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What Is the Mark of the Beast?: Followers of Jesus

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
October 7, 2021 3:00 am

What Is the Mark of the Beast?: Followers of Jesus

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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October 7, 2021 3:00 am

One of the most positive things people can say about us is that we’re “followers” of Jesus Christ. It means we’re willing to follow His lead, we’re active in our belief, we’ve put feet to our faith. And today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie takes us to Revelation 14 where we learn about a group of exactly 144,000 “followers” of Jesus. A group recorded for time and eternity in Scripture. We’ll see what makes them unique, and learn to follow in their footsteps.

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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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Hey everybody, you're listening to A New Beginning, which is a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners.

If this program has impacted you, I'd love to hear from you. So just send an email to me at greg.harvest.org. Again, it's greg.harvest.org.

You can learn more about becoming a Harvest Partner by going to harvest.org. Coming up today, Pastor Greg Laurie reveals why sometimes people are reluctant to accept Jesus' free gift of salvation. I think sometimes people feel, oh, if I follow Jesus, I'm going to give up all of my dreams and just live this miserable life.

That's the opposite of what is true. What did Jesus say? If you lose your life for my sake, you'll find it.

God's plans for you are better than your plans for yourself, and you'll see how much He loves you as those plans unfold. One of the most positive things people can say about us is that we're followers of Jesus Christ. It means we're willing to follow His lead. We're active in our belief. We put feet to our faith. And today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie takes us to Revelation 14, where we learn about a group of exactly 144,000 followers of Jesus, a group recorded for time and eternity in Scripture. We'll see what makes them unique and learn to follow in their footsteps. waters and like the voice of loud thunder and i heard the sound of harpists playing their harps and they sang as it were a new song before the throne before the four living creatures and the elders and no one could learn that song except the 144,000 who are redeemed from the earth these are ones who have not defiled themselves with women for the virgins they are the ones who follow the lamb wherever he goes they've been redeemed from among men being first fruits to god and the lamb and in their mouth was found no deceit and they're without fault before the throne of god so 144,000 remember them we read about them earlier in the book of revelation and god had protected them in revelation chapter 7 wherever they went god watched over them and they're proclaiming the gospel who are the 144,000 they're jewish people who have put their faith in jesus as their messiah but now we see they're not on earth they're in heaven notice it's not 143 999 that made it to heaven no all 144,000 make it to glory and it reminds us of the statement of jesus in john 89 of those whom you have given me i have not lost one god doesn't lose his children god never loses sight of you he always has his eye on you because you belong to him now here are four takeaway truths about the 144,000 that apply to you remember these are our mere mortals they're not angelic beings they're not superheroes they're people who've been called by god and these principles that are true of them can also be true of every follower of jesus christ number one they have the mark of the father in heaven not the mark of the anti-christ so all marks are not bad uh revelation 14 1 having his father's name written on their foreheads the father's name you know you have a choice as to who your father will be you can either make god your father or you can be as jesus said of your father the devil this mark on the foreheads of the 144,000 is something that identifies them as god's children it's sort of like an id tag other people won't see it but the lord sees it and by the way god has put his id tag on you what does that mean it means you belong to the lord do you find that comforting i do first corinthian 619 says you're not your own you've been bought with a price therefore glorify god with your life number two another thing about the 144,000 they sing a new song i love this they sing a new song do you have a new song in your life look at revelation 14 again and i heard the voice of loud thunder and sound of harpists playing their harps and they sang as it were a new song before the lord now a harp is a beautiful instrument is it not so majestic and of course we think of it as heavenly because we read of harps in heaven but remember a harp is a stringed instrument so we could just as easily say they played their electric guitars or the ukuleles or or their mandolins or whatever it is but these stringed instruments are being used to bring glory and honor to god but listen to this every believer has a new song over in psalm 40 verse 2 the psalmist writes he lifted me out of a pit of despair out of the mud and the mire and he has given me a new song to sing a hymn of praise to our god many will see what he has done and be astounded and many will put their trust in the lord see when you come to jesus you're given a new song you have a story to tell because god has lifted you and me and all of us out of a pit of despair i remember when i became a christian at the age of 17 and i'd been raised listening to rock and roll the first music i remember listening to was the beatles and the 60s was sort of a golden age of rock i listened to the beatles and i listened to the rolling stones and the animals and and the doors and jefferson airplane and jimmy hendrix and bob dylan and the list goes on so i loved all that music then i became a christian and i thought well i guess i have to give all that music up from now on it's kumbaya 24 hours a day so i went to this church called calvary chapel where the jesus movement was literally happening before my eyes i walked right into the middle of a spiritual awakening and these new bands were forming one of those bands was called love song and one of their songs was called a new song and and i i heard this song and this new music that was being created and it just washed over me in a beautiful way we had our own music and actually i was watching contemporary christian worship and contemporary christian music in general also being born before my eyes we had a new song and we have a new story when's the last time you told someone your story or sing your song now i'm not suggesting you have to literally sing to people jesus came into my life and he can come into yours too no not like that but the idea is tell your story when's the last time you told your story about what christ has done for you to someone who doesn't know the lord yet it's a beautiful thing sharing your faith is life giving it actually replenishes you as you do so listen when you draw people to christ you yourself will be drawn to christ when we make him known to others we effectively know him better i can think of times where i'm telling my story to someone and i i'm remembering all that god has done for me and it it encourages me as i'm sharing it with them these folks have a new song number three the 144 000 are sincere in their faith they're sincere in their faith a good revelation 14 5 and in their mouth there was no deceit they're without fault before the throne of god this word deceit it speaks of hypocrisy there's no hypocrisy there's no double standard and sometimes people like to put on an act and appear to be something they are not and the technical definition of hypocrite in the bible is the same word that is used for actor an actor so who is an actor it's someone that plays a part they learn the lines and get their makeup on they go to their spot and they act and that's what some people are doing they're in the church they've got the props the bible they have the verbiage down but they're actors they're fakers they're phonies they're not real i think sometimes we misunderstand what hypocrisy is we might see a christian lose their temper and scream and you'll point an accusing finger at them and say you hypocrite and even the way you say it it's like you hypocrite almost like people are enjoying it hypocrite now just because a christian loses their temper or does something else that's wrong like that it doesn't mean they're a hypocrite it might just mean they're human i'm not excusing it i'm saying we're gonna sin as christians the bible says that we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us but that's not hypocrisy that's just messing up that's just sinning hypocrisy is when i put on an act and appear to be pious when i'm not really even a follower of jesus at all listen to this hypocrites are the ones who find faults in others but never themselves let me say that again hypocrites are the ones who find faults in others never themselves so the hypocrites are often the most judgmental critical people of all the apostle paul feared being a hypocrite and being disqualified and he spoke of it in first corinthians 9 27 when he said i disciplined my body like an athlete training it to do what it should do otherwise when i preach to others i myself would be disqualified pastor greg lorry will have the second half of his message in just a moment it's encouraging to hear when these studies have truly impacted lives even through some dark times hi greg i wanted to reach out and let you know how much my husband and i enjoy listening to you and watching your sermons on sunday from our home we lost our son just six months ago and we're struggling each day god has been giving us strength to continue and listening to you has really helped your recent sermon the afterlife was so amazing that was my birthday the first one without our son and what you were talking about really made my heart very happy i love hearing about heaven and where my son and i will spend eternity together i'm very sorry for the loss of your son no parent should have to bury their child it's heart-wrenching but you are an inspiration and i'm so thankful for you if you have a story of how the lord has touched your life through this ministry why not call and share it with us here's the number 1-866-871-1144 it's a special number for this purpose 1-866-871-1144 well today pastor greg is offering up several observations about the 144 000 spoken of in revelation 14 we're learning how to follow their example one last point the 144 000 follow the lamb wherever he goes look at verse four they follow the lamb we should do that each and every day we've all been called to follow the lamb or follow jesus jesus said if any man come after me let him deny himself and take up the cross and follow me for whoever will seek to save his life will lose it and if you lose your life for my sake you'll find it i think sometimes people feel oh if i follow jesus i'm going to give up all my fun and all of my dreams and aspirations and just live this miserable life that's the opposite of what is true what did jesus say deny yourself take up your cross yes but then he said but if you seek to save your life you'll lose it but listen if you lose your life you'll find it what this means is i say god i want your will above my will i want your plans over my plans and you'll come to discover god's plans for you are better than your plans for yourself and you'll see how much he loves you as those plans unfold i think jesus has a lot of followers that are like people that follow you on twitter i'm on social media i'm on facebook and instagram and twitter i don't get people on twitter it seems like twitter is the platform for angry people with too much time on their hands you know it's always attacking one another and you'll tweet something and people well you know will retweet it and they'll refute it and attack you and one of my favorite things to do is block people on twitter you have two choices you can mute them or block them if you mute them you won't see what they're posting if you block them they can't copy your name in their tweet but who are these people these are not followers why are you following me if you disagree with me and i think there are people like that that say i'm a follower of jesus but they're always fighting with him and rebelling against him and disobeying him you're not a follower of jesus you see but these people 144 000 they follow the lamb wherever he goes listen following jesus is something we do each and every day one day jesus looked at a tax collector named matthew he didn't have any friends because he was a jewish man who betrayed his fellow jews and was working for rome collecting taxes not only the taxes that rome demanded but probably a little on the top for his own benefit and much to the surprise of levi or matthew jesus walked by his text with one day and made eye contact with him and said follow me without a moment of hesitation matthew bolted up from that tax booth and became a follower of jesus christ and that phrase follow means follow with me so the idea is following jesus is not something i do just on sundays he's not sunday jesus he's monday jesus tuesday jesus wednesday thursday friday and saturday jesus you follow him each and every day and the phrase that jesus uses to matthew to follow him means follow with me or to put it another way let's walk together walking with god not dragging god where i want god to go but getting in sync with god discovering the will of god seeking to pray according to the will of god and you can start doing that right now and when you do you'll find the life you're looking for and listen to this if you know jesus now he will know you then if you say yes to jesus now he'll say enter into my kingdom then but if you say i don't want jesus now then he'll say depart from me i never knew you then question who are you following anti-christ or jesus christ emmanuel or jezebel god or satan you say well i'm not following satan but i'm not following jesus okay you're following the devil if you're not following jesus listen to this jesus said you're for me or against me i told you i became a christian when i was 17 years old i lived this crazy life with my mother i ended up getting into drugs myself for maybe a little over a year i was drinking and partying and doing all these things i never wanted to do and i was empty and i was searching and i came upon this group of christians on my high school campus who were having a bible study and singing songs about the lord and i sat down close enough to sort of eavesdrop on their conversation but not so close that my other friends so called would think i'd joined up with the jesus freaks and i watched them sing their songs i saw the smiles on their faces and i remember thinking these poor deluded people look at them they're nuts but then i tried a new thought i'm precise which was what if they're right what if they found the truth and i thought oh no that's not possible i quickly dismissed it and i returned to it what if it's all true and then a guy got up to speak his name was lonnie i don't remember most of his message but i remember one statement when he said jesus said you're for me or you're against me no i was not an atheist whenever i was in trouble i called on jesus but this was the first time i heard that i was either for or against jesus and i looked at those christians and i thought well i'm not one of them does that mean i'm against christ and that was the day i gave my life to jesus let me close by saying this you are for or against jesus this is an either or proposition it's like when you get in an elevator you're going up or down you can't go sideways right you have to decide and jesus christ died on the cross for your sin he paid the price for every wrong thing you've ever done and he rose again from the dead and that same jesus who died and lives is standing at the door of your life right now and he is knocking and he's saying if you'll hear my voice and open the door i will come in would you like your sin forgiven would you like to know that you will go to heaven when you die would you like to be ready for the lord's return would you like your guilt taken away it can happen for you right here right now he's just a prayer away i'm going to pray a prayer and i'm going to ask you that do not have jesus in your life yet to pray this prayer with me to pray this prayer with me and it's a simple prayer where you're asking jesus to come into your life as your savior and your lord so if you want to go to heaven when you die if you want to be ready for the lord's return if you want your guilt taken away just stop what you're doing and i want you to pray this prayer you could even pray it out loud just pray these words lord jesus i know that i am a sinner but i know that you are the savior who died on the cross for my sin and now i turn from that sin i repent of that sin and i ask you to come into my life to be my savior and lord i choose to follow you from this moment forward in jesus name i pray amen pastor greg lorry closing with an important prayer with those choosing to follow the lord today and if you've just prayed with pastor greg and have meant those words sincerely your sins have been forgiven jesus is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and cleanses from all unrighteousness and we want to help you get started living the christian life we want to send you our new believers growth packet just ask for it and we'll send it to you free of charge request it when you write a new beginning box 4000 riverside california 92514 or when you call 1-800-821-3300 we can take your call anytime 24 7 again at 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest dot org well pastor greg i'm sure our listeners are enjoying this new series in the book of revelation and they'll enjoy your new book on revelation that takes this insight even further as well yeah but i've got to think that the first time a pastor decides to teach from the book of revelation is a a little sobering a little intimidating yes do you remember the first time you dove in yes it is all the above uh 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 and 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 well i've been reading revelations well look 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 uh and what we call the oliver 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 a little detail let the reader understand 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 we're living in the last days i believe jesus could come back at any moment and i believe we need to be ready and 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 how 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 to you for your gift of any size and whatever you send 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 and we'll send it to you for your gift of any size yeah that's right it's such a rich book in fact it even promises a special blessing no other book of the bible does that and we'll send you this new resource to thank you for your donation right now hey dave let me jump in really quick and not only are we offering this new book revelation a book of promises but we have this really cool graphic bookmark that we have put together that gives you a timeline of end times event so you probably wondered okay i know i've heard about the rapture and the tribulation period and the anti-christ and the second coming what happens when well this very beautiful little visual bookmark sort of lays it out for you that's included in the book you're talking about right now yeah that's right it comes automatically so get in touch with your donation today and we'll thank you with a copy of revelation a book of promises you can write us at a new beginning box 4000 riverside california 92514 or call 1-800-821-3300 that's a 24 7 phone number 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest.org well next time more insights from the dramatic book of revelation don't miss it join us here on a new beginning with pastor and bible teacher greg lorry thanks for listening to a new beginning with greg lorry a podcast made possible by harvest partners helping people everywhere know god sign up for daily devotions and learn how to become a harvest partner at harvest.org
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-08-13 08:42:01 / 2023-08-13 08:51:02 / 9

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