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March 16, 2022 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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You are listening to a new beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast made possible by harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God. Visit our website and learn more about harvest email@example.com website is that I am now a server because large voters are more what you don't serve your another server your poser what we say or do. Maybe you should read Maurice's make sure your faith is the only way to be a Christian is born again you choose to believe in Jesus, with no one I'm a Christian and just sort of do anything about putting our best state job and we would people be the best side, or so, is it who we are, well some version of your God knows all, we can't fool them when it comes to where we stand with this on today on the new beginning. Greg Laurie burgesses to consider the genuineness of our faith. God learn how to turn the gospel of John. And here's a title for my message. How not to be born again, though I did make a mistake that is actually the title how not to be born again I'll explain why I chose that title in a few moments, but John chapter 1 is what were going to begin.
So why did John write this gospel actually tells us in John 2031. He said these things were written that nonbelievers might believe these things are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ the son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
Whenever I talk to someone who says they want to start reading the Bible, you might be surprised to find I don't say start in Genesis. Not that it's a bad thing to start in Genesis. But I often tell them the start of the gospel of John and the reason I say that is because it was specifically written, so a nonbeliever could believes I think it's a great place for a person to start and of course a great place for anyone to start. Who wants to read through the Bible and I'll tell them to pray something along the lines of, say to God. If your real, make yourself real to me as I read this gospel 21 chapters, John proves that Jesus is the son of God who should be followed.
Number two. John's Gospel was written that we as believers might experience more of his life in us.
Let me say that again. John's Gospel was written that we as believers might experience more of his life in us because he says that believing you may have life in his name. So John wrote the gospel for those who already believe because the word that he uses.
Therefore, believing speaks of a continual action. In other words, John is saying.
The more we believe the more likely will experience thus John wrote to convince the skeptic, but also to convince the believer and the commitment they've already made so the gospel of John in the way it begins is amazing because he goes way back before the little town of Bethlehem goes way back before Mary and Joseph because way back even before the garden of Eden goes back to the solar system because back to the beginning of the beginning. So that's over going to start John chapter 1 starting in verse one. Read verses 1 to 5 in the beginning was the word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.
He was in the beginning with God all things were made through him and without him nothing was made that was made in him was life and that life was the light of men in the light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not comprehend. There.
Now this is interesting because there's not a definite article before the word beginning meaning you cannot pinpoint this moment in time where there was a beginning. So really what he says the beginning we that we don't even know where that starts but John is taking us back to eternity past further back than the human mind can imagine that that brings me to my first point about Jesus.
If you're taking notes and here it is. Jesus is God. Jesus is God. That's a really important thing to understand and believe for a Christian. Jesus is God before there was a world before that was planets before there was light or darkness before there was matter before anything else.
There was the Godhead and there was Jesus Jesus Christ coequal, coeternal coexistent with the father and the Holy Spirit, the Word was with God. The word was God. Jesus is God, that by the way, is an essential for Christians that there's no wiggle room here if you don't believe Jesus is God. To be blunt, you can't be a Christian because who is just a great man, a prophet, a Guru. What I Jesus claimed to be God and for us to be genuine Christians, we must believe that he is God. Jesus was fully God, but just as true as that is. This is also true. Jesus was fully man, how's a possible I'm not really sure, but he was fully God, it was fully man. Verse 14 says the word became flesh and dwelt among us, I mean think about it Jesus Christ who had neither beginning or rent was always existed came to this earth as a living, breathing human being. He was larger than life. He who created the solar system became an embryo. He went from the throne of heaven to a feeding trough that's effectively where he was born there and that manger or that cave, he went from the presence of angels to cave filled with animals. It's hard for us to wrap her mind around the idea of deity and humanity, and one person will a good example of this would be Jesus crossing the Sea of Galilee. He was tired from a day of ministry in and fell asleep in a radical storm came pitching the ball back and forth in the and they were waking obscene Lord save us, but we will die. So what could be more human than falling asleep right but then what could be more as an illustration of deity than the fact that he stood up after they woke him up and calm the storm, probably because he want to go back to snap again so I think people try to wrap their minds around God's not an easy thing to do. The consider his attributes. God is omniscient God is omnipotent God is omnipresent God is sovereign. The God is righteous in God is holy know things are all true, but if you really want to know what God is like. Just look at Jesus. That's what got like, look at Jesus what is God thinking children look at Jesus taking the children and was arms and blessing of what is God thing about that, look at Jesus. He is God among us. Basically he was God with skin on God had a face. Jesus became one of us, without ceasing to be himself God who became a man shine his light on humanity. Look at verse four in him was life and the life of the light of men in the light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not comprehend on or about you, but before I was a Christian I thought man was basically good and that's why was so confused about life because in the 17 years of my life and earth. I'd seen so many bad things I'd seen things no young boy should ever see, I was exposed to the worst underbelly of people and things they didn't and I don't want a man's basically good.
Why do people do such awful things in my became a Christian then I realize man was not basically good but it was simple.
Everything started making set right. This is clearly what the Bible teaches, because despite all of our advances technological advances scientific advances and we can point to all these things.
Yet, much as we really change we made no progress whatsoever in the basic ills of the human condition crying violence, war, justice races, we would just get back to what God said in his word and how to live our lives.
Things would change overnight, but we disregard the things we even mock these things.
We even persecuted people that believe these things. I'm not saying we do as Christians, but others do in our country. Verse nine this is the true light that gives light to every man coming into this world. Now this is important because this verse is sometimes misunderstood, sometimes referred it stated as follows Weathers a lightened man. We all have the inner light in that inner light is in every person. We need to discover the inner light in the inner Christ and then we need to go to hot yoga together utterances height. Someone told me today I can believe this, they said I want to go do yoga with goats.
I'm not making this up. Has anyone heard of this is a you're joking or not filled with ghostly I was at work.
Well, we were doing yoga and the goats just walk around okay have fun with those goats.
That's not what this verse is saying is something we are living in her life is not speaking the light in man it's talking about God's light shining on man, there's a big difference now.
It is true that God is placed eternity in the heart of people were told that in Scripture what that simply means that there is a sense in every man and woman that there's something more in life. That's what we going to search in life, but it's a search that hopefully will lead us to Christ and the Bible tells us that we have a sense of conscience inside of us. The book of Romans and says our conscience will accuse or excuse us Romans also tells us we have the testimony of nature all around us, but ultimately verse nine this July gives light to every man so when you run into people that say you know what I'm seeking the truth and I want to know the truth.
Here's my thought if they really want to know the truth will find the way that Jesus so that they want to know the truth and I'm signature that's awesome. I know it's some truth dives into the right ear. Jesus said on the put the Bible away. I don't believe in that you picketed near month will that you are seeking truth, I have put a line all lit up like that put away. See, they're not seeking truth. They were seeking truth, it will ease give a fair hearing to the Bible, but the rejected out of hand shows are not seeking the truth. If a person is really seeking the truth and seeking God. They will find their way to Jesus you save a great how do you know that because God says in Jeremiah 2913 if you seek me you will find me when you search for me with all of your heart I will be found by you, says the Lord is your Greg is bringing a message today called how to not be born again and he'll explain why he chose the title just a moment.
It's such a blessing to hear the pastor Greg's messages are touching lives. Pastor Greg, I grew going to church. When I turned 18, mainly rebelling against my mom always forced me to go 50s. He now and I'm back going to church after all these years I attended my very religious girlfriend have done so for the past year have also been doing a lot of reading and talking to people and eliciting different things. One of them was a radio program, a new beginning. As you are talking. Pastor Greg gave a prayer and asked if anyone would like to follow Christ have their sins forgiven. Well, it felt like the right thing to do and I pray the prayer to follow Christ. Thank you Pastor Greg. If you have a story to share.
Why not call us and give us all the details. Here's the number 1-866-871-1144 special number for this purpose, 866-871-1144 will today. Pastor Greg is presenting his kickoff message in a new series called life. Let's continue now. So now let's wrap this message up. I gave it the very odd title how not to be born again.
So let's conclude now with how not to be born again because we concluded three ways in which you cannot become a child of God and it's down right here in verses 12 to 13 as many as received him, he gave them the right to become children of God, to those who believe in his name who were born, not of blood, might underline that nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. Okay, so here's how not to be born again, you cannot be born again of blood but is ending, it means if you're born into a Christian family are not automatically a Christian. Some people don't know this by the way, you know you say are your critics. My great-grandfather was a preacher's all will some Christian blood summary think under no or even my parents are Christian and they took me to church. That's great God for godly heritage they got for parents. It took you to church but it's not a blot you're not born a Christian, you may be born into a Christian family, but the only way to be a Christian is being born again right.
Jesus said you must be born again or all over again born from above.
Technically, nor is it the will of the flesh new birth into God's family doesn't come to you just deciding it now.
There is an act of your will you choose to believe in Jesus. What you had to say from now on I am a Christian and just sort of do Christian.
He things without Christ.
Let me illustrate, let's say is that I am now a surfer and I am a surfer because I bought a surfboard and heal people, and thereby surfboards will learn to serve the always by the wrong board start with thereby some short little performance board and you know they get their little wetsuit and they've got the right wax and they've got the stickers on the car and they can't get up on their board, they get discouraged, so they hang it on the wall and that's the end right or maybe you get out of the beach and you're there with your board you're checking out the ways but the thing is you never go out so you're not really a surfer but you have a surfboard get board shards you have wax the other wetsuit. But you don't serve your another server your opposer or maybe you're smart because there's 15 great white sharks out there right now. Then there's that to be a surfer even if you're not a great surfer and I'm not a great surfer but you have to serve it'd be a good surfer you have to serve a lot. So to be a Christian, you have to come humbly before God and admit your sinfulness and turn from those sins and embrace Christ as your Savior and Lord. Nor is it from the will of man is up from the will of man is not just determination someone to do it for you. I can't make you a Christian.
I can't stand the count of three. You're a Christian, a priest can't give you a sacrament insight. Therefore, your sins are forgiven or anybody else.
No one can do this. It's not the will of man, someone can't do this for you. Only God can do this for you, kid. That's all not to become a Christian. So how do I become a Christian. Verse 12 for as many as received him, he gave them the right to become children of God. I just said it's not my desire and it's not by determination.
So how is one born in the God's family by receiving Christ the following about the rules for knowing I'm going to read the Bible that could do that to go to church. That's good to do that as well, but it starts with saying Gautama center Jesus came into my life.
Forgive me of all of my sin and then you read your Bible, then you go to church.
Then you do the things are growing Christian needs to know you just receive. This is not complex. By the way this is so simple a child can understand if you walk up to the child and see her. I got this for you with the toy they get that really well, grab that toy start playing with it. They might say thank you, but they receive the gift and that's what God says to us. Here's the gift. Are you can have a right now forgiveness of all of your sin. Just believe in Jesus and said I want that gift in the moment you receive it, it's yours in your born again and you're a child of God is so, how long does is take yours months weeks now doesn't even take hours. It can happen. I don't know, in seconds.
It can happen in a flash just immediately affect listening to this message, you may have already happened. The hearing came in here as a nonbeliever, and I don't know what took place or what was said or wanted transpire, but just somewhere during the course of this service, you believe just like that you sent believe this is hard to explain this in it, but it's like the lights went up now when the lights go on and you realize something is true. That doesn't make you a believer you have to act on it because the Bible describes conversion as having your eyes open and then you turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, so it's possible to have your eyes open and not respond appropriately because we've all met people that will say I actually believe Jesus Christ is the son of God, and God the son. I actually believe the Bible is the word of God actually believe there is a heaven and there's a hell I believe all those things but I don't want to follow Jesus right out so their eyes were open but they haven't turned from darkness to light and that's a really important thing to do when we restate that that is the most important thing you can do look Jesus Christ is ready to forgive you of your sin is a you're seeking truth. The truth is here right now it's Christ is alive, who rose from the grave. This with us in this place and he is standing at the door of your life in the is knocking anything. If you hear his voice and open the door to commit only you can do this. Remember you're not born again by blood, meaning you're not born into a Christian family, making you a Christian you have to be born again we see all right Lord I get this now I want you as my Savior.
I want you as my Lord, I want you as my friend. I want this relationship, it can happen for you right here right now were going to pray, to extend an invitation for you to believe in Jesus and if you've not made this commitment. If you do not ask them in your life. Respond okay, let's all pray everyone drawing your head father, thank you for loving us so much that you sent Jesus to dine the cross in our place or Jesus, thank you for coming and dying.
Lean your life down for us because you love us and I pray for everyone here in everyone listening does not yet know you help them to see their need for you and help them to come to you now. We pray that your Holy Spirit will conduct vent and convince those that do not believe to believe in your mighty name. I amen prayer Pastor Greg Laurie and if you like to make a change in your relationship with the Lord before we go any further. Pastor Greg would like to lead you in one more word of prayer.
Listen as you listen to this program today. Maybe some is been happening inside of your heart where your sensing. I need to do this personally, but how do I do it in one away. Do let me help you.
This can be the moment when you change your eternal address literally from hell to heaven. Just pray these words Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner but I also know that you are the Savior because you died on the cross for my sin and he rose again from the dead. Jesus come in the my life and forgive me of every sin I've ever committed. I choose to follow you from this moment forward.
Thank you for hearing this prayer. Thank you for answering this prayer Lord, and I pray all of this in Jesus name, amen man listen if you had just pray that prayer with Pastor Greg and of mental's words from your heart. First of all, welcome to the family of God and second would like to offer some help as you get started as a Christian would like to send you our new believers growth packet just get in touch and ask for it will send it free of charge to those making a first time commitment to the Lord today.
Call us at 1-800-821-3300 where here around the clock to take your call. That's 1-800-821-3300 or even make the arrangements online by going to harvest.org and clicking on know God and then just a word of thanks to you. If you partnered with us of these daily studies can continue it's only because of listener support that these programs reach out like they do, you're making a difference in people's lives through your generosity and pastor Greg we really appreciate that partnership away. Yeah, that's right. I know that some of you can't give that much.
So whatever you can do.
It's appreciated. I know some of you can give a little more and some could possibly give a lot more. Whatever gift you send will be used to continue to bring this radio broadcast around the United States and around the world. You know our mission statement here in our businesses knowing God, making him known help us fulfill that mission statement and let's work together and in advance. I want to say thanks for whatever you can do.
Yeah, that's right. And we want to thank you tangibly was an important new resource. It's a book called don't give the enemy a seat at your table written by Pastor Louis Giglio. He points out where in the battle for the control of our minds and our enemy is trying to push a narrative that will lead to defeat the subtitle is it's time to win the battle of your mind and will send you this book to thank you for your investment you can make a donation firstname.lastname@example.org or call us anytime around the clock at 1-800-821-3300. That's 1-800-821-3300 Pastor Greg continues to study series simply called life will take an honest look at suffering and why God allows dryness to run a new beginning. Pastor and Bible teacher Greg Laurie and I knew beginning of the podcast, made possible by harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God if this show has impacted your life. Share your story, leave a review on your favorite podcast and help others find help