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October 18, 2021 3:00 am
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It’s not always easy to tell the real from the imitation. Appearances don’t tell the whole story. But eventually, the nature of each will be revealed. And today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie points out how critical it is to make sure we have a sincere relationship with the Lord. Christ could return at any time, and we need to be ready now. Pastor Greg goes into more detail in his new commentary on Revelation. You can get all the details now at harvest.org.
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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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You are listening to a new beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast made possible by harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God this at our website and learn more about harvest firstname.lastname@example.org if you were was leaving with there being a Jew, given the times in which we live.
Written Laurie, we need to be genuinely Christian, God's own head to toe with the Bible is real Christian results will be war over this confirms that you are a follower from the imitation. Don't know but eventually the nature of each will be reviewed today on a new beginning. Greg Laurie pointed out how critical it is to make sure we have is your relationship with Christ would return at any time. We need to be ready now goes into more detail commentary on Revelation, get all the details now harvest.org newspapers of a certain kind of type they save for mega events, guess what it's called it's called second coming time they use it for special event that's much larger than the normal type.
This is the type that was used when the Japanese attacked us at Pearl Harbor. This is the type that was used when Pres. Kennedy was assassinated in dollars.
This is the type that was used when the World Trade Center was attacked and it's interesting they don't call it mega event type they call it second coming time what they call it that because are actually acknowledging there is no bigger event that is coming to the world than the second coming of Jesus Christ. By the way, it's not just Christians believe this.
I read a Gallup poll that said 66% of the American people believe that Jesus Christ is coming back to this earth in the future and that poll was taken quite a long time ago. I wonder if the percentage is not higher. All that is going on in our world right now. Make no mistake about it, Christ is coming again, and at the second coming of Jesus is going to come back to this planet.
He's going to judge his enemies is going to set up his kingdom and he will rule over the earth for a thousand year. That is called the millennium, Satan's heyday will be over and he'll be chained up front thousand years.
By the way, the second coming of Christ is mentioned many times in the Bible it's mentioned 1800 times in the Old Testament in 300 times in the New Testament, specifically one verse and 25 mentions the Lord's return. In the Bible. It's referred to a 27 Old Testament books and also 123 New Testament books listen to this for every prophecy about the first coming of Jesus Christ.
There are any prophecies about the second coming. So clearly, this is a theme in the Bible that is repeated over and over again. The great British preacher CH Spurgeon once said, quote the sound of his approach should be as music to our ears." Doug, I think your reaction to the imminent return of Jesus is a real barometer of your spiritual help. I think if you're right with God, and you love the Lord and you're walking with Jesus. And if you don't know what I mean by that hotel you at the end of my message so you can come into a relationship with Jesus Christ. But if you don't have this relationship with God. This can be sort of a scary subject I'm addressing right now, in Revelation 2220 oh we read these words, he who testifies to these things says yes I am coming quickly and then John responds. Even so, Lord Jesus, that should be the response of every believer. Even so, Lord Jesus, by kingdom, they will be done on earth as it is in heaven. You know after Jesus was crucified, and rose again from the dead. Now he was going to ascend to heaven we read over in acts chapter 1 verse 11 that the Angels told the disciples as Christ was ascending.
Why do you stand here gazing up into heaven. This same Jesus who is taken from you into heaven, will come again in like manner as you saw him go into heaven. So know this Jesus Christ is coming again the incarnation without the coronation would be like the East without the West it's repeated over and over. One of the more familiar passages as Matthew 24, also known as the all of the discourse. When Christ speaks of this and he says immediately after the tribulation of those days. And remember there's going to be a great tribulation.
That last for seven years. So the second coming this at the end of the tribulation. So Jesus says, as this is happening. The sun will be dark and the moon will not give her light, the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heaven will be shaken and then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven and all the tribes of the earth will mourn for they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory know doesn't say Greg Laurie Greg Laurie.
I actually think I'll be there though. If you're a Christian, I think you'll be there as well tell you why believe that in just a few moments, but the second coming happens at the battle of Armageddon and the battle of Armageddon is at the end of the tribulation. So the question may arise. What are we going to be doing as followers of Jesus. All this is happening I told you my last message I believe will have been caught up to meet the Lord in the air will be in heaven. But what are we doing after the rapture and before the second coming. Revelation 19 verse seven addresses that let's read it together. Let us be glad and rejoice and give him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb. You might want to underline that phrase.
The marriage of the Lamb has come and the wife is made herself ready in her was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright in the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints, and then he said to me, Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he said to me, these are the true sayings of God. No mention carrying this and John is just overwhelmed. This, the angel delivers this message to him and John says I felt it was feet to worship him and he said don't do that. I am your fellow servant and the of your brothers, love the testimony of Jesus. Worship God for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. No more than one occasion the Bible compares the church to a bride and Jesus to the groom fact, our Lord. Use this illustration. Many times in his parables. Remember it's a story that he told of a man, he was invited to a wedding, but he refused to wear the garment that was given to him at the door.
That's a picture of people that think they don't need to believe in Jesus to get into this great piece this great promise that God gives to us. Jesus told the parable of the 10 virgins, while five were wise five or fullers the wise ones had oil in their lamps and remember there was cry given out. The bridegroom is coming. See only weddings now a lot of it's about the product, right, you know, we all are there in our seats and then the melody is played on the keyboards done done that we all stand up and we look back and there stands the bride dressed in white, usually escorted by her father. She comes down the aisle. And then she's joined to the groom, but in biblical times, it was almost the reverse of that everyone was waiting for the groom, not the brine. So in those days you didn't know when the groom was going to show up might show up at 3 o'clock in the afternoon he might show up at 3 o'clock in the morning and there was an announcement given. Behold, the bridegroom is coming and if you were asleep, you'd miss it snooze and you lose so Jesus use that picture to say we need to be ready for this great event that is coming in on your wedding day you want to look your best and guys come on you know you got address. Hopefully, rather talk sir look your best.
You don't show up with some funky soiled T-shirt with a hole in it and bride to you would like go through a drive-through restaurant on your way to your wedding like Taco Bell you want refried beans on your wedding dress now do both of you want to look your best, Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message just a moment, everybody Greg Laurie here encouraging you to join us as we give her what we call harvesting that home is worship the message of the word of God. You can watch it with your family and your front room or you can watch it on the go on your tablet on your phone or your computer. Take it with you. Take the word of God with you. Join us for harvested home harvest.
Join us for an inspiring study in the book of Revelation.
Pastor Greg is helping us see how we need to be prepared to meet the Lord, the know it's interesting because we read here in Revelation 19 in verse eight about this fine linen which is the righteous acts of the saints what is it me.
Here's what it doesn't it doesn't mean you have to live a perfect life to get to heaven because as I've said you before heaven is not for good people. It's more forgiving people. So when you turn from your sin and you put your faith in Christ. You know how the hope you will go to heaven and then when you get there.
We have the righteous acts of the saints. In other words, it's not what we've done to get to heaven, but it's what we've done in light of the fact that God has called us to heaven and purchase our salvation. You know were not saved by human effort. The Bible says is not by works of righteousness which we have done one of the more familiar passages on this topic is Ephesians 28 pulses by grace you been saved through faith, not of yourselves, it is a gift of God not of works lest any man should boast. So we know that, but the verse goes on to say the following are we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works that God is prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
Listen to this works.
Don't save a man or a woman, but they're a good evidence that he or she is saying you can have works without faith. But you cannot have faith without works is that what would you even talked about by works. I mean evidence, results, let me ask you this question if you were arrested for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you know, by evidence I don't mean by how many Bibles you have violent collection of Bibles because I don't think I've ever thrown a Bible way have given some away drive a stack of Bibles on my desk, going back decades of Bibles that a user all pretty beat up but that's not evidence that I'm a Christian it's evidence of a lot of Bibles. The evidence is found in the way that I live.
The evidence is found by the things that I say the evidence is found in what the Bible describes as fruit spiritual fruit. The Bible says we should bring forth fruit in keeping with repentance and sometimes you'll see a person who says they're a Christian but they're contradicting it by the way that they're living. Oh I'm a Christian. The faith, but they're getting drunk and partying the weekends away, or maybe even other days of the week they say they're Christian, but there is no moral relationship.
They say they're a Christian they're doing something else and you'll see him and I don't really know if you're living a life that a Christian should be living in a court to get a push back and say this to you. Judge not lest you be judged. Right so you could just say well I don't know that I'm judging you think of me as a fruit inspector Jesus said by their fruits you shall know them. And if you're a real Christian. There will be spiritual fruit, i.e. results there will be works there will be evidence that confirms that you are a follower of Christ on this is really important because something is going to happen in heaven that some Christians don't know about. It's called the judgment seat of Christ in every Christian will be present at the judgment seat of Christ that happens after the rapture that happens before the second coming. Now you might say where way I thought we were going to the judge will you will be judged at the great White throne judgment that is at judgment were the small and the great the rich and the poor.
Every person stands before God and if your name is not found written in the book of life. Your cast in the lake of fire. This is not that judgment. Not only will a Christian not be judged then but they will not even be present at that judgment. In my opinion what I'm talking about is a different judgment that sometimes called the bema seat or the judgment seat of Christ, and that is the judgment that were going to stand before as followers of Jesus Christ, describing this in second Corinthians 510 it says we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body according to what he is done, whether be good or bad soap. Think of this as more of an awards ceremony. Many of you were watching me be very accomplished and you have doctorates hanging on your wall and your degrees and things that you've done. Others may have the shelves lined with trophies and ribbons that you, one for athletic events.
When I competed in athletics as a kid I always seem to win the purple ribbon and by the way, that was like the lowest ribbon you can win the other would be the goal ribbon may be year of the blue ribbon and purple is given for just existing. That was like what was given for the fact that you just work in the race. Then they acknowledged you live. That said, I lot of purple ribbon.
Some also reminded of when I was in the school teachers would give little stars on certain peepers or reports. I remember those some of you may have never seen them, but you get them in that stationary store little gold stars silver stars blue stars in the Goldstar was the big one I never got a Goldstar like I just had blue stars, which again different okay you turned it in and it wasn't that great but we acknowledge your existence.
I literally went to a stationary store and bought a little box of gold stars and just put them on my papers because I wanted to see what it was like but you know what we think about things like that will were acknowledged for what we have done. I know the trend in in kids sports today is to not keep score. I know that because they have five grandkids and I've gone that some of their soccer games. They'll be out there playing and I'll say what's the score until almost 8.
We don't keep score, but there are people always keeping score. Of course, even if it's not official, but this is the idea that there's there's no winners there's no losers. Everyone's a winner. That sounds good. It's not true it's not true in life. And guess what, it's not true in the Bible and the Bible. There's winners and there are losers. And guess what God wants you to be a winner in the race of life for more than one occasion the Christian life as compared to running a race. And Paul writes in first Corinthians 924 don't you realize that were in a race and everyone runs in a race, but only one person gets the prize. So run to win run to win. If you're competing in the Olympics go for the goal. If you're living as a Christian go for the goal run to win. And by the way, I'm not competing with my fellow Christians. My competition is not with fellow believers. My competition as a pastor is not with other churches. He was the biggest church wins no no no cousin. That final day God is going to ask about my faithfulness.
You won't say well done good and successful servant to say well done good and faithful servant be held accountable for what God has called me to do. You'll be held accountable for what God has called you to do so we need to be faithful.
But we must do the best we can do my competition. If you will, is the world the flesh and the devil not follow believers and no dancers coming today when rewards are going to be given out in heaven.
Again, this is like an awards ceremony think the Oscars or the Emmys generally in the old days, at least, that would be the big build up in the screen would be split without tight shot of all the potential winners and they would see in the winter is with the Academy award for actor of the year rectors of the year film of the year and then this is that they would announce it and the person would jump up.
Many would see everybody else they would all be applauding you know they're mad you know the ribs up of directors WAS a great choice 70 no.
No one likes to lose in the winter goes and gets her Oscar their ME the Grammy. Whatever this this is an awards ceremony will you would be rewarded for what you have done with the opportunities and God said for you and if you are faithful. There is a reward will be given to Greg Laurie good clarity today on what will happen at the judgment seat of Christ were digging deep into the book of Revelation.
Run a new beginning, and there's more to come in this message yesterday when we look at world events global hostility toward Israel. Of course a worldwide pandemic contempt for biblical values.
It sure seems like the time is right for the Lord to return yes, but many people our age.
Remember Pastor saying that back in the 70s, what can we learn from your new book on Revelation what I think we want to always live our life ready for the Lord's imminent return, he may come tonight. He could come in the year he may come in 10 years, 20 years we don't know when he's coming. I've always avoided any kind of date setting because Jesus says no one knows the day or the hour.
However, there are so many passages that tell us to wake up spiritually and to put on the armor of God, because the day of the Lord is coming. It will come. It could come in our lifetime may come after, but no matter what life will come to an end and we will enter eternity. So we want to be ready for that moment. But there are many signs of the times happening right now that I think we should pay attention to the Bible tells us that in the end times.
It would be like a woman having labor pains. Now you know when mother is ready to give birth. Her labor pains become more frequent and there closer together and that is exactly the analogy Jesus use when you see these things begin. The company says look up for your redemption is drawing near. We've had an increase in many things. The Bible said would be happening.
As an example, the Bible predicted that one day there would be a cashless society. 100 years ago that would've seemed absurd, but today with modern technology with crypto currency with all of the tech that's happening around us, we can see how we could step into that immediately.
The Bible tells us in the last days that there would be a spread of plagues globally. I think that you could say that this pandemic covered 19 was a plague and that is a sign of the times I could go on and on and things that are happening. The tension in the Middle East and much much more. As we see these things happen. The reminders that Jesus is coming again will I tell you what the book of Revelation unlocks this for us, and I've written a brand-new book simply called Revelation subtitled a book of promises.
This is a thick book. This is a hardcover book that will be a resource that you can go to again and again and it's going to help make the book of Revelation more understandable to you and you'll begin to understand prep for the first time how to apply these crews in your own life.
Listen, I want to send this book to you for no charge is actually for your gift of any size or encouraging you to send something to help us continue to reach out to this radio broadcast a new beginning, and our other outreach efforts, as well as how we proclaim the gospel. This is how we do it you pray for us. You support us, you give us the ability to reach new people as our way of saying thanks will send you your copy of this brand-new book I just wrote Revelation subtitled a book of promises will be glad to get it on its way to you immediately and will also include a custom bookmark. We produced it lays out the timeline of the events of Bible prophecy, the rapture, the second coming, the tribulation, the millennium, she them all displayed in proper order. Very helpful in the bookmark is automatically included with pastor Greg new hardcover book. When you send your donation be sure to ask for Revelation, a book of promises you can write a new beginning. Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or call 1-800-821-3300. Our team is standing by around the clock dial 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest.or are you good with time management. Next time pastor Greg says we all need to watch how we spend our time from a spiritual perspective was a time is short. Need to invest our days wisely join us run a new beginning. Pastor and Bible teacher Greg Moore and everybody thinks or listening to beginning this is a podcast made possible by harvest partners.
So for more content can help you know God and equip you to make him known to others or to learn more about how you can become a harvest partner. Just go to harvest.org