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October 15, 2021 3:00 am
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When we clean out the refrigerator, we’re reminded that nearly everything we buy has a shelf life. With produce, it’s measured in mere days. But so much of what we pursue in our lives has a shelf life. Riches, fame, possessions. They don’t last forever. Today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie helps us examine a particular worldview that dominates the End Times. It looks good on the outside, but its shelf life is very short, and the end is destruction.
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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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Eli, 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 email@example.com, one small fortunes or maybe a long long lives eventually come join the only answer is some try to find fulfillment in you believe God out pastor Greg Maurice's God is our only hope. Don't put your hope in possessions. Don't put your hope and experiences. Sure God because is coming today the Lord say the party is over reminded that nearly everything we buy shelf one Road measured in your day. So much of what we pursue in our lives. Riches, they possessions they don't last forever, Greg Laurie, the particular worldview dominates the end time looks good on the outside shelf life is very short and studying Revelation the Bible there is coming world leader will be charismatic. No doubt he will be good looking will bring global solutions will bring a pseudo-peas for 3 1/2 years to this war-torn planet and the fact of the matter is the Bible calls him the beast is also referred to as Antichrist. The prefix anti-is I've told you before doesn't just mean against it also means instead up for those that don't know better, many will hail this charismatic world leader as a very Messiah. So let's pick up we last left off with the beast. In our story the Bible tells us that a powerful religious deception will sweep the earth in the last days, and is described as Babylon, Babylon is pictured as a prostitute writing a beast and she's dressed in red so will call her the Scarlet harlot and it's also revealed is a mystery.
We all love a good mystery right this is a mystery Babylon. Let's read Revelation 17 verse three so he carried me away in the spirit in the wilderness. I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which is full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and 10 horns. The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand out golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of fornication and on her forehead a name was written, mystery, Babylon the great, the mother of harlots and of the abominations of the earth and I saw the woman, verse six of chapter 17, drunk with the blood of saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. When I saw her, I marveled with great amazement and the angel said to me why did you marble out tell you the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her, which is seven heads and 10 horns. There so Babylon is a point of reference for evil, contextually looking at the book of Revelation.
Babylon refers to an entire worldwide political, economic and religious kingdom under the control of antichrist but Babylon can be personal as well. It's basically a life that is consumed with pride, sensuality, idolatry effectively. Anything that takes the place of God. Here's another point Babylon looks good on the outside but it's dead on the inside.
Babylon looks good on the outside but it's dead on the inside look at Revelation 17 for she has in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication so golden cup would refer to luxury right abominations referred to things that are offensive to God. Verse four says she's dressed in scarlet and purple and covered in jewels that speaks of luxury again. Purple was a color usually worn by royalty back in that day, as was scarlet and covered in jewels that speaks for itself.
If you see someone covered in jewels head to toe. Obviously that's an affluent person and this is how sin is. It looks good on the outside. Then you take a bite of it and it is like poison in your system so we don't want to eat of those things. Listen to this Babylon will not only be a mentality.
It will not only be a religious system. It will be an actual entity and affect it will be a super city that is going to be judge over to Revelation 18 verse one after these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority and the earth was illuminated with his glory and he cried mightily with a loud voice saying Babylon the great is fallen, it's fallen. It's become a dwelling place of demons and a prison for every foul spirit a case for every unclean and hated bird so Babylon is going to go down one day and it happens quickly. Listen to this Satan sales as sinking ship. Sin cannot win in faith cannot fail to interesting in Revelation 18 it says Babylon is destroyed in one hour so this super city actual entity of Babylon will be billed. I'm not sure where it will be destroyed in one hour.
You know, in a way everyone will have their Babylon fall at some time in their life. People build their hopes on a Babylon of sorts. Read the story this week of a Wall Street investor's company was worth $20 billion and then overnight it dropped in value to 863 million, that's still a lot of money guy was were 20 billion amenities worth 863 million what he was so despondent he jumped off the balcony of his building and ended his own life. How tragic.
But Babylon's fall fortunes are made and lost possessions come and go, or they break or go out of style long lives eventually come to an end. The only answer is put your hope in God will put your hope in Babylon. Don't put your hope in possessions. Don't put your hope in experiences.
Don't put your hope even in relationships. Put your hope in God because is coming a day when the Lord gonna say the party is over.
Coming back to Babylon the great kingdom being ruled by the boy king Belshazzar. Speaking of golden cops. He brought out all the cops and other objects used by the Jews in their worship of God and fill them with wine and began to toast the false gods of Babylon going out of his way really to mock God, the Bible said God judged him. That was the end of Babylon and that was the end of Belshazzar and things come to an end.
So we talked a lot about the beast's come back to the beauty.
What is the beauty doing well. The beast and the scarlet harlot where the rodeo from hell, a wrecking havoc on planet Earth. Oh were in heaven singing the hallelujah chorus Revelation 19 after these things are heard a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, hallelujah, salvation glory and honor and power belong the Lord our God are true and righteous are his judgments because he is judge the great harlot who corrupted the earth with her fornication is and has avenged on her the blood of his servants should by her remember the first Star Wars films. There was a massive space station called the death Star that terrorized the galaxies so Luke Skywalker in his X wing fighter came in and they blew up the space station, and it was destroyed that fulfilling happened to Babylon.
But while all of this is happening or celebrating in heaven.
I should have written a book called Billy Graham the men I knew one of the stories I tell them the book involves the hallelujah chorus so I was with Billy and Ruth Graham. Ruth was very sick at this point she was not long for this world and my friend Dennis again. Jeannie was there and he had his guitar and so Billy asked Dennis to play something for them. So Dennis played the hallelujah chorus on his guitar from Handel's Messiah was beautiful as he was playing I was watching Dennis a little bit looking over Billy and Ruth and they were looking at each other. There was so much love between them. There were obviously having a very tender moment.
I wasn't quite sure what it was all about but I could see this song had special significance to them and after Dennis was done with the song, Billy turned to Ruth and said that's a song they played on our first date because in fact I Billy took out Ruth Bell.
That was her name that on their first date. While there were both attending Wheaton College to a performance of Handel's Messiah will be singing the hallelujah chorus in heaven were celebrating Mr. Greg Laurie second half of this message in just a moment, everybody Greg Laurie here. You know my uncle Fred Jordan that one of the first Christian TV programs out there.
It was called church in the home. I remember watching it as a little boy when I was living with my grandparents we have church in the home for you every weekend is called firstname.lastname@example.org we have worship in a message of God's word.
So join us this weekend for harvested home harvest.Pastor Greg is guiding our studies in Revelation today. He points out an encouraging fact will be in heaven celebrating why we celebrating in heaven. Number one were celebrating because the power of God is finally vanquished evil. A Revelation 19 wanted to so only talk about the end of the world were speaking of the end of this wicked system that's in rebellion against God, never to were rejoicing because the Lord is raining. God is establishing this kingdom it's all coming now and were celebrating the marriage supper of the Lamb. Good.
Revelation 19 verse seven.
Let's be glad and rejoice and give God glory, for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife is made herself ready to her was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright in the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints and the angel said to me write this. Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.
And he said to me, these are the true words of God. I love the word supper. Don't you that's more of a southern word in California. We usually say dinner, but I was raised by my grandparents for many years of my life and there from Arkansas. So we always called it supper.
My grandmother was an amazing cook and she made everything from scratch all those great Southern dishes, starting with fried chicken and black-eyed peas and collard greens and and her crowning achievement was her biscuit I've never had a better biscuit than my grandmother who we called mama Stella would make butcher make it and it was so simple, it seem like anyone could do it. I member I have my wife Kathy Waters and Kathy watch mama Stella make the biscuit.
You have to figure out how to make the biscuit and Kathy would watch her and then she tried using the same ingredients with no one could make it quite like my grandmother and she's been in heaven for many years now and it seems to me if you have a supper in heaven. We have to employ the biscuits of my grandmother. Mama Stella somewhere along the line, but even if we don't I'm sure will have in their place will be far better, but in this great marriage feast. Matthew 11 says Jesus speaking. Many will come from the East and the West and take their places that the fees of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. Can you imagine having a meal with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob will meet the great people of the Bible you can asked David what it was like to fight Goliath can know what it was like to live in that are as Moses what it was like to part the Red Sea as Mary what it was like to carry the son of God in her womb. And best of all, ask Jesus anything you like and you'll be reunited with loved ones who preceded you to heaven. This is the hope of the child of God.
This is not the hope of the child of Babylon give to cities. You can choose from.
Unlike the city of God or the city of man Babylon or the new Jerusalem. Antichrist or Jesus Christ this world were living in is not our permanent home.
As Christians were passing through first Chronicles 29 says this our lives on earth are but for a moment were visitors and strangers in the land as our ancestors were before us our days on earth are like a shadow gone so soon without a trace. While to have this hope of heaven. You need your name written in a book I passed over this verse quickly, but let me come back to it. Revelation 17 eight. Those that dwell in the earth will marvel, whose names are not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world when you're a Christian, your name is written in a book. It's the book of life, when your name is written. I don't know. Says from the foundation of the world since God's foreknowledge. Maybe he put your name in the book. I had a time because he knows you will believe. But regardless of when your name gets in there. This is what I know as a Christian, my name is in the book and I asked you in closing is your name in the book of life is there. Why does that matter, because also see in our future message. If your name is not found written in the book of life, your cast in the lake of fire as you stand before the great white throne judgment of God. Listen one day everyone will stand before God, small and great, rich and poor famous and unknown everyone will stand there every man, every woman, every person will stand there and all that matters is having your name in this book I mentioned earlier that we all have an appointment if you're a Christian, you have an appointment to meet the Lord one day the close of the story of a lady was an appointment with Jesus, nothing she had it on her calendar, but it was there in the councils of eternity.
We sometimes just call of the woman at the well. She went to the well to draw water. She always did 12 in the afternoon. It was hot and who is waiting there by the well. But Jesus Christ, the son of God is gone way out of his way into Samaria which is outside of Israel to a place that is pretty much hostile to Jewish people and he sitting by the well waiting for her wife because she had an appointment with Jesus.
They engaged in the conversation. In the end was. She ended up believing in him.
Some of you watching me right now.
Unbeknownst to you, but don't to God, have an appointment with God right now this is the moment that the Lord has orchestrated for you to hear the gospel and believe in Jesus Christ and have your sins forgiven and have your name written in the book of life. So would you even talking about. None of this even make sense to me.
Here's what I'm saying. God loves you God as a plan for your life. God wants to forgive you of all of your sin and Jesus wants to come and live inside of you as your Savior and your Lord and your friend. You do not have to be alone in life by talking to somebody right now it is thought of taking their own life. Maybe you've even attempted by talking to somebody right now that is given up all hope my talking to somebody right now that just the other day said God, if you're out there, make yourself known to me, that's what he's doing it right now. He loves you and he wants to forgive you and you can start a relationship with him. He's only a prayer away. 2000 years ago, Jesus Christ the son of God died on the cross for your sin and then he rose again from the dead and now we stand at the door of your life in the knots and he says if you'll hear his voice and open the door to commit. Would you like Jesus Christ to come in your life would you like him to forgive you of your sin. Would you like to know with certainty that you will go to heaven when you die. Would you like to be ready for the Lord's return. If so on and a prayer. Prayer, ask you to pray this prayer after me. So if you want Jesus to come in your life you want him to forgive you of your sin, pray this prayer after me. Okay, let's pray pray these words after me if you would just pray this, Lord Jesus, I know that I'm a sinner but I know that you're the Savior who died in the cross for my sin rose again from the dead. Jesus come into my life now I choose to follow you from this moment in Jesus name I pray that Greg Lord important prayer for those making a decision for the Lord today and if you just pray that prayer with Pastor Greg and have meant those words sincerely we want to welcome you into the family of God and would like to help you get started living for the Lord would like to send you what we call our new believers growth packet will answer many of the questions you have and help you build a strong foundation for your face so ask for today. When you write a new beginning. Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or call us at 1-800-821-3300. We can take your call anytime. Again, 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest.org and then we want to mention Pastor Greg's new book that springs from the series is called Revelation, a book of promises*some people have a rather cloudy understanding of prophecy. You know they're not sure of the terms and some prophecy is just so rich in symbolism that they wonder where they can get a decoder ring into your member decoder reggae Arava decoder ring.
I don't know if I ever got one but I was very aware of them that I wanted one. Do you have an extra effort for your gift of any size. Okay, so it is your book short of a literary decoder ring as it were for for all of us to understand what Revelation means and how were supposed to employ that insight today. Yeah yeah I think that's good description. You know, my objective as a pastor is a Bible teacher as an evangelist is make things understandable to people I don't see any value in speaking over someone's head and using theological terminology that people don't understand the Bible says of Jesus, the common people heard him gladly. Which simply means regular rank-and-file people understood what Jesus was talking about. So the book of Revelation. This is a book. Many people are fascinated by, but it's also a book. Many people are mystified by and there is a decoder ring as I describe it early in the book of password. A password or an encryption key that will help you understand the book of Revelation, and it's found right in the first chapter, I think you're going to be surprised by how understandable this great book of the Bible is, I write in a way.
Well, it's as though were just sitting down over a cup of coffee and were just reading the verses together and were talking about them together and I'm trying to explain to you with simple analogies, and other scriptures commentating on Scripture and showing you how these great truths apply to you. So it's in a brand-new book that just came out, never excited about it and I want our listeners to have a copy again. It's called Revelation, the book of promises and will send it to you for your gift of any size. Now, some can only give a little will send one to you. Some can give more.
Of course, will send one to you, but whatever your gift is large or small, we will use it to continue to teach the word of God and proclaim the gospel so get your copy of Revelation, a book of promises I will rush it to you and arthritis brand-new be one of the first to own a copy of this new hardcover commentary from Pastor Greg and 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 so we hope to get in touch today and ask for Revelation, a book of promises will send it to say thank you for your donation. Just address a letter to a new beginning. Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or call us anytime 24 hours a day at 1-800-821-3300. That's 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest.org. Given the imminent return of the Lord.
We need to make sure we belong to him. Pastor Greg wants to know is there evidence that you do talk about that next time. Join us here on a new beginning with Pastor and Bible teacher. Pray for everybody. Thanks for listening to this podcast to learn more about harvest ministries follow the show and consider supporting it. Just go to harvest.org and find out how to know God personally go to harvest.org and click on know God