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This Is Not a Drill | A Strong Finish

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
June 6, 2022 3:00 am

This Is Not a Drill | A Strong Finish

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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June 6, 2022 3:00 am

Some people decide one day to get back to the gym. They make the commitment on Monday, and they’re all in! Tuesday, there they are. Wednesday. Thursday a little late. Friday...oops missed that day. And by the following Wednesday they want their money back. Some people come to Christ full of passion and resolve. But today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie points out, it’s not how you start, but how you finish. It’s our final study in Nehemiah where we’ll learn to finish well.

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A New Beginning is the daily half-hour program hosted by Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Southern California. For over 30 years, Pastor Greg and Harvest Ministries have endeavored to know God and make Him known through media and large-scale evangelism. This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.

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Everybody you're listening to a new beginning, which is a podcast made possible by harvest partners.

If this program is impacted you, I love to hear from you. So just send an email to me at greg@harvest.org again it's greg@harvest.org you can learn more about becoming harvest partner by going to harvest.org is unable to come to Christ with great excitement.

Then they drifted away the excitement and commitment Wayne Pastor Greg, Maureen, it's great to have a great start and agreement finished with your good greatness of start and a horrible finish. It doesn't matter if you felt the first place position for 9/10 labs if you don't do this the race you don't rise in the same is true Christian life and get back to the make the commitment on a Monday and they're all in Tuesday.

There they are.

Wednesday, Thursday late Friday and by the following Wednesday they want their money back. Some people come to Christ all day on a new beginning.

Pastor Greg Laurie points out, start is our final study in the Amaya well imagine for a moment what it would be like saving for your big occasion to Hawaii.

Your plane lands the warm balmy breezes of the islands rollover year. Would you check into your hotel and the next morning you get up bright and early and going out for a cup of coffee and suddenly you get a buzz on your smart phone and you read this message that's on the screen emergency alert ballistic missile threat down to Hawaii seek immediate shelter. This is not a drill. Of course this happened as you all know it.

807 in the morning to all residents of Hawaii and the visitors as well and for 37 minutes. People waited. I read some articles about it.

Some people running through the streets screaming. Some parents were putting their children into little storm drains because there is no emergency shelter, and a wife.

There are no places for people to go if a nuclear weapon were detonated.

That is not the kind of news you want to wake up to in the morning. Thankfully it was a false alarm. Well were back in the book of Nehemiah for a final message and I Nehemiah at this stage. Historically has gone back to Babylon. Remember that story was originally serving as the Kings cupbearer when he heard the news that the walls of Jerusalem were lying in burn chart out rubble. So Nehemiah made the journey to Jerusalem funded by the king, even within our best gardening brawling.

The people and did the impossible. They rebuild the walls of the city, they prayed they dedicated themselves of the Lord. They confess their sins and a great revival broke out, but now is given a message that things are going well back in Jerusalem and he needed to return reminding us that just because you have a good beginning. It does not guarantee you will have a good finish. When the foundation was laid in Jerusalem the walls rebuilt the temple was there but they were not keeping it there were not doing well at all started well but they were not fishing well listen. It's great to have a great start and a great finish but you can evenly have mediocre starter, even a bad start and have a great finish. But here's what's not good the greatest of start and a horrible finish.

If you're running in a race and you don't finish the race. It doesn't matter if you've held the first place position for 9/10 labs if you don't finish the race. You don't win the prize and the same is true of the Christian life. So let's backtrack a little bit then will come to get to the conclusion but let's pick up chronologically where we left off last time you remember Nehemiah returns.

They rebuild the walls address brought out of mothballs.

He led the first wave of Jews returning to Babylon. He helped to rebuild the temple. He had been largely inactive. They bring about again.

He read Scripture to the people for three hours and they confess their sins to God for three hours and there's this great revival that breaks out and know that people make a series of very significant commitments to the Lord and that's where we pick up were in Nehemiah 10 then the rest of the people, the Pres, the Levites, the gatekeepers, the singers and temple servants, and all who had separated themselves from the pagan people of the land in order to obey the law of God, together with their wives, sons and daughters and all who are old enough to understand. They swore an oath, they bound themselves with an old and they swore a curse on themselves.

If they failed to obey the law of God is issued by his servant Moses, they solemnly promised to carefully follow all the commandments regulations and decrees of the Lord our God. There so back to me in my is returned to Babylon Mission accomplished some so glad I obeyed the Lord the walls of Jerusalem Marie Billiton everything is wonderful. There was a revival in some of those amen things are going well back in. First of all the people are getting infected so bad that that Levites of gone home. The priest there there not being supported and other people are intermarrying all these weird pagan people and their worshiping the falls got stricter kids don't even know the language of visual the learning these other languages and everything is falling apart and their sin. There and so you gotta go back and do some as Yogi Berra said it was like dj vu all over again.

So Nehemiah says all right I'll return so he goes back and he finds a situation just as they describe, maybe even a little bit worse and basically the temple wasn't functioning any longer. Imagine for a moment what the world would look like if the church were gone. Think about how our city would be up there was no harvest. There was no any other church or you know we been here well over 40 years helping people ministering to people and even the people don't come to church as often as they like.

No churches there right they know there's a service Sunday they know there's midweek studies. They know there's help. They know if they're having a problem in their marriage they can go on and a pastor will meet with them and help them and by the way, we have helped literally thousands of people with their marriages over the years we been here we've seen them saved by God's grace.

It's true that we don't charge for it. Some churches do you have to pay to get Kelsey.

We don't charge when you give here that goes toward providing this service for people.

A lot of times are leading people to Christ. That's the first thing they need get resolved to have a better marriage. I talked a guy after first service and he was in gangs and was having a lot of trouble with his wife and he came in he says it save my marriage. Pastor. So you see that's just one of many many stories so you don't think about what the world would look like if the church were not here. You know when it's time to get married were here to offer free premarital counseling which we offered you so you can have a strong marriage because it's not just about the wedding. It's about marriage and we wanted to last. If your problems were there for you as well. If you have problems with your teenagers or any age. You know, we have youth ministry here. You know that a youth pastor will take the time to minister to them and help them.

You know that when a loved one dies, you can come to the church will be here to comfort you and encourage you and help you with the service. One of the church was gone.

Think about what the world would look like thank God for the church.

Thank God for this church in the light we been able to be in this community and think God you that are a part of this church volunteering your time serving here so faithfully giving of your finances God bless you, thank you.

And I mean that from the bottom of my heart. While these folks the Israelites there just like us were just like them. They went back on their promises and disorders show how bad it is gotten. They look to buy back in member told by learned about him earlier in Nehemiah Tobias on the lot. This guy was a total creep. Okay member that Tobiah lung was some a lot tried to stop the rebuilding of the wall 12 years earlier. First, it was a potential military attack against Israel. Then he got involved in a plot to take Nehemiah out personally, those efforts failed.

He did everything he could to discredit Nehemiah and slander.

Jim Tobiah was troubled with a capital T sodium Nehemiah returned to Jerusalem and what is he finds he finds a given him a guesthouse to the buyer in the temple Tobias in the temple guys crazy what you doing here at the Fox was in the henhouse.

Nehemiah was seriously and righteously angry, and he took immediate action. Go over that Nehemiah 13 for safe, I became very upset and through all of Tobiah's belongings out of the room and then I demanded all the rooms we purified and I brought back the articles for God's temple. The grain offerings in the frankincense love that out with the old and with the new when something is dirty.

You need to clean it and minimizes to mitigate the place it still smells like to buy Pastor Greg will have the second half of just a moment, you know, there's nothing lying here in the word of God worshiping the Lord together.

I will encourage you to join us for something we call Harvest at Home every Saturday and Sunday harvest out or join Christians literally from around the world as we worship and we study the word of God together.

So join us for Harvest at Home and harvest will pastor Greg is presenting a message today called this is not a drill. We just learned how Nehemiah essentially cleaned house, including evicting a certain man named Tobiah Tobiah was troubled with a capital T give a talk by in your life you know someone that just always get you going the wrong direction might be a guy are grown in a romantic relationship of sorts, or someone else and just bring you down. You get a separate from this and this reminds us of when Jesus went into the temple and cleansed that memory overturned the tables by the way, did you know he did that twice is an amazing so first he goes into the temple and the outer court of the Gentiles. They set up all these tables with these jacked up prices ripping people off so people come in they bring the little lamb for the offering and one of the guys at the tables with Dale that's that's never going to pass muster. You can offer that lamb but will sell you this other lamina higher price and this is horrible instead of praying for the people they were praying on the people. So Jesus came and literally turn the tables over drove about even use the whip, which I love. You know, Raiders of the lost Ark banter that the whack it out but then a little bit of time passes and someone sets up the first table, then the second and the third next thing you know it's happening again. Any us to drive about a second time you going to stay on top of things because it's very easy to take one step forward and two steps back. This might be a good time for me to admit a serious addiction.

I've struggled with for a great part of my life I've never shared this before publicly, but on his shirt. Now my addiction. I bite my fingernails. It's the worst habit effort is anybody else by their fingernails. Hold up your pathetic little hand it's it's so bad.

Usually when I'm under stress.

And when you pledge or bring any of your very limited. Like if you drop a dime on the floor. Forget about you can get it. No nails here you little knobs are communicated by the Celtic a piece of paper cited into the dime you learn little trick we will go to scratchers of just a good move. You no nails, and the mailman nails are good so I have victory. Right now my nails are grown out for now, I'm not making any promises. There's always tomorrow I get under a little stressed to her. You know, that's life. Isn't it unknown well my life everything together all my ducks in a row.

Okay good and there's tomorrow might be a little problem in a little problem turn into a bigger problem than one thing will lead to another.

That's what happened here but God keep them a chance to repent and they did is integrate that God gives second chances to give you a second chance today all right. As we come to the end of this message back to that ominous warning about ballistic missiles headed to Hawaii looking to begin to imagine he'll get your phone ballistic missile threat in down the Hawaii seek immediate shelter. This is not a drill I read some articles about what was happening already told you before, panicking, freaking out, but not everybody that we have a friend her name is Shelley. She has a second home over in Hawaii on the North Shore of Oahu and so she texted my wife Kathy. After they gave the all clear over the 37 minutes later she said I had a neighbor come over to my house.

Panicking, saying, what do we do Shelley said the first thing we do is we pray. Then she prayed with her neighbor and then she said now we need to make sure that we know what were going when we leave this earth. Everybody needs a neighbor like this, you need to be a neighbor like this you know Shelley get his name and I'm freaking out.

I don't time to deal with your drama know she took time for her to help her just like Nehemiah left the comfort of the palace in Babylon to go help his people and we need to do that seem to be that neighbor let me be that neighbor for you right now when the a real threat will come your way in life to be a nuclear threat.

More likely it will be a personal one.

That unexpected heart attack car accident.

One thing is certain. No one gets out of here alive. You know where you're going, earn about inscription on a tombstone. These words are written on it.

Pause now stranger as you pass by as you are now so once was.

I is I am now so you will be so prepare for death and follow me some in reading that tombstone was overheard to say to follow you is not my intent until I know which way you went so it's way will you go.

You have two options when you die you will list the Lord comes before that and he could but if you die when you die you will either go straight to heaven. Are you will go ultimately to help.

I don't see that with any pleasure. I just say that because it's gospel truth, and the last thing God wants is for you to go to hell. That's why he sent Jesus to desert his one and only beloved son and poured his judgment upon his son, you know, we deserve the judgment.

We rebelled against God. We defy God we broken the laws of God and yet God took his only son to put that judgment on Jesus.

So we didn't have to face it meant that's love and forgive you of anything you've ever committed you missing God forgive me this can happen for you right now or if you're one of those people I talked about earlier that you know you kind of veered off the path you say you're a Christian, but you're doing things a Christian should not do. You can come back to Jesus. Let's get that resolved right here right now. Let's all bow our heads in prayer. Everyone praying father I pray now that you will speak to the heart of every person that's here every person that's listening and watching were ever they are. If they don't know you yet. Lord, help them to come to you now. We pray, amen to Greg Lord important prayer for those who want to make a change in the relationship with the Lord, and if you'd like to do that today. Pastor Greg will help you in just a moment before today's addition of a new beginning. Concludes will Pastor Greg were so excited about your new book, Lennon Dylan, Alice and Jesus. It's a look at the lives of dozens and dozens of well-known music icons and the way their lives rose to the top and then often crashed to the bottom of the reasons for that. Now some of the people you talk about in the book obviously are passed on which one of them would be at the top of the list of those you'd like to meet and have a conversation with.

If that were possible. Yeah, that's a really good question. I wish all my there's so many so many I think of Janis Joplin very talented young lady, harassed, made fun of when she was a young girl extraordinarily talented died so young. 27. I wish you could've sat down with her and said Janice God loves you. And even if others don't love you, as they are to you are loved by the Lord, and he has a plan and a purpose for your life. I was to get us sat down with John Lennon it's a John you need to just follow Jesus, you made a profession of faith in him. Now you need to just grow in your faith spiritually and continue on to discover all that God has in store for you. I wish it could've sat down with Jimi Hendrix my opinion the greatest guitar player who ever lived by accounts of people that knew him.

He was a kind person. He was a humble person but he was a man he was searching as well and I just wish I could've told these people that there is a God in heaven who love them and that a plan for their life. I wish I could tell them that their life matters and so many people care so deeply about them and I can't tell them that unfortunately but I can talk to people who are alive today who maybe are despondent, who maybe have thought about taking their lives somewhat of even attempted to take their lives and say, look, this is not the way you want to go.

Here's the way you want to go you want to enter into a relationship with Jesus Christ and discover his plan for your life and get to know him and then you'll have that happiness and that peace that you've longed for throughout your entire life trying and you know there are some listening right now who have a close friend or loved one who was at that same crossroad today. They need to hear that message of hope. Let us send you a copy of this new book, Lennon Dylan, Alice and Jesus read it yourself and then pass along this good news to the person you care about is a strong wake-up call and it's a message of hope and would like to send a book your way to thank you for your investment and harvest ministries and a new beginning where listener supported and without listener partnership.

We simply couldn't be here each day were so grateful for your generosity and when you make your donation today.

We like to thank you, with Pastor Greg's new book, Lennon Dylan, Alice and Jesus so call us at 1-800-821-3300.

That's a 24 hour phone number 1-800-821-3300 or write a new beginning. Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or go online to harvest.org will Pastor Greg a few moments ago you spoke of how someone can accept God's offer of eternal life. That's right, could you help the person who wants to do that right now. Yes, I'd be delighted to listen as you listen to this program today. Maybe some is been happening inside of your heart. We are sensing I need to do this personally, but how do I do it and what away.

Do let me help you.

It's very simple affected so simple. You may be shocked God's relationship with him is just a prayer away.

The Bible says if you will call upon the name of the Lord you will be saved, so I'd like to lead you in a prayer we you do just that you call on the name of the Lord. This can be the moment when you change your eternal address literally from hell to heaven. Just pray these words Lord Jesus, I know that I'm a sinner but I know that you're the Savior who died on the cross for me, and rose again from the dead, Jesus I choose to follow you from this moment forward in your name I pray.

Amen. I know it's such a simple short prayer but you just called on the name of the Lord, and you know what he heard that prayer if you meant that prayer in your heart, he answered that prayer now let me help you to get started on the right foot in your new life in Jesus Christ.

The greatest adventure awaits you the life of walking with God. I want to send you what we call a new believers growth pack that includes the new believers Bible and a whole lot more let me be the first to see the you congratulations and welcome to the family of God and to get that free new believers growth pack. Just ask for it if you prayed along with Pastor Greg to receive Christ will be glad to send 1 Your Way. Call us at 1-800-821-3300.

We are here around the clock to take your call. That's 1-800-821-3300 or write us at a new beginning.

Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or go online to harvest.org and click know God will Pastor Greg lunch is a compelling series in the book of Esther to learn that maybe were where we are for such a time as this starts next time. Join us here on a new beginning with Pastor and Bible think you're ready for an Greg Laurie podcast made possible by harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God sign up for daily devotions and learn how to become a harvest partner harvest.org


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