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What You’re Really Looking For | Message from the 2021 SoCal Harvest

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
October 9, 2021 3:00 am

What You’re Really Looking For | Message from the 2021 SoCal Harvest

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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October 9, 2021 3:00 am

In this special episode, we’re bringing you Pastor Greg Laurie’s message from this year’s SoCal Harvest, titled, “What You’re Really Looking For.” 

This event—which took place on Sunday, October 3 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California—saw over 40,000 people in attendance and an additional 200,000 pageviews from those joining online. By the end of the evening, over 6,000 people made professions of faith to follow Jesus Christ.

Throughout his message, Pastor Greg discussed the lure of fame, success, and money—but also asks the question, Who do so many people who have it all end up being so miserable? 

To this, he offered an answer through the gospel message: “The meaning of life,” Pastor Greg summarized, “is to know the God who created you.”

Watch a video replay of the whole event here. 

To read a recap and stories of the impact of the SoCal Harvest, go here.


Learn more about Greg Laurie and Harvest Ministries at

This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.

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Cross the Bridge
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Hey there, thanks for listening to the gray glory pod just a ministry supported by harvest partners on Greg Laurie encouraging you if you want to find out more about harvest ministries. To learn more about how to become a harvest partner, just go to hair Friday welcomed us so well well will come back. It's great to finally be back in the stadium last year.

Of course we were here because of covert, but not were back again with a vengeance to see what the Lord will do right so this is kind of the theme of tonight it's back together again all in person. 1 Big Pl., you know, it really doesn't matter where you are in the world. See, I read an interesting statement by an expert who pointed out that Germans are lonely. The friends are lonely. Even the Scandinavians are lonely and I thought they were supposed to be the happiest people on earth all around the world.

People are lonely and so bad in the United Kingdom that the British Prime Minister has appointed a minister of loneliness and study so that the loneliest people in the world are Americans and the loneliest are Americans our generation Z are also the least healthy and come with this only made things worse all the wrong things have been going up in the last months. Of course, self-harm is up 334%. Overdoses are up 119%. Anxiety is up 94%. The pricing is up 84% alcohol use is up divorces and it's because people are down but Jesus said, look up because your redemption draws near. It's time to look up. We need God and we need each other to see. We weren't meant to do life alone built friendship billed for community. The first thing that God said was not good was the aloneness of man. So that's what were here to do to be together and to point people to God are seen is the subject of faith and were sort of taking a look behind the curtain is at all that it's cracked up to be willing to explore that together.

Let me tell you a story a true story. A genie appeared to a woman to jump country rights as a genie said I will give you anything you want, I'll give you as many wishes as you want one.

It's a really wow okay okay genie.

She said my first wish is that my husband's eyes would be only on me and on.

No one else a genie said okay I give you that. Well, she said well I want my husband to not care about anything else in life but me.

I want him to be obsessed with me. The genie said I anything else.

He said yes. I don't want him to go any where else are anywhere at all without me said okay then she said us another one when he wakes in the morning.

I want to be the first thing he sees it up I get scratched I want him to freak out to be filled with great okay are you done she said I'm done. Proof the genie turn her into a smart phone. I read a headline from Inc. magazine that made this statement we lost the gadgets one you know smart phone uses gone up dramatically since this pandemic started. I read that the average smart phone user unlocks their phone hundred and 50 times a day. We spent around two hours a day on social media and honestly I think some people spent a whole lot more than that 85% of smartphone users check their phones while speaking with friends and family life. What is it we're doing with were looking at other people on Instagram tick-tock. Maybe Facebook looking at their lives in many terms are thinking. I wish I had their life look at them there.

Happy their teeth are really whites. They have all the money they have everything that I dream of that has to be the answer. Or is it Andy Warhol once said, quote in the future everyone will be famous for 15 minutes." And that's pretty much come true primarily because of social media. What is everyone's favorite form of photography today so please selfies right and so many want to be rich and famous, and social media now is a platform word to some degree, you can have your own version of fame.

As you grow your followers are more people are aware of what you're doing. But then there are other effects as well take twitter. I don't even know what Twitter is good for.

I think Twitter is a place that people go to basically rent in insults, rights read the Nikki mnage says I'll never go on Twitter again. It's a place for people say many so many horrific things read about one social media influencer was on Instagram and had millions of followers that she said I've had enough.

The negatives of being in influencer influencer outweigh the positive. This role is done an immense amount of damage to me in my relationship. Facebook did an internal study among their folks who use their platform and to discover that many of the people that use it have higher suicide and depression rates. What is going on. People want to be known. People want to have significance people want to have their lives matter. We want to belong. We want to love and we want to be love Melissa and there's all kinds of clubs you can join, you can join chess clubs you can join country clubs in my case, you can join the Mickey Mouse club. I was a member that I want to tell you there's one club you never want to join. That's called the 27 club the 27 club.

This is made up of people who are well-known rock stars who died at the age of 27 Jimi Hendrix he's in the 27 club Brian Jones of the Rolling Stone. He's there to Jim Morrison of the doors he's in the 27 club as is Janice Joplin. Others join the club a little bit later by Kurt Cobain and Amy Winehouse and sadly speaking of Amy Winehouse. He made the statement famous like terminal cancer. I wouldn't wish it on anyone."

And then there are so many that have destroyed their lives through drugs and alcohol. The list just goes on and on. Whitney Houston Heath ledger actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, Michael Jackson, Prince Anna Nicole Smith River Phoenix Scott Weiland Cory Monty Elvis Pressley John Belushi, Chris Farley, Chris Farley was on Saturday Night Live and he was an incredibly funny guy, but he had serious drug problem. Chris went to rehab 17 times in Chris's hero was John Belushi.

Another Saturday Night Live comedian who died of a drug overdose on one of Chris's friend said don't want Chris didn't want to die like Belushi do you, Chris Farley said in response. Oh yeah that be really cool and his friends that I started crying and I wept for him. Tragically, both Belushi and Chris Farley died from a lethal overdose of heroin and cocaine.

Yeah, drugs, alcohol, success.

They if it really was the answer. Why are there so many miserable empty people who have all the stuff that many dream of, and they've either overdosed or they've taken their own lives. Medium superstar Tim Burghley, better known as the beachy he made it to the age of 28 he was at the top of his game making millions of dollars came in money but he took his own life and think of all of the celebrities that have taken their own lives of late Anthony Bourdain, Chester Bennington, Chris Cornell, Ernest Hemingway, designer Alexander McQueen, Michael Hutchinson in excess writer Hunter S Thompson, designer Kate Spade if they in money for the answers.

Why do these people make such heart breaking choices according to his family of PG struggled with thoughts about meaning life and happiness. He felt like he couldn't go on any longer.

He just wanted to find peace that describes some of that's here right now this I describe you.

Are you just looking for peace.

I did try to find it in a bottle.

I did try to find it in a drug. Have you tried to find it in a relationship. Have you tried to find it in success or career or possessions listen. Have you even tried to find it in religion and so you gonna come up empty my to Greg what you talking about.

This is religious right though this event has nothing to do with religion. This is about a relationship with God through Jesus by different that's what I want to talk to you about in just a few moments. You know, my wife likes puzzles. I don't know why she likes puzzles I could care less about possible and if were walking by a table that is a puzzle on it. But start putting it together and I'll just keep walking with the other day she was putting a puzzle together downstairs. I was upstairs and after a couple of hours she yells.

Greg Greg help me. I almost finish the puzzle but there's one missing and I can find.

So I came downstairs and got my hands and knees and we search finally end of the chair I found the missing piece life can be. That way we do all the things we think we should do.

We have all of our ducks in a row.

We have all the boxes check but were still empty were still lonely were still filled with fear and anxiety.

So what is missing start is something to someone, you need caught in your life, you need Jesus in your life.

The title of my message is what you're really looking for what you're really looking for.

You know sooner or later everybody gets around to asking the big questions of life such as what is the meaning of my life. Why am I here on this earth. Why do I exist which is my purpose in life be and that's because as human beings we all have a desire to make a mark to achieve something we want our lives to count for something greater than ourselves. That's because God wired us that way were pre-wire for something more. It goes back to your childhood. You're always wanting that something more than your little kids that may be a toy I get a little older and it changes what is that express and the only difference between men and boys is a price of their toys right all this relationship will do what we think of this degree might do it. Or maybe this also do it for this experience, or whatever it is, and we see can we search and that's why people seek after fame their same. I want to be noticed. Listen you are notice your notice by God your love by God in your life can have significant.

The Bible says God is put each turn of the in our hearts.

I'll tell you what that is. Deep down inside of you.

You're yearning for God.

That's really what you want, you may not know that it's God that you're really looking for somewhere you shouldn't look, we heard from rockstar Alice Cooper, my friend Darrell strawberry. They talked about how empty those things were so where do you find it. The answer is 2000 years old again for your find the answer you provided in this book called the Bible. The Bible PIPLE basic instructions before leaving earth. This is the user's manual of life you've been looking for.

People are searching everywhere, probably somewhere in their house. There's a dozen colored Bible dust covered Bible waiting to be opened with the answers I wanted tell you a Bible story want to hear a Bible story.

Raise your hand. You know it's really cool for the first time in a harvest Crusade. I can actually see the people I'm talking to some a little bit closer than normal.

This is the story of a wealthy affluent man is often referred to as the rich young ruler so to be a ruler back in biblical times got to be at least 30, so he's gone so is in this young parties. These affluent probably has a BMW chariot becomes did Jesus he's holding lavender lowfat oat milk latte. What is that the lavender lot where did that come from lavender lot Taser sales with a guy the other day. I won't say his name been an where ordering lattes.

I said all of a cappuccino someone else's. All of about coffee expenses.

All of the lavender lowfat.

Oh mill latte. I like seriously good. He drank it and enjoyed it. So Jesus in this affluent young man have a conversation.

What Jesus says to this young man still applies to young men and young women today applies to all people.

Today in front of Matthew 19 we read these words, someone came to Jesus with us? Teacher, what good thing must I do to have eternal life. Jesus said why do you ask me what is good. Only God is good, but the went to your question. If you want to receive eternal life, keep the commandments and the young man said which ones Jesus said you shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery. You shall not testify falsely or live honor your father and mother love your neighbor as yourself. The young man said, I've obeyed all these commitment. What else must I do all right.

Jesus said I want you to sell everything that you have get the money to the poor you will have treasure in heaven. Then you can come and follow me.

Listen to this, the young man heard that he went away sad because he had many possessions. So I'll stop there. So something was missing in this life. He says it work and I find eternal life would only need to to get eternal life. Jesus says, keep the commandments not why did Jesus point. This young man of the sentiment because it by keeping the commandments you can come closer to God. No contract that's French for snails with garlic, though that's a start going to know that started it all actually go find eternal life. You have to believe in Jesus when Jesus said, check out the commandments because the 10 Commandments were given to make me write this. They were given to show me how messed up I am there were given to show me. I need God. The 10 Commandments. What are they have no other gods before. Don't make any graven images.

Honor your father and mother told why. Don't steal. Don't commit adultery. The list goes on and every one of us in this place right now.

Everyone watching and listening as broken the commandments. There are some listening, the mayor broken all of the commandments, even murder.

Don't say you're one of those people in Africa people around you. Okay, but I want to tell you this. Even if you kill someone. God would forgive see there was a thief on the cross member when Jesus was crucified there was a man of each side of him. We call them the thieves.

The word in the Greek speaks of a serious criminal so he was probably a murderer guilty of a capital crime. So here's Jesus hanging on the cross in crisis. Father forgive them for they know not what they do is for statement from the cross of Calvary. This event turns to Jesus's criminal probably with the Romans would consider a terrorist says Lord, remember me when you come in your kingdom and Jesus says truly, truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise. Listen to me no matter what sin you have committed. God will forgive you and I if you don't ask for his forgiveness notice. Jesus said today you will be of me in paradise. How long does it take to become a Christian. You know sometimes people say I'm in the process of converting in the process. You're either a believer you're not a believer. It doesn't take years to become a Christian. It doesn't take months to become a Christian. It doesn't take days, it doesn't even take hours. You can believe in Jesus. Just like that it's happened for some of you already. You just have started to believe in this young man said Jesus I've kept all of these commandments ever since I met a young boy and I love what the Bible says it says Jesus looked at him and loved him.

It would've made more sense that we read Jesus looked at him and smacked him that what you talking about Willis, 2000 hot there might be somebody here that's all I've kept all the commandments I look for the 10 Commandments are you what are the I'm not sure but I do keep them. I read recently that a survey was done in more people knew the names of the four needles then the commandments given by God from outside cannot John Paul torturing though they know that they don't know these commandments.

We've all broken the commandments because love this young man and God loves you. I want you to know that there is a God in heaven loves to a God in heaven was a plan for your life a God in heaven who longs for a relationship with you. What is God like Jesus told a story that is often called the parable of the prodigal son.

It's a story of a father, who are two sons. I'm a father I have two sons and one of his sons ran away from home. Please paraphrase the fit data chart of all your rules and regulations. I want to just live my life any laugh.

Any a lot of money and when you get County a lot of new friends to, but as soon as the money ran out. The friends ran out with it in one day the boy had an epiphany and he realized the socks.

This life is miserable. I had better back home with dad.

So the boy said, to go home to my father in heaven as a father I no longer worthy to be called your son. Just give me a job like one of the hired hands and the father seeing the boy a great way got up and ran to the boy and threw his arms around and kissed him again and again and said let's have a party break out the barbecue. This my son was dead is alive again.

He was lost his down and they rejoice. So what is this about. This is a picture of God were like the prodigal son or prodigal daughter.

We walk away from God. We don't want to live by what the Bible says we realize our empty life is without him. So you say how would God react if I came to him tonight he would welcome you with open arms and say welcome home daughter welcome home for this kid know he didn't want to give up anything. The mother we Jesus never told any other person to get rid of all their stock.

He dissented to this guy and I think it's because this young man was possessed by possessions that was in effect is God. That's what Jesus said to him that sometimes people ask the question if I become a Christian, but I have to give anything up on the to be honest with you. The answer is yes just give up your emptiness and replace it with fulfillment, give up your misery and replace it with forgiveness, give up Helen slated for heaven. That's God's trading deal.

Yes, there is an afterlife and according to the Bible. There are two destinations in the afterlife heaven or hell. Some of your sin, you know I'm I, like everything into you said hello. How can a God of love. Send someone to listen to me. God doesn't send anyone to hell.

That's why he sent Jesus Christ to die on the cross and absorb God's judgment in your place so you don't have to go there if you end up in hell he'll have no one to blame but yourself on the final day you left to practically climb over Jesus to get there. CS Lewis, a great writer once said and I quote the gates of hell are locked from the inside to we have to make a choice you choose in this life where you will spend the afterlife you choose in this life.

If you want to find meaning and purpose in life or if you don't you choose in this life. If you want to go to heaven or if you want to go to hell. I know some of you will come here with skepticism and I'm glad you came. Quite frankly, I'll tell you when I first was exposed to the gospel. That's what I'm sharing with you. This is called the gospel, which means good news for some. I heard it I thought it can't be true.

I was 17 years old. This is 10 years ago +40 more. It's literally over 50. I'm 17 years old and in high school. I'm using drugs I'm throwing my life away. I'm thinking a lot about decisions and the Jesus movement was happening. We talked about that a few moments ago that all these young people were talking about Jesus and then carrying Bibles around and I thought reeks are crazy there like one taco sort of a combination there's something not right in their head.

One day I went to one of their meetings and was on the front lawn of my high school campus with her having little Bible study or singing the little songs about God.

I'm sitting that if this is something and look how pathetic they are. Look out the range.

They are look at how happy they are and then I just try to thought on for size and the thought was this one of their writers. Jesus is real. What if I could have all of my sins forgiven and I quickly dismissed it and I thought that Be true. But then I thought about my own life. Though I was only 17. I was raised in the home of an alcoholic woman. My mother was married and divorced seven times I'd seen the alcoholic fueled affluent lifestyle that she lived. I knew that wasn't the answer. I'd already dabbled in drugs, myself.

I knew that wasn't the answer was the answer could be this Jesus and a guy got up to speak his name was Lonnie, and I don't remember most of what he said but he made one statement he said Jesus said your forming your against a look around of the christens I thought, well, I'm not one of them does that mean I'm against Jesus. I mean, I've always believed Jesus was out there somewhere. He was my God of choice in times of crisis. I'd seen all of his movies but no Jesus and then he said if you want to believe in Jesus. Get up right now and walk forward and some kids got up and walked forward, and I thought there's no way I could do it at my hair hanging on my eyes. Use your imagination. I thought no way couldn't do it. Never. Next thing I knew him standing up there praying with these other kids that was the day that Christ came into my life and I was the greatest day of my life in this 59, so you might as well not like to raise that question. Life is to know the God who created you and start a friendship with him and discover the plan that he has for you. Why are you clear on this earth. Here walk with the Lord. It will give you purpose and hope in this life and hope for the afterlife.

So maybe you would ask what owing to.

How can I believe in Jesus.

Okay, if you ever listen to anything outside said, listen to this. Number one to have your sins forgiven you need to realize you're a sinner. Yes, you're a sinner I'm a sinner. We've all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

The Bible says, what is the word sin, meaning needs to cross a line so I got a little line right here. This is the edge of this little state by crosses line that's not going to be good. And so when you cross the line you break a commandment. We talked about the 10 Commandments you said have you ever told a lie.

Never total on your line right now soccer right you told lies we've all told lies. Have you ever hated someone the river had lust in your heart if you ever stolen anything, everyone is broken. These commandments of the Bible says if you offended one point of the law, you're guilty of all of it. So just own it accepted stop excusing it.

You're a sinner I'm a sinner were all sinner but then realizes Jesus Christ, the son of God died on the cross for you. He died on the cross.

The Bible says why we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Jesus said for God so loved the world he gave his only begotten son look in the front of that stage by me right there. John 14 six Jesus said I am the way the truth and the life no man comes of the father but by me. He is the way to the father. That's how it works. Coming back to that young man that rich young ruler's question, what good thing must I do to have eternal life. Listen, there is no good thing you can do to have eternal life will always fall short. Sometimes people think of. I live a good life. Maybe I'll get to heaven. No matter how good of a life you live, you'll never be good enough to get together. Listen to this evidence, not for good people. Evidence for forgiven people and you can be forgiven of all of your sin right here right now. Eternal life is a gift from God. So someone get you would give and you really want to give what you do you open the can.

I love the way women open gifts and men open gifts. It's very different when you give a gift to a woman because their civilized bill actually read the card you give them first. The reading they might even be touched by what you wrote. I gave a little birthday gift to someone the other day and don't think so.

You're welcome, then the carefully undo the ribbon.

They might even say common to save this ribbon for later they'll undo the wrapping paper and be delighted by the That's a woman opening a gift. Give a gift to a man. He opens the card he's not reading it. He just opened it to see if there's money or a gift card in their wrapping paper a mirror obstacle to a man plow through right. I don't care how you open the gift of God's offering you a gift and I just reach out to get open and enjoyed it's a gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ. Nothing you can do to get it. You don't deserve it but it's a gift to you, then you must repent of your sin. See this is what the rich young ruler was unwilling to do. He would not turn from his sin, but the Bible says God is commanded people everywhere to repent is that evening. To repent means to change your direction is sort of like a military term which means I can about things right so I been going away from God knowing going toward God. Repent of your sin, then you receive Christ into your life. That's what it's all about being a Christian is having Jesus himself, and live inside of you. You don't have to be alone anymore.

You can leave here with Christ in your life and I knowing that you go to heaven when you die you folks that are watching Christ can come of your life you that are listening on radio. You can do the same.

The Bible says, for as many as received him, he gave them the power to become sons of God and daughters of God. Jesus said, behold, I stand at the doorknob. If any man will hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in and then finally you must do it publicly. That is why in a moment I meant to ask you to do what some 500,000 people have done half a million people over the last 31 years, and ask you in a moment to get up out of your seat and come down to this field behind the stage and by doing so you're publicly saying I want Jesus in my life.

I want to be forgiven of my sin. I want this relationship with God, you're talking about. You need to do it tonight. Back in 2016, a young man named Kareem not cooling came to our crusade. His father brought him at other members of his family and his dad was so excited that his son other members of the family came to Christ that night again 2016. Kareem went on to become a marine. And he was serving our nation over in Afghanistan.

Tragically, he was one of the 13 servicemembers that died in that terrorist attack.

Kareem spent the last few moments of his life getting pulled to safety in his last gesture was to reach out to a small child together safely away and then he died, but Kareem went to heaven because he put his faith in Christ. That's the hope that the Christian has is a true American. The motto of the Marine Corps is Semper Fi always faithful. He was faithful to the he had faith in Christ you have faith in Christ. What if you died tonight. Where would you go back and be settled right here right now so you need to do a publicly one last thing I done you need to do it now. Now the Bible says today is the day of salvation tonight is your night earlier this evening I said you have an appointment with God. Now it's up to you to keep the appointment with God. So in a moment I'm in a praying Avenue extend this invitation for you to have your life changed. I love it when it rains, don't you, because after rains, even people that don't wash their cars get a car wash everything's clinging maybe a rainbow comes out. I love rainbows. That's what happens when you believe in Jesus. It's like the rain, it just watches all your sin away watches all your guilt away watches all of your despair away.

The Bible says that many men is in Christ is an altogether different kind of person old things are passed away. Everything becomes fresh and new.

Listen to this, not too young to come to Jesus Christ and I if you understood me. If you understood what I'm saying. You can come you're not too old to come to Christ and I no matter what you've done. God can forgive you, you're not too bad to come to Christ. The Bible says Jesus speaking he that would come to me. I would in no way turn away but you're not too good to come to Christ. Everybody needs Jesus might say will Greg I have a lot of sin you come with your sin, you come with your problems. You come just as you are to Jesus Christ and I know we may never have another moment like this right now. Who would've ever thought that last year after 30 years of meeting we wouldn't be in the stadium that we were here were here again. What if this were our last crusade. I don't know what if this were your last opportunity to come to Jesus and you said well maybe next time. Maybe you're thinking pattern know what would my friends think if I became a Christian. Check this out. Want to find out who you really real friends are. Believe in Jesus and you'll know quickly. Right and if your friends don't support you believing in Jesus time to get some new friend right. Don't be held back.

That young man that Rick Chung will it was held back by stop somebody else might be held back by relationship so Mama Grover would break up with me boyfriend would dump me oh my friends would want to be around me anymore whatever care. Don't worry so much about what people think, think about what God because one day listen. One day you will stand before God Almighty. You'll be all by yourself, you will be with your buddies you will be with anybody that God will have one question for you.

It will be wanted to do with my son Jesus won't be a single question. It'll be a son question SON wanted to do with the son of God.

Listen goddess drop one lifeline from heaven for us to be forgiven of our sins and it's Jesus and only Jesus, he's here to forgive you now, but you must come. You can pray the same prayer with you that are listening on radio around the nation. You can pray the same prayer to so pray this after me. Let's all bow our heads pray these words Lord Jesus, I know that I'm a sinner but I know that you're the Savior who died on the cross and rose from the dead. I churn from my sin tonight.

I choose to follow you now is my Savior on my Lord is my God and my friend.

Thank you for hearing this prayer in answering this prayer in Jesus name I pray. Amen. God bless you all. Everybody thinks are listening to this podcast to learn more about harvest ministries follow the show and consider supporting it.

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