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Beauty & the Beast: Babylon's Fall

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
October 15, 2021 3:00 am

Beauty & the Beast: Babylon's Fall

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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October 15, 2021 3:00 am

This year's SoCal Harvest Crusade was a life-changing event for over 6,000 attendees who responded to the gospel invitation. Following engaging performances from guest artists for KING & COUNTRY and Phil Wickham, Pastor Greg delivered a timely and impactful message titled “What You’re Really Looking For.”

Click here to check out a quick recap of SoCal Harvest as well as some future events happening with our ministry.

 

 

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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Learn more and subscribe to Harvest updates at harvest.org.

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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You're listening to A New Beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast supported by Harvest Partners.

For more ways to deepen and challenge your spiritual walk, enroll in Pastor Greg's free online courses. Sign up at harvest.org. Hope in God because there's coming a day when the Lord's gonna say the party is over. 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 world view that dominates the end times.

It looks good on the outside, but its shelf life is very short and the end is destruction. We're studying revelation. The Bible says there is coming a world leader. He'll be charismatic. No doubt he'll be good looking. He'll bring global solutions.

He'll bring a pseudo peace for three and a half years to this war torn planet. And the fact of the matter is, the Bible calls him the Beast. He's also referred to as Antichrist. The prefix anti, as I've told you before, doesn't just mean against.

It also means instead of. And for those that don't know better, many will hail this charismatic world leader as the very Messiah. So let's pick up where 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 it's described as Babylon. Babylon is pictured as a prostitute riding a beast and she's dressed in red.

So we'll call her the scarlet harlot. And it's also revealed as a mystery. We all love a good mystery right? This is mystery Babylon. Let's read Revelation 17 verse 3. So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which is full of names of blasphemy having seven heads and ten horns. The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls having in her hand a 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 harlot and of the abominations of the earth. And I saw the woman verse 6 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 marvel? I'll tell you the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her which has seven heads and ten horns.

We'll stop 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 4. She has in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication. So a golden cup would refer to luxury right.

Abominations referred to things that are offensive to God. Verse 4 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 but 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.

In effect it will be a super city that is going to be judged. Go over to Revelation 18 verse 1. 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 has fallen.

It's fallen. It's become a dwelling place of demons. A prison for every foul spirit.

A cage for every unclean and hated bird. So Babylon is going to go down one day. And it happens quickly.

Listen to this. Satan sails a sinking ship. Sin cannot win and faith cannot fail. It's interesting in Revelation 18 it says Babylon is destroyed in one hour. So this super city, actual entity of Babylon will be built. I'm not sure where. And it will be destroyed in one hour.

Amazing. 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. I read the story this week of a Wall Street investor. His company was worth 20 billion dollars. And then overnight it dropped in value to 863 million. That's still a lot of money.

The guy was worth 20 billion and then he's worth 863 million. But 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. Don't 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 there is coming a day when the Lord is going to say the party is over. Coming back to Babylon the great kingdom. Being ruled by the boy king Belshazzar.

Speaking of golden cups. He brought out all the cups and other objects used by the Jews in their worship of God and filled 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've talked a lot about the beast. Let's come back to the beauty.

What is the beauty doing while the beast and the scarlet harlot where the rodeo from hell are wreaking havoc on planet earth. Oh we are in heaven singing the hallelujah chorus. Revelation 19 after these things I heard a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven saying hallelujah salvation glory and honor and power belong to the Lord our God for true and righteous are His judgments because He has judged the great harlot who corrupted the earth with their fornication and has avenged on her the blood of His servants shed by her. You remember the first Star Wars films. There was a massive space station called the Death Star that terrorized the galaxy.

So Luke Skywalker and his X-wing fighter came in and they blew up the space station and it was destroyed. That's what's going to happen to Babylon. But while all of this is happening we are celebrating in heaven. As you know I have written a book called Billy Graham The Man I Knew.

One of the stories I tell in 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 Egigini was there. And he had his guitar. And so Billy asked Dennis to play something for him.

So Dennis played the hallelujah chorus on his guitar from Handel's Messiah. It was beautiful. Now as he was playing I was watching Dennis a little bit looking over at Billy and Ruth and they were looking at each other. There was so much love between them. They 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 this song Billy turned to Ruth and said, that's a song they played on our first day.

Because in fact Billy took out Ruth Bell, that was her name then, on their first date while they were both attending Wheaton College to a performance of Handel's Messiah. Well we'll be singing the hallelujah chorus in heaven. We're celebrating. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment.

Hey everybody Greg Laurie here. You know my uncle Fred Jordan had 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. Well we have Church in the Home for you every weekend. It's called Harvest at Home and you can find it at harvest.org. We have worship and a message from God's Word.

So join us this weekend for Harvest at Home at harvest.org. Well Pastor Greg is guiding our studies in Revelation today. He points out an encouraging fact. We'll be in heaven celebrating. Why are we celebrating in heaven? Number one we're celebrating because the power of God is finally vanquished evil. Revelation 19 1 and 2.

So when we talk about the end of the world we're speaking of the end of this wicked system that's in rebellion against God. Number two we're rejoicing because the Lord is reigning. God is establishing His kingdom.

It's all coming now. And we're celebrating the marriage supper of the Lamb. Look at Revelation 19 verse 7. Let's be glad and rejoice and give God glory for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His wife has made herself ready. And to her was granted to be arrayed in fine linen clean and bright and 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 two 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 they're from Arkansas. So we always called it supper. And my grandmother was an amazing cook. She made everything from scratch.

All those great southern dishes starting with fried chicken and black eyed peas and collard greens. And her crowning achievement was her biscuit. I've never had a better biscuit than my grandmother who we called Mama Stella would make. I'd watch her make it. And it was so simple.

It seemed like anyone could do it. I remember I had my wife Kathy watch her. I said 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. But 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 we're going to 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 what we'll have in their place will be far better. But in this great marriage feast Matthew 8 11 says Jesus speaking, many will come from the east and the west and take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. Can you imagine having a meal with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob? You'll meet the great people of the Bible. You can ask David what it was like to fight Goliath. You could ask Noah what it was like to live in that ark. Ask Moses what it was like to part the Red Sea. Ask 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 have preceded you to heaven. This is the hope of the child of God.

This is not the hope of the child of Babylon. You have two cities you can choose from in life. The city of God or the city of man. Babylon or the new Jerusalem.

Anti-Christ or Jesus Christ. This world we're living in is not our permanent home as Christians. We're passing through. First Chronicles 29 says this, our lives on earth are but for a moment. We're 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.

Wow. 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 8. 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.

Here it says from the foundation of the world. Since God is for knowledge maybe He puts your name in the book ahead of 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 ask you in closing is your name in the book of life?

You say well why does that matter because as we'll see in our future message if your name is not found written in the book of life you're cast into 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 and if you're a Christian you have an appointment to meet the Lord one day. Let me close with the story of a lady who had an appointment with Jesus. I don't think she had it on her calendar but it was there in the councils of eternity. We sometimes just call her 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's waiting there by the well but Jesus Christ the Son of God who's 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's sitting by the well waiting for her.

Why? Because she had an appointment with Jesus. They engaged in a conversation.

And the end was she ended up believing in Him. Some of you watching me right now unbeknownst to you but known 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 sin forgiven and have your name written in the book of life. You say what are you even talking about? None of this even makes sense to me.

Here's what I'm saying. God loves you. God has 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. Am I talking to somebody right now that has thought of taking their own life?

Maybe you've even attempted it. Am I talking to somebody right now that has given up all hope? Am I talking to somebody right now that just the other day said God if you're out there make yourself known to me?

Guess 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. 2,000 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 He stands at the door of your life and He knocks and He says if you'll hear His voice and open the door He'll come in. Would you like Jesus Christ to come into 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 I'm going to pray a prayer and I'm going to ask you to pray this prayer after me. So if you want Jesus to come into your life and 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 on the cross for my sin and rose again from the dead. Jesus come into my life now. I choose to follow you from this moment forward. In Jesus' name I pray.

Amen. Pastor Greg Laurie with an important prayer for those making a decision for the Lord today. And if you've just prayed that prayer with Pastor Greg and have meant those words sincerely, we want to welcome you into the family of God. And we'd like to help you get started living for the Lord. We'd like to send you what we call our New Believers Growth Packet.

It'll answer many of the questions you have and help you build a strong foundation for your faith. So ask for today when you write A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, California 92514. Or call us today 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 this series. It's called Revelation a Book of Promises. You know Pastor Greg 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. You remember a decoder ring? Do you ever have a decoder ring? I don't know if I ever got one but I was very aware of them and I wanted one.

Do you have an extra? Well for your gift of any size. Okay so is your book sort of a literary decoder ring as it were for all of us to understand what Revelation means and how we're supposed to employ that insight today? Yeah you know I think that's a good description. You know my objective as a pastor, as 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 or as I describe it early in the book a 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 says oh we're just sitting down over a cup of coffee and we're just reading the verses together and we're 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 and I'm very excited about it and I want our listeners to have a copy. Again it's called Revelation a Book of Promises and we'll send it to you for your gift of any size. Now some can only give a little we'll send one to you some can give more of course we'll 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 and we'll rush it to you. Yeah that's right it's brand new be one of the first to own a copy of this new hardcover commentary from Pastor Greg. 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 so we hope you'll get in touch today and ask for Revelation a Book of Promises. We'll send it to say thank you for your donation just address a letter to A New Beginning Box 4000 Riverside California 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. Well 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? We'll talk about that next time join us here on A New Beginning with Master and Bible teacher Greg Laurie. Hey everybody thanks for listening to this podcast to learn more about Harvest Ministries follow this show and consider supporting it just go to harvest.org and to find out how to know God personally go to harvest.org and click on know God.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-08-09 08:51:49 / 2023-08-09 09:00:43 / 9

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