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Why Does God Allow Evil? | The Narrow Path

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
April 4, 2022 3:00 am

Why Does God Allow Evil? | The Narrow Path

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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April 4, 2022 3:00 am

We’re all faced with decisions every single day. The most important decision is whether we choose the narrow path that leads to righteousness, or the wide path that leads to destruction. Today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie points out that two people can be exposed to the same truth, the same wisdom, given the same choice, and each make opposite decisions. It’s a look at man’s free will and the strong pull of sin. Today’s study is based in the Gospel of John.

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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. This program is impacted do love to hear from you.

So just send an email to Mia greg@harvest.org again it's greg@harvest.org you can learn more about becoming harvest partner by going to harvest.org. How is it that some respond to the gospel and others don't.

Today on a new beginning. Mastering Lori points out something from the New Testament as soon as expose all the miracles all the teachings of perfect example of Christ, while the others are having their lives changed. His heart was getting darker and harder, reminding us of the truth of the statement the same son that softens the wax part play this on you because you choose how you will react in every single day most important decision is whether we choose the narrow path that leads to righteousness or the Y leaps to the structure today on a new beginning master Greg Lori points out that two people can be exposed to the same truth the same wisdom given the same showings make conscious decisions is a look at man's free will and the strong today study is based on the title of my messages. Why does God allow grab your Bible and turn to John chapter 13 this man that will get a look at committed the worst crime imaginable. He betrayed and sold out Jesus and he had a hand in the cold-blooded murder of the very son of God talking about Judas Iscariot and it's hard to believe that a man could do such a horrible thing yet as we will discover out of this act of pure evil. The greatest good came for all of humanity because though Judas betrayed Christ will tell you why. In a few moments with his heart was evil, and Satan entered his heart and in there was greed involved in, but though he betrayed Christ and it was his desire to stop the ministry of Jesus. In fact, he helped to fulfill the ministry of Jesus because Jesus had come expressly to this earth to voluntarily die on the cross for the sin of the world. So Judas did realize he was helping to fulfill God's plan, but indeed he was, but is very name is synonymous with evil and treachery. Judas is the traders trader in his life ended miserably and suicide because he sold out Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. So let's read from John 13 I'm reading verses 1 to 9.

By the way I'm reading from the new living translation before the Passover celebration. Jesus knew that his hour had come to leave this world and returned to his father. He had loved his disciples during his ministry on earth.

Now we love them to the very end it was time for supper and the devil had already prompted Judith, son of Simon Iscariot to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the father had given him authority over everything that he had come from God and would return the God he got up from the table, took office rope wrapped a towel around his waist and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples feet, drying them with the towel he had around when Jesus came to Simon Peter.

He said to him, Lord, are you going to wash my feet. Jesus replied you don't understand what I'm doing, but someday you will know Peter protested, you will never ever wash my feet. Jesus said unless I wash you, you won't belong to me. Then Peter explained, then wash my hands and head as well. Not just my feet. Verse one. What a powerful opening verse before the Passover celebration.

Jesus, knowing his hour had come to leave this world to return to his father. He loved his disciples during his ministry on earth, and now he loves them, to the very end with Calvary closing in and all the pressure it brought. This is such a touching picture of Christ. These down in his hands and knees washing their feet. Loving them to the end. The disciples were alone with Jesus this night the crowds are not present and this is the last supper is the problem we think of the last supper. We think of the painting by Leonardo da Vinci, the great Peter arrays that idea from your mind out of the way it looked.

It would've been a low-slung table they would've been sitting on pillows probably reclining and maybe in sort of a semicircular fashion and they would have various bits of bread that they would dip in various kinds of sauces.

Sort of like chips and salsa if you will. That's actually what it was like and that's always a very casual thing. They would eat all of they were the dates they would need bits of fish and so forth. And that's what a meal would look like in a meal was long. It was leisurely and wasn't normal with cutlery in front of you. You know that's what you call it, if you're from England, cutlery, and no it was very casual and relaxed and you would be with your hand you would share the food so this is what a meal look like and this is what the Last Supper actually look like Jesus. Now does something that shocked everyone. He gets out a basin of water and starts to wash their feet. Now this by the way was done customarily by the servant of the house. So when you would walked in wearing your sandals or whatever. And yet all the dirt and dust all over your feet. The servant would come and wash your feet before you came into the house, but who is doing this not a servant Jesus himself washing their feet. But why would Jesus even do this to start with when he was demonstrating what he taught.

He said if you want to be greatest in the kingdom of God. Learn to be the servant of all. So showing them what it means to love one another but yet in Luke's gospel account of this story an argument broke out as to who would be greatest in his kingdom. Can you see it appears this very heavy night. It's going to be the last meal he ever got is with this disciples.

He's watching their feet.

They can see the Lord under stress within W good time to argue about who will be greatest in the kingdom. Just like little kids on think and so you that's what the backdrop is against the story they were missing the point. But now we go to verse 21 of John 13. Now Jesus was deeply troubled, and he exclaimed I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me. The disciples looked at one another wondering whom he could mean that the disciple Jesus loved, was sitting next to Jesus at the table. By the way, that's John.

John describes himself in his gospel as a disciple that Jesus loved. I like that. By the way, though my tumbler full of the disciple Jesus loved, no it be boastful to be said the disciple to love Jesus even boasted his love for Jesus. He boasted of Jesus love for him and you know what you're the disciple Jesus loves to he loves you is like you love John so the disciple whom Jesus love was sitting next to, and Simon Peter mentioned to him what's he talking about. I love that what's he talking about what is this even mean so that disciple leaned over to Jesus and said, Lord, who is Jesus responded. It's the one to whom I give the bread I dip in the bowl when you dipped it he gave it to Judas son of Simon Iscariot, Judah said eaten the bread underlying this Satan entered him when eating the bread Satan entered him. Jesus told him, hurry up and do what you're going to do. None of the others at the table knew what Jesus met.

Since Judas was our treasurer. Some thought Jesus was telling them to go and people of the food or give money away to the poor. So Judith left at once. Going out into the night. There will talk about dropping a bombshell look at verse 21 again Jesus was deeply troubled, and he exclaimed I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me. The word is used here for trouble is interesting. It's the same word to describe Jesus standing at the grave of Lazarus and weeping.

He was trouble by that scene.

It's also the same term using John 1227 as he thought about the coming front of the cross, when he said my heart is troubled. See Jesus was always the one who was the stable person to look to in the midst of a crisis. He was always the one that had the answer. He was always the one that had the common the midst of the storm. So when Jesus was troubled that caused everyone to be alarmed. Ever heard the expression of mama ain't happy and nobody happy in and of Jesus is troubled. Everyone's a bit unnerved because if it unnerves Jesus what is that mean to us why was Jesus trouble while he was troubled because of what was about to happen. He was in trouble for himself. He was troubled for another. Believe it or not, he was troubled over the soul of the one who was about to betray him. The disciples did not know Judas was the man yet price is not a deed him.

But Jesus knew and they understood now that there's a traitor in their midst. And it's interesting when he says one of you to betray me.

They all say torment. Is it me, Judas was as obvious as we think the older stood up in unison appointed to him and said that Judas is in it. The guy in the black leather rope.

We always knew what was in any of the evil goatee grew out and laugh at cool that we knew was no that was no one thought of Judith thought of themselves could be me and now Jesus responds in verse 26. It's the one I give the bread to that I'm dipping in the bowl in the dipped it and gave it to Judas son of Simon Iscariot. By the way, Judas was sitting at the left-hand of Jesus, which in this culture was the place of honor. The Lord probably asked you this is said in the place of honor that nine probably Judas's mind little bit because he knew when he was about to do. And Jesus says here, Judas, parents right next place of honor this you know what I'm about to do. I know which of you to do for sure and what was Jesus doing he was offering love to Judas here's effectively what he was communicating. I know what you're about to do and I still love you and it breaks my heart and you don't have to do it. Seek Judas had a free will.

He could've exercised, but he chose evil. He could have just as easily turned away. Christ would've forgiven them up to the last moment effect later in the garden of Gethsemane before Jesus is been arrested. Judas comes with the temple guard and so to apprehend him. And Jesus says friend, why have you come friend excuse me. That's Judas Yorty ID the measure betray her but Jesus was offering to Judas one last chance to register Greg Laurie will have the second half of this message in just a moment, emails, letters and phone calls from listeners are so encouraging to us and they let us know the effectiveness of the studies master Greg. This matter has been a long time coming. In 2017 has been, and I lost our three-year-old son to a nonsensical began asking questions and no answers seem to be found. One evening I was watching TV and came across your message is about to change the channel that something can help me to watch you are giving your testimony, the more I watch the angrier I became thinking, oh great another pastor with a perfect faith in my what is he now got moment you began to share about the passing of Kiersten Christopher. Your testimony saved my life because for so long I thought I deserved what had happened to our standing in my obedience to God's word and hearing your testimony for God mainly realizing God doesn't waste her pain then and there.

I sent my heart and seeking God. I started listening to your podcast and devotion and wouldn't you know it you are in a series called hope for hurting hearts I know it was the leading of the Holy Spirit for me to tune in. Thank God for that moment is perfect timing, grace and love and thank you Pastor Greg you have done more than you realize were so blessed to hear Greg's messages have comforted this woman would you like to share a personal story with us. If so, drop Pastor Greg an email and let them know.

Send it to craig@harvest.org that's great that harvest.org and I'll Pastor Greg continues her look at the betrayal by Judas from John chapter 13 Jesus would've forgiven Judas Iscariot that he had repented right there on the spot, but that is not what you this was about to do and apparently Judas now past the point of no return, because look at verse 27 when he ate the bread Satan entered him was her ominous works. We read in the Gospels about people being possessed by demons. You know what demon possession is real. Demons are real demons are powerful, but the good news is, is when you become a Christian, you're under divine protection and no demon can possess you. Demons can tempt you demons can harass you.

They can attack you with.

They cannot possess you. It is only the nonbeliever that can be possessed by a demon and when Christ lives inside of us. There can be no demons. Jesus is not to do at times your program when he enters your heart, he is the sole occupant okay but here's Judas. He wasn't demon possessed. He was Lucifer possessed the big guy himself. Satan entered his heart which helps us understand he's on another level of evil. I bring this up because sometimes people want to paint you.

This is a victim. Poor guy was just upon in the hand of God, and you know God knew that Jesus would die on the cross and someone had to bring it about the guy just made Judas do this. He had no choice nonsense get plenty of choice and he was handpicked by Jesus, and he was loved by Jesus, but he made this horrible choice.

In fact, the only person whatever equal Judas and wickedness would probably be the Antichrist himself.

Antichrist is sort of like the son of the devil and Judas is pretty much the same thing, but here's a clear pattern of the deception of sin, even to the most knowledgeable of people. It's worth noting that Judas was so effective in this lien so cunning and so skillful and actor no one even suspected him until Jesus made it clear he was the one. As I said earlier, Judas fooled everyone but Jesus know this, you can full all of the people some of the time. You can full some of the people all of the time, but you can full God. Any of the time.

So Jesus had you. This is number. He knew what was going on, but it's really incomprehensible that a man with such opportunity could still squander it. I mean think about Judas for a moment Judas Iscariot and I don't know why, but whenever I have his name on my Word documents and I go through spellcheck. They always wanted to because lasting Iscariot and turn it into escargot. So maybe that's the French do this right Judas escargot sales of, so Judas Iscariot. He spent every waking hour walking and talking with God incarnate.

What a privilege that was. I mean sometimes nonbelievers will save will.

The reason I'm not a Christian is because there's hypocrites in the church, by the way, I don't buy that.

I think that's an excuse, not reason and it sort of illustrate that you think Jesus was ever a hypocrite.

You know you never once Jesus was literally perfect. Jesus never lost his temper know he was angry when he drove the people out of the temple, but that was righteous indignation. Jesus never said an unkind thing. Jesus never told a lie. Jesus never had a single thought out of harmony with the father that Jesus said I always do the things that please the father and I couldn't say that. Could you but Jesus could see was the perfect example. Yet, not only did Judas not believe what he turned against Christ selling them for 30 pieces of silver that he was one of the original 12 listen Judas Iscariot heard with his own. Here's the sermon on the Mount. Judas Iscariot saw Lazarus resurrected from the dead, Judas Iscariot saw Jesus walking on the water.

Judas Iscariot saw the feeding of the 5000 with the loaves and the fishes, Judas Iscariot also heard the teaching of the Lord when he talked about the wheat and the tares together and all the tears look like the way but they're not the wheat may uproot the wheat there imitations of the wheat and that would certainly apply to him. But instead of turning to God. He became filled with anger and jealousy, and bitterness figures Judas exposed to all the miracles all the teachings a perfect example of Christ, while the others are having their lives changed. His heart was getting darker and harder, reminding us of the truth of this statement the same song that softens the wax hardens the clay.

This same sun that makes a living tree grow dries up the dead tree in the same gospel message and transforms one drives another in this in II can explain it, but you can have two people sitting in the pew or in seats next to each other. One hears the gospel they believe their life is change. The other folds her arms says does it make you nervous your folding your arms to your that's okay. There probably call there's a lot of air conditioning but all the people hold their objectives. But you know the person who's not responsive enemy you I know you're responsive, but that you're sitting up close right that's visible know the people in the back those who are folding their arms even worse, no but seriously, one can hear it it changes are live another here's a hidden and they get harder and their sin is kind of an amazing thing. Actually, truthfully, that's all on you is not on the gospel. The gospel is true, it's not on the Bible.

The Bible is alive and powerful. It's not on God. It's on you because you choose how you will react.

You choose what kind of soil your heart is you choose it to be receptive soil to the seed of God's word or you choose.

They have soil like concrete God's word and all to you so that was due this expose the true Greg Lord pointing out how our free will are choice plays a pivotal role in what path our lives take important insight today from the gospel of John Pastor Greg message called why does God allow evil you know the last couple of years have been such a trying time for everyone. The pandemic and all the uncertainty of political tension unrest in our cities, inflation, empty store shelves with the counseling. God's word is the answer for the troubles and trials were facing and we want to reach out even further with the studies. The only thing holding us back is the resources to make it happen.

As a pastor Greg we hope our listeners might pray about partnering with us so we can reach further in their own community and and reach further into places they've never even been that's right. It's an investment in kingdom business is not right. Yes, that's true. So whatever you can send to us here at a new beginning will use that money to reach more people with the teaching of the word of God and the message of the gospel. I hope some of you will be generous because this enables us to do more but whatever you send look forward to hearing from you yet.

We hope you let God use you to make a difference.

A real tangible difference in people's lives and we want to say thank you for your investment go to harvest.org and get the details on the book called the case for heaven.

The subtitle is a journalist investigates evidence for life after death. Best-selling author Lee Strobel carefully investigates reasons for belief in the afterlife and the existence of heaven and hell. It's fascinating material will send this resource your way to thank you for your donation.

Just go to harvest.org or drop us a note at a new beginning.

Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or call us anytime 24 seven at 1-800-821-3300. That's 1-800-821-3300 and then we want to pass along a prayer request pastor Greg and the team are headed to Boise Idaho soon for the Boise harvest is coming April 23 and 24's.

It'll be a huge outreach at the extra mile arena where pastor Greg will share important gospel messages and he welcomes Jeremy Camp, Chris Tomlin, Andy mimeo and Jordan for lease. So keep pastor Greg and prayer and also keep this event in your prayers as well. And if you know someone who lives in Idaho.

Let them know about this event. Get details at boy. C.harvest.org you know there's nothing lying here in the word of God worshiping the Lord together. I will encourage you to join us for something we call Harvest at Home every Saturday and Sunday harvest.org you enjoying Christians literally from around the world as we worship and we study the word of God together. So join us for Harvest at Home and harvest when next I more insights from pastor Greg important message called why does God allow evil. Join us here on a new beginning.

Pastor and Bible feature Greg Laurie and thanks for the new beginning.

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