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A New Beginning | Classic Crusade Message from New Zealand

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
April 16, 2022 3:00 am

A New Beginning | Classic Crusade Message from New Zealand

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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April 16, 2022 3:00 am

This weekend, celebrate what Christ accomplished at Easter with a special message from Pastor Greg Laurie. Go to!

In this classic crusade message, Pastor Greg Laurie addresses the issues that universally affect us and shows us how we can have a “new beginning,” from John 3. This message was originally given in Wellington, New Zealand, on October 26, 2007.

Pastor Greg states, “It doesn’t matter where you live in the world—if you live in Wellington, or Christchurch, or Auckland, or Sydney, or Melbourne, or Kenya, or Los Angeles, or New York City. No matter where you live in the world certain things are true of every person.”

“Every person without Jesus Christ has a hole in their heart.”

“Everyone is lonely deep down inside.”

“Everyone feels guilt.”

“Everyone is afraid to die.”

But to all of us, Jesus gives the answer: “You must be born again” (John 3:7). 

Read more: “What It Really Means to Be ‘Born Again.’”

To find out how to have a personal relationship with God, go to


Join Pastor Greg Laurie next weekend April 23–24 for the Boise Harvest—both in person and online. Learn more here: 

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Everybody Greg Laurie here. You're listening to the Grigori pod. Justin, my objective is to deliver hopefully compelling practical insights and faith culture and current events. From a biblical perspective to find out more about our ministry. Just go to our website so thanks for joining me for this podcast. Well, it's great to be with you. I wanted to correct an earlier statement I wasn't pushing my granddaughter around in a tram but a prank.

So the yeah I have someone over. The third is that everyone started laughing and I did make a joke is that a friend to go to the problem would we have a common language, but we don't understand what the other person is saying half the time. I mean start with the car but look at the way that you guys look at a car in the way that we look at a car we call that thing in front of us, a windshield you quality screen. Yet we call it a hold over the engine you call it a bonnet. We wear bonnets in America. You think it's different.

And then you put petrol in your car. We put gasoline and artisan that when you go down you also drive on the wrong side of the street you know and you you want on the wrong side of the street to notice. I keep bumping into people gave me to the design from America. I have no idea what I'm doing but just the way things are and then of course your your our drugstore is your chemist in an eye, and then you know your fries your chips or authorizing it on the list of the funny thing goes when you need a restroom in America we say can never give a restroom so I'll ask someone give a restroom what your restroom. You need a toilet yeah but I guess in America we don't want to acknowledge that you know to go to a room to rest. There's a toilet in there.

I might use it but I'll never let you know about it though we call it a restroom you're just more straightforward.

Here about it.

But so we have a few differences but I'll tell you what does it matter where you live in the world you live in Wellington Christchurch or Auckland or Sydney or Melbourne or Kenya or Los Angeles or New York City. No matter where you live in the world. Certain things are true of every person. Let me tell you something I know is true that everyone in this room right now. Everyone that lives in the city. Everyone that lives in this nation every person without Jesus Christ has a hole in their heart. There is an emptiness deep inside of it and that's why from the moment you were born you been on a server you've been looking for something to fill that hole deep inside of you. The Bible even says that God is made with this emptiness in side the Bible tells us that God is quick eternity in the human heart.

That is why men and women, boys and girls search for the meaning of life. I continue my dog. I don't think he thinks about the meaning of life. I don't think he lays her out of the back of the yard. Ask questions like what is the meaning of my life.

Why am I here you know I cried all the things this world has offer chasing cats. I think about stuff like that.

He's an animal. But people do think about things like that.

Keith urban recently got out of rehab with alcohol issues, and he felt it save his marriage and he made this statement in an interview he said playing stadiums is never going to fill any hole inside of me that's true no matter how much fame or success you that there's a hole in your heart.

Number two. Everyone is lonely, deep down inside, the great physicist Albert Einstein once wrote a letter to a friend quote it strange to be known so universally yet be so lonely and you can even be in a crowded room to be lonely you could be in a nightclub and be lonely, you can be at a party with so-called friend and be lonely. Not long ago Brad got the lead singer of the band Boston recorded the song more than appealing committed suicide, and yet a note clipped to this parish church with the words. I am a lonely soul and did you know that New Zealand has one of the highest suicide rate among teenagers of any nation in the world and maybe you even contemplated suicide yourself. There's a loneliness inside of you cube operative American actor Owen Wilson recently attempted suicide may here's a man who is at the top of his game is making the big boxing in the popular fallacy got the gorgeous girlfriends, etc. yet he tries to take his own life maybe about all I could just meet the right person. I'd never be lonely again, but you can even have a good relations, even a marriage and still be lonely, deep inside of starches go people are who are lonely very people can be lonely to one psychologist said quote because of the intimacy you expect from a person, the more lonely you will feel when you don't get it. The reason you feel a loneliness inside is because your lonely God. Everyone is empty. Everyone is lonely and everyone feels guilt that of a mental institution in London made this statement and I quote I can release half of my patient that I could find a way to rid them of their sense of guilt. And there's a really reason we feel guilt because well were guilty because we done wrong things that were ashamed. We committed sin suite we said things we wish we had never said we done things we wish we had never done in the fact of the matter is if you're feeling guilty can be a good thing because it means that your conscience is actually working.

The Bible says this demonstrates that God's laws working inside of them for their own conscience accuses them or tell them that they're not doing right and number four. Everyone is afraid to die were afraid to die because deep down inside it frightens us.

Actor George Clooney made this pessimistic statement about life and I quote I don't believe in happy endings, but I do believe in happy travels because ultimately you died a very young age. You live long enough to watch her friends die. It's a mean thing like" Steve Jobs, the creator of the Apple computer and the iPhone. I have an iPhone. I know you don't have them in New Zealand. I have one also to you afterwards anyway. Steve Jobs made this statement in an interview with the magazine quote life is short and were all going to die really soon. It's true you know." You know the statistics on death are pretty impressive one out of every one persons will die were all afraid to die for all empty were all lonely, all guilty were all afraid to die. That's true of everyone will know I want to tell you Lori and the Bible. In the Gospel of John. This is a man that should have been completely satisfied. This man had money. He had fain he had a great education. He was well-known he had everything the world offers he was deeply religious, but something was missing in his life that sent him on a search.

His name was Nicodemus. He had tried pretty much everything. This world had to offer, but it had not satisfy the deepest needs of his life and he had been hearing about this new rabbi. This teacher known as Jesus, this man who said things that had never been said before was performing miracles edit even been reported that he had raised dead people back to life again and restored sites of the blind, the little children loved him. The crowds kept growing. Nicodemus even though he was well-known even though he was thought of as a is a great stage of our great teacher, yet he was looking for answers himself, so he came to Jesus by night and there's three movements of the story that will look at a moment. First, Nicodemus came to Jesus face-to-face. Then they engage mind.

The mind and finally they spoke heart to heart when he read to you a passage from the Scripture John chapter 3 in one dark evening a Jewish leader named Nicodemus, a Pharisee came to Jesus and said teacher, we know that God has sent you to teach us your mind where your miraculous signs are proof enough, God is with you, Jesus replied, unless you are born-again you will never see the kingdom of God. What you mean. Reply Nicodemus. How can an old man go back into his mother's womb and be born again is a very important statement.

Jesus says you must be born again. We love that idea starting over again having a new beginning lot of people think they can accomplish this through cosmetic surgery. A friend was telling me that they're having Botox parties in Auckland. Now you know if I can just get rid of these wrinkles on my face but I can just nip this are taught that it and I'm not against cosmetic surgery. I think you can overdo it.

Okay, as I I've seen some people that cannot freak me out a little bit all right then you look younger, they just look like a kind of exaggerated version of who they used to be. Or maybe someone else altogether. US looking to go too far with plastic surgery to our answer. Michael Jackson. I think you answered.

You can go to file. I read one statement from Amanda Anthony Elliott, Prof. of sociology at the University of Kent talking about this need for change and he says and I quote this demand for instant identity transformation has never been so first place of people want change that they wanted instantly from conveying to the instant roles of Botox or LIFO section in a world of short-term contracts, endless downsizing, just-in-time deliveries, a multiple careers. The capacity to reinvent yourself has become fundamental" we want to reinvent ourselves. We wish we were someone different than we are. But the problem is saying old class years ago my son Christopher will introduce you a few moments ago I came home and he was a young teenager with a pet rat. He just found a rat decided to bring about an he had no cage or anything in the I just got this threatening was a cute little rat and as I recall we name the rat Nicodemus. Interestingly, in light of our story and that's all we we going to cancer. Nicodemus and then one night Christopher decided that Nicodemus, a ratchet of his own little house to live in. You know, it just looks so barren and that Cajun and so Christopher is very artistic got somewhat out and built a little house for Nicodemus to read that little roof on it and a little doorway in a little sign over the doorway. Nicodemus you know and it was so cool because we went to bed that night and we were going a lot better Nicodemus, the rat would going to his little house in and so we we got up the next morning to see how Nicodemus was doing and that house was gone because Nicodemus, the rat had eaten the house. You see, because he is a rat.

That's why it easy and that my point is simply that you can change the way you look in the out side but it's they say still the same old you on the inside but God is telling you he can change you in your heart. God is telling you you can be born again, not just a change of wardrobe, not just a change of friends, not just the change of location, but a change of heart and God can do that for you to not Jesus says you must be born again now. Who was this Nicodemus got the Bible says he was a Pharisee. What is that limit that he was a very religious person to the Pharisees are usually thought of in a negative light. Because some of the most critical words our Lord had worked for this group that called themselves the Pharisees there always setting little trap for him, always trying to undermine what he was doing because they were jealous of his popularity, but there were some good Pharisees out there to never numbering more than 6000. This was a select group of individuals that are dedicated their lives to the keeping of the 10 Commandments. There were very good about very religious and Nicodemus was a Pharisee. But not only that, but Jesus says to them you are the most respected Jewish teacher to not only was he a religious man but he was thought of as a guy who was supposed to have all the answers yet. He had a lot of questions maybe you two are religious, you two are moral, you two are educated you been successful. You've had some pain you're a legend in your own mind. I mean your own time but yet you come here tonight searching just like Nicodemus was searching searching for answers searching for meaning. Maybe if I will if I can just make a big box to make a lot of money. I know I would be happy, listen up. We have seen nothing else from the lives of all of these Hollywood celebrities that seem to be regularly getting pulled over for DUI and checking in and out of rehab. We learned that money is not going to fill a void in your life. Money can buy you a lot of things money can buy you a bed, the camp by your good night sleep become volume books for the camp by your brains become IUI house for the Body will home taken by you amusement, but it can buy you happiness." St. Paul St. John St. George and St. Ringo money can't buy you love missing because you think you by just had this I know I would be happy. Hollywood Sadie was careful what you wish for. You might get it heard a story about a couple that were celebrating the husband 65th birthday and also their 35th wedding anniversary.

Suddenly a genie appeared and offered each one As a two-story is a joke because of a genie appears as all get to each one of US what you want and the husband sizzle what up in the pre-which is a genius is a you know times are hard. We had to cut back.

So anyone the wife.

As you know, and Jeannie, I was for a second honeymoon.

I was at this husband of mine and I wrote a beautiful South seas island surrounded by emerald seas improve their they were in this gorgeous island surrounded by beauty with her beloved husband of 35 years. The husband hadn't asked for his wish he had thought about it for a moment, looked over at his older wife and then said that the Jeannie okay I just decided what I want to nieces all right what he wants to. I want to wipe it 30 years younger than me and prove he was 95 years old so be careful what you wish for.

You might get it to as long as we feel if I just read this pinnacle of faith. I just made this much money budgets at this point front of that appropriate for a drug physical car further than this out etc. etc. I know I would be happy. Then there are people to get everything you dream of and more in their dream turns a nightmare.

They realize that things are looking for are not found in this life, Nicodemus came to Jesus by not, that's probably because he didn't want anyone to see.

He probably was afraid of what others would say yeah maybe you're a little embarrassed that tell your friends what you were going tonight hey what you want little moving want to go to party. I have plans Ringo. I would going over that, harvesting all testing religious i.e. I don't know what it is exactly but I am going your little bit embarrassed because were so concerned about the Indians of other people. It's no coincidence that the Bible compares us to. She you have a few sheep here in New Zealand. Don't you and sheep are unknown to sort of do what others she do right. I read an interesting article about 450 sheep who recently jumped to their deaths in Turkey.

As it turns out one she walked off of a cliff. In 1500 others follow. I mean hello when you think of for 50 sheep fell the other thing let's not do this today whether so compliant. The first she goes out the clip. The others are like, okay, let's form a single line were all going to die today. Let's go, now is not that bad. Let's go you know she are we any more foolish. We chase after the latest we do drugs because our friends do it, but we drink because our friends do it. You have sex with a guy with a girl because the pressures on because you want to impress others you want to fit in. Want to be cool.

Nicodemus was afraid of what people thought friend you need to be thinking about what God thinks because one day world and the stand before God when I get to be there with Sergey when I get to be there with our friend Logan to be there all by ourselves.

Nicodemus came by and I guess, but at least he came in. At least you came your here and I'm glad you are. He must've been nervous whenever he had a written on his in his diary appointment would Jesus 10:00 PM. When I get to see you know how I had break the ice and how I start the conversation and potential Nicodemus comes in Jesus and he says very respectfully teacher no one could do what you do, unless he be said of God. That's kind of an amazing thing that Nicodemus, a household name.

Most likely a religious leader would call Jesus teacher may be in the same way you feel respect for Jesus. I always respected Jesus even before I was a Christian I see all of his movies seem like a nice guy to me, but I never thought of Jesus as someone who was still alive and someone who could be Nonie distant to me was a figure. Perhaps in stained-glass but here was Nicodemus. He had a respecter maybe you came here tonight. Out of respect for a Christian friend in other there are nice person.

They they've always been there for you in so they invited to the company and you came along and in your sit here and you can check in this thing out and then you say why I admire Jesus Christ check this out. Jesus did not say admire me. Jesus said, follow me. CS Lewis, the author of the Chronicles of Narnia made the statement about Jesus and I quote Amanda was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher.

He would either be a lunatic on a level with the matter says he is a poached day or else he would be the Devil of Hell. Lewis. As you can shut him up for a pool, you can spit at him and kill a man is a demon. You can follow his feet and call him Lord and God. But let us not come up with any patronizing nonsense about him being a great human teacher is not left that open to us.

He did not intend to." CSI enough to deface my admire Jesus, for he was a great moral teacher. No, listen, Jesus claim to God in human form Jesus claim to be the only way to a relationship with her father in heaven and you know what else Nicodemus was probably a pretty old dude at this point, you know I say that because when Jesus says you must be born again. Nicodemus is how can an old man go back into his mother's womb and be born again. Some of you are getting a little bit older.

How do you know when you're getting older you know you're getting older when you actually look forward to a dull evening at home. That's one way you know you're getting older when your mind makes commitment.

Your body can't keep you know you're getting older when you sink your teeth into a juicy state and they stay there. You know you're getting old when your phone close so long they come back in the style why for some of you read time with several of the war the first time you're not supposed to wear the second design you know you're getting older when you sing along with the elevator music and let's really address know when you're in the elevator singing the stairway to heaven by zeppelin you noticing all this is so bad it started. Elevator music you know you're getting old when you stop holding your stomach and no matter who walks in the room you and others of telltale signs. Nicodemus was getting older. Jesus cuts to the chase. He says listen to me Nicodemus.

We don't have time to beat around the bush money just get to the bottom line here for you.

You need to be born all over again. They think a great one, is that mean born again. Sadly, the term born-again is been pirated emptied of its meaning drag to the gutter and given back was minus our one someone says they're born a candidate.

We have no idea what that even mean. So Jesus is helping us to understand what it does mean it means to be born from above. You need to be born from above Nicodemus. Now this great religious leader. This moral man this wealthy man, this searching man says. How can this be so they gone though from face-to-face to mind the mind to heart to heart. How can it be Lord, break it down for me. Once the process I'm an old man I'm sending my way. I don't know how to change how can you be born again in Jesus gives to Nicodemus what we might call the gospel in a nutshell, here it is. You've all heard this first John 316 Jesus is Nicodemus for God so loved the world he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have ever lasting life. He continues on for God did not send his son into the world and condemn it, but that through him the world.

My have line to love that verse. It just lays it out so clearly for God so love the world, God loves you, something she will have a hard time with that they think God hates them. They think God is out to ruin their lives to God is not to rain on their parade not getting further from the truth.

God loves you. For God so loved the world he gave his only gotten son, and we can talk about love all day long. But God showed his love toward us, in a tangible way by sending his own son Jesus to come to this earth to be born in that little manger in Bethlehem and then to live the perfect life and then to go to across either in our place in the rise three days later from the dead.

That was love because not only did God send his son to the earth but the sun willingly came for God so loved the world he gave his only begotten son, and it's a gift. And you know when you give a gift to someone think they need to receive and this is what drives me nuts about one I give a gift to my wife that I got to give to go thinking of rotted and we also think I'll open it after dessert open it. Now you know see guys don't like to wait about four gifts that they just open immediately.I'm sure you're much more cultured your New Zealand limitation about American men.

It is a complete waste of time to wrap a gift for an American men because wrapping paper for an American guy is a mirror obstacle keeping him from what he really want you put a card and it will open the card and look at it only because he wants to see if there's money in it all right and he'll read it. He doesn't care what the card said, and then we'll open it up to see what the gift is and there it is he wants to get what you've gotten them now.

You give a gift to an American woman and I'm sure a lady here as well. You know that first of all, though, read the card and actually be moved by what is written.

That is so sweet, thinking I didn't write it. I know what it sweet okay good and then shall undo the ribbon and safe I'm gonna save this for later.

You got here to answer different okay guys offering you a You know what I suggest you to open the gift if they wanted to get it's the gift of eternal life the gift that you can live forever in the presence of God. Take begin. Don't set it aside. I want you all get to it later. You know when I older see third or 40 or 50 or maybe when I maybe I don't know. Maybe I'll never open it, but thank you so much so God is offering you this incredible gift that he had purchased with his own blood to the death of his own son. This is not something you casually brushed aside the something ethereal God, thank you so much. He would offer life beyond the grave. Whoever believes in him. Jesus says should not perish but have everlasting life. All pretty much everyone says they believe in God you are up almost Kiwis on the street they say all I believe in God. I believe in a supreme being off of a higher power out there that some would believe me.

The word that Jesus used here for belief means to trust in the cling to, and rely on the butcher complete faith in Christ and Christ alone as Savior and Lord Soria sold many years ago about daredevil, known as the great blonde he was sort of the evil Knievel of his day Knievel some cycle American daredevil anyway. He was known for his is God crazy sensitivity when one day the great blonde in stronger tight rope across the Niagara Falls and he walked across the will. The crowds loved it and there were crowds on both sides and and after he had walked from one side of the other on a tight rope over the Niagara Falls.

The great blonde then turned to the crowd and said how many of you believe that either great blinded cannot push a wheelbarrow to the other side and they said we believe we wheelbarrow to the other side couldn't be more amazed. Then he got to the other side and said how many of you believe that either great blinded cannot take this wheelbarrow pushed back to the other side with a man and side of it, they they want to see that they want to watch him die that day. They generally believe legally we believe one guy was yelling a little bit louder than anyone else. And so the great blonde and pointed out of the at him and said that given the wheelbarrow that man ran so fast, they never found what is amenable leave means given the wheelbarrow.

Put your faith in Christ. You don't have a backup plan. You say Lord I believe that you can save me and forgive me of all of my sin and by doing this I know that I will live forever. Whosoever believes in him will not perish without ever lasting life. This limitation. Everyone is to live forever, but you can live forever in one of two places you live forever in the presence of God in heaven, where you live forever separated from him in a place called hell. I know some of you just choke on that. Yeah, I like to see said hell. Okay, sorry but I gotta tell you the whole truth, the gospel truth and part of the good news of knowing that I can be forgiven if his knowing that I don't have to be separated from God in hell. In the Last Pl., God wants any man or woman uniquely created in his image to go to this latest all hell even created for people he created that Jesus said to the devil and his angels.

The demon powers that follow-up God wants you to go to heaven putting something to force you to go against your will executive suggest after heaven right now young men. If you don't want to go to heaven.

You don't have two but if you want you can how by believing in Jesus Christ and I'm following him. Yes, you can have a new beginning you can have a fresh start.

Yes, you can be born again save and how how you doing it just seems impossible know it's not impossible, God can change it because I when I was talking assignment a few moments ago yesterday about my background.

Trust me when I tell you I was the last person whoever planned on becoming a Christian I was cynical.

I was hard.

I was skeptical. I was not looking for God that I really you up, but when I heard how Jesus could change my life. It took a little step of faith. And I said God of your real, make yourself real to me and telling you what he more than answered that prayer and into the scene things for you tonight.

You'll just come take a little step of faith become at your questions tonight you come with your problems. Tonight you can come with your addictions tonight.

You can just come as you are and say God I need your forgiveness.

I need this guilt taken away. I don't want to be afraid to die anymore. I want to go to heaven.

I want to find the meaning and purpose of life is a will will I need to do. How can I know that I am right with God. How can I know I'll go to heaven when I got this and here's what you need to recognize number one realize you're a sinner. The Bible says all of sin and fallen short of the glory of God is the one exception to this rule. Everyone of us of sin. The Bible describes in his crossing the line so if I were to step over this line right here that's a sin it's called a trespass using the sign no trespassing. You step over the line that the sin of your broken one of the 10 Commandments, you should not have any other gods before him, you shall not take his name in vain.

You shall not lie. You shall not steal ever done any of those things that you said Tokyo bully done once or twice, no, no, listen. The Bible says if you look at another one point of the law, you're guilty of all of it.

One sin is enough to keep you out of heaven. So you cross a life, but then sin also means to fall short of the standard toys not only broken his commandment, I fallen short of the standards and what are God's standards. Check this out. Absolute perfection will live up to that answer.

No, that's her Jesus comes in because he lived the perfect life and that he died the perfect death, and died in your place so you must admit you are a sinner to stop making excuses for yes Lord, I'm a sinner.

Okay number two recognize that Christ died on the cross for you. It's been said, you can tell the depth of the well by how much rope you have to lower if you want to see how radical your situation was and is look at how much rope so to speak.

God had the lower from heaven to reach you.

He sent his own son to die in your place. He died for your sin. The apostle Paul said he loved me and gave himself for me to see Jesus came to pay a debt he did not owe because you owed a debt you could not pay Christ died for your sins. Number three you need to repent of your sin. The word repent means a change of direction. The Bible says God has commanded people everywhere to repent. So given going away from God, this time making a U-turn in the road of life for Stockport are going toward God just turn from your sin turn from those things that you know are wrong and importantly, you must receive Christ into your life. Being a Christian is not merely believing in creed for even going to a church is having Jesus Christ, the son of God live inside Jesus says, I stand at the door and I nod if you hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in and write no friend he standing at the door of your life and he's not, but only you can open that door. Only you can say God I'm sorry for my sin. Only you can see Jesus come in to my life. You do that tonight and then fitfully you must do it publicly. That is why in a moment I would ask you to make a public stand, and ask you in a few moments after we pray. If you want Christ to come in your life you want your sins forgiven. I would ask you to get out of your seat and come down to this floor instead using a great week and asked me to do that for because Jesus said if you will acknowledge maybe four people.

I will acknowledge you before my father in the angels in heaven, but yet it if you deny me before people are deniable for the father in the angels. This is a way to acknowledge him before people to say I'm serious about this. I mean it from and ask you to make a public stand and then lastly, you must do it now. The Bible says today is the day of salvation tonight is your nine. Don't put it off. Another moment Nicodemus had an appointment with Jesus and you have one to and he's going to keep it and I hope you keep in come to him to live your life can be changed. You can walk out if you're a different person on the inside than when you came in, but you must come to Christ and in the moment were going to pray, to invite you to come and ask for his forgiveness and come with your questions and come with your problems and come with your addictions and come with any other issues you have, say, God, I'm sorry for my sin.

I'm willing to turn from it. I want to believe in Jesus. I want a new beginning. I want a fresh start. I want to go to heaven when I got if you want. That's an odd God will give to you the gift of eternal life. So begin to pray, to give you that opportunity to respond okay although I had her for a few what everyone praying with me. Father I pray now that will speak to every person in this room.

Every person listening to this message. Help them to see the words we share tonight are true. Help them to see your promises are true.

Help them to come to you tonight and receive your forgiveness we pray in Jesus name, amen. Everybody Greg Laurie here. Thanks for listening to our podcast in the learn more about harvest ministries. Please subscribe and consider supporting this show. Just go to and by the way, if you want to find out how to come into a personal relationship with God. Go to know that's key NOW

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