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Being Awake and Alert for the Lord's Return

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
January 30, 2021 3:00 am

Being Awake and Alert for the Lord's Return

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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January 30, 2021 3:00 am

In this short exhortation from Pastor Greg Laurie, we learn how to await the coming of Jesus Christ by being awake and alert to his coming. Pastor Greg looks at the full meaning behind Paul's words in 1 Thessalonians 5:6 when he says, "So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober." 

Rather than being distracted, lethargic, or even intoxicated, we are encouraged to live sober, expectant lives filled with the Holy Spirit. 

Discover how studying Bible prophecy can change your life by joining us for Pastor Greg's brand-new series, Revelation: A Book of Promises. Just go to harvest.org/live.

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Hey everybody, Greg Laurie here. You are listening to the Greg Laurie Podcast and my objective is to and thanks for time on Thanksgiving Day. After we fill ourselves with all that turkey and all those other goodies that go with it. You know we all just take a nap.

Or at least we should probably. And you know sometimes you can be a very well fed believer. Coming and hearing the Word of God and studying and studying and taking in and taking in. And your problem isn't you need. It isn't that you need more teaching. It is that you need an outlet for the truth that you have received in your life.

You need to do something with it. God does not give us these truths to merely hoard. He gives these truths to us to share. You are blessed to be a blessing. Again you are blessed to be a blessing. God wants to take these truths He has put in your life and work them through you.

And He wants you to share them with others. Don't be asleep. Paul is saying wake up and be ready for the Lord's return.

Now you may remember when you were a little kid that it was hard to fall asleep on Christmas Eve. Because there was an excitement. Right. Oh what am I going to get. You know. Did mom and dad get me what I told them to get me.

I drew detailed maps for them and everything. Did they actually get that present I asked for. Or some of you may have believed in Santa Claus. I have told you before that there are four phases in life. Number one. You believe in Santa Claus. Number two. You don't believe in Santa Claus. Number three. You become Santa Claus.

And number four. You look like Santa Claus. And I am at that point right now. But there was an excitement. A joyful anticipation that made it hard for you to sleep. Not some kind of fear or dread. It was hard to sleep. You were just awake. Oh I don't want to go to sleep. I don't want to miss anything.

I can't wait. And that is the idea that is given to us here. Living in the light of the Lord's imminent return is not a miserable lifestyle. It should be a joyful one.

A happy one. Spurgeon put it this way and I quote, "'It is a very blessed thing to be on watch for Christ. It is a blessing to us now, how it detaches us from the world. You can be poor without murmuring. You can be rich without worldliness. You can be sick without sorrowing. You can be healthy without presumption. If you are always waiting for Christ's coming until blessings are wrapped up in that glorious hope.'"

So how am I to live in the light of the fact that Christ could come back at any moment? Wake up. Pay attention.

Number two. Sober up. Sober up. Verse 8. "'Let us who are of the day be sober.'" Now what does that mean?

I remember when I first became a Christian I met some kind of stick in the mud believers. And they said, you know brother you need to be more sober. Because I was always joking you know. Trying to have fun.

To be more sober. Oh sorry. I will be more like you you know. But that is not what it means. That you have a long face and always be in a bad mood. To be sober simply means that you are to be clear headed. To be clear headed it means to be alert. To live with your eyes open. To be sane and steady.

In contrast to being asleep or drunken you are to be sober. You see some people say that we Christians are out of touch. They say we who are followers of Jesus Christ and we who believe in the Bible have our head in the clouds. We are so heavenly minded we are no earthly good they would assert.

What nonsense. No one does more for the world than those who are heavenly minded. As I have often said whenever you look at great relief organizations there is no atheist relief organizations. It is always the Christians that are first out there reaching out to people regardless of their beliefs or lack thereof. It is Christians that are showing compassion in every practical way.

No. Christians are the realists. Nonbelievers are the ones that are out of touch with reality. For instance if a person would say today you know I believe that everyone is basically good and we can just be one global family locking arms together. I think you are out of your mind.

See I read the Bible and it tells me man is sinful and that is why he does the things that he does. And that makes sense to me. It certainly explains a lot.

No. Christians are the most sane people around. Because they are realistic about the problems and the solution. But we should sober up. And now let's take it at face value. We don't need to be under the influence of any intoxicant. Do I need to say that? But yet there are people that are under the influence of alcohol. And you know I was raised for the first 17 years of my life around drunken people. I know a lot about drunken people.

I spent so much time with them. My mom was an alcoholic. She hung around with alcoholics. And all they did every night was get really really drunk. I am talking passed out on the floor drunk or screaming, yelling, throwing things. This is the kind of life I was exposed to. So this is how I sort of saw the adult world as a little kid.

And needless to say I am not real fond of drinking. Because I have seen the impact that it has. I have seen the devastation that it brings. And nothing really changes. Thousands of years ago King Solomon made this observation about the effect of alcohol.

Listen to his words now. I am reading from the New Living Translation. Proverbs 23. Who has anguish? Who has sorrow? Who is always fighting? Who is always complaining? Who has unnecessary bruises?

Who has bloodshot eyes? It is the one who spends long hours in taverns trying out new drinks. That is just so perfect. You know even when you go into a bar they make alcoholics so glamorous don't they? All those pretty bottles you know. And they are all lit up from the back and they are up there on the shelves. Oh look at that.

Isn't that attractive. And they serve the drinks you know with cute little umbrellas and colors in them. And it looks like such an exciting world. And what disaster it can bring. Solomon continues on and he says, "'Don't let the sparkle and smooth taste of wine deceive you. For in the end it will bite you like a poisonous snake and it will sting you like a viper. You will see hallucinations. You will say crazy things. You will stagger like a sailor tossed at sea clinging to a swaying mast. And you will say, they hit me but I didn't feel it.

I didn't even know it when they beat me up. And when I wake up I will say, can I have another drink?" That is a great translation isn't it?

And things haven't changed. And the reason I bring this up is I see a lot of believers being very lax in this area. And I must warn you. It can lead to some really horrible repercussions.

And I know that some of you would take issue with me and say, now Greg you know I think you are being a little too harsh here and maybe a little too restrictive. And besides you know you have to understand that alcoholism is a disease. Is it? Is that what it is?

You know it is funny. I have never read the word alcoholic in the Bible. I will use the word because it is a word in our usage today. But the Bible calls the person who is under the control of alcohol a drunkard. That is a word we just don't use anymore is it? We used to call them drunks.

But that is not politically correct. Now they are an alcoholic. As though they caught it walking by a bar. You weren't one but one day you walked by you know the bar at happy hour and you caught the disease of alcoholism.

Listen. If alcoholism is a disease it is the only disease that is bottled and sold. If alcoholism is a disease it is the only disease without a germ or a virus. It is the only disease that requires outlets to spread it. It is the only disease that requires a license to propagate it. And if alcoholism is a disease it is the only disease that is spread by advertising.

No. I am sorry. It is not a disease. I know that is a convenient explanation and we can excuse a lot of things. It is a choice you make and you come under the power of it. Now I have compassion for the person that is bound by alcohol. But I also know that the power of God can free them from it. Or any other addiction they might be under.

And please know this. Drunkenness is a sin. The Bible clearly says this in 1 Corinthians 6.10, neither thieves nor greedy people nor abusers nor swindlers nor drunkards will inherit the kingdom of God.

This is what the Bible teaches. Think of what our world would be like if we didn't have alcohol. Think of how many marriages would still be together. My mom was married and divorced seven times. Every one of those marriages and divorces was a result of alcoholism or drunkenness.

It was a result of that influence in her life. Think of the thousands of lives that are taken on our roads every year by drunken drivers. 15,000 people last year alone were killed by drunken drivers. Well over 500,000. Half a million people have been killed by drunken drivers since 1982. A half a million people.

Amazing thing. And guess what state is number one for drunk drivers? Right here. California.

Texas is number two. And then everybody else. Tragic. And every time it seems when you read about a drunken driver the passenger that is with them is killed or a person is killed and the drunken drivers always survive.

Which is amazing. I think they are just so loose you know. They are just you know. And I don't say that to make light of it but it is just a crazy thing. I read the other day actually today about a man who had been busted three, four times for DUI. Four times he has been busted for DUI. Driving under the influence. And he hit a woman who was out getting her mail out of her mailbox.

Would you expect getting hit by a car going to your mailbox? Drunken drivers. Think of the devastation of it.

Think of the destruction it has brought. And then there is the moral effects of alcohol. Did you know that 67 percent of unintended pregnancies the woman was intoxicated during sex? Almost 50 percent of unplanned sexual encounters were under the influence of alcohol. 60 percent of college women who have a sexually transmitted disease including HIV, AIDS report. They were under the influence of alcohol when they had sex with the infected person.

And listen to this one. 90 percent of campus rapes occur when alcohol has either been used by either the assailant or the victim. Pretty sobering statistics. You might say, well Greg you know I understand you came from this background but we have the liberty you know. We drink a little and you know it is ok for us.

Well you know maybe you think it is but let me say this to you. You are being watched. You are being watched by your children. I know of a Christian couple that drank at home and out when they would eat and so forth. And one day they found that their child had an alcohol problem. I heard about another Christian couple. Their child very young had to go into rehab because you see maybe it was ok for you. Maybe you could somehow handle it.

But what about that other person that was watching them. Then think about your testimony and your witness out there to people that do not know the Lord. These are things we need to think about. I don't want to be under the power of anything but the Holy Spirit. It is so much better. You know. I don't want to be under the Spirit. I want to be under the control of the Spirit. 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 is K-N-O-W-G-O-D.org.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-30 01:08:37 / 2023-12-30 01:14:03 / 5

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