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Why God Chose You | For Such a Time as This

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
June 10, 2022 3:00 am

Why God Chose You | For Such a Time as This

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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June 10, 2022 3:00 am

People often ask one of the big questions. Why are we here? What’s the purpose of life? Ask a dozen people, and you’ll get a couple of dozen answers. But God put us here, and He knows exactly why we’re here. Today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie points out we’re to know God and to make Him known. And today, we’ll follow one of the great dramatic stories of the Bible where a person’s heart for God and the providence of God come together in spectacular fashion.

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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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You are listening to a new beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast supported by harvest partners for more ways to deepen and challenge your spiritual walk and roll and pastor breaks free online courses Go read laws and people without us. What does he want to reach lost people without us today pastor Greg Laurie morning show God reaches people through people and we each need to be available to reach out on his behalf. Did it ever shrinking labor will deal with coworker regularly.

Your mission field. Why are we here what's the purpose of life a dozen people you'll get a couple of answers.

But God put us here, and he knows exactly what to pastor Greg Laurie points outward to know God and to make you know today will follow.

One of the dramatic stories of the Bible verse and smart.

Let's all grab our Bible turn to the book of restroom and ask you to turn to.

One other book of the Bible. In addition, there were going to jump over to the book of Ephesians. So were turning to Esther chapter 3 are also turning to Ephesians chapter 1, when we start with a word of prayer father were thankful for your word because your word is true, and in your word you tell us that you love us and in your word you tell us that you chose us and were thankful for that.

So Lord as we opened Scripture we ask you to speak to us now and we ask all of this in Jesus name, amen.

The title of my messages. Why God shows you imagine for a moment if you could know the future if I could have a superpower. I don't know if I would really want this one in particular, but imagine for a moment if you knew the future you knew everything that was about to happen. You knew you would both play in and win the next Super Bowl you knew how your favorite show was going and you knew who was going to be elected to office. You knew how the stock market was going to go okay. If you have this knowledge. Do you think it would affect the choices you would make will of course it would, because, well for starters you would make wise choices based on the facts. If you knew that if I walk in the street a giant truck is coming. You probably wouldn't walk in the street at that moment if you knew the stock market was going a certain direction on what stocks should be bought. Were you could make the most money, you would probably choose the right stocks. I would think, and so consider this, God knows the future, and not only does he know the future, but he has a plan for the future. Think about this when Jesus walked this earth. He knew everything about everyone he had their number. He knew their thoughts about sometimes Jesus would say the people. What are you thinking this in your heart so pure hanging around Jesus he could read your mind so you couldn't even think about thought without him knowing about it.

So he knew all things and here's what's amazing he chose Simon Peter, and yet he knew that Simon Peter would fail him. In fact, Jesus said to Peter Peter Peter St. Nisbet asking for you to be sifted as we but I have prayed for you that when you fail, you will return again and strengthen your brother so Jesus was not only predicting the fall of Peter but he was predicting the return of Peter as well. I bring this up because sometimes it looks like God chooses losers, but God knows the big picture, and he knew Peter would come around. That brings us back to Esther. She was chosen by God, handpicked by the Lord to literally not only save her nation.

But really, in effect, to save the Jewish people that when we last left Esther a bad moon was rising, the villain of the story came in emerges on the scene and now he is coming into power. As you recall, the king is put him as second in command and not only that but the king is given to him in his signet ring that would be like giving someone your credit card or giving them your passwords.

Payment had access to all the power of the king, and he hatches this wicked plot to eradicate the Jewish people from the face of the earth. Why was we discovered together.

Haman was an avowed enemy of Israel descendent from the Amalekites king. A gag was spared in the egg Haggai were a race of people, and Haman wasn't a gag.

I took he had a blood feud with Israel, and of course our good friend Mordechai and Esther were Jews so they would be on his hitless now with this plan was a good Esther three starting in verse five when he came and saw that Mordecai would not bow down or show him respect. He was filled with rage. She had learned of Mordecai's nationality, so he decided it was not enough to lay hands on Mordechai alone and said he looked for a way to destroy all the Jews throughout the entire empire of Xerxes that would be the person empire so he's in power. He wants to wipe the Jewish people out and he gets the Kings approval so more chaotic Texas wind of this plot and so he being a government official himself sends word to Esther saying you've got to do something. Meanwhile, Esther is living in the literal lap of luxury there in the palace of the king, she was included in isolated and knew nothing about the plight of her people. So Mordechai is standing outside of the walls of the palace cupboard in sackcloth. He's in morning.

Because of this threat against the Jews in an someone notices him and says a Esther your cousins outside not dress very well.

He looks pretty unhappy. Jesus will send him some new clothes and and they send them think will talk about missing the point altogether and so now Mordechai needs to tell Esther what's really coming down.

And I have to say this reminds me a little bit of some people in the church you know we can be isolated in our little Bible Bible in our holy huddle and we don't really care all that much about people that don't know the Lord were thinking well that's the problem. Why should I put it doorhanger on their door. Why should I give them an invitation. I know I'm saved. I know where I'm going.

When I die way. You can't just stand around in indifference while people are dying without God. God is put you where you are for such a time as this. Just as surely as God put Esther where she was for such a time as this. Remember cousin Mordecai said to Esther when she went to the palaces that knew Queenie said don't tell anyone your Jewish but now he saves time to step up your game. You need to play your hand and declare who you are and do something to save your people. That brings us to Esther chapter 4. Look at verse 13, Mordecai said to Esther, don't think for a moment that because you're in the palace, you will escape when all the other Jews are killed if you keep quiet at a time like this. Deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place. Would you and your relatives will die, but who knows perhaps you were made.

Queen for such a time as this very interesting statement that Mordecai makes to Esther. Here's what we need to remember that God does not need us. Sometimes Evergreen was a God meets us the reason God created humanity is because he was lonely up there in heaven wanted some companionship nonsense God doesn't need anything or anyone but having said that, it is true that God wants us it is true that God loves us. It is true that he longs for relationship and friendship with us. Now here's a question. Can God reach lost people without us.

Yes, but does he want to reach lost people without us know because the Bible says, how will they hear without a preacher and how they preach unless they are said how beautiful are the feet of those are bring good tidings of peace. So here's what Mordechai said Esther girl listen if you don't act on this God will raise up somebody else.

But don't think you're off the hook here because of you will die along with the rest of your fellow Jews, but did it ever occur to you that you are where you are because God put you there. We did it ever occur to you that cranky neighbor that that difficult to deal with coworker other person do you come into contact with in a regular basis could be your mission field. Did you ever stop and think about praying for that person by name and praying for an opportunity to engage them in a conversation to lead them to Christ. And so she was chosen by God and we been chosen by God will get some additional insight on the fact were chosen by God as pastor Greg takes us to the words of Jesus in just a moment. Stay with everybody. What are you doing this weekend. I like to hang out with you at harvest and home service 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 that harvested home. Join us this weekend Saturday and Sunday for harvest will pastor Greg continues now with today's study called why God chose you a message. that brings us to Ephesians pop over there really quick. Ephesians chapter 1. Why did God choose us how many of you believe you been chosen by God raise her hand up.

That's good. Why do you think God shows you we here's the answer in Ephesians 1 verse four just as he chose us before the foundation of the world that we should be holy and without blame before him in love, having predestined us to Dobson.

You might underline those words adoption to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ himself, according to the good pleasure of his will. Listen to this before the world was made before sin came in. God shows you to be with him through all eternity is even how do you know that because Jesus said you have not chosen me, but I have chosen you another question that comes to our minds, we read that as well. But why, why would God choose me what goodness or merit. Did God see in me that he would choose me as his child. I hope you're not disappointed by my answer. None. There was no goodness there was no Meredith it's not even because you are lovable.

The fact is, he chose you. Despite you. Despite your sinfulness. Despite my shortcomings, he chose us, despite our high opinions that we hold of ourselves. God's choosing had nothing to do with our value per se. It was based on his lot. Why did God choose us the answer is the same reasoning chosen nation Israel, the Lord said to Israel even set his love upon them or choose them because they were more in number than other people, for they were the fewest, the Lord chosen because he loved the that's why he chose Israel. That's why he chose you because he loved you and he loves is it what I don't understand will join the club who understands just rejoice in and that brings up the subject of predestination.

By the way, the greatest theological minds have grappled with predestination for hundreds of years, a settlement right here right now because I have it all figured out. Not just kidding. I don't but I'll take my best shot, and how I see it. It's been said, quote try to explain election predestination. Another word for it, try to explain election and you may lose your mind try to explain it away. You may lose your soul." So how does God predestined us how to see. Choose us.

What is the basis for that choice. Some who would identify themselves as Calvinists or being reform would say it, irresistible grace, irresistible grace is the teaching that no matter what you think you cannot resist the grace of God. It's a done deal.

If decided in eternity, irresistible grace. You couldn't say no even if you wanted to buy the web disagree with that. And then there's even what might be described as double predestination, which means God has chosen that certain people go to heaven and certain people go to hell he's chosen, you have no choice in the matter dodges decided on whatever basis he chose you're going to heaven heaven, hell, hell that's a personal by the window, meaning LOL haven't heaven. I reject this teaching completely. By the way, a part of this is also limited atonement, which means Christ only died for the elect. In other words, Jesus only died for the ones that he predestined he only died for the chosen ones you have nothing to say in the matter. Ellison this is incorrect because the Bible clearly says that God loves all the world. Christ did not just type for the elect. He died for the world. All sinners, because Jesus said for God so loved what the world that he gave his only begotten son over in Romans 516 eight it says when we were without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly doesn't say he died for only the elect for scarcely for a righteous man, one will die perhaps for a good man. Some would dare to die.

But God demonstrated his love toward us that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us know whether you like it or not. The Bible teaches both predestination and free will. The Bible teaches that God shows you but it also tells you that you must choose him. It's like this, you're in your car you cruising on the freeway of life and there's an offramp and the offramp says whosoever will let him come. We've had a lot of people tell you they pull up in that offramp and its chains are life and you just wanted break the routine but week after week, month after month you go out by that offramp illegal what's going on over there. What if I should take that turn and see what's going on. Whosoever will let them come. So one day you pull your car off the offramp departed you get out. There's a door, whosoever will let him come you open the door you walk in you shut the door behind you and on the other side of the door. It's written chosen in Christ from the foundation of the world. How do you know if you're chosen by God believe in Jesus Christ and you prove that you were how do you find out if you're not chosen, don't believe it's really in many ways up to you. You have a role to play in all of this is a you choose so will you choose. Jim Spurgeon said it's a good thing God chose me before I was born because if he had waited until afterwards he would've changed his mind. But Spurgeon was saying that tongue-in-cheek, which means he meant it sarcastically defective. God knew exactly who you were a DL Moody, the great evangelist. Put it this way, quote the whosoever will are the elect. The whosoever won't are the non-elect."

It's not as though God predestined some people to heaven and predestines others to hell he wants all the believe that you could look at it this way, God predestines every person to be saved and affected double predestines every person to be damned man has the casting vote. You decide where you will spend eternity. But when you make that decision and follow Christ. You prove you were chose music grade you just confuse me even more.

I know I didn't say I would make it makes sense. I just take a shot at it but but here's what it comes down to. Sometimes we will get so wound up in sort of reformed thinking that they can even say to a person. God loves you because I think what if I say, God loves you to one of the nonelected rent predestined to help so I can't just say God loves you will any theology that would stop you from saying to a nonbeliever. God loves you any theology that would stop you from sharing the gospel is a false theology because biblical theology says to share the gospel so as to render choice she could just sit in luxury and forget about the problems of the world, or she could put it all on the line and acting and we have a choice.

Do we know enough to share our faith God can see people without destroying the book of acts about a guy from Ethiopia that went to Jerusalem searching for God member that story. He didn't find God. He did get a copy of the Scripture Isaiah by the way. Back in those days with no printing presses. That was quite a gift to give to them but it was probably because he was a foreign dignitary hand lettered by a scribe. The scroll of Isaiah. So he's reading and trying to figure it out, leaving Jerusalem on his way back home, and meanwhile the Lord speaks to a guy named Philip and says go to the desert and would Philip go to the desert and he sees the men from Ethiopia and his entourage and Philip engages in with the gospel. But it's interesting. An angel of the Lord told Philip to go to the desert to talk to this man widen the angel of the Lord just go directly to the man from Ethiopia given the gospel because the job of angels is not primarily to deliver the gospel. That's our job. That's what were supposed to do so, God will orchestrate Vincent put things in place that you can have those opportunities to lead people to Jesus Christ. Greg Laurie making it clear just how important it is.

We follow through and share the good news with those around us.

And of course our mission statement here and a new beginning is knowing God and making him known.

It's our goal to equip you to share your faith with pastor Greg were excited about your new book called Lenin, Dylan, Alice and Jesus subtitled the spiritual biography of rock 'n' roll. The title list Jesus among some seemingly dissimilar names. As you know Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Alice Cooper, by it. It's almost like us civil service exam will pick the one that doesn't belong us well go to the Bible and look at Jesus and Nicodemus.

Jesus ends that key is Jesus and the woman at the well, Jesus and the woman caught in the act of adultery.

It fits because my point is take these iconic people and I wanted to tell you about their spiritual journeys that the spiritual biography of rock 'n' roll and it has some surprising revelations about maybe your favorite pop or rock star things you did not know about them specifically in the area of their search for God, for instance, take John Lennon. Of course we all remember his famous statement when he said the Beatles were more popular than Jesus. Let me just address for a moment to a generation. The people at that moment in time. There was some truth to that, and I would include myself as a young person because I knew nothing of Jesus but I knew everything about the Beatles and Lennon went on to try to explain it. Say well if I would've said television is more popular than Jesus, there would have been this controversy or uproar, but things changed in the life of John Lennon after he made that statement and we explore those things in the book. No, I'm not suggesting John Lennon was a Christian at the end of his life, but I have to point this out

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