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The Refreshing Power of Sharing Your Faith | Sunday Message

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
July 11, 2021 3:00 am

The Refreshing Power of Sharing Your Faith | Sunday Message

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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July 11, 2021 3:00 am

It’s something we’re often nervous to do, but sharing our faith is a tremendous way to revive our spiritual lives. In this podcast episode, Pastor Greg Laurie shows us how evangelism restores us from Jonah 3. 

Listen in to Pastor Greg’s latest message from Refresh!

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Everybody Greg Laurie here listening to the Grigori podcast and my objective is to deliver hopefully compelling practical insights and faith culture and current events. From a biblical perspective to find out more about our ministry.

Just go to our website harvest.org so thanks for joining me for this podcast. Okay, let's go back in time a long time ago in a galaxy far far away, a very young Greg Laurie, age 17, came to believe in Jesus Christ. This is what I look like back then. Okay, so I started going to church. I started reading the Bible for the first time I might add, and I heard the pastor say you need to go out and tell other people about Jesus Christ and I didn't want to tell people what God had done for me. My life is been transformed. I found the answers that I in my generation were searching for but I did not want to walk up to a total stranger. There was the fear of rejection. They might ask me a question I don't have the answer to, but but I got a little booklet called the four spiritual laws, but by Campus Crusade for Christ and I went out looking for someone to talk to understand.

I had a thimbleful of theological knowledge.

At this point I do very little. I saw a middle-aged woman sitting on the beach in Newport Beach about the age of my mom and I thought well maybe she'll be nice to me. I walked up I was very nervous. My voice was shaking and I said hi.

I talked to about God and stuff and she says go ahead so I sat down and I was so new at this I literally just read this little booklet I had even memorized its contents page 1 page 2 page 1 God loves you and is a plan for your life you're separated from God by your sin and I read through it and I remember thinking this. I'm doing this. This is not going to work little.

I think I am. This is the most insane thing I've ever done I could. I couldn't wait until it was over with so many think it see this moment I talk to someone about Jesus. I was planning for failure.

Trust me. So I get to the end of this little booklet where a question is asked is there any good reason why you should not accept Jesus Christ right now realize all that's a question. So I looked up at her and she said no but don't wait as I mean, you want to accept Jesus Christ right now. She said yes. Oh no, I didn't know what to do what heard the pastor say let's all bow our heads in the word of prayer. Size is a little let's pray bow your head.

I frantically searching.

This booklet for like 10 I do now, and I found this little prayer which IN and after she was done praying she said something just happened and something happened to me too. I discovered the joy of sharing my faith.

Good thing I didn't want to do the thing I dreaded doing ended up being exciting and fulfilling and refreshing. So that's the title of my message the refreshing power of sharing your faith, which is a part of our new series that were simply calling refreshed.

Now I know it seems counterintuitive to talk to people about Jesus because it seems hard. We too are afraid of rejection. But here's the truth of the matter.

By the way, I don't think Satan wants you to know this.

Listen when you tell others about Jesus, it will revive you. It will restore you and it will refresh you as a follower of Jesus Christ. I want to see that again.

It's right there in the screen for you to read when you tell others about Jesus, it will refresh you it will revive you. It will restore you. Proverbs 1125 says a generous person will prosper, listen, and he who refreshes others will be refreshed. Kim so so this is a very important spiritual principle now will know as Christians were supposed to share our faith. You probably heard of the great commission case you don't know it isn't fun into the Gospels, Matthew and Mark. Mark's version has Jesus saying go into all the world and preach the gospel. Matthew's version is going to all the world and make disciples of all nations teaching them to observe all things that I've commanded you, baptizing them in the name of the father son and the Holy Spirit. Hello, I am with you always says, our Lord, the great commission, we know were supposed to do it, but frankly, most of us don't. Studies have shown that 95% of Christians have never led another person to Christ only 2% of churchgoers invited an unchurched person. The church in the last year and 59% of all Christians say they seldom or never share their faith with others.

Honestly a little bit like Jonah, by the way you be looking at Jonah chapter 3, so turn in your Bibles there and we talked about Jonah a little bit in my last message which was titled the refreshing power of revival but we can be like Jonah, we don't want to bother ourselves with the needs of others will get into this a little bit more in a few moments, but Jonah was called to go preach to these people who lived in Nineveh in Nineveh was the capital of Assyria and the Assyrians are the enemies of the Israelites and is that patriotic Jew. He didn't want to go preach to his enemies even care about them and we can be this way as well for brutally honest was that I don't really care that much about nonbelievers and and I I have what I need and I don't want to share it.

Hey, this goes back to our childhood when we were taught to share. We would be happily playing with the little toy is a baby or a toddler, and then another child's introduced into this setting and someone says share your toys with your cousin or your little friend and you start fighting over the toy.

We don't like to share often as Christians, we hoard the truth but listen the gospel by design is meant to be shared, not heated and sometimes workorders of truth instead of shares of hope sometimes to become so inward in our focus. We miss this great truth as you give to and serve others. You yourself will be replenished and refreshed. Jesus put it this way.

He said give and it shall be given to you press down, shaken together, running over with the same measure you give it will be given that to you. Listen, the Bible says that God is looking for people to show himself strong on behalf of he's looking for someone like you will actually say use me Lord Al Gore you want me to go I'll say what you want me to say listen, will you be the person. If so wonderful adventure awaits you.

I believe that sharing your faith can be exciting, joyful, and dare I use the word fun. Yes, you heard me right as someone 26 six says those who go out weeping carrying seed this so will return with songs of joy carrying their sheaves with him you for that old song bringing in the sheaves bring in the she's that's what that's about.

You go out with sadness, concern for people that don't know the Lord would you come back with joy because people have come to Christ. Jesus said there is joy in heaven over one sinner that comes to repentance is CS Lewis pointed out quote joy is a serious business of heaven." Jesus said, it is more blessed to give then it is to receive an the word blessed is interchangeable with the word happy so you can translated as follows. It's a happier thing to give then it is to receive and that is certainly true when we sharing the message of the gospel already pointed out that there is joy in heaven. Every time a person puts her faith in Jesus Christ and that there is joy in heaven because of that there ought to be joy on earth and then our hearts if we had the privilege of playing a role in that as well listen next to personally knowing the Lord the greatest joy. I know is bringing others to him and them watching them grow and be transformed third John 132314 says I have no greater joy than to hear. My children are walking in truth joy. There's joy in telling people about Jesus and seeing them grow in Jesus. The apostle Paul wrote to the believers there in Thessalonica about the great joy he was experiencing as he watched them grow spiritually and he said in first Thessalonians 219.

What is our hope, or are joy our crown of boasting before the Lord Jesus at his coming, is it not you you Paul writes are our glory and our joy. Listen to this. The happiest Christians are the evangelistic Christians me say that again the happiest Christians I know are the evangelistic Christians and the least happy Christians I know are then knit picky con there arguing over theological minutia and never telling others about Jesus. It was the old country preacher, Vance Abner once said, if were too busy using our sickles on each other are going to miss the harvest." Yes, there is a happiness that we are missing out on it were not sharing our faith.

You know they have done studies and found that when you help someone else. There's an actual release of endorphins are they call it that helpers high and actual euphoria that one can experience by helping a person know that's true just helping the general when you're pointing a person to Christ and they would come to believe in him that's the greatest joy of all you know is Christian.

Sometimes we find ourselves down and depressed and lethargic. We don't understand it because were reading our Bibles were praying or going to church.

We might even be in a small group but there's a sort of depression that is said into our life and we wonder why. Maybe it's because you need to start thinking of others instead of just yourself. Maybe this is not all about you. This is about you getting grounded in your faith and in helping others to come and believe in Jesus. I have a 10 step cure for depression before I give it to you. Let me just say I acknowledge the reality of clinical depression, and I know some people have a serious struggle with this. I'm not really talking about that talking about the depression that many people have in life.

So I have a 10 step cure for depression so you might want to write this down 10 steps.

Step number one find someone who is greater needs, then you and do something for them, find someone who is greater needs and you and do something for them that step number one step number two is repeat step number 19 more times. Yet it. The idea is look at the needs of others and share Jesus with MEC. Satan wants to steal your joy as a Christian and he wants to keep people from coming to Christ. He doesn't want you to hear what I'm saying to you right now because it's a direct threat to the kingdom of darkness. The devil's unhappy he lost to. He's unhappy that you transferred your citizenship from his kingdom to God's kingdom. He's unhappy you change your eternal address from hell to heaven. But I'll tell you what if you want to make him really unhappy start trying to bring people out of his kingdom, and the God's kingdom and he will stop you but listen, God wants us to do this. He wants us to share our faith because God chooses to reach people through people that were told over and Romans 1014 how can they call on him unless they believed in him, how can they believe in him unless they've heard about him and how can they care about him unless someone tells them how true knowledge God could do this work without us. They can roll away the heavens and focus faith through and say hello humanity I'm God and you're not believing me right now, but no God chooses to reach people through people so that to the story of Jonah that when we think of the story of Jonah.

As I pointed out last time we focus on the whale, but the book of Jonah is not about whale. There's only two verses that deal with the crazy sea monster. He got swallowed by the book of Jonah is a story of a massive revival that came about through the efforts of one man and that man was Jonah. He was called to preach to Nineveh, which was a great city. By the way, the population of Nineveh was around 300,000 might've been a little smaller but that was a mega-city back at that time.

The reason the population was so high is because it became the capital of Assyria. There was a magnificent palace built there so it was a very, very large city of its day, 300,000 strong. It was a great city.

We read and Jonah 12. But Jonah said I don't want to go preach to that great city so that we read in Jonah 14 God sent a great win. And then that when brought a storm. Enjoy results only's ultimately swallowed by a great fish Jonah 117 but the ultimate story of Jonah is about a great God, who showed great love to allow city like Nineveh and offered them his forgiveness for us if we missed that we missed the whole point of the story started the story of a police officer who pulled over some guy who had two penguins in the backseat of his car. The officer said sir I don't know if you know this but penguins are in endangered species. You can drive around with penguins in your card so take them to the zoo and the man said I will officer the next day, the officer saw him driving around with the penguins again but this time they were worried Hawaiian shirts and sunglasses. The officer said excuse me, I told you to take those penguins to the zoo yesterday. The man said I did and I were going to the beach today that I think he cannot miss the point of what the officer was trying to say and we can very easily miss the point of the book of Jonah, God turned around 300,000 people through one man, how was he able to do this because you and I well we want to be the Jonah in our neighborhood. The Jonah and our family, the Jonah in our sphere of influence. Hopefully mine is being swallowed by a sea monster.

Okay, so if you're taking notes. Here's point number one, it takes a change person to change other people. It takes a change person to change other people and started would Jonah himself. Of course he was swallowed by.

Maybe the whale or whatever that creature was it was in the belly of that whale. The Jonah had a personal revival. It was there that he repented of his sin and recommitted himself to the Lord and was willing to do with the Lord and called them to do and so what happened the whale cruises up to the beach. There are Nineveh. I wonder what that was like you to sit down on the beach, catching some rays.

Watching the surf and all of a sudden you see this large object coming toward you. The Ninevites understood what is that what that headset. So why Olin and the whale pulls right up on the shore and opens his mouth and vomits the Bible says he vomited. Jonah outcomes Jonah pulled, what would he look like. His skin was probably bleached white from the gastric juices of the sea creature he probably smelled worse than anyone you've ever smelled before, and he is a message 40 days and Nineveh shall be overthrown. Well, what a story this is the lesson Jonah was the right man at the right place at the right time. I wonder if you know somebody right now that the Lord is been nudging you to talk to you know it's interesting for me because sometimes I'll be out and about and I'll just see someone in an I just the Lord.

I don't know how to explain this but just in my heart.

I sent I should go start a conversation with them and I and I don't know what to say that them exactly. I don't know how the conversation will go.

I don't know anything about them.

But I've since I've come to realize that I need to respond to those promptings of the Holy Spirit.

That's how it started just a little nudge a little prompting a little direction to get that person right there when it you engage a person in a conversation. Did it ever occur to you that God is place you right where you are right now to reach certain people. One of my favorite Bible stories is the story of the beauty queen adopts a it's found in the book of Esther, the king of Persia wanted a new queen so we had this beauty contest and Hadassah a very attractive young Jewish woman entered the contest had been raised by her uncle Mordecai. Her father had died and incredibly, she won the beauty contest and she became the queen of Persia sounds like a fairytale writer.

Prince comes and now she's the queen, and if it was a fairytale. It would end with these words and they live happily ever after with this is in the fairytales is the Bible story which means it's true it actually happened because of Dylan enters the story more sinister than any billing you've seen in any child story with a plan to literally exterminate the Jewish people and I meanwhile had DOS also known as Queen Esther was oblivious to what was going on.

The king signed a decree that every Jew would be put to death, but Esther was living in the lap of luxury, you know she was being pampered. There in the palace and she knew nothing of the plight of her fellow Jews, so one day your uncle Mordecai shows up outside the walls of the city and in these calling out for Esther someone says I think this guy is Rick related to use you all send him some new clothes, and he didn't want new close. He wanted her attention and I love what he said to his knees.

He says to her, if you keep quiet at a time like this.

Deliverance and relief of the Jews will arise from some other place but you and your relatives will die then Mordecai makes this very well-known statement, but who knows perhaps you were made queen for such a time as this. In other words he's saying Esther this is your wake-up call. This is why you are aware you are. You're not there by coincidence here, thereby Providence to save your people. And if you don't do it God wills find someone else did it ever occur to you that you are where you are because God wants you there. See the problem is us when we become Christians, we want to remove ourselves from bad influences stay away from ungodly people who might tempt us to do ungodly things, and that's good. We have to be careful that we don't lose contact with nonbelievers. We can sort of retreat and we might describe as a Christian bubble a week with us. The Christian radio we buy our car from a Christian car dealer. We watch Christian movies and we boycotted so many stores there is none left to go to anymore were sort of isolated all by ourselves and listen Jesus ago in the wall the world and preach the gospel tried to go I have to leave my comfort zone. My safety zone. Even Jesus did not say the whole world should go to church but he did. In effect, say the church should go to the whole world, so you need to go to where people are to that person in the restaurant that's serving you. Tell them that God loves them. They sure you leave a tip. Don't be a cheapskate.

Nothing worse than sharing your faith with a waitress or a server and then not leaving them a very generous tip.

But what about the person you're pumping just on the other side putting gas in their car there just might come a moment for you to start a little conversation. Start by praying and as the Lord to lead us because you are where you are for such a time as this to listen to this guy does not need you to accomplish his work. God can reach people without you, but he would rather Pete reach people with you and through you again Mordecai said to Esther. If you keep quiet and a time like this.

Deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place so seize the moment but also we learn about sharing our faith from the book of Jonah number two Jonah went to where the people were Jonah went to where the people were Jonah 33 says John obey the word of the Lord went to Nineveh none Nineveh was a very large city it took three days to go through it.

Jonah began by going to Dee's journey into the city, crying 40 more days and Nineveh will be overthrown. Then we read these words, the Ninevites believed God, he went right in the middle of the city. He could've just shouted it from the shores of Nineveh 40 days and Nineveh will be overthrown. Thank you very much well I need a ride back somewhere.

No, he went into the city to shot a tweet out though they did not put about that, but he could've got the message out in other ways. When he realized I need to go to the middle of the city where people are this massive city of 300,000 people listen. We need to go to unexpected people and unexpected places to share with them what will be an unexpected message. That's why here at harvest or online for you every weekend and you may be watching us@ourwebsiteharvest.org maybe her Facebook page. Maybe on YouTube. You might be watching this on television, you might be hearing this on radio. These are the various media platforms that we use were always looking for ways to reach people that you would not normally reach people who would not necessarily darken the doorway of a church we read letter a little bit earlier from the gentleman who was a trucker he heard our ministry while he was driving his truck and we were able to invade his world and this is the thing is Christian for not called isolate or call to infiltrate and were called to permeate number three. Our message. The message of the gospel must be delivered with urgency and must be delivered with urgency. Notice it says in Jonah 34 as he entered the city, he cried out 40 days and Nineveh will be overthrown. He cried out, this is by the way, not the first time the Jonah cried. He also cried out in the belly of the fish in Jonah 2. He says of the book we read Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the fish's belly and he said I cried out to the Lord because of my affliction and he answered me out of the belly of Sheol I cried, and you heard my voice are you in a time of affliction.

Are you in a time of difficulty. Are you in a time of trial cried out to the Lord. Jeremiah 33 three says call out to me and I will answer you, says the Lord, all show you great and mighty things that you do not know Jonah took the desperation he felt in the belly of the sea creature and channeled it and what God had called him to do in bringing the message to the people of Nineveh.

Jonah had been transformed and the fishes belly.

Jonah should have died in the fishes belly. He had been saved and preserved by God. Jonah was resurrection man and people cannot argue with her, transformed life, Jonah should have been dead but he was alive and well. Because of this there was an urgency. There was a passion and what he was saying Cuban urgency and a passion and reaching other people. Jonah certainly had it. There was an authenticity in his voice. He was a changed man. As I pointed out it probably was also a bleached man who smelled of varmint, perhaps in fish, but he had a mission and he was going to fulfill that mission and the people of Nineveh could see this was a resurrection man. This was a man brought back from the dead. There's a lot of power in your personal story and I want to talk about that a little bit in our next message from the series that we call refreshed and how to tell your personal story. When you share your faith with others, but I want you to think about of a story in the New Testament is called the story of the woman at the well's and John for we don't know this lady's name but fascinating story. We know she was a Samaritan and of the Samaritans and the Jews wanted nothing to do with each other was a lot of tension there racial tension and then also we know she was an immoral woman because she had been married and divorced five times and she was living with some dude when she encountered Jesus now.

The thing with this woman that she would go on draw water in the heat of the day.

Why because she will when nobody else was at the well. The other ladies would go to the well earlier in the morning, catch up on the latest town gossip, but she was ostracized she was rejected because of the lifestyle she had chosen the live so she's there all by yourself drawing water in the heat of the day and he was waiting for her. But Jesus cries the very son of God. He went out of his way to me with her because, unbeknownst to her, she had an appointment with God, and there she was at that well and Jesus entered her world and then she heard the truth of his message how she drank of the water he gave she would never thirst again. But there would be a will of living water coming out of her life and she believes she realized she had been talking with the Messiah and we read in John 428.

She left her water jar she came back to town instead of the people come see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah. Then we read this.

They came out of the town and made their way to Jesus why because she was a resurrection woman.

She was a woman who would then change they knew her she had a bad reputation, but they saw her passion and her excitement for what Christ had done for her, and as a result they came and wanted to hear Jesus for themselves.

You know I love the way Jesus connected to her. He asked her questions. He listened to her. It didn't come off as a know it all. Don't be a know it all. I know you know certain things as a Christian, but sometimes are talking to a nonbeliever. And they'll say something about that's wrong that's so stupid. Why would you think that just listen. Don't be a know it all who was more of a know it all. Then Jesus is literally new and all I mean technically new at all because he was omniscient, which means all-knowing sometimes are accused of being a holier than thou don't be holier than thou who was more holy than Jesus.

He was the holiest of any man who ever walked the planet because he was God incarnate, but he didn't come off holier than thou. The Bible says he was a friend of sinners. He entered her world.

He listened to her.

He took time with her and it resulted in a transformation. Listen effective evangelism is not a monologue. It's a dialogue now when I speak of our Crusades nears one of our Crusades actually looks like I have the privilege of standing on a stage and speaking good. 30,000 50,000 people sometimes more, sometimes less. It's effectively a monologue accusing someone might yell at me from the audience, but generally it's me speaking through a microphone through a massive sound system to a lot of people. That's a monologue, but when I share my faith 11.

It is a dialogue on a walk around the pulpit like this on wheels on the market push Mme. I'll got my bread, my bottle water hey how are you doing let me tell you, but you know I don't do it like that. I enter people's worlds. I listen to them. I don't tell him I'm a pastor up front if there is stranger because the runaway and terror.

If there talking to an actual preacher, but I just try to be a friend to them and so here's some interesting stats for you to consider. 79% of unchurched people agree with the following statement I don't mind talking to a friend about their faith if they really value it is not interesting 79%. That's the majority people were not believers are saying. I don't mind talking with a friend about their faith if they value it so they want to see.

Do you actually believe this yourself. Do you value this your self the Barna group as nonbelievers what they value most. When talking about spiritual things. Will someone listen they answered. They want people to listen without judgment.

Listen without judgment. This is amazing for some Christians want to judge people you want to condemn people you want to yell at people that somehow you gonna reach people.

The objective is not to win the argument.

It's to win this all the goal is not to burn the bridge. It is to build the bridge which means you you listen with love, you let them tell you their story and then you will appropriately apply the message of the gospel. Point number four. We are to preach the message he has given us our own message our own version of the gospel the message he is given us first to here in Jonah 3 says, go to Nineveh, the great city and preached with the message it I give to you. God is giving you a simple message to give you your job is to deliver the message. I used to be a paperboy and I had a paper route and I had a really cool bicycle. It was a Schwinn stingray with the handlebars sometimes are called eight hangers and a rollbar, a banana seat. And best of all a stick shift, a stick shift on a bicycle. I don't even think they would allow that today, but I had my bags holding my newspapers cruise around my Schwinn stingray and my objective was to deliver the paper. I got pretty good. Clearing the hedges and sideways throw the over-the-top throw the underhanded throw you know when I got pretty good at it and so my job was not to write the news. My job was not to be in the news.

My job is to deliver the news that still my job. My job is to deliver the good news of the gospel. I don't need to add to it. I don't need to take away from it and that brings me but to my next point we must select declare the gospel Nellis if I'm by the luxury of time. I'll take the time to hang out with the person talk with them. Get to know them enter their world. I will hear them immediately with both gospel barrels might be a ton of just sowing the sea might be a time of watering the seed that someone else owed of the gospel in their heart and a might be a time to reap there been times when the Lord has directed me to ask a person point-blank would you like to accept Jesus Christ. Right now it doesn't have all that often, but I think of one time when I was out to lunch with some of the pastors from our church and the server was helping us and she took our order. She said you guys are from the church here in town. Harvest right yes we are.

Yeah, she said, I'm thinking of coming out to your church. One year service times because I need to get right with God, and I felt prompted by the Lord, right then and there to Asgard question. I said would you like to get right with God right here right now.

She looked little surprises gutter tray.

You know that here. I said yeah you could pray right here and right now and commit your life to Jesus Christ, she set her tray down and said yes I would like to do that. I was able to lead that server to the Lord.

Now that's not normally what happens to me, but there are those moments of the Lords is doing now.

Other times are just sowing the seed were watering the seed so if you have the luxury of time do that. But let's contrast that to a different scenario figure in a plane and all for the engines were out in the plane was on fire and it was headed to the earth so you know your time is limited. I hope you would've the presence of mind to proclaim the gospel you don't have time to turn your seatmate essay will tell me a little bit about yourself where you live on Nono telling the gospel. There's an urgency that was the case with Jonah, he had basically 40 days to reach 300,000 people. So with this urgency. He went and preached this message.

Let me say something about preaching because the Bible says that we should preach the word and be persistent. Whether the time is favorable or not we are to preach the word preaching doesn't mean yelling preaching this proclamation. Maybe you elevate your voice to be heard by a large crowd.

Maybe you're talking to people one-on-one Ibex leasing Christians like preaching yelling at Pete that's Craig don't do that calm down lower your volume.

Listen more and lovingly share in an understandable way. The things that they need to hear the primary way that God is chosen to reach nonbelievers is to the verbal articulation of the gospel. You may preach it. You may texted you may queen it. You may share it conversationally, but the idea is I tell people that there is a God in heaven loves them and sent his son Jesus Christ to die in the cross for their sin and Christ rose again from the dead three days later. Listen to this is only two things the Bible tells us have power. It's God himself and the gospel.

The gospel in particular because we read over in Romans 116. Paul says I'm not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes a word for power that Paul uses is the Greek word do limits story is told of a man name Alfred Nobel get invented this material that exploded there never been anything like it before. What would he call this explosive device. He talked to a friend who knew Greek and a Nobel ask him what is the Greek word for explosive power, and the man said oh it's do limits and so he called it dynamite so there is dynamic doing in this explosive power in the simple message of the gospel.

The gospel, what is the gospel we talk about the gospel. Oh I love the gospel I live by the gospel. We should preach the gospel. Do we know what the gospel is, why do we make the gospel so complex it isn't. What is word gospel me literal translation, good news, it's good news. Why do we make the good news, bad news in the way we deliver it the way we distorted the way we leave parts out of it. No deliver the explosive dynamic dynamite gospel of good news to people know sometimes before we can appreciate the good is we have to first know the bad news heard about two old guys love to play baseball and they wondered whether be baseball and haven't. So they made a deal if one of them what they have in first. He would somehow communicate with the other and tell him whether or not there was baseball in heaven.

Well, one of the friends pass than a week later he spoke to his buddies still on the earth through the clouds. He said buddy I've got good news for you.

There's baseball in heaven and his friend was so overjoyed, Lisa's brother got some bad news to your pitching on Friday. That's a joke that never happened but good news and bad beats. Here's the bad news you're a sinner I'm a sinner were all sinners.

The Bible says in Romans 323 we've all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

We also read in first John 18 if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. Don't assume that your listener will necessarily know what sin is. So you may have to help them with this in the Bible is sin.

It can be translated different ways. One word that the Bible uses for sin is translated trespass and I means the cross a line so using the little fines in the park. No trespassing right so you want to immediately step over it and step on the grass services don't touch what pain you want to touch it, don't you so trespass is to deliberately cross the line but another translation of the word sin from the Greek word hard Mantia means to miss the mark.

So, imagine a game of archery and and you go first and you fire all 10 arrows into that target, but none hit the bull's-eye so you missed the mark. Now let's say that I step up with my 10 arrows and I miss the target altogether.

I had a cow over in the field, hit a building I had a bird flying over so I missed the mark know that I miss the mark more than you missed the mark.

Yes, but the goal is you gotta get the bull's-eye in the bull's-eye's perfection. So when the Bible says they sin or miss the mark means I've fallen short of God's standard for humanity. What is that perfection so Virgil my city you well you perfect. Your answer must be no that's her Jesus comes because God knew I could not get this mark. God knew I could not be a perfect person and by the way, someone might say, well, I'm a good person and you might be surprised to hear me say I will necessarily depute dispute that I would not say no you're not a good person, you're bad person I think. I'm sure your a good person that you know what you're not good enough to get to heaven because you've missed the mark. But here's the good news. Jesus died on the cross for your sin. Romans 56 as God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us when we were still sinners.

Here's the first. Every Christian should memorize a put it up there on the screen that in its entirety. For God so loved the world he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have ever lasting life that's the gospel in a nutshell sure that message was somewhat of you know John 316.

You are effectively armed and dangerous. One last point, our message must be authoritative. Jonah's message was an authoritative message. It was an unapologetic biblical directive from God Almighty and so is the gospel, and so as we proclaim this message of Jesus.

He's not one of many options is the only choice. Another verse you want to memorize. John 14 six it's there on the screen. Jesus said I am the way the truth and the life and no man comes of the father but through me is only one way to come into this relationship of God because the Bible says there is no other name given under heaven whereby a man can be saved. We have an authoritative message. The greatest revival in the history of the world came to Nineveh because Jonah proclaim God's message and not what they necessarily wanted to hear, let me close by saying I challenge you to leave your comfort zone. I encourage you to go to your Nineveh, so to speak and engage people in conversations about Jesus of talk about this more next time you let me just close with this. Maybe as you're watching this, you have not believe the gospel.

One is the gospel again. It's good news the gospel says God loves you and God is a plan for you and it says God will forgive you of all of your sin but you must admit sure center and you must asked Jesus Christ to come in your life to be our Savior and Lord, and you can do that right here right now. Jesus, who died on the cross and rose again from the dead three days later stands at the door of your life in the not this is a future, his voice and open the door will commit one day the people came to Jesus and said we want to see a miracle we want to see a sign. Here's what Christ said no sign will be given you with that of the prophet Jonah. As Jonah was three days and three nights nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the year. In other words, Jesus is you want to sign here it is. I died on the cross for your sin and I rose again from the dead, you might so come on Greg if you could just do a miracle, something to impress me, then I would believe.

Show me and all believe Jesus in effect says believe and I'll show you this is the message you been looking for. This is the answer you wanted in life. It's a relationship with God through Jesus who can come and live in your life and listen forgive you of all of your sins, you can put your past behind you and have a new beginning, a fresh start, but you need Jesus to do that. So in a moment I'm going to pray I'm the lead of prayer, and I would ask any of you that are watching right now who have never asked Jesus to come in your life you don't have the confidence that you go to heaven when you die you have guilt that you carry around with you, and ask you to pray this prayer with me. You could print out loud if you like you could pray quietly but say this to the Lord. If you want Jesus to come into your life right now. Let's pray together for these words. Lord Jesus, I know that I'm a sinner but I know you are the Savior who died on the cross for my sin and rose again from the dead. I turn from my sin. Now I choose to follow you from this moment forward as my Savior and my Lord my God, my friend. Thank you for hearing this prayer in answering this prayer in Jesus name I pray. They met everybody Greg Laurie here. Thanks for listening to our podcast and the learn more about harvest ministries. Please subscribe and consider supporting this show.

Just go to harvest.org and by the way, if you want to find out how to come into a personal relationship with God. Go to know God.org that's key NOW GLD.org


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