houses and it was kind of funny because you were living on an island and these people had extra security police in boats patrolling the island to figure out how the burglars were getting on the island it was all the kids of the millionaire. Now this is what do you want to do well we broke into your house yesterday let's break into their OS I'm. Just bored and we were just spoiled and bored. And during this time. I ran away from home several times I was in and out of jail and I was arrested and incarcerated seven times and I wasn't even sixteen yet. I remember once I was in jail for a week and I want to even tell them my real name because I didn't want to go back to my father and live in a mansion I preferred being in a jail. I know it's hard to comprehend. They find my story didn't match to figure out who I was and and my dad came to pick me up and he said you can't go home because you're your mother in law or your stepmother she just can't handle you anymore it's with my dad moved me into one of his hotels. Because I was such a problem. So I ran away from home at fifteen I moved to Boston. I got a phony driver's license that said I was much older I was born in fifty seven I changed my learner's permit so I'd said fifty two. And I've United looked nearly that old but I got a license that said I was older and then I got a job. And moved to Boston having my own apartment and sixteen years old. I was doing burglary stealing cars breaking into homes and I had a part time job as a security guard. And that's true. And I never stole from the places I was guarding because they trusted me. And so you know I thought I was a big shot I'm walking around Boston I got a weapon and on and I was guarding places but then during the day I'd steal because in the middle of the day you know everyone's at work at school you walk out of the house with a T.V. they don't think anything you do it at night you look suspicious. During this time I met a friend who was very religious and I still remember the name was Jerry he was a security guard he found out what I was doing for my day job. I said Jerry you're going to turn me in. This is no need to turn you in to God sees what you're doing your karma is going to get your. Karma He said Whatever you do comes back what goes around comes around now you know the Bible says something similar it's as doing to Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You and with what measure you meet it will be measured back to you it's a little different I said I there's no God. As I still that T.V. and I sold it I didn't get caught nothing happened nothing's going to happen is that you'll see I'll pray for you. And a few days later I woke up in my apartment in Boston and my door was open and my T.V. was gone and my radio and I was mad I called the police right away I was so upset so they got to do something about crime in our neighborhood. Everything was going wrong I stole a car in Boston and took it to New York and broke down in New York I had to hitchhike back in the rain I'd steal something my friends were thieves they would steal it from me I'd steal something and while I was hired drunk and I hide it I wake up forget where I hit it I would steal something and like you know a stereo or something I'd almost died getting back to my place I plug in and it was broken I stole a broken stereo. And I started thinking wow this is really strange and what convinced me there was a god was a little thing I went to someone's home and I stole a box of crusties instant pancake mix and I did it because it was the whole wheat ride and I was very health conscious. If you were a hippie I mean you could drink and smoke pot you could do all kinds of things wrong enough to shower but make sure you have a whole wheat you know. And so I stole it and I still remember on the top of the box this is before they had the barcode they stamped it with a little round price tag and it sort of dollar one thousand. That same day while I was gone some friends came to my place uninvited they took my brand new jar of Tang instant breakfast drink anyone's don't know what that is it's powdered orange juice. And they drank the whole thing and there by the empty jar with the lid in it said a dollar nineteen. And I looked at the pancake mix and I looked at the stolen Tang and I said crime doesn't pay there must be a god. And that was really a struggle for me. Because once I realized that there must be a God I started thinking what if there's a God or maybe there's a purpose to life now this was one of the big battles in my life is trying to figure out what am I doing here where am I going. During this time. While I'm living in Boston I began to explore all these eastern religions. I started meditating. The Beatles were big back then you know they'd started getting into the eastern religions and believe it or not I had long hair back then. Yeah I went through transcendental meditation Buddhism I went to two different Catholic schools I went to Jewish schools I went to public schools I even went to a school that has no rules it's called the free school my mother said he needs more freedom. And so they sent me to a school that had three rules. No sex no fighting no drugs and nobody paid attention to the three rules they did now. You didn't have to go to class if you didn't want to you did not have to wake up if you didn't want to I mean they figured it was a free school environment so I went from the military school to Pine hand at school lasted five years and. I even reconnected with a few of the people that went there so I've had all the different extremes and none of it brought happiness but everyone in the hippie age back then we were all getting into all the Eastern religions and and and there's elements of truth in all religions I mean I learned some things I think were valuable but I was still empty so during this time my father came to see me in Boston he's a dog I found a school. He said you know what you got to go back to school so you know your brother sick I've got these companies he said you got to get an education. And he said it's a school on a boat the boat sails around the world is actually a pair of boats that sail around the world it was called Flint school abroad they made a movie about a one of the sister schools like this that was the boat actually went down in a storm and. He said there's girls you'll see the world and I started going art he said you got to do it he was pleading with me and said All right so right then he got me a passport picture and he flew me to Italy where I got on this boat I found out I'd sort of been tricked. The the school was really a special school for the children of politicians and millionaires that had gotten wrapped up in different cults and drugs to sort of take them out of their environment and help them to get clean and give them an education and the school taught atheism the school taught evolution. And now I was believing there was a God and I was starting to believe variations of some kind of creation. And it. Very interesting because. They took away your passport you know you couldn't just run away in the school because you get arrested middle ear Spain or somewhere they couldn't always get you out. But the boat we were on was about one hundred fifty feet long and we were sailing one day from northern Africa to Spain we went to some of the places where the apostle Paul went and so I saw Yeah that's actually that's actually a picture of the two boats right there from their website. And we were sailing across the ocean and we got into a serious storm around Christmas time. And. The wind was howling the waves were breaking over the ship the mainsail rip. You could yell of the person few feet away from you and they couldn't hear you water started coming in the boat is made of steel it made me really nervous and everything underneath the boat it looked like a giant handed take in the ship turned it upside down The shook it and put it back down again because the books the mattresses everything was healthy skelter inside the boat everybody seasick the captain the sea sick waves would go right over the bow of the boat and watched from one into the boat to the other end and things were washing overboard captain said the water was very cold that time of year Captain said if you fall over at night in this weather we're going to mark the spot we can't risk turning a went around in these waves and what do you think atheists start to do when they think they're going to die. Brain it's amazing nobody needs any lessons. Everybody knows what to pray for and want to ask and. They're praying and making promises people know what they've done wrong because they know what to confess when they think they're going to die making promises fear is the wrong reason to serve God you've got to serve God because you love him. And so I was praying and making promises but obviously we got through the storm first thing I did when I got to Spain is I came home from Christmas I ran away again. And as I'm not going back to that school too many rules. Now I began to look for God in nature I was reading about the American Indian religions and I thought you know I could take enough hallucinogenics and be at one with God. And L.S.D. and mushrooms and things. And I started hitchhiking across the country from Miami. It was Christmas time I had Florida clothing on very thin I got stuck in Oklahoma I lost all my money the day before at a bar somewhere drinking and playing pool in Virginia I was sick I was out on the highway for hours begging for a ride you know when you hitchhike and you just basically saying please help me please help me and they every time they go by they're basically saying no and if you're sensitive you can feel a lot of rejection when happens on an interstate that's a lot of rejection going by you know I took it personal What's wrong with me why can't you be a room in your car get the heater on what do I look that bad you know and so you stand there for hours and these things are going through your head I get so desperate at times I get on my knees like this is cars went by. And I prayed. Finally after hours and I'm freezing I'm sick I'm hungry I prayed. And I said Lord something to this effect I said I know I'm a rotten person. And I was very selfish. You know when I was feeling I had a friend they got a brand new bike with a millionaire's kid got a brand new bike very expensive bike first birthday I broke into his house they stole it. I sold it to another friend who knew it was a hot bike so he repainted it changed the serial number on it I then stole it from him and I sold it to someone else. Now you lie. But think about that I don't care about anybody you got to be pretty low to do that with your friends. So when I was telling the Lord I know I've been a really rotten person I really was. And I said Would you please forgive me. I've heard enough about God that I heard that he forgives so please forgive me and I ask God for four things. So help me get a ride to where I'm going I still had like fifteen hundred miles two thousand miles to go. I said help me get some food I was hungry. Help me get some money I was broke I prayed he'd give me a ride with someone normal because I kept getting picked up by crazy people. I don't like it picked up by these drunks and would say I watch as we can drive with our lights off. I got picked up by two college students that were smoking so much pot that they couldn't see out the windshield and they ran across the median on the highway into oncoming traffic. So you think it's dangerous to pick up hitchhikers it's a dangerous to hitchhike. And so I said please give me a ride with someone normal. I've been there for hours right after I prayed that prayer the next vehicle stopped. It was a white van the guy picked me up he took me two thousand miles to the door of where I was going to Palm Springs he fed me all the way out there I didn't ask him to he gave me forty dollars when he dropped me off that I didn't ask for I also did not ask him to preach to me all the way from Oklahoma California. He was a born again Christian and he was so excited and he picked up other hitchhikers need preached to them and he was just full of the joy of the Lord and I had to run along and of listen to him you know. Hour after hour sometimes I pretend I was asleep just really want to preach to me. I thought the Bible was a fairy tale my mother with are Jewish. She said Christians are the ones who've been the biggest problem for the Jews because all the wars I mean like she said you know one day of them said but I just was raised with a very cynical view of the by a life of the Bible's just a myth. So I listen to him but I was sure that we were all reincarnated. And when he dropped me off I now was looking for God through nature and by the way you know I still pick up hitchhikers. Because I found it's a great way to witness to people. And you wait until you're going down the highway and you get about sixty five miles an hour and you turn and you make your gospel presentation and then you say what you like to accept Jesus and then you accelerate. And just look at him. A lot of people have found the Lord in my car. But. So I now want to find God through their nature and I moved up into the mountains in this very remote desert mountains above Palm Springs some of your from southern California you know MT Santa Cental and it's an eleven thousand foot mountain. And I I moved halfway up the mountain and I found a cave up there that I'd actually found hitchhiking around in fifteen and I took off all my clothes I thought I want to be natural find out through nature and I live like a hermit and I lived up there off and on for about a year and a half. And it was that's my kidney from my brother actually came to visit me once and he took that picture and right outside of my cave I don't know if the next picture is going to show this I now there's my cat stranger and you can see I called Strange he just showed up one day and he lived with me and he you know he'd bring me like dead squirrels at night and put him on my sleeping bag. And right there I had a waterfall in the desert and a big pool and I've hiked a town once or twice a week and I'd panhandle or I'd taken the garbage can behind the market for food. And I should probably just mention here. When my father found out I mean my father worked so hard because he was so poor when he was young so his kids want to suffer like he did how do you think he felt when he found out that I was digging in the garbage for food how do you think your heavenly Father feels when we go to the garbage of the devil. When he's given his son that you might have a real everlasting life. Anyway the miracle I didn't mention is I moved up in the mountains in this cave and somebody had camped in the cave before other people had stayed there it was a great place. You ever heard someone say were if you've been under a rock Well I did I lived under a rock. My cave was a humongous Boulder. And I lived underneath this great big boulder Boulder really don't think you'd fit in this room it was huge it was a big concave under there but I always felt very safe whenever there were storms or flash floods because there was nothing that was going to move this rock we severed quakes in Southern California very steep canyon walls all the rocks would break loose and started fall down I get under my rock and I'd be safe because it was pretty substantial but there was a Bible in the cave. And I started reading the Bible so I could argue with Christians. I you know I did meet these we call them jesus freaks back then and they were like hippies that were still half high and they had found the Lord and then they'd want to witness to you and you didn't know if they really believed or they were just hallucinating and they'd just was so on fire. And they'd start quoting the Bible and frankly a full ignorance. And so I thought I'm going to read the Bible so I can argue with Christians and I'll tell you I've been reading a lot of eastern books a lot of different religions I've never really read the Bible. And I started reading the Bible I found that while I don't know anything about the Bible I got through Genesis and part of Exodus when I started building the temple it started getting boring for me so I told one of my Christian friends and or Doug you got to jump to the Gospel go to the New Testament and he gave me a newer translation and I went to read Matthew Mark Luke and John I read through the whole New Testament every morning and make banana bread. From the old bananas I got from the market wine market and I read the Bible. And I don't know exactly where it happened but somewhere reading through the Gospels about Jesus my whole world was shaken because it was so different from anything I've heard in any other religion I thought I knew about Jesus I didn't know any one thing that amazes me is I meet these quotes turn the other cheek I've heard that all my life and I go oh Jesus in that I've heard it. Or you go the Second Mile Let him who is without sin cast the first stone all these things I've heard people quote all my life I said all that's in the Bible but handwriting on the wall I had no idea at your wits in I had no idea all of that was in the Bible and so I said wow this is a very quoted book. And then when I get reading about Jesus it just sounded so real because he had the testimony of all these different witnesses Matthew Mark Luke and John. And I thought I heard that Jesus never really lived I went and looked in the library and none of the encyclopedias contest that he lived. So as C.S. Lewis said in my mind I didn't phrase it as well as C.S. Lewis but I went through the same process as and you've got three options. Jesus is either a liar or a lunatic or Lord. I couldn't believe that he was lying because he whole life was about truth he died in defense of truth he could a life and save his life he died for what he believed so you can't question his and Serry. I couldn't accept that he was out of his mind but because he said the most relevant. Profound things I'd ever heard it's like those who came back said Never man speak like this man. I couldn't believe the words and how it was reaching into my soul and that leaves you with one other option he's a lord. And if the Bible is true it would mean that God came to the earth. In the form of a man to show us what God is like to show us how to live and then because he loves us to die in our place so that we will not be executed for our sins because he desperately wants us to live. And I you know I'm summarizing very quickly a process that took months of reading the Bible but ultimately I had to say what am I going to do. And I got on my knees there up in the mountain the cave I didn't know how to pray no one really led me precisely in how to pray. But I said lord. I know I've been a terrible person I believe that Jesus is real I still have doubts. But when you come into my heart when you forgive my sins will you give me some purpose for living. And everything and that was the point everything began to change when I surrendered my life to God and I told the Lord to some not making any promises does I'm weak and I don't know if I can keep your commandments but if you're real and you want to save me you're going to have to do it and I figure if you died to save me it must be possible to be saved but you're going to have to do something for me and God came into my life now when I came to the Lord drinking smoking running around naked up in the mountains and cursing and living in a morally I'm still shoplifting I didn't completely give up crime right away because I figured these big corporations deserve it this I don't. And so I had all this sin in my life I was seventeen years old but the Lord came into my heart and things began to change. I found myself i stop cursing he delivered me from the drugs from the alcohol from the cigarettes and now that's a picture can I tell you a quick story I know I don't know it's quitting time. You don't hear quick story. Corps you can see that. After accepting the Laura. It was joy I started telling everybody and I said Lord I'm up here in the mountains in a cave I just feel like I want to tell everyone about you and I don't know how that's going to happen Lord but I just this is such a want Why didn't I know about you I want to tell everybody Lord if you want me to tell other people about you give me an opportunity I don't know how it happened I live in a cage so I can tell him you know once or twice a week or called my mother collect in Beverly Hills and mom said Doug I'm glad you called You're never going to believe it but I've got a film crew from N.B.C. that wants to fly up to your cave in the helicopter and interview. Is that OK. I said yeah. N.B.C. flew up to my cave and they brought my mother. You know years later National Geographic flew me up to my cave again so at the expense of the media I've gone to my cave twice now I'm ready for another trip. But that's when that picture was taken three times that day on national television this is back when there were only three channels yet A.B.C. C.B.S. N.B.C. I was able to tell people about my faith they said a millionaire's son is living up in a cave in the mountains of Southern California and they built this thing up and they said tell us why I said Lord why when someone prays and says Give me an opportunity you really give them an opportunity to hear about Herbert living in a cave and you saw the National Film Crew. So I could tell you a thousand stories about how I know that God is real miracles that have happened. And I know he's got a plan for your life and he wants to activate that plan if you would see me back then and you were betting you'd never guess that's going to be Seventh Day Adventist evangelist. He's got a plan for you. But he'll activate that plan only when you trust him with your life. You try to take the wheel and you going to run off the road over and over again when you surrender to His will that's when things get really sick now when you came in you may have noticed. There's a card on your C. And I'd like to hear before I close with prayer I want to give you an opportunity to respond maybe the Holy Spirit is spoken to you tonight and he said you know I've been struggling with the decision to surrender my life to Jesus. But I'm ready to do that now I tell you got everything to gain by saying yes to Jesus and you can have everything to lose by telling him to wait. And it makes a decision it makes a difference if you make a decision in a tangible way he might be saying Pastor why do we have to do this because you will be affected by your own choice right now. You're really saying Lord I want to express that I'm making a decision to serve you would you take this card put your name on there you might put a phone or an e-mail address. Be great to have a way to contact you and just check the boxes here and say I believe that salvation comes only by grace through faith in Jesus and I believe that I can be saved by His Grace Mark that. Next one is a big question. I want to repent of my sins and surrender my life to Jesus don't worry that you don't know everything that is involved in doing that God does not expect you to understand it all but in childlike faith you tonight want to say Lord I'm going to trust you and I want to do that I'm sorry for my sins I want to be forgiven. Maybe some of you followed the Lord earlier in your lives but you got busy and you've drifted away and you need an opportunity to return now is a good opportunity you would want to check that third box you want to recommit your life to the Lord. Some of you might be struggling right now and you think you know Doug I I know I feel this battle in my heart I need to make the decision pray for me that I can make that commitment and we will. Some of you have maybe sort of believed all your lines and you said yeah I want to follow Jesus but you've never sealed it by being baptized you know the Lord said Go teach all nations baptize. In them baptism is like marriage for a Christian like a wedding ceremony for a married couple it's the public expression of I am wanting to be filled with the spirit and follow Him you can make that decision tonight. And I want to pray for you. Matter fact before we close with her and then when you leave the building tonight you can give your cards to assure that at the door they'll tell us how to pray for you. But even before we have our closing prayer if there are some of you here. And I want to be specific. And you have not made a decision before to fully surrender your life to the Lord but you want to do that tonight. Would you be willing to stand in his presence and say Lord I'm going to do that now I've never fully surrendered to you but I want to do that now I need to do that now don't worry about other people that are here I invite people publicly to make that decision because Jesus died for you publicly. Would you be willing to stand. Some of you maybe even going through the motions of being a Christian but you've not sealed your decision. If you're going to stand up for Jesus in your life should be afraid now the some here the Holy Spirit speaking to you and you've never really mean that surrender. I know to some of you feeling that now the Holy Spirit has. Impressed me that some of your struggling. You've gone to maybe even have a Christian home Christian family. But you know in your heart you've never said a lord I really want to make that decision to live completely for you even those in the balcony. Who will make that decision now. You might feel a battle going on right now between your Jesus and your devil and you've got the tie breaking vote stand in his presence that that's your desire. Prays a lot. And he's got. Praise the Lord. Please remain standing from want to pray for you there's others struggling I say I believe it. Always takes the courage of one or two to stand up and people realize you know we're all sinners. You want to make that decision tonight you're not made it. Maybe you're at the fork in the road you realize you're being pulled the wrong way and tonight you want to seal your decision to get on the right way Jesus is the Way the Truth and the light would you like to stand his presence. Praise the Lord I see you. I see some of the balcony praise God. And. How many of you maybe have felt that you're walking too close to the wind of the world and you know you need to draw closer to Jesus would you be willing to stand as we have our closing prayer. I know that was kind of general. Let's pray together. Loving Lord. I pray that we can be building on the rock. Help us to realize that the only world view that's going to bring us eternity is the one that you provided in your word and Jesus is the word. Lord we've all sinned and we know there's only one way to find forgiveness and that's through the blood of your son. Lord we accept his life in our behalf we accept him as the revelation of what your father is like. And how we should live in this life help each person here to truly make Jesus their Lord so we thank you Lord we pray your blessing on these meetings please pour out your spirit and I pray that you just blesses campus each student the faculty teachers pastors and thank you for the Sabbath time we ask all of this in Jesus' name amen this media was brought to you by audio verse a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse if you would like to listen to more sermons Please Visit W W W audio verse or.

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