#286 (20/05/07)
Finding Happiness from the Inside Out Part V

The Message

By: Robert H. Schuller and Evel Knievel

Special Guest

Knievel is somebody I never met until a few days ago. Our names connected, oh maybe 30 years ago through J.C. Agajanian and I found out what a good man he is, and what a great reputation he has all over the country for his generosity and his kindness, and his integrity and his honesty. And well, he would risk death before he would break a promise to his fans who were expecting something. Throughout his career, he suffered life-threatening falls, such as Caesar’s Palace where he cleared the fountains but had a disastrous fall and would be in a coma for 30 days.

Special Music

" Joyful, Joyful.."
" All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name "
“ Amazing Grace ”

" Glory to God on High”
DOROTHY BENHAM - "Ride On, King Jesus"
“ His Eye is on the Sparrow ”

The Message

By: Robert H. Schuller and Evel Knievel

I'm 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.

Throughout 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 30 days.

Evel 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!

There 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.

Evel 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.

Evel 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.

Robert 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.

Evel 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 thing.

Robert 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?

Evel 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.

Robert 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.

I 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."

íK 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.

íK 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.

íK 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.

I 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!

íK 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?"

íK 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

íK 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!

íK 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.

I 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.

íK 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."

íK 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.

íK 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

"I 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?"

Robert H. Schuller: Robert Evel Kneivel you have accepted Jesus Christ as you're personal Lord and Savior?

Evel Knievel: Yes, I have.

Robert H. Schuller: And you believe that on the cross Christ died to save you from all your sins?

Evel Knievel: With all my heart, I do!

Robert H. Schuller: And you believe He lives by His Holy Spirit within you this very moment?

Evel Knievel: He's here! He does!

Robert 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.

Response: Evel Knievel: "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!"

Robert H. Schuller: Thank you, Evel Knievel and thank you, God.

Are you ready...to make a 'leap of faith' and accept Christ?

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