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What the Resurrection of Jesus Means to You: The Pivot Point of Our Life

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
June 18, 2021 3:00 am

What the Resurrection of Jesus Means to You: The Pivot Point of Our Life

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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June 18, 2021 3:00 am

The Resurrection is a pivot point for the entire Christian faith. Paul told the Corinthian church, “If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.” Thankfully, he then said, “But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead.” And today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie points out how the Resurrection provides the power we need to break through the barriers and live the Christian life.

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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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Today's episode of A New Beginning is brought to you by Harvest Partners, helping people everywhere know God.

Learn more at harvest.org. And while you're there, browse our library of free eBooks designed to help you grow in your faith. Jesus assures me I have all the power I need to live the Christian life. The resurrection is a pivot point for the entire Christian faith. Paul told the Corinthian Church, if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised.

And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless, and so is your faith. Thankfully, he then said that Christ has indeed been raised from the dead. And today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie points out how the resurrection provides the power we need to break through the barriers and live the Christian life. In our last message, we talked about what the death of Jesus means for you. Now let's talk about what the resurrection of Jesus Christ means to you. Mark chapter 16.

I'm reading verses one to eight. Saturday evening when the Sabbath ended, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Salome, went out and purchased burial spices so they could anoint Jesus' body. Very early on Sunday morning, just at sunrise, they went to the tomb. And on the way, they were asking each other, who's going to roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb? But as they arrived, they looked up and saw the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled aside. And when they entered the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a white robe, sitting on the right side.

And they were shocked. And then the angel said, don't be afraid. You're looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He isn't here. He's risen from the dead.

Look. This is where they laid His body. Now go tell the disciples and Peter that Jesus is going ahead of you into Galilee. You'll see Him there, just as He told you before He died.

The women fled from the tomb, trembling and bewildered, and said nothing to anyone because they were too frightened. So what the resurrection of Jesus means to you. Six practical truths on how the resurrection of Christ impacts you and me today.

Here's number one. The resurrection of Jesus assures me I am accepted by God. Let me say that again. The resurrection of Jesus assures me that I am accepted by God. Romans 4.25 says, He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. Somewhere, I don't know how this happens, but people, even Christians, sometimes think that you must earn the favor of God. You must do certain things and then God will love you.

But the opposite is the case. There's nothing you can do to earn the favor of God. And the fact is God loves you no matter what you do.

Isn't that great to know? You're accepted by God. You're loved by God.

Listen. God's not mad at you. God is mad about you.

Number two. The resurrection of Jesus assures me I have all the power I need to live the Christian life. Romans 8.11 says, The Spirit of God who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you.

And just as He raised Jesus from the dead, He gave life to your mortal body by the same Spirit living within you. So dear Christian friends, you have no obligation whatsoever to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. You know sometimes people say I've tried to live the Christian life and I failed. Okay. Let me say something you might find surprising.

Even provocative. It's not hard to be a Christian. It's impossible without the help of the Spirit of God. So there has to come a moment where I say I can't do this. I can't live by what this book teaches. I can't resist those temptations in my own strength.

I need a power greater than the power I personally have. And that's where the Holy Spirit comes in. Jesus said without me you can do nothing. But then Paul writes I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Listen to this. There is no sin. There is no habit.

There is no addiction. There is no vice that needs to hold you any longer. The resurrection of Jesus assures me I have all the power I need to live the Christian life.

Number three. The resurrection of Jesus assures me that I too will live forever in heaven. It assures me that I too will live forever in heaven.

Listen to this. Death died when Christ rose. Because Jesus rose I too will rise. Because Jesus died I will never die.

Now you might say Greg you're delusional. And you're getting old by the way. So do you realize that you could die someday.

Maybe even soon. Hey I'm aware of that. I'm not denying the reality of death. But I'm also looking at it in another way. Because for the Christian we never really die. Oh sure a body goes into the ground. But we live on because the real me is the soul that lives on. And God will resurrect my body also. But death is not the end of the road.

It's just a bend in the road. And when Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead he conquered death. 1 Corinthians 15 54 it says when these perishable earthly bodies have been transformed into heavenly bodies that will never die the scriptures will come true. Death is swallowed up in victory. Oh death where is your victory? Oh death where is your sting? Have you ever been stung by a bee? I was walking on the beach with my wife not long ago and there are all these bees out there.

I don't know why. I've never seen so many bees on the beach. And Kathy said be careful of the bees. I said I'm not going to step on a bee.

And right then guess what happened. Of course I stepped on a bee. It hurt. And then my foot was sort of swollen.

So not something you want to do if you can avoid it. It's interesting that death is compared to the sting of the bee. I heard the story of a father who was traveling in his car with his son who was highly allergic to bee stings.

In fact if the little guy got stung he could die as a result. So a bee somehow got in the car and it was buzzing around and the little boy was panicking and screaming. And suddenly the father reached out his hand and closed it. And then he opened it again and the bee came out again. And the boy's saying daddy daddy the bee is still out. And the father said son don't worry look.

And the little boy realized that he had taken the stinger of the bee. You see and that's what Jesus did. He took the sting of death.

He bore it in your place. The tomb is not an entrance to death. It's an entrance to life. And the moment we take our last breath on earth we take our first breath in heaven. And because of the death and resurrection of Jesus from the dead I don't have to be afraid of dying. 1 Corinthians 15 20 says Christ has been raised from the dead and He has become the first of a great harvest of those who will be raised to life again. And so this is the great hope that we have right now.

Because that brings me to point number four. The resurrection of Jesus assures me that I will receive a new body just like His. Now there's some confusion about these new bodies. I read a stat not long ago that said two-thirds of Americans believe it will be a resurrection of the dead.

But they also believe that they will not have bodies after the resurrection. Well what do you think you're going to be? A ghost?

Casper the friendly ghost. No you're not going to be a disembodied spirit just floating around. You're going to be you. Because God is going to resurrect your body. God will resurrect the body of every person who has died in faith. And you will be a radically upgraded version of yourself. Job said in Job 19 26 in my flesh I will see God. I myself will see Him with my own eyes. I and not another.

And the example of the model of this dare I use the word prototype. Understand the context I'm using it in. Is Jesus. Jesus died and He rose again from the dead. Now was He still Jesus? Of course. Was there any connection between the risen Lord and the crucified Lord? Again.

Yes. Because He still bore in His body the marks of the crucifixion. But remember He would sit down with the disciples and eat food. You know and I don't think He was like translucent.

You could see the food going down. He was in a body. But He was in a resurrected body. And you and I will have a new body one day as well. Colossians 3 4 assures us with these words. When Christ who is our life appears you shall be like Him. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment.

Hey everybody Greg Laurie here encouraging you to join us this weekend for what we call Harvest at Home. It's worship. It's a message from the Word of God.

You can watch it with your family in your front room or you can watch it on the go on your tablet on your phone or your computer. Take it with you. Take the Word of God with you and join us for Harvest at Home at Harvest.org. Well today Pastor Greg is offering six ways the Lord's resurrection affects our lives here today. And to hear any part of today's message again you can go to Harvest.org.

Number five. Because of the resurrection of Jesus we will have resurrected relationships. Have you ever been talking with someone on the phone and suddenly they drop out but you don't know they dropped out. So you're still telling them something maybe something very important and there's silence and you're thinking oh they don't like what I'm saying or they're judging me or they hate me.

No actually you lost service right there. And so you know what it's like to be cut off in a conversation. Seriously though if you're in a conversation with someone you love and then suddenly they're taken they die and you can't finish that conversation how hard that is. Because of the resurrection of Jesus we're going to pick up what we last left off with loved ones who have preceded us to heaven. You know when Jesus rose again there was a familiarity with him and the disciples. A connection to the past. And so one day we will be reconnected with loved ones.

And listen to this. It won't just happen at death. It will happen then. But there is a generation that will not see death. A generation that will not go to the grave. A generation that will be caught up in a moment in the twinkling of an eye into the presence of God. Sometimes it's called the rapture. Will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air.

Here's a description of it in 1 Thessalonians 4.14 and a number of other verses from that chapter. Since we believe Jesus died and was raised to life again we also believe that when Jesus comes, listen, God will bring back with Jesus all the Christians who have died. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout and the call of the archangel and the trumpet call of God. First all of the Christians who have died will rise from their graves and then will be caught together with them who are still alive and caught up into the clouds to meet the Lord in the air and remain with Him forever. So comfort and encourage each other with these words.

So one day it's possible we could be this generation. You're just walking around going about your business. Eating a burger. Making a phone call. Getting up in the morning. Going to bed at night. Whatever it is you're doing. And then just in a moment.

You can't even measure it in time. You're in the presence of God and you're in the presence of your loved ones who have preceded you to heaven. It's a twinkling of an eye.

By the way that's not even the blinking of an eye. The word twinkling comes from the root word Adamos. It's from the root word Adam.

It means something that cannot be divided. So think about all that Jesus has done for you. Because He died and rose there are so many blessings available to us. We're made acceptable to God.

He gives us the power to live the Christian life. We know we'll go to heaven. We know we'll be reunited with loved ones. We know we'll have new bodies given to us.

And this can happen at any moment. And there's one last thing. And this is number six. What the resurrection of Jesus means to you. Because Jesus died and rose again from the dead. We need to tell others.

We need to tell others. Go back to Mark 16 verse 15 and then verse 20. Then He told them, go into all the world and preach the gospel to everyone. And the disciples went everywhere and preached and the Lord worked through them confirming what they had said by miraculous signs. Now this is part of what we call the Great Commission here at the end of Mark's gospel. The other part of the Great Commission is found in the end of Matthew's gospel chapter 28 where Jesus says, Therefore go and make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit and teach these new disciples to obey the commandments I have given you. There's two very important things to note here.

Number one they're a command. Listen if you're a Christian you are commanded by Jesus to go into all the world and preach the gospel. If you are a Christian you are commanded by Jesus to go and make disciples. What does that mean? To preach the gospel means to verbally articulate the message of the gospel. And what is that?

In a nutshell here it is. God loves you. You're separated from God by your sin. Christ died for your sin and rose again from the dead. If you'll turn from your sin and believe in Him you can know with certainty that you'll go to heaven when you die. I am commanded by Christ to go into all the world and preach that message.

But there's another part to it. And make disciples. What does it mean to make a disciple? It means to help them to get up on their feet spiritually. Jesus explains it.

Go and make disciples teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you. Listen. When I became a Christian at the age of 17, this is 10 years ago. I'm kidding.

You knew that. Ok. A long time ago. I didn't really know what I had done. I didn't understand what it meant to be a Christian. I didn't own a Bible. I had never been to church for the most part except when I was a little kid going with my grandparents. I didn't know what the next step was. No one offered me a new believer's Bible like we offer to folks that respond to the gospel.

I didn't know. But thank God a guy named Mark just came up to me. I'm in high school. And he said, hey I saw that you prayed and accept Jesus the other day.

Because I did it right there in the front lawn of my high school campus. And I was a bit resentful. I'm like, yeah so? He says, oh well that's great. And I'd like you to come to church with me. And my response is, no thank you. No I want you to come to church with me Mark said. I said, no I don't want to go to church with you. He says, where do you live? I want to pick you up and take you to church.

I don't want to go to church. Next thing I know I'm in Mark's car going to church with him. And after that he took me home to his family and they were all Christians and would sit around the dinner table and have a meal. And then they would talk to me about what the Bible said. He discipled me.

He helped me get up on my feet spiritually. You can do that for someone. Let me take it a step further. You must do that for someone. Because it's not only good for them. It's good for you. You see they need you to stabilize them. And you need them to be energized. It's sort of like when you're around a bunch of kids. It can almost energize you. For a while.

Maybe a couple hours. And it's good if they go home and then you take a nap. Right? But no. Seriously. A new believer can energize you.

Why? Because as they discover for the first time the truths of God you in many ways can rediscover them. Because sometimes we don't appreciate all that God has done. So I'm urging you to go into all the world and preach the gospel. So number one there are a command. That's why we call it the Great Commission. Not the Great Suggestion.

Number two. These words were not directed to the original twelve but to everyone. In other words this is not just for the so-called professionals. Oh well Greg you're an evangelist. You do that. Or maybe the pastor should do it. Or the missionary.

No. Everyone should do it. Everyone should do it. The student should do it. The businessman should do it.

The housewife should do it. No matter what you do or who you are you're commanded to go into all of your world and make disciples. This is the Great Commission. And what is the message we're proclaiming? It's the message of the gospel. And maybe you would like to believe the gospel right now.

In other words you would like Jesus Christ to come and live inside of you. One story I touched on in my message today and it's really one of my favorite post resurrection appearances of Christ is when Jesus walked with those two disciples on the Emmaus road. The thing is they didn't know it was Jesus. They thought he was a stranger. But at the end of their journey they realized they had been talking to the risen Christ.

And here's the part of the story I wanted to focus on. The Bible says Jesus acted as though he would keep on walking. And they said no stay and have a meal with us. And the Bible says as they broke bread suddenly they realized it was Jesus.

Isn't that interesting? Jesus acted as though he would keep walking. Listen to this. Jesus will not force his way into any person's life. If you don't want Christ in your life well you don't have to have him. But if you want him in your life he wants to come in. He wants to save you from your sins. That's why he died on the cross. He wants to transform your life. He wants to give you the power over all addiction and vices and any other thing that has a hold of you right now. He wants to give you the guaranteed assurance that you'll go to heaven but you must ask him to stay.

Just like those two disciples did. Jesus said behold I stand at the door and knock and if any man will hear my voice and open the door I will come in. Right now Jesus is knocking at the door of your heart of your life. And if you want him to come in it can happen right here right now.

It's so simple it'll blow your mind. It's as simple as praying. The Bible says whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved. So in a moment I'm going to pray a prayer.

And I'm going to ask any of you that are watching right now who are not sure if Jesus is living in your life. You're not certain that your sin is forgiven. You don't have the confidence that you go to heaven when you die. I want you to pray this prayer with me. You can pray it out loud if you like.

You can pray it silently. But you pray this prayer and mean it and God will hear you. So if you want Christ to come into your life pray this prayer right now.

Just pray these words. Lord Jesus I know that I'm a sinner but I know that you're the Savior who died on the cross for my sin and rose again from the dead. I ask you to come into my life right now and forgive me of all of my sin.

I want to see you in heaven one day. Thank you for hearing this prayer and answering this prayer. In Jesus name I pray.

Amen. Pastor Greg Laurie with an important prayer for those making the decision to follow Jesus today. And if you've just prayed that prayer we want to welcome you into the family of God. And we'd like to help you as you begin to walk with the Lord. Let us send you our New Believers Growth Packet. It's free of charge if you prayed with Pastor Greg for the first time today.

It'll help you get started off right. Just ask for the New Believers Growth Packet when you write a new beginning. Box 4000, Riverside, California 92514. Or call 1-800-821-3300. We can take your call anytime 24-7.

Again that's 1-800-821-3300. Or go online to harvest.org. And if you missed any part of what Pastor Greg brought us today, you can catch up by going online to harvest.org. Just look for the title of what the resurrection of Jesus means to you. Well we're talking about a number of things that just may surprise you about the life of Billy Graham. These come from Pastor Greg's new book called Billy Graham the Man I Knew.

We've talked about the important role his wife Ruth played. We talked about him being a door-to-door salesman and how he wanted to be a Major League Baseball player when he was really young. So what's next Pastor Greg?

What's what's another surprise? Okay here's number six. Billy and Ruth Graham lived on less than $50 a week prior to the launch of his crusades. So before Billy Graham became a household name in 1949 with his Los Angeles crusade, he served for 21 months as a pastor of a Baptist church in a Chicago suburb. A lot of people don't know Billy was a pastor for a time. So when he wasn't preaching or going home to home to visit people, he had a radio broadcast called Songs in the Night. Then he would preach twice on Sundays at the church, hold a midweek prayer meeting, and Ruth even taught child evangelism classes on Wednesday afternoons and he was paid $48 a week.

You know the Bible says, despise not the days of small things. And God was preparing Billy and in some ways one of the ways the Lord prepares us for what he has ahead is through process of elimination. Sometimes before you find out what you're called to do, you have to first discover what you're not called to do. So Billy had his stint as a pastor. Imagine having Billy Graham as your pastor, that'd be fantastic. But he really felt called to be an evangelist. You know, man I love pastors. Dave, I am a pastor and I respect pastors, but the pastors are many and the evangelists are few. It's kind of rare that you find a person who's called primarily to be an evangelist.

I feel called to be both a pastor and an evangelist. As a matter of fact, Billy once said to me, Greg, I think you should leave your church and go into full-time evangelism. And I looked at him and I said, now Billy, when you say something like that to me, it's like Moses just talked to me. And he kind of smiled. I said, you know, Carrie, so much weight, so I need to think about this and pray about it, Billy.

And I did, and it troubled me for weeks. And I finally came back to him and said, Billy, thank you so much for your encouraging and inspiring words, but I feel called to be a pastor and an evangelist. And he nodded in understanding.

And I do feel called to do both, and I do both on our program as well. But Billy was really called primarily to be an evangelist, though I might add he was referred to as America's pastor. So even though he was an evangelist, he really was in a pastoral role with the presidents that he would speak to. And we cannot forget that Billy crossed both sides of the political aisle. Oh, sure, he was a friend to Eisenhower and Nixon and Reagan and George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush, but don't forget he was a friend and confidant of President Kennedy, President Johnson, President Clinton. So he had the ear of all of them because he kept their confidence, and he gave them godly counsel.

He was not there to give them political advice. And Ruth would remind him, if he ever crossed that line, by the way, that he was there primarily to be a spiritual counselor, and he did his job well. But yes, it's true, for a short stint, he was a pastor. This is just one of the many things that bring out my book, Billy Graham, The Man I Knew, that you may not have known about this incredible man that God used in such an amazing way. I want to send you a copy of this book for your gift of any size. Whatever you send, I can promise you will use that to reach more people with the teaching of the Word of God and the message of the gospel.

Yeah, and we so much appreciate your partnership in this important work. So let us thank you for your donation with this remarkable book on the life of a remarkable man, Billy Graham, The Man I Knew. In fact, Franklin Graham wrote this about the book. I've often said that the public Billy Graham, seen on crusade platforms and television, was the same private Billy Graham at home. This certainly is revealed in Billy Graham, The Man I Knew, which is based on Greg's personal thoughts on the special time spent with my father and how his ministry impacted Greg's own life and evangelistic ministry. I'm grateful for Greg's friendship, for his love for my father, and for his proclamation of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Well, Pastor Greg is making the book available to thank you for your donation of any size. And please know there are no churches or large organizations covering all the expenses. No, it's only through the investments of listeners that these insights can come your way each day.

So thanks for being a partner with us. With your donation today, be sure to ask for Billy Graham, The Man I Knew. You can write a new beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514. Or call 1-800-821-3300. Call any time, that's a 24-hour phone number, 1-800-821-3300.

Or just go online to harvest.org. Well, next time, Pastor Greg begins a short series on a big topic. Have you ever felt your prayer life needed a little help? He'll help us dig into some instruction on prayer from the Lord Himself. Join us next time on A New Beginning.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-02 23:35:08 / 2023-11-02 23:46:06 / 11

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