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Sunday Message: Everyone Needs Jesus

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
November 8, 2020 3:00 am

Sunday Message: Everyone Needs Jesus

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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November 8, 2020 3:00 am

In today’s episode, Pastor Greg Laurie explores two examples of healings by Jesus. He tackles questions like, “Why does God allow sickness?” and “Why doesn’t God heal everyone?” It’s a powerful message from Mark 5 titled “Everyone Needs Jesus.” 

Notes

One of the people who needed Jesus was a poor, helpless, and hopeless woman.

In contrast, the other principal character was a man of power and prestige.

Everyone needs Jesus.

In the first movement we see Jesus has power over nature as He calmed the storm.

In the second movement we see Jesus has power over evil as He delivered the demonized man.

In the third movement we will see that Jesus has power over death and sickness.

Key Questions:

Where does sickness come from?

Why does God allow it?

Does God still heal today?

Why doesn’t God heal everyone?

Read: Mark 5:21–29

This may have even been a divine test for Jairus.

His delays are not necessarily His denials.

They wanted a healing and Jesus wanted a resurrection!

1. Where does sickness come from?

Sickness and death came as a result of the curse of sin.

2. Why does God allow sickness?

3. Does God still heal today?

Read: Mark 5:30–34

4. Why doesn’t God heal everyone?

If you’re not feeling His touch upon you, reach out and touch Him.

Read: Mark 5:35–36, Mark 5:38–40 

Scriptures Referenced

Mark 5:26

Romans 5:12

2 Corinthians 12:7–10

Isaiah 53:4

1 Peter 2:24

James 4:2

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Learn more about Greg Laurie and Harvest Ministries at harvest.org.

This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.

Support the show: https://harvest.org/donate/

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Hey everybody, Greg Laurie here. You're listening to the Greg Laurie Podcast and my objective is to deliver, hopefully, compelling practical insights in 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. to Mark chapter five. The title of my message is Everyone Needs Jesus. Do you know someone that needs Jesus?

Why don't you text them right now and tell them to go to harvest.org and watch. But let's start with a prayer. Father, now we ask you to speak to our hearts because I know I'm speaking to people out there who are hurting, people who are lonely, people who are scared of the future, people that are dealing with physical problems, illnesses. I know I'm speaking to someone today that has lost a loved one, so I pray that your word will connect and that they will find hope. We commit this time of Bible study to you now. In Jesus' name we pray, amen.

Let me start with a question. Have you ever been in a situation so bleak it seemed as though it would never change? And if we likened it to a storm, you're in the middle of a tumultuous storm and then suddenly the storm just stopped and the sun came out and the birds are singing and everything was better. Or maybe you had things going wonderfully in your life and all of a sudden you were hit with a severe illness.

Or maybe it was a loss of a loved one and you don't know how you're going to get through this. The reason I bring the scenarios up is that is exactly what we're looking at in the story before us in Mark chapter five. This is a story of two very different people. One was a man, the other was a woman. One was unknown, one was relatively famous. What they had in common was they both needed Jesus. Starting with this woman. She was in a helpless, hopeless situation.

She had spent all of her money on doctors to no avail and she could not get rid of this horrible sickness that plagued her that we'll talk about in a moment. The second person in our story was a man who was a ruler of the local synagogue. He had power and prestige but he needed Jesus too because his beloved daughter was at death's door. So the point of it is everybody needs Jesus.

Every man, every woman, every old person, every young person, every middle aged person, every middle aged person who thinks they're a young person. Whoever you are, everyone needs Jesus. He is there for you. Now this story is a part of a trilogy here in Mark chapter five about the power of Jesus Christ. In the first movement of the chapter we see that Christ has power over nature as he stops a storm from raging with the words peace be still. Then we see Jesus casting demons out of a man showing that Christ has power over evil. And in this message we're gonna see Jesus has power over sickness and death. The point is he can deliver you from whatever you are facing.

And I'm also gonna answer the following questions in this message. Number one, where does sickness come from? Number two, why does God allow sickness? Number three, does God still heal today? And fourth and lastly, why doesn't God heal everyone? Let's look now at Mark chapter five starting in verse 21.

We read these words. Jesus got into the boat again and went to the other side of the lake when a large crowd gathered around him on the shore. Then a leader of the local synagogue whose name was Jairus arrived. When he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet pleading fervently with him saying, my little daughter is dying. Please come and lay your hands on her.

Heal her so she can live. Jesus went with him and all the people followed, crowding around him. A woman in the crowd who had suffered for 12 years with constant bleeding and had suffered a great deal from many doctors over the years and spent everything she had to pay him but had gotten no better, but in fact had gotten worse, heard about Jesus so she came up from behind him through the crowd and touched his robe. But he thought to herself, if I can touch his robe, I can be healed. Immediately the bleeding stopped and she could feel it in her body and she had been healed of her terrible condition.

So while this young girl had experienced 12 years of relative happiness as the apple of her daddy's eye, I'm sure he doted on her and loved her in so many ways. It's shown by his urgency as he comes to Jesus and this sick woman had experienced 12 years of pain, rejection, and tears. Yet on the same afternoon, both of their lives were dramatically changed by their encounter with Jesus Christ. Now one of these people is a well-known ruler of the local synagogue and his name is Jairus. His daughter suddenly fell ill and he felt that he needed to go to Jesus, but as he's on his way home with Jesus to help him, this woman sort of bursts on the scene.

But as we'll see, this interruption became an opportunity. But let's focus a little bit on Jairus and what actually happened. I already said his little girl was 12 years old and suddenly she's sick and he's trying everything he can to get her better and nothing is working and he hears that Jesus is near. Now I don't know if Jairus believed in Jesus yet, if he had embraced him and put his faith in him.

He obviously was a Jewish spiritual leader, but apparently he believed that Jesus had the power to heal. So he approaches Christ and makes this amazing statement. Come, lay your hands on my daughter and I believe she will be healed.

I mean, that's a lot of faith. He just felt if Jesus can touch her, I know she'll be healed. So Jesus says, all right, so they're making their way to the home of Jairus. The crowd is following and all of a sudden, just seemingly out of nowhere, some woman touches the hem of Jesus' garment, which is no big deal. But it's that Christ suddenly stops and asks the question, who touched me?

Now, how easily could Jairus have said, hey lady, hold on, he's with me, no cuts. Remember when you were in school? Some of you still are and we'd be waiting to eat that horrible food in schools. Is the food any better in schools today?

It never was back when I went to school, sort of like school food, hospital food and oxymoron. You know, it's not really very good. But boy, if someone cut in our line, we'd say, hey man, no cuts. Jairus could have said that to that woman. What are you doing?

He's going home with me right now. But actually, Jairus did not do that. Maybe it's because he knew, well, that's how Jesus rolls.

He always has time for hurting people. Jairus no doubt heard the story of how Jesus healed that demoniac of the Gadarenes and his life had been so transformed. He had heard the story of how they lowered the paralyzed man through the opening in the roof and Jesus touched him and forgave his sin. So he wasn't going to criticize Jesus and maybe we could say this was a test for Lazarus. Maybe if he had failed this test, it would have turned out differently. I don't know.

But if it was a test, Jairus certainly passed it with flying colors. But sometimes God doesn't move as quickly as we want him to move, does he? You know, God says my ways are not your ways and my thoughts are not your thoughts. And God's timing is often different than ours. We want things now. We live in a day of getting instant information. Our phone buzzes or beeps and we get that newsfeed and we know what's going on as it's happening. We get things quickly.

We get food from Uber Eats and we get here and we get there. Everything happens quickly. And then God says, well, just wait.

Wait on the Lord and he will renew your strength. And we're thinking, ah, I don't really want to do that. You know, maybe you're a young person and you're single and you're saying, Lord, when are you going to bring that man or that woman into my life? I want to get married.

I mean, I'm 17 years old. I'm tired of waiting. Or maybe you're saying, Lord, when are you going to open that door of opportunity for me to serve you? Or you might be asking, Lord, how long are you going to let that person get away with that sin? Or maybe you're saying, Lord, when are you going to come back and judge this world and return and rule over us again? And sometimes in our impatience we may take things into our own hands.

But not Jairus. He's going to wait. He'll just wait until Jesus does what he's going to do and then Jesus will come with him to his home and heal his daughter. I think we need to remember that God's delays are not necessarily his denials. Maybe I'm talking to somebody right now that's been praying about something and it hasn't happened as quickly as you want it to happen so you are thinking God is saying no. That may be true.

I won't rule that out. So maybe God is saying wait. God answers prayer in three ways. Yes, no, and wait.

And there's a reason he's having you wait. Remember the story of Mary and Martha and Lazarus? They were close friends of Jesus. Lazarus died. Jesus showed up there in their hometown of Bethany and he said your brother is going to live again. See Mary and Martha were upset that Jesus didn't come to their town sooner when he found out their brother and his friend was sick. But Jesus sort of delayed his arrival if you will. So by the time he hit town not only was Lazarus dead but Jesus even missed the funeral and he promised Mary and Martha your brother will live again. And they said well Lord we know yes and the resurrection on the last day and Jesus said listen I am the resurrection on the life. He that believes in me though he were dead yet shall he live and whosoever lives and believes in me shall never die. Listen they wanted a healing. Jesus wanted a resurrection. So maybe you're praying for one thing but God wants to do above and beyond that. Listen God's at work. He knows what he's doing.

Wait on his timing. So this woman touches the hem of the garment of Jesus. She had this medical condition. We don't even really know what it was but we know that she bled perpetually. Maybe it was some kind of a hemorrhage and no doctor could help her. And by the way the remedies back in these days could be really strange so I don't know if she ever had any proper medical attention. But she had spent all of her money maybe on quack doctors promising her a remedy or a solution. And she reasoned if I can touch Jesus I know I can be healed.

Actually we're told in Mark chapter 5 verse 26. She suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and spent all that she had and instead of getting better she only got worse. And she thought if I can touch the Lord everything will change. That brings me to my first question. Is it presumptuous to think that God heals people today? Let me answer those questions I raised a little bit earlier about healing.

Let's start with that first question. Where does sickness come from? Why do we even have to get sick?

Well listen to this. It was never part of God's original plan. We weren't supposed to get sick. We weren't supposed to age. We weren't supposed to die.

It goes back to our first parents Adam and Eve there in the garden. If Adam and Eve had not eaten of that forbidden fruit we would not get sick. If Adam and Eve had not eaten of the forbidden fruit we would not age.

If Adam and Eve had not eaten of the forbidden fruit I would have hair still. So we age and we have illness and ultimately we die. Romans 5 12 says as sin entered the world through one man and death through sin. In this way death came to all men because all have sinned. But why does God allow sickness?

That's the second question. Why does God allow sickness? Short answer. There's a lot I can say.

Here's a short answer. God allows sickness in our lives sometimes to bring us to him. And I've heard many stories of people that felt they had no need for God. But when they got ill on their death bed or maybe in a hospital room they asked for spiritual help and of course they found it. So sometimes it's to get our attention. The psalmist said before I was afflicted I went astray but now I have kept your word.

But listen. Sometimes God allows sickness and the life of the believer to keep us humble. Let's take the apostle Paul as an example. He was transformed with the power of God on the Damascus road and put his faith in Jesus.

While he was on his way to hunt down and put Christians to death. Then God used Paul of course to write a good portion of the Bible in his wonderful epistles. In addition to that he led many people to Christ. He established churches and God even healed people through Paul. And if that wasn't enough Paul had the amazing experience of going to heaven.

Of actually going to glory and getting a glimpse of what was ahead. And then he came back to this earth. This may have happened during one of his attacks.

The attacks against him when he was stoned in particular. And they thought he was dead and he came back to life. That's maybe the moment when Paul went to heaven. And so when you've been to heaven and you've seen heaven and God's used you to write epistles.

That's pretty heady stuff. So listen to what Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 12. To keep me from becoming proud. I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud.

Three different times I asked the Lord to take it away. And each time he said my grace is all you need and my power works best in weakness. Then Paul says so now I boast about my weaknesses so the power of Christ can work through me. That is why I take, this is crazy, this is why I take pleasure in weaknesses and insults and hardships and persecutions and troubles. I suffer for Christ for when I am weak then I am strong. A thorn in the flesh. God allowed a messenger from Satan, a demon no doubt, to bring hardship into the life of the great apostle to keep him humble.

Another reason God allows sickness is to be glorified through your life as you honor God even when you're struggling with the sickness. I think of two people that I've gotten to know that are so impressive to me. One is Joni Eareckson Tada. I mean she is literally a national treasure. This is a lady who as a young girl through a diving accident became a quadriplegic. And she's been in a wheelchair now for so many years. But I'll tell you God has used Joni to bring encouragement and hope to people all around the world. Not just disabled people but all people.

And in many ways you could say Joni has turned a disability into an ability, a supernatural ability. God allows all sorts of things he does not approve of. He doesn't approve of spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis. He doesn't approve of stroke.

He does not approve of Down syndrome or autism or Alzheimer's. But a Christian friend shared with me ten little words when I was first injured that changed my life. God permits what he hates to accomplish that which he loves. And so the world's worst murder becomes the world's only salvation. And my friend who shared those ten little words with me, God permits what he hates to accomplish that which he loves, said Joni the same is true in your life. God permitted what he hated, a spinal cord injury, to accomplish something that he loves more than the hardship you are going to have to go through for the rest of your life. And that is Christ in me, the hope of glory.

The whole point behind my quadriplegia is that I get to know Jesus in such a tender, warm, poignant, personal, powerful way. I mean, my goodness, every single morning when I wake up, I think I shared this with the women when I was here the last time. Literally, I wake up in the morning and my girlfriends are running water for coffee. They're going to come into my bedroom.

They're going to have a cheery, happy hello. And there I am, almost 98% of the time, lying there with my eyes closed thinking, God, I hate quadriplegia. I am so tired of this. I have no strength for this day. I have no resources, no power, no energy. I cannot do quadriplegia today, but Jesus, you can.

So you can, I can do all things to you. So would you please be the good quadriplegic today because I cannot do it. And it is the perfect example of dying to self so that God's power can live through me, which makes the smile that I have on my face when I wheel out of the front door in the morning, ain't made of Colgate.

This is a real smile, hard fought for and hard won every single morning. And Greg, that's the Christian way to wake up. That's the, that's the best way to, that's the biblical way to wake up. Needing Jesus desperately. And then I think of a friend of mine named Nick Vujicic.

Nick was born without his limbs and God has used him to help people literally all around the world, especially young people who are depressed and dealing with all the challenges they face and there is Nick before them with all of his problems radiating joy and sharing Jesus. When I see God face to face, this is my accuser Satan. I'll be standing over there, Jesus by my side. Satan's going to say, Father God, Almighty, this is the sinful account of Nick Vujicic, born on the 4th of December 1982, Melbourne, Australia. He's done this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, six years later, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this.

Seventeen years later, this, this, this, this, this, this. He finally finishes and he says he is guilty for his sins and he is a sinner. He is mine. Jesus says Father God, Nick at age 15 gave his life to Jesus Christ, to me, and he believed in your plan for him after he read John chapter nine, where I healed a blind man, Jesus says. And he realized, Father, that if you had a plan for a blind man, then you had a plan for him. And even though he cried for arms and legs, he realized that when he doesn't get a miracle, you can still use him to be a miracle for someone else.

And so God can be glorified through your sickness. There's reasons he allows it that sometimes we don't understand, but this brings us to question number three, does God still heal today? Does God still heal today? And I believe the answer is yes. Does he heal everyone? The answer is no. Does he heal some people?

The answer is yes. But know this, God has the ability to heal, God has the desire to heal, and we need to understand that. Isaiah 53 says of Jesus, he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, and we considered him stricken by God, smitten and afflicted. He was pierced for our transgressions, and he was crushed for our iniquities. The punishment that brought us peace was upon him. Listen, and by his wounds we are healed. Peter commenting on that same verse in 1 Peter 2.24 says, Christ bore our sins on the tree, and by his wounds you have been healed. And the word that Peter uses there for healed is a word that always speaks of physical healing. So can God heal?

The answer is yes. So why are some of us still sick? Are you ready for my super simple answer? It may be because you've not asked God to heal you. In the book of James it says, you have not because you asked not.

Simple as that. You have not because you asked not. Jesus said, ask and it shall be given to you. Seeking you shall find. Knock on the door shall be opened.

And in the original language, there's an ascending intensity to those verbs, meaning keep asking, keep seeking, keep knocking, keep praying. Now Paul prayed three times that God would remove his thorn in the flesh, then the Lord said, my grace is sufficient for you. But other times the Lord will say yes.

Maybe not after the first time you prayed or the second or the third, but maybe at a certain moment he says, okay, I'm going to heal. That's what this woman did. She thought if I can touch him I'll be healed.

And so that is what happened to her. So let's go back to Mark chapter five verse 30. Jesus realized at once that healing power had gone out from him. And he turned around to the crowd and said, who touched me? And the disciples turned and said, Lord, this crowd is all around you. How can you ask who touched me?

But he kept looking around because he wanted to see who had done it. Then the frightened woman, trembling at the realization of what happened to her, came and fell to her knees in front of him and told him what she had done. And Jesus said, daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over.

Don't you love that story? Who touched me? The disciples basically say, excuse me, Jesus? Who didn't touch you? Everybody's touching you. They're grabbing you. They're pulling on you. They want to be near you. No, but someone touched me in a different way.

That brings me to question number four. Why doesn't God heal everyone? Clearly in this story there is a cause and effect between her faith and her healing. So when you are sick or when you have a need, you cry out and you say, Lord, help me.

Lord, heal me. So sometimes it's your faith. And I bring this up because some will say, well, if you're not healed, it's because you have a lack of faith.

You know, not necessarily. This woman had great faith. But in the case of the daughter of Jairus, we don't see the daughter applying any faith. It was the faith of the father.

In the case of Lazarus being raised from the dead, clearly Mary and Martha, his sisters, had no faith. But Jesus chose to do it. So God can and will heal who he will heal.

Call out to him with as much faith as you can muster. Like that one man who prayed, Lord, I believe, help my unbelief. Who touched me, Jesus says. You know, literally that could be translated, who touched me on my clothes.

Because power went out of him. Maybe I'm talking to somebody right now who would say, I would love to have Jesus touch me, but I don't feel his touch. Then be like this woman. If you're not feeling his touch, reach out to him and touch him. The Bible says draw near to God and he will draw near to you.

He's touchable. He's someone you can reach out to right now. So here's this woman. She's healed and Jesus wants to commend her. She probably thought, oh no, I'm scared. He's gonna be mad at me.

He wasn't mad. He wanted to say, lady, way to go. This was an act of great faith, which you did.

Meanwhile, as this beautiful story is unfolding, something tragic now happens. Go back to Mark chapter five, verse 35. While he was still speaking to her, messengers arrived from the home of Jairus, the leader of the synagogue, and they told him, your daughter is dead.

No use in troubling the teacher now. Don't miss this next verse. Jesus overheard them and said to Jairus, don't be afraid, just have faith. How devastating that must have been for Jairus to hear those words. Your daughter is dead. I've stood in the shoes of Jairus, not losing a daughter, but losing a son. Our son Christopher went to be with the Lord 12 years ago. He died in an automobile accident. And I remember distinctly the day I heard the unthinkable news that he was no longer with us.

To see my life changed is an understatement. And I bring this up from time to time. And maybe someone would say, Greg, maybe you should stop talking about it. Maybe you need to get over it. Let me just say to you, if you know someone who's lost a loved one, especially a child, never say to them, you need to get over it, that's an aberration. You see, we know that we'll lose grandparents in time. We know that our parents will die in time. We know even a spouse could potentially die. But we never make plans for our children preceding us to death.

It's out of the natural order. That is not something a parent gets over. Even decades after it happens, they still remembered, it's still painful, but you can get through it. And that's why I bring it up.

Because whenever I bring this topic up, I'm flooded with responses. People write me, they call me, and they ask me for help. Because you know, when you've heard that your child has died, you almost feel as though your life is over and your world is ended, and you don't know how you're gonna get through it. And so what I wanna say to someone right now, if you've lost a loved one, and especially, a child, you can get through this by hanging on to Jesus Christ.

He's your only hope at a time like this. Jairus heard those dreadful daughters, your daughter is, excuse me, Jairus heard those dreadful words, your daughter is dead. But I love the response of Jesus. He said, don't be afraid, just have faith.

You see, Jairus had to choose which voice he was gonna listen to. Are you gonna listen to the voice of the man that just said your daughter is dead? Or are you gonna listen to the voice of Jesus who said, don't be afraid, just have faith? And in the same way, we choose every day what voice we're gonna listen to. Are we gonna listen to the voice of God as he speaks to us through scripture, through our Christian friends, maybe even through this message? Are we gonna listen to the voice of the culture, or even the voice of the devil, who would say to you, you're worthless, you'll never amount to anything, you're pathetic, you're a failure, you shouldn't even be alive, your life isn't even worth living, he's a liar. Don't listen to that voice, listen to the voice of God who says, I love you, I have a plan for you, I have a future for you, trust me, don't be afraid. You know, Jairus could have beat himself up over this and said, this is my fault.

I should have been more persistent. I think when a child dies, the father may react differently than the mother. The father feels he needed to fix it. You know, dads fix things, right? You know, when a child wants assurance they go to mom for a hug, but when they need something done, or they need some money, or something repaired, dad, can you do this?

We're used to fixing things, and it's very frustrating when you can't fix the child who has left you. And so, he probably felt horrible about this. But it's amazing to me, because we don't see him saying anything like that. We see him trusting the Lord and waiting on the Lord. And it's kind of an amazing thing that Jairus approached Jesus and humbled himself and begged Jesus to help him.

Listen, it's hard for us to understand this. Jesus was not high on the cultural ladder. Jairus was very high on the ladder. He's a spiritual leader of the local synagogue. He was a somebody. Jesus, wasn't he like the son of a carpenter? And wasn't he from Nazareth, not a city with a great reputation? As Nathaniel said, can any good thing come out of Nazareth? Yet this man of prestige and power humbles himself before Jesus, because he recognized Jesus was not the son of a carpenter. He recognized Jesus was the son of God. And Jesus has the ability to heal my daughter. But now we need something even greater than a healing, he needs a resurrection. And he's waiting on the Lord to do his work. I love what Christ says, don't be afraid, go on believing there in verse 36.

That can be literally translated, keep on believing. So now they come to the home of Jairus. What a tragic and depressing scene they come to. They have all these whalers who are moaning and crying and playing musical instruments. This doesn't make sense to us today, but back in this culture, depending on your level of income, when someone died, you would bring in literally professional whalers. I don't know where you found them.

Maybe you Googled and it was like whalers are us. I don't know, but these people would come and they would play musical instruments and scream and moan. And so that's the scene Christ comes to. All these people lamenting and crying and the music is playing and Jesus walks in and here's what happens.

Look at Mark chapter five, verse 38. When they came to the home of the synagogue leader, Jesus saw much commotion and weeping and wailing. He went inside and he asked, why all this commotion and weeping?

The child isn't dead, she's only sleeping. Don't miss the next verse. And the crowd laughed at him.

Wait, what? Oh, they went from mourning to mockery in a nanosecond. Unbelief laughs at God's word, but faith believes for a miracle.

Clearly this environment was not conducive to what Jesus wanted to do. So he tells all these people, get out, leave the room. They're all upset, taking their musical instruments.

Guy blowing the flute a couple extra times. Just leave, I don't want any of you here. Peter, James, John, come on guys, come with me. And they go in to see this amazing sight of what Jesus is about to do. Jesus says, the child is not dead, she's only sleeping. You know, death for a Christian is often compared in the Bible to sleeping.

By the way, that analogy is never used of death for the non-believer, only of the believer. The Bible talks in 1 Thessalonians about those that sleep, speaking of those that are dead or are in the graves. You know, when I was a little kid, I hated it when someone would say to me, it's time to take a nap. Oh, I hated naps as a kid. Now if my wife says, Craig, why don't you go take a nap? I'm like, yes, nap, you know.

So it's all how you see it, but we don't have to be afraid of sleep or a nap. When even Stephen, the first martyr of the church, was put to death by stoning, a violent way to die, the Bible says he fell asleep. So Jesus says she's only sleeping, and then he raises her again. We read here in Mark that he goes to the little girl, and he says to her, little lamb, arise. And immediately, life comes back into her body, and we read that she's walking around, and I love this detail. Jesus said, give her something to eat.

Isn't that great? Yeah, you're raised from the dead, probably hungry. Have something to eat.

Give this girl a sandwich. Amazing story. How my heart would have rejoiced if someone would have said to me, your son has risen from the dead.

But that didn't happen for me. I've never shared this detail publicly, but the fact is, after our son died, we wanted to go see him, his body, and we were told he was unviewable. So I never got to see him in any way after he passed into eternity.

I was given a plastic bag with the things that he had with him. I'd had his watch, it had his wedding ring, and it had his wallet, and in his wallet, there was a little card for a carousel he would take his daughter, Stella, on, and it just was heartbreaking, and I held this watch, and this is a watch I gave to him. And on the back of the watch, I inscribed these words, Jeremiah 29, 11, I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and out of evil to give you a future and a hope. And now my son is gone, and I'm reading the scripture on the back of his watch, and I'm thinking, where's the future and the hope? Well, the future and the hope ultimately is in heaven, isn't it? It's being with Jesus, and though it was devastating that day, and it's still heartbreaking to this day, I have that hope still. And Jeremiah 29, 11 is still one of my favorite verses, because I know I will see my son again, because death is not the end of the road, it's just a bend in the road that leads to heaven. Recently, I was asked to go see a lady from our church who was dying of cancer, and I remember this lady in particular, she was in her 60s, she would often sit in the front row lifting her hands and praying to the Lord, she was one of the most joyful people I've ever seen. She'd even done a little dance, she kinda did when she was worshiping the Lord, and now she's in a bed and hospice at home, ready to pass into eternity. So I went over to her home, and her family was gathered around her, and I spoke to her, she was not conscious, but maybe she heard me, and I shared scriptures with her about the hope that was before her as she entered into God's presence.

I spoke to her family about the hope that we have in Christ that our loved ones who proceed us to heaven are not just a part of our past, they're also a part of our future, and we had prayer together. So, look, sometimes God heals, and it's a glorious thing when he does, and I've seen people heal as we've prayed for them, and we give him the glory. Sometimes God allows the sickness to remain so he can be glorified through it.

Sometimes he does it a little more slowly than you would like him to, and sometimes he just allows our life to follow the natural cycle. The Bible says there's a time to be born, and there's a time to die, and then we're all gonna pass into eternity. The Bible says our life is like a vapor of smoke. It appears for one moment and vanishes away, a vapor of smoke. So I've got this little can of facial spray.

I don't really use it, but it's a prop, okay? But it puts out a little spray. Think of that as a vapor. Think of all the things we pursue in life, and I have to give credit to my friend Christine Kane.

I saw her do this in the video, and I've stolen this illustration from her, so here it is, and I probably won't do it as well as she did it, but here's the idea. All the things we pursue in life, boy, I tell you what, if I could just get this ultimate car, look at that car, coolest car on the road, and that's mine, nice, a vapor of smoke that appears for a moment and vanishes away. Oh, if I could just have this house and remodel it, and maybe add a room to it, yeah, okay, nice, a vapor of smoke, it appears for a moment and vanishes away. Well, I built this great career and this huge company. Yeah, nice, a vapor of smoke, it appears for a moment and vanishes away. Oh, my body's in amazing shape, and I've been working out for hours.

Nice, a vapor of smoke, it appears for a moment and vanishes away. Life comes and goes so quickly. The Bible says life is like a story. It's already been told, and we put all of our stock in these things, but what really matters is the afterlife, the afterlife, which goes on forever. The before life, the life we're in now, is pretty short in comparison, isn't it? We don't know when this life will end, but what we wanna make sure of is that we have a relationship with God. As glorious as it was that this woman was healed of this medical condition, she ultimately died, didn't she? As wonderful as it was that the daughter of Jairus was brought back to life, she died, and Jairus died, and we all die, and Christ died and rose again from the dead, and because he died and rose again from the dead, we don't have to be afraid to die as Christians. That doesn't mean we have a death wish. It doesn't mean we don't take care of ourselves, but what it does mean is we know that we will go to heaven one day and be with him, and I wanna ask you in closing, if you were to die today, tonight, would you go to heaven? You might say, well, I hope so.

I hope so. I've lived a good life, tried to be a good person. Well, you know what? It's not about being a good person, because the reality is you and I and all of us are sinners, and we've all broken God's commandments. Heaven is not for good people. Heaven is for forgiven people, and the only way you're gonna get to heaven and the only way I'm gonna get to heaven is not based on what I've done.

It's based on what he did, and what did he do? Jesus died on the cross in your place. As the apostle Paul said, he loved me and gave himself for me. Jesus summed it up this way. For God so loved the world, he gave his only begotten Son, and whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. Christ died so you can live, and you can come into a relationship with him right now, and know with certainty, not hope, know that you'll go to heaven when you die. The Bible says, these things we write to you that believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life. You say, okay, well, I want that. I want Jesus in my life.

What do I need to do? Number one, you need to admit you're a sinner. The Bible says all of sin and fallen short of God's glory.

Just own it, admit it, don't make excuses for it. Say, I know I've sinned and broken God's commandments. Number two, recognize Christ died on the cross for your sin. That's why he went to the cross. It wasn't an aberration or an interruption of his beautiful ministry. It was the focus and purpose of his ministry.

He came to that little manger in Bethlehem to live a perfect life and then to die a perfect death. Recognize Christ died for you. Thirdly, you need to repent of your sins.

The Bible says God has commanded people everywhere to repent. What does that mean? It means to change your direction. It's a military term.

It means to do an about face. So you turn away from your sin and turn toward God, and then you must receive Christ into your life. You must say, Jesus, come into my heart. Forgive me of my sin.

I wanna be your child. Jesus says he stands at the door and he knocks, and if he'll hear his voice and open the door, he will come in. Have you asked Jesus to come into your life yet? One last thing. Do it now. Don't do it tomorrow. Don't do it in a month. Don't do it in 20 years.

Do it now. The Bible says today is the day of salvation. I'm telling you right now, you can pray a prayer with me, and then as a result of that, know that your sin is forgiven, and know that you'll go to heaven when you die and start discovering God's amazing plan for you. So if you want Jesus to come into your life, if you want him to forgive you of your sin, if you want to go to heaven when you die, if you want your guilt taken away, I want you to pray with me right now.

That's right. Right now, I want you to pray with me. In fact, you could pray this prayer that I'm about to pray out loud after me. Just pray these words. Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner, but I know that you are the savior who died for me and rose again from the dead. Jesus, come into my life. I choose to follow you from this moment forward as my savior and Lord, as my God and friend. In Jesus' name I pray, amen.

Hey everybody, Greg Laurie here. Thanks for listening to our podcast. And to 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 knowgod.org. That's K-N-O-W-G-O-D dot org.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-29 12:03:20 / 2024-01-29 12:21:43 / 18

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