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What Every Last Days Believer Needs to Know

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
February 7, 2011 4:39 am

What Every Last Days Believer Needs to Know

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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February 7, 2011 4:39 am

What Every Last Days Believer Needs to Know (Message 12)

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Harvest podcasts featuring Pastor Greg Laurie are brought to you by harvest partners to receive Pastor Greg free online daily devotions or to become a harvest partner, please visit us online@harvest.org all right, well, how many of you know that it's the Super Bowl today. Did you know that this is the highest holy day of America from being Christmas in the thriving in the minds of video, not yours. How many fans we have up there. The Green Bay Packers okay, Pittsburgh Steelers. You know the other service service. It was the reverse of the so you guys may want to keep distance from each other. That's interesting how many of you don't care about the teams and beautiful to watch commercial version of the rear dates are somewhere.

Everything is reverse to turn it up when the commercial comes on and then turn to get done if you're not all that interested. Well, you would be hard-pressed the myth of that today is Super Bowl Sunday because the signs are everywhere. The commercials are everywhere, etc. well in the same way. I think you'd be hard-pressed to not know that things are happening in our world that are indeed signs of the time and I want to share a message if you do they call what every last days believer needs to know in it from Matthew 13, just turn there with me if you would Matthew 13. If you been watching the news you're aware of the fact that chaos is broken out parts of the Middle East, especially in Egypt and I do believe that these are bona fide signs of the times, alerting us to the fact that Christ is coming back again. The way I see the prophetic events is similar to dominoes closely stacked together. You probably seen the people put thousands of dominoes together and they took the first woman all the others follow. And that's how the prophetic events are there closely stacked together when the first one fall of the others will go and rapid 6% so were on the verge of it. The Bible describes it as labor pains you ladies know little bit about this, that if had children, you know that your labor pains would increase with intensity and frequency as you got close to the time of birth and then one your water broke. It was like time to get down to that hospital as quickly as possible. All we could liken it to tremors before a big quake, and so the signs of the times are happening more often. Their closer together, and therefore frequent, but the first one I think that will happen that will alert us to the fact that game is on is the rapture of the church my opinion that is annexed a bed on the prophetic calendar. What is the rapture of the church. I have no idea. But anyway no idea the rest of the church is a moment when the Lord will call all true believers to meet him in heaven in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye. Sometimes, people confuse the rapture with the second coming there to events one is at before the tribulation.

The other is after the tribulation the rapture is when he comes for his church and the second coming. He returned with his church. The rapture is before the judgment, the tribulation.

And the second coming. He comes with judgment so were caught up to meet the Lord in the antichrist emerges on the same he's knocking to be dressed head to toe in black with the zone ominous theme song playing whenever he walks in the room with glowing red eyes. He's going to be a charismatic, brilliant politician type whose going to have the answers for many economic solutions. The military solutions in such but then after he reveals himself initially as a man of peace. 3 1/2 years in the tribulation. The midway point, he commits the abomination of desolation.

This is after his help the Jewish people rebuild their temple erected an image of himself and it commanding people to worship it and then we see the tribulation culminating with the battles of Armageddon fought there in the Middle East and then Christ comes back again in the second coming were the as the light shines from the east of the West, so will the coming of the Son of Man be. And then the millennium thousand year reign of Christ on her. This is a period of time when the Lamb lies with the lion and so forth. And then finally heaven and earth become one of the new Jerusalem descends down from heaven to the earth. Okay, these are the events that are yet to come. But the Bible tells us to be aware of the signs of the times. What are some of those I would see the emergence of China as a military and economic superpower is a sign of the time, as is the diminishing of the United States of America as a superpower because quite frankly, we don't find America in the last days scenario and then there's a growing aggression of Russia. The emergence of Islam in all of this unrest in Egypt. The mainstream press is described. This situation in Egypt was a democratic uprising. Another may be well meaning people who want a much-needed change in their country.

But the problem that I see is the dangers of the Islamic extremist taking control of this if they haven't already and using it as a Trojan horse to unseat one of the few allies.

The United States has not part of the world and more to the point, a nation that is had a peace treaty. She is honored with Israel. There's this group that is a merge called the Muslim brotherhood that are supposedly moderate group and we should not be concerned about them because they're they're not wanting cheese but yet in their stated mission, the Muslim brotherhood says and I quote Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader.

The Koran is our law. Cheese is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest total moderate NG and then they recently said that if Egypt turns the other way. The people should be prepared for war against Israel, witnessing Israel come into that other, they just wanted changes in their country listen.

It's always good to be about Israel and the Bible tells us, as these events come together it's going to center around Israel and around Jerusalem. Zechariah 12 three says on that day I'll make Jerusalem a heavy stone, a burden for the world and none of the nation to try the lifted will escape unscathed and so the Bible student will pay careful attention to all of these events, especially any mention of wiping out Israel. Scripture tells us that a large force from the extreme north of Israel will invade her in the end times after she has come back to her homeland which he had many scholars believe this course known as Magog is modern-day Russia. One of the allies and marches with Magog is called Persia and up until 1935. That was the name of what we now call Iran. Interestingly Iran is said has not had a very close relationship with Russia over the years that I just read an article that said president amended job of the eye randomness.

Russian counterparts have agreed to boost ties between their country. And then there's the wildcard now of these terrorist groups. Read a headline recently that said Al Qaeda on brink of using a nuclear bomb.

Al Qaeda is on the verge of producing radioactive weapons.

The article says after sourcing nuclear material and recruiting robust sciences to build dirty bombs. According to leaked diplomatic documents. Wow, what are we supposed to do when we hear things like this.

Well, as Jesus said when you see these things begin to happen freak out in the phrase freak out is from the Greek word freak. I this know that I making this up. He didn't say that Debbie, when you see these things begin to happen to what look up that's what he said. Why, because your redemption draws near. When you see the beginning happen when you see the labor pains or the tremors building up look out for your redemption is drawing near. So here's the question, what are we supposed to be doing as believers living in these last days. Well, we are to live in a certain way and we are to avoid certain dangers and that's what were going to explore together here in Matthew 13, you know, our numbers have never been greater in the church today so called mega churches.our landscape across the United States and now around the world.

When an amazing thing when you stop and consider the fact that our faith had such humble beginnings when Jesus Christ was born in a manger in Bethlehem due to the degree of Caesar Augustus that everyone should be taxed. Who would've ever thought that that little baby would grow into a man who would change the world in world history. From that point forward.

And really, during his ministry. I don't think the Romans paid a lot of attention to Jesus Christ or his claims. They tolerated Judaism and they would allow it to exist as long as the Jews conform to Roman law. Jesus got into trouble in their minds with his own religious leaders, and so Pontius Pilate tried to keep his distance from it, but got pulled into it ultimately symbolically watching this and say this is not on me. It's on you and send Christ to be crucified thinking that was the end of the matter, then the message start circulating. Jesus is risen from the dead.

I don't think most Romans really believed it, but this movement began to gain momentum, more more people were becoming followers of Christ, then the day of Pentecost happen then the church began to spread out throughout the Roman Empire and beyond. Miracles were being performed. The name of Jesus was on so many lives so the Romans tried to suppress it and they would arrest these people and God would send angels and freedom in the middle of the night and they would beat them and they would become bolder and so Rome ultimately decided to wipe Christianity out completely and secular historians are in agreement that there were 10 great persecution. 10 major attempts to wipe out Christianity from the face of the earth. Starting with the wicked, Caesar, Nero up to Diocletian.

As you know, believers were fed alive to wild animals and Roman arenas for support.

They were torn apart torture burned at the stake.

Christians would be covered in kitchen set on fire. I would like to garden of Caesar Nero if he would ride around laughing convulsively in the Romans thought they were so successful that the Emperor Diocletian had according instructor commemorated it on the coin were these words quote the Christian religion is destroyed in the worship of the Roman gods are restored." Famous last words were worse Rome today while it's still there. It's a nice tourist destination were Caesar today will know her to be founding of Caesar salad, which is quite nice if you hold the anchovies know they didn't stop Christianity because the church marches on Jesus at the gates of hell will not prevail against it. Okay so that's where we are today. That's the good news the gospel goes out. The church begins to grow continues to grow so it's all good, right, not necessarily listen to this numerical growth is not necessarily good. Let me explain were in Matthew 13 were looking at the parables of the kingdom. These parables deal with the spiritual condition of the world leading up to the return of Christ. What is a parable, a parable is an earthly story with a heavenly meaning it's a picture that Jesus would use to tell us about something important, something deeper and in our last message. We noted that there is good and bad views in the times what try living the good news is that God is going to be at work right up into his return to this earth bringing people into the kingdom.

Acts 217 says that the Lord will pour a spirit out on all people in our sons and daughters will prophesy in our young men will see visions in our old men will dream dreams, but the bad news is is right alongside that Satan will also be at work seeking to undermine people's faith.

Second Timothy 313 says evil people and impostors will flourish. The going deceiving others, and they themselves be the seat if you hear that word impostors so here's what the Bible is saying in the end times which we are in. There will be imposter genuine imitations is called them in our last message fake Christian posers. These are not people that are struggling this followers of Jesus, these are people that are pretending to be something they are not hypocrites in the truest use of the word and after their putting on our performance.

So this is what the Lord told us to be aware. So were not going to create a perfect utopia in the end times work. Everyone believes in Jesus nor will we have complete anarchy were no one believes in Jesus right up until his return will get to see the good and the bad, the godly and the ungodly together and the Lord will ultimately have the victory secures the devil strategy. He believes if you can't be them joining and one of the most effective ways that he undermines our faith is through infiltration so let's see how that plays out. Now in Matthew 13 starting in verse 31 another parable he put forth to them, saying, the kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, and if you would underline the phrase like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in the field, which indeed is the least of all seeds and when it's grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so the birds of the air, and rest in its branches.

This is the parable of the mustard seed that became tree onto the notice that Jesus did the kingdom of heaven is like.

He did not see the kingdom of heaven is it's like this. What is it like it's like a mustard seed. While that doesn't mean a lot to us, but people of this they would understand it, a mustard seed was regarded as one of the smallest of seat that Jesus himself says is right here in verse 32. It's the least of all, see on another occasion, he said, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed and had say to this mountain, be moved and will so the idea was even the smallest of seeds of the smallest of things. Now here's the thing you need to know mustard seeds don't grow into trees that grow into bushes or shrubs. Though this is an unnatural road. So here think the kingdom of God is like something small that grew really let me put it another way, the kingdom of heaven is like something small that grew freakishly bit. Maybe he would've said it this way. Today the kingdom of heaven is like a Chihuahua that grew to be the size of an elephant. What you know if a Chihuahua was the size of an elephant maybe would finally stop shaking. One of their only seeking her so nervous.

If everyone is against either gives me an arrogant and then they put outfits on another multimeter mocking me for the size of an element is laughing now, but see, it's something that not is not normal, that's the end of the spring can make you know things can be cute when they're small right to know their cute men. They turn in the cats or bunnies turn in the rabbits and ships would skew the ship not talking about girls now within a becomes a chicken you know, back when I was a kid at Easter. I remember that they used to sell chicks and bunnies generally see this in pet stores anymore, but you know you might even give Ms. a gift if you wanted to make someone miserable give their children chicks and bunnies because you know it's only months until there chickens running around the house and rabbits so things can be cute when they're small, but then they get big and they can be problematic. You know, really a great pet is a rat. They're not very expensive. There are good that they contained very well and we've had a few rats over the years. We didn't ask for rats are voyages brought them home and there they were from the pet store and so forth. But in order right gets big. It's pretty scary to read about a new rat species recently discovered in New Guinea that 32 inches long from nose to tail and weigh 3.3 pounds at sick and I don't mean that the way teenagers say sick like good timing sick like we're Mecca 3 pounds rats, but it even gets worse than that.

I read actually about a certain rodents.

That's called a Ibarra that gets huge. Listen to this. They get up to 100 pounds during the rodent family and I read this article this woman out with him look like it dog you know that is a size of a dog. Alisa looked like a rodent frankly and she would take it around in the crowd will always gather wherever she is with it. In this article she was interviewed and she said that she likes to snuggle in bed with this rodents and I thought you sleep with a giant carry rodents seems a bit odd. My wife says I've been doing for years. What nothing like a joke at your own expense, but here's the thing. Here's this little bush. If you will that grows into a giant tree. What is it me, what one interpretation of it is the kingdom of God in the last days is like something small that got big in a positive sense. You know this tiny little movement is now a global movement and in a tree in the Bible is always a picture of something powerful. You may recall that Nebuchadnezzar was compared to a tree. Pharaoh was also compared with trees on Scripture, of a mighty tree is something of a power and influence of the church is powerful and influential impact in the world. That's a good thing and all the birds come in and nest in our branches. Well that's one interpretation.

That doesn't seem to fit other scriptures to me that Jesus even says when the Son of Man returns will he find faith on her.

I don't think were going to create a super church planter. And besides, remember in the first parable of this series, the parable of the sower. We found that the birds were a symbol of evil by and really if you look at all these parables are about God working in Satan opposing parable of the sower see this owned most of the C three out of four falls in the categories where it comes under attack by the enemy. Parable number two. The parable of the wheat and the tares, the good weed installment, then the devil comes along and supposes tears a risk imitations of the real thing that we moved to the what were reading right now in this parable of the tree that grew freakishly big with the birds. A symbol of evil in think Alfred Hitchcock's movie the birds for a moment and never looked up words in exactly the same way after seeing that film right so I believe this is a picture of the church growing freakishly big in the sand, but also being invaded by imposter and I think that that's what were seeing right now the Bible says one of the signs of the last days as there will be a form of godliness, but they will deny the power thereof let's personalize this because the church is made up of people and you're one of those people. This is about compromise and the life of the follower of Jesus Christ. One of the most effective weapons in the satanic arsenal is that of compromise.

The devil knows he can't take you down to one so he takes you a bite at a time. You know the devil is a work up to you and say hey you happily married man yeah you with that stupid smile on your face. I have a plan for your life, and I wanted to be considered for a moment. If you would unlinking you are and let's see being faithful to your why, multiple affairs, even if she tries to make it work. She gives up she leaves you then you turn to drink and become full blown alcoholic or drug addict. Whatever you for and then you can be a strain from her from your children ruin your life and then maybe one day you blow your brains out what you say, that's my plan one full. Give us a goal, you will so the devils were clever than that. So he comes of compromise and says hey you happily married man just so well what a good father you are. What a great husband you are you know you deserve a break today wanted to have a little fun.

You know little flirting never heard anybody below the interesting okay went to check a little pornography on the Internet. Not too much just a little you have a drink over Europe have another drink.

Just try this drug is what they would be safe little things lead to big thing. That's the whole point of this is were a lot of believers fall through compromise like the story of the hunter and the bear hunter was out looking for a bear to kill and was tromping through the forest and saw a large bear with his back to me pulled out his gun. He got the Baroness site he was getting ready to squeeze the trigger and suddenly the bear turns around and says of the hunter. Excuse me.

Isn't it better to talk than this. You this is a true story could pull, how many of you have heard the story of the hunter. The berries are. How many of you have not heard how many of you want the Steelers to win Green Bay Packers commercials okay you hear the story again. Isn't it better to talk than the suit says that bear the hunter hundreds, as we may have a point there. The verses tell me exactly what it is that you want. Hunter said I want to perk up very good, said the bear I want a full stomach.

Let's try to work out a compromise. So the bearer and the hunter disappeared into the forest little bit later. The bear emerged alone. Apparently the negotiations were successful. Everyone got what they wanted. The bear got a full stomach and the hunter he got our first coat.

That's a compromise work. That's how it deals with the devil were you're always good to be on the losing side. Now we come to the parable of the leaven in verse 33 another parable he spoke to them the kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, so all was leaven. Now that again doesn't mean a lot to us today, but it would have been immediately understood by the people.

Leaven is yeast and the idea here is something bad because leaven always has negative connotations do it in Scripture. I remember when Moses was having the Israelites leave Egypt. Lisa get rid of all of the leaven in your life before you celebrate Passover picking up on this picture.

Paul writes of the believers in Corinth were actually boasting about welcoming a compromising believer who was living a morally end of the church and there were silica liberal.

We always encourage this guy to come and join us.

Even though his in this twisted relationship imposing you guys and messed up. This is not the we should be living in excessive prescriptive. Five. Six. Your posting is not good, don't you know that a little leaven leavens a lot or a little yeast works to the whole batch of dough. So get rid of the old leaven. Another translation puts it this way. Don't you realize if even one person is allowed to go on sinning. Soon all will be affected. See leaven represents corruption, infiltration and compromise is always negative. Jesus said, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees. Beware of the leaven of the Herodian. Beware of leaven cc will locate rates all get rid of all of my East number that's not really what were talking about is this is a picture of compromise in your life. Little things turn in to big thing ever seen a baby rattlesnake directly.

Kind of cute pictures I could take a rather shrunken in the miniature you know that there mean from birth they got the little tiny rattler in the tinny things and you did almost holding your hand delivered the baby resident. You need to guess what the venom of a baby rattler is more potent than that of an adult so the same way. Was it a look at this little saying it's not a big thing in Judea due to the way to love bites you compromise works its way in your life permeates every area of your life is what the psalmist said in Psalm 6618 if I regard iniquity in my heart. The Lord will not hear me Kim, what is that mean paraphrased by hang on this sin in my life.

God will not hear my prayers. My question for you is there sin in your life right now that is an adult with you think it's a secret you think you covered your stats.

Listen to this secret sin on earth. This open scandal in heaven. Listen to this to. There is no secret. There are no secrets rather with God.

He is aware of it now. What is this sin in your life. I don't know what it is but I know that you know because right now is I'm talking about it you're thinking about that guy can even tell what you're thinking, service nonskid, no I can't see the wood matter. If I could see who my I need to just take heed to myself. But you know what I'm talking about.

The Lord sees it, just like it was written over your head. There is in you rationalizing you so somehow managed to find a way to live with it right now is come to the forefront of your mind that could be the compromise in your life that could be the thing that can bring you down to get rid of that leaven in your life lest it undermine you spiritually hear about the guy who went hiking in God is arm trap and meet that boulder and ended up cutting it off. His name is Aaron Ralston and his story is told in the film 127 hours a Ralston was rockclimbing when he put his right hand on the side of a boulder and it shifted pinning his hand so he tried ropes and anchors and everything to remove the boulder a couple of days past.

He was called. He was out of water. He knew the only way he was going to get out of there was to free himself.

No one was coming to his aid. We decided to cut his arm off. He didn't with a pocket knife took a long time. It was very painful and then amazingly, after doing such a thing.

He repelled 65 feet to the canyon floor and walked out. Now that's a crazy story but listen better to be alive and have one arm that have two arms and be dead right is there an area in your life that you need to cut off a certain area. You need to deal with what we mean by that weather might be a relationship that this is a complete spiritual drag on you every time you're around this person. It just pulls you away from your faith and let me say a word to you that are not yet married you want to make sure you find someone that build you up in your faith. Don't even consider a person who is not a believer as a romantic possibility of the marital possibility and I might even say just a believer you should be looking for a godly man or woman. My wife told me that when we first started dating I said to her, I don't remember saying this but she said I said it, you know, if you ever get in the way of my relationship with God. Neurotic is that I said that. She said yes I said why I was quite the romantic was and I she said all that I liked really she said oh yeah because other guys have been around the always did what I wanted them to do and I could sort of manipulate them and you you know you would convictions and and I thought that was a great thing in now when you get married that changes.

By the way, so that's a whole other story. That's a whole another message will be without another time, but I'm talking about you that aren't married yet, but maybe there's a step you need to take place in the grade you can engross me on this message, you talk about giant rodents cutting arms. Okay, let's shift gears. Let's look at two more parables here and one final one, the parable of the hidden treasure and the pearl of great price truck on the verse 44 Matthew 13. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in the field, which a man finds in the high ever joy over for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls when he is gone one pearl of great price when installed for all that he had the bottom of some parables are interpreted for us.

Parable of the sores interpreted parable of the wheat and tares is interpreted the last two we looked at are not so we just tried to see them from other scriptures know we don't know the exact interpretation of these parables.

I think there's two possibilities number one were like the person who finds the treasure in the field were like the person who finds the pearl of great price. We sell all that we have for another word.

One day we hear the gospel of Jesus Christ.

We realize that the most important thing out there and we give up everything to follow Christ sees the treasure hidden in the field but of valid interpretation.

But there's another that I would suggest that personally I lean toward living. Both are finding however you want to view this, but the other interpretation is instead of us being the person that buys the field for the great prize or treasure. Christ is the person that buys the field and we are the treasure notes interesting because we read here that in verse 44, he finds it in for joy sells all that he has and you remember that Jesus in Luke 15 talk about a shepherd that had hundred sheet one one a straight he went after the stray sheep and found it bringing it back to this shoulders, rejoicing. And then Jesus said there is more joy in heaven over one sinner that comes to repentance and 99 who need no repentance. So there's a theme of joy Jesus came up everything he did give up his deity but he gave up the privileges of deity and walked among us.

As Amanda went to the cross and suffered and died and rose again from the dead he bought the treasure of you will about the field if you will to get the treasure whatever the interpretation are both valid.

But there's no question that Christ did that for all of us one final parable verse 47 the parable of the dragnet. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet which was cast into the sea, and gathered some of every kind which one was full to the shore and they sat down together the good and the vessels through the bad away. Now this is the idea of just the net been drugged of the water.

Now I've ever seen that TV program called the world's greatest catcher deadliest catch or something but is how many like the Green Bay Packers located anyway so you see these guys on the tumultuous ease pulling in these massive net and they pull in a lot of fish and sometimes April and some other sea creatures shark or an octopus or squid or maybe some junk you know who knows which of the Napoleon and Nancy. I get the kingdom of God is like a net just been pulled through the water and encounter all kinds of stuff. Okay, so here's our job if you will, as a church we are to pull the net to the water and grabbed wherever we can all begin to get some bad with the good of course we can help false believers next to true believers.

No question we've already seen that the beginning of the genuine as well.

Jesus said, follow me and I will make you fishers of men. Right in that phrase fishers of men could be better translated, follow me, and you will catch men alive and that phrase is used only one other time in the New Testament and it's over and second Timothy where Paul speaks of those who have been taken captive by the devil to do his will or caught alive by Satan.

So really we have a choice before us. Either God to catch people alive for the devil's going to catch them alive which will it be so. Let's go fishing for men because these people don't know the Lord there like people who are in prison you could even describe them as POWs. Our job is not to certain destroy, but to find and deliver. I just wrote an amazing book about a man his name is Louis Zaffirini and the title of the book is unbroken other than to make this book into a film and I think that's a truly good idea.

We just tell you a little bit about Louise story because we contacted Louis and working to bring them here and I'm in an interview him, but I want you to hear a little of the sky story. Louis was a son of Italian immigrants. He was born in 1917. I he moved from the East Coast to the West Coast was living here in California and Torrance and he couldn't speak English when he arrived there so we was marked by fellow students and so we toughened up and started getting into fights was winning almost all of those fights pretty soon he was picking fights. He enjoyed finding any enjoyed getting even. He was smoking by age 5. Beating kids up stealing beer from bootleggers and just living a crazy life.

He was a criminal in training only had an older brother named Keith who was sort of the polar opposite of Louis P was a hard worker, very polite great student and a great athlete. In fact, so good that the USC offered him a scholarship to run track and field for them so Pete told his younger brother Louis could be a runner as well, and he urged fluid around the Louis didn't want to have any part of that. But Pete kept urging them. Finally, Louis agreed and entered a few track meets and started winning them and before he knew it he was breaking records and earned the nickname the Torrance tornado Louise Marini was so fast that he was given a place in the Olympics held in Germany and on the way over to the Olympics. He shared a cabin with Olympic legend Jesse Owens to ended up winning four gold medals well really didn't do that well in the Olympics but as he was running the 5000 m Olympic final. He finished the last one quarter-mile in just 56 seconds.

He got the attention of Adolf Hitler presiding. There over the event who insisted on meeting Lillian Kittler set the boy with a fast finish and so Louis dreams of going back to the next Olympics and doing even better, but World War II broke out.

The Nazis bombed Pearl Harbor, achieving the Nazis, the Japanese get the right people wanting the right things and so Louis joined the Air Force and he became a B 24 bombardier and he was so successful in many of his missions there in the Pacific theater that he earned the nickname lucky Louis wanted. He wasn't so lucky, as is plain that they called the Green hornet was shot down over the Pacific and crashed into the ocean 800 miles south Hawaii. Of the 11 men on board only three survived.

There were only able to partially inflate their life raft and there they were loading in the middle of 65,000,000 mi. of water with no hope of rescue immediately. The shark started circling them even bumping them underneath the wrath. After a while the strike started jumping on board the rep trying to pull the men into the water. One night a 20 foot great white shark cruised by and Louis and his friends were frightened and stayed very still and prayed. Louis didn't really have any upbringing in the church. She had seen some prayers and movies and prayed a couple of those prayers, hoping that God would somehow be with them and they survived when various birds would land on the route and then grab him and strangle him and Edom, and then use their bones for hooks to catch other fish altogether. They were out at sea 47 days now after 27 days at sea. They were spotted by an aircraft and so they signal hoping for rescue and realize it was a Japanese aircraft that strays them with bullets and so two of the men stayed in the ramp. Louis got underneath the wrapped in the water having the literally light up sharks with his bare hands, punching them in the notes because he had spoken with a Hawaiian man before he went out of this mission and asked him what to do a circuit judge that hit him in the know, the thing to remember. Apparently it worked and so finally after all this time at sea. They make their way over just floating and end up in the Marshall Islands that were actually under the control of the Japanese and they were sent to a Japanese POW camp and they were treated cruelly, they would be given one little rice ball and they just thrown on the ground rolling in the dirt they would scramble for every little bit of it. 10. Lost a lot of weight and then were beaten over and over.

There was one particular guard in the camp that Louis was in that they nickname the bird and this man made it his mission to personally torment Louis Zaffirini. He would beat him every day he would take his belt off of a heavy buckle and knock Louis down unconscious and Louis would get up and they beat him down again, and this just went on and on and on and Lillian thought he would die in many dead but finally World War II came to an end. Louis was able to come back to the United States and the bird. The camp guard when it's in the running because he was on a listed Gen. Douglas MacArthur compiled of war criminals that he wanted to arrest so no passport a little time Louise Echo is a national hero because he had been gone so long at sea study was thought that the US government said he was dead and his death certificate was signed by England.

Roosevelt himself said all of a sudden Louis is alive and well in these a hero and and everybody wanted to take him out for a drink and everybody wanted them done tell his stories and he married his childhood sweetheart and things are going pretty well, but every night he would have nightmares about this guard the bird eating them eating and he just couldn't shake it so we started drinking more and more and then there's life started spiraling direct spiraling downward and he couldn't get control and he would pass up on in the wheel of his car and we get into fights with people and just drank more and more. There was no question he was headed toward death.

And one night he was having a nightmare about the bird beating amity and is nightmare. He was choking the bird to death and he woke up to find his hands around the neck of his wife and dad we was choking to that. She said that's it I'm divorcing you and but then someone told her about some preacher that had come to town. We was going to be in a 10 there in LA speaking he was from North Carolina was 1949 the preacher's name was Billy Graham so Louis's wife went to Belize LA crusade and accepted Christ and she decided to forgive Louis the try to make the marriage work, and then she urged him to join her to hear Billy preach and Louis wanted no part of that and refused, and she kept pressing him and he said no, no, finally, he went one time and as Billy was extending the invitation.

Louis bolted out the back and didn't want to hear anymore of it and just continue to drinking as light continued to spiral downward again. He was urged to return one more time. So we went back and already determine when he starts calling people to believe in Jesus will even as Billy started his invitation.

Once again Louise bolted out the back door when he comes under the conviction of the Holy Spirit. Louis remembers something that happened to him when he was stranded on the life raft in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. He said to God, if you spare my life and get me through this war all seek you and serve you. It was time to keep his end of the deal.

Lucky Louis realized there was a lot. God's providence that it spared him. So Louis turned around and went forward and gave his life to Jesus Christ.

Now you have to understand that Louis up to this point had dedicated his life to killing the bird he decided after the war he was going to track this guard down and kill and now he decided he didn't want to kill the bird anymore. Now he wanted to forgive. He wanted to meet him face-to-face. Tell them what Christ had done for his nightmare stopped immediately, his drinking stopped immediately, his marriage changed. Everything was for the good now are turning for the good and Louis actually travel to Japan went to a prison.

Many of the guards were that had treated him cruelly and he share the gospel with them. Many of them put their faith in Jesus Christ and he spent the rest of his life, and that by the way, Louis is still alive is 94 years old and he's living in LA so after I read this book, I sent I got to meet this guy and does so we were to make contact with them and will be coming out to visit us sometime in the future and I'll tell you when that is not a great story about just sent us will not make a right till but here's the thing. God is just dragging his neck to the ocean and I'm so glad that those pastors had the vision to invite that preacher from North Carolina and liquidate pulled in their net this man that Shirley would've ended his life and ruin and that supported you were to just pull that net were to just throw that seat but here's the other thing we are to keep our lives. Listen, if we know anything about the return of Jesus. We will know that it should affect this in the way that we live. If you're driving on the freeway and a CHP pulls up behind you. What are you going to do first. Your I will go to your speedometer and you will probably slow down your probably just tap that break even if you're going the speed limit exactly you'll probably still slowed out wife because the presence of an officer changes your conduct. That's how we should see the return of Christ. If we really believe Jesus is coming, it should affect our conduct even has a soap first. John says, purifies himself, even if he is pure. We should be seeking to live godly lives so is there any compromise in your life right now is there something you are doing you know you should not be doing.

I urge you today deal with that turn from it.

Repent of it. Look up and live pure does your marching orders from Christ himself looked up and live pure because Jesus will come in the moment, in the twinkling of an eye, and those that believe will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air, but not everybody will go in the rapture. Jesus said to will be in the field. One will be taken and the other left to will be in bed. One will be taken and the other left.

So here's my question.

You will you be caught up or will you be left behind. Here's your choice. Get right or get left get right with God or be left behind.

I hope you're ready if you're not I like to give you a chance to get ready and put your faith in Jesus today. If you've never asked for his forgiveness. If you've never received him into your life is your Savior and Lord, to give you an opportunity to do that. I'm also going to give an opportunity today for you that may be have backslidden are living a completely compromise life, to turn from that and recommit your life to Christ. Let's all bow our heads and pray father speak. Not every person here. Help them to see Lord these words are true and help them to come to Jesus now.

We ask our heads about and her eyes are closed and were praying.

How many of you would say today.

Greg pray for me. I want Jesus Christ to come in my life. I want my sins forgiven.

I want to know that when I die I will go to heaven if you want Jesus to come in your life right now if you want to be forgiven of your sin if you want to be ready for the Lord's return. Would you lift your hand up wherever you're sitting in a like to pray for you.

God bless you publishing slipped her hand up wherever you are well.

Pray for you today. You may be outside.

I can see you there. Of course, you may be over at orange crest or you might be up in our court building, watching the big screen, but just take a little step of faith and looked her hand up if you want to make this commitment to Christ today. You might dilute like Louise Marini was in no really on your last leg on the wrong direction and the Lord's calling you today and offering you forgiveness but you must come to him anybody else's slipped her hand up appropriate accomplish accomplish write all of you, that of the tutor Hannah want you to stand your feet and I'm a lead you in a prayer of commitment to Christ again if you lift your hand.

Even if you did not, would you want Jesus to come in your life you want him to forgive you of your sin, you want to be ready for his return. Stand your feet right now to stand up knowledge one forgot bless you. By the way, you're not the only one standing, others are standing bless you to stand up anybody else stand up outside the amphitheater.

You stand there over at orange crest. You stand up in the court building. You stand. Stand your feet right now, lead you in a prayer commitment to Jesus Christ. Anybody else one final moment you want to make this commitment to Jesus, God bless you. Are you one of recommit your life to Christ. Stand up now lead you in a prayer. Bless all of anybody else stand now. All right you that are standing pray this prayer out loud after me. This is where you're asking Jesus to forgive you of your sin again as I pray pray this out loud after me pray this.

Now, Lord Jesus, I know I'm a sinner but you died on the cross and shed your blood for every sin I've ever committed. I churn from that sin. Now, and I choose to follow you be my Savior. Oh my Lord be my God and my friend make me ready for your return. Thank you for calling me and accepting me and for giving me in Jesus name I pray he met the bless each one of you to pray that prayer


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