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March 15, 2021 3:00 am
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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 some special friends of this ministry. Pastor Greg wanted to see a special word of thanks to the harvest partners who make this ministry possible next time your online check out Pastor Greg's personal blog go to harvest data work. Jesus is coming. Are you running since we don't know when many aren't ready.
Pastor Greg Moore issues that we need to be ready always, we see the top of the world as we do know literally Bible prophecies were very eyes. We should be to get out of the Bible in one hand you speed on our phone the other. Jesus said when you see these things be giving up golf for your redemption is drawing near. When turn most of us would make sure we're ready to drop everything and get ready. Well, it's important to know just how soon Jesus could return in this case.
What we don't know impact for eternity today on a new beginning for Greg Laurie brings his trustworthy insight straight from God's word on what we can expect during the how close we may be to that event. There's literally nothing in its way to grab your Bibles and looked me over to the gospel of Luke 12 chapter the time of my messages, things to do before the end of the world. Alright, so let's just imagine for a moment that we knew when Jesus was coming that we know that Be true right because nobody knows only the father knows. But let's just say for the sake of illustration we knew. Let's say we knew that Jesus was coming back tomorrow afternoon at 3:00 PM. How do you think we be doing, spiritually, around 245. I would be done pretty well. I think we got our Sunday morning smiles that are come quickly. Jesus outed to write because what will because Jesus would be coming, but we should literally live every day as though it were that day someone wants as the great evangelist Bill Moody if you knew the Lord would return to my, how would you spend the rest of the day.
He replied without hesitation I wouldn't do anything different than I do every day, yet it so why does this matter. Jesus gives us the answer and Luke 12. I want to read verses 36 to 40 and I'm reading from the new living translation. This is our Lord telling us how we are to live in light of his imminent return be trust for service and keep your lamps burning, as though you were waiting for your master to return from the wedding feast. Then you will be ready to open the door and let him in.
The moment he arrives in the servants who are ready and waiting for his return be rewarded.
I tell you the truth, he himself will see them and put on an apron and serve them as they sit in the he may come in the middle of the night or just before dawn, but whatever. He comes over award. The servants already understand this says Jesus have a homeowner new one. A burglar was coming, he would not permit his house to be broken into. You must also be ready all the time.
For the Son of Man will come when he is least expected Son of Man is a reference of Christ to himself. There so now were talking about first century Jewish weddings.
They were way different than our weddings today. We spent so much on weddings I was googling prices up weddings is crazy how much you can spend on a wedding 15,000 30,000 100,000. I was reading about celebrities that spent millions of dollars on their weddings and sadly most of the minority ended up in divorce court got the I spent $15 on our wedding. It was like a little hippie wedding.
Everybody just came showed up and we did it, but they did work 45 years later there were thankful to God. Okay weddings back in the days of the Jewish people in the first century were very different. It was sort of an event. It was an extended time of celebration and fun, so everybody would be there.
Everybody would be ready that Evergreen fees but here was the twist, you didn't know when the groom was coming so he might come in the morning.
He might come in the afternoon you might come in the evening. An announcement would be given. The bridegroom is coming and if you are ready, you would miss it snooze you lose right so this is the picture Jesus is drawing upon. He's like that groom and he's good, we don't know when it's going to be might be in the morning when the morning finally comes might be in the afternoon might be in the evening and might be in our lifetime might not be but we want to be ready. So here's the point number one what should we be doing before the end of the world. Number one, we should be shining light in a dark place. We should be shining lights and a dark place for 30 5B trust for service and keep your lamps burning, it's like saying keep batteries in your flashlight or keep your cell phone charged it just simply means this it means. Be ready to go. And so it have your lamps burning, be ready for the return of Christ and doesn't the Bible tell us to let our light so shine before men, that people can see our good works and glorify our Father who is in heaven. So you want to be living in a way that brings honor and glory to God. You know sometimes it feel as Christians were more known for what were against the wall or for look for opportunities to show the love of Jesus to people.
Simple things open the door for somebody say something nice to somebody throughout a complement to something kind would do it in the name of Jesus he will God bless you and and you know and they'll see that you're a follower of Christ, and sometimes those can prompt an open door for conversation. So were to be bright lights in the dark place. Number two were to be watching for him watching for him.
Look at verse 37 Blessed are the servants of the master when he comes, will find watching. So what we see the things happening in our world as we do now.
Literally, Bible prophecies being fulfilled before our very eyes. We should be looking up.
We can have the Bible in one hand and a newspaper or news feed on our phone in the other.
And Jesus said when you see these things begin to happen.
Look up for your redemption is drawing near. Number three need to be ready to go ready to go now when I go on a trip I pack and I'll tell you what I am the worst hacker I just pack too much stuff you I it's ridiculous. When I show up with more luggage and my wife and I'm not saying that in a critical way girls, but generally girls maybe sometimes take more stuff than guys not in our marriage. I take more stuff because I just why me need this, they may need that I need the charger will have an extra charger and I have this other thing and then Kathy will say why do you take all that stuff.
Then we get there.
She forgot her charger I forgot my phone charger. Oh look, I have another one. Aren't you glad I'm a little packrat now right but died but I get everything back before I go you loaded up and go down to the airport and and you get on your flight or however you going to be traveling so the ideas be ready to go to moments notice. Have your bags packed your comfortable shoes off, you know, when I travel I wear comfortable shoes because sometimes your you update the change terminals and value of the Russian you know what this is like you guys a trouble give a roller bag you run along you know any comfortable shoes so the ideas be ready to go at a moments notice because the Lord could come back at any time, so are you ready for something to consider. Ask yourself a question about things that you do this place. I am about to go this thing. I'm ready to do what I be ashamed of this or be embarrassed doing this. If Christ were to come back while I was doing. If the answer is yes.
I think you should reconsider that thing Artie quoted from second Peter 39 in another message on why the Lord is not come back yet because it says God is not slow in keeping his promises, as some men count slowness is long-suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance, so the reason the Lord is waiting. These he is waiting for that person to believe that last person before were caught up to meet him.
Within those verses and second Peter go on and see the day will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear. The elements will be destroyed by fire listener.
This what kind of people then should you be you want to live holy and godly lives look forward to this and make every effort to be found spotless and blameless and at peace with him. So if you really believe these things, it should affect you in the way that you live. Number four. We should not only be ready, but we should be anxiously awaiting his return. Looking forward to look at verse 36 be like men who wait for their master, when he will return from the wedding and comes a not so open to him immediately. Years ago used of a dog.
He came pre-named Palm names.com. We had a dog named Palm.
Okay and thought he was more. He was a German shepherd but I think he thought he was a dear he sort of moved around like a deer is very interesting.but the good dog and he would lean against our door at night. If our bedroom and sometimes he would like scratch as dogs do, and it would sound like someone was out the door was fitted to global dog falls in you. So he would just wait against the door waiting for us to get up when I opened the door the morning he was so excited running around in circles and diabetes or here because they want to go to walk in all the things I like to do so I that that's a picture of how we are to be we should just be up against the door like Lord Tom like let's just say someone you really love was coming to visit you and you hadn't seen him for a year so the text you the plane just landed. Okay weren't wearing the Uber were on our way over okay were in the neighborhood okay were one block away from us at your house. Yes yes yes and then you see the car pull up and you have your hand on the door and you can even wait for them to come up the steps. That's how we need to be waiting for Jesus Christ. Looking forward to it, anticipating it and hoping for. We should not only be anxiously waiting. We should also be working. Look at verse 43 Blessed is that servant, whom his master will find so doing when he cops so doing, the Bible says faith without works is dead, so watching for the larger turn will help us prepare our own lives working will ensure we bring others with us and notice the word blessed is used. Blessed is the servant whom the master will find so doing. As you know the word blessed can also be translated happy happy is the servant happy is the man happy is the woman who is anxiously awaiting the Lord's return and is serving him. Mr. Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message just a moment, 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 church in your home, you're not able to get out your church right now. If so, join us per Harvest at Home people are listening this from around the world listen to this. We have seen thousands of people make a commitment to follow Christ.
Join us this weekend firstname.lastname@example.org today. Pastor Greg is helping us be ready for the Lord's return. Wishing the Bible gives practical counsel on being ready as we look at the kind of people who are ready and kind of people who aren't in contrast to the believer is watching and working now we have the unprepared servants go back to Luke 12 verse 45 but if that servant says in this art. All my master is delaying his coming begins to beat the male and female servants, and even drink and be drunk. The master of that servant will come in the day when he is not looking for him. So this is a picture of a person who would appeared to be a believer but in reality they are not. Why do I say that it's that servant so they look like one of us.
Jesus told the story of the 10 bridesmaids remember five wise five are foolish in the King James are called the 10 virgins, the ones that were wise had oil in the lambs back to the lab and the ones that were not ready did not have oil in their labs so the idea is in the last days. According to Scripture, there's going to be people that are Christians right next to people that aren't Christians and the people that aren't Christians will initially appear as though they are Christians. So we have to be very careful.
Just hearing these things is not enough.
We need to act on these things as well. Going to church. Hearing the word of God singing these wonderful songs of worship.
It's a great thing to do if you really have a relationship with God. But if you do these things and have no intention of following the Lord, are you kinda pretending to be a Christian, you're actually in danger of hardening your heart. You want to know the easiest place to get a heart heart strip club, a bar yeah you can get a hard heart. There the easiest place to get a hard heart is right where you are right now is not getting this at all.
I thought church is the best place to be. It's the best place to be if you want to walk with God. But this seems sound that softens the wax hardens the clay, the same message.
I will send one person free can be ignored by another and I'll actually find their hard getting harder.
Don't let that happen to you, the Pharaoh of Egypt saw miracle after miracle in the Bible says he hardened his heart. He hardened his heart, so you can hear these things and God stupid. I don't really believe it, but you know I'm here anyway man.
Be careful because you don't want to be like this person that is not prepared. Notice what it says about this wicked servant first 45 that servant says my master will be back for a while begin beating the other servant partying and getting drunk. You know people get drunk for a lot of reasons sometimes do escape their problems of the things upper limit, but I just read an interesting article about how drinking heavily can actually change your DNA. This article says and I quote alcohol can actually prompt dangerous and long-lasting genetic changes according to cutting-edge research from Rutgers University and these changes actually worsen a drinkers relationship with booze by causing them to crave it even more. Drinking disrupts the natural effectiveness of two specific genes one that governs the body's biological clock and the other that regulates stress and this contributes to the vicious cycle of alcoholism. This article concluded by pointing out drinking contributes to 3 million deaths a year.
It's interesting that Jesus actually talked about someone getting drunk yard.
I come to an amazing discovery that I don't drink I won't get drunk. Go figure. I've never met a drunk person that didn't drink so I don't think I will get drunk. I member once I was pulled over for a DUI. Let me explain. There was actually New Year's Eve. I was driving back from his service with dented church and it was nighttime and I got pulled over by a cop, and thoughtful.
I vote wisely, pulling me over nieces and he has allowed speakers is keep your hands on the steering wheel. I got my hands on the wheel becomes around with a flashlight. You know they shined the flashlight right in your eyes, and I just really irritating.
It makes you very nervous. He says get out of the car I get out of the car and he says what if you been drinking said bottled water officer and he pulls out a pencil and now he says what's if all of this with your eyes and go back and forth of the pencil and he says now I want you to walk a straight line of thinking. I can't believe this is happening to me so muscular drive by and say that Pastor Greg it's not you know, and I had not been drinking anything. I don't drink and I did but I was so nervous. It was hard. The line was hard and like hey you know that I dented a good we finally let me go. I don't know why pulled me over in the first place was crazy, but you know but the sad thing is is or are people driving under the influence. Far too often we hear the story of the family killed by the drunk driver. They all die in the trunk survives that you know they're so liquored up producer below whatever you know horrible and I've seen alcohol destroying so many lives in this kind of personal for me and I'll tell you why, because I was raised in an alcoholic home and I saw what it did to my mom and I saw what it did to her marriages and I saw the destruction and you know you don't need to be filled with the spirit you need to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
That's what the Bible says it is far better.
The Bible says don't be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life but instead let the Holy Spirit fill in control.
You so in conclusion, Jesus is coming so we need to be ready. How number one be a shining light in a dark place number to be watching for him. Number three. Be ready to go. Number four not only be ready be anxiously awaiting his return for the Lasley don't just be anxiously waiting but also be working coming back to that verse I quoted in second Peter three make every effort to be found spotless and blameless and at peace with him. Me ask you, are you ready for the Lord's return might say, what does that mean I have to live a perfect life know because no one does. We also but we need to be right with God. The only way to have the peace of God in our life is the first have peace with God. See, believe it or not before you're a Christian you're actually at war with God.
You're fighting with God, you're separated from God by your sin, but God love you so much, despite your rebellion he send his own son Jesus to die and across in your place in my place and he suffered there for my sins and then he rose again from the dead three days later.
In these alive and he's here with us, and he stands at the door of your life any nonsense as if you hear his voice and open the door he will come in.
Jesus died, Jesus rose Jesus is coming back again and I ask you enclosing are you ready for the Lord's return and if you want. Would you like to be when the morning finally comes, everyone will be there if there Christians say zero. How do I get right with God. You admit you're a sinner and you realize that your only hope is Jesus. You need a Savior.
You callout just be like if you're on the water and you got caught in a riptide and and you can get back to the shore.
What you do you call out for help. That's embarrassing was better than drowning this minute so callout so in the same way we have to see a real condition and call out to God and the Bible says whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be say so in a moment were going to pray and I'm in a give you an opportunity to reach out to God, you know, maybe you are struggling with alcohol baby are struggling with drugs.
Maybe it's none of those things at all, but you chased after everything this world says will make you happy and you have a lot of those things.
Maybe you've even surpassed her expectations, but you see now empty.
It is that because you were made to know God is like a big hole in your heart that only Christ can fill. Drugs can fill it. Booze can fill in. Parties can fill it. Sex Fill it material things can fill it. Even religion can fill it. You don't need religion, you need a relationship with God can happen for you right here right now and what you do that you can be confident you're ready for the Lord's return. So in a moment were going to pray, respond to this invitation and also if you're someone that's fallen away from the Lord and maybe you need to come back because humans are to play a little bit of a religious gain.
You're not fooling God. You can full all of the people some of the time.
You can full some of the people all of the time, but you can full God. Any of the time the play that game anymore, but we all bow our heads and pray anybody praying father I pray that your Holy Spirit will speak. Not every person here every person watching in every person listening wherever they are. If they don't know Jesus we pray that tonight will be the night they come to you and believe in you and and that they can be forgiven of their sins and be ready for the afterlife ready to go to heaven and ready for the return of Jesus to help each one to see their need. In Jesus name I pray, amen. An important prayer from Pastor Greg Laurie and if you like to make a change today in your relationship with God. Pastor Greg will help you take that step in just a moment before today's addition of a new beginning. Concludes now if you had any interruptions while you been listening to a new beginning today. You can hear the study again by going to harvest.org just look for the title of the message. Things to do before the end of the world, with Jon Stewart or request the message on CD. When you call 1-800-821-3300. We can take your call anytime night or day at 1-800-821-3300 Pastor Greg, our listeners really love it when Kathy joins us here in the program.
Yeah, I think they enjoy hearing about the two of you. You talk once or twice of how you met Kathy and began dating. I put that's told in some detail in your book Jesus revolution against the backdrop of the Jesus movement yes you when Kathy really had a front row seat for that movement. Yeah, that's true.
And you know we did not realize at the time that we had a front row seat to a genuine spiritual awakening, but indeed we did and I wanted to share my story not to live in the past but hopefully to prepare for the future you know if you get in a car you probably notice that the rearview mirror is a lot smaller than your windshield.
That's because you need to spend more time going forward, then going backward okay so it's good to reflect that because we can learn from the past and we can reflect back on the great work that God did you know in the Psalms we read the phrase all that men would praise the Lord for his goodness and his wonderful works to the children of men will see the psalmist repeat the great things that God did for the nation Israel. It's good to remind yourself of what the Lord is done and then it's also a great thing to say Lord would you do it again.
We've had revivals in the history of America in the past and I would say were overdue for one right now.
In fact, I don't know what else could change the course of our nation were so divided politically were divided racially were divided in every way imaginable, and only Christ can bring us together. We need a change of heart. We need the Lord to pour his spirit out on our churches and on our country, but it starts with us. So I've written a book called Jesus, revolution, and I told the story of how I came to faith how I met my wife how we came together how we saw the Lord work how we started our church is a lot there is also some historical backdrop there to help you understand what we are facing that the times I think as you read this book, you'll say wow that sounds a lot like our nation right now so it seems to me that we can learn from the past.
In this case is I said before, the theme of revival spreads the flame of revival. So let's talk about that theme.
Let's look back a little bit and let's pray that God will do it again. I'll send you a copy of this book Jesus revolution for your gift of any size whatever you send will be used to help us continue to teach God's word and call people to Jesus Christ and I hope this book will be a blessing for you order your copy now of Jesus revolution now. That's right, you can call 1-800-821-3300 and someone is here to take your call around-the-clock, seven days a week will be glad to send it to you to thank you for your investment so that we can continue to bring these studies your way each day and share the gospel with hundreds of thousands of people each year. So once again, call 1-800-821-3300 or right a new beginning. Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or order email@example.com and by the way, when we send you Jesus revolution will also include the brand-new study guide that goes with it to help you get even more from the helpful insights and principles in the book, so contact us today and then for those who like to make a change in their relationship with God right now pastor Greg would you like to help them do that I would deny I received so many letters day from people from every walk of life from successful businessmen to those who are incarcerated to mothers struggling is trying to raise their children to young Boys and Girls Club writing and saying they've made a commitment or recommitment to Jesus and maybe you need to make a commitment to him right now.
Let me lead you in a word of prayer. Yes, you can meet God right now and I would just ask you to pray this prayer out loud after me and this is what you are asking Christ to come in your life. Pray with me know if you would, Lord Jesus, I know that I'm a sinner.
I know that I've broken your commandments and I fallen short of your standards but I think you that you have loved me and you've called me of yourself so I turn for my sin right now and I choose to believe in and follow you be my Savior be my Lord and be my God from this moment forward. Thank you for calling me and loving me and accepting me in Jesus name I pray, amen.
Hey let me just say God bless you. You've made the right decision and welcome to the family of God and we want to follow up with you by sending something called our new believers growth packet to help you get started. Living as a Christian will send it without charge. If you pray for the first time today to receive Christ. Just ask for the new believers] when you call 1-800-821-3300. That's 1-800-821-3300 or right a new beginning.
Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or go online to harvest.org and click on no God but next time more insights from Asher Drake series called Jesus revolution will consider more steps to revival, including the importance of reading, understanding and following God's word says next time you beginning possible by harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God sign up for pastor grades free daily email, firstname.lastname@example.org