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November 18, 2020 3:00 am
Coming up today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg points out that some escaped their persecution, while others endured. We’ll learn to be ready for both.
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A New Beginning is the daily half-hour program hosted by Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Southern California. For over 30 years, Pastor Greg and Harvest Ministries have endeavored to know God and make Him known through media and large-scale evangelism. This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.
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The following message from Pastor Greg Laurie is made possible by harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God don't want to hear from you.
Would you consider emailing me you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org again that's Greg harvest.org and you can also make me one of your friends on Facebook and drop me a comment coming up to pastor Greg Laurie points out an important dynamic about the opposition.
Some of the spacers believers. The Bible says all the live godly in Jesus Christ. Persecution, please let's make sure we get persecuted for the right reasons. Jesus is nothing.
Blessed are you when you and persecute you and say all manner of evil because you're just not just being B because you're a godly man a godly woman in your spiritual ancestors change their culture. It's inspiring and we can learn from their example and that's what were doing Pastor Gregory's currency reasonable were saying what separates those leaders from the crowd follow coming up today on getting Pastor Greg points out that some escape 12 fathers into today will learn to be ready. Let's grab our Bible attorney Huber's 11 and are not to be hearing me say that for much longer because were almost done with this series called world changers so Hebrews 11. The title of my message today is, of whom the world was not worthy. Hebrews 11 verse 33 by faith. These people overthrew kingdoms. They ruled with justice ever see what God had promised them.
They shut the mouths of lions. They quench the flames of fire. They escaped up by the edge of the sword, their weakness was turned his strength. They became strong in battle but whole armies.
The fly women receive their loved ones back from death. So if you're taking notes. Here's why number one world changers are indestructible until God is done with them world changers, or let me insert a different word Christian believers, saints's, you, me, we are indestructible until God is done with us.
You know, angels are very involved in the life of the believer. The Bible says that there ministering spirits sent to minister to those where the heirs of salvation and angels are super undercover like God's secret agents. You don't even know what they're doing or when they're doing it there just doing the work God has called them to do. Sometimes he wondered, do we have Guardian Angels. I don't know but I Jesus did say. Speaking of children.
He says don't look down on the little ones right tell you in heaven their angels are always in the presence of my father, their angels, that's interesting. So from wondered maybe kids have Guardian Angels. I don't know but I know we all of angels around us in God's goodness and his angels to deliver you and your indestructible until God is done with you. Freaking out about the direction of your life or what if this happens, what if that happens I just say I want to do what I can with the time God gives me and he's going to take care of me until he calls me home number two world changers are never alone or I could just say Christians are never alone as well. Verse 34. They quench the power of fire course our mind immediately raises to the friends of Daniel. Also in the book of Daniel, Shadrach, me shack in the Bendigo, the king Nebuchadnezzar erected a giant statue of himself covered in gold it's in everyone. Worship this statute for you be prone to do a furnace of fire and then strike up the idle theme song and everyone bowed in there like three sore thumb stood out Shadrach me shack in the Bendigo and they were thrown jinxing and at the end of that. Then he looked and he couldn't believe his eyes as he saw three shadowy figures and then 1/4 walking about like it was a Sunday stroll in the park and the king says wait I through three end of the furnace and there's 1/4 one who looks like the son of God. I believe it was Jesus Christ walking around with Shadrach me shack in the Bendigo in the furnace of fire.
Maybe you're in a fiery trial right now. The Lord was with them in the Lord with you.
God wants with us through our trials, Jesus is low and with you, even to the end of the eight so when they survived the fiery furnace. The king changed his tune. How do they do it. The key to their courage and calmness and the fire was their companion who was I companion it was the Lord was with you as well. Number three world changers apply their faith and they pray world changers apply their faith and they pray verse 35 women receive their loved ones back from the dead. This is probably a reference to Elijah and/or Elisha, both to raise the dead.
God let the prophet Elijah.
The storming of the court of Ahab, the king of Israel rolling with this wicked wife Jezebel give the degree that will not be rain in the land, but according to my work and then the Lord directed Elijah to go to a widow who was very poor so I want you to go stay with her so shows up man, would you give me a place to stay. I can take the apartment over the garage and I would really appreciate it if you could give me some food. She's like I don't really have that much food, I just enough for me and my son didn't just go ahead and see what God doesn't every day would she prepare food there was always enough for her and her son and the prophet, and so this is a wonderful illustration of how we give to the Lord God gives back to us as well. But one day her son got sick and then he got worse and then he finally died, her life as she knew it effectively ended.
Now she is not only lost her husband. She was a widow but she also was lost her son and she accuse Elijah why did you even come to my house. Things are better when you were here you didn't rebuke your he just took the limp body of her dead son and pray for him and raised him up again. Here's your boy back pleasant, even death doesn't stop a world changer. Now we shift gears in our study in world changers to a second group there little different from the first. They too had faith they to trust in God, but they didn't get through their fires in their red seas did not apart from them. They did not have their dead restored affect this group of world changers suffered greatly and honestly. Many of them die. So we read this and visit with they were losers of the work they were winners to UC. The first group of world changers glorify God through escaping, like Daniel, Shadrach me second Bendigo the second group of world changers glorify God by enduring listen, I don't determine what things are going to come my way of life. I don't determine what challenges, what hardships, what difficulties will come.
My wife all I determine is how I will react to those things when they come.
Let's look at the second group now. Hebrews 11 verse 35 others were tortured, refusing to turn from God in order to be set free. They place our hope in a better life after the resurrection somewhere jeered at their backs were cut open with whips. Others were chained in prison.
Some died by stoning somewhere sawed in half and others were killed with the sword. Someone about wearing skins of sheep and goats and they were destitute and oppressed and mistreated, of whom the world was not worthy.
That's why give that title to this message, of whom the world was not worthy. In other words, they were too good for this world wandering over deserts and mountains hiding in caves and holes in the ground. These people earned a good reputation because of their faith. Yet none of them receive all that God had promised regarded something better in mind for us, so that they would not reach perfection without us. Point number four may not like this one world changers are often not appreciated and instead are often persecuted, let me say that again world changers or Christians are not often appreciated, and instead are often persecuted. According to Jewish tradition, the prophet Isaiah was sawed in half with a wooden saw there's a reference to someone been sawed in half.
Persecution is alive and well.
Folks all around the world are Christian brothers and sisters suffer they suffer in nations like North Korea and China and Russia, and of course Islamic countries that treat them horribly even execute them if they profess faith in Christ. Isis is known for atrocities that are on the level of what old and New Testament believers face. It's a horrible think persecution is happening in the Bible says all that live godly in Jesus Christ will suffer persecution. That's a promise. We rarely claim right when the last time you asked for that promise to be fulfilled will claim promises of protection or promises a provision for the last time you said, Lord, you promised that I live a godly life of me persecuted, so bring it on.
So you know. Pray that in order why wife who wants to be persecuted. Persecution can show itself in many ways it can be physical, it can be the taking of a life threatening ally they can come in other ways it can be verbal to be people mocking you are marginalizing you are insulting you because of your faith in Jesus Christ. But it is going to come but here's what Jesus says you should do when you're persecuted. He said, Blessed are they are happy would be a better translation happy are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake for their just like the prophets up web before happy are they that are persecuted for righteousness sake please let's make sure we get persecuted for the right reasons. Far too often were persecuted for the wrong reasons. Jesus is not safe. Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and say all manner of evil because you're just up noxious and mean does appear that you're getting persecuted for being obnoxious and me. Let it be because you're a godly man a godly woman. Persecution will come and it came to these believers.
What we do with the pain. Her trials and persecutions of the past. Pastor Greg has some good encouragement for us in just a moment. Hearing about listeners whose lives have been changed because of the radio ministry of a new beginning is so encouraging and new beginning name Pastor Greg and staff. I'm a proud mother of two and a fairly new born again Christian, I struggled with drug and alcohol addiction for many years that have been sober for some time now and I thought they come close to the Lord that leaned last year, something happened to me, something I still to this day can't even put my finger on it except to say I was completely attacked by darkness. My world as I knew it seemed to turn upside down, iced out completely alone, and it felt like I had no one to turn to. Even now just thinking about it. Tears flowed down my cheeks might not absolute determination to stay out of my own head in the negative thoughts that seem to be letting I turned on the radio and began listening to your program. It was as if the Lord was speaking directly to me through you. Your words were quenching thirst.
I didn't even know I had sermon by sermon. I began to feel God's undying for I really believe that you all played a huge role in saving my life and bringing me closer than I ever could have imagined to the Lord. I want to say thank you with all of my heart. I feel like you all are my family and I will forever have a place in my heart in my mind and on my radio show have these daily studies in God's word encouraged you one from Pastor Greg an email and let them know.
Send it to email@example.com do it today while you're thinking about. Again, that's firstname.lastname@example.org now pastor Greg continues his message on the perseverance of the world changers in the Bible who face persecution for their faith in God. The first part of Hebrews 11, Lookout God delivered people that was suffering a ball but ultimately they were delivered. Joseph yeah face of difficulties. But he got out of that prison was put into a position of great authority.
David was preserved by the Lord and and yet now were reading about people being sawn in half and beheaded and tortured and we say wait a second. This doesn't seem fair. It's not fair would like little children. It's not fair. I have five grandkids and I fell one thing abide by them a gift, it has to be even Stephen love the girls you know it's simple. If I get them a necklace I get them all the same necklace I don't even vary a little as I get one necklace that's different somehow in their minds. That's the better necklace. It might even be less expensive. That's the better. What's other all the same.
All the same color. The saber that I have a grandson. I can't get him that's tried to get him something.
I knew people to and you know the kids. Now they know what the price tags mean they look they know now you you know in the if I get something for one that they perceive as favoritism pop up a sake that's not fair. We say the same thing to God floor that's not fair that that person gets that and I don't know Lord why why don't I get that while my single and all my friends are married.
Why can't my wife and I conceived children when others have so many. One of my child go prodigal one another's child did not. Why do I have this horrible illness. What all of my friends are so healthy why did my child die. The list goes on and by the way I'm speaking now.
From experience I understand these questions, you know we we don't know why things happen to us, and sometimes it said you should never ask God why that's a lack of faith know it isn't.
Ask away as God, why don't expect an answer but asked if Eli even Jesus cried out from the cross, my God, my God, why have you forsaken and I look at my life and God bless us with two boys one is in heaven and one is here on earth, serving the Lord were very proud of Jonathan whose not only flocking strong with Christ, but he's a pastor at our church now and so were thrilled by that but yet we wish our other son was with us right now and and I think sometimes people want me to say you know it's great where did we love the way it turned out know I'm not happy with it, actually.
And if I could change it I'd change it in a heartbeat but you know what I don't get to make that decision so you saying you're disappointed with God absolutely not.
My faith in the Lord remains in a grow stronger each and every year I trust him and I look for doesn't mean I like it but I know he's in control.
I didn't know his plans for me are better than my plans for myself but I don't one day all of my questions will be answered because you and all sake wheel. We've suffered we've lost the child, but then all me parents who lost children and by the way I meet many of them all the time.
I mean, if I do any post on my Facebook page or I get so many responses.
It's mind blowing and I people come up to me and those that we lost a child.
We want to talk to you and and I don't feel like I have the answers for these folks, but I think at least to some degree, I understand a little bit of what they're going through and listen to them and but you know and I'm not in the explaining business anymore. I was in the explaining business in my 20s when I was starting out ministry. I was an awesome 20-year-old pastor.
I have long hair. I was skinny I getting whatever I wanted that I had the answer to every question you have fired up first and I give it to you and tell you why you should trust God. Now in my 40s without hair and more years than that I'm not in the explaining business anymore. Now I feel like I'm more in the trusting and praying business or were I'm I'm trusting that God will answer those questions one day and I'm praying for strength. That's what I share with other people know we don't control our circumstances, we control our reaction to our circumstances to see going back to people that got touched like the son of the widow that Elijah raised up from the dead or or the daughter of the woman he came to Jesus or Lazarus or anybody else. They were raised from the dead are for. They were sick and they were healed.
But guess what, they still die for Lazarus had to die twice. Let's get a lousy deal if you feel great, I get the doc twice. Yeah, because everybody I see that that happens.
And so it doesn't mean that God is not in control means that there is a beginning, middle and end to this thing that we call life coming back to an earlier point were indestructible until God is done with us. But when God is done with us were out of here so it really is not helpful to stress out about when that day is a maybe a long ways away and may be closer. Listen, if you put your faith in Jesus Christ. You don't have to be afraid of even death because Christ conquered death at the cross when he rose again from the dead young the Angels are there protecting us, but the angels will also stress.
They have a winter day is done, we read about Lazarus who died. The Bible says the Angels ushered him into God's presence. I love that.
So the Lord will finish this work is begun. Look at verse 35 will close. They place their hope in a better life after the resurrection is a better life coming folks, if you put your faith in Jesus, we call it the afterlife. And if you know Christ in a personal way. You know that you will go into his presence and you will live on and on and on forever, for God will restore what you lost on this earth. So whatever you have lost to make it up to you will more than make it up to you but until that day. Walk with him. Let me close and asking this other some of you here that don't have this relationship with God. Are there some of you listening right now to me that they can't say with certainty that you go to heaven when you die when you like to change that when you like to know with certainty that your sin is forgiven.
Wouldn't you like to have a second chance in life when you like to be sure that when life and you go right into God's presence.
You can have it by believing in Jesus Christ to I said died on the cross for you and then rose again from the dead and now stands at the door of your life and Enoch's and he says if you hear his voice and open the door will commit disable how it opened the door. Seneca little door in my heart little door are no it's a metaphor. But the idea is the Christ will come and live inside if you that's really been a Christian is your Christ in you, you'll never be alone in life again you come in your life right now if you'll ask him to close in prayer. I'm going to extend an invitation for you to believe in Jesus and have your sins forgiven and know with certainty go to heaven when you die let's all pray father, thank you for loving us so much you send Jesus to live the perfect life didn't die that perfect death on the cross. The rise again from the dead. I pray for any here that do not yet know you hoping to come to you now believe we would pray for Greg Lord important prayer and if you'd like to make a change today in your relationship with the Lord.
Pastor Greg will help you do that in just a moment before today's addition of a new beginning. Concludes if you missed any of the inside Pastor Greg Broadus today. You can catch up by hearing the program online. Just go to harvest.org. There you can download a permanent copy of the message on MP3 or order CD again. That's harvest.org or call us anytime 24 seven at 1-800-821-3300. The study is titled, of whom the world was not worthy and I were so happy to make available a new resource for the holiday called the Jesus storybook Bible, a Christmas collection by gifted children's author Sally Lloyd Jones joining us today. She has such a wonderful way of making Scripture come alive for kids. Pastor Greg cell if you were to just sum everything up about telling a child a story. What is the secret for apparent listening right now of engaging their child and sharing a Bible story with them in a particular the Christmas story when fencing it comes to my mind is to be together with the child in one day before the story because where will God's children went away to over 92, and I think a child really responds when you treat them as with respect and you don't you know talk down to them.
Especially when you come to them with them before a Bible story in your best canopy spy continue with the expectation that God's gonna speak to both of you. So I think that's a really good way of doing it when you just together, reacting in the moment to the story and getting how I wonder what that would have been like, rather than coming with some kind of agenda that you got to teach the child sign. Otherwise, I'm giving you permission not to come with any kind of sense that you got to have it all together.
You just come with the child and see what God does excellent advice from Sally Lloyd Jones, a prolific children's author knows what she's talking about and you can order this resource to look at with your children with on wonder as you rediscover the story of Christmas. The story of the birth of Jesus's arrival on planet Earth. It's called the Jesus storybook Bible, a Christmas collection featuring story songs and reflections for the Advent season. I will send it to you this month for your gift of any size to help us continue to teach God's word and proclaim the gospel through new beginning threat of such a rich resource of the artwork is beautiful.
Sally's text is engaging in its interactive plus you press one button and here sample of Christmas music. You can press another in your short reading from British actor David Touchet.
Everything was ready. The moment God had been waiting for was here last. God was coming to Lily, glad to send you the Jesus storybook Bible, a Christmas collection to thank you for your donation.
You choose the amount. Our mailing address is a new beginning. Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or call 1-800-821-3300. We can take your call anytime 24 seven. Again, dial 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest.org yesterday just before we go.
Would you mind praying with the person listening wants to make a change today in the relationship with the Lord. I'd be happy to Dave you know is you been listening to this today. Maybe you've heard another voice. By that I mean, you heard me say a few things, but you heard God's voice speak to you deep in the recesses of your heart and it suddenly dawned in you. This is what I need order stated more accurately.
This is who I need I need Jesus.
And I want Jesus, but maybe you don't know how to make that connection. Let me help you pray this after me right now if you want Jesus Christ to come into your life. Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner and I am sorry for my sin and I need your forgiveness right now. Would you come in to my heart, my life as Savior, as God as friend. I choose to follow you from this moment forward.
Thank you for calling me and accepting me and for giving me in Jesus name I pray, amen. I know there was a relatively short prayer. Maybe you felt something as you prayed it. Maybe you felt nothing, that doesn't really matter because God's word says these things we write to you that believe on the name of the son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life. It doesn't say so. You may think you have it or you may hope you have it of gods in a good mood. No that you can know it and I want you to know if you pray that prayer and minute Jesus Christ, the son of God has come into your life. So congratulations, you're now a Christian now continue to follow the Lord.
Yet, to help you as you follow the Lord would like to send you some resource materials we call our new believers growth packet it will answer many of the questions you might have and get you started off right in your new relationship with the Lord. So get in touch and ask for will send it free of charge. Write a new beginning.
Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or call 1-800-821-3300 where here 24 seven to take your phone call again at 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest.org and click know God everybody Greg Laurie here and finding you to join me every weekend for what we call Harvest at Home. It's a church service.
It's a worship service. It's a Bible study and its wherever you wanted to be in your home in your car sitting on a beach walking down the street watching it on your phone wherever you are taking with you the minister to every weekend.
Join us for Harvest at Home@harvest.org Pastor Greg brings us the finale to his world changers series is a study called the secret to being a world change will tune in next time for a new beginning pastor Greg Moore possible by harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God sign up for pastor grades free daily email, email@example.com