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Best of 2020: Pastor Greg Laurie Then & Now: Getting on Our Level

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
January 7, 2021 3:00 am

Best of 2020: Pastor Greg Laurie Then & Now: Getting on Our Level

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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January 7, 2021 3:00 am

Were you around in 1977? Back then, the mini-series “Roots” premiered on TV. A postage stamp was 13 cents, gas was 62 cents. And snow fell in Miami, Florida. In 1977, Pastor Greg Laurie was standing at a pulpit about to preach a message and give his testimony. Today on A New Beginning, we’ll hear that recording. 24-year-old Greg’s voice was a bit higher, but his passion for the gospel was already deep and infectious.

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A New Beginning is the daily half-hour program hosted by Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Southern California. For over 30 years, Pastor Greg and Harvest Ministries have endeavored to know God and make Him known through media and large-scale evangelism. This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.

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The following message from Pastor Greg Laurie is made possible by harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God, to find out how to know God personally go to know God.org KNOW know God.org it would you do me a favor sure this message was someone who needs to hear it. Got one of us on her own level.

Even at the age of 24 Pastor Greg Laurie was preaching the gospel. He was eager to tell people he had an emptiness in his life God decided the only difference is I know what you're thinking about the Lord is old. We are young we are everything from a eight-year-old child lock is one of us the same.

I love you. 77. Back in the miniseries route from your.tv posted which $0.13 $0.62 and snow fell in Miami, Florida in 1977 Pastor Greg Laurie was standing on the prepubescent testimony today on a new beginning will hear that recording 24-year-old boys passion for the gospel already started started gaining popularity, you know, to an intern on dropout. I started out with a bunch of friends that were really in the get loaded in. I started growing my hair longer doing the whole thing and really becoming a hippie. You know that so we had a English class and we're supposed to go watch Romeo and Juliet for our class. So I love that movie and I went in my friend saying let's take LSD all he that'll really be good so we took acid and sat in the movie I was sitting there watching the movie I could watching the wall without backing a just and this girl was sitting in front of us and she turned around for a minute and turned back and I just looked at the girl.

The elk I was stoned watching Romeo and Juliet.

I see this girl and I start going there she is. I've met her finally get off and I looked at her and she looked at me again and wow all I got a meter and so it was weird because the next day I friend of mine and I went over to South near the latest Beatles album and the Beatles had just broken up and it was funny because I followed the career of the Beatles, maybe a little more aggressively than most people. The Beatles really got impact my life. They help me get into drugs and I followed their careers when I watch them break up. It was a strange impact on because I was just coming off psychedelic trip, but I sat there and thought while the Beatles broke up. You know, and I thought some is happening and I knew in my life. A change was coming soon and so I really wanted to meet this girl. So the next day, Monday at school. I was walking across the campus and Isar all right. She was talking to a friend of mine I'll just walk right up there and I looked down and she had a black book with gold edges on it. Then I went. She said Jesus free stuff you want to be popular in school. You don't become a Jesus free because I look at her and thought what a waste man because I used to avoid Christians. I didn't like to talk to them we be on the beach and we see Christians coming. We literally gone hide in the water to get away from them because Christians never went in the water because they didn't want to get the Bibles wet. You know, so here is the beautiful young girl and at that time I was very disappointed because you wasted your life on Jesus and will.

I saw this girl and one that is that not the front lawn and the friends that he there's a guy on campus. Many spelling orange sunshine that LSD case is whether to get all right, you know, for the weekend and so I went walking across the campus looking for this guy and I started hearing this season. I look over and here's the about 50 of these questions sitting love that the way Christians will point out to this guy pointing out so I just looked at him and I saw that girl. Her name was Chris. I saw that there she is man and then I saw this guy talking with sit down and he had long hair and beard while he can look like sort of a turndown guy maybe has some good things the same. If you listen to this guys I set down close enough to hear what they were saying but not too close up. You would think I become one you want to do that. So I sat down and listened and I kept looking at Christian again all man like you like to get the north. Listening to this guy and he said that just shook me off. He said Jesus said you either for me or against me that what does that mean that if I'm not, like one of these Christians that I'm against God that I'm not against God and God got me out of a lot of jams I believe in God not called upon Elise help me out but yet I am not like one of these people began to realize that either. I was for Christ or against, and I was always considered to be neutral to myself, you know, in between, but I realize that to be undecided at that point was to be decided really touched my heart and so the guy said another. Some of you don't want to give your lives to Christ.

Today I want you to stand up right now in the front of a high score me, there's hundreds of kids. They went eating sandwiches and get out to stand a very good Jesus money that is crazy and he people got out and started going up there and I looked out the ground and I started feeling this funny since I something I'd never known before. That was a very alien sensation and it was something just drawing me and calling me. Now I know it was the Holy Spirit. I looked out the ground.

I said I'd like to do and I really would like to see if it's real. I tried everything else. Why can I try that, but I just can't do it and then about a moment later I was up there I don't know what happened but I got up there and they prayed a prayer I don't even remember what I pray I don't remember what happened but I'll remember it was after we were done praying that girl came running up to me and said brother girl Chris.

I like and threw her arms around me and hug me and then I thought a maybe this Christians that you got an idea. Again, my motivation for going in any hearing meeting.

That time was totally wrong. I wanted to meet a girl, but the Holy Spirit had different plans for me and maybe a lot of reasons why you even here tonight. I've heard people say this going to kill remember music really find this is that in all sorts of weird reasons but you know whatever get you here. Once you here to begin to hear the word praise the Lord, because you may have wanted it.

What got us another anyway. I pray and I said Farhat understand that you don't be loaded Christian smoke grass for gas and read the Bible sounds good. How is all set.

So I went off and that weekend we went off into the mountains and a friend of mine said hey Greg you want to drop acid and I always took it whenever drugs drop you right in the spot and I said no and I don't want and I don't know why just don't I just feel like it loaded on grass so I want to go off by myself. I'll see you guys later and I walked off my pickup my pipe and started fillet with some grass and smoke it, and that feeling came to me again when I got the day before and the spirit of the Lord spoke to you don't need that anymore, you don't need that anymore. He spoke to me again. It was like a preacher jumped out of the bushes with a black Bible, God, I wouldn't listen soon. But God spoke to me. The beautiful thing is God comes each one of us on her own level. You know you made this know what I'm saying to go. While he was a mixed up kid that was taking drugs he needed religion but I'm different, you're not different. You have an emptiness inside of you to the only difference is I try to fill my maybe a little differently than you try to feel yours but you know the file thing about the Lord. No matter what our age is how old we are.

How young we are everything from eight-year-old child to a 65-year-old successful businessman to a person that used to be a Mr. universe to a rock musician to normal Joe Schmoe guy. Each one of us sitting I love you in their own way and comes on her own level.

Anyway, he started to speak to me. I realize that was God speaking. Once again I said all right got to give you a chance. Now you got to remember to me smoking grass was not just a past time. It was my life. I actually for my life around it.

It was everything to me. There was nothing more important to me than my drugs.

I love them. They were like the rich man had his money.

I had my drugs and that was my thing.

And for me to give up drugs was a pretty big deal and I said all right God, if your real you really exist.

I've seen all these Christians with their happy faces you real change my life, to give you chance my ticket, ripped it up and threw it down and said all right, so went back to school.

The Christians came up to me and just welcoming in the fellowship hall. God bless your brother Greg, and I didn't like and call brother Greg. But I put up with it. Praise the Lord and all those words. I had a hard time. Praise the Lord and so they said hey man, you know you gotta really watch out to get tempted by the devil tempted by the devil. You believe in the devil all yeah man seems real. You gotta watch out for him is really subtle. He's going to come to you and give you all the things that you want just resistant. I thought hall. Come on, you know, I went to my next class and this girl was in the class a really attractive girl who I've been wanting to meet for a year but I was just totally afraid to talk to her really good looking girl non-Christian girl came up to me and said hey what's your name I said Greg I've never met you before, you know, I can like unit Hollowell just wanted to come up to the mountains with me for the weekend and I went it's the devil was it was then I realized thing with me and I said no and I was saying to myself, what are you doing here I said no, no, I I believe in God. Now that you just all while you don't got away the same way I reacted to Christians a few days before and so after class is over. I was thinking it over I walked out my old buddy Greg you want to smoke the lid of Acapulco Gold right now I'm getting tempted again and I was really a temptation for because I really wanted to do it and I started to realize this whole thing and it was starting to make sense never seen the whole spiritual realm that when I start to enjoy resisting temptation-if not, I don't want it, you know, I all right, I figured something going on you know someone trying to rip me off the monthly sum to this size like you because things were happening that was in some I had to make up it was really existing. So I started reading the Bible and feeling. I don't like to compare God and I don't like when people say Jesus is better than get loaded because I don't think you can compare the creator of the universe to some stupid drug but when I would read his word and pray. I had such a presence of peace had never known before, that I never got from anything and I just while this is great. What I feel.

You know, and I became very excited about Mr. Greg Laurie, the second half of this message from 1977 in just a moment. We sent Pastor Greg studies out the radio, email, satellite and even our Harvest at Home online services and it's encouraging to hear that these messages are impacting lives after great believer in your daily for a couple of months now. They are my favorite devotional and I look forward to getting them every day. In addition, about one month ago I started turning to your life sermon on Harvest at Home.

You inspire me and I get all your jokes.

Thank you for your ministry to bring people to a relationship with God. I'm happy to partner with you in your mission. I pray God continues to bless you exceedingly abundantly more than you can ask or think it's to bring these studies and were thankful for our harvest partners make them possible to partner with us, you can make a donation harvest work and you'll find Pastor Greg's harvest of home services at the same web address harvest award. She will today a unique message from Pastor Greg were listening to a sermon preached when he was just 24 years old and he spoke of his journey to Christ. Let's continue with this presentation. Now, one of the most requested programs of the past year while I got back to school and I had a hard time relating to the Christians because they were the Christians on this campus especially. They love the Lord and they didn't care if anyone knew it.

They would walk down the middle of the campus.

Like I said, singing out loud at the top of their vocal cords.

Praise the Lord, you know and I can relate to that nice and want to be alone or Christian.

You know all believe in God but I won't hang out with them, but then when they want to come onto a Christian meeting. I said all right, so they were at lunch time we went to the room. I sat down and was looking he is not used to get loaded. He's a Christian now where you just sit there in the sky came to preach and out he was kind of a strange brother. He was very fervent and he preach like old-fashioned preacher then you know he's storming around the room and I've never seen anybody talk like this before you know throwing her arms around you know the situations that I didn't know what person would want to speak. So where you know I still really don't know why people talk like that and so I got out of the class this my cousin because brother Greg. I want to give your Bible and you gave me this way.

Five with popsicle sticks glued together to make a cross on it, you know that was coming in well thanks a lot, you know, can I pay for no no you just take this in and read it and it's God's will. Thank you, the room is.com you like to carry a Bible around little ones. You can hide your pocket and so I had this jacket with big pockets on and I said well just the Bible down in the pocket pull the flap over and no one will know.

So I stuck it down and I walked along and I see my friend for like a week while loading buddies you know so I can now go over and visit them as I walked over and looked around and open the bushes and stuff that Bible and hid it in the bushes walked in today Greg we all know where can the Lord, you know that feeling came back and I started feeling what was conviction. The witness when the witness didn't want to do that.

So I sat down seen you for a week.

Where have you been quite a bit anywhere and I just kept updating the subject to Cross-examine any want to smoke a joint.

No, no, I don't want to do that what you're different all nothing but no way was I get a witness.

Suddenly the front door comes bursting open and it was my friend's mother and I don't know how she did it she found my Bible and the bushes.

She said belonged to that line. I took it in every eye in the room went to the book with a black cover and the gold edges in the ribbon. You know that many books have ribbons in them and gold edges.

You must remember that I said Greg what is that Bible. If so, what Greg Bible and then this one guy got all gray are you going to be a good Christian boy now. Praise the Lord thank you Jesus I said you know what this plug you right in the mouth.

I didn't know what it meant to be persecuted to enter it for the Lord.

I want to get that guy. I didn't like it just here. These are the guys that told me no matter whatever happened to each one of us would stick together were your friends and I had that I believe in God, and they were really giving me a hassle over it in my friend my best friend who I've grown up with that you know send me onto the cost of your finish. That's like Alyssa, don't worry, I'm not to get into it.

Same praise the Lord and carrying the Bible to be like everyone else. I just believe in God, well you know what happened. The Lord began to work in my life and pretty soon I started saying praise the Lord. I member the first time I said it was hard, get those words out. Praise the Lord. What an alien set of words to say when you've never known them suddenly to start saying praise God, thank you Jesus and Halle Berry, and things like that.

I started saying that my life started changing and again I started really identifying with the Christians in started realizing they really were. My brothers, sisters Stephanie back in the old drug culture people call each other brother hey brother, but they rip you off a guy looking to go hey sister. What he really wants is I want to go to bed with you and that was the only reason it was just a big faade so I was really paranoid about calling people brother and love because everything the hippie movement offered.

It didn't happen everything the hippie movement offered Christians have a happy love. They had teeth. They had brotherhood they really love each other. They really put down the walls that they cannot now you know Odin, the guy mustard seed. He tells me he's a completed hippie now you know everything the hippie movement offered Jesus Christ gave all the faade limitations that Satan put in it is fulfilled in him, and much more. Besides that, and so I started getting into it when little Bible shut down in Newport Beach not go down there and hang out there after school and one day I saw my old buddy who I talked a little bit earlier. I told him I'd never become like the rest of them here. I had a cross around my neck Bible under my arm and started witnessing to her and I was so excited. I've been a Christian for like two weeks now and I was telling him everything I knew all you Lord.

This is the Lord that I was telling women all of a sudden was a straightahead shop that was right next to our Bible shut but no drug paraphernalia shop guy comes walking out even listening to your Christian I said yes I am. Let me tell you some about your God apparently could study the Bible little bit knew how to make contradictions that didn't really exist, but I didn't know better you just totally put me down totally put down my face totally put down everything I believe in right in front of my friend that I was talking to. I went back and not Bible store and I was mad I started to cry. I said, you know, I just tried to share Jesus with somebody in this guy came out just totally ruined it may begin to share with me about being a Christian and the kind of out of that people have taught you well. Why are people so hostile why you know what is their trap recommend that you remember what you used to feel before your Christian yeah I used to feel this way and now I am one and I'm going back to people just like I used to be. I'm trying to tell them of their doing the same thing I used to do anything to them.

I used to think that way the call know you do that you were never like me but you were just like them. You people think Christians are odd specimen that we were all brought up religious on how many of you were involved in drugs before your Christian God change your life and so many of you know you look at you and you never know it. People think that we're all brought up in Christian homes and taught the Bible.

Since your little kids and in so many of us just had wretched lives men out there in the world anyway, I began to change in my life began to change before my very eyes of the Lord began to make himself real to me later, someone told me about this place called Calvary Chapel thought that there were only about 100 Christians in all California and when they took me to Calvary Chapel and I saw 2000 people crammed into a building. I freaked out I couldn't leave it and I was a little afraid because that's a lot of Christians in one place. You know when I was still adjusting to this whole thing.

I was kinda glad we got there late because there were no seats available, but suddenly someone left out of the second row and it was a seed that Dragon and I went walking in and sitting down and I was sitting there surrounded a happy happy man. You know suddenly this man comes out with a bald head start talking about the Lord, you know, I really had a hard time with adult because at that point I was a real rubble with the adult world. I been through so many things I just felt like I didn't want to bother them here. This guy was an adult, sharing the things of God and I just like I like them right off the bat.

I really think this guy you know and I wasn't things the daddy didn't relate to me like talk in heavy terms are dressed like a young kid and try to be youthful. He just was himself. But of course we know why he has that attraction. Why anybody does the Holy Spirit, I thought you know how to get his head to shine so much the Lord gifted him. And so the changes that happened to all people that give their lives to Christ and they happen to me and I became a new person. Jesus Christ in my life began to change people, tell me to go you psych yourself and that I go just cut that jive right now. I try to psych myself into a lot of things I tried to psych myself out of a lot of things. But the thing when I came to Jesus Christ. I had wasted myself so bad all I did was just throw myself down and say okay God start working.

I didn't even have the ability to psych myself anymore and I know it's the same with many of you we haven't psych yourself into this. We haven't thought ourselves into an emotional high. Christianity is an emotional high time for emotionally I feel.

Lastly, nothing is a Christian. That's not what Christianity is about.

It's about reality.

People accuse up as the other of escaping from reality when in essence we found reality, we come to grips with the eternity we come to grips with life and quit playing little games like little children trying to cover over and pretend that emptiness is in their and we approached it and embraced it and found the one that said I am the way the truth and the life no man comes to the father but by me as the words that I heard that one day change my life. Maybe will change yours tonight. The words in which Jesus said either your forming or against you for Christ and I I don't mean you just believe you exist and say your prayers once in a while. Are you born again is your name written in the book of life.

Are you going to heaven if your answer to those questions to any of them is been no I doubt if you know him or are you against him are you violently opposed to him you want to reject him you want to turn your back on him. You want to be for what I want to be youthful. I don't want to be formed, but I don't want to be against him while you either one of you if you walk out of here tonight. Not for Jesus Christ.

You are just as much in opposition to them as the atheist marking up down the street corner with God is that on the sign: no, I'm not like that yes you are, because either your former against your walking with the Lord you're actually working in opposition against them tonight that the words of him not the words of Greg Laurie, not the words of Calvary Chapel the words of Jesus. And that's what he said. That same Jesus that has changed a lot is knocking on the door of your heart. He says behold I stand at the door not many men will hear my voice, and open the door, I will command line tool to accept Christ.

You are too young to accept Christ know you want, not too old you're not too young you're ready if you want to open your heart yes Jesus I see my need for you, I see that emptiness that I need till I want no eternal life, my life changed.

Greg Laurie message recorded way back in 1977 talking about the importance of coming to the Lord to have our sins forgiven and if you'd like to do that today. Pastor Greg will help you before today's addition of a new beginning. Concludes that he also has a closing comment about what we've heard today so they witness the title of today's presentation. One of our most requested of the past year is Pastor Greg Laurie van and now look for that title@harvest.org if you like an instant replay again.

Just go to harvest.org or four CD copy.

Call 1-800-821-3300. Again, that's 1-800-821-3300 and they were so pleased to mention the Pastor Greg's new film, a rush of hope. Watched by over 1.8 million people over Labor Day is now on DVD by popular demand. It's a powerful presentation of the gospel, along with some outstanding music asked that's working in country Mercy me and Jeremy All featured in a rush of hope and Pastor Greg. You also highlight moving moments of several recent films important films, you know that's right Dave, I don't just mean showing film clips I've written a narrative taking what I think are key moments from three films produced by the Irwin brothers, John and Andy Irwin and the films are Woodlawn.

I can only imagine and I still believe that present the gospel in a compelling artistic and powerful way or some other resources included with this rush of hope DVD including a booklet that I wrote called life's most important questions answered and a special piece that we wrote, telling you how you can host a watch party you can show this film in your house are in your backyard or somewhere else as an outreach to your neighborhood, your community so many ways you can use it.

So for whatever you can send us financially rush to your own copy of a rush of hope so. Thanks in advance and God bless you is really nothing else like it. Also with the bonus resource were sending along with the DVD will include a digital download code so you can download the film to your computer or smart phone or tablet so you can take a rush of hope with you wherever you go. 11 outstanding evangelism tool right there in your pocket or purse. So get in touch today with your investment at a new beginning. Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or call us at 1-800-821-3300. We can take your call anytime around the clock and again dial 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest.org pressure Greg escrow today about having a relationship with the Lord. That's right, someone can enter into that kind of relationship with God right now yeah they really can.

That's the amazing thing. I think people are surprised that it doesn't take years to become a Christian. It doesn't take months. It doesn't take weeks. It doesn't take days, it doesn't even take ours you can believe on the spot and I would like to lead you in a prayer where you can ask for his forgiveness. A prayer where you can receive Jesus Christ into your life as your Savior and Lord.

So if you want Christ to come in your life if you want him to forgive you of your sin if you want a second chance in life. If you want to go to heaven when you die, stop what you're doing and pray after me these words Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner and I'm sorry for my sin and I turn from it now and I choose to follow you from this moment forward as Savior and Lord is God in friend thank you for loving me and calling me ever giving me in Jesus name I pray, amen. Listen if you have just prayed those words with Pastor Greg and meant him. Sincerely, the Bible assures us that your sins have been forgiven were told in first John 19 the Lord is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness and we want to send some resource materials to you. That'll help you in your new relationship with God. We call it our new believers] and will send it without charge. If you prayed for the first time today with Pastor Greg, just ask for it when you write a new beginning.

Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or call 1-800-821-3300 were here to take your call anytime 24 hours a day seven days a week that's 1-800-821-3300 or go to harvest.org and click on know God. Yesterday we had the opportunity to hear from 24-year-old Greg Laurie from over 40 years ago a great message. If you could somehow go back and speak to that young man knowing what you know now what would you say well I would say Greg young man. Some things are going happen to you that you will be thrilled about starting with your hair.

It's going to be gone sooner than you expected. So enjoy it while you have it. I would also say God can open up incredible doors for you that will blow your mind and you'll be able to have that dream that you have this young man fulfilled of sharing the gospel all around the world, but I would also say Greg you're going to go through some very hard times for God's going to be with you and he's going to get you through it and you going to be stronger as a result, I would just say keep doing what you're doing because you're on the right track. Boy you're preaching the gospel your teaching the word of God. Keep studying keep growing. Keep learning. I would also say Greg, you made an awesome choice in marrying Kathy Lori she's going to be the greatest wife ever can have two wonderful sons again.

I have five incredible grandchildren and it says can be a rich and fulfilling journey for you. So I would just say what Chuck Smith said to me years ago when I asked him if the older truck can speak to a younger child.

What would you say in his response was hold the course, so I would just say Greg told that chorister on a good courser on the right course.

Keep fighting the fight running that race possible by harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God sign up for pastor grades free daily email, devotions@harvest.org


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