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The Case for Heaven | Special Guest Lee Strobel

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
December 26, 2021 3:00 am

The Case for Heaven | Special Guest Lee Strobel

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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December 26, 2021 3:00 am

On this last Sunday of 2021, it’s so important to think upon what matters most: not this life alone, but the afterlife. And we’re so excited to have our friend, bestselling author and speaker Lee Strobel, give a message on the topic of Heaven titled, “The Case for Heaven.”

If you’ve ever heard Lee speak before, you know that he always offers outstanding arguments for the claims of Scripture. This message is no different. Listen in and be encouraged!

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Hey there. Thanks for listening to the Greg Laurie Podcast, a ministry supported by Harvest Partners.

I'm Greg Laurie encouraging you if you want to find out more about Harvest Ministries and learn more about how to become a Harvest Partner, just go to harvest.org. I woke up in the emergency room and the doctor looks down at me and he says, you're one step away from a coma, two steps away from dying. And then I fell into unconsciousness again. I hovered over that fuzzy line between life and death for quite a while until the doctors were finally able to save me.

I had a kind of an unusual medical condition called hyponatremia, which is a severe drop in my blood sodium level. I lost a kidney as part of this process, and it was in some sense a very clarifying experience to come close to death. Have you ever come close to death?

I think most people find when they are facing the question of whether they're going to live for the next several hours or die, it really helps them bring into focus what is really important. Because at that moment, nothing is more important than what happens when you close your eyes for the last time in this world. Are you cast into oblivion? Do you wake up in the presence of God? Are you launched on a series of reincarnations? What happens when you close your eyes for the last time in this world? Do you wake up in the presence of God? Are you launched on a series of reincarnations?

What happens when you close your eyes for the last time in this world? If those issues are important at times like that, they ought to be important now. You know, with the COVID epidemic, more and more people are pondering these issues of life and death. Did you know that 29% of Americans either know someone who's died of COVID or have had a family member die of COVID?

My older brother died at the beginning of the pandemic. Leslie and I were having lunch at a restaurant not long ago and we had this waitress. She's about 18 years old. Her name was Cameron. And as we talked to her trying to share Jesus with her, she began to cry and we said, What's wrong? And she said, Oh, I'm so sorry. She said, I almost didn't come into work today.

We just lost a family member to COVID. And I thought, here's a young woman, maybe 18 years old, never probably thought about death before. She's got her whole life ahead of her. Why should she be thinking about death? And yet now death has come knocking on her family's door.

And now you could see it in her eyes. Apprehension, anxiety, uncertainty, fear over what happens in the life to come. Well, for me, as a Christian laying in that hospital bed, not knowing if I was going to live or die, I was a Christian. I was a pastor. And so I believed what the Bible teaches me about the afterlife, about heaven and about hell. But then again, I'm a skeptic by nature. You know, my background's in journalism and law.

You put those two things together, you can imagine what kind of a jerk that you get. Skeptic, skeptic that you get. And so I'm laying there in my hospital bed wondering, does the biblical account make sense? Is it consistent with science? Is it consistent with history and philosophy and theology?

Does it hold together? And that's what launched me on my journey to write my new book, The Case for Heaven. A journalist investigates the evidence for life after death. And I traveled around the country interviewing scholars and experts, neuroscientists, historians, philosophers and so forth, trying to get at what is the evidence that indeed the biblical account makes sense. It holds up to scrutiny. Now, I cover a lot of stuff in this book, so there's too much for me to mention today.

But I'm just going to mention three lines of evidence that I pursued as part of my investigation. The first issue is whether we are merely a physical body that dies and decays at the end of our life. Or do we possess an immaterial soul that can survive our physical demise? Of course, Christian theology teaches that we have a soul and we continue to live on after our body dies. Paul said in 2 Corinthians 5 verse 8 that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.

In Luke 23 43, Jesus told the repentant criminal on the cross, truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise. That means there are actually two phases to the afterlife. The first stage is the intermediate stage or the present heaven. So when we die, our soul separates from our physical body and continues to live on, either with God in paradise or separated from God in Hades.

And then the second stage begins at the consummation of history where Jesus returns, when we're united with our resurrected bodies, when we undergo final judgment, and then we ultimately spend eternity in a very physical place, whether heaven or hell. But critics say that neuroscientists have been mapping the human brain for a long time and guess what? They haven't found a soul. Reminds me of the first cosmonaut from the Soviet Union back in the early 1960s who went into space and he looked around and said, I don't see a God.

And everybody laughed. Oh, well, of course, that means God doesn't exist. Well, it's a stupid comment, but they don't find the soul when they map the human brain. And yet I interviewed a neuroscientist with a Ph.D. from Cambridge University, Dr. Sharon Diercks, and she said emphatically that no discoveries of modern neuroscience have disproven the existence of the soul.

In fact, she wrote a book called Am I Just My Brain? in which she answers that question with an emphatic, no, you're not just your physical brain, you are a body and you're a soul. You see, our soul or our spirit is the seat of our consciousness, the center of our introspection, our volition, our emotions, our desires, our memories, our perceptions, and our beliefs. The soul animates and interacts with our physical brain, but it's distinct from it. So while scientists can measure the electrical activity in our brain, they can't measure what's actually inside of our mind. In other words, the physical brain by itself is not enough to explain our mind or our consciousness.

Let me illustrate with a thought experiment. Let's say there's a woman named Mary, and Mary is the world's leading expert on vision. She's a scientist. She understands everything about vision. She understands the structure of the human eye. She understands the way the optic nerve carries impulses to the brain. She understands how the brain translates that into images that we see. She understands the physics of sight, the chemistry of sight. She understands it better than anyone, but she's blind. What if one day she suddenly received her sight? At that moment she received her sight. Would she learn anything new about vision? Well, yeah, of course she'd learn something new about vision. As Dr. Diercks told me, well, that means physical facts alone cannot explain the first-person experience of consciousness.

No amount of knowledge about the physical working of the eye and brain will get Mary closer to the experience of what it's like to actually see. So she said consciousness simply cannot be synonymous with brain activity. Our consciousness, our spirit, our soul is distinct from our physical brain. So that's point number one. We have a soul that could survive our physical death, but does it survive?

That brings me to my second point. Is there good evidence that our consciousness does indeed live on beyond our physical demise? Well, I began by investigating a field that I was very skeptical about, near-death experiences. This is where people are clinically dead, and yet their consciousness, their spirit, their soul continues to live on, and they see things and hear things that would be impossible for them to see and hear if they did not have an authentic out-of-body experience.

Now, as I said, I was skeptical about this. I thought this was merely the product of a dying brain, hallucinations or something like that, oxygen deprivation causing people to experience stuff. But what I found is that there have been 900 scholarly articles written in scientific and medical journals about near-death experiences over the last 40 years.

Scientists have been studying this phenomenon for a long time. Now, I wasn't particularly interested in people who say, oh, I died, I went to heaven, I met Jesus, he's five foot ten and has brown eyes. I can't corroborate that. There have been people who've written books and made movies saying they died and went to heaven, and then later confess they made the whole thing up.

So if I can't corroborate it, I'm not going to buy into it. But what I learned is we do have many cases, and I document them in my book, The Case for Heaven, we do have many cases where there is powerful corroboration, that our soul does survive our death. In other words, people are clinically dead, and yet their spirit lives on and they see things and hear things they would be otherwise incapable of seeing or hearing.

One of the most famous cases comes from a researcher by the name of Kimberly Clark Sharp. She describes an out-of-body experience of a heart attack victim by the name of Maria. Maria is in a hospital, she dies of a heart attack, and yet her spirit, her soul, separates from her body. She watches the resuscitation efforts and her spirit floats out of the hospital. And then later, when her spirit returns to her body and she's revived, she says, oh, by the way, on the roof of the hospital, on the third story ledge, there's a man's tennis shoe.

And it's left-footed, it's dark blue, it has a little wear over the little toe, and the shoelace is tucked under the heel. And the researchers went to the roof of the hospital and they found the shoe exactly as she has described it. How do you explain that if she didn't have an authentic experience of her soul separating from her dead body?

Another example is a woman, 35-year-old mother in Atlanta, Georgia, who underwent a very rare surgery in 1991 for a brain aneurysm. She had bleeding in her brain, so they had to do an extraordinary surgery where they first cooled her body to 60 degrees. Then they drained every drop of blood from her head. There was zero brain activity.

Three tests showed zero brain activity. Her heart and breathing stopped. She was flatline. She was clinically dead. They plugged her ears with speakers emitting 100 decibels of noise.

That's the equivalent of a subway train rushing right past you. The surgical instruments were covered prior to surgery and her eyes were taped shut. And yet, she later said, I was conscious the whole time during surgery, during a vivid near-death experience. She said, I actually watched the operation from outside my body. She described going through a tunnel and talking to deceased relatives and standing awestruck in the very light of God and being sent back to her body to wake up.

And here's the corroboration. She correctly described the extremely unusual surgical instruments that were used during her surgery, including the fact that one of the drills had a dent in it. These are things she had no physical way of seeing. What's more, she accurately remembered a conversation during the surgery where one nurse said, we have a problem. Her arteries are too small. And another male nurse responding, well, try the other leg.

She even remembered that during the surgery they were playing the song Hotel California. Well, the famous Christian philosopher J.P. Moreland in response to this case said this, it is hard to see how an honest seeker of truth would not be persuaded by this evidence that God, the soul, and heaven are real. Oh, and by the way, her story is far from unique. One researcher studied 93 patients, all of whom made verifiable observations in their out-of-body experience. A remarkable 92% of those observations were absolutely correct. Another 6% were almost absolutely correct.

It's remarkable. In one case, there's a seven-year-old girl named Katie. She was found floating face down in a swimming pool in a YMCA in Idaho. She was dead.

She had drowned. She had massive brain swelling. She had no measurable brain activity.

Zero. She didn't have a heartbeat for 20 minutes. Remarkably, they took her to the hospital, and after several days of treatment, they were able to revive her. And then when they revived her, she shocked them by saying, I was conscious the whole time.

She said, as a matter of fact, I met Jesus. Now, the doctors are very skeptical about this, so they said, okay, well, let's do a little test. Because she was dead when they brought her into the emergency room. So they said, why don't you take this crayon and piece of paper and draw us the emergency room.

Put everything where it was located when you were taken there. And she picked up the crayon, piece of paper, and she drew an exact picture of everything in the emergency room. And then she really shocked them because she said, you know, during the time that you were trying to keep my body alive, and, you know, my consciousness, she didn't use that term, but she said I was still, you know, able to observe and see what was going on. She said, I followed my family home from the hospital one night. And she said, I remember exactly what took place in their home that night. My little brother pushing his G.I.O.

jeep around his room. My little sister combing her Barbie's hair and singing a specific song. My mother making a specific meal in the kitchen, chicken and rice.

My father sitting on the couch and just staring off into space. And then she described in detail the clothing that each of them were wearing that night. How do you explain that if near-death experiences aren't authentic?

And get this, this is most amazing of all. In one remarkable study, researchers examined 21 blind people. Nearly half of them blind since birth. And most of them said during their near-death experience, they could see.

Many of them for the first time. Describing things that they otherwise would not have been able to describe. For instance, a woman named Vicky Umapeg was blind since birth. And at the age of 26, she was in a car accident. She was dead. And yet, you know, even though in her lifetime she'd never seen lights, she'd never seen shadows, she'd never seen anything. In her out-of-body experience, she found herself watching the medical team trying to revive her. She said, I floated out and I saw trees and birds and people for the first time. Including people who preceded her in death. And she came, she said, in the very presence of Jesus. And when she was revived, guess what? Her eyesight was gone again. One medical researcher said, this is impossible according to current medical knowledge. By the way, not all near-death experiences are pleasant.

About 23% range from disturbing to absolutely terrifying. For instance, Howard Storm was an atheist. He was a professor of art at a secular university.

He was chairman of the art department. And he died in the hospital. But he describes how his spirit body, his consciousness kind of got out of his body. And there were some guys in the hallway that said, hey, come with us. So he followed them down the corridor.

Down another corridor, down another corridor, down another corridor. And they seemed like nice folks and he didn't know where they were taking him. But then all of a sudden they started to get abusive and they started to swear at him.

And they started to claw at him and bite him and attack him. He said it was the worst experience he'd ever undergone. He said, I was reduced to roadkill, his ear is torn off, his eye is torn out. He said, no horror movie can even come close to the terror of what happened in that moment. And in that moment, he called out to Jesus to rescue him. And Jesus came in a ball of light and rescued him. Well this experience was so transformative for him that when he was finally revived, he not only renounced his atheism, he not only received Jesus as his Lord and Savior, he resigned his tenured professorship at the secular university, became an ordained minister, and to this day is the pastor of a tiny rural church in Oklahoma. That's how powerful this experience affected him. Now as I said, I've been skeptical about near-death experiences.

But there's an article that appeared in the prestigious British medical journal, The Lancet. And this article analyzes all the alternative explanations to try to explain away near-death experiences. All hallucinations, all oxygen deprivation, all these theories to try to explain them away.

And the conclusion is that no alternative explanations can fully account for this phenomenon. I believe personally that these corroborated cases demonstrate convincingly that our consciousness, our spirit, our soul does continue in a personal way after our physical death, our clinical death. And here's the kicker. For my book, I interviewed John Burke. John Burke, actually a friend of mine, we had been pastors together at a church probably 30 years ago. But John is not only a Christian pastor today of a church in Austin, Texas, but he studied a thousand near-death experiences over the last 35 years. And here is his conclusion. He said, if we look at what actually takes place in these near-death experiences, not how people interpret it, but what actually takes place, near-death experiences are consistent with Christian theology. This is what he told me.

He said, Lee, even though they may vary a fair amount, these accounts have a common core. And incredibly, it's entirely consistent with what we're told about the afterlife in the Bible. And he backs that up verse by verse. Now, I don't base my theology about the afterlife on near-death experiences. I base it on the Bible.

I take kind of a minimalist approach that says that I'm only going to buy into what I can actually corroborate. And yes, I believe near-death experiences prove beyond a reasonable doubt that our soul endures after our clinical death. Now, keep in mind, these people are not permanently dead.

You know, the Bible says we're appointed once to die and then the judgment. Well, these people don't die in that sense. They're not dead forever. They're clinically dead.

They're going to return to their body. So this is not a case of people who are permanently deceased, as the Bible talks about there. So these are people who are clinically dead. Some of them were literally being wheeled to the morgue when they wake up and so forth. So they're clinically dead, but not permanently dead. And I think that helps explain, because you wonder, okay, how does Jesus rescue this guy from these demons after his death? Is that really consistent with the Bible? Well, he's not dead, dead permanently.

He's in a state of clinical death. And God was able to rescue him from that situation. So when you study these, you find that they are consistent with Christian theology. So first, the existence of the soul makes our afterlife possible. Then, near-death experiences show that consciousness does actually live on after our physical death. And that brings me to my third point.

Let me ask you a question. If you had compelling evidence that someone predicted their own death, and then they died a violent death, and then three days later returned from the dead fully healed, do you think their testimony about the afterlife might be helpful? Do you think it might be definitive?

Yeah, I think so. That's what we have with Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus, in a variety of ways, made transcendent and messianic and divine claims about himself. He claimed to be the Son of God. But anybody could claim to be God, but he didn't just claim it.

He died, and then three days later rose from the dead. He proved that he is who he claimed to be. And therefore, his account of the afterlife, he was an eyewitness to the afterlife.

We ought to pay attention to what he says. And by the way, this confirms that he's the Son of God. Therefore, he made the afterlife. So he really understands what heaven is about. So I'm convinced that Jesus' conquering of the grave is among the best attested events of the ancient world.

In fact, I was an atheist for much of my life, and I was brought to faith because for two years I looked at the historical data concerning the resurrection of Jesus, and concluded beyond a reasonable doubt that Jesus didn't just claim to be the Son of God, he backed it up by returning from the dead. In fact, I remember when I was an atheist attending Yale Law School. One of my heroes at that time was a guy who was the greatest lawyer in the world. He was literally in the Guinness Book of World Records for winning more murder trials than anybody in history. His name was Sir Lionel Lucku.

Now think about that. He must be a guy who understands what constitutes reliable evidence, right? He must be able to look at an airtight case against his client and find all the loopholes, all the shortcomings in that case. And both of those were true of Sir Lionel Lucku.

He was knighted twice by Queen Elizabeth and became a member of the highest court of his land. And he was a skeptic toward the resurrection of Jesus until one day he decided to take his monumental legal skill and apply it to the historical record for the resurrection of Jesus. And I'll recite to you one sentence he wrote that summarized his conclusion. He said, I say unequivocally that the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus Christ is so overwhelming that it compels acceptance by proof, which leaves absolutely no room for doubt. This from the most successful lawyer who ever lived. And I think he's absolutely right.

When I later did the same thing for two years of my life, I came to the same conclusion. So this means Jesus' view of the afterlife is definitive. What does he say about it? Well he said in John 6 verse 40, For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in Him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day. Jesus uses the metaphor of a home to describe heaven. We all know home as a warm, secure, loving place, I hope.

At least that's what home ought to be. And Jesus is saying that's what your home in heaven is going to be like, except beyond anything that you could ever imagine. Of course there are a lot of misconceptions about heaven. A big one is that heaven is an ethereal experience. So you're sort of up in the clouds someplace where disembodied souls that are kind of floating around, we're playing harps on clouds and singing hymns all day. I mean that's kind of the cartoonish version.

But a lot of people draw their cues from that and think, yeah it must be something like that. When actually heaven is not some far off place, but it's here. It's here. For my book I interviewed Dr. Scott McKnight, a well-known theologian and pastor, and he said in my book, he said, Lee, heaven is the complete renewal of our world, a very earthy, physical place, not just for spirits or souls, but for resurrected bodies designed for the kingdom of God. John says in Revelation, then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and first earth had passed away. He said heaven will resemble our present earth, this is Scott McKnight speaking, he said heaven will resemble our present earth, but it will be a transformed place for transformed people. All of creation will be set free and turned to God in praise. It will be creation on steroids, the way it was designed to be. He said the Hebrew word for good is tov, t-o-v, tov. And so whatever is truly tov about our world today will be enhanced in the new heaven and the new earth. It will be a place of celebration and music and songs and festivals and festivities. And then he looked at me and he said with a wink, and most people don't know this, but in heaven every year the Chicago Cubs win the World Series.

Well that would be a miracle, first of all, but I love that, the physical nature. If you read Isaiah, if you read Revelation, there are animals in heaven, there are streams, there are valleys, I mean it is going to be a place without sin and yet we resemble our current world. I especially love the way that Charles Spurgeon put it. Charles Spurgeon is one of the great preachers of history. But he said something and it evoked an image in my mind I never thought about before and I bet it does for you too.

Listen to what he said. He said the very glory of heaven is that we shall see him, that same Christ who once died upon Calvary's cross, that we shall fall down and worship at his feet, nay more that he shall kiss us with the kisses of his mouth and welcome us to dwell with him forever. Have you ever dared to imagine entering heaven, being greeted by Jesus Christ, being overwhelmed by your love and your gratitude for him making heaven possible for you, that you fall to your feet and he lifts you up and he kisses you with the kisses of his mouth and welcomes you to dwell with him forever.

I never thought of that image before but I really love that picture. It will be an eternal heaven where Revelation 21 says God will wipe every tear from our eyes there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain for the old order of things has passed away. Indeed the Bible tells us that right now we can't even comprehend the glory we will encounter in heaven. 1 Corinthians 2 says that no eye has seen, no ear has heard, no human mind has ever even conceived of the things that God has planned for those who love him. That's the reason I believe that the Bible uses a lot of metaphors and figurative language to describe heaven because we can't even comprehend it yet.

Words cannot convey what glory this experience is going to bring. In fact I mentioned that I interviewed for my book John Burke, this pastor who's studied a thousand near-death experiences over 35 years. Well we're producing a documentary based on the book The Case for Heaven.

It will be in movie theaters and streaming in 2022 at some point. So we interviewed John Burke for the documentary and I want to show you just a short clip of what he talks about. He discusses how his view of heaven has evolved from his research into the Bible and his research into near-death experiences.

So listen to what John has to say. My 35 years of research have completely changed my view from what it was earlier on of what the life to come is going to be like. What I've realized is that every good thing that we experience on this earth, everything we love, first of all God created it. That's why we love it. He created it for us to enjoy it and to love it. But all of it is just a shadow of the real thing that he created us to enjoy in heaven. In the over a thousand near-death experiences I've studied, it's this incredible picture of how when we die we leave our natural bodies but we're still ourselves.

We have spiritual bodies and not with five senses, more like 50 senses. It's life on steroids. It's life beyond anything we've experienced. The colors that people talk about are the color spectrum is far beyond earth but that's what you would expect because the color spectrum of earth is the color spectrum of the sun but the color spectrum of heaven is the color spectrum of God.

There's this great welcoming committee of people who have passed on before them who are there to welcome them and Jesus said use your earthly resources to make friends so that when you die they will welcome you into eternal dwellings. It's going to be life and beauty not unlike earth. You know there are mountains and flowers and trees and streams and all of that's talked about in the book of Isaiah and the book of Revelation and that's exactly what near-death experiencers talk about. Except they experience it in expanded dimensions of space, more than three dimensions of space and more dimensions of time just like it says in the Bible. The greatest experience on earth is just like a tiny taste compared to the feast that I believe God has prepared for us. And I can't wait to discover all these new things. I mean imagine a universe of billions of stars and planets that we thought were beyond our reach but what if in a thought we can go explore them. Endless, endless exploration. Friends, the best news about heaven is that it's real and the worst news about hell is that it's real.

But the greatest news of all is that God's grace is available to anyone anywhere in any culture at any time who wants to spend eternity with Him in a place of joy, satisfaction, fulfillment, adventure, exploration in heaven with Him forever. So let me end with a question. What if what happened to me several years ago happened to you tonight? What if your spouse or your children or your friends found you unconscious on your floor? What if they call the paramedics? What if you opened your eyes on that examining table in the emergency room and looking down at you is a doctor who says you're one step away from a coma, two steps away from dying?

What if that happened to you tonight? Would you have confidence? Would you be sure that if this were the day that you were to leave this world that you would walk into heaven with God forever? Do you know? Are you confident?

Are you sure? So many people aren't and that's why they live in a state of anxiety and apprehension. Well, the Bible says you can know with confidence where you stand with God.

And so if you're uncertain, if you've got anxiety and apprehension, if you're not quite sure, let's be sure. You know, the Bible says in John 1-12, But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name. And that verse forms an equation of what it means to become a child of God and thus spend eternity with God in heaven. Believe plus receive equals become.

If you believe that Jesus is who He claimed to be, the unique Son of God, and you believe you're a sinner, that's great, but it's not enough. You need to receive. Receive what? Receive this free gift of forgiveness and eternal life that Jesus purchased for you on the cross when He died as your substitute. And when you receive that free gift in repentance and faith, then you will become a child of God and you will spend eternity with Him in heaven.

Are you ready? Do you believe? If you believe as best you can, then let's make now the moment you make sure that you're going to heaven.

So let's just close our eyes and bow our heads. You know, you can say this out loud or you can say it in your heart. God knows your heart. Just pray these words.

Just say, Lord Jesus, as best I can, I do believe that you are the Son of God, that you proved it by returning from the dead. And I admit the obvious. I'm a sinner. I know that. I've done things. I knew they were wrong before I did them, and I did them anyway. I've sinned.

And I want to turn from that. And in an attitude of repentance and faith, I want to receive this free gift of forgiveness and eternal life that you purchased for me on the cross. Help me, Jesus, to live the kind of life that you want me to live, because from this moment on, now that I've received your free gift of grace, from this moment on, I am yours. I am yours. Now, Father, we thank you for every person that has prayed that prayer just now and meant it.

We know that in a nanosecond you have come to live within them. Your Holy Spirit is going to change their lives from the inside out. And we look forward to spending eternity together in heaven. In fact, I'd love to have a reunion party someday in heaven, maybe under that huge oak tree, where all the people today who've come to faith in you will get together, will sit under the tree, and will talk and laugh about all the things that you brought into our lives as a result of following you. We pray for those that are still on the journey, that someday we'll be able to celebrate their rebirth as well. And Father, for the rest of us who've been your followers for a long time, we thank you that you give us an assignment to share this message of hope and grace far and wide, to be strong salt and bright light. We thank you for Harvest Fellowship. We thank you about how Greg and his team have proclaimed the gospel all over the world. I picture this church like a city on a hill, shining your light of hope and grace and love and redemption and eternal life far and wide. We thank you for the honor and the privilege of being part of a movement like this. And we pray this in the name of Jesus Christ, who is our forgiver and our leader and our very best friend.

Amen. Now friends, if you've prayed that prayer with me today, we want to give you a gift to help you begin to grow in your spiritual life. Greg has put together a New Believers Bible. It's a very readable translation of the New Testament, but Greg has added notes in the margins that help illuminate some of the passages that may be otherwise a little difficult to understand. So it's a great guide to how you can begin your life as a follower of Jesus Christ.

We'd like to send you this for free to get you launched in your new journey. So you'll see a phone number on the screen. If you give us a call, we'll send you the Bible. We're not going to share your name and number with anybody else. If you're on a computer or a phone or an iPad or whatever, a tablet, you'll see a little box. So just click that box and we'll send you this Bible as well. So call the number, click the box. Let us know that you decided to follow Jesus. God bless you. It's been a pleasure to be with you today.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-04 21:42:05 / 2023-07-04 21:56:43 / 15

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