Hey there. Thanks for listening to the Greg Laurie Podcast, a ministry supported by Harvest Partners. I'm Greg Laurie encouraging you. If you want to find out more about Harvest Ministries and learn more about how to become a Harvest Partner, just go to harvest.org. If you want to find out more about Harvest Ministries, just go to harvest.org. If you want to become a Harvest Hunter, just go to harvest.org. That's just to open your eyes.
I'm going off on this one. I've been watching on YouTube for a number of years. I've been seeing a lot of different people now.
I've been watching a lot of their family for a number of years. In fact, we weren't even grandparents and now we are. So we shared life together and many experienced both sorrowful and joyous. I love Greg and Kathy and I love you, this wonderful church, and pray for you often.
View you often and worship with you online as well but it's good to be with you. Now just coming off of this weekend, the decision on a Friday to overturn Literacy, and Roe v. Wade, I wanna add something to that as well. Greg's statement is tremendous, what Jonathan just said, just perfect, it truly is. I do think it's interesting that God had the last word in June which someone described as gay pride month, God had a word to say about that here at the end. And I believe that word is, an answer to our prayers, that God is in control. What we believe might be impossible, God has done, and when we began this fight for life, we wondered if this day would ever come when we would see Roe v. Wade overturned. And of course we know there are many battles yet to be fought for life.
It goes down to the states and communities where it should be, where people can decide in our government how we will live our lives. But the fact is that God has given us a new beginning and an opportunity to get this right going forward and to do what God is calling the church to do, and that is to stand for life, the sanctity of life, because God is the author of life. Jesus said, I've come that you might have life and have it more abundantly. And may God give life to these precious little babies and I pray, you know, our church back in West Palm Beach, before I got to Dallas in 1989, I was pastoring West Palm Beach, the other coast, down in South Florida. And I remember preaching one evening, we had an outdoor amphitheater on the ocean, the intercoastal of the Atlantic Ocean, and I was, I remember this moment because it was one of those moments where I'm certain that God spoke to me clearly about something, and as I was preaching, I was preaching on the sanctity of life and the evils of abortion, and as I was speaking, God said to me, seemed to say to me in my spirit, what are you going to do about it? And after prayer and council, we opened there in South Florida a crisis pregnancy center.
It was one of the first that a church in America had done. We opened it, it's still operating along with other clinics, centers down in South Florida. So when we came to Dallas, one of the first things that we did in 1989 when I came to Dallas was to begin making plans for a crisis pregnancy center in our church.
We now have two plus a mobile unit, and we're expanding two more next year. And just like you are stepping up to the needs of women in crisis and families and the experience of a crisis pregnancy, just as you are doing that, also that we're responding, we just opened up a brand new resource center for moms. One of the lies that the proponents of abortion tell is that we don't care about anything but the preborn.
That is a lie. We're the church, we care about everyone. We care about life from the womb to the tomb. It's whole life from the very beginning.
And so we are resourcing, and it's a beautiful place that we have created there so women can come in and be resourced with diapers and all the things that babies need, car seats and all the rest is clothing. It's a lot of good things. But the point that I'm making is the way to overcome evil and abortion is definitely an evil.
The way to overcome evil, according to the Bible, is Romans 12, 21, which says don't be overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good, with good. And the greatest good is God and the gospel of our God, the Lord Jesus Christ. So we're going to do what we've always done. We're gonna stand for life and we're gonna preach the gospel of Jesus Christ.
That's who you are, that's what you do as a church and you do it better than anyone I know as you're reaching the world for Christ. And we're gonna fight this battle on our knees. We're gonna keep praying. This is a time to celebrate, but we don't need to be spiking the ball in the end zone right now. We need to celebrate and get on our knees and thank God for what he has done and what he is doing.
That by his grace, by his grace, we have seen this great victory. When I was a little boy, I was born in a little town north of Little Rock, Arkansas. Greg's grandparents, some of his grandparents are from Arkansas.
So I was born in a little town, Conway, Arkansas. And it's the home of the mighty wampus cats, the Conway High School wampus cats. You ever seen a wampus cat? Probably not, it has six legs and two arms.
Four to run with, two to fight with. It's a mythical creature that they say prowls around in Arkansas somewhere. There's a lot of things prowling around in Arkansas. That's why I got to Texas as soon as I could. No offense, Arkansas.
I love Arkansas, absolutely. But there, we got our first television in the 1950s. Yes, I'm officially old. I remember the 50s and the 60s. They say if you can remember the 60s, you probably weren't there. Well, I was there and I was there in the 50s as well. And I remember we got our first little black and white television, a 1954 Philco television.
I think we bought it used. There were only two stations, black and white, it was fuzzy and I was one of the first. We were in the Mouseketeer generation and had my nose peeled to Mickey Mouse, the Mouseketeers. I loved Annette Funicello. How many of you loved Annette Funicello?
Okay, you're with me on that. So, but there was a fellow on television. He was a Catholic bishop.
You can see it on YouTube today. But his name was Fulton J. Shee. And his program would begin, now remember this is early days of television.
And the program would begin with just a dark screen. Well, it was either black or white anyway. So it started dark and then a hand appeared out of the shadows and struck a match and lit a candle. Now I'm a little Baptist boy in Arkansas, all right?
And my mother was getting after me for watching this Catholic bishop on television. And, but I was watching, I don't know if it was his robes, his chains, but what really captivated me was this opener where he just struck a match, someone struck a match, lit the candle and then this voiceover came across which said, better to light a candle than to curse the darkness. And somehow, as a little bitty guy, that got in me.
That got in me. Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness. It became an echo in my soul from that day forward. And to the ministry that which we have been given by the Lord to be the light of the world. That's what Jesus said to do, right? To let your light shine, to light the candle of your life. And to shine, this is our time to shine. This is our time to light the night. This is our time to stand for the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. This is our time, this is our light and the light comes from God. So that's why we started these pregnancy centers. Because rather than shake our fist and curse the darkness, we're to turn on the light and let the light shine. And so that's what these pregnancy centers are and I hope you'll pray for not only ours but many pregnancy centers in this region across the world.
We have ours under very tight security right now and you know why. This has been called already the age of rage. And there's an incredible amount of rage right now being expressed in America. But God has given us the victory.
And that's what I want to talk to you about today. There would be no victory apart from opposition. There would be no win apart from losses. Opposition is necessary that we'd experience victory. And satanic resistance should be expected should be expected by all of us who name the name of Christ. You didn't expect this to be that easy, did you?
I hope not. Because Jesus warned us that we would always face resistance and opposition and even persecution for our faith in him. He said if they persecuted me, they're going to persecute you. So you're in the target zone of the enemy. And let me just say before I even get started with the rest of this message, that the people around us, even the people on the other side of this issue, even the people who don't even care about this issue, the people around us, some of you in this room, some of you watching right now online, the people without God, the people without Christ, the secularists and all the rest, these are not the enemy. These are the mission field, right? Not the enemy, but the mission field.
These are the people God has called us to reach with the love of Jesus Christ. But we do have an enemy. And in fact, we've got three enemies described in the Bible, the world, the flesh, and the devil. But I'm going to concentrate in this unseen battle that I wrote about in the book. I love the subtitle of this book where it says, Winning the Battle for Eternity.
That's what we're fighting for. It is the battle for life. It's the battle for eternal life. It's the battle for eternity. And we should expect opposition, but we should also expect celebration and winning. And that is a good thing that you've got me on the clock because I'm going to Orange County in a little bit there, you'd be in for a long morning here, I assure you.
My heart is really full. But as you think about the battle, we have experienced a sign of the truth that we are more than conquerors through Jesus, Romans 8. We're super conquerors.
We don't win by just a little bit. We win it all. And the all is eternity in the lives of people who will go there.
Because when Christ went to the cross and died on the cross, he defeated death and hell and judgment. And in Christ, we have victory. And that victory can be celebrated. Some people are saying, you know, we shouldn't be celebrating, we should just be still lamenting. No, this is a time, in my view, that we should be celebrating.
In fact, every day should be a celebration. That's what worship is. It is declaring and celebrating our victory and our worship in Jesus Christ.
So Satan is our real enemy. But in Romans chapter 16 and verse 20, I've been obsessed with this verse ever since I preached through Romans recently and we got to the end of the book of Romans and chapter 16 and Paul is saying goodbye and signing off with a group of friends and he's mentioning a lot of people, ordinary people who were doing extraordinary things in Rome and throughout the world. And as he's signing off, he then confronts one more time the false teachers, the enemies of the gospel and those who cause divisions.
This is verse 16 of Romans, pardon me, verse 17 of Romans 16. He says, I urge you, brothers, note those who cause divisions contrary to the doctrine which you have learned and avoid them. He's talking about false gospels. Paul often dealt not just with the world but people who were religious people, who preached and practiced false doctrine because the enemy is the father of lies.
So he says, avoid this. One of the problems we have today in the church of the Lord Jesus Christ is we can't get out of our own way. And we should avoid any gospel that is not the gospel of Jesus Christ. There's no other gospel but the gospel of Jesus.
His death, his burial, his resurrection and the truth of God's word, this book, the inerrant and infallible word of God. And so he says, avoid this. Don't associate this so-called liberal or progressivism in the church is destroying churches everywhere. And any church, any church that does not preach the word of God in the testimony of Jesus, you ought to avoid it at all costs.
That's what Paul is saying here. And he said, verse 18, for those who are such do not serve the Lord Jesus Christ but their own belly and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple. You see, Satan is a deceiver.
And because he is a deceiver, he puts lies even into the mouths of ministers and some preachers. I heard years ago about a Halloween party over in, I think, North Carolina, they were saying. And in this church, it was kind of a liberal church, the pastor dressed up in a devil suit.
Now can you imagine that? Greg Laurie shows up at Halloween in a devil suit. No, I don't think I've ever seen a preacher in a devil suit. But I've seen and heard a lot of devils in a preacher suit because Paul said the devil disguises himself as a messenger of light. So be warned, be aware that not everything under the guise of the church and everything under the guise of Christianity is the true gospel of Jesus Christ. And reject any other gospel and those who preach it.
What he says next, I can say about you. It says, for your obedience has become known to all. Yes, Harvest, your obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ led by your pastor and the wonderful pastoral staff team and the leadership, your obedience is known to all. Therefore, I'm glad on your behalf. But I want you to be wise.
Don't be duped, don't be deceived. I want you to be wise in what is good and simple concerning evil. But then here's the verse that just has captured my mind. And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Now you may want to underline that, underscore it in your Bible. Because in the midst of all this chaos in the age of rage, the God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. That's a promise from God, the God of peace. You know, you can't have peace apart from the fact that you defeat an enemy and there's the end of war. So the ultimate reference here is to the return of Jesus.
Because there will be no peace on earth until Jesus the Prince of Peace comes again and establishes his eternal kingdom. And you've been taught and you know well that Jesus is coming soon. And that's what Paul said. He said, shortly, I don't know when shortly is. No man, no one knows the time of his coming but we are to live on tiptoe with expectation to that coming. Because Paul said, I have run the race, I fought the good fight, I've kept the faith and therefore there's laid up for me a righteous crown and not only to me but to all those who love his appearing. So every day we're to lean in to this promise.
Every hour we should expect the hour that will come. And so in one sense this is future when he says the God of peace will soon, soon crush Satan under your feet. And this is a joyful day to know that one day all evil will be gone and all sin and all suffering and God's eternal kingdom will be established in heaven and on earth and we will reign and rule with him because notice he says the God of peace will crush Satan under whose feet?
Under your feet. And so that's coming but there is also the sense in which Satan is already crushed and under your feet because when Jesus died on the cross and cried out it is finished, tetelestai, completed. He did not mean that he was finished but Satan was finished at the cross. And therefore it's been said many times in many ways we don't fight our fight for victory, we fight from victory. The victory that we have already experienced in Christ.
The forgiveness of our sins, this new life in Christ. But there is a battle that we need to fight and therefore we're told in Ephesians chapter six that because we have this enemy, Satan, and with him these demonic forces in heaven and earth. Because we're in this battle, the world is now a battlefield it's a secular, satanic battlefield in many ways.
I'm talking about the world system. He tells us in Ephesians chapter six that we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities and rulers and darkness and in governments and all the rest. So Satan is involved in this world system.
He ignites the world system. The age of rage is a result of satanic influence in the world. So how are we to deal then with the devil?
Well we are to put on the armor of God. You know that passage I hope in Ephesians six. If you're not acquainted with your Bible you can look it up later Ephesians six that we face this enemy who is a defeated foe but he is a decided fact.
He's not gone away. And he's not just the impersonal force of evil in the world. He is a real person, the devil. How did the devil become the devil? Pride according to Isaiah chapter 14. One of the great angels of God created by the hand of God, Lucifer who was known as the son of the morning became the father of the night. When he rebelled against God he said I will exalt myself above the throne of God. That was his motive.
It always has been and always will be to exalt himself above God and his own kingdom and as a result of his rebellion against God he was removed from heaven and with him this revolt that was going on in heaven before time began, before there was a revolt on earth there was revolution in heaven. And Satan and his minions now are a part of this satanic force and field in the earth. But the fact is that though we are fighting him it's a fixed fight because we know who wins the battle, don't we?
We know. Now it is a fight. I was talking with Jonathan on the way over here. We were talking about one of his sons is he's doing some fighting, often fun of course in recreation, not in the streets. But I said look, this battle that we're facing and fighting right now, it's like a cage fight. It's a cage fight. It's face to face. That's the way Paul described it when he said fight the good fight of faith.
It's the word which means intense strenuous battle. When back to Arkansas, let me take you back there again. When I was a little guy, about the same time I was watching the Catholic bishop, there was a dog in the neighborhood and I was scared lifeless from that dog. Every time I would pass this house two or three doors down from us, that dog would start chasing me. And I'd run as fast as I could to get away from that dog. I started going around the block not to have to pass in front of the dog. The dog was, he had my number. And I couldn't believe it so my dad sits me down and he says Jack, don't be afraid of that dog.
Said you need to learn some courage here. Now I've been watching Davy Crockett on television and Davy could stare down what? That's right, he could stare down a bear. And so I'm thinking okay, I can stare down this dog.
So I tried it. I just stood there as long as I could and stared down this dog and when I met him I took off again. But my dad said just keep walking. Don't slow down, don't show fear, just keep walking. I'm thinking why would my dad put me in harm's way like this?
But I tried it one day. I just kept walking, whistling in the dark and here comes this dog running as fast as he can. I stopped, I stared and about the time he got near me on the sidewalk about five feet away. Boom, that dog had been chained up the whole time. That dog was on a long chain and a big one and he couldn't get to me.
Now my father who loved me knew that. He would have never sent me into harm's way unless he knew that. And I've often thought of that story in relation to Satan and our father. Sometimes we wonder why doesn't God just deal with the devil? Well he has, he's got him on a chain and he can't touch you, he can threaten you, he can taunt you, he can threaten you, he can taunt you, he can tempt you and he does but you don't have to be afraid of the enemy.
You gotta have courage. You see how many battles there were fought in the Old Testament? You ever wonder why there's so much fighting in the Old Testament? All these battles, you're gonna have a series on David coming up.
Well David was a fighter, all those battles. God used all those battles for examples for us to show us how to be courageous and to live by faith in the face of the enemy. And so I believe God sent me here today on this day. I'm so glad I get to preach on this Sunday following what happened on Friday with the overturn of Roe v. Wade.
I'm so glad that I get to stand here before you and declare victory in Jesus, our faith in him. So armor up, to be forewarned is to be forearmed. So armor up every day, put on the gospel of life, take up the sword of the spirit which is the word of God knowing that the battle is ours because the battle is the Lord. You say what kind of battle are we talking about? You're talking about all this fighting, all this battling. You know, I wouldn't, I don't need to hear a battle cry.
I'd like to hear, I don't know, a love song. We like love songs, but there's a time there's so much of this in the Bible, isn't there, about this unseen warfare. It's a battle for your faith, ultimately. That's why Paul tied his finishing the course to fighting the good fight of faith and keeping the faith.
It's a battle for your faith. When Satan slithered into the Garden of Eden, the first thing that he said was has God said? And he put a question mark on the word of God and the love of God.
And that's what he's still doing today. He's questioning everything, everything that you believe, what you were taught to believe, perhaps even as a child. And you've rejected it because you've been listening to the lies and the deception that Satan brings us. Satan wants to destroy your faith.
He wants to destroy churches who believe in the inerrancy and the sufficiency of salvation in Christ and Christ alone and the Scriptures. That's why Jude 3, you know there's a book in the Bible all about this, it's called Jude, it's a little book. But in Jude 3, it's just one chapter, the verse three, it says that we are to earnestly contend for the faith. So we keep fighting with the light of Christ.
Satan wants to destroy you with doubts and fears and lies and discouragement and deception. A cancel culture that wants to cancel Christ and the gospel. But we are to earnestly contend in our generation like generations before us who pass the faith along to us for the sake of our children, for the sake of our grandchildren. We keep fighting the good fight of faith and resisting the lies of the enemy. So we're to fight for the faith and continue to take ground for the kingdom of God. This is a battle between the kingdom of darkness and the kingdom of light, simply put.
And that's the way the Bible gives it to us. That this is a cosmic battle. It's going on all around us behind the scenes. There is a invisible world around us. In my book, I have a chapter on angels. And part of the unseen world are these angelic beings. And did you know that there are angels in this room right now?
Yes, there are. There are angels in this place. But there are also demon spirits that can attack and doubts and fears. I love the fact that in the Bible it tells us when Satan fell, one third of the heavenly host fell with him, that became the demon force of the world and of hell. But two thirds of the angels of God remain faithful to God.
So I figure we got them two to one, don't you? Plus God doesn't need the angels, he already has the victory. But the angels are with him and with us. And so in this invisible war where Satan is real, he's not a cartoon character. He's not some Darth Vader evil looking person. He's a powerful persuasive being.
And he's real. And because he's real, you need to line up and take on his attacks. Fighting on your knees, fighting with the word of God. And I thought I would close this message by giving you some ways that I think we are in our generation to fight this good fight of faith.
Because the enemy who is soon to be crushed in the end is attacking today in the world. So what should our role be? Number one, uphold the authority of the Bible. Uphold the authority of scripture because this is where Satan attacks, as God said. And the minute you stop believing the Bible or start believing the lies, he has you.
Because this is your greatest weapon against temptation. When Jesus was tempted, and he was tempted of the devil, he followed up, he counterattacked with the word of God. He said it is written, it is written, it is written to all three of the temptations that Satan unleashed against him in the wilderness. So I know under the leadership of your pastor and your pastoral team and this wonderful church that you will keep believing the Bible.
Believe it because it's true. All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness. This is the living, breathing word of God. And this book cannot die because the breath of God is in it. And against every attack from generation to generation, from generation to generation, the word of God stands.
The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God shall stand forever. So uphold the authority and the inerrancy and the infallibility and the sufficiency of scripture. That means that this book speaks to every issue, whether it be the sanctity of life or the sacredness of biblical marriage, how government should operate, how we should treat the poor, how we should minister, and so on.
It's all in here. So uphold biblical authority. Secondly, in our generation in particular, but I think really in every generation, we must stand for biblical sexuality and the sanctity of life. What does the Bible say about a man and a woman? What does the Bible say about marriage? What does the Bible say about the sanctity of life? And as Christians, we should always stand for truth and not to live the lies. Stand for biblical sexuality and sanctity of life. Thirdly, be courageous. Be fearless in the face of the enemy because remember that dog back in Arkansas.
He can't get to you. You're covered, you're secure in Christ. Oh, we may die and many have at the hands of the enemies of Christ, but guess what?
To live is Christ and to die is gain. You can't defeat a person like that, right? You can't defeat a man, a woman, who says to live is Christ, to die is gain. So be fearless.
What's alarmed me over the last several years is just so much fear in the world and in our country. Of all people, we as Christians should be fearless and faithful no matter what. Next, love and live the truth.
Love and live the truth. Satan and his cohorts hate truth. They are allergic to truth.
That's why they've proponed so many lies. And so we are to love the truth and then live the truth. And that's not on us alone because we have the Holy Spirit. We have the Spirit of God who lives in us to enable us, empowers us to live the Word of God. People around us right now, they certainly are looking as always for the truth of God alive in us.
Don't live by lies, live by truth. And then lastly, proclaim, share the good news, the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This is why we're here, this is why we exist, to go into all the world and preach the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Would you bow your heads with me in prayer, with your head bowed please and every eye closed. You walked into this room, maybe on the arm of a friend, someone brought you to church today. Maybe you came here today under conviction about your own life and where your life has been going and you realize you've been going in the wrong direction.
But you sense something brand new here. You sense that there can be a new beginning and there can be a new beginning for you. As was mentioned earlier, if you have had an abortion or participated in an abortion, there's no sin greater than the grace of God. Right on the heels of the God of peace will crusade that says may the grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, which is God's love, unrelenting, reckless love available for you. If you will look to Christ and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, you can be saved. Saved from what? Saved from your sin. Saved so that Christ could live in you and give you a brand new life. It's called, Jesus said, being born again.
What could happen to you today is like, it is so revolutionary, it is so radical, it's like a brand new life, it's a new birth. And Christ comes to live in you and you can know that one day when Christ comes again, or he comes for you personally in death, that you will be with him forever. So I'm gonna invite you to pray right now.
If you don't know Christ, many of you are watching online. Wherever you are, watching on a screen, let me encourage you to pray a prayer like this. It's not the words that you say necessarily, but it is the expression of your heart and your desire just to say, Jesus, I ask you to come into my life. I believe you died for me and rose again. And right now, I trust you as my Lord and my Savior. I ask you to come into my life, to change my heart. I want to be saved. I want to be forgiven. I want you to change my life. And Lord, I want to go to heaven.
One day to be with you forever. And so invite Christ to come into your life right now. And receive him as your personal Lord and Savior. You have to do more than die to go to heaven.
Because the same Bible that tells us there's a heaven tells us there's a hell, and there is a judgment. So turn from your sin. Turn away from the judgment and the hell that is to come. And to receive Christ as your Savior and Lord today.
That's a promise from God that you are his forever. Lord, how we thank you for your word, which is life to us. We believe and we receive your truth. We thank you for your church, oh God, for the people of faith. How encouraged we are to come together like this and to worship and to pray and to give and to serve and to hear your word and now to go and to live your word in the world. Lord, make us your witnesses. Fill us with your spirit. Unite our hearts in faith. And may we go to the ends of the earth for the glory of your name, for the fame of your name. We pray it in Jesus' name, amen and amen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-28 04:11:00 / 2023-03-28 04:25:55 / 15