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Things to Do Before the End of the World | Staying Ready for Jesus' Return

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
July 22, 2022 3:00 am

Things to Do Before the End of the World | Staying Ready for Jesus' Return

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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July 22, 2022 3:00 am

People sometimes ask, can Christians do this or that? It’s often a sneaky way of asking, “How much can I get away with and still be a Christian?” Pastor Greg Laurie would say that’s the wrong question to ask. Today on A NEW BEGINNING, he points out that we should be asking: how much can I do for God, given all He's done for me? How can I make myself most useful as I wait for that great day when Jesus returns to take us home? That's our focus in our final study in Daniel.

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

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Everybody you're listening to a new beginning, which is a podcast made possible by harvest partners. If this program is impacted you love to hear from you. So just send an email to Mia greg@harvest.org again it's greg@harvest.org you can learn more about becoming harvest partner by going to harvest.org.

The Scripture is clear and certain things were not to do today. Pastor Greg Laurie helps us clear up any gray area.

When you go somewhere and ask yourself what was in this place. Anomaly go this thing about the new would I be ashamed or embarrassed to be doing this thing. If Christ were to come back again that if the answer to that is yes then change your plan to live in such a way that you are in this state of readiness for his imminent return sometimes that through that is often a sneaky way of asking how much can I get away with still be a Christian pastor Greg Laurie would say that's the wrong question to have today on a new beginning point that we should be asking how much can I do for God and all he's done for me. How can I make myself most useful as I wait for that great date when Jesus returns to take us home. That's our focus in our final were going to be looking at Daniel chapter also wanted to make your way over there right now were also good to be looking at Luke chapter 12 so Daniel 12 Luke 12.

The title of my messages, things to do before the end of the world.

Daniel 12 verse one. At that time Michael the Archangel, who stands guard over your nation will rise though be a time of being was greater than any since nation's first game into existence. But at that time.

Every one of your people, whose name is written in the book will be rescue Daniel is referring here to the tribulation. That we talked about at length the last seven years begins with the emergence of antichrist and ends with the return of Jesus Christ continues on many of those as bodies lie dead and buried, will rise up some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting disgrace.

Those who are wise will shine as bright as the sky and those who lead many to righteousness will shine as the stars forever.

There the Bible teaches that there is coming a day when Christians will be judged describing this judgment.

First Corinthians 3 says that judgment day fire will reveal what kind of work. Each builder has done the fire will show if a person's work is any value of the work survives that builder will receive a reward of the work is burned up. The builder will suffer great loss builder will be say, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames so we want to be rewarded in that day because of our faithful service to the Lord. All right, let's shift now from Daniel 12 over two Luke 12 Luke 12 this is a story that Jesus told about how we are to live as we await his return.

It's called a parable, a parable is simply an earthly story with a heavenly meaning and illustration I reading from the new living translation.

Luke 12 Jesus has been transferred.

Service and keep your lamps burning, so you are waiting for your master to return from the wedding feast. Then you will be ready to open the door and not even the moment he arrives and knocks the servants who are ready and waiting for his return will be rewarded. I tell you the truth, he himself will see them put on an apron and serve them as they said any verse 38. He may come in the middle of the night or just before dawn, but whenever he comes overboard. The servants were ready understand this of a homeowner knew exactly what a burglar was coming, he would not permit his house to be broken into. You must be ready all the time. For the Son of Man will come when least expected computer us an interesting question for this illustration just for us present for everyone. The Lord replied of faithful sensible servant is one whom the master can give the responsibility of managing his other household servants and feeding them, and if the master returns and finds that servant is done a good job there will be a reward. Okay, so here's a point number one if you're taking notes. We should be shining lights in a dark place. Jesus said, let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and give glory to your father was in heaven. We need to live the gospel and we need to demonstrate in show the gospel to people being a good and godly neighbor of summons in a hospital you go visit them. Someone needs prayer. You pray for them that someone is hit hard times you take a meal to them doing those things that we do in the name of the Lord is our culture gets darker, we as Christians need to shine brighter. So back to our story.

Jesus is saying, have your bags packed and be ready to go.

Even if your master doesn't return as quickly as you would hope. Look at verse 38. He may come in the middle of the night or just before dawn, but whenever he comes, he will reward the servants who are ready, so Jesus is saying even if I come later than you originally expected the red nonmember. One of the stories of Jesus sending his disciples across the sea of Galilee. And he went on to a mountaintop.

No doubt the pray for them. He said go to the other side, which meant the going to get to the other side doesn't mean it would be smooth sailing, but it meant they would get to the other side saws are making their way across the great storm arises and it's so bad there really starting to panic a little bit there wondering if they're going to survive in their praying that their calling out to God in their living in complete fair and we read that Jesus came to them on the fourth watch of the night. What is that mean well in those days a day was divided into four watches in the fourth watch of the night was that time just before dawn, which meant that the disciples had been battling that storm for nine long hours and I wonder if you're going through a storm right now a storm that just won't seem to let up just about the time it seems to be getting better. It actually gets a little bit worse and you're wondering, does God know what I'm going through right now is he paying attention. Did he hear what the doctor just said to me, does he know about my marital problems.

Is he aware of these challenges I'm facing with my kids right now does God know this hardship that I'm dealing with this.

You are yes he's aware because even when when they were out at sea. Even though he was in the boat yard he was watching and he was praying and you need to know that God is watching over you. Proverbs 15 three says the eyes of the Lord are in every place. Watching the evil and the good Jesse King, seemingly at the last minute, but sometimes he does that. So we will completely exhaust our resources, we come to the very end. It's been said, you get to the end of yourself. You get to the beginning of God. Are you at the end of yourself right now you just pulled all your hair out. I have yet I don't know where to turn. My CO King Jehoshaphat. Clearly he had a weight problem for service like that that I don't know what your problem is Jehoshaphat like that either. We probably needed even left that they thought it was funny and you know what is what you, the more sophisticated people would still skip that I didn't even think was funny the first time it I was surprised when they left Frank anyway.

Jehoshaphat was the king of the laughing was his real name was is really that's kind of cool for you to laugh at it, though, is not here, but there might be a Jehoshaphat here.

I'm not can ask of the probably will be will be a very awkward moment. But anyway, here's Jehoshaphat. He has his enemy approaching him a massive army is no way to protect himself.

He standing there with the wives and the kids and all the people are pretty helpless. They said, Lord, we don't know what to do about this great army. But here we are in our eyes are upon you and the Lord came through for them is that how you feel right now.

The Lord will come through for you. Sometimes in the fourth watch.

You just need to be ready. You may come in the third watch the fourth watch.

But know this, he's coming hello Peter verse 41 is this illustration just for us, or is it for everyone. Well answer. It's for everyone because 2000 years later were talking about it and as I said, we've never been closer to the Lord's return than we are now number one more to be bright and shiny lights number two we are to be watching for him where to be watching for him. Verse 37 Blessed are those servants whom the master when it comes, will find watching you to be watching what is that me standing around on a street corner, staring at the sun come quickly, Lord know you're probably be arrested.

That's what it means to be watching means to be alert to be aware to pay attention. You see things happening that are fulfillment of Bible prophecies.

The Bible says when you see these things begin to happen. Look up for your redemption is drawing near.

Scripture tells us that Christ will return a second time for those who are looking for him or Greg Laurie will have the second half of this message 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 getting it was small group with folks from all around this planet of ours, studying the word of God. So join us this weekend Saturday and Sunday for Harvest at Home@harvest.org today. Pastor Greg is offering specific biblical instructions on how we can be ready for the return of Christ in a message called things to do before the end of the world number three where to be ready to go ready to go when I leave on the trip, I packed my bags and night before because I usually take morning flights and by the way always overpack. I'm the worst iPad more than my wife packs.

It's embarrassing big suitcase Greg smaller suitcase. Kathy and she always was a whining schlep all that stuff everywhere.

I see you never know what you'll need. And sure enough, she forgot something and I have it in my bed. My bag is like Felix's magic bag attracts women that oh I forgot my power source or my computer will look here. I have an extra however got the charger for my phone will look at this. I have one extra one for you so you know and I will work out and about like I keep things in the trunk of my car like extra jacket.

Kathy is the one you carry all that stuff you never know when you'll need it were in a restaurant cheese gold overlooked.

I have a jacket in the back of my car. I'm just rationalizing the fact that I'm a hoarder. Okay, but you have your bags packed and you're ready to go in some of the idea that Jesus is communicating is yet ready to go have gas in your car have your phone charge. In other words, we ready for the Lord return live that way. Ready for the Lord return. So when you go somewhere, ask yourself the question this place and I'm in a go. These people, to hang out with this thing. I'm about to do would I be ashamed or embarrassed to be doing this thing. If Christ were to come back again it if the answer to that is yes then change your plan and live in such a way that you are in a state of readiness for his imminent return, because if you really believe Jesus is coming back. It should affect you in the way that you live. Number four. We should not only be ready. We should be anxiously awaiting his return to verse 36 be like men who wait for their master, when he will return from the wedding in Knoxville. Opening him immediately.

Imagine if Jesus were coming over to your house for lunch today and so he says a mom away and any text you 10 minutes out five minutes out getting close: in your driving right beside it.

You receiving come of the walkway very, very open the door. That's how you would welcome Jesus. I'm sure we had a friend coming over the other day. He had to pick up Kathy one of her girlfriends are going to some planning meeting she likes their planning meetings to plan meetings to plan other meetings and so anyway it's one of the many meetings and so she came it's eyes are coming up the driveway so I grabbed the drama to open the door where she knocks on it so she's right did like the bullet out she jumped, I was given a heart attack and I felt very bad. She wasn't ready for that but that's the idea Jesus is coming open the door, you know, I think it all comes down to how your relationship is with God member when you're a little kid, you would get into trouble and your mother would use those ominous words just wait until your father gets home. And here comes dad pulls up in the drug right. But if you would then nothing wrong.

Oh daddy some excellent see if you're walking with God you don't spread the return of Jesus affect your reaction to this idea that Christ could come back at any moment is a real indicator of where your at spiritual.

I think when you're right with the Lord you will see along with the apostle John. Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus. If you're not right with the Lord.

He probably wouldn't say that. Point number five were to be not only waiting anxiously.

We are to be working working verse 43 Blessed is that servant, whom his master will find so doing when he cops so doing, the Bible says faith without works is dead.

If watching is the evidence of faith working is the evidence of faith in action watching for the Lord's return will help us prepare our own lives, but working will ensure we bring others with us and notice that Jesus says blessed as a person that is living this way, the word blessed to be translated happy. It's a happy thing to live a life always ready for the return of Jesus. Let me take it a step further, this might sound odd, but hear me out.

It's a happy thing to be ready to die.

What yeah because only those who are prepared to die are really ready to live like nobody wants to die will want to get to heaven. What he wants to know go there through death. We would all prefer going there through the rapture and I cannot but if it doesn't, the ideas that I got that taken care of. I made that commitment to Christ and I'm ready to go so I wake up in the boys a well if this is my last day that I would live it for your glory. And if you give me a thousand more days or 10,000 more days. Lord, that's up to you commonly enjoy each day walking with you.

But it's sort of an attitude of I got the big things taken care of so now I can live my life the way it was meant to be lived.

Let's summarize and conclude number one we should be shining lights in the dark place.

Number two were to be watching for him number three were to be ready to go. Number four, not only to be ready but anxiously awaiting his return. And finally we are to be working well.

Final warning from Jesus for the person who's not ready.

Luke 12 verse 25 but if that servant says in this art.

My Masters Elaine is coming and begins to beat the male and female servants and weed and drink and be drunk. The master of the servant will come a day when he is not looking for him. I think this is a description of a person who thinks they're a Christian is not a Christian because he's called a servant, which would imply he looks like one of us, but in reality he isn't because he's not ready. He's living a bad life is getting drunk that we have to actually tell you don't get drunk scums is revelation assembly was or why you don't get technically don't get drunk. Don't be drunk with wine. The Bible says, but be filled with the Holy Spirit, but no such is going to be drives what he can be other things other things can dull our senses know Jesus warned about the cares and riches of this life and it's not so much that it's not a bad thing to be concerned about what you're getting either what you can aware over you going to live or where you work. Those are important things but don't be obsessed with those things be focused on Christ primarily in those things will find the proper balance in so the idea that being communicated is be ready and looking then Adobe living in an ungodly line beating the people that work for you. Don't be doing wicked, sinful things because you're not ready for the Lord's return and I are still enclosing. Are you ready going back to Daniel 12 for a moment.

It says that there's going to be the resurrection. Those who believe will be raised to everlasting life. Those who do not believe will be raised to shame and everlasting disgrace. The believer has everlasting life.

Jesus said for God so loved the world he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have what everlasting life. That's ours but a nonbeliever they're going to face everlasting shame and everlasting disgrace look the way to be sure that you're ready to meet God is by believing in Jesus Christ is go back to that analogy of Jesus coming over to your house today for lunch. Jesus says behold I stand at the door and I not in the future my voice and open the door, I will come in so if you want Jesus to come into your house for lunch. You open the door to welcome him you give them a see you put the meal in front of him or you leave the door shut so Jesus is standing at the door of your life right now and he is knocking, and you have a choice to either stay Lord come in, or Lord, I don't want you those are your only choices without I don't do either. I'm just kind of like neutral so I'm just talking answer the door, look of I come over to your house for lunch and I'm out there half hour still knocking him by the way, I can see you through the window and you're enjoying a nice meal factor on dessert now and I'm still knocking knew I would open the door. I think maybe after an hour I'll get there again maybe they don't want me to come in right understand that the rejection wide. I'm just not sure that would open the yeah but it's a rejection. Call it what it is we, there's a yes or no. You either open the door or you leave it shot you open the door to Jesus yet. If you open the door to him now to welcome you into heaven, that if you leave the door shut to him now. He will turn you away that sadly but he will.

It's all up to you if you're not sure of Jesus Christ is living inside of you. If you don't have the confidence that your sin is forgiven and that you will go to heaven when you die, respond to this invitation. I'm in a give now let's all bow our heads father now think you for your love for us in sending Jesus or Jesus, thank you for dying on the cross for our sin and rising again from the dead. Now I pray for anybody here who does not yet know you help them to see their need for you help them to come to believe we ask in Jesus name to Greg Laurie important prayer if you'd like to make a change in your relationship with the Lord today. Pastor Greg will come back in just a moment to help you do that before today's addition of a new beginning wraps up entire contemporary music for very near something is wrong and you had to call everything else says so much and across the world of home, he that's a little snippet from a special resource that we want to send you for this month for your gift of any size is called the Jesus music may have seen in the theaters.

You may have seen it on a streaming platform so this documentary film the Jesus music tells a story of how this contemporary Christian music that is so much a part of our lives today started how it started out of his spiritual awakening. How young people have their lives change and wanted to speak to their culture and it still alive and well today. There's contemporary Christian music stations all around the world and concerts that are being done all the time. It's fantastic, but it had a very credible beginning.

We want to tell you that story you're going to be moved by this, you're gonna laugh. You might even get a tear in your eye but you're gonna love to hear the history of this music that is so much a part of the landscape today so it's called the Jesus music organist send it to you on DVD and Blu-ray and also send you a downloadable code so you could put it on your tablet or your phone or watch it on your computer, it's yours to keep, and enjoy. So whatever you can send will be greatly appreciated. Because will put that the work helping us continued to preach the gospel and teach the word of God so order your copy of the Jesus music might even do it right now. Yeah, great idea. It's here waiting for you at a new beginning, and thanks so much for your generous donation that helps us continue to teach believers and reach unbelievers every day we hear from people whose lives have changed because of the teaching of God's word and when you invest, you play a part in that. So thanks for sending a donation today and be sure to ask for the Jesus music. It'll come to you on DVD, Blu-ray, and in downloadable form so call us anytime night or day at 1-800-821-3300. That's 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest.org and then if you'd like to make a change in your relationship with God today. Pastor Greg has some additional thoughts to share. Maybe she'd been listening to this message, you thought I wish I could come into this relationship with God. I just don't know how. Let me tell you how you can come into a relationship with God right here right now. First of all you need to recognize, you need God. You need to admit you're a sinner. I know some people choke on that word. But the Bible says all of sin and fallen short of the glory of God. But then you need to recognize that Jesus Christ, the son of God died on the cross for your sin. The Bible says while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us and then you need to believe in Jesus. Jesus put it this way for God so loved the world he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have ever lasting life. You might ask, how does one believe in Jesus to believe means to put your faith and trust in Christ and Christ alone and to receive them into your life as your own friend Savior and Lord. The Bible says, for as many as received him, he give them the power to become sons of God. Would you like to receive Christ and by that I mean would you like to us Jesus to enter into your life and be your Savior. Your friend, your Lord, if so, you can just pray this prayer after me it's a simple prayer you can print out loud if you would like.

Or you could pray that the quietness of your heart. But if you want Jesus Christ to forgive you of your sin if you want to go to heaven when you die. Or maybe you want to make a recommitment to the Lord just pray this prayer after me now pray these words. If you would, Lord Jesus, I know that I'm a sinner but I know that you're the Savior who died on the cross for my sin. I sure now from my sin and I ask you to come into my life and forgive me of all of my sin.

Thank you for loving me. Thank you for hearing this prayer and thank you for answering this prayer in Jesus name I pray, amen.

If you just pray that prayer I want to congratulate you and say welcome to the family of God is right and we have some follow-up materials ready for you to help you as you begin this new relationship with the Lord we call it our new believers] will answer many of the questions you might have. So if you prayed along with Pastor Greg today. Let us send this follow-up material your way free of charge. You can call us at 1-800-821-3300. We are here around the clock that's 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest.org and click the words know God when next I Pastor Greg brings us a fascinating message called what I would tell my younger self personal practical wisdom in your way.

Join us here on the new beginning pastor and Bible teacher Greg Laurie and will buy harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God learn how to do, harvest partner, sign up for daily devotions and find resources to help you grow in your faith harvest.org


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