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50th Anniversary Event: Pastor Greg Laurie's Message

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
November 25, 2023 3:00 am

50th Anniversary Event: Pastor Greg Laurie's Message

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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November 25, 2023 3:00 am

On November 19, we celebrated 50 years of Harvest! To God be the glory!

In Pastor Greg Laurie's celebratory message, he touches on Harvest's evangelistic work over the years, the never-ending need for the gospel, and hope for the future. He also welcomes a special guest, Pastor Skip Heitzig, who shares encouraging words with us.


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You can all be seated. I wanted to let you know that we've, another milestone we've reached. Well, first of all, Kathy and I are celebrating 50 years of marriage as well. And that story I told earlier where the wife said, I'm tired of you too.

That was Kathy, so kind of an awkward moment. Not really. But huge milestone, milestone, milestone. You know, we've been preaching the gospel, obviously, here in the church from the day we began. And then we started doing outreach events. And then in the early 90s, Pastor Chuck came to me with this vision of doing these large scale evangelistic crusades. And we just celebrated over 30 years of doing those. And so we've been sort of looking at it.

And adding up the numbers. Like how many people have made a profession of faith? Well, we know from the crusades alone, over 600,000 people have.

Okay, so we know that. But then we started thinking about all the numbers of people that have come to faith in our church over the years, over these many years. And then outreach events that we have done apart from the crusades. And we can say, and this is a conservative statement, through our outreach efforts in the last 50 years we have seen 1 million professions of faith in Jesus Christ. So wow. So you wonder what does 1 million people look like?

Well look at this photograph here and you will see. That is a million people. So that photograph was taken in South Korea at a Billy Graham crusade. I think that may have been the largest gathering of people for any evangelistic event in history. And there it was.

So you think, you know the Bible says there is joy in heaven over one sinner that comes to repentance. So we are just so thankful that God has allowed us to do that. So what is next? Well what is next is we are going to just keep what we are doing. Keep doing it.

Continue on. I know culture changes. I know times change.

But the basic need of every person is still the need for a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. That is never going to change. When I started I was preaching to an older generation. That would be my parents' generation.

The World War II people. Often called the greatest generation. Then there was my generation.

The baby boomers. We were the youth of the day. We are not the youth of the day anymore. One of our anthems was forever young. That is over with clearly. Now we have gone from acid rock to acid reflux.

It is really very sad. But then we have Gen X. And you know a lot of times Gen X gets overlooked because the millennials sort of took all the air out of the room. But there is Gen X and there is the millennials. Now there is Gen Z.

And they say that the next generation is called the alpha generation. Ok so I know these things change but the gospel is for every generation. That is what the Bible says. Psalm 119 verse 90 says your faithfulness continues from generation to generation. Speaking of generations in Acts 13 it says David served the will of God in his generation and then he fell asleep. So you know we are each called to our generation. And one day I will fall asleep.

I already do that. But when the Bible uses this phrase it actually is speaking of death. And one day I will go on you know and then I pass the baton on to the next generation. And then they carry that baton and they pass it on to the next generation.

This is not a solo thing. This is something that we pass on from generation to generation because it is never going to change. And this is what we believe so strongly. So here is the commitment I am making to this church for the future. I will continue to offer theology without apology.

I will continue to teach the Word of God. Because that is what people need. Now people say oh no this young generation they have a short attention span.

You have to make everything small and short. Little sermonettes. The problem is sermonettes produce Christianettes.

And we don't need that now do we? I think people develop an appetite for what you feed them. And I think if you feed them the Word of God they will come wanting more of the Word of God. So we will continue to do that. We will continue to. We will continue to preach the gospel everywhere we can.

Attempting to reach unexpected people in unexpected places with an unexpected message. What we have been able to do in film has been so thrilling. And my friend John Irwin who directed Jesus Revolution is here tonight as well with his wife Beth.

And it has been fantastic. Did you know that 25 million people have seen Jesus Revolution. And all around the world.

All around the world. And ultimately it may be as many as 100 million will see it. And people have come to Christ watching this movie you know. One of the things that was so amazing is on the heels of the film so many people wanted to get baptized. And specifically baptized at this beach where the scenes were shot and where the original baptisms took place.

It is called Pirates Cove Beach. And so we announced a baptism after the film had shown. And 20,000 people showed up. We have never had anything like that happen. And 4,500 people were baptized in one day.

It is crazy. So it literally was the largest baptism in American history. So here is the thing.

You know this gives me hope for the future. Because we will talk about what happened 50 years ago. It wasn't that glorious. Yeah it was. But guess what.

What just happened at that baptism was bigger than anything we did back then. I have been often asked do you think we will see another revival in America. My answer is I sure hope so.

Because that is our only hope to turn our nation around. It is sort of like when Kathy and I go on a walk and as you saw she has beautiful thick hair. And I have no hair. And so we will be walking and I will say, Kathy it is starting to rain. She will say, it is not raining. Kathy it is starting to rain. No Greg it is not raining. I will say, Kathy bald men always know when it is raining first. And sure enough she will say, it is raining.

I told you five minutes ago. And what I am seeing right now are little drops of rain. Like when it begins to rain. A drop here. A drop there.

Then it is more. And all of a sudden it is a downpour. I see hopeful signs that God may be at work bringing a spiritual awakening to our country into this next generation.

Let's pray for that. And I am going to invite my good friend who came all the way from Albuquerque, New Mexico to be with us to say a few words. Pastor Skip Heitzig. So I came here when the church was up on the hill back in 1974, 1975. And I knew Greg, your pastor, when he had hair. And I have watched God be faithful. And this is a testimony of God's faithfulness. But it is also a testimony of the faithfulness of a man of God and his wife and family to God. And Greg has been faithful to teach the Bible. He has been faithful to preach the gospel. And you know only heaven will know. We will get the full extent of it on the other side. Just how many people have been turned around, changed, self-included by the ministry that took place here at Calvary Chapel of Riverside.

It was called originally before it was Harvest Christian Fellowship and now Harvest Church. But there was a couple things I remember back in those days. And I think it wouldn't even be bad to bring them back. One is that people would hold up the one-way sign when worship songs were being played. Do you remember that? And just, you know, we're saying there's one way and it's all about Him. It's just a reminder.

It's all about Him. And the other is the word maranatha, which is a Bible word. It means the Lord is coming and it's a reminder to one another. Hey, the Lord is coming quickly. So let's be about the Father's business and stay at the task and stay faithful to the God who has been faithful to this ministry. Thank you. It's just not fair that not only does Skip have all that hair still, but he's so much taller than me.

Really taller than almost anyone in this room perhaps. But Skip has been such a great friend over the years and a faithful teacher of God's Word and God's used him to impact the whole state of New Mexico and all around the country and we're thankful for Skip and Lenya. So I thought we would have a prayer together and ask God to do it again. That's how we open the service.

Lord, do it again. And then a couple more worship songs. And then I'm going to unleash you to enjoy seeing each other. We have 2,000 In-N-Out burgers here for you tonight.

Okay, so they're available for you to purchase. And I thought it only fitting that we have In-N-Out burger on this night because I'm always referencing In-N-Out burger. And it's one of my favorite places to eat so we are glad they are here with us tonight. And I encourage you afterwards to go and check out our little exhibit.

Our little miniature museum where you can walk through and sort of experience the history of harvest. But let's pray. In fact let's all stand as we pray. And I want to thank you also for just your great responsiveness tonight. You guys are fantastic.

You are singing loudly and laughing at every bad joke I have told and I appreciate that. Let's pray. Thank you. Thank you. I love you too.

Though I don't know you but I love you. Let's pray. Father, we want to give you all the glory for what you have done. But Lord we don't want to live in the past. We want to live in the moment and be ready for the future.

Because your word is relevant to every generation. And as scripture tells us you are the same yesterday, today and forever. I pray especially for the younger people in this room that they will be inspired. That they will go on to have their own spiritual awakening.

And maybe 50 years from today they will be handing that baton on to another generation. It's the gospel. The power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes.

It is the only hope for our country. Lord as we look at America and we look at the world we can clearly see we are in the last days. We can clearly see that you could come back for your church. Pastor Skip reminded us of the word maranatha which speaks of your coming. Lord we want to be ready for your return.

I know we have been talking about it for a while. But you have told us that you are not late as some men count lateness. You are long suffering toward us not only that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. So Lord when that last person believes that you are waiting on we look forward to that meeting in the sky when we are caught up to meet you in a moment in the twinkling of an eye. Until that day Lord let us live godly lives. We need the power of your Holy Spirit. And I think we all should just pray now for the Lord to fill us empower us with the Holy Spirit. In fact I will just pray a prayer. You can just pray it after me if you like.

Just pray this. Lord Jesus I need the power of your Holy Spirit. You have told me to be filled with the Holy Spirit. So fill me with your Spirit right now. Give me all the power I need. Give me all the gifts I need to bring glory to your name and to tell others about Jesus. We receive that power now. Thank you Lord.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-25 04:34:45 / 2023-11-25 04:39:50 / 5

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