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Sign up at harvest.org. We have a divine responsibility to share the gospel message. There might be someone the Lord is directing you to talk to right now about Jesus.
Maybe it's a coworker, a neighbor, or relative. Pastor Greg Laurie says the gospel is a life and death message that must be delivered. What we have, Christians, is even more important than the cure for cancer. We have the cure to eternal death and separation from God.
We've got to share it. You may remember how amazing it was when certain shipping companies could finally begin delivering packages anywhere in the country overnight. Absolutely, positively overnight, as one of them said.
It's a little less impressive now, since it's nothing to send a text message at the speed of light. Well, today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie points out we have a message that absolutely, positively needs to be delivered. It's no exaggeration to say lives hang in the balance.
All right. Let's grab our Bibles now. We are in the book of Daniel. We are going through it together. We are calling this series End of Days. And the title of my message today is, No One is Beyond the Reach of God.
Isn't that true? No one is beyond the reach of God. So now here's Nebuchadnezzar. He's filled with pride. So one night he goes to bed. He has a dream.
It's a troubling dream. In his dream he sees a massive tree. A magnificent tree.
A tree that is so big you can see it anywhere in the world. And there's a lot of fruit coming from this tree. And everyone is eating of the fruit of the tree. And then suddenly an angel comes down from heaven and cuts the tree down. The angel says, cut down the tree. Strip its branches. But then the angel says, let the stump remain.
Leave the stump in the ground. Well, Nebuchadnezzar woke up. And you know when you have a dream and you wake up with that feeling? That was not a good dream.
And you try to figure out your own dreams. Well, he calls in the soothsayers and the astrologers and the fortune tellers and who knows why. He should have called for Daniel.
None of them have the answer. Again Daniel is brought in and he gives him the interpretation of the dream. And what Daniel says now to the king to me is a case study in evangelism.
And it's also a case study in how to confront a person about their sin in hopes that they will repent of their sin. Let's read together Daniel chapter 4 starting in verse 19. He hears the dream. And upon hearing this Daniel, also known as Belteshazzar, was overcome for a time frightened by the meaning of the dream. Then the king said to him, Belteshazzar, don't be alarmed by the dream.
Tell me what it means. Belteshazzar, that's Daniel, replied, I wish the events foreshadowed in the stream what happened to your enemies and not to you. This brings me to point number one. When we share God's truth we should do so boldly, lovingly, and clearly.
Let me say that again. When we share God's truth we must do so boldly, lovingly, and clearly. And that's exactly what Daniel did. This was not an easy message to deliver. He is going to have to tell him that, King, you are the tree and the tree is cut down because you are going to be cut down as well.
Daniel 4.24. This is what the dream means, your majesty, and what the most high has declared will happen to my Lord the King. You will be driven from human society. You will live in the fields with wild animals.
You will eat grass like a cow and you will be drenched with the dew of heaven. So yes we need to speak the truth lovingly, boldly, and clearly. But point number two, always point people to the God of second chances. Always point people to the God of second chances.
Despite this ominous warning from Daniel there is still hope. Look at verse 27. King Nebuchadnezzar, please accept my advice. Stop sinning. This is another way to say repent. Stop sinning and do what is right. Break from your wicked past and be merciful to the poor.
Perhaps then you will continue to prosper. Now considering Daniel's perfect track record up to this point you would have thought the king would have listened. Daniel's saying, buddy, this doesn't have to happen if you repent. But the king was not having it. But here's the thing.
We tell people the truth but we always give them hope. Yes you're a sinner. Yes you're separated from God. No there is nothing you can do to right this wrong.
Nothing you can do to earn God's approval. That's the bad news. I got to tell them.
Because you know what? You're not going to appreciate the good news if you don't first know the bad news. And so then I give them the good news but the good news is. The good news is there's a God in heaven who sent his son to die on the cross for your sin.
And if you'll turn from your sin you can be forgiven. Look this is the thing. We have a divine responsibility to share the gospel message.
I look at it this way. It's like if you were a doctor and you ran some tests on a person and they were getting ready to go on their vacation and you wanted to give them good news but you found something that concerned you. In fact you found cancer. Now you have a responsibility.
You've taken the Hippocratic oath. Do no harm. You have to tell them the truth. But then you think I don't want to tell them that. They're going to vacation.
So you walk in and say everything's good. Everything's clear. Go on vacation. You don't have a problem in the world.
Thanks. That is not only wrong. That's immoral to not tell them the truth. No you have to deliver that bad news as hard as it is. Hopefully have a course of treatment. Something they can do to remove this cancer. So I have to deliver this message as uncomfortable as it can be at times.
But then tell the person what the solution actually is. And so what we have Christians is even more important than the cure for cancer. We have the cure to eternal death and separation from God. We've got to share it.
We've got to share it. And Daniel did. And Nebuchadnezzar blew him off. He had a full year to come to his senses. But his heart just filled with more pride.
Look at what happens next. Daniel 4 28. All these things did happen to King Nebuchadnezzar 12 months later. He had a year to get it together. A year to repent.
12 months later. He was taking a walk on the flat roof of the royal palace in Babylon. He looked out across the city and said, look at this giant city of Babylon. By my own power I built this beautiful city as my royal residence to display my majestic splendor.
All these words are still in his mouth. A voice called down from heaven. Oh King Nebuchadnezzar this message is for you. You no longer are the ruler of the kingdom. You will be driven from human society. You will live in the fields with the wild animals.
You will eat grass like a cow. Wow. How the mighty have fallen. You know you see these great powerful individuals strutting the world stage. Two people come to mind. Adolf Hitler.
Saddam Hussein. At one moment Hitler was a real threat as was Germany. They had amassed a military machine unlike any other. We didn't even know it was happening until Hitler began his invasions.
And things began to escalate. And the only one standing up against him at this point was England. Led by Winston Churchill. And they were being bombarded by Nazi planes day and night.
London was under siege. And Churchill was asking Roosevelt our president for the United States to come and help. And there was a sentiment in America at that time still in the aftermath of World War I. We don't want to get involved in this.
This isn't our conflict. And then the Japanese attacked us in Pearl Harbor. And so America declared war on the Empire of Japan and declared war on Germany. They were allies. And so we began to build up our military forces and we came and ultimately defeated Hitler. And it is a good thing because his mission was to eradicate all of the Jewish people living in Europe in what he called the final solution. And so Adolf Hitler with this country unraveling around him would not surrender. And he built a little concrete bunker there in Berlin. And he went down there and ultimately took a gun out and killed himself. Oh how the mighty have fallen. Saddam Hussein with all of his threats lived in his royal palaces. American forces went in and cleaned their clock and they found him hiding in a hole. Yeah you know you can be on top of the world one day and down at the very bottom the next day.
Don't be so proud. That breath you draw in your lungs right now is a gift to you from God Almighty. That was Nebuchadnezzar's problem. Nebuchadnezzar forgot God. Even worse in some ways he thought he was God. But God didn't give up on him.
God gave him another chance. 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. Well our study today is based in the book of Daniel. Pastor Greg is focusing today on how God gives second chances. Let's continue. Jesus told a story let's paraphrase now of a guy had a lot of stuff and he said man I have so much stuff I have to build bigger buildings to house all my stuff so I can go buy more stuff. Build them more buildings. And then one night the Lord says God spoke and said this night your soul is required of you.
Now who gets all your stuff? You see that guy died without faith. Without faith in God. There are people that need to hear this message and sometimes we are going to initiate that conversation and other times they might initiate the conversation.
But let's just make sure we have the conversation with them. Daniel went in and did what God led him to do. There might be someone the Lord is directing you to talk to right now about Jesus. My mother who I always had a difficult relationship with. She was married and divorced seven times and was a raging alcoholic and it was a very difficult childhood with her. But I became a Christian. And I went to my mom and I wanted her to come to faith and she said I don't want to talk about it. Every time I would bring up Jesus she would say I don't want to talk about it. And that went on folks for years.
It went on for decades. It went on so long I wondered if she was ever going to come around. And one day the Lord prompted me to go have the conversation about Jesus with my mother. And it was very hard to talk to her about this.
And it just came out of the blue. And I said to Kathy, Kathy I am going to go talk to my mom today. I feel the Lord is leading me to talk to her.
By the way I left out one thing. At this point she is 70 years old. All of her drinking and smoking and partying has taken its toll. She is on dialysis three times a week.
Her health is not good. So I go over to her house and I say hi mom I want to talk to you. And she is like why are you here.
What is going on. I said I want to talk to you today about your soul. She said I don't want to talk about it. I said today we are going to talk about it. And we had that conversation. She was resistant at first. Then she softened up a bit and it resulted in her committing her life to Jesus Christ. I am glad I listened to the leading of the Spirit. I was hoping that we would make up for lost time now.
Have that relationship we never had. How was I to know that one month later the Lord would call her to heaven. But I am thankful I had that conversation. Sometimes we initiate the conversation.
Sometimes a person who is not a believer might ask us for the answers. Now I told you my mom was married in the war seven times. And most of the guys my mom married were very similar. They were guys that hung out in bars.
They were guys that had their shirt buttons unbuttoned to too few many buttons. You go how many is it too many. Just I will talk to you after church. I will tell you.
It is just like just button that one. Don't go. No. Stop. You know. Big drinkers. Big smokers.
You know. Playboy type guys. She married guy after guy after guy. They were like the same guy. She kept marrying the same guy but they were different guys. And then lo and behold she meets some guy named Oscar Laurie.
What a name. Oscar Laurie. He is not a guy that hangs out in bars. In fact he worked for the bar association. He was an attorney. And he didn't have too many buttons undone. He was buttoned up. He was ivy league. He was conservative.
He didn't drink and he didn't smoke. I don't know what my mom saw in him. She said this is your dad now. And I am thinking who is this guy. Well who this guy was. He was the guy that treated me like a father should treat a son.
Starting with adopting me. And he loved me. And he tried to help me. And he tried to guide me. And when my mom loved him I was devastated. This is a long story so I am just going to put it in fast forward.
So years have passed. Now I have become a Christian. I am a pastor.
And I decide that I want to share the gospel with him. I find him in New Jersey. I found out that he had a heart attack only a few weeks before.
Blacked out at the wheel of his car and almost died. So I went to his home. He is remarried. He has a wife named Barbara now. A very nice lady. And so he makes a nice Italian meal for me, Kathy, our son Christopher. Jonathan wasn't born yet. And Barbara says Greg tell us how you became a Christian.
So I am sharing my story of how I came to faith. And my dad is on the other end of the table. He has his hands up to his face like this. I felt like I am in a court and he is the judge and I am not doing well. He just looks at me. He doesn't react. He just looks at me. So after we are done we go to bed and he says, Greg will you walk with me in the morning. He wanted to walk every day because of us aren't. I said sure dad. So he wakes me up the next morning.
We are walking along. He says, Greg I listened very carefully to what you said last night. Yes dad. And I want to accept Jesus Christ right now. What? Yes I want to accept Jesus Christ right now. No wait. Maybe you don't understand what I said. I went over it again. He said yes yes I understand. I want to accept Jesus Christ right now. He says what do I need to do. I said well we need to pray. And he drops down on his knees right there. So we are praying. So here is my point. He made that commitment to Christ.
Guess what. He is in heaven now. My mother is in heaven now.
My son that was there is in heaven now. I want to get as many people to heaven as I can while I am alive on this earth. And we all should want that. And I know it is hard sometimes.
Someone asked me recently in an interview what if you have a hard time talking to strangers. They cited a poll that says some people would rather text than talk. I said then go into all the world and text the gospel.
Right. Go into all the world and tweet the gospel. Do people know you are a Christian. See Nebuchadnezzar after God forgave him, gave him his sanity back, sent out a decree saying to all of his kingdom I am a believer in the Lord God now.
He used his platform to get the word out. Have you used your platform. Do people know that you are a Christian. If I went to your Facebook page would there be any indication of your faith there. Not just your political views.
Not just pictures of your cat. Nebuchadnezzar has truly come to faith now. He has really committed his life to the Lord. And he tells his entire kingdom.
You can read about it in Daniel 4. Let me say one last thing about my father Oscar. After he became a believer he pulled out some papers and told me about the history of the family I was adopted into. The Lorry clan from Scotland.
And I found out one cool thing. William Wallace is in our family tree. Not Mel Gibson. William Wallace. Mel Gibson played William Wallace in the film Braveheart. Now I had never even heard of William Wallace at this point. This is long before the film came out. And he told me about William Wallace.
But then here is what is really interesting to me. We have a family crest as they do in Scotland. And in our crest it has a stump of a tree that has been cut down. The roots are still there.
And there is a little bit of growth coming out. And there is one word. It says Rapoolalot.
Rapoolalot. Which means it buds afresh. I am thinking of Nebuchadnezzar. He had a dream of a tree. A mighty tree.
And it was cut down. But remember the angel said, leave the stump in the ground. See if you tear the stump out the tree can never grow back again. But if you leave the stump in the tree can come back to life. So really what was happening is you are going to be cut down but there is hope for the future because the stump is still in the ground.
That is our family crest. It buds afresh. Listen maybe you feel like I have messed up everything. I am the worst sinner ever. God can forgive you. Listen Nebuchadnezzar they don't come any more wicked than this guy. And yet God forgave him. And God will forgive you. Because he is the God of second chances.
Rapoolalot. It buds afresh. It is for everyone. That is not just for our family.
That is for your family. That is for all of us. There is always hope. God gave Nebuchadnezzar another chance. He will give you one too. Maybe there are some of you today who have never asked Jesus Christ to come into your life and forgive you of your sin. Why don't you do that today?
And I would love what happened to my mother to happen to you. Will you get right with God? Maybe you are a person who has been running from God for years and you just think you can run out the clock and do whatever you want. But you have to realize that ultimately you are going to reap the consequences of your action. God might be giving you a warning today.
God fired a shot effectively over the bow of Nebuchadnezzar's boat. He said you have got 12 months. You have got time.
And the Nebuchadnezzar just like left it off and didn't think about it and just became more prideful. Don't miss this opportunity. You may never have another one like it again. Let's pray. Father thank You for Your Word to us. Thank You for Your offer of forgiveness to us. Now I pray for every person here.
Every person watching, listening, wherever they are. Lord would You speak to their hearts and help them to see their need for Jesus. Help them to come to You and believe in You and follow You this day we pray. Amen. Pastor Greg Laurie with an important word of prayer. And if you would like to make that kind of change today in your relationship with the Lord, Pastor Greg would like to help you with that.
And he'll do so before today's edition of A New Beginning concludes. And then we want to mention the new book we're making available. It's Pastor Greg's new book called Lennon, Dylan, Alice, and Jesus. It's a revealing look at the rise and fall of so many rock icons and the reasons for their self-destruction. You know Pastor Greg, a lot of the ground you cover in this new book is centered around the 60s and 70s. That unique era in American history which you also address in your upcoming movie Jesus Revolution.
True. How does this book fit in with the larger projects you've been working on? Well I've always been a fan of music. I like movies. I like music. I like television. You know I like all of these things.
I'm interested in them. But I also want to bring Christ to people in these worlds. That's why we make movies. We've done films like A Rush of Hope which reached millions of people. We're making a new movie right now that we're actually calling Fame. And in that film I interview Alice Cooper, Daryl Strawberry, and others.
People who have had the great success in life and have found that's not the answer, but Christ is the answer. So all of these projects I work on from A Rush of Hope or this up-to-date upcoming feature film Jesus Revolution are bridges. Bridges to walk over and tell stories. You know it's interesting I think the time we're living in right now really parallels 1970.
The late 60s early 70s. We have turmoil in the world. We have the threat of war. We've had race riots in our street. We've had the effects of drug use.
We've had the rise of crime. All things we were experiencing in the late 60s and early 70s. It's even funny to me as I see young people today who have rediscovered vinyl and they're playing these old records we used to listen to the first time. You see kids hanging out you know in hipster coffee shops wearing Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd designs in their shirt or talking about the Beatles as though they're a current band.
It's hilarious. So there is a cultural connection and I think when we make this film Jesus Revolution which is basically set in 1970 and 71 it will speak to a generation alive today. It will connect to them because we were dealing with a lot of the same issues they're dealing with right now. So I'm looking to build bridges. That's why I write books like Lennon, Dylan, Alice and Jesus or I make movies like A Rush of Hope and Fame and Jesus Revolution and we have our events in stadiums and arenas because we want to reach people that don't know the Lord. Jesus did not say the whole world should go to church but he did say the church should go to the whole world. I want to go to where people are and reach unexpected people in unexpected places in unexpected ways with the gospel that can change their life.
Yeah yeah that's right and listen if you'd like to partner with us and help us reach further than we ever have before I hope you'll let us know. Consider how you might invest to keep these daily studies coming your way and also help us reach out with the hope of the gospel or as our mission statement puts it knowing him and making him known and with your generous donation right now we'd like to send you Pastor Greg's new book called Lennon, Dylan, Alice and Jesus and we'll only be able to mention this resource a short time longer so get in touch today call 1-800-821-3300 we're here to take your call around the clock that's 1-800-821-3300 or 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 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 and 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 charge if you prayed for the first time today with Pastor Greg call us at 1-800-821-3300 we can take your call anytime that's 1-800-821-3300 or go to harvest.org and click on know God well next time as Pastor Greg continues his series called end of days we encounter a king named Belshazzar he was a prideful arrogant king and God sent him a most unusual and terrifying message that's next time join us here on A New Beginning with pastor and Bible teacher Greg Laurie. Hey everybody thanks for listening to A New Beginning this is a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners so for more content that can help you know God and equip you to make him known to others or to learn more about how you can become a Harvest Partner just go to harvest.org.
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