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Why Does God Allow Evil? | How to Deal with Sin

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
April 5, 2022 3:00 am

Why Does God Allow Evil? | How to Deal with Sin

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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April 5, 2022 3:00 am

Romans tells us all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. It’s something we all have in common. We’re sinners. The critical factor is what comes next. Today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie shows us in John how two of the Lord’s own committed sins – significant sins – while they were following the Lord. One chose the pathway of repentance and restoration, the other chose the path of rebellion and destruction. It’s a lesson today on how we should respond to our own sin.

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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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We're glad you're joining us for A New Beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast supported by Harvest Partners. Get more encouraging audio content when you subscribe to Pastor Greg's Daily Devos.

Learn more and sign up at harvest.org. This one came to a census, Simon Peter, and was restored by Jesus. The other, Judas Iscariot, never repented, and he was separated from Jesus. Where will your guilt drive you? Romans tells us all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. It's something we all have in common. We're sinners.

The critical factor is what comes next. Today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie shows us in John how two of the Lord's own committed sins, significant sins, while they were following the Lord. One chose the pathway of repentance and restoration.

The other chose the path of rebellion and destruction. It's a lesson today on how we should respond to our own sin. Here in John 13, the Lord's hour has come.

The hour of his arrest, his suffering, his crucifixion, and his resurrection from the dead. 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, and 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 the disciple that Jesus loved. And Simon Peter mentioned to him, what's he talking about?

I love that. What's he talking about? What does this even mean? So that disciple leaned over to Jesus and said, Lord, who is it? Jesus responded, it's the one to whom I give the bread I dip in the bowl, and when he had dipped it, he gave it to Judas, son of Simon Iscariot. And when Judas had eaten 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 meant. Since Judas was their treasure, some thought Jesus was telling him to go and pay for the food or give money away to the poor.

So Judas left at once, going out into the night. It's worth noting that Judas was so effective in his lie and so cunning and so skillful an actor, no one even suspected him until Jesus made it clear he was the one. Know this, you can fool all of the people some of the time.

You can fool some of the people all of the time. But you can't fool God any of the time. So Jesus had Judas' number, he knew what was going on, but it's really incomprehensible that a man with such opportunity could so squander it. I mean, think about Judas for a moment. Judas Iscariot heard with his own ears 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 5,000 with the loaves and the fishes. And Judas Iscariot also heard the teaching of the Lord when he talked about the wheat and the tares together and how the tares look like the wheat but they're not the wheat and they uproot the wheat and they're imitations of the wheat. And that would have certainly applied to him, but instead of turning to God, he became filled with anger and jealousy and bitterness. You notice an interesting parallel character in the Old Testament to Judas, King Saul, the first king of Israel. And Saul was a man who was initially blessed and called by God to be the king.

He began well, but there were some small compromises that led the larger ones. And ultimately he was rejected by God. The Bible tells us an evil spirit began to torment him. But there was a young shepherd boy named David that would come in and rock out an electric guitar. No, he would play a harp. But what is a harp?

It's like a guitar, right? He played a stringed instrument. So he would come in and play a song for King Saul and the demon would not torment the king for that short period of time as David would sing worship songs to the Lord. But then when David left, the demon would come back and torment Saul again. So he'd call for David to come in and then one time he got angry at David and threw a javelin at him, almost killed him. So David was a little apprehensive of performing for Saul now, you can understand. But I find that interesting.

He would think, well, why wouldn't Saul believe in the God that David worshiped and then he wouldn't be tormented by these demons? And you know, sometimes I think nonbelievers feel, well, you know, maybe I need a little religion. You know, I've gone through this trauma.

I've gone through this crisis. So I'll go to church every now and then, get a little religion. Read a little bit of the Bible. Sing a little bit of some worship song. That makes me feel a little bit better.

Well, that's fine. We're glad that worship helps you and the message helps you. But ultimately the answer is you don't need a little religion. You need a lot of Jesus in your life.

That's the answer. But King Saul didn't want that. Nor did Judas. You know, you might think, well, I should go through a little religious ritual. Like, I'll get baptized. Or, oh, you know what, I'll receive communion. That'll be good. I'll have communion with the Christians. A little ritual. Do me some good.

That actually won't do you any good at all. And in fact, to receive the elements of communion without believing in the one they represent can actually be detrimental to you spiritually. Because the apostle says that as we receive these elements, if we don't know the one they represent, or as he put it, receive them in an unworthy manner, we eat and drink judgment to ourselves.

So here's Judas exposed to all the miracles, all the teachings, the perfect example of Christ. And while the others were having their lives changed, his heart was getting darker and harder. Reminding us of the truth of the statement. The same sun that softens the wax hardens the clay.

The same sun that makes the living tree grow dries up the dead tree. And the same gospel message that transforms one drives another into sin. I can't explain it. One can hear it. It changes their life. Another hears it. And they get harder in their sin.

It's kind of an amazing thing actually. And truthfully that's all on you. It's 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 to have soil like concrete to God's word.

It's all up to you. So that was Judas exposed to the truth. Listen if a person can habitually commit sin without any sense of conviction or remorse that would be a clear indicator they don't know God. But you say but Greg they went forward at a Harvest Crusade or at one of the services. And Greg they have a start Bible. They have a SoCal Harvest sticker on their car. Surely they're a Christian.

Well I hope they are but it doesn't mean they are. Because if you can continue in sin without any remorse that would say to me you don't know God at all. Hey don't judge me man. Don't judge my journey. I will judge you. Because I'm told to judge you by God himself. No judge not lest you be judged. That's like the non-believers favorite verse by the way.

They always default to that. Judge not lest you be judged. Which means go away.

I want to keep doing what I'm doing and I don't want to listen to you Christian. But people misunderstand the verse. What it means is when it says judge not lest you be judged it means condemn not lest you be condemned. I would never condemn anybody. I wouldn't say oh I condemn you. You don't know God. You're going to hell. I don't know that about you.

Only God knows. That's what that verse means. But judge means to evaluate. And the Bible says judgment begins at the house of God. And the Bible even says we should judge one another. Right? That doesn't mean condemn one another. It means make evaluations.

Right? Okay so if I see you're doing something that contradicts what the word says. And I bring it to your attention and say you know you're a Christian but you're not getting drunk. That contradicts scripture. You're a Christian but you know you're having sex with your boyfriend or girlfriend. That contradicts scripture. Excuse me you're a Christian but you're looking at porn.

That contradicts scripture. Don't judge me. No sorry I will judge you. And I'll tell you why I'll judge you.

Because I love you. And I don't want you to go that way because that would indicate to me you don't know God. Now look if you struggle with something and you want to repent of it that's one thing.

Alright? But if you continue in that sin without any desire to change and not even feeling it's wrong despite what the Bible clearly says. That would say to me you don't know God. Because the Bible says by their fruits you will know them. And that fruit is not good.

So think of me as a fruit inspector. Not to hurt you but to help you. I would never confront someone about something like that to drive them away. The Bible says if you see someone who is overtaken in a sin you who are spiritual restore such a one in the spirit of meekness. So the idea is I come humbly to you.

Hey I'm capable of doing the same thing. But I want to help you because I don't want to see your life get wrecked by sin. So if you don't have that concern in your life it makes you wonder. You know the Bible says if you're a believer the Lord will discipline you.

And if he doesn't discipline you well that would indicate you're not a believer. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. We send these daily studies out via radio, satellite and our podcasts. And we don't always know how these messages are touching lives.

But when we hear the stories of our listeners' heartaches and regrets we're encouraged to know the impact on people's lives. I have about a 45 minute commute to and from work and I listen to Pastor Greg Laurie's podcast. I just finished listening to one of the sermons from the series Let's Talk About Heaven. And I had an abortion back in 2010 and it's been a long journey of healing. And when I finally came to the realization that the safest place is to be at the foot of the cross. I was able to fully experience mercy and grace and love that the Lord has for me. And I just wanted to say thank you Pastor Greg for this sermon series. And I'm getting a little emotional because what a day that will be to not only be reunited with my baby but to be united with Jesus Christ.

I just want to say thank you. What a powerful story of God's forgiveness. Do you have a story to tell of how Pastor Greg's studies in God's word have helped you? If so, why not call and share it with us? Just call 1-866-871-1144.

Again, 866-871-1144. Today we are considering the sin of Judas Iscariot, betraying the Lord himself. Pastor Greg's study is based in John chapter 13. So Judas, he missed all the cues.

He turned his back on all the opportunities. He went through it and he betrayed Jesus and walked out, the Bible says at the end of that story, into the night. It's even so telling that phrase, he walked into the night. You know Judas' life could be summed up in that phrase, Proverbs 14, 12. There is a way that seems right to amend but the end thereof are the ways of death. Now there's one other little vignette in this chapter.

We won't really get into it because our time is up. But let me just paraphrase it because something else happened. Judas betrays Jesus and he walks out. So Simon Peter, good old Simon Peter, thought this would be a great time to boast of his love for the Lord. And he said, you know what, even if all deny you, I will never deny you.

Like yeah Judas, he's a loser, I always knew he was a loser. But you can count on me, Simon Peter, who by the way you nickname the rock. And I am the rock, Lord. And Jesus said, well rock, let me tell you something. Before the roosters crowed twice, you will deny three times that you knew me.

No way. They'll all deny you, I will never deny you. No, you'll do it, Peter.

In fact, you won't do it once, you won't do it twice, you'll do it three times. Well, what happened? You know the rest of the story. We'll get to it later in John but that's exactly what Peter did. So they both walked into the night. One betrayed Jesus, one denied Jesus, but here's where there's a difference. One came to his senses, Simon Peter, and wept and was restored by Jesus. The other never repented and he was separated from Jesus. Where will your guilt drive you? I would suggest you run into the open arms of the Lord who will forgive you no matter what you've done.

Yes, it's true. What came as a result of this is the worst act of sinfulness maybe in human history. The torture and the murder of Jesus. Yet from it came the greatest good because Jesus died for the sin of the world. And more specifically, he died for your sin and he died for mine because he didn't stay on the cross. He rose again from the dead. Death died when Christ rose. So that's the good news for all of us.

I wish I could control this world and can stop any harm that would come to any child of God or any person for that matter. But we can't. We live in a fallen world with evil people. We live in bodies that break down and don't work the way they used to work.

And our health fails and we have all the things happen to us that happen to anyone else. But here's the good news. If you put your faith in Christ, you do not have to be afraid. Because you will go straight into the presence of God in heaven. That's the hope of the believer. Do you have that hope?

So we're going to pray in a moment and I want to extend an invitation to you. Because this could be your last night to come to Christ. We don't know what the future holds.

We know who holds the future though, don't we? But Jesus who died on the cross and rose again from the dead now stands at the door of each of our lives. And he knocks and says, if you'll hear my voice and open the door, I'll come in. And you can have Christ come and forgive you of all of your sin. I don't care what you've done, God will forgive you. Listen, if Jesus would have forgiven Judas Iscariot, you don't think he would forgive you?

Well, I don't know, I've done some really radical things. Yeah, you don't think God doesn't know about it already? God knows everything you've done. But he'll forgive you because Christ died on the cross for that sin and took God's judgment upon himself. Instead of you having to face it, he died in your place and if you'll turn from that sin and believe in him, you can be forgiven. So we're going to pray and I'm going to extend this invitation for any of you that are not sure if Jesus is living inside of you. And some of you may be who knew the Lord at one time but you've fallen away.

Hey, you're a little bit like a Simon Peter. You know, Peter loved the Lord but he messed up. He needed a second chance and Jesus gave it to him. And he'll give you a second chance if you'll come back to him if you need to say, Lord, I denied you or Lord, I committed this sin or I fell short over here. Forgive me, I need to return to you and the Lord will forgive you and give you that second chance you need. So if you need Jesus to come into your life or you need that second chance, respond to this opportunity now as we pray together.

Let's all bow our heads. Father, thank you for your word to us and thank you for loving us so much that you sent Jesus to die on the cross in our place. And now we pray, Lord, that you will speak to any person here that does not know you yet.

Let this be a moment of transformation. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen. Pastor Greg Laurie with an important word of prayer. And if you'd like to make a change in your relationship with the Lord, Pastor Greg will help you with that before today's edition of A New Beginning concludes.

And then let me take just a moment and read something. A listener recently wrote us and said, Hello, Pastor Greg, I'm 16 years old from the United Kingdom. I've been enjoying listening to A New Beginning for the past seven years. I'm so thankful that all your messages revolve around salvation, which I love, as Christianity is all about the cross.

You've been a blessing to my friends and family. As you're joining us each day, there are thousands and thousands listening right along with you. Some may be right there in your neighborhood or in a faraway country. Some might be right across the street.

Some may be across an ocean. But the word of God is relevant to everyone, everywhere. And we hope you'll recognize how God is using these studies to touch lives. Would you pray for us that God prepares the hearts of those who listen? And would you also partner with us so we can continue to reach out? And Pastor Greg, we have some big plans for a major ministry this year, don't we? Yeah, you know that's true, Dave. And whatever you send to us here at A New Beginning, we'll take those resources, that money, and channel it into continuing this ministry and even expanding this ministry around the nation and the world.

Yeah, that's right. So would you prayerfully consider partnering with us today? You can make that investment online and get details on the resource we'd like to send your way to thank you. It's a book called The Case for Heaven by New York Times bestselling author Lee Strobel. Through a number of interviews with experts in their fields, he's able to make a strong case for the afterlife and the existence of heaven and hell.

The subtitle is A Journalist Investigates Evidence for Life After Death. And we'll send you this book to thank you for your investment. Just go to harvest.org or drop us a note at A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, California 92514. Or call us any time 24-7 at 1-800-821-3300.

That's 1-800-821-3300. Well, Pastor Greg, if somebody listening right now knows that they need to make a change in their relationship with God, they can do that right now, can't they? They really can, and I think some people might say, well, what, pray while listening to the radio?

Absolutely, because guess what? Jesus Christ is with you right where you are right now. And if you want Jesus Christ to come into your life and forgive you of your sin, if you want to invite him into your life, why don't you pray this prayer after me right now? In fact, I would even encourage you to pray it out loud.

Let's pray. Lord Jesus, I want you to come into my life and forgive me of my sin. I thank you for dying for me on the cross and then rising again from the dead.

I choose to follow you from this moment forward. Be my Savior, be my Lord, be my God, and be my friend. Thank you for loving me and calling me and forgiving me.

In Jesus' name I pray, amen. Now listen, as you just prayed that prayer, maybe you felt something emotional. I've had people write me and tell me of how they prayed with me at the end of our radio broadcast and tears came down their cheeks or they felt a great joy. Maybe one of those things happened to you or then again maybe you felt nothing. Listen, irregardless of how you feel right now, I want you to know a fact. If you prayed that prayer and meant it, Jesus Christ has come into your life.

Why do I say that? Because the Bible says these things we write to you that believe on the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life. That first doesn't say so you can think you have eternal life or hope if God's in a really good mood you may have eternal life.

No, it says you can know it. And if you just prayed that prayer and meant it, Christ has come into your life. So let me say to you, welcome to God's family. And we'd like to help you get started in living your new life with the Lord. We'd like to send you some free follow-up materials called our New Believers Growth Packet. Just get in touch and we'll send that packet right out to you.

As I said, it's free of charge. And our special thanks to our Harvest partners and others who support this ministry for helping us make them available. You can call us any time at 1-800-821-3300.

That's 1-800-821-3300. Or write A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514. Or just go to harvest.org and click on Know God. Are you receiving Pastor Greg's daily devotions each day via email?

If not, let's take care of that right now. You can sign up today free of charge at harvest.org. And you'll receive a daily inspirational thought from God's Word each day in your inbox.

Again, go to harvest.org. Well next time, Pastor Greg continues his series called Life, based in the Gospel of John. We'll begin a close look at the Holy Spirit and His work in each of our lives. Join us here on A New Beginning with pastor and Bible teacher, Greg Laurie. This is the day, the day when life begins. Hey everybody, thanks for listening to A New Beginning. This is a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners. So for more content that can help you know God and equip you to make Him known to others, or to learn more about how you can become a Harvest Partner, just go to harvest.org.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-11 16:56:27 / 2023-05-11 17:06:03 / 10

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