Hey there. Thanks for listening to the Greg Laurie Podcast, a ministry supported by Harvest Partners. I am Greg Laurie, encouraging you.
If you want to find out more about Harvest Ministries and learn more about how to become a Harvest Partner, just go to harvest.org. Let me read to you now the words of Jesus Christ for you that have come here tonight with broken hearts, with troubled hearts, with hurting hearts, I have hope for you. Here is what the Lord says in John chapter 14, Jesus said, Great words. Many of you are listening now with a troubled heart or it is broken. Life has not gone the way that you hoped it would. You had a nice plan and then something went wrong. You thought your life would be happy, tidy, and safe. But like an unwanted visitor tragedy came knocking.
Pain took up residence in your house and it won't go away. Steven Curtis Chapman in his record, Beauty Will Rise, has a song called Where Are You God? And in that song Steven asks these very honest questions. Where are you God? Because you are turning out to be so much different than I imagined. And where are you God?
Because I am finding life to be much harder than I planned. You know that I believe in you but I still have these questions. There is nothing wrong with having questions.
There is nothing wrong with asking why. In his book The Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe C.S. Lewis writes about a conversation between little Lucy and Mrs. Beaver. Lucy is very nervous about meeting the great Aslan the lion. Lucy asks of Mrs. Beaver, is he safe?
I would feel rather nervous about meeting a lion. Mrs. Beaver says in response, that you will Jerry and make no mistake if there is anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking they are either braver than most or just silly. Lucy then says, then he isn't safe. Mrs. Beaver says safe.
Don't you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about being safe? Of course he isn't safe. But he is good.
He is the king I tell you. And God is good. Life is not always what we call safe. There are things that don't make sense.
But when life is bad God is still good. Jesus says, let not your heart be troubled. That is an interesting phrase. Trouble.
It means let not your heart shudder. Have you ever had that chill go down your spine? You heard that news. You saw that scene.
That thing happened. Jesus says, don't let that happen to you if you are one of my followers. And then He gives us three reasons why we don't have to have heart trouble. Three things to remember when you are afraid.
Number one. Believe that God's Word is true. Again reason number one to not have a troubled heart. Believe that God's Word is true. Because Jesus says there in John chapter 14, if you believe in God believe also in Me. One of the things that you will struggle with when tragedy hits is with doubts. You will wonder if God has forgotten about you or if God maybe isn't paying attention to you. Here is what Jesus says.
Believe in Me. In the original Greek it carries the idea of firmness and resolve and the conviction of a command. Yet from the context He is sharing these words in a gentle way. He is saying in effect, Dear one you must believe and take Me at My Word. And in the original tense of the statement it means to keep doing it.
So here is what Jesus is saying. You must believe My Word and you must keep on believing it again and again and again. Not just believe once. Keep believing it. Fill your mind and heart with the Word of God.
Sometimes it is hard to get to sleep at night when you are filled with anxiety or fear or worry. And it is then that I preach to myself. I know that may sound really odd. I don't have a pulpit at home that I preach from. But I do preach to myself. Because sometimes I will have moments of doubt.
Questions. And I will say, now Greg you listen to me. The Bible says, and I will quote Scriptures out loud to myself and remind myself of what the Word of God says. That is why you need to know the Bible and memorize the Bible and quote the Bible to others and yourself. Because His Word is true. You choose to believe it again and again.
It is like that one guy in the Bible who said, Lord I believe but help my unbelief. Here is the truth that you need to know. If you have a loved one who has died they are in heaven. And you can take that for what it is God has said it.
It is true. Because we are told in 1 John 5 13, if you believe in the name of the Son of God you know that you have eternal life. You know we talk about Jesus weeping at the tomb of Lazarus and we think the reason that Jesus wept was because He was sharing in the sorrow of all of the people that were missing Lazarus.
And I think that is true. But there may have been another reason that Jesus wept. Because He knew in just a few moments He was going to say, Lazarus come forth. And that poor guy was going to have to leave the glory of heaven and come back to the stinking earth. So Jesus wept.
Poor dude. Can you imagine being Lazarus and arriving in heaven and having God say I have some good news and some bad news. What is the good news? Well you are coming back again. What is the bad news? You are getting called back to earth.
No. Trust me when I tell you that no one in heaven would ever want to come back to earth again. But we still miss them.
And we wish they could. But one day because we put our faith in Christ we will be reunited with them again. So number one if your heart is shuddering take God at His word. Number two remember you who have put your faith in Jesus Christ are also going to heaven. You have God's Word on it.
Nothing is more important than that. You know heaven. We think about heaven and it seems so unreal to us. You know we are going to what? Sit around in clouds and strum harps. Sounds boring. I would rather be in hell partying with my friends. Well you may end up in hell. But you won't be partying with anyone.
You can be sure of that. Heaven is not boring. Science fiction writer Isaac Asimov wrote quote, I don't believe in an afterlife so I don't have to spend my whole life fearing hell or fearing heaven even more. For whatever the tortures of hell I think the boredom of heaven would be even worse end quote. What a lame statement. He doesn't know anything about heaven.
Listen. Heaven is a place. We think of it as this surrealistic unreal state of mind.
No. Heaven is a place. Jesus said I have gone to prepare a place for you. We are on a place called earth. One day we will be in a place called heaven that is far better than earth. We ask will it be as good as earth. No it will be better. Earth is a pale imitation of heaven.
Not the other way around. Heaven is the real deal and the hope of every follower of Jesus Christ. It is a place. Heaven is a paradise. Jesus said to that thief hanging next to Him on the cross, Truly truly I say to you today you will be with me in paradise. The apostle Paul died.
He came back to life again and describing what it was like to be in God's presence he said I really can't put it into words for you but I will tell you this much. It was paradise. But heaven is also called a city.
The Bible says that the builder and maker of heaven is God. The Bible tells us we have an enduring city. A city that is to come.
Listen. Cities have buildings. They have culture. They have art.
They have music. They have goods and services and events. It is not some weird sitting around in a cloud kind of thing.
No. We are in this city of heaven. We will recognize one another in heaven. Sometimes people say, well won't we know one another in heaven.
Why do you think you would know less in heaven than you know on earth. You are going to be smarter up there not more stupid. All your questions will be answered then. All of your problems will be resolved then.
All disabilities will disappear then. All pain will be gone then in this paradise, in this city, in this place called heaven. A while back I was speaking in North Carolina at the Billy Graham Training Center at the Cove. We got news that Billy Graham wanted us to come and have lunch with him.
That of course is a great honor. So we made our way up that road to his cabin there in North Carolina. We took our seat at the table and Billy came in. Billy is in his 90's now. He doesn't move as quickly as he used to move. He can't see as well as he used to be able to see. He can't hear as well as he used to be able to hear.
But when he comes in a room he is the man. Billy Graham. He sat down and we had a great lunch of barbecue and all the fixings.
Corn and cornbread and so forth. We were talking a little bit and Billy wasn't quite hearing everything I was saying. So we were conversing some.
His daughter Gigi was also there. She said, Greg what are you speaking on tonight? I said, Gigi I am speaking on the topic of heaven. She said, What are you going to say? I did a little four minute overview of my message. I talked about what the Bible says about heaven. Billy listened carefully. Those blue eyes staring at me deeply taking in every word.
After I was done speaking he repeated back all the points that I made. He said, When I get to heaven I don't know who I am going to see first. Ruth. His wife.
Or Jesus. I said, I don't know Billy but it is going to be wonderful. We talked a little bit more and then as I was leaving he looked at me and said, Greg I will see you in heaven. You see that is the hope that the Christian has. We will be reunited with loved ones again. Ones that have gone before us. We are going to heaven. But not all of us are going to heaven. In fact I would even take it a step further and say most of us will not go to heaven. And when I say us I don't mean us here now.
But I mean most of us in this world. Why do I say that? Because Jesus says, Broad is the way that leads to destruction and many there are that go that way but narrow is the way that leads to life and few there are that find it. Heaven is not the default destination of every person who dies. Only the person, listen now, who has put their faith in Christ as Savior and Lord has the assurance they will go to heaven. And I hope you have done that.
And if you haven't I will tell you how in just a couple of moments. So take God at His word. We are going to heaven. And the third reason we don't have to have troubled hearts tonight is Jesus Christ is coming back again.
And it could be sooner than we realize. Jesus said, I will come again and receive you to Myself. The Bible says it will happen in a moment in the twinkling of an eye with the voice of the archangel and the trumpet of God that dead in Christ shall rise first and those which are alive and remaining will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And we will always be with the Lord. So comfort one another with these words. Why would those words be comforting? Because Paul when he gave that statement was talking to people who thought they would never see their loved ones again who would die.
Paul says, Check this out. You are going to be reunited with them again. You are going to have a family reunion in the air and you will be in heaven together. Mothers and fathers will be reunited with sons and daughters. Sons and daughters with mothers and fathers. Wives reunited with husbands and husbands with wives. Brothers with brothers.
Sisters with sisters. I will be reunited with my son. Stephen Curtis Chapman will be reunited with his daughter.
Bart will be reunited with his daddy. We will all see our loved ones again. And this is the promise of God to you. Death is not only the great. Death is the great separator but Jesus Christ is the great reconciler. Yes that day is coming.
Are you ready? Or maybe you have come here tonight. Your life is messed up and you are despondent. You are so despondent you even thought of taking your life. In fact one of the reasons you haven't done it is because you are afraid you would go to hell. Or you are afraid of the effect it would have on others. Listen.
There is hope even for you. We did a crusade in Albuquerque, New Mexico some years ago and an amazing story took place that I just heard recently from a man I met in Chicago where we are going to be doing a crusade in the month of September. His name was Earl. Earl was from Istanbul. He was raised in a Muslim home.
Raised in Islam. And Earl sort of turned away from his Islamic roots, divorced his wife, moved to the United States, and then ultimately moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico and was living with some girl. He got into drugs and drinking. Spent all of his money on drugs.
And one day Earl decided he was going to kill himself. He decided he was going to overdose on drugs. So he calls up his drug dealer. Finds out what he can buy for 800 bucks.
That is as much money as he had left in his bank account. And he was on his way to his drug dealer's house to get enough to take his own life. As he was driving along he turned on the radio looking for some really dark music as sort of a backdrop for what he was about to do. So old Earl comes across a Christian radio station. He likes the sound of one of the songs. And then the DJ says, Oh by the way that band is going to be playing tonight at the pit at the Harvest Crusade.
We were having our crusade in their auditorium there that ironically is called The Pit. And at that moment Earl looks out his window and he is driving right by the pit. So he turns in. Applause He gets out of his car. He walks in.
The music is playing. He likes it. I got him started speaking and Earl told me, Greg while you were speaking I was just saying to myself, will you hurry up and tell me how to get right with God. Tell me how I can go to heaven. Finally.
I ended my message and gave that invitation. He went down and gave his life to the Lord. And that was some eight years ago. And he is walking with the Lord now and his life has been changed and God can change you tonight no matter what your background is. No matter what you have done.
But how? He just gave us the answer right here in John 14. He gives us hope. He tells us that we are going to heaven.
God's Word is true. He is coming back again. And then he says, And where I go you know and the way you know. And Thomas said, Lord we don't know where you are going and we don't know the way. I love Thomas. He is always criticized. Old doubting Thomas.
No one ever gives him credit for anything. Here is one time when Thomas just stated the obvious. Do you remember when you were back in school and the teacher would do some complex problem up on the board maybe in your math class and then they would turn to the class and say, Does everyone understand? And no one had a clue as to what had just happened up there.
But no one wanted to be the one person to say, I don't get it. Thomas wasn't afraid to speak up. So where I go you know Jesus says.
And the way you know. Thomas is like, I have a question. Yes Thomas. We don't know where you are going and we don't know the way. Hey Jesus doesn't correct him. He says, I am the way the truth and the life and no man comes to the Father but by me. Good question Thomas.
Here is the answer. I am the way. I am the truth. I am the life. There is no other way to come into a relationship with the God that we have sinned against apart from faith in Jesus Christ.
Why? Because Jesus Christ was more than a good man. He was the God man. Fully God and fully man and uniquely qualified to bridge the gap between the holy God of heaven that we have all sinned against. So Jesus voluntarily went to a cross and died there in our place.
He came to pay a debt he did not owe because we owed a debt we could not pay. So now maybe you are like a girl and you are saying, Preacher will you just cut to the chase and tell us what to do? Ok.
I am going to do that. If you want to know that you will go to heaven when you die here is what you need to do. You need to admit you are a sinner. The Bible says all of us have sinned and fallen short of God's glory. Every one of us have broken His commandments but yet the Bible tells us why we were yet sinners. Christ died for us. So we have to first realize we are sinners. Stop making excuses. Stop blame shifting.
Accept responsibility for the wrongs that you have done. And then realize that Jesus Christ came and died on the cross in your place. He voluntarily went to that place to die for the sin of the world as He hung there. He loves you. And that is why He did it. It was not nails that held Jesus to the cross. It was love for you and for me.
Number three. You must turn from your sin. The Bible says repent from your sin. Scripture tells us that God has commanded people everywhere to repent. What does it mean to repent?
It means to change your direction in life. You have been going away from God like old Earl was. Now go towards God. Stop living in this sinful lifestyle. Turn toward Christ in faith. That is what it means to repent.
Be sorry for your sin but be sorry enough to turn from it. And then you must receive Jesus Christ into your life. Being a Christian is not merely believing a creed. It is not simply going to church or carrying a Bible. Being a Christian is having Jesus Christ the living Son of God come and take residence in your heart as your Savior and your Lord and your friend.
Right now. Right now Jesus who died and rose again from the dead is knocking at the door of your heart and He is saying, listen if you will hear my voice and open the door I will come in. Would you like Christ to come into your life?
He will. You must receive Him into your life. You must say, Lord I am sorry for my sin.
The Bible says for as many as received Him He gave them the power to become sons of God. It is just like a gift. If I were to offer you a gift tonight like this Bible here and say, here I got this for you. Merry Christmas or happy birthday or whatever the occasion was. You would have to say, well great thanks so much and receive the gift.
It doesn't do any good if you just look at it and admire it. Take the gift I am offering you. God is offering you the gift of eternal life tonight.
Reach out and take it and make it your own. It is here for you. You must receive Christ. I am going to ask you to do that publicly. We have had thousands of people this weekend come down in this field and make a public stand for Jesus Christ. I am going to ask you to do the same thing tonight.
Why though? Because Jesus said, if you will acknowledge Me before people I will acknowledge you before My Father and the angels in heaven. But He adds, if you deny Me before people I will deny you before the Father and His angels. By coming down in this field and standing behind this stage you will be saying publicly tonight, I want to know God. I want My sin forgiven. I want to go to heaven when I die. I want to say yes to Jesus Christ. That is why I am going to ask you to come publicly.
One last thing. You need to do this now. Don't say, Well I will do it next year. Or I will do it next Sunday. Or in a month. No.
No. The Bible says, Now is the time. Today is the day of salvation. The Bible says, Seek the Lord while He may be found. Call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake His way and the unrighteous men as thoughts. And let Him return to our God who will abundantly be with us. And let Him return to our God who will abundantly pardon. Listen. Seek the Lord while He is near.
He is here. You may never have another opportunity like this one tonight to get right with God. You may never have another opportunity like the one tonight to come back to Christ. And I am going to ask you to do that.
In a moment we are going to pray. And I am going to ask you to make a decision. And by the way this will be an either or decision you will make tonight. Say yes to Jesus or you are going to say no to Him. You say, Well Greg I am just undecided. I am neutral. No.
This is yes or no. Jesus said, You are for me or against me. So you decide as we pray. And I pray you will make the right decision to follow Jesus Christ.
Let's pray. Father speak now to every person listening. Help them to see the words that we have shared tonight are true.
They are gospel truth. And help those Lord that do not yet know you to come to you tonight and receive your forgiveness we pray in Jesus name. Amen. Amen.
Amen. Amen. Amen. Amen. Amen. Amen. Amen. Amen. Amen. Amen. Amen. Amen. Amen. Amen. Amen. Amen. Amen. Amen. Amen. Amen. Amen. Amen. Amen. Amen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-27 08:51:55 / 2023-05-27 09:01:42 / 10