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The 7 Love Letters of Jesus to His Church: Filled with the Spirit

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
September 8, 2021 3:00 am

The 7 Love Letters of Jesus to His Church: Filled with the Spirit

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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September 8, 2021 3:00 am

The bad news is, sometimes believers notice their spiritual batteries begin to drain. But today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie has good news. He points out we’re rechargeable.

 

 

This year we are excited to bring back our SoCal Harvest. Why do large-scale, evangelistic crusades still matter after all these years? It’s pretty simple: in a time of division, disharmony, social unrest, and fractional politics, we, now more than ever, need to be together—physically, mentally, emotionally, and yes, spiritually. We need the presence of God in our lives, the only one with a plan, a road map for all of us, RSVP today: harvest.org/socal 

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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.

Support the show: https://harvest.org/support

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

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You are listening to a new beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast supported by harvest partners for more ways to deepen and challenge your spiritual walk and roll and pastor breaks free online courses sign up and harvest out a word what were going along resorting to smothering worth noting the snow we don't know what you need a refill. The spirit of the bad news is sometimes believers notice their spiritual batteries today on a new beginning. Greg Laurie has good points out, we are rechargeable many believers.

The power of the holy spirit God wants to fill you with the spirit, over and over again. One Sunday morning my speaker was Jesus himself open word. Your loving inspirational cycle.

Then he says I'm going to speak frankly or something on my mind every year. Today on a new beginning pastor Greg Laurie points out, that's essentially what the Lord did with seven churches of the first century he spoke frankly we should listen together of the book of Revelation.

Remember Revelation reveals it unveils a lot of things that unveiled 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. Revelation also reveals cause to.

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 is 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 that 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 past 70 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 summed it 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. 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 are part of 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 strike 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 is limitations to his power that 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't 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 it ends up in big things.

That's the way sin works. Little sins turn into big sin little compromises turn into big problems. So we need to follow the advice Jesus gives here to Pergamum as for 16 repent welcome you quickly and fight against those with a sort of my mouth. He that has 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 you regularly tear others down to denigrate them and slander them hold on now, you're like the people in the church of Pergamum you're compromising that is not what God wants bringing this to our fourth George identified as Thi 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 as for 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 called herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce my servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things 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 false 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. Jesus tells them to repent. Now we come to the church of Sardis in Revelation chapter 3 verse one to the angel of the church in Sardis write these things says he that has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars I know your works, you woman named that you are alive, but you are dead, be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die forever not found your works perfect before God here with these churches.

We looked on, we see the natural regression of sin. Sin always pulls you down so you begin to lose your passion like the believers in the church of Ephesus, consider moving forward. You're starting to move backwards and you start compromising like the churches of Pergamum's the fire Tyra and you end up dead like Sardis them said before, knowing generally plan some backsliding. But one day you wake up and you say what happened what happened to my life. What happened to my marriage. What happened to my health. I made all these bad decisions. How did I get here. I never wanted to go to this place, but here I am started through little compromises that led to this slippery slope of sin. Sardis is the church that looks good on the outside but there dead on the inside.

Have you ever been to a Hollywood set, you realize that when you watch these movies and TV shows that a lot of times are not real buildings or just the faade of the building and behind it are are are pieces of wood, holding it up. And so in many ways this is adjourned to look good on the outside but there were dead on the inside is not a description of someone in talking to you right now.

Everyone thinks you're just the greatest Christian of all time, but there's a dead this inside of you. That's what was happening with this church. So what can a dead church do let me personalize it.

What can a believer do if they feel that they're in a deadened state or the great physician. The Lord himself gives us prescription for recovery.

You know, if you're not feeling well and you go to the doctor if you don't deal with the Dr. says that's not on him. It's on you heard about a patient to went to his doctor and said you know dog it's been one month since I saw you and I feel worse than I thought of the day I came to your office. The doctor said what did you follow the instructions on the medicine I gave you the person said yes I did. The bottled said keep tightly closed. Now you close it after you're done, but open it in, take the medicine and so Jesus is giving his medicine. Here's what he saying here's what you need to do if you find yourself feeling spiritually dead.

It's all found in his description of himself in verse one of chapter 3.

He says he's the one who holds the seven spirits of God and seven stars.

The seven spirits are a symbol of the Holy Spirit in his fullness when many believers. The is to be empowered by the holy spirit. Let's say you bought a brand-new car you drove it off the lot.

Your loving it ran perfectly for a week maybe a week and I have then wanted to stop so you have it towed back to the dealer you say what's wrong with this car you sold me you rip me off and and they look inside your car in the turn on the ignition in your you're on empty. Your fuel is gone is the did you fill it up with. Guess what, you have to fill this up with gas. Yes you do, sometimes in our life as Christians. What were going along were starting to sputter and were starting to stall. We don't know what's wrong you need a refill. You need to be filled with the spirit of Ephesians chapter 5 says be filled with the spirit speaking yourself in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your hearts to the Lord and that phrase be filled need to be filled over and over again. So God wants to fill you with the spirit he wants to refill you. That's what they needed they needed a refill of the Holy Spirit.

Mr. Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment.

We hear from so many people find Christ pastor Greg's teachings as Greg.

I would say that your harvest persuaded Anaheim Stadium about 20 years ago. Before that I could hardly stand to look in the mirror because I was lost in a world of drugs and violence. In fact, I had many friends and family who died when I was young I always figured I would be far behind. Today I went to your harvest Crusade. I was kind of embarrassed to be there and didn't understand what this was all about and you came on stage and began to grab my attention. God was speaking through your mouth. My heart, I started crying and didn't know why but I knew I wanted everything you were talking about the love, the forgiveness and eternal life. You did an altar call for anyone who wanted to accept Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior. I popped up and jumped through the rows to get to the field so that I could commit my life to Jesus Christ. I just felt the need to share this with you.

I pray that God continues to use you to help save the lost.

Thank you Jesus and thank you Pastor Greg for sharing God's love was so many great story of how God used the harvest Crusade to bring this man to Christ, tell a friend about pastor Greg's next event SoCal harvest October 3 Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California get information and get involved by going to harvest.org harvest.org Pastor Greg is leading our study of Jesus messages to the seven churches of Revelation messages that are very relevant to the times in which we live and later will explain how you can take this teaching even further through pressure. Greg's new book on Revelation or get details now@harvest.org. Now we come to the church of the last days, as we will discover in the book of Revelation. I believe personally work in the last days I'll make a case for that and by that I mean I believe Jesus could come for us in our lifetime.

So we want to be ready. You don't want to be a part of the church of thigh attire you don't want to be a part of the church of forgiveness.

You definitely don't want to be in the church of Sardis but you do want to be in this church is really you choose what church are going to go to you to find what church you're going to be.

It's really up to you.

This is the church, now of Philadelphia that's a lot. Revelation 3 verse seven to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write these things says he that is holy and is true. He was the key of David. He who opens and no one shot and shuts and no one opens I know your works. I've set before you an open door, and no man can shut it for you of a little strength, and you've kept my word, and you have not denied my name or some take away choose from the church of the last days the church we should all be a part of number one. Jesus is given to us in on precedented open door.

Let me say that again Jesus is given to us as a church today and unprecedented open door. Do you know that we have the ability for the first time ever to literally fulfill the great commission and our lifetime. I mean think of all the technology we have at our disposal, and even what were doing here at Harvest at Home and then this is on our YouTube channel and these messages are heard in our radio broadcasts and on our website and there's so many ways we can communicate now through films and other ways that getting the gospel to people in unexpected ways. The door here is a symbol of opportunity and the key is a symbol of his authority. Paul said in second Corinthians 212 when it came to troll asked to preach Christ's gospel a door was open unto me by the Lord.

We should pray for these open doors Colossians for pulses, pray for us to that God will open the door and give us many opportunities to speak about Christ so God opens doors up there, there might be an open door in your life right now with a neighbor. There were close close of the gospel close to anything spiritual, and suddenly there open for you just met somebody or an opportunity came up. Look for open doors there out the pay attention. Number two God is given us enough strength to do what he has called us to do. God has given us enough strength to do what he is called us to do. We read that this church was making a comeback and birthday.

Jesus says you have a little strength, by the way, that's not a negative criticism. It's accommodation that he is giving to this church.

The picture here is of a sick person coming back to life. As you may know, I got call with a number of months ago and and I started with the usual congestion in a little bit of a fever. I had a mild case. Thankfully, but one thing that stayed with me for a while was fatigue. It took me a while to get my energy back. I would get up and do some and I'm too tired and discussed it for like an hour. That's not me I'm I'm a very busy active person but thankfully my strength is come back again. But that's a picture here of the church of Philadelphia.

That's like a sick person coming back to life that are not in full help yet but but they're getting there there there are out of the bed, now they're standing up against their son to move around again this would appear to say at the church of the end times is going to experience revival what is revival, it's returning to original condition. What is original condition at the church of the first century the church that change the world.

The church and turn the world upside down. So this last days church of Philadelphia is coming back there making a come back there. Strength is returning a church that is going through open doors of opportunity he gives him a promise and this shows this is a church of the last days.

In verse 10 he promises to keep them. He promises to keep us from the great tribulation.

Verse 10 says Jesus we can all keep you from the hour of trial that will come upon the whole world to test those that dwell on the year. Overall going to go through trials and tribulation life as followers of Jesus. Jesus even said in this world you will have tribulation, be of good cheer. I've overcome the world. But there's a difference between personal tribulation and what we call the great tribulation. The great tribulation. Is a global event.

But in verse 10 he says I'll keep you from the hour of trial that will come upon the whole world to test those that dwell on the earth. This is a global event that will affect everybody. Secondly, it's a specific period of time. Jesus calls it in hour of trial is not 60 minutes and seven years in total.

So he says I'll keep you from it is my firm belief that the Lord will call us home to heaven before the tribulation period begins. I believe the church will not go through the tribulation. I don't even think the tribulation. Can begin until the church is Greg Laurie will come back in a moment with a final comment from message. Today's addition of a new beginning.

Concludes that he spoke of open doors of opportunity we have an open door to preach the gospel in just a few weeks at SoCal harvest because of the pandemic. It's been more than two years since we been able to host one of our live evangelistic events but were coming back to Angel Stadium in Southern California for a one night event on Sunday, October 3 be in prayer which it and let a friend know of this important opportunity to find hope in Jesus Christ. Now the title of today's message is the seven love letters of Jesus to his church for an instant replay of today's presentation.

Look for that title. When you go to harvest.org will pester Greg. I'm sure listeners are enjoying this new series in the book of Revelation and they'll enjoy your new book of Revelation takes this insight even further as well yeah but I think that the first time a pastor decides to teach from the book of Revelation is a little sobering a little intimidating.

Yes, the remember the first time you dove in. Yes, it it is all the above i.e. it it's an overwhelming book.

It's a book that's filled with imagery.

It's a book that's filled with statements that are not always easily understood, but I think as you begin to piece it together and understand that studying the book of Daniel is a great help in understanding the book of Revelation.

Understanding the format of it. Understanding the purpose of it, it suddenly comes into focus for you, you know, just take the word Revelation by the way, it's Revelation singular, not revelations plural.

I bring this up because people often say why been reading revelations while Doug, it's Revelation, but Revelation means to unveil.

So God's not trying to hide things from us. He's trying to unveil reveal things to us. You know it's interesting Jesus in Matthew 24 I and what we call the all of the discourse says when you see the abomination of desolation happen then we read let the reader understand.

So Jesus is talking about end times events and there's that little detail. Let the reader under stand. So why would Jesus say that if he didn't want us to understand Bible prophecy and how it applies to us today.

I believe were living in the last days. I believe Jesus could come back at any moment and I believe we need to be ready in the book of Revelation will help us to live a life that is prepared for the return of Christ, and we are not only teaching on it here on a new beginning, but we have a brand-new book that we have just completed and I'm so excited about this because this is going to help you understand this great book of Revelation and out Bible prophecy applies to you.

The title of the book is simply Revelation subtitled a book of promises so I hope you'll order this book that we will send you for your gift of any size and whatever you said and we will use to enable us to continue to teach the word of God here on our radio broadcast a new beginning and also to proclaim the gospel and call people to Jesus Christ. So order your copy of this brand-new book Revelation, a book of promises. I will send it to you for your gift of any size yet it's right at such a rich book if I could even promises a special blessing.

No other book of the Bible does that and will send you this new resource to thank you for your donation right now a Dave. Let me jump in really quick and not only are we offering this new book Revelation about the promises, but we have this really cool graphic bookmark that we have put together that gives you a timeline of end times events so you probably wondered okay I know I've heard about the rapture and the tribulation. In the antichrist and the second coming. What happens when will this very beautiful little visual bookmark sort of lease it out for you that's included in the book you're talking about right now. Yeah that's right it comes automatically to get in touch with your donation today and will thank you with a copy of Revelation, a book of promises you can write a set a new beginning. Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or call 1-800-821-3300. That's a 24 seven phone number 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest.org when next time on a new beginning. The conclusion of Pastor Greg study called the seven love letters of Jesus to his church pastor Greg helps us wrap up today's program. One final thought actually to two things I want to say in closing, picking up on what I already touched on in our mess.

Jesus says I set before you an open door. No man can shut it. I want to challenge you to look for opportunities to start in evangelistic conversation and this coming week. Look for people to talk to about Jesus that they will happen at unexpected times with unexpected people in unexpected places you never know when those little doors will open up and I would also like to pray for you as we close because we talked about being filled with the spirit. Every one of us needs to be filled with the spirit and the be refilled over and over again, so I would like to close with prayer we would all ask Jesus to fill us with the spirit because were told in the book about, you shall receive power of the Holy Spirit has come upon you to be a witness to me and so I need this power of the spirit of my life to have the boldness and the courage to look for those open doors and start evangelistic conversation so let me pray for you right now. Let's pray father we need the power of your Holy Spirit.

We fall short. So often, but you told us in Scripture. It's not by might nor by power but by your spirit says the Lord. So Lord fill us with your Holy Spirit. Even now, fill every one of us with all the power we need.

Give us all the gifts of the spirit that we need and use us to be your representatives in this dark world so we can go out and share the gospel and go for those open doors of opportunity, we commit ourselves to you Jesus name we pray. Amen. And everybody thinks her list.

Beginning this is a podcast made possible by harvest partners. So for more content can help you know God and equip you to make him known to others or to learn more about how you can become a harvest partner. Just go to harvest.org


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