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September 7, 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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Everybody you're listening to a new beginning, which is a podcast made possible by harvest partners. If this program is impacted you, I love to hear from you. So just send an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org again it's email@example.com you can learn more about becoming harvest partner by going to harvest.org in the book of Revelation, Jesus warned the church in Pergamum about the sin of Layla Pastor Greg Laurie points out, international warning, today's churning, the sin of compromise. He wanted to do something evil when God told him not to do their people like this.
Today I'm a Christian. I want to go to heaven, will look like that, that is the doctrine available. Don't live that way and Greg Moore featured speaker of the harvesters. Our next event is coming up in less than a month so Carol harvest is coming to Angel Stadium of Anaheim, California with her more at harvest or today.
Greg continues his practical study in Revelation, titled his message to seven love letters Jesus. Will pay close attention to the kind of talking what exactly is law. I think you're in trouble if you define love by what you've learned by listening to pop and rock songs over the years. For instance, there's a song that says what the world needs now is love sweet love, then foreigners saying I want to know what love is. And then there's a very weird song. Some of you might remember this yummy yummy yummy. I've got love in my tummy.
But what we talk about those love it's in our tummy. We need that. But what is this what were talking about will another song answers that question by saying, love is a many splendored thing. Another song says love is the answer.
Led Zeppelin reminded we need whole Lotta love and then meatloaf saying I would do anything for love. Personally I do anything for meatloaf, not the center but excellent food. Then of course Whitney Houston said, I will always love you but then feel Collins gives us a warning saying you can't hurry love, but why one another song gives the answer. It says that's the way love goes acute with let's review try to figure this all out, love is many splendored ants in our tummy.
We need a whole lot of it but we can't hurry it because that's the way it goes and if what the world needs. Maybe the answer is found in this song title. I said I love you but I lied to me that for the black-eyed peas thing. Where is the love I think I have the answer because Adele is a song with the title. Send my love to your new lover. Now we see where the problem really is. And then Lady Gaga saying stupid. Love the Beatles thing. All you need is love. And then the broke up and sued each other. Another song warns too much love will kill you and maybe that's why Dionne Warwick saying I'll never love this way again and Tina Turner saying what's love got to do with it, concluding with the jig. I have been who saying love stinks out. So if you got your definition of love from songs you're in trouble.
Let me tell you what the Bible says about love. The Bible says God is love. Is there any better definition of love than that God is love.
And guess what God loves you and he proved it by sending his own son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for you. Jesus said in John 316 for God so loved the world he gave his only begotten son and whoever believes in him shall not perish but have ever lasting life. That's it. God wants a relationship with you. I met when I was in elementary school we had to give Valentine's Day cards to everyone in the class so no one would feel left out there reminds me of an episode of The Simpsons cartoon TV show our Lisa Simpson gave a Valentine's card to the nerdy and unpopular Ralph Whigham because no one else was giving him any and it was a cute little card on the front of it was a little train and the words were there.
I choose to choose you. Rob took this personally I thought Lisa had chosen him and pursued her for the rest of the episode, but I want you to know something God has chosen you. He show show shows you and were told in Ephesians 14 he loves us because of this he chose us and picked us out for himself as his own children before the foundation of the world. So God loves you he chose you. He wants a relationship with you and he doesn't want anything to break that relationship and sometimes in his love. Yes to correct us and that's what we see in these love letters of Jesus to the seven churches enter the devil, just as surely as there is a God in heaven who loves you.
There is a devil who hates you and wants to destroy you. Satan wants to entice you and get you to break your fellowship with God affect God is the devil's goal each and every day you want to get you distracted, defeated, and ultimately destroy Jesus ended up this way. In John 1010. Speaking of the devil. He said he comes only to steal, kill and destroy. So we have to understand that there is a God in heaven who loves us.
Once relationship with. Thus, there is a devil headed to hell that wants to distract us and destroys them. By the way, the double never takes a day off when the be nice. We found out that Satan takes Mondays off. I did would still get herself into trouble. By the way, even without him, tempting us, but be that as it may, the devil never takes a day off. He doesn't take an hour off. He doesn't take five minutes off and back Revelation 1212 says the devil is come down you in great anger, knowing he has a little time. Listen to this. Even if some Christians don't necessarily believe in the devil believes that Jesus is coming back now that you motivated us to live a godly life, but knowing this time is limited. Knowing his days are numbered.
Satan is trying to wreak as much havoc as he possibly can, but don't let that scare you. Because the Bible reminds us greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world. We need to be aware and we need to be prepared. So were looking together at the book of Revelation. Remember Revelation it's singular, not plural rights of uncolored revelations Revelation reveals it unveils a lot of things that unveils the afterlife that unveils the future it shows is a God who is in control of everything that is happening and is in control of everything that is coming. Revelation reveals the future to us, but Revelation also reveals us to us. It shows us what Jesus thinks of us in the church today and what we must be avoided in the first chapter of Revelation, Jesus identifies himself as walking in the midst of the church. So he's with each one of us as your gathering together watching this wherever you are.
Jesus is there with you and he has something he wants to save you know seven churches are addressed by Jesus. He sends these love letters.
If you will.
We already looked at two of them.
We looked at the church of Ephesus and the church of Smyrna. Remember in Revelation to the church of Ephesus was a church leaving its first love not losing it because they knew world was so they could return to it again. Maybe that describes you right now. You had a passion that is been replaced by passivity. Your worship is been replaced by works. Your inspiration is been replaced by perspiration. Remember what Jesus said to the church of Ephesus, remember from where you will fall and repent and do the first works quickly offended up this way, the 3Rs of getting right with God. Remember, repent, repeat. But then we come to the church of Smyrna, which is a suffering church this time of church history when millions of believers gave their lives for the Lord because they would not say Caesar is Lord, but instead said Jesus is Lord, but rather than weakening them. Persecution actually strengthen them. Know this, the church is never been stronger historically than when it is been persecuted when believers are persecuted. It seems they have almost refining effect on them. I mean I think of the believers were persecuted, they would've stayed in Jerusalem forever. The Holy Spirit was poured out on them in the day of Pentecost.
It was awesome and they would've just had a nice little holy hovel, but persecution began against the church led in many ways by a man known as Saul of Tarsus, later to become the great apostle Paul when he came to faith on the Damascus Road but they spread out everywhere preaching the gospel and so to the persecuted believer Jesus says be faithful unto death, and I'll give you the crown of life. Listen to this.
One of the signs of the end times is persecution that the most persecuted people on the earth today are followers of Jesus Christ and we even see persecution happening in the United States, so what should we do, how should we react when persecution comes our way.
You might be surprised by my answer if you're being persecuted, be happy about it is a what yes that's what Jesus told us Jesus says in Matthew 511 God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you, because you're my followers be happy about it says Jesus. Be very glad for a great award awaits you in heaven is not great persecution is actually a confirmation you're a child of God Mr. Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment, everybody Greg Laurie here encouraging you to join us as we give her what we call harvesting that home is worse in the message of the word of God. You can watch it with your family and your front room where 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. Join us for harvested home harvest pastor Greg is helping us consider Jesus Pacific messages to the seven churches are Revelation, including his counsel to the persecuted church.
He continues now with his message from Revelation to so now we come to a different kind of problem in the church. Satan realizes that he can't destroy the church through persecution instead of weakening them.
They turn into this lean mean preaching machine so he changes his tactics and he decides to infiltrate the church averted the old expression. If you can't be them, join them as we come now to our next church called the church of Pergamum is the devil, effectively joins the church. Revelation chapter 2 verse 12 read with me if you would to the angel of the church in Pergamum's right these things says he that has a sharp two-edged sword. I know your works where you dwell worse. Satan's throne is and you hold fast to my name and you did not deny my faith even in the days in which anti-Best Buy people. Margaret was killed among you, where Satan dwells.
Yields interesting that's mentioned twice where Satan dwells. Listen, the devil is not the equal of God. God is omniscient, which means he knows everything.
The devil is limited in his knowledge, God is omnipotent, which means all-powerful, the devil's limitations to his power and God is omnipresent, which means present everywhere but the devil can only be in one place at one time so the doubles in San Francisco. He can be in Moscow and abusing Moscow, he can't be in wherever so the point is, he seemed to upset his seat in this city where the church was in what's happening here with this churches are starting to compromise. It starts with little things and ends up in big things.
That's the way sin works.
Little sins turn into big sin little compromises turn into big problems. Did you know that the venom of a baby rattler is more potent drop per drop than an adult rattler. I've seen baby rattlers in the wild and in their just little the little rattle little things you know you want to pick him up will be the regular season for the gym even heard feeling we feeling they don't mess around with sin. This is the problem with the church of Pergamum is they were tolerant of sin. Look at verse 14. I've a few things against you, because you have those who hold the doctrine of Belo who taught Bailey to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel will eat things sacrificed to idols and to commit sexual immorality case or whose venom in his bailiwick was the king of the Moabites, the enemies of Israel. He wanted to destroy the nation Israel. So he hired Baylon the prophet not to know were he found Belo the prophet. I think you get a spell prophet PROM IT instead of the biblical spelling. Baylon seem to be a prophet for hires a billing says luck man I want to do curse these Israelites curse them in the name of God, so we don't have to deal with them on the battlefield incredibly being of the prophet agrees, yes I will do that with the Lord comes to Baylon and says I don't want you to do that. Baylon decide to do it anyway. So the next day he gets his donkey knees riding along and all of a sudden this donkey just stops in at step two was a come of his go, let's go, and that in the donkey stopped in and then the donkey walked a little further and there are between two rock walls and the donkey slams up against the wall, hitting Bingham's leg know he's angry.
Belo pulls out a stick and he's beating his donkey he so angry and the Bible says the Lord opened the mouth of the donkey who said why are you beating me that's amazing. What's more amazing to me is without missing a beat benefited because you're not doing what I want you to do in the donkey says heaven I been a good donkey.
Have I always done what you want me to do and said that you have agreement are very good donkey in this conversation with. Here's what Bailey didn't know the donkey seem to have more sense than Baylon did.
Because the donkey saw an angel of the Lord was sword drawn, the Angels probably thinking only they be this guys talking to his donkey finally be angel makes himself visible. Baylon sees what's going on.
But Angel was trying to stop and so Baylon didn't do exactly what Baylon wanted him to do what he came up with a little planning to listen been a guy when I do. Here's what you need to do yet you're really foxy babes from Moab to go sexually entice those young Israeli boys to come in to their tents and make them work sure about your little altars and you worship your false gods and no go for it and God will judge them and that's exactly what happened. So what is is saying to us, will Baylon the sin of Baylon is compromise.
He wanted to do something. Even when God told him not to do it there. People like this today. They said why would Christian. I want to go to heaven but I kind of want to live like hell. I still want a party. I still want to cheat. I still want to lie is still want to do whatever I need to do whatever I want to do in and got say no that's compromise that is the doctrine of Baylon don't live that way. So we need to follow the advice Jesus gives hereto, Pergamum is for 16 repent welcome you quickly and fight against those with a sword of my mouth. He that is an ear to hear, let him hear what the Spirit is saying this is God's wake-up call, let me just say this am I talking to somebody right now, but says there were a Christian, but your sleeping with your boyfriend or your girlfriend. You say you're a Christian, but you're having an affair on your spouse. You say you're a Christian, but you're lying on your tax returns yours.
You say you're a Christian and and you regularly tear others down to denigrate them and slander them hold on now, you're like the people in the church of Pergamum and you're like being them you're compromising that is not what God wants, bringing us to our fourth George identified as Diane Tyra.
So they go from compromise with Pergamum as to full-blown acceptance of sin in the church of fire Tyra Revelation 2, verse 19 Jesus says I know your works, your love, your servant, your faith, your patients and answer your words, your last are more than your first soapy commence on the other. Some of you doing pretty well. Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce my servants to commit sexual immorality. Anything sacrificed to idols. I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent those Jessica Jezebel was the wife of King Ahab. She was a wicked woman who was the Queen of Israel, and she believed in the worship of the falls got a bail.
Jezebel was the one to put the contract out on the prophet Elijah. That said, I'm in a put that man to death and she actually influence the whole nation so the church of fire Tyra had grown tolerant of sin have you grown tolerant of sin in your life are the things you know you should not be doing but your conscience doesn't seem to be kicking in anymore. You know, we have a little smoke alarm in our kitchen and its overly sensitive what just this morning. Kathy was cooking something in the alarm goes off all throughout the house.
There smoking euros smoke any good on the kids and there's like hardly any smoke at all portly. The fire department did not come in overly sensitive smoke alarm better to have that then one that doesn't work maybe one of a very tender heart, a sensitive conscience and when you do something wrong when you think something wrong you feel guilt and remorse over it. Rejoice. That means your conscience is working but if you can go and sin if you can go and do things that the Bible says are wrong before God and not feel any pain of guilt or any remorse something isn't working. Pray that God will sensitize your conscience, Greg Laurie practical counsel for us from our studies of Jesus messages to the seven churches of Revelation today study title here on a new beginning.
The seven love letters of Jesus to his church.
Now if you are unable to hear all of today's presentation. You can catch up by going to harvest.org. In fact you can even hear any of the previous messages in our Revelation series as well.
Again, go to harvest.org. Let me ask you pastor Greg. What are some things that might surprise people in a study of Revelation.
One thing that occurred to me as you know we think of eternity as being timeless, but a part of God's plan is a timed event, the millennium is a thousand years. So I guess will track time in some form. Am I wrong now.
I think that's accurate because the word millennium actually means a thousand. If the 1000 year reign of Christ, but we are aware of the passing of time. When we enter into eternity. The book of Revelation we read about those who were put to death for their faith and they know that was an unjust thing and they say the God. How long will Lord, holy and true, until you judge and avenge our blood of those that dwell on the earth, so they're aware of the passing of time. They're aware of the injustice of what happened to them on planet Earth in their praying and asking God to intervene there aware of what has happened and will happen on planet Earth as well. There's a lot of surprises in the book of Revelation that shatter stereotypical ideas that have been passed on from generation to generation.
That, quite honestly, are simply not biblical but I think the more we learn about heaven. The better we will be enabled to live here on earth you don't was CS Lewis who said loose paraphrase those who think the most of the next world to the most in this one. And so Revelation is where the apostle John is found banished on the island of Patmos. He had faithfully preached the gospel. He was the last of the apostles and people and probably never thought they would hear from John again but is he sitting on this island. Jesus Christ comes to him and takes him into what we might describe as a spiritual time machine if you will. I don't think it was a DeLorean but Jonathan suddenly hurtled into the future any seeing what is going to come.
He's given an overview of the history of the church. He's taken into the presence of God in heaven. He's taken over to the great white throne judgment. He's taken back to earth during the millennial reign of Christ. He gives us a front row seat at the battle of Armageddon, the second coming of Christ, and much much more. The word Revelation means unveiling and so this is an unveiling a revealing of things that aren't to come so were teaching on the book of Revelation here in a new beginning but I'm very excited to tell you that we have a brand-new resource, a beautiful hardcover book commentary on the book of Revelation that I just wrote and simply called Revelation subtitled a book of promises I want to send you this book. Part of the press. This will be a resource that you will use in the years to come that you can go to again and again as you study this great book and let it have its impact on your life. By the way, there's a special promise in Revelation for the person who reads and hears and keeps the words found in this book.
So get a copy of this new book Revelation, a book of promises that will help you understand this very important book of the Bible, the book of Revelation and we will send this book to you for your gift of any size know some can only give a little will send you a copy something give a little bit more. Of course, will send you a copy. Whatever you can do don't hesitate. I really want you to have this book because I think it's going to be a blessing to you. The book of Revelation, a book of promises available from harvest ministries right now. Yeah that's right. And we should point out where including a custom bookmark that shows the timeline of last days events so you can see what comes first. What comes next and so on is laid out very clearly the bookmark is included when we send you this significant book hardcover more than 400 pages called Revelation, a book of promises. So send your donation today to a new beginning. Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or call us at 1-800-821-3300.
We can take your call anytime at 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest.org the next time pastor Greg has more insight Jesus candid messages to the seven churches of Revelation. Join us to begin things to a new beginning.
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