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The Holy Spirit and You, Part 2 | Non-Christians

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
April 12, 2022 3:00 am

The Holy Spirit and You, Part 2 | Non-Christians

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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April 12, 2022 3:00 am

In our natural bodies, there are many things inside that keep us alive, although we’ve never seen them. Antibodies, clotting agents, intestinal flora, white blood cells. Now, spiritually speaking, there are invisible forces at work that want to help us and save us, although other forces want to destroy us. Today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie points out the work of God’s Spirit acquaints us with our sin, and acquaints us with our Savior. It’s important we know how to respond.

View and subscribe to Pastor Greg’s weekly notes.

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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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Today's episode of A New Beginning is brought to you by Harvest Partners, helping people everywhere know God.

Learn more at harvest.org. And while you're there, browse our library of free e-books designed to help you grow in your faith. The Holy Spirit of God. He says, You are bad. You are sinful.

There's the answer. It's Jesus. Coming up today, Pastor Greg Laurie explains how the Holy Spirit shows sinners where they can find forgiveness. Go to Jesus and your sins will be forgiven. Go to Jesus and that righteousness will be placed in your account. Go to Jesus and your questions will be answered. He shows you the sin that He brings you to the Savior.

That's it. The work of the Holy Spirit. In our natural bodies, there are many things inside that keep us alive, although we've never seen them.

Antibodies, clotting agents, intestinal flora, white blood cells. Now, spiritually speaking, there are invisible forces at work that want to help us and save us, although other forces want to destroy us. Today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie points out the work of God's Spirit acquaints us with our sin and acquaints us with our Savior.

It's important we know how to respond. You know, when I turn on the television these days, man, there's just so much bad stuff, isn't there? Just tragedy layered on tragedy. I see so much sin on display. You see selfishness. You see violence. You see murder. You hear of all these horrible things happening. And I'm just talking about the cartoons on Saturday morning. No.

Seriously, though. It's sort of like sin is on display every day, every night for us all to see. So what is the worst sin a person could possibly commit? Is it stealing? Is it murder? Is it adultery? Those are bad sins for sure. But let me re-ask the question, what sin offends God more than any other?

I think you might be surprised by my answer. Here in John chapter 16 we're looking together at the work of the Holy Spirit and the life of the non-believer. In our last message we focused primarily on the work of the Holy Spirit and the life of the Christian. Now we're looking at the work that he wants to do in the life of the person who is not yet a Christian.

We're in John 16 starting in verse 7. Jesus says, Nevertheless, I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage I go away. For I have fed you not go away.

The Helper will not come to you. But if I depart I will send him to you. And when he is come he will convict the world of sin and of righteousness and of judgment. Of sin because they do not believe in me. Of righteousness because I go to my Father and you see me no more. And of judgment because the ruler of this world is judged.

We'll stop there. The Holy Spirit of God. Clearly the most misunderstood and misrepresented member of the Trinity. It seems whenever there is something weird going on it always gets blamed on the Holy Spirit. Right. You flip the channels. You come to some Christian TV station.

I might put that in quotes in some cases. And you see people coming under the power of the Spirit. They're falling on the floor. They're shrieking. They're laughing uncontrollably.

They're barking like dogs. And the preacher says this is the Holy Spirit. And they even make it sound more holy. So when you hear holy spiritual like I don't know if I want that you know. I want to just tell you all that crazy stuff. That is not the Holy Spirit.

That's just crazy stuff. Because the Bible tells us what the work of the Holy Spirit is. And Jesus makes an amazing statement to begin with here in John 16. He says, it's to your advantage I go away. For if I do not go away the helper will not come to you but if I depart I will send him to you. Remember in our last message on the Holy Spirit we talked about the word that the word helper comes from. It is parakletos in Greek. One who is called alongside to help is a definition of it.

It speaks of an advocate and a court of law among other things. So Jesus is actually saying it is better for you that I go away. It is to your benefit or to your advantage that I go away. Otherwise the Holy Spirit would not come to you in this way.

Now that amazes me because it seems to me oh no. The best thing would be to have Jesus with us physically. I mean how amazing would that be. Imagine if Jesus was sitting in church with you. Just next to you isn't Jesus. I mean you couldn't stop looking at him. He is God. What is God doing now? And you would find yourself just staring at him. Wanting to hear whatever he had to say.

Anything he would do. But Jesus is saying it is actually better for you that I go away because then the Holy Spirit, the parakletos, the helper, the advocate, the counselor will come to you. Notice he says in verse eight, when he has come. Remember we pointed out that the Holy Spirit is not a force. He is a personality. Because sometimes people think he is just some power out there like something out of Star Wars or something.

No. The Holy Spirit has a distinct personality. Though he is likened in Scripture to fire and a dove and other things in reality he is always referred to as a he. And that is a capital he because he is part of the Trinity.

So here is a quick review of what we already saw. The Holy Spirit has come to convict us of our sin. You could also just interchange the word convinced with convict. He has come to convince us of our sin. Verse 8 John 16, when he has come he will convict or convince the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. You see one's ignorance of sin, righteousness, and judgment can bring their destruction. So God has sent his Holy Spirit to make the non-believer aware of this.

Before we can appreciate the solution we have to see the real problem. So we need to be convicted by the Spirit. Because there is no conversion without conviction. Being a Christian is not just living a better life. Jesus is not just helpful. He is our only hope.

He has not come to improve our life. He comes to save our life. And so we need to realize that only the Holy Spirit can show us our real need.

You know it is interesting that the word convict means to cross examine. The Holy Spirit has come to cross examine us with the purpose of convicting or refuting an opponent. He doesn't come to just convict the world in general but to specifically show them they are lacking in the righteousness they need to get to heaven.

This is a very important distinction. It is not just sins in general. The Holy Spirit has come to show you the biggest sin of all. The sin of self-righteousness. And in its place God wants to give you his righteousness. I bring this up because every time you turn around people are thinking that they get to heaven by good works. You know I guess I don't expect non-believers to know much about this. But when I hear Christians or at least professed believers still subscribing to an idea like this it just seems insane to me.

But people do still think this. That well you know if you live a good life you'll get to heaven. And if you live a bad life then you will go to hell.

Listen use flash. There are good people that are going to go to hell and there are bad people that are going to go to heaven. You say well that makes no sense at all. Well it is biblical.

Let me explain. Being a good person will not get you to heaven. You can be a good person but if you think you are so good you don't know Jesus you can end up in hell. And you can be a bad person.

A very bad person. But if you repent of your sin even if it is on your deathbed Christ will forgive you and let you into heaven. Because heaven is not for good people. It is for forgiven people. Ok so I raised a question earlier. What is the worst sin?

So what is it? Is it adultery? Is it stealing? Is it taking the Lord's name in vain? Well a recent survey was done among British Christians. And they were asked to identify the most and least important of the Ten Commandments. And right away that is a bad premise.

Where I am going to rate the Ten Commandments. Houston we have a problem. Or should I say instead London we have a problem right? Ok so back to the Brits. 93 percent of them still felt thou shall not commit murder was valid. Good to know. So my next trip to England I guess I won't get killed hopefully. 93 percent still felt thou shall not steal was a valid commandment.

And then it starts to drop after that. 87 percent thought thou shall not bear false witness was still good. But only 23 percent felt thou shall not take the name of the Lord in vain was still valid today. 68 percent of British Christians. I failed to point that out.

Did I say that earlier? These are Christians in quote. They think it is ok to take the Lord's name in vain. 68 percent.

Ah no. And then this one is the most amazing of all. Only 20 percent thought having other gods before them was wrong. In fact 68 percent thought it was just fine to have other gods before the Lord. Really.

How interesting. God doesn't see it that way. Because when He gives the Ten Commandments He doesn't start with thou shall not murder. He doesn't start with you shall not take the Lord's name in vain.

He starts by saying I am the Lord your God. Have no other gods before me. It is a big deal to God you see. And then a second commandment you shall have no graven images which is really an extension of what the first commandment says. You know where you are going to now worship something in the place of God.

Because it comes down to this. If I have another god before me it is all downhill from there. And then those other commandments will be broken as well.

Let me turn it around. If I put Him first in my life the other commandments will fall into place. Jesus summed it up this way. He says if you will love the Lord your God with all of your heart all of your soul and all of your mind and love your neighbor as yourself you will fulfill the commandments.

How does that work? Well if I love God with all of my heart soul and mind I am not going to have another god before Him. I am not going to worship a graven image. I am not going to take His name in vain. If I love my neighbor as myself I am not going to kill him because that is not very neighborly is it. I am not going to steal from him. I am not going to lie to her.

I am not going to covet what belongs to them you see. So these crazy so-called Christians can't just go to the commandments and decide what is valid and what isn't valid. God's word does not change according to the mores or culture of our times.

The reality is we should be conforming culture to God rather than expecting God to conform to our culture. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of this important message in just a moment. We really enjoy hearing when Pastor Greg's teaching and preaching are impacting lives. Pastor Greg I grew up with a Christian father who told me about God's love for me but when I was 16 my dad died. At that moment I said how could a God of love do this to me. So I walked away from God and over the next 11 years God sent people into my life to nudge me back to faith. And then about a year ago I was listening to you on the radio in my car at 4 30 a.m. one morning and finally I prayed with you leading me to ask Jesus into my life. I've started listening to your podcast every day and reading the New Living Translation Bible from you as well. Thank you for doing God's work.

Bless you. We're encouraged when we hear stories like that because it helps us know how these messages are impacting people. Have Pastor Greg's studies in God's Word touched your life?

If so would you let him know? Drop an email to gregatharvest.org. That's gregatharvest.org. Well Pastor Greg returns to his message now. It's a study called The Holy Spirit and You Part Two.

Okay so what is the worst sin that we can commit against the Lord? I'm going to answer that next week. No I'll answer it now. You probably already know the answer.

Here it is. You're taking notes. The worst sin and then one of the most far-reaching consequences that you can commit is not believing in Jesus Christ. Say no Greg you're wrong. Murder is worse. Well no actually those are outgrowths of the sin inside of the person who does not know God. But saying no to Christ is a complete rejection of the work of the Holy Spirit.

The root of all of our problems. The worst sin you can commit is not believing and you will be judged for that. So the Holy Spirit number two now has come to bring us to Jesus. He says in verse 9 I've come to convince them of sin because they do not believe in me. You know it's interesting sin. Not sins. Sometimes we I think in the church major on minors. And by that I mean we sort of get the cart before the horse. We'll kind of focus on lifestyle choices that are sinful and we'll harp on those things.

Here's my objective. I want to establish a dialogue with a person regardless of what sinful choice they've made. So if they're living with their boyfriend or girlfriend out of wedlock or if they're gay or if they're a liar or a thief or all the above you know hey I want to first talk to them about their need for Jesus because this is the way I see it. If they'll come to Jesus everything else will get sorted out. But if I focus on those things and never get around to telling them about Jesus I can in effect drive them away.

And I think a lot of times people think of the church as being against everything. And we're going to speak out on what the Bible says and say what it says on whatever topic it is we're addressing. But our message is the gospel and we want people to believe.

And then their lives will change as a result. So the Holy Spirit has come to show us that. To bring us to Jesus. Verse 13. When He the Spirit of truth has come He'll guide you into all truth. He will not speak in His own. He will speak only what He hears. And He'll tell you what is to come.

He'll bring glory to me by taking what is mine and making it known to you. See if you refuse to believe in Jesus you're effectively calling the Holy Spirit a liar. Because 1 John 5 10 says, He that believes in the name of the Son of God has this witness in himself. He that does not believe has made him a liar because he has not believed the record that God has given of his Son. That's called insulting the Spirit. So the Holy Spirit comes and shows you you're a sinner. And you need Jesus and you say I do not. I'm a good person. I don't need Jesus. Oh so you're calling him a liar? No you're putting words in my mouth then.

Actually I'm not. Because if you're rejecting the work that the Holy Spirit has come to do to show you you're not righteous enough to get to heaven and show you that Jesus is the answer you're effectively saying he's a liar. Number three the Holy Spirit has come to show us our need for righteousness. Look at verse 10 he says of righteousness because I go to my Father and you see me no more.

Now here's the funny thing. Most people believe in heaven today 72 percent. But as I said earlier they think living a good life will get them there. But yet the Bible says all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. It says there is not good.

No not one. And the Bible also says in James 2 10 if you offend in one point of the law you're guilty of all of it. Now the Bible is not saying that there are not good people. There are good people. Let me take it a step further. I've met people who are not Christians that are good people and in some cases better people than some Christians I know.

Does that make sense? When I say good I mean they're friendly. They're trustworthy. They're considerate.

So they're good people in that regard. This is not about if you're a good guy or a good girl. This is about if you're good enough to get to heaven and no one's that good. Say well I'm pretty good actually. You're not as good as you think you are. And you're much worse than you think you are.

That's the truth. Because one sin is enough to keep you out of heaven. And trust me you've committed a lot more than one sin. And so have I. So the Holy Spirit has come to show me this about myself.

Listen to this. Even on my best day my righteousness my goodness the benevolent kind considerate things that I do are pretty much throw away. Because Isaiah 64 says my righteousness is as filthy rags. But then what about the bad days. And those are bad.

So think about all of that. Even on your best day you don't even get close. And on your bad days you're so so far away. So the Holy Spirit comes to show me that I need Jesus. He shows me I'm not righteous enough.

I'm not good enough. Not so while we will be driven away in despair but so I will run to the cross. See that's what He does. He says you are bad. You are sinful.

There's the answer. And He lights the way. It's Jesus. Go to Jesus and your sins will be forgiven. Go to Jesus and that righteousness will be placed in your account. Go to Jesus and your questions will be answered. That's a very important distinction. He shows you the sin then He brings you to the Savior.

That's it. The work of the Holy Spirit. Pastor Greg Laurie with great insight today on how the Spirit points to sin and then points to the Savior.

Such an important role. A life-saving role in the lives of believers. You're listening to A New Beginning and there's more to come in this study called The Holy Spirit and You Part Two. And then we're so happy to be making available a book that has some wonderful insights.

Well researched insights into heaven and the afterlife. And Pastor Greg is speaking to his friend Lee Strobel the best-selling author of this new book. So Lee Strobel you are 70 years old. Yes I am. I'm an old man. Well I'm right behind you. So I am one.

I'm 69. Yeah. But you've just written a book about heaven.

In fact it's called The Case for Heaven. You know we all leave a legacy. We're all remembered for something. How would you like people to remember you? Hmm. Wow.

Well that's a great question Greg. You know I think about something. What would I want on my tombstone? You know and I think I'd want something along the lines of he dragged as many people to heaven with him as he could.

I love that. You know I mean God God God redeemed me. He changed me. Transformed me. Gave me a mission. He gave me purpose in life. And I just want people to experience that. I want people to have what I've had, which is the joy and the adventure and the wonder of knowing God personally through Jesus Christ, and experiencing that on a daily basis, of being enriched by Scripture and the wisdom and the stories and the insights that we get from Scripture. I just want people to experience that.

Some people experience that. And I think of my father-in-law was an atheist and he had a stroke and the doctors told us he was going to die soon. And so we had him at our house in a lazy boy chair and I said to my wife and his wife who was a Christian, I said you know give me one more shot.

And they went out to do something and it was just me and Al. And I looked to him I said Al do you realize you're dying? I don't want to be in heaven without you. Your daughter, your grandchildren, your wife, we don't want to be in heaven without you.

Al please. And I for 45 minutes I cajoled him, I reasoned with him, I explained the gospel again and again and then I began to see tears in his eyes. And I said you want to receive Jesus right now don't you? And he nodded and at the age of 87, 87 years old, an atheist his whole life.

Unbelievable. Yeah he prayed to God he prayed he received Christ and then my wife came back and his wife and we had a celebration. We were going to cook a dinner and have a party to celebrate Al coming home to God but then we noticed something was wrong. His left side was sagging he was having another stroke. We called an ambulance. Leslie, my wife, got in the ambulance with him went to the hospital. I got in the car. She got to the hospital and they put him on a gurney and they were wheeling him into the emergency room and he looked up at Leslie and he said tell thee thanks.

Oh wow. And he went in and that stroke ended up destroying his mind and he lingered for a while and then he died. You got in under the wire.

Under the wire. The last cogent conversation of his life and he received Jesus as his Lord and Savior and I will spend eternity in heaven with him and that's the the wonder of God's grace. That's Lee Strobel you're hearing from everyone and he has a brand new book out called the case for heaven subtitled a journalist investigates evidence for life after death and we're sending it to you for your gift of any size to help us continue to teach God's word and proclaim the gospel because we likely want to drag as many people to heaven as we can.

Yeah that's it. In fact our mission statement is knowing him and making him known. That's the heart and soul of what we do and we love hearing when others have taken the baton. We heard from a listener who talked about recently sharing Christ with a family member which can be a little challenging. He said I shared the gospel and it truly felt amazing.

Pastor Greg you've helped give me the confidence I needed to talk with her tonight so thank you. That's so encouraging to hear and a good confirmation that people are being helped and encouraged and confirmation that your investments in this ministry are making a real difference and when you invest right now we'll be glad to thank you by sending you a copy of this brand new book the case for heaven. So call us at 1-800-821-3300.

You can reach us anytime that's 1-800-821-3300 or write A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, California 92514 or go online to harvest.org. 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.

It's coming April 23rd and 24th. 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 Mineo and Jordan Felice. So keep Pastor Greg in 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 boise.harvest.org. Hey I don't know if you know about this but we have a weekend service called Harvest at Home exclusively for people that are tuning in literally from around the world. Listen to this, we even have harvest groups where you can get into a small group with folks from all around this planet of ours and study the Word of God. So join us this weekend, Saturday and Sunday for Harvest at Home at harvest.org. Well next time Pastor Greg comes back with more insight on the way the Holy Spirit works in our lives, convicting us of our sin and pointing us to our Savior. Join us here on A New Beginning with Pastor and Bible Teacher Greg Laurie. The preceding podcast was made possible by Harvest Partners, helping people everywhere know God. Learn how to become a Harvest Partner, sign up for daily devotions and find resources to help you grow in your faith at harvest.org.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-08 04:04:30 / 2023-05-08 04:14:33 / 10

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