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The Holy Spirit and You, Part 2 | Drawn to Christ

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
April 13, 2022 3:00 am

The Holy Spirit and You, Part 2 | Drawn to Christ

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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April 13, 2022 3:00 am

Some believers wish there was a tried and true formula for bringing someone to Christ. Memorize these verses, rehearse these statements. If they ask this, you say that. Well, preparation is good . . . but sometimes people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. Today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie points out the Holy Spirit is the One who draws people to Christ. We can certainly plant a seed, but we have to allow for the Spirit’s work in their lives.

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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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Hey, everybody, you're listening to A New Beginning, which is a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners.

If this program has impacted you, I'd love to hear from you. So just send an email to me at gregatharvest.org. Again, it's gregatharvest.org.

You can learn more about becoming a Harvest Partner by going to harvest.org. Some people will come up to me and say, Greg, you're an evangelist. Tell me what I can say that will make a person believe, like I have some secret. Okay, don't share this with anybody. Say this, and they'll believe.

Okay, no, there's nothing like that. There's actually a bit of mystery to it. It's just the work of the Spirit of God. Amazing grace, how sweet the sound. Again you hear all the angels are singing.

This is the day, the day when life begins. Some believers wish there was a tried and true formula for bringing someone to Christ. Memorize these verses, rehearse these statements. If they ask this, you say that. Well, preparation is good.

But sometimes people don't care how much you know until they know how much you care. Today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie points out the Holy Spirit is the one who draws people to Christ. We can certainly plant a seed, but we have to allow for the Spirit's work in their lives.

This is the day, the day when life begins. 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, Because the ruler of this world is judged.

We'll stop there. The Holy Spirit of God. He's come to convince us of our sin. Not so I 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. The work of the Holy Spirit is also keeping the lid on things. He's keeping the lid on things. Have you ever had something cooking and it starts to overflow?

You're holding the lid. Well, right now things are super wicked. Consider this. 2 Thessalonians 2.7. It says, The mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way. The New International translation of that same verse says, The one who now holds it back will continue to do so until he is taken out of the way.

The Holy Spirit through the church is a restraining force in the world today. When you look at these wanton acts of senseless violence. People walking into malls and shooting people. Walking into a church and killing people.

Even children. And we see these horrible depraved things happening. You say, it can't get any worse. Then it gets worse, doesn't it? And then more bad things start happening closer together. And this is just a glimpse of what is coming. I would like to say, folks, it's going to get better really soon.

No, you know what? It's going to get worse. Way worse because there is a time coming to the earth called the Great Tribulation period. It's going to last for seven years. It will be inaugurated by the emergence of the anti-Christ who is really a false Christ.

A false Messiah. And all hell is going to literally break loose. You say, wow, this is the most depressing thing I have ever heard. Ok. That's the bad news. I have some good news. Ready for it? Before the anti-Christ emerges on the scene, Jesus Christ is going to come for His church and call us up to heaven. This is sometimes called the rapture of the church. Where it says the dead in Christ will rise first. We which are alive and remaining shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. In a moment.

In the twinkling of an eye. Some people will say, well the word rapture isn't in the Bible. Is that your best argument? The word Bible isn't in the Bible. Did you know that? The word trinity isn't in the Bible.

Did you know that? So the word rapture isn't there but the word harpazo is. It is a Greek word. And so if you have a Latin Bible it translates to rapturus which we get our English word rapture from. So forget the word rapture.

Call it the harpazo. Where we are caught up to meet the Lord in the air. It is going to happen. But it is going to happen before anti-Christ is revealed. That is why it is futile and pointless to try to figure out who the anti-Christ is.

Every now and then someone will come along. I figured it out and they write a book. But it is never the guy. And it is not even worth spending your energy on. Because anti-Christ can't be revealed until the church is removed. So the Holy Spirit working through the church. Now sometimes this is misunderstood. And people think the Holy Spirit is going to be taken off of the earth and that is not true.

And here is why. Because people are going to come to Jesus in the tribulation period. And not only that there is going to be a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit during the tribulation period. Well how can people come to Jesus without the Holy Spirit's help?

We have already pointed that out. No man comes to the Father says our Lord unless the Spirit draws him. So the Spirit will still be at work in the world in the tribulation. But what it is saying is he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way. It means the Holy Spirit's restraining work through the church will come to an end when we are caught up to be with the Lord in heaven.

And until that day comes we are told by Jesus to be salt and light in this culture. To stand up for what is true. To speak out against what is wrong.

To let others know of your faith in Jesus Christ. As John 1 says, the light shines in the darkness but the darkness did not comprehend it. You know it is an interesting thing that phrase comprehended word.

It means understood. It means a non-believer cannot wrap their mind around what you believe unless the Holy Spirit tells them or shows them. That is why I always pray that the Holy Spirit will work in the hearts of people when I speak. And I pray that the Holy Spirit will work in the heart of a person when I am sharing my faith. Because sometimes people will come up to me and say, Greg, you are an evangelist. Tell me what I can say that will make a person believe. Like I have some secret. Ok. Don't share this with anybody. Only us evangelists know about it. But if you say this, say this and they will believe.

Ok. No. There is nothing like that. It is just the work of the Spirit. There is actually a bit of mystery to it. And I kind of love that.

Love that. Because I don't know. I just know it when I see it. So I can share these things and some of you will hear it and say, yeah I get that.

I believe that. And another person will hear it and not get it at all. Only the Holy Spirit can help you to grasp this. But here is the funny thing. Sometimes we want to play Holy Spirit. We want to be Holy Spirit. You know we will convict them of their sin. We will guilt trip them right into the kingdom. We will pressure them into believing. We will argue them into the Christian faith. No. You do not want to do that.

Because if they can be argued in they can be argued out. No. We want it to be a work of the Holy Spirit. So as you live a godly life that creates the tension that the Holy Spirit uses to bring about conversion. Listen to this. It is the division that brings unity. Ok.

I don't even know what you are talking about now. Ok. Jesus said don't think that I came to bring peace but I tell you rather division. For a man will be divided against his son and a woman against her daughter and a man's enemies will be those of his own household. Don't think I came to bring peace but this division. Well that doesn't fit. Christianity is all about peace. Well in a way it is. But before there can be that ultimate peace there has to be attention.

Here is how it works. You live as a man or a woman of God and you change an environment. Let's take Thanksgiving. And you are a Christian. And maybe you became a Christian in the last year or two. So you are going to get together with your family. Let's say your family loves to drink and party and carry on and tell jokes they shouldn't be telling etc. And now you are the Christian and they all know you are the Christian.

So now the meal is put on the table. And everyone is standing around awkwardly waiting for you to hopefully not do a prayer. Absolutely do a prayer. You know I find most people will not stop me from praying. I will walk up to a non-believer especially if they are hurting and I will ask them, do you mind if I prayed for you? Could I pray for you? Very rarely have I had someone say, no don't pray. Most people will say, yeah go ahead. So you say, you know what I would like to just pray.

Here we go. Well you know don't be obnoxious about it. Don't do a one hour prayer. And I don't know if you should extend an invitation at your you know. Well our heads are bowed and our eyes are closed.

Some of you might be thinking, do I know Jesus? Uncle Harry I am talking to you. You know be cool about it.

The Lord will lead you as to what you should see and do. But it does create this tension and you don't like the tension because you used to laugh together and have more fun together. And now there is this thing and you wish you could get rid of that thing.

Well no it is that thing. It is that tension that the Holy Spirit will use by showing a contrast between your life and their life that can help to bring them to Jesus. So just roll with it. Don't make the tension worse than it is by guilt tripping people or being obnoxious or mean. Don't be as friendly and as loving as you can be but just be a Christian. And pray that the Holy Spirit will work through your life to make people aware of their need for Christ. That is why I say it is the division that ultimately brings unity.

Or the conflict that ultimately brings peace. The Holy Spirit has come to bring us to Christ. And first He can fix us. So let's pray that work happens in a person's life. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. Hey everybody what are you doing this weekend? I'd like to hang out with you at Harvest at Home. When is Harvest at Home? It is a time of worship and Bible study exclusively designed for people that are viewing in from all over the place. So you can be a part of our extended congregation at Harvest at Home. Join us this weekend Saturday and Sunday for Harvest at Home at Harvest.org.

And now Pastor Greg continues his important message called The Holy Spirit and You Part 2. Let's just say that I went out and bought you a very expensive present. In fact let's say that I emptied my savings account and spent everything I owned. I sold my house. I took everything I have and I don't even own my house. But somehow I sold it.

I am still making payments on it. But I sold everything and I said I bought you this gift and I want to give it to you. And you know it was valuable because the price tag was still attached to it. Isn't it funny when people leave price tags on gifts?

So you give it to the person. All I am really hoping you will do is say thank you. And I accept this gift and I am going to enjoy this gift. You can live in my backyard.

I know you sold your house to get it. But if you were to take this gift that I spent everything I owned and just look at it and say oh huh. Thank you. So sweet of you.

And then you just sort of moved it off to the side. I would be like are you going to open the gift? I don't really want it. Can you return it? Actually I can't.

Oh that is too bad. You know that is an insult to me. Now imagine what God did. He gave His own Son. What more could God give for humanity than His own Son Jesus put on the cross. His spotless sinless perfect Son that He loved with all of His heart. And then God took all of His judgment and all of His wrath that should have been put on you and should have been put on me. And instead He put it on His own Son that He loved so much. But He did that because of His love for us. And all we have to do now is take this gift of eternal life that was bought at the cross.

Just receive it and say Lord thank you. And if you say well I don't want that. That is an insult to God. And you are rejecting the work that the Holy Spirit has come to do.

And you can find yourself committing the unforgivable sin. What is the unforgivable sin? The blasphemy of the Holy Spirit according to Jesus.

What is that? It is the complete and total rejection of the work the Spirit has come to do. Let me put it another way. The unforgivable sin is the rejection of Jesus Christ. It is worse than any other sin.

Why? Because all other sins can be forgiven. No matter how radical. No matter how horrible. They can be forgiven. But the one sin God will not forgive is if you reject His provision for your sin.

Jesus who died on the cross and rose again from the dead. Guess what? The Holy Spirit is here with us right now. And I know what He is saying. You say how do you know?

Because He says it in His Word. We read this in Revelation. And the Spirit and the bride say come. Let him that is thirsty come.

And let him drink of the water of life freely. The Holy Spirit is saying to you right now if you are not yet a believer in Jesus come. Well I have questions. Yeah. Just come.

Well I have all these problems. Yeah. Come. I have this addiction. Come.

I have this struggle. Yeah. Come. And there is this sinful.

Yeah. Come. Come to Jesus He is saying. Just come to Jesus.

Because when you come to Jesus and you are forgiven of your sin. He can transform your life. It is not a 12 step program.

It is a one step program. Come to Christ and believe. So. So ends the sermon folks. But so begins a changed life for you. If you accept this message we have shared.

Here is the message plain and simple. You are a sinner. You are not as good as you think you are.

You are actually much worse than you ever thought you were. But the good news is is God has made a provision for your sin. And He poured it on Jesus who died in your place and rose again from the dead. And Jesus now stands at the door of your life and He knocks. And He says if you will hear His voice and open the door He will come in. And the Holy Spirit is saying to you come. Now you can say well no I don't want to come.

Well you know what you don't have to come. And the Holy Spirit will not drag you kicking and screaming. He will nudge you. He will show you. You will sense that need in your life. But you can resist and say well I don't want it. I don't care.

Ok that is up to you. You can resist Him. Or you can yield to Him. You know when you are driving you see a yield sign. That means yeah ok yield. Pay attention.

Other traffic may be flowing in here. Be open. Ok so when we yield to God it just means I am saying alright Lord come in. I am removing the stop sign in my heart. I am opening the door of my life. I am inviting you in. I am saying here it is Lord.

Come in. Enter into my life and forgive me. He will do that for you.

Your life can change. You can know you will go to heaven. And you can walk out of here with that inner assurance I was talking about earlier. His Spirit bears witness with your spirit. That you are a child of God. If you don't know that respond to this invitation and I will extend as we pray together.

Let's all bow our heads and everybody pray. Father thank You so much for loving us. Sinful us. Wicked us. And You love us so much You sent Jesus to die on the cross in our place. And Lord Your Holy Spirit is here with us right now. He is at work. He is tugging on hearts right now.

He is moving in the lives and the minds of people. Showing them their need for You. But Lord they have to respond. You won't force them to believe. Lord I pray Your Holy Spirit will convict and convince any person here or any other person listening or watching who does not yet know You. And I pray that they will come to believe in You now. We ask this in Jesus name.

Amen. Well, we're speaking with New York Times bestselling author Lee Strobel today about his brand new book called The Case for Heaven. Lee, let me ask you, we would expect non-Christians to have alternate views of the afterlife, but what percentage of Christians have an accurate biblical view of heaven and the afterlife? Yeah, that's a great question. I can't give you a specific number, but I can tell you that there's a lot of confusion.

There's a lot of misinformation. And part of it is that we have to understand. The Bible says no eye is seen, no ear is heard, no mind is even conceived of what God has in store for those who love Him. We can't understand the beauty, the wonder of heaven yet. And so the Bible uses figurative language to try to suggest to us in an accurate way, but to kind of give us a little bit of a foretaste or an appetizer to try to understand what heaven's going to be like.

But the truth is, we can't comprehend it yet. In fact, in this world, we see a color spectrum, and it's based on the light from the sun. In heaven, the color spectrum would be based on the light of God. And so we're going to see colors in heaven we've never seen. And how do you describe that to someone?

You can't. And so the Bible can't say, well, here's a color you're going to see, and you can't describe that. So the Bible gives us suggestive language and so forth. And sometimes that can lead to a bit of confusion if you don't interpret it properly.

But I think the confusion about heaven is true, as you say, not just among nonbelievers, but among many Christians. I hope this book gives people a sense of encouragement, a sense of wonder, a sense of anticipation, a sense of joy. I mean, consider this. You've seen pictures from the Hubble Space Telescope of the incredible galaxies and billions of light years' width of the universe and so forth, and the beauty and the wonder of it. God called that into existence. And when you look under a microscope and you see the complexity of a cell and you see the beauty of flowers and the wonder of the animal kingdom, you say, this is the creativity of God. And they say that this God is going to create an afterlife, a heaven, that is going to be an expression of his creativity and love for us, a place designed for us to maximize our sense of pleasure and joy and adventure and wonder. You think about that and you go, okay, I may not understand yet exactly what heaven is going to be like, but I'll tell you this, I can't wait to experience it, because it's going to be awesome.

It's just going to be awesome. So if you want to clear up your confusion about heaven, the afterlife, you want to get a copy of this brand-new book from Lee Strobel. It's called The Case for Heaven. We'll send it to you for your gift of any size to us here at A New Beginning, and we'll use those resources to reach more people with the gospel and the teaching of the Word of God. And as our way of saying thanks, we'll send you your own copy of The Case for Heaven by apologist, prolific author, and my friend, Lee Strobel. You owe it to yourself to dig into Lee's strong insights.

There's so much to learn here. So get in touch today with your investment in this Bible teaching program, and we'll be happy to send you The Case for Heaven. You can make the arrangements by phone by calling 1-800-821-3300. We can take your call anytime. That's 1-800-821-3300.

Or just go online to harvest.org. Well, Pastor Greg, you spoke today about having a relationship with the Lord. Someone can enter into that kind of a relationship with the Lord right now, can't they? Yeah, they really can. That's the amazing thing. I think people are surprised that it doesn't take years to become a Christian. It doesn't take months. It doesn't take weeks. It doesn't take days.

It doesn't even take hours. You can believe on the spot. And I would like to lead you in a prayer where you can ask for His forgiveness, a prayer where you can receive Jesus Christ into your life as your Savior and Lord. So if you want Christ to come into your life, if you want Him to forgive you of your sin, if you want a second chance in life, if you want to go to heaven when you die, stop what you're doing and pray after me these words. Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner, and I'm sorry for my sin. And I turn from it now, and I choose to follow You from this moment forward as Savior and Lord, as God and friend. Thank You for loving me and calling me and forgiving me. In Jesus' name I pray, amen. Amen. Listen, if you have just prayed those words with Pastor Greg, the Lord has heard you and forgiven you of your sin.

The Bible says Jesus is faithful and just to forgive us of our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. And we'd like to send you some materials to help you begin to live this new life. We call it our New Believers Growth Packet. Just ask for it, and we'll send it to you free of any charge if you prayed for the first time today with Pastor Greg.

Just call us at 1-800-821-3300. We can take your call anytime at 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest.org and click on Know God. Next time, Pastor Greg presents a message called The Day That Changed the World. We'll begin preparing our hearts for Easter. Join us here on A New Beginning with pastor and Bible teacher Greg Laurie. In the day, the day when life begins A New Beginning is a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners, helping people everywhere know God. If this show has impacted your life, share your story. Give a review on your favorite podcast app and help others find hope.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-02 08:47:20 / 2023-05-02 08:57:21 / 10

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