Robert H. Schuller and Evel
very happy today to introduce my guest, an American legend,
Evel Knievel. I never met Evel Knievel until a few days
ago. 30 years ago I found out what a good man Evel Knievel
is through a true story about him. What a great reputation
Evel Knievel has all over the country for his generosity,
his kindness, his integrity and his honesty. It is said
that Evel Knievel would risk death before he would break
a promise to his fans who were expecting him to perform
one of his impossible feats.
his career, Evel has suffered life-threatening falls. At
Caesar's Palace he made a fantastic jump over the fountains,
but his landing was disastrous leaving Evel in a coma for
always did his best to get up from a failed jump. He's in
the Guinness Book of Records, having broken more bones than
any other human - 38!
were the famous motorcycle jumps at Wimbley Stadium in London,
England, the Snake River Canyon and the list goes on. Because
of his fighting spirit, Evel obtained legendary status for
his successful jumps at the Houston Astrodome, the Canadian
National Exposition and the historic LA Coliseum. Today
his motorcycle is in the Smithsonian Institute.
and I shared an important friend who shaped our lives the
past 30 to 40 years. His name is W. Clement Stone who helped
build this cathedral, and always told me that nothing is
impossible. He gave that same belief to Robert Evel Knievel.
Evel has taken a lot of leaps, but today he's taking the greatest
leap he's ever taken, a leap of faith in Jesus Christ! Welcome
Robert Evel Knievel, to the Crystal Cathedral.
Kneivel: Thank you, Robert. Thank you so much for having me
here today. I took a tour of this beautiful place yesterday
and I've never seen a more beautiful compliment to God and
to Jesus Christ in my life, than this Crystal Cathedral.
I never thought that I would be here.
H. Schuller: Evel, nobody understands how generous you have been
to so many charities. You are not a wealthy man, because
you gave so much away.
Knievel: I gave a lot of it away because I realized you cannot
buy your way into
heaven. You cannot buy your way out
of hell. You just have to give with your heart and
give what you can afford to give. Some of the money that
I had I gave away to so many people. I know I did the right
H. Schuller: When a call came to my office a couple of weeks ago,
my secretary said there's a man on the phone who says his
name is Evel Knievel and he asked to talk to you because
he's accepted Jesus Christ, I picked up the telephone and
heard Evel's voice. Do you remember what you said?
Knievel: Yes, I shared a thought that had come into
my mind. Evel, the God you're praying to is never going
to give you anything. I was empty. I was just empty. The
god I was praying to was a god that I thought maybe could
answer my prayers but I didn't realize that I needed to
go through a living God and I did, and I'm just beginning
to really get the feeling of Jesus Christ inside of me.
And it's growing and growing. It's become such a wonderful
feeling. I'm so complete now that I'm not even afraid to
get on an airplane and fly back to Tampa, that's how I feel.
H. Schuller: Evel, nobody understands how generous you
have been to so many charities just to help them. You're
not a wealthy man because you gave a lot of it away.
just was a person who always believed there was a God power,
but I always had trouble believing in Jesus Christ, the
Son of God. I don't know why I fought it so hard, I just
did. But, I think maybe it was the power of prayer, maybe
God just got sick and tired of me fighting it so much, So
He reached out and grabbed me and said, "Look, Evel,
you've got to stop this nonsense, just come to Me."
Before the Dayton Bike Week this year when I started thinking
about God more and more, I called people to talk to them.
I don't know why, I just did. I called a friend I hadn't
talked to in 30 years, Eldon Wright from the New Hope Community
Church in Portland, Oregon. I talked to him and he called
me back a week later, saying, "I've had my whole church
praying for you." And I said, "That's not the
first time that this has happened. My daughter's had her
entire church praying for me in Bozeman, Montana and my
ex-wife, Linda, had her church praying for me in Butte,
Montana and has prayed for me for 25 or 30 years that I
would become a Christian!" I get hundreds of letters
from people saying we read an article about you where you
don't believe in organized religion. You've got to believe
in Jesus Christ.
So I don't know what in the world happened. I don't know
if it was the power of the prayer, or God Himself, which
was reaching me while I was driving or walking down the
sidewalk or sleeping íK the power of God in Jesus just
grabbed me! It just took hold of me. It was so strong. I
can't tell you how strong it was and I became a person who
was filledíK just filled with Christianity. All of a
sudden I just believed in Jesus Christ. I did! I believed
in Him! I don't know what happened to me.
The second night in Dayton, I rose up in bed. I was by myself
and I said, "Devil, devil
you bastard you, get away from me. I cast you out of my
life!" I went to the balcony of my hotel
room, I said, "I will take
you and throw you, throw you on the beach. You will be dead,
you will be gone. I don't want you around me anymore!" Then I just got on my knees and prayed that God would
put His arms around me and never, ever, ever let me go.
know that there's more to life than what I've had. I wrote
a book called, "Evel's Ways," where I wrote about
my tough life growing up. I was a wild person doing crazy
things. I wrote about my motorcycle jumps. I wrote about
the jump in the Los Angeles Coliseum when I jumped 52 cars
all lined up and stacked up and this is when my friend JC
Agajanian, who showed you the gold coin I'd given him said,
"Evel Knievel's word is as good as gold." I built
a ski jump ramp into the stadium. It's a short jump so I
had quite a ride up to the top of that Los Angeles Coliseum
to really get going. There wasn't much take off room and
not much landing room so I used a parachute that was mounted
on the back of my motorcycle to stop the motorcycle from
going out the other end of the coliseum. The jump was perfect
but I was really glad when it was over!
I wrote in my book that I've had a life better than any
king, president or prince. That's hog wash! Because I didn't
have Jesus Christ in my life. I had five Rolls Royce. I've
had five Ferrari's, the Stetsons, the Lamborghini's. IíŽve
had two jet airplanes. I flew one alongside of the other
so I could read my name, Evel Knievel, on the side of the
other one. My dad said, "Who you gonna impress at 40,000
feet at 600 miles an hour? Why don't you buy a truck, drive
it along the freeway?"
I've had the diamonds and the gold, the racehorses, women
and the booze. I tell you, I've been a sinner! You're looking
at a real sinner, but not anymore. You're not looking at
a sinner anymore. I've had everybody in my family try to
help me. My son and my wife came here today from Montana
and Las Vegas, and friends came to see me and be with me
today and I just am so happy! This is the biggest step that
I have ever taken in my life, Dr. Schuller, you are rightíK
"This leap of faith is the greatest leap I've ever taken."
- Evel Knievel
I'll tell you the difference between a Christian and an
atheist. A Christian wants to believe. He wants to believe
everything about Christianity and Jesus. An atheist does
not believe in God because he doesn't want to. He stays
away from it. He gets mad. He doesn't want to hear about
it. That's what an atheist does. Don't come with any patronizing
thoughts saying, "Oh, yes, Jesus was a minister of
His time, or a biblical person, a person who believed in
God, who taught us. He was a teacher, a great human being."
Jesus offers us much more. He was the Son of God! He is the Son of God
and if you don't believe that Jesus Christ is what He says
He is, you will surely die in your sins, believe Me. You've
got to believe; oh, you've got to believe in Jesus Christ!
There are three things you've got to believe in: you got
to say it with your mouth, (1) I believe that Jesus Christ was put here by God.
He was put here by God. He talked to us, He ministered to
us, He told us the way God wanted us to live, the way that
God told us that we should be. But the Jews wouldn't accept
Him. The Romans wouldn't accept Him. (2) They killed Him,
they crucified Him. (3) Jesus three days later, rose
from that tomb and 40 days later, He rose to heaven.
And five hundred people saw Him rise to heaven. They saw
it with their own eyes. And when you can say that, and believe
it, believe it in your heart, there's no mistake about it,
then you are a Christian, then you believe in God.
don't know how many of you here have felt what I have felt.
Let me see, raise the hands of how many of you have the
feeling that I feel. God bless you! Isn't it a wonderful
feeling to say I have a real God that I can believe in.
Isn't it a wonderful feeling to wake up in the middle of
the night and say "Well, I'm glad I woke up. I can
go back to bed in a few minutes and sleep but in the meantime,
I'm going to think about Jesus Christ." It's such a
warm wonderful feeling to me.
Dr. Schuller, I don't know how to thank you for asking me
to come here. I know that I called you and told you that
I wanted to be on your show. I watch you every once in a
while. I saw Andy Griffith and Randy Travis a few weeks
ago and I heard Andy Griffith say that he'd given his heart
to Jesus Christ, so when I began to believe, I thought why
don't you call Robert Schuller and see if you can be on
his show. So I did and you said to me, "That's wonderful
news, of course you can be on the show."
A couple of days later you called me and you said, "Would
you mind if I flew to Florida to meet you?" And I said,
"Well it's a five hour flight, you're 80 years old,
are you sure?" And he said, "Yes, I do, I'm speaking
in Houston in a few days, so I will be half way to Florida."
Well, I knew why he really was coming. He wanted to see
if the real me was telling the truth, that's why. He wanted
to investigate me.
Anyway, when you, Robert, got off the airplane, I was there
to meet you and I took you to your hotel and you said "the
only reason I came here was to see you. I have no other
business here." "I said, I know why you really
came. You came to see if I was for real. You came here to
see for yourself with your own eyes, you wanted to take
my hand and hold it, give me a hug and bless me. I know
that and I want you to know something. I picked you, too,
Robert. I picked you because I think that you have a message
to give to everyone in the world and I think you're doing
that in such a wonderful wayíK
want to scream to the world that I am a born again Christian
and I'm so proud of it." So I asked you if you would baptize me. I
told you I'd give anything to be baptized by you, to be
a Christian; I'd give anything to do that. So, will you
baptize me, Robert? Please?"
H. Schuller: Robert Evel Kneivel you have accepted Jesus Christ
as you're personal Lord and Savior?
Knievel: Yes, I have.
H. Schuller: And you believe that on the cross Christ
died to save you from all your sins?
Knievel: With all my heart, I do!
H. Schuller: And you believe He lives by His Holy Spirit
within you this very moment?
Knievel: He's here! He does!
H. Schuller: Yes, then I baptize you, Robert Evel Kneivel,
in the name of the Father, in the name of Jesus Christ,
His Son You're Savior, and in the name of the Holy Spirit.
And now may the Lord bless you with eternal life and continue
to bless you with the exploding power of faith, hope, joy,
love and peace that's in your life today like you've never
had it before. Thank You, Jesus Christ, for coming into
Evel's heart and life. It renews our faith to see that You
are alive, reaching out to people and answering prayers.
Give Evel health; help him through these times when he experiences
pain. Bless his loved ones and give Evel a special blessing
he needs more than anything else today. I don't know what
that blessing is, only You know that, and Evel would guess
wrong, so give that very special blessing to him, God. Amen.
"Amen. I want you to know that I sometimes made a jump
and as I was sitting on my bike for my final run at the
take off ramp, I could feel the good wishes and prayers
coming across the stadium, across the grounds, across the
field to the jump. And I could feel them praying for me!
I could feel it. And I'll never forget in London, England,
where there were some eighty thousand people sitting in
the grandstand, I felt their prayers. I want to tell you
something. I never ever have looked into the eyes of a crowd
of throngs of people to see and feel what I feel here today.
I love you all. Thank you so much for coming to this beautiful
church and praising God with me this day. And I'm so glad
that I'm here with you at the Crystal Cathedral. Thank you.
Thank you so much. God bless you!"
H. Schuller: Thank you, Evel Knievel and thank you,
Are you ready...to make a 'leap
of faith' and accept Christ?
is our desire to help you in every way possible as you continue
to ask the question: "Should I follow Jesus?"
We have gathered encouraging and helpful resources to help
you on this important life changing journey!