Share This Episode
A New Beginning Greg Laurie Logo

Best of 2020: The World Changer at the End of the World Part 1: God of All Comfort

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
January 22, 2021 3:00 am

Best of 2020: The World Changer at the End of the World Part 1: God of All Comfort

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 2117 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.


January 22, 2021 3:00 am

The world has been going through a hailstorm of crisis and calamity . . . sickness, death, economic upheaval, uncertainty about the future. Hope may seem in short supply. But today on A New Beginning, we’ll see it’s only in short supply if we’re going to the wrong supplier. Pastor Greg Laurie introduces us to a man who faced an epic challenge but depended on God’s provision to see him through. We’ll learn to follow in his footsteps as Pastor Greg introduces this Last Days believer.

View and subscribe to Pastor Greg’s weekly notes.

---

Learn more and subscribe to Harvest updates at harvest.org.

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.

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

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
Delight in Grace
Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell
Summit Life
J.D. Greear
Cross Reference Radio
Pastor Rick Gaston
Connect with Skip Heitzig
Skip Heitzig
Truth for Life
Alistair Begg

The following message from Pastor Greg Laurie is made possible by Harvest Partners helping people everywhere know God. Check out Virtue, our website for Christian women.

Go to harvest.org forward slash virtue. The promise says not explanation so we should not spend too much time wondering why. Instead of saying why, we should say who. As in who do I turn to? You turn to the Lord.

Because the Bible says He is the God of all comfort. This is the day, the day when life begins. The world has been going through a hailstorm of crisis and calamity, sickness, death, economic upheaval, uncertainty about the future. Hope may seem in short supply.

But today on A New Beginning, we'll see it's only in short supply if we're going to the wrong supplier. Pastor Greg Laurie introduces us to a man who faced an epic challenge but depended on God's provision to see him through. We learn to follow in his footsteps as Pastor Greg introduces this last day's believer.

Today, the day when life begins. Well the guy I want to focus on, well everyone knows the story, his name was Noah. He was a last day's believer because he was living in the time before the flood came. Why did the flood come? Why did God send judgment on the earth the first time? The answer is found in Genesis 6.

I want you to turn over there if you would. Genesis 6. First book of the Bible. Genesis 6 5 gives us a description of the world in the days of Noah. Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth and that every intent of his thoughts was only evil continually. You might underline that.

Only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry he made man on the earth and he was grieved in his heart. I'd underline that too. I'll come back to it. So the Lord said, I'll destroy man whom I've created from the face of the earth. Man and beast creeping in birds of the air.

I'm sorry I made them. We'll stop there. What exactly was going on here on planet earth to bring God's wrath so heavily? Genesis 6 5 gives the answer.

The Lord saw the wickedness of man was great in the earth and every intent of the thought of his heart was only evil continually. And God said he's grieved. Now it's interesting that the word grieved is used here in verse 6. You only grieve for those you love. You don't grieve when some random person cuts you off on the road. You get angry maybe.

Upset. But it doesn't grieve you. It grieves you when your child is disrespectful or goes astray or someone you love or care about says or does something that hurts you. You're grieved only by the people you love.

Right? So the fact that God uses the word grieved shows us that this is hurting the heart of God because he loves humanity. God takes no pleasure in bringing judgment on anyone. So then our immediate response is well then why does God send judgment? Okay here's the answer.

You ready? God sends judgment because he is loving and just. No no. How could a God of love judge anyone? That's our default response.

No I'm telling you God sends judgment because he's loving and just. Let me illustrate. Let's say that you had your small toddler playing in your backyard. And suddenly a wolf appeared. Climbed over your fence.

Fangs showing. And was running full speed toward your daughter. Toward your child. Toward your son.

What would you do? I would like love the wolf. No no. Kill the wolf.

Right? Stop the wolf. Why? Because you love your child. You love your child more than anyone or anything else. Or if they came to harm your spouse or harm someone you care about.

You protect that person. No the wolf is our brother. No the wolf is not your brother. The wolf is a wild animal and you need to stop thinking crazy thoughts like that. Alright so because you love your child you protect them.

You hate that which would harm your child so in effect you bring judgment. And so their wickedness was great. They just wouldn't stop.

It just became more and more intense. But wait did these people have an opportunity to believe? There was a news story out of Aaron Rodgers quarterback for the Green Bay Packers. Apparently was raised in a Christian home.

But he had some issues with his Christian faith. And he said in an interview and I quote, I remember asking a question to this young person about somebody in a remote rainforest. In other words what if someone is isolated from everybody else and they have never heard the gospel. That is basically the way it is asked.

They are in a rainforest or in a desert always for some reason. And he said the response I got was if you don't confess your sins you are going to hell. And he says and I said what about the people that don't have a Bible readily accessible.

Listen to this. God is going to judge people according to the light that they have received. But I suggest to you we have received a lot more light than people realize. As an example we have the light if you will of nature. Just the handiwork of God surrounding us speaking of his power and his creative ability.

I mean to me it takes more faith to say there is no God and this all happened randomly than it takes to say I believe that there is a creator behind all of these things. Have any of you ever seen the Sistine Chapel. Raise your hand if you have. Quite a few of you.

Ok. Pretty magnificent right. Well how did that even come to be. Well we all know Michelangelo painted it. It took him a long time.

What have I told you. Well I don't believe a guy named Michelangelo painted it. I think there was a wagon full of buckets of paint. Somebody threw a stick of dynamite in it. And it blew up. I call it the Big Bang Theory.

And the beautiful fresco on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel appeared. And you think what are you crazy. Oh you see that 747 over there.

That wasn't created by the engineers at Boeing. I believe that there was a tornado in a junkyard. And that is the result. You would dismiss me as a lunatic. But yet we will take something as amazing as creation or even the human body and say well it happened randomly.

I have a hard time seeing that. I think it takes more faith to not believe than it takes to believe. Romans 1 18 says God shows His anchor from heaven against wicked people who push the truth away from themselves because He has put this knowledge in their hearts. From the time the world was created people have seen the earth and the sky and all that God made so they have no excuse for not knowing God. And by the way at this time earth was in much better shape than it is now. Now if you go to a beautiful place like Hawaii you see the handiwork of God in a sunset.

People just sit out there and wait for the sun to set. It is just so amazing. That is something the Lord does for us. But at this time historically things were still in a quasi Eden like state. We are closer to God's original creation than we are now. So the power of God was on display.

They had all of that. Number two we have the testimony of conscience or the light of conscience. Romans 2 14 says even when non-believers who do not have God's written law instinctively follow what the law says they show in their hearts they know right from wrong. Because God's law is written with them in them in their own consciences accusing them or telling them what they are doing is right. So you say what about the person who has never heard the gospel. Well you have the testimony of nature and you have the testimony of your own conscience. You know instinctively what right and wrong are. And so many of us don't even live according to those dictates. Some will say I don't like organized religion.

What does that even mean? I don't like organized religion. Oh do you like disorganized chaos instead? And what is your definition of organized religion? Praying a prayer.

Opening the Bible. I don't like anything organized. Okay. So what do you live by? I live by my own standards. I suggest you don't even live by your own standards. I think you break your own rules so you make new rules up.

And then you break those don't you? So you have the testimony of nature. You have the testimony of your own conscience. And these people have the promise of a redeemer. God had revealed to Adam and Eve there was coming one who would crush the head of the serpent who had deceived them. And of course that was a reference to the arrival of Jesus. And fourthly they had the people of the godly lives of Adam and Eve. Even though Adam and Eve sinned they still walked with the Lord after this. So they had that testimony. And so God will judge you according to the light you have received.

Point number three. Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. Genesis 6 says simply that Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. Now does that mean God had grace on Noah because he lived a righteous life?

No actually it's the reversal of that. The word grace means God's unmerited favor. Because he received God's grace. He responded to the grace that God extended toward him. He experienced it. God loves us and wants a relationship with us.

So he found grace or favor in the eyes of the Lord. Look the only way a person comes into a relationship with God is by admitting their own need. And that's hard for a lot of people. We don't want to say I need God. I'm strong.

I can do this on my own. Aaron Rodgers in that interview went on to say you know I think that Christianity is a crutch. Crutch? It's a whole hospital man. I need more than a crutch.

I need everything. I need every piece of equipment in that spiritual hospital. I have no shame in saying I need God. I'm not embarrassed to say I depend on God.

We all should. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. Hey everybody Greg Laurie here personally inviting you to join us for what we call Harvest at Home. It's a Bible study. It's a worship service. It's church in your home.

Maybe you're not able to get out to your church right now. If so join us for Harvest at Home. People are listening in from around the world. And listen to this. We have seen thousands of people make a commitment to follow Christ.

So join us this weekend for Harvest at Home at Harvest.org. Well Pastor Greg is presenting a message today titled The World Changer at the End of the World Part 1. Let's continue now. Judgment was about to come. And I wonder if there's somebody here that has had a wake up call lately. Something has happened in your life that's gotten your attention. Everything was going great. And then you got the call from the doctor. And everything changed.

Everything was fine. Then your wife, your husband, your boyfriend, your girlfriend broke up with you. Your dog even left you. But the cat won't leave for some reason. And you really want the cat to leave and you wanted the dog to stay.

Even more than your girlfriend frankly. So here it is. Something has happened. Or you've had a close brush with death. But I think there's three things we should keep in mind when something like this happens.

Number one. Remember that life is precious. Life is precious. I have an Apple Watch right here. Funny thing with this crazy watch. It periodically says to me, breathe. It's like I'm breathing. It's even said it to me when I'm like working out. What's wrong with you?

But I think there's a good message there. Breathe. Right? That breath you're trying right now. That's a gift from God.

Because there might be someone in a hospital room struggling. Hoping for that next breath. But I just breathe in.

I breathe out. That's a gift from heaven. And I shouldn't take it for granted. Every day of my life is a gift from God.

Every single heartbeat. It's a blessing. Don't take your health for granted. Don't take your family for granted. The Bible reminds us in Psalm 90.

Teach us to realize the brevity of life so we may grow in wisdom. Number two. Don't ask why. Ask who? Don't ask why.

Ask who? Eleven years ago our son Christopher was killed in an automobile accident. It was crushing. Devastating.

I wondered if I would even survive it. It was so massive for both Kathy and myself. And our son Jonathan.

And Christopher's wife Brittany. It was just life altering. And it's like time stood still for all of us. And if words could have killed you.

I mean hearing certain information. That could have killed me. I felt like literally I could have died.

It was so overpowering. But in my time of weakness. When I needed the crutch. I needed the hospital.

I needed intensive care. And I called out to the Lord and guess what. He was there for me. And He sustained me on that day and sustains us all to this day. Because the Bible says He is the God of all comfort.

Sometimes things happen in life that are unfair and tragic. And we want an answer. I demand an answer. I want to know why. If God told you, you wouldn't be happy.

I mean if the Lord said alright alright. I'm tired of you asking why. I'm going to tell you why. Are you ready? Write this down. Okay I'm ready.

Ready? Here's why. I don't agree with that.

You wouldn't like it. It wouldn't make sense to you this side of heaven. We live on promises not explanations.

So we should not spend too much time wondering why. Instead of saying why. We should say who as in who do I turn to? You turn to the Lord. And you cry. And you cry. It's okay to cry. It's good to cry. In fact you must mourn when you've lost a loved one.

In fact if you do not properly mourn the loss of a loved one it can affect you in a very bad way. Because you cry out to God. You bring your pain to God.

You bring your sorrow to God. And then the last thing is we must prepare. We must prepare. Life is precious. Don't ask why, ask who.

We must prepare. Death is not a respecter of persons. It doesn't care if you're rich or poor. Religious or you have no faith at all.

If you're famous, infamous, or not known. It knocks at every door. It'll knock at your door.

It'll knock at mine. It's not the end. Because there's an afterlife. We talk so much about this life. But the afterlife goes on forever. In fact this life, the before life if you will, is pretty short when compared to the afterlife. And Jesus said I am the resurrection of the life and he that believes in me though he were dead yet shall he live and whosoever lives and believes in me shall never die. That is why Jesus died on the cross. You see at the cross he defeated sin but at the resurrection he defeated death. Death died when Christ rose.

So my question for you is are you prepared for the afterlife? I told you the story before of a man who was walking through a graveyard. And he saw a tombstone.

And on it were inscribed these words. Pause now stranger as you pass by. As you are now so once was I. As I am now so you will be. So prepare for death and follow me.

The man was overheard to say to follow you is not my intent until I know which way you went. Are you prepared for the afterlife? What if this were your last night on earth? Well it won't be. How do you know? You don't know. No one knows. The Bible says it's appointed unto a man who wants to die and then comes to judgment.

God's appointed the hour. He doesn't reveal it to us. Frankly I'm glad I don't know aren't you? We don't know. It could be tonight.

It could be 10 years, 20 years, 50 years, 70, 80 years. I don't know. God knows. I don't worry about that. But be ready. Be prepared. Heaven is a prepared place for prepared people. And then one day I'll stand before God. And the Bible says and the books will be opened and a book will be opened which is the book of life. And the key is you want your name written in the book of life. How do you get your name written in the book of life? By believing in Jesus Christ. If you've put your faith in Christ and you've asked him to be your Savior and Lord, your name is in the book and no one's taken your name out of the book.

You're good to go. But then there's the books. Books are gonna be opened. And I wonder what's in the books.

You know the Bible doesn't say. Maybe one book is a book of all the times you heard the gospel and blew it off. Maybe another book is a record of how you had your own standards that you didn't even live by. Maybe another book is all the commandments you broke. I don't know what's in the books.

But whatever it is, it's not real good. Because if you're even at this great white throne judgment, that's bad. But you don't have to be there at all. You see, Jesus died on the cross and he absorbed the wrath of God in your place so you don't have to deal with it. He died there for you.

As I've said many times, he came to pay a debt he did not owe because we owed a debt we could not pay. Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. You can have this grace in your life because the Bible says, for by grace you are saved through faith, not of works, lest any man should boast. You're not gonna get to heaven because of all the good stuff you've done. You're gonna get to heaven because of the sacrifice Jesus made for you on the cross.

And you admitted you're a sinner and you turned from your sin and you believed in him. Then you can know, listen, you can know that you'll go to heaven. Do you know that right now? If not, why would you not want to get this resolved? Frankly, is there anything more important than that that you could think of?

Anything? Than where you'll spend eternity? And so I wanna close with just an opportunity for anybody here, anybody watching, listening, wherever you may be, to make sure your name is written in the book of life. To put your faith in Jesus Christ. He stands at the door of your life and he knocks and he says if you'll hear his voice and open the door, he will come in.

If you've never asked Jesus to come into your life, you can do it right here, right now, and you can be prepared for the afterlife and not be afraid of death any longer. So let's all bow our heads and everybody praying, Father, thank you for your word to us tonight. And I pray for any person here or maybe they're watching or listening, wherever they may be, if they don't have a relationship with you, help them to come to you now, we pray.

Amen. Pastor Greg Laurie, with an important prayer about entering into a relationship with the Lord. And if you'd like to make that kind of change in your relationship with God today, Pastor Greg will come back to help you with that before today's edition of A New Beginning concludes. Now if you missed any part of today's message, you can hear the study again online at harvest.org. Just look for the title, The World Changer at the End of the World, Part 1. That's at harvest.org. It's one of the most requested messages of the past year.

Or request a permanent copy of the message on CD by calling our 24-hour phone number, 1-800-821-3300. And then we're so pleased to mention that 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 performances. Oh, and when we rise, we will rise together Yeah, surrounded by your word Oh, will I believe I still believe in your faithfulness I still believe That's for King & Country, Mercy Me, and Jeremy Camp, all featured in A Rush of Hope. 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. And there's 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. So for whatever you can send us financially, we'll rush you your own copy of A Rush of Hope. So thanks in advance, and God bless you. Yeah, and your generous donation couldn't come at a more strategic time.

Also, with the bonus resource we're sending, along with the DVD, we'll include a digital download code so you can download the film to your computer or smartphone or tablet, so you can take A Rush of Hope with you wherever you go. You'll have an 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, California, 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. And then, Pastor Greg, just before we go, would you mind praying with the person listening who wants to make a change today in their relationship with the Lord? I'd be happy to, Dave. You know, as you've been listening to this today, maybe you've heard another voice. By that I mean, yeah, you heard me say a few things, but you heard God's voice speak to you deep in the recesses of your heart, and it suddenly dawned on you, this is what I need. Or to state it more accurately, this is who I need. I need Jesus, and I want Jesus.

But maybe you don't know how to make that connection. Let me help you. Pray this after me right now if you want Jesus Christ to come into your life. Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner, and I am sorry for my sin, and I need your forgiveness right now. Would you come into my heart and my life as Savior, as God, as friend?

I choose to follow you from this moment forward. Thank you for calling me, and accepting me, and forgiving me. In Jesus' name I pray, amen. I know that was a relatively short prayer. Maybe you felt something as you prayed it.

Maybe you felt nothing. That doesn't really matter, because God's word says these things we write to you that believe on the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life. It doesn't say, so you may think you have it, or you may hope you have it if God's in a good mood. No, that you can know it, and I want you to know if you pray that prayer in a minute, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, has come into your life. So congratulations, you're now a Christian. Now continue to follow the Lord. Yeah, and to help you do that, we'd like to send you some resource materials we call our New Believers' Growth Packet.

It'll answer many of the questions you might have, and get you started off right in your new relationship with the Lord. So get in touch and ask for it. Again, it's called the New Believers' Growth Packet. We'll send it free of charge. Write us at A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, California 92514. Or call 1-800-821-3300. We can take your call anytime 24-7.

And again, the number 1-800-821-3300. Or go online to harvest.org and click on Know God. Well, next time, more insights from the life of Noah about living wholeheartedly for God no matter what's going on around us. Good insight from another of our most requested messages of the past year, next time on A New Beginning. This is the day, the day when life begins The preceding message from Greg Laurie was made possible by Harvest Partners, helping people everywhere know God. Sign up for Pastor Greg's free daily email devotions at harvest.org.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-01 05:59:49 / 2024-01-01 06:10:39 / 11

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime