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March 25, 2020 12:04 pm
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The following message from Pastor Greg Laurie is made possible by harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God, you want to hear from you. Would you consider emailing me you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org again that's Greg harvest.org and you can also make me one of your friends on Facebook and drop me a comment on range laws and people without us.
What does he want to reach lost people without us today. Pastor Greg Laurie points out, God reaches people through people and we each need to be available to reach out on his behalf.
Did it ever occur to you that cranky neighbor that difficult to deal with coworker another person in contact with on a regular basis. Your mission field day after getting one acupressure Greg to help us have a more heavenly view of the earthly issues surrounding us in our world today. Can you help us with that right Dave everybody below. Some I checked Romans 828 is still in the Bible right someone check quick. I think it's there.
What is it say it says all things work together for good to those love God. Another called according to his purpose within a goes on to say whom God did for no. He also did predestined to be conformed into the image of his own dear son, here's the thing were going through a trial in our nation together were going through a storm together and the storm is called covert, 19, also known as the coronavirus.
This storm is going to have a beginning, middle and an end. Where are we in it. We don't know what we know will get to get through it and we know that God can even take this event that were going through and work it out for our good. Ultimately, in his glory, and ultimately his endgame if you will, is to make us more like Jesus. Remember all things work together for good to those that love him and all the called according to his purpose in whom God foreknew he wanted to conform into the image of his own dear son, so folks hang on to Jesus working to get through this together. Let's keep praying and let's offer others the hope that we have found in Christ and the hope that we want to extend your listeners goes beyond the boundaries of this radio program is not right, especially on the weekend. That's right Dave effect out. We have a weekly broadcast every Sunday we call it Harvest at Home. It's a special message that I'll be giving to all of the folks that wanted to in and watch.
It's like having church in your home. It's like every me over giving up home Bible study in your front room and I'll tell you what the Lord is blessing it and a lot of people are tuning in, and I hope that you will tune in, because what you can do is you can download the harvest up for Apple TV or the Roku box or get the harvest up for your tablet or your phone and you can watch us anyway you want but one thing I know a lot of people are doing. Dave is her inviting people over to their homes on Sunday morning and are having church in their home. You know we want everybody to come to church.
That's a great thing. But Jesus did not say that the whole world should go to church but he did say the church should go to the whole world.
This is a way to bring church if you will, to your neighborhood church to your neighbors church to people that you care about.
So join us for Harvest at Home this Sunday. Just go over the harvest.org we start early in the morning and we got all day long even into the evening. Hope to see their tried and once again you can get the email@example.com well in our study today will follow. One of the great dramatic stories of the Bible were a person's heart for God and the providence of God come together in spectacular fashion while let's all grab our Bibles and turn to the book of Esther and ask you to turn to. One other book of the Bible. In addition, there were going to jump over to and out of the book of Ephesians. So were turning to Esther chapter 3 are also turning to Ephesians chapter 1, when we start with a word of prayer father were thankful for your word because your word is true, and in your word you tell us that you love us and in your word you tell us that you chose us and were thankful for that. So Lord as we open Scripture, we ask you to speak to us now and we ask all of this in Jesus name, amen. The title of my messages. Why God shows you imagine for a moment if you could know the future if I could have a superpower. I don't know if I would really want this one in particular, but imagine for a moment if you knew the future you knew everything that was about to happen.
You knew he would both play in and win the next Super Bowl you knew how your favorite show was going in. You knew who was going to be elected to office.
You knew how the stock market was going to go okay.
If you have this knowledge.
Do you think it would affect the choices you would make will of course it would, because, well for starters you would make wise choices based on the facts. If you knew that if I walk in the street a giant truck is coming. You probably wouldn't walk in the street at that moment if you knew the stock market was going a certain direction or what stocks should be bought when you could make the most money, you would probably choose the right stocks. I would think, and so consider this, God knows the future, and not only does he know the future, but he has a plan for the future.
Think about this when Jesus walked this earth. He knew everything about everyone he had their number.
He knew their thoughts about sometimes Jesus would say the people. What are you thinking this in your heart so pure hanging around Jesus he could read your mind so you couldn't even think about thought without him knowing about it. So he knew all things. Here's what's amazing he chose Simon Peter, and yet he knew that Simon Peter would fail him. In fact, Jesus said to Peter, Peter, Peter, Satan is been asking for you to be sifted as we but I have prayed for you that when you fail, you will return again and strengthen your brother so Jesus was not only predicting the fall of Peter, but he was predicting the return of Peter as well bring this up because sometimes it looks like God chooses losers, but God knows the big picture, and he knew Peter would come around. That brings us back to Esther.
She was chosen by God, handpicked by the Lord to literally not only save her nation. But really, in effect, to save the Jewish people that when we last left Esther a bad moon was rising, the villain of the story came in emerges on the scene and now he has come into power. As you recall, the king is put him as second in command and not only that but the king is given to him in his signet ring that would be like giving someone your credit card or giving them your passwords. Payment had access to all the power of the king, and he hatches this wicked plot to eradicate the Jewish people from the face of the earth.
Why was we discovered together. Haman was an avowed enemy of Israel descended from the Amalekites king. A gag was spared and the egg Haggai were a race of people, and Haman wasn't a gag.
I took he had a blood feud with Israel, and of course our good friend Mordechai and Esther were Jews so they would be on his hitless now with this plan was a good Esther three starting in verse five when he came and saw that Mordecai would not bow down or show him respect. He was filled with rage, he learned of Mordecai's nationality, so he decided it was not enough to lay hands on Mordechai alone and said he looked for a way to destroy all the Jews throughout the entire empire of Xerxes that would be that person.
Empire so he's in power. He wants to wipe the Jewish people out and he gets the Kings approval so Mordechai attaches wind of this plot and so he being a government official himself sends word to Esther saying you've got to do something. Meanwhile, Esther is living in the literal lap of luxury there in the palace of the king, she was included in isolated and knew nothing about the plight of her people. So Mordechai is standing outside of the walls of the palace cupboard in sackcloth. He's in morning. Because of this threat against the Jews in an someone notices him and says a Esther your cousins outside not dress very well. He looks pretty unhappy. Jesus will send him some new clothes and then they send them simple. Talk about missing the point altogether and so now Mordechai needs to tell Esther what's really coming down. And I have to say this reminds me a little bit of some people in the church you know we can be isolated in our little Bible Bible in our holy huddle and we don't really care all that much about people that don't know the Lord were thinking well that's the problem. Why should I put a door hanger on their door. Why should I give them an invitation. I know I'm saved. I know where I'm going. When I die way. You can't just stand around in indifference while people are dying without God.
God is put you where you are for such a time as is just as surely as God put Esther where she was for such a time as this. Remember cousin Mordecai said to Esther when she went to the palaces that knew Queenie's head. Don't tell anyone your Jewish but now he saves time to step up your game.
You need to play your hand and declare of who you are and do something to save your people. That brings us to Esther chapter 4. Look at verse 13, Mordecai said to Esther, don't think for a moment that because you're in the palace, you will escape when all the other Jews are killed if you keep quiet at a time like this. Deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from of some other place. Would you and your relatives will die, but who knows perhaps you were made.
Queen for such a time as this very interesting statement than Mordechai makes to Esther. Here's what we need to remember that God does not need us.
Sometimes Evergreen was a God meets us the reason God created humanity is because he was lonely up there in heaven wanted some companionship nonsense God doesn't need anything or anyone but having said that, it is true that God wants us it is true that God loves us.
It is true that he longs for relationship and friendship with us. Now here's a question. Can God reach lost people without us. Yes, but does he want to reach lost people without us know because the Bible says, how will they hear without a preacher and how they preach unless they are said how beautiful are the feet of those are bring good tidings of peace. So here's what Mordechai said Esther girl listen if you don't act on this God will raise up somebody else. But don't think you're off the hook here because of you will die along with the rest of your fellow Jews, but did it ever occur to you that you are where you are because God put you there. We did it ever occur to you that cranky neighbor that that difficult to deal with coworker other person do you come in contact with in a regular basis could be your mission field.
Did you ever stop and think about praying for that person by name and frame for an opportunity to engage them in a conversation to lead them to Christ. And so she was chosen by God and we been chosen by God Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of today's message just a moment pastor Greg can you give us a verse to hang onto when the new Scriptures down, what would be your go to section of Scripture know when it seems like were walking through the valley of the shadow of death. Yesterday we had just quoted a verse from Psalm 23 which is a favorite Psalm of so many people, and for good reason. It's just a beautiful picture of how God our father is a shepherd who cares for us. Little David was a shepherd and he was probably watching this flock of sheep one day and that you know what those sheep those silly skittish fear will sheep part just like me and then he wrote these words the Lord is my shepherd, I shall not one he makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul he leads me in the paths of righteousness for his namesake yay though I walk to the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil for you are with me your rod and your staff they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies you anoint my head with oil my cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Listen, you're going through a valley right now, we all are. It's called the coronavirus working to get through the valley and you're not alone in this valley.
The Lord is with you. So hang on to him. Good encouragement. Let's continue. No recognition that brings us to Ephesians pop over there really quick. Ephesians chapter 1.
Why did God choose us how many of you believe you been chosen by God raise her hand up.
That's good. Why do you think God shows you we here's the answer in Ephesians 1 verse four just as he chose us before the foundation of the world that we should be holy and without blame before him in love, having predestined us to adoption. You might underline those words adoption to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ himself, according to the good pleasure of his will. Listen to this before the world was made before sin came in. God shows you to be with him through all eternity exhibit.
How do you know that because Jesus said you have not chosen me, but I have chosen you another question that comes to our minds when we read that as well. But why, why would God choose me what goodness or merit. Did God see in me that he would choose me as his child of hope you're not disappointed by my answer. None. There was no goodness there was no Meredith it's not even because you are lovable.
The fact is, he shows you despite you. Despite your sinfulness. Despite my shortcomings, he chose us, despite our high opinions that we hold of ourselves. God's choosing had nothing to do with our value per se. It was based on his lot.
Why did God choose us the answer is the same reasoning chosen nation Israel, the Lord said to Israel even set his love upon them or choose them because they were more in number than other people, for they were the fewest, the Lord chosen because he loved them.
That's why he chose Israel. That's why he chose you because he loved you and he loves you. Is it what I don't understand will join the club who understands just rejoice in and that brings up the subject of predestination. By the way, the greatest theological minds have grappled with predestination for hundreds of years, and settle it right here right now because I have it all figured out. Not just kidding. I don't but I'll take my best shot, and how I see it, but it's been said, quote try to explain election. That's predestination. Another word for it, try to explain election and you may lose your mind try to explain it away. You may lose your soul." So how does God predestined us.
How does he choose us. What is the basis for that choice.
Some who would identify themselves as Calvinists or being reform would say it, irresistible grace, irresistible grace is the teaching that no matter what you think you cannot resist the grace of God. It's a done deal is decided in eternity, irresistible grace. You couldn't say no even if you wanted to buy the web disagree with that.
And then there's even what might be described as double predestination, which means God has chosen that certain people go to heaven and certain people go to hell he's chosen, you have no choice in the matter dodges decided on whatever basis he chose you're going to heaven heaven, hell, hell that's a personal by the way, no meaning LOL have in heaven. I reject this teaching completely. By the way, and a part of this is also limited atonement, which means Christ only died for the elect. In other words, Jesus only died for the ones that he predestined he only died for the chosen ones you have nothing to say in the matter. Ellison this is incorrect because the Bible clearly says that God loves the world, Christ did not just type for the elect. He died for the world. All sinners, because Jesus said for God so loved what the world that he gave his only begotten son over in Romans 568 it says when we were without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly doesn't say he died for only the elect for scarcely for a righteous man, one will die perhaps for a good man. Some would dare to die. But God demonstrated his love toward us while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us know whether you like it or not. The Bible teaches both predestination and free will. The Bible teaches that God shows you what it also tells you that you must choose Kim it's like this, you're in your car you cruising on the freeway of life and there's an offramp and the offramp says whosoever will let him come. We've had a lot of people tell you they pull up in that offramp and its chains are life and you just want to break your routine, but week after week, month after month you go up by that offramp illegal what's going on over there and what if I should take that turn and see what's going on. Whosoever will let him come. So one day you pull your car off the offramp departed you get out. There's a door, whosoever will let him come you open the door you walk in you shut the door behind you and on the other side of the door. It's written chosen in Christ from the foundation of the world. How do you know if you're chosen by God believe in Jesus Christ and you prove that you were how do you find out if you're not chosen, don't believe it's really in many ways up to you. You have a role to play in all of this is a you choose so will you choose. Jim Spurgeon said it's a good thing God chose me before I was born because if he had waited until afterwards he would've changed his mind. But Spurgeon was saying that tongue-in-cheek, which means he meant it sarcastically the practice. God knew exactly who you were a DL Moody, the great evangelist. Put it this way, quote whosoever will are the elect. The whosoever won't are the non-elect." It's not as though God predestined some people to heaven and predestines others to hell he wants all the believe that you could look at it this way, God predestines every person to be saved and affected double predestines every person to be damned man has the casting vote.
You decide where you will spend eternity. But when you make that decision and follow Christ.
You prove you were chose music grade you just confuse me even more. I know I didn't say I would make it makes sense that I just take a shot at it but but here's what it comes down to. Sometimes people get so wound up in sort of reformed thinking that they can even say to a person. God loves you because I think what if I say, God loves you to one of the nonelected rent predestined to help so I can't just say God loves you will any theology that would stop you from saying to a nonbeliever. God loves you any theology that would stop you from sharing the gospel is a false theology because biblical theology for us to share the gospel so as to render choice she could just sit in luxury and forget about the problems of the world, or she could put it all on the line and actin and we have a choice to we don't have to share our faith God could see people without is a story in the book of acts about a guy from Ethiopia that went to Jerusalem searching for God member that story.
He didn't find God. He did get a copy of the Scripture Isaiah by the way. Back in those days of the printing presses that was quite a gift to give to them but it was probably because he was a foreign dignitary and lettered bias. Describe the scroll of Isaiah. So he's reading it, trying to figure it out, leaving Jerusalem on his way back home, and meanwhile the Lord speaks to a guy named Philip and says go to the desert and would Philip go to the desert and he sees the men from Ethiopia and his entourage and Philip engages in with the gospel. But it's interesting.
An angel of the Lord told Philip to go to the desert to talk to this man widen the angel of the Lord just go directly to the men from Ethiopia given the gospel because the job of angels is not primarily to deliver the gospel. That's our job. That's what were supposed to do. So God won't work just great bends and put things in place so you can have those opportunities to leave people to Jesus Christ to Greg Laurie making it clear just how important it is.
We follow through and share the good news with those around us. And of course our mission statement here as a new beginning is knowing God and making him known. It's our goal to equip you share your faith, you can get more details on firstname.lastname@example.org Pastor Greg. The Bible is the best source of direction and encouragement for believers that it's God's counsel straight to our hearts and minds and you have a new edition of the Bible is just out.
That's right, David. The new believers Bible it's in hardback now old and New Testament.
I've been working on this for years and I'm so glad it's finally coming out to somebody listing might say, well in front of the new believers Bible is not been around for a while yet has active for a number of years but in fact, 10 million people got a copy of it, but we went back and redid everything we re-edited the old notes I added new notes is a lot of new material that wasn't there before. So as they say it's new and improved, not the Bible, of course, but the notes that are in the new believers Bible. It's in the very friendly new living translation, which is very readable and then there's is notes and everything you can imagine from how to pray effectively how to share your faith, why do Christians go through trials hard questions that nonbelievers ask him what about the afterlife. What about heaven. What about hell. What about end times events, you name it we probably cover it in the notes of the new believers Bible it be a great resource for you to start enjoying immediately as they say it's hot off the press and we like to rush you a copy for your gift of any size again. I want to remind you that this is a critical time in America right now and we want to seize the moment your harvest ministries to bring hope to hopeless people to bring comfort to frighten people to bring Jesus to lost people and you know are serious about evangelism. If you listen to this program.
I want to see people come to Christ to this crisis. And so I'm in ask you to be extra generous. When you send that gift to us and receive your own copy of the new new believers Bible and I want to thank you in advance of Triton by the way, if you contact us right away will also include a companion resource recall start to follow as an extra publication or pastor Greg watches through the seven key basics. Every believer needs to know.
Great information so as per the new believers Bible as you write a new beginning.
Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or call 1-800-821-3300. That's 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest.org. Easter is the most hopeful time of year.
Pastor Greg Laurie points on the pathway to eternal life. Jesus Christ came out of it empty to fill our who do you know who needs hope this Easter season bring them to hear the good news Pastor Greg special music asked no Easter is the opportunity to bring someone to church that does not get to know the Lord. 82% of the uninsured are likely to attend church have a friend or coworker, neighbor or family member invites and here's the big difference this year to do it all online. That's right, Easter is coming to you dear how is your tablet to your phone wherever you want to view it is go to harvest.org to find out more, let's work together to reach the largest group of people we have ever been able to make contact with this company. Easter is harvest Easter on line when next I more insight about the confidence we can have being and in women chosen by God.
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