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Three of the Hardest Words to Say | Resensitizing Your Conscience

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
July 11, 2022 3:00 am

Three of the Hardest Words to Say | Resensitizing Your Conscience

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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July 11, 2022 3:00 am

How many people would you say are believers in this country? Wild guess. Let’s be extra generous and say half. . . 50%. If that’s true, then the other 50% are in danger of facing judgment. They’re in danger of dying in their sins! Now, God forbid, if the CDC announced ANOTHER virus was coming that could kill half the population, that would be all we’d talk about! But this ETERNAL danger is rarely discussed. Today on A NEW BEGINNING, it’s Pastor Greg Laurie’s focus.

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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're listening to A New Beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners, helping people everywhere know God.

Visit our website and learn more about Harvest Partners at harvest.org. I say I believe there's a heaven and a hell. If that is the case, why would I not want to leave my comfort zone and enter into someone else's world and engage them with the gospel? How many people would you say are believers in this country? Well, let's be extra generous and say half, 50%. If that's true, then the other 50% are in danger of facing judgment. They're in danger of dying and their sins. Now, God forbid if the CDC announced another virus was coming that could kill half the population, well, that would be all we'd talk about.

But this eternal danger is rarely discussed. Today on A New Beginning is Pastor Greg Laurie's focus. All right. Let's grab our Bibles and turn to Daniel chapter 9. Daniel chapter 9.

And the title of my message is three of the hardest words to say. I heard about a man named John who was in the hospital. He was very sick. In fact, he had an oxygen mask on.

He really couldn't even talk. So the pastor was called out and John was a believer. And so the pastor went to encourage John. And as the pastor was with him, John's breathing grew more labored. The pastor was concerned. And so the pastor dropped to one knee and began to fervently pray that God would help John.

And suddenly John was gesturing wildly, wildly. He needed a piece of paper and a pen, waving, gesturing for paper and a pen. The pastor grabbed a piece of paper, gave him a pen, and John wrote something down and then died sadly. And the pastor took the note of John's last words with him. Put it in his coat pocket and a few days later they were doing John's memorial service. And the pastor remembered he still had that note.

And he never took the time to open it and read what John's last words were. So he went out to the people gathered for John's service and said, I know that we all love John and he always had an inspiring word to say. And I happen to have his last words here that he wrote to me. And then here are the last words of John. Pastor, you're standing on my oxygen tube. But you know one day we will give our last words, our last statement. It could be in a hospital bed.

It could be at a meal or some other place. And we don't know they are our last words. It might be when we are having a conversation with someone and suddenly Jesus calls us home to heaven and the rapture of the church.

We talked about that last time. So we don't know when it is going to happen. But just for the sake of a point let's pretend we did. Now I know no one knows the day of the hour when Christ will come back. But for the sake of a point let's pretend we did know the day of the hour. Let's pretend that it was revealed to us somehow that Jesus was going to return on December 25th of this year. Christ is going to return on Christmas Day.

So wow. You could count it down. In fact when you started seeing Christmas decorations in the stores.

What is it in August now usually? And it is like oh it is getting closer. Christmas is close but the coming of the Lord is close as well.

Now let me ask you a question. Would you live any differently than you are living right now if you knew He was coming back that soon? If you were living sinfully would you continue to live sinfully? If you were complacent as a Christian would you kick it into gear? Some would say yeah probably late November I think. No really. Hey if you weren't a Christian would you become a Christian?

Well I think it would impact you in the way that you live. Now we don't know when Jesus is coming back. He could come back on December 25th. He could come back on August 25th.

We don't know when He is going to come but we need to always be ready and live in anticipation of that. It was Martin Luther who said and I quote, There are two days on my calendar. This day and that day. This day and that day. The day before me and that day. The day of the Lord.

And one day He will come back. Well we are now in Daniel 9 and this is a story where the prophet is reading the Scripture. And a certain passage just jumps off the page for him. Have you ever had that happen to you where you are reading the Bible and all of a sudden a verse or a series of verses just come alive and speak directly to the situation that you are facing in that given moment? Or maybe it is in a message.

If something is said it is almost as though it were scripted for you. That is what happened to Daniel. Now Daniel didn't have a Bible like we have that was still being put together at this point.

But he had a scroll of the prophet Jeremiah. So as he is reading through Jeremiah it suddenly occurs to the prophet Daniel that this prophecy that Jeremiah gave is happening in real time. The prophecy Jeremiah gave is happening in Daniel's lifetime. He is going to literally see the fulfillment of a prediction that Jeremiah made and it impacted Daniel. And he experienced a personal revival. So if you want a personal revival listen very carefully to what happened.

Let's read it together. Daniel 9 starting at verse 2. I Daniel learned from reading the word of the Lord as revealed to Jeremiah the prophet that Jerusalem must lie desolate for 70 years. So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with Him with prayer and fasting. I also wore rough burlap and sprinkled myself with ashes.

We will stop there. So what is the background of this? Israel is living in Babylon. Their captives there because they kept turning to false idols and false gods. They were warned by prophets like Jeremiah and others to turn from this rampant idolatry or a time of judgment would come upon them.

But they ignored it and blew it off and finally that judgment came and Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians came and conquered Israel and took them back to Babylon. So they had been now in Babylon for 69 years. And Daniel realizes wait. God said 70 years. He counts.

He counts it back. And he says we have been here 69 years. That means we are getting out of here in one year. This prophecy is going to be fulfilled in my lifetime. Now I am sure that as he read through Jeremiah he read this very familiar passage. Jeremiah 29 where the Lord says, So the context of that statement is God is speaking to the Jewish people living in Babylon as captives. God is saying you are going to go back home to Jerusalem again. And by the way I know the thoughts that I think towards you. Thoughts of peace. Not of evil.

To give you a future and a hope. Some would say well that only applies to Israel. It doesn't have any application to us. I beg to differ.

In principle it does apply to us because maybe you are in a Babylon of sorts right now. Life is not going the way you hoped it would go. Your situation has actually gone from bad to worse.

You don't know if it is ever going to improve. So I have good news for you. Better days are ahead for you. I am certain of this. Now some of you are saying well how do you know? It might get worse.

Yeah it might. I will acknowledge that. But ultimately better days are ahead. Why do I say that? Because Romans 8.28 is still in the Bible.

Right? And you know what that says. We know that all things work together for good to those that love God.

Another called according to His purpose. What I am saying to you is ultimately God is going to work out whatever you are going through for your good and His glory. Let me say that again. Ultimately.

I didn't say immediately. Ultimately God is going to work out whatever you are going through for your good and for His glory. And the better days ahead I am certain of are the days of heaven. And the days that will be in the presence of the Lord.

So it is going to get better. So Daniel understandably was deeply moved by this discovery. And in the same way our hearts should also be moved when we read certain things. Let me take a quick poll. How many of you believe the afterlife is real? Raise your hand if you believe the afterlife is real. How many of you believe there really is a heaven and a hell? Raise up your hand.

How many of you believe that Jesus could come back in your lifetime? Raise up your hand. All right. One more thing. How many of you shared the gospel with someone this week?

Raise up your hand. Okay. Some of you. Quite a few of you.

God bless you. But not all of us. And the reason I bring this up is because there is cause and effect you see. If I say I believe something it should impact me in the way that I live. And if it does not impact me in the way that I live do I really believe it? I mean I say I believe in the afterlife. I say I believe there is a heaven and a hell. If that is the case why would I not want to leave my comfort zone and enter into someone else's world and engage them with the gospel?

So we should take tangible steps if we believe these things to be true. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. I don't know if you know about this but we have a weekend service called Harvest at Home.

Exclusively for people that are tuning in literally from around the world. Listen to this. We even have Harvest groups where you can get into a small group with folks from all around this planet of ours and study the Word of God.

So join us this weekend Saturday and Sunday for Harvest at Home at Harvest.org. Well we're in the book of Daniel today for Pastor Greg's message called Three of the Hardest Words to Say. Let's continue. Now here's Daniel. He understands that the reason they're in Babylon is because of their sin. He admits that they brought this on themselves. So here's now what Daniel does that brought personal revival in his life.

And if you're taking notes here's point number one. We have to admit we're part of the problem. Again we have to admit we're part of the problem. Look at Daniel 9 verse 7. Lord, says Daniel, you're on the right but as you see our faces are covered with shame.

This is true of all of us. Including the people of Judah and Jerusalem and all Israel scattered near and far. For you have driven us because of our disloyalty to you. Oh Lord, we and our kings, princes, and ancestors are covered with shame because we've sinned against you. But the Lord our God is merciful and forgiving even though we have rebelled against him.

We'll stop there. So he owns it. Notice in verse 7 he says we're covered with shame. You know what? This seems to be something that's really lacking in American culture today. Shame.

You know we celebrate the things we used to be ashamed of. Everything is upside down. Right is wrong. Wrong is right. The Bible says woe to those who say evil is good and good is evil. And dark is light. And light is dark. And bitter is sweet.

And sweet is bitter. It seems like no one wants to be held accountable for their actions anymore. Because now we're a nation of victims. It's never our fault. It's always somebody else's fault.

And we have no shame over things that we do when they're wrong. I read an interesting article from Teen Vogue. By the way I don't subscribe to Teen Vogue. I want you to know. And I hope you don't either.

And I hope your children don't. And they'll understand why I say that when you hear what they had in this article. It was an op-ed. And it's an article about some activists who want to use art.

Quote. To raise awareness about the erosion of reproductive rights. But their emphasis is on humor.

And their message is yes. Abortion can be funny. Really. Is that where we're at now? Abortion can be funny?

Taking the life of an innocent unborn children is to some people funny. Yeah. That's the culture we're living in right now. It just seems like we keep moving the goal posts. And it gets worse and worse. And when you think it can't get any worse.

It gets a little worse. And I think we get jaded by the barrage of social media we're exposed to every single day. As one writer said.

Quote. From violence glorifying graphics on the big screen. To incessant headlines of perversion on our news feed. To the latest appalling video on our cell phone.

We have become accustomed to the extreme. To the twisted. To carnage. And to gore. End quote.

Very true. The Bible warns that we can lose our sensitivity in Ephesians 4-13. The Bible warns that you can have your conscience seared as with a hot iron.

But the good news is. Is Christ can resensitize your conscience. I was with Billy Graham years ago in Portland Oregon. Of all places. Ever see that TV show Portlandia.

You know. They're very liberal in Portland. Not a church going city shall we say. And Billy had one of his best crusades I've ever seen. In that city and thousands were in attendance and thousands coming to Christ.

It was incredible. So on the last night we're driving out. I was in the car with him. And as we're pulling out he was in the back seat. And I was in the front seat and I wanted to compliment him. So I turned around over the seat and I said Billy. That was a great message tonight.

I loved your point when you said Christ can resensitize your conscience. Billy looked at me and said. Well he can. I know. I was just trying to compliment him. But I found out Billy didn't really like to be complimented all that much. Which is kind of a good thing isn't it.

But you know I think the point was really true. Christ can resensitize a conscience. If you get jaded.

If you get hardened. You need your conscience resensitized. You say how can that happen. Very simple. Just start by spending as much time in God's word as you spend on social media. Just start there. I'm not going to get into binge watching stuff on Netflix and all the other things we do. All the television.

Not going to get into any of that. I'm going to just start with social media. If you spend as much time taking in God's word as you spend on social media.

It would probably bring a spiritual revival to you. Because some people live on their cell phones. Right.

They look at them constantly. I need a cell phone for a prop. Who has a cell phone? I'll give it back to you. Oh wait. You're getting the text. Still listening to that stupid preacher.

Who is this? No. No. So we have the cell phone. And we carry it with us everywhere.

It's almost like it's attached to our hand. Right. Just cell phone. Have the cell phone.

Every time it buzzes it's like. Oh. I got a text.

Someone just updated their Instagram. There is something new in the news. So we carry it with us. And so we are standing in line. And we look at it.

Never forget talking to someone. Just stare at it. And then we cross intersections now. Have you noticed this? People will go across intersections. Now granted they have the green light. But there are cars everywhere. People sometimes run red lights. Right. And they are just walking across the thing like this. Just looking.

Are you insane? You see somebody swerve out of their lane. They are either drunk. Or they are on a cell phone. So we are really attached to these cell phones of ours. And then.

Oh man. When you forget your cell phone. Has that ever happened to you? You are like three blocks from your house. And you realize.

I left my cell phone at home. Ah. Ah.

Ah. You are going through withdrawals. You are shaking. You are shaking. You turn the car around.

You grab. Ah. Ah. Ah. Ah.

Ah. You see getting the Word of God in your life. I mean yes reading it. But listening to it. You can get the Bible on audio. And then listening to worship music. And listening to good Bible teaching. Just getting God's truth in your life. If you would just start by getting as much of this in your life. As you spend on getting that into your life. I am telling you.

It would turn you around. So number one. He. He accepted responsibility for what he did.

Number two. God is right. And if we don't agree with it we are wrong. How is that for a blunt point?

No delicacy there. God is right. And if we don't agree with him we are wrong.

I was doing a Q&A one time and someone asked me the question. What do you do when you come to a Bible verse you don't agree with? I said change your opinion.

You are wrong. Now sometimes we don't understand Bible verses. And it helps that someone can explain what it means contextually or from original languages or whatever. But the point is let God be true and every man a liar. The Scripture says this is a standard we measure all other truth by.

It doesn't matter if you agree with it or not. Ok so that brings me down to the three hardest words to say. What do you think they are? The three hardest words to say.

Ready? Write them down. No more dessert. No that's not them.

That's not them. The three hardest words to say. I have sinned.

Oh those are hard. I can say you have sinned. Sometimes I can even say we in a broad sense in our own way but not as much as you have sinned. But for me to say I have sinned those are hard words to say. But Daniel said them. Verse five. But we have sinned and done wrong.

We have rebelled against you and scorned your commands and regulations. Now you know this is interesting because Daniel did not excuse himself or point a finger at others. Yet as you study the life of Daniel can you really find an instance where Daniel sinned? Now I know he did because he is part of the same race we are part of.

But yet there is no illustration of it. Now David's life. Oh yeah. Simon Peter's life. Yep. Samson.

Oh yeah. Lots of sins. Daniel's life.

I can't really find one. I mean Daniel he was so godly. You know not eating at the king's table because he saw it as a compromise. Probably because the food was offered to idols. Daniel speaking truth to power to King Belshazzar to King Nebuchadnezzar to King Darius.

He was not intimidated by anyone. Daniel who still got down on his knees and prayed when the law was passed that no one could pray to any god for the next 30 days. Yeah but he said we have sinned. So he knew he was culpable.

He knew that he was responsible as well. So we will say well yes you know but I don't really know that I have sinned. Well look when we say sin there are a lot of things that meet that standard. Don't forget sin not only means to cross a line.

It also means to miss a mark. So I might say well I am not sinning like them and immorality or stealing or lying. How about harboring unforgiveness? You know I will pride myself on the fact that I am so spiritual. I love God so much. I love God more than anyone around me.

And that person over there I hate their guts. Oh really that is sin my friend. And here is what Jesus said about things like that. He said to each of us if we do not forgive men their sins your father will not forgive your sins. Jesus is not saying we must forgive in order to be forgiven. Really what he is saying is if you understand anything of the forgiveness of God you of all people. I of all people should be a forgiving person. Forgiven people should be forgiving people.

And if you are not a forgiving person you need to know more about forgiveness. That can be sin as well. As I have told you before there are sins of commission. Breaking laws and committing transgressions. But there are sins of omission not doing what God has called me to do.

So this is very important. Today on A New Beginning we are learning some important lessons from our studies in Daniel. Not only about Bible prophecy but also about the practical matters of the Christian life. Pastor Greg Laurie will have more of his message called Three of the Hardest Words to Say. In a new DVD called The Jesus Music you will see how Jesus music grew out of the Jesus movement.

Editor of CCM magazine John Still. In Southern California there was a church called Calvary Chapel that let disillusioned young people come in. And it seems silly now but back then to go to church in jeans or barefoot was kind of revolutionary.

That they would not only let you in but encourage you and not look funny at you. Hippies started accepting Jesus. And it gave birth to this whole new kind of music.

Michael W. Smith. This thing called Jesus music somehow found its way in my hometown. It changed my life. You know we take all those things for granted now. Seeing a preacher wearing blue jeans today is no big deal. Seeing a drum kit on a stage or amplifiers we're used to it. Heck we even have fog machines now and all kinds of lighting systems and all the screens and all the things that we use.

But it wasn't always this way folks. In 1970 the church was still overall very traditional. In many churches you'd find an organ on one side of the stage, a piano at the other. And the songs were hymns and occasionally maybe there would be a folk version on an acoustic guitar of a song. But Jesus music was different. It was born out of a revival in the hearts of young musicians who had been radically transformed by Christ.

And wanted to speak to their culture with their tools that they knew best. Which was music. So all these bands started forming and they created what is probably the first actual Jesus music record.

Which was the Everlasting Living Waters Jesus Music Festival. Is that what it was called David? It had a lot of words in it.

Most people know it as Maranatha One. It had a white cover, big red design of a dove. And that was kind of the beginning. There were other artists out there like Larry Norman that were breaking ground. And even Andre Crouch and the Disciples and others. But this one single album in many ways was the first of many waves that were to follow. Now today we call it contemporary Christian music. We have great stations across the country that play this music for us all day and night long. And I'm so thankful for it.

But it started out in revival. And we want to tell you this story. It's all found in this brand new documentary film produced by the Irwin Brothers. Who also directed I Can Only Imagine, I Still Believe, also Steve McQueen, The Salvation of an American Icon. And the new feature film that will come out next year called Jesus Revolution. But the Jesus music tells a powerful story that will move your heart.

And it will also educate you as well. So we want to send this to you for your gift of any size. It's going to be in DVD and Blu-ray and downloadable.

So you can watch it on your phone or your tablet or your computer. And you can show it to your friends and enjoy it for years to come. So let us send you a copy of the Jesus music for your gift of any size.

And thank you in advance for what you can send. Because we'll put it to good use to continue to teach the word of God and preach the gospel. That's what we do here at A New Beginning and at Harvest Ministries.

Yeah, that's right. And your investments are so much appreciated and so helpful right now. Would you let us send you this new film, The Jesus Music? We'll send it to say thank you for your investment. So just give us a call at 1-800-821-3300. You can reach us anytime at 1-800-821-3300.

Or go online to harvest.org. We'll hope you'll tune in again next time as Pastor Greg continues this message from Daniel 8 called, Three of the Hardest Words to Say. Join us here on A New Beginning with pastor and Bible teacher, Greg Laurie.

This is the day, the day when life begins. Hey everybody, thanks for listening to this podcast. To learn more about Harvest Ministries, follow this show and consider supporting it. Just go to harvest.org. And to find out how to know God personally, go to harvest.org and click on, Know God.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-26 04:45:36 / 2023-03-26 04:56:30 / 11

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