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October 28, 2021 3:00 am
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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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Everybody you're listening to a new beginning, which is a podcast made possible by harvest partners. If this program is impacted you, I love to hear from you. So just send an email to me at email@example.com again it's firstname.lastname@example.org you can learn more about becoming harvest partner by going to harvest.org coming up today when a new beginning pastor Greg Laurie points out why we should ask the Lord to give us a sound understanding of the important book of Revelation is the Holy Spirit moment your spiritual eyes and ears to see and hear what God is saying in this book can make all the difference in the world because reading and understanding the book of Revelation will energize and excite you and remind you that God is in control of your line and the end of a move happily ever after someone flipped the end of the book happily ever after. Today on a new beginning. Greg Laurie directions to the end of the Bible.
And yes, indeed, in many respects, even after all the turmoil of the end time tribulation will get a glimpse today of what life will be like an eternity talking the other about heaven which is a real place waiting for us is not some mysterious atmospheric realm of smoke and mirrors know it's a real place for real people to do real things. This is the place Abraham was searching for and it's really the place were all searching for and longing for it. Hebrews 11 eight it says that when he reached the land God promised them.
Abraham lived there by faith like a foreigner living in a tent. Abraham did this because he was constantly looking forward to a city with eternal foundations design built by God. That's whatever this it's a city design and build my God. Abraham understood he was like a foreigner just what you and I are like foreigners to were passing through this world as the old song says this world is not my home. I made just a passing through.
My treasures are laid up way beyond the blue and we are like someone in a different country. Sometimes I travel internationally. Haven't done that for a while because of a covert but I remember when I was in Italy. First of all I don't understand their language, there's aspects of their culture.
I don't understand and definitely I don't understand their driving okay so we have a different way of moving to traffic in Italy so I thought it would be fun to rent a Best Buy and I said to my wife Kathy come with me. Well, it's different over there because the folks on the little scooters a lot of people ride best was another scooters there in Italy there like swarms of bees will come to a life go around other cars and in between lanes and at first it was kind of terrifying and after about 20 minutes.
At that okay I got the rhythm of this I'm kinda like it. It was like a different set of rules and then inexplicably despite these rather unusual traffic rules. I managed to get a ticket.
I found out later because three months or so afterwards I get a ticket from Italy because I actually pulled into the bus languages look like an open lane to me but I was in the wrong lane but I was a foreigner who did not understand what was going on around me were that way in this world there are things in this world that don't make sense to us, but were longing were looking forward to another world.
And that is the hope of heaven and now here are the closing words of the apostle John in Revelation 22.
Look at verse one and he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb and in the middle of its street on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore 12 fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations in the be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and his servants shall serve him and they will see his face and his name will be on their foreheads and on the no night there. They'll need no lamp nor light of the sun for the Lord God gives them light and they shall reign forever and ever powerful words so Revelation 21 gives us a glimpse of the new Jerusalem from an outside perspective here in chapter 22 we go inside to see what's actually waiting for us at John's description of heaven is actually getting clear.
He's described it as a kingdom he's described it as a city.
Now he describes it as a garden in the first chapters of the Bible we see paradise lost when Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit. The final two chapters of the Bible describe the paradise that God has created for us in the haven't note you're taking notes. Here's a few things we learn about heaven. From what we have read number one heaven and the new earth are a place of satisfaction heaven and the new work are a place of satisfaction we will want for nothing. All of our needs will be met.
Our thirst will be quenched, because verse 17 says let him who thirsts, come whoever desires let them take the water of life freely. Number two heaven and the new words are a place of sufficiency. Sufficiency look at Revelation 22, two in the middle of its street on either side of the river was a tree of life, which bore 12 fruits in each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. The Greek word use there for healing as therapy up can probably imagine what English word we get from that therapy. There's therapeutic value in these liens out the will get sick in heaven but there is this life giving power in the trees that are there and the curse is gone. Verse three will be no more curse.
The curse brought sickness. The curse brought aging and worst of all, the curse that came upon humanity after Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit. The worst part was death itself, but now we read death is gone. Here's a surprising thing number three heaven and the new words are a place of service heaven and the new work are place of service.
Look at verse three is servants will serve him and so there's going to be opportunities in heaven and the new earth. There's going to be things to do. You artists get ready because you utilize your creative abilities. You people more mechanical W Pl. for you as well you singers and vocalists and instrumentalists get ready because God's can use all of your skills in the afterlife and it's going to be a fantastic time and you wonder if we might be able to finish some of the tasks that remained uncompleted on earth, in heaven you wonder of dreams that were shattered here will be ultimately fulfilled their point number four.
Heaven is a place where tragedy turns to triumph. It's a place where tragedy turns to triumph. Sadness turns to joy. Disability turns to ability handicaps will be gone mental and physical disability is banished in the be joy. Heaven is a happy place. Heaven is a hop in place. Heaven is a joyful place. The psalmist says in your presence there is fullness of joy and on your right hand there are pleasures forever more. Let's read Revelation 22 verse six and he said to me, these words are faithful and true, and the Lord God of the holy prophet sent his angel to show his servants, the things which must shortly take place. Behold I am coming quickly. Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book. Verse eight.
Now I John son heard these things, and when I heard and saw them I felt on the worship of the feet of the angel who showed me these things anything see that you do not do that on your fellow servant, and of your brothers the prophets, and of those who keep the words of this book, worship God. And then he said to me do not seal the words of the prophecy of this book for the time is at hand. He was on just let him be unjust still. He was guilty, let him be filthy still. He was righteous B righteous till he was holy B.
Holy still. Behold I am coming quickly and my reward is with me and I will give to everyone according to his work.
Remember I pointed this out to many times as we have studied the book of Revelation together. By the way, this is all archived on our email@example.com. If you miss any of the messages try to go back and watch the whole series in its proper order, but there's a blessing promised in this book. This is the only book in the Bible that has an actual blessing attached to it and remember it says in Revelation 13 Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep the things that are written in it for the time is there so if you want to receive the blessing. First, you have to read it. That's why like to just read Revelation out loud as we have already done this phrase read actually means to read out loud, but it doesn't stop there. Secondly, you must hear the words of the prophecy is see if you just read the book of Revelation is a piece of literature. Our religious writing. You're not necessarily going to get much out of it.
In fact, you'll probably be pretty confused, but of the Holy Spirit of God opened your spiritual eyes and ears to see and hear what God is saying in this book they can make all the difference in the world because reading and understanding the book of Revelation will energize and excite you and remind you that God is in control of your life.
The events that are happening in our world right now are not random or haphazard.
Everything is going according to plan God's plan and we really will one day live happily ever after. Finally, the blessing of Revelation is promised to those that keep the things that are written in it. Keep the things that other words applying these truth in your own lives.
You know, it's worth noting that whenever you read what the Bible says about the future, there was always an exhortation to live a godly life. Let me say that again whenever you read what the Bible says about the future. There is always an exhortation to live a godly life. Second Peter 311 says since everything around us is going to be destroyed. We should live holy and godly lives. Listen to this. The reason we learn about the future so we can live right in the present. Mr. Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. It's encouraging to hear when the studies truly impacted lives, even through some dark times I Greg I wanted to reach out and let you know how much my husband and I enjoyed listening to you and watching your sermons on Sunday from our home.
We lost our son just six months ago and were struggling each day God is been getting a strength to continue and listening to you has really helped your recent sermon. The afterlife was so amazing was my birthday.
The first one without arson and what you are talking about really made my heart very happy. I love hearing about heaven and where my son and I will spend eternity together very sorry for the loss of your son. No parent should have to bury their child it's heart wrenching that you are an inspiration and I'm so thankful for you if you have a story of how the Lord has touched your life's ministry when I call and sharing with us. Here's the number 1-866-871-1144. It's a special number for this purpose.
1-866-871-1144 will were in Revelation chapter 22 today. Pastor Greg is reminding us of the words found earlier in the book. Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it. But why should I keep these words verse six because there faithful and true. We've all had promises broken to us, husbands and wives make vows to each other to be faithful to each other, and those vows are violated.
Or maybe your parents made promises to you and they broke their promises, and it broke your heart. I want you to know something God keeps his promises. Jesus never breaks a promise because his words are faithful and true and listen to this. He says I'm coming quickly. Verse seven that weight coming quickly wasn't Revelation written around 2000 years ago. Yes, it was well seems like God's definition of the word quickly is a little different than my definition of the word well, it's sort of like when my wife and I are going out somewhere else.
LT Kathy were going out to dinner and were going to meet someone at 5 o'clock so we need to be ready to walk out the door at 445 and all start counting her down. You have 20 minutes. You have 10 minutes you have five minutes. Someone might say you shouldn't do that to you what no actually she likes it because the other day.
I didn't counter down and eyes it is time to go, Kathy. She says I'm not ready. I said I told you were leaving in 15 minutes. She said yes but you did not count me down see so she liked her but anyway her definition of I'm ready in my definition of. I'm ready are very different.
My definition of. I'm ready means I'm ready to walk out the door get in the car and drive away. Kathy's definition of ready is well. I'm ready-ish I may clean a couple things I I may run upstairs and grab a sweater. I may bake a cake. I'm not sure, but it's a little different definition of the word ready for each of us.
So what does Jesus mean when he says I come quickly. The Greek term here for quickly has less to do with how soon he will come and more to do with the suddenness of the event when it occurs. So would John uses a sword quickly is not using it in the sense of time is in hours or months, but in the sense of a series of events happening together in rapid succession.
Once they start the final events of the end times are all very close together. You can compared to Domino's once the first domino falls, the others fall in rapid succession first domino would be the rapture of the church, then the emergence of the antichrist, then the tribulation. Then the second coming, then the millennium and so forth and so Jesus is saying this is going to happen in rapid succession. When that time arrives.
The events will follow one another quickly. The whole machinery of history will be shifted into high gear in a race the judgment so we must keep his word. He told us that we must also do his work to his work.
He says in verse 12. I'm coming quickly on my reward is with me to give to everyone according to his work as I've already told you the Bible promises rewards crown acknowledgment for your faithful service to the Lord. The Bible says don't be weary in well doing, for in due season we will reap if we do not give up, and we hear that verse don't be deceived, God is not mocked whatsoever a man sows, that will he also reap of the cells of the flesh will be corrupted so will we hear you reap what you sow. We always think of it in a negative way and there is a negative a way that can play out in your life within the verse goes on to say, what if you sold of the spirit we will reap life everlasting joy just as surely as a person with sound. The sin will reap the consequences of it.
The person was on the righteousness will reap the blessings of it. Jesus as my reward is with me and I'll give to everyone according to his work.
So my question is are you working for the Lord not working for your salvation. Salvation is a gift from heaven to you, but because I'm say I should want to do something for the Lord not working for salvation, but rather working from salvation of faith the words will produce words of faith that doesn't won't Paul writes in first Corinthians 1558 therefore, my brothers, be steadfast and immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord. Listen to this. The decisions and the lifestyle I choose in this life will impact me in the life to come. Verse 11, he was unjust B unjust till he was filthy. Linda be filthy still he who was righteous B righteous. Still, he was holy B.
Holy still. Let's understand what John is saying he is not saying that you should live an ungodly line. He simply saying if you live this way in an ungodly way, you'll face the consequences of it. Really, it's a warning. So now Jesus gives us a stern warning here in the book of Revelation chapter 22 verse 18.
If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book and if anyone takes away from the book of this prophecy, God will take away from the book of life from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book while loose paraphrase. Don't mess around with the book of Revelation. This would speak of those who would disobey or disregard or distort or dilute Scripture I meet who are we to edit the Bible stories told of Thomas Jefferson, one of our founding fathers, who had his own version of the Bible. He came to be known as Jefferson's Bible. Apparently Jefferson went in with a pair of scissors and cut out all the parts of the Bible.
He did not agree with the just sort of one of the ethics of Christ without the miracles and other things. The Bible records you can't just make up your own Bible and cut out what you don't like someone might say, what if you don't agree with what the Bible says on this topic will be a simple answer is change your opinion because the Bible is right. Our objective is not to conform Scripture to culture is to conform culture to Scripture using but this warning that is given to us here would include disobeying God's word and will also include disregarding that sort of tuning it out. That's why Jesus would often use the statement he that has ears to hear, led him care. Allow me to update that. Listen up. Pay attention to what is being said. We all know what it's like to tune things out.
Maybe someone saying something to us in and we don't want to hear it. So we just tune it out. Jesus is saying, tune it in. Listen to what I'm saying to you. Another way that we would do this is by distorting the word of God, sort of forcing that the fit into the lifestyle that we are perhaps chosen well I don't know if I really agree with that interpretation, I've come up with my own interpretation. That's what the devil did with Jesus and what we call the temptation in the wilderness. Remember, Satan quoted Scripture he said to Jesus, go ahead and jump off of the temple because the Bible says that his angels will give charge over you, and for the double quote of the Bible, but the Jesus quoted the Bible back in contact to Satan and Jesus said it is written, you shall not test the Lord your God Pastor Greg Laurie about how we can keep those things written in God's word. Our message today on a new beginning. The best is yet to come is our final study and revelation and will wrap up pastor Greg's insights from it. Next time 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 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, but 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.
It 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 are happening.
The tension in the Middle East and much much more.
As we see these things happen there 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, perhaps 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. It's 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's new hardcover book.
When you send your donation be sure to ask for revelation of book of promises and we won't be mentioning this much longer. So contact us soon. 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 to dial 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest.org next time the final installment pastor Greg's in-depth study series. In the book of Revelation. You don't want to miss the encouragement join us here on a new beginning. Pastor and Bible teacher Greg Moore and new beginning as a podcast, made possible by harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God if this show has impacted your life. Share your story leverage you on your favorite podcast and help others find help