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The First Jesus Movement | A Christian's Role in the World

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
July 29, 2022 3:00 am

The First Jesus Movement | A Christian's Role in the World

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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July 29, 2022 3:00 am

Before COVID, few of us had ever been subjected to a quarantine. But that experience effectively isolated us in a bubble. In a spiritual sense, sometimes believers are constantly isolated from the world in a self-imposed quarantine. We don’t want to be OF the world so we try not to be IN the world. Today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie points out how that neglects one of our most important responsibilities. It’s the kick off of a new series in Acts called The Upside-Down Life.

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

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You are listening to a new beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast supported by harvest partners for more ways to deepen and challenge your spiritual walk and roll and pastor breaks free online courses sign up and harvest out a word, believers are to be salt and why influence our world.

Greg Laurie points out, we can influence our community. We are isolated from our we need to go out in the culture we Christians in the art when he Christians doctors, lawyers and business people living we need to be. That's what's needed in the world and. Isolated bobble sometimes believers are constantly isolated from the world as "you want to be on the world. We try not to be Greg Laurie points out one of the most important responsibilities kickoff of the new series upside down. We would all agree that our world is a mess right now there's global instability we see Bible prophecy being fulfilled before our very eyes, and then you have the breakdown of the family and the redefinition of the family and even the redefinition of the sexes reminds me of what Scripture says in Isaiah 521 it says what sorrow for those who say evil is good is evil.

For those who see the dark is like the light is dark and bittersweet and sweet is better. That is the way this right out things that are virtuous and wonderful are mocked and derided things that are evil and wicked are celebrated and promoted in our classrooms in our culture you can become very frustrated by all this. Now add to this a global pandemic and shake it up and you have a lot of trouble. What we did do at a time like this will clear with the Bible says it says when you see these things begin to get up and watch and pray were also told to look up because a redemption is drawing near. Here is the answer we need to find intervention in our nation we need to find intervention in our world. We need another spiritual awakening desperately that. So we should be praying for that. So we should be praying for right now we need another Jesus movement and that what we hear the phrase Jesus move in her mind raced back to the late 60s early 70s and we think of the hippies of the long hair and their bellbottoms and their beads and I never wore beads really like but you know all those things that we think of in the 60s but I want to go further back there was longhair and there were beards but no bellbottoms, but most importantly, Jesse started the first Jesus movement. Yes, Jesus himself started it and it was a very dark backdrop when it happened the first time mighty Rome ruled the world with an iron fist. Immorality was rampant in Roman cities like Corinth, thousands of prostitutes walk the street, idolatry, spiritism and demon worship. All was openly practice. Add to this the fact that the religious establishment was completely corrupt.

Sounds like a good time for a Jesus movement started, but Jesus himself.

He burst on the scene, fulfilling the prophecies of the Old Testament, giving the greatest teachings ever heard performing miracles and openly declaring himself as the Messiah's followers numbered in the thousands. His name was on everyone's lips and then, seemingly, it appears that the whole thing came off the rails. Jesus is betrayed by one of his own followers. He's brought before religious authorities with false trumped up charges ultimately placed into the hands of the Roman governor Pontius Pilate was Jesus flawed and then said to be crucified. But actually God was at work and everything that was happening because of people read the prophecies carefully, they would discover the Messiah would first suffer Messiah would die. Messiah would rise again from the dead, and these demoralize discouraged disciples that were beginning to scatter were now empowered by the spirit in the church was born.

That's really what the book of acts is all about. It's about the birth of the first century church and this church changed their world so Rome tried to suppress Rome tried to stop them and a wave of persecution's game against the church, starting with the wicked and twisted Caesar Nero and eventually ending with Diocletian Caesar Nero was so depraved he took Christians and covered them in pit and set them on fire to light his garden as he rode around in his chariot screaming with the line, the Roman Emperor Diocletian was so certain that he had effectively eradicated Christianity get a special going struck with these words. Quote the Christian religion is destroyed in the worship of the Roman gods is restart" famous last words were strong today mighty Rome was reduced to ruins. But the church marches on and always will because the gates of hell will not prevail against the gates of hell will not prevail against the church continues to march and when persecution comes, it actually strengthens the church dinner with the church is growing dramatically globally right now and I ran thousands of people are coming to Christ despite the efforts of the Islamic government to suppress them and stop them.

They're coming to Christ, you can't stop the work of the Holy Spirit.

It's true in another place where thousands of people are coming to Christ is in Afghanistan so God can work no matter the circumstances that are happening in the world so wrong, what we know of Rome. What we remember of Rome. We name our children after apostles and our dogs after Roman emperors right here, Caesar, Caesar, Caesar said what we know of Rome. Today Caesar salad, Little Caesars pizza detent beats that you know what, not much less with the church continues to grow and within 30 years the original hundred and 20 followers of Jesus in their cupboards change the world out of the answer through upside down, living they turn the world upside down. That's Robert calling this the upside down life event.

There's an interesting statement given to us in acts chapter 17 verse six. It was a criticism when the religious leaders said Paul and Silas have turned the rest of the world upside down and now they're entering our city. That criticism was in effect. The greatest complement of all these guys their journey in the world upside down another rendering our city.

This is what you call accomplice would accomplice salt is, it should someone complement you but really it's kind of an insult a few days ago I was at the orange county fair with my family and Levi left on his family, so there was that you know the thing we bring the hammer down and ring the bell right so we went to that and Levi says Greg you want to do it. I said sure so he went first.

Even ring the bell. Then it was my turn. I ring the bell, then leave.

I want to get he still did ring the bell. I went again. I ring the bell. Levi says you know what that is its old man's strength that's accomplice.

All he acknowledges my strength but it's old man strength right. It's like someone says you, you look great for your age. That's kind of accomplice overture bar you say to someone you're actually on sign. I'm amazed which means are usually late you are really good driver for a woman that don't say that that's accomplice. All are saying to somebody you look so great, why are you still single anyone is that all about, say that oh wow, you look really nice for a change. Another accomplice phone. Your hair looks great when you actually do something with it application they don't normally do something with it. So, by the way, I never hear that complement about their but here's the point. This was meant as an insult, but it was the ultimate compliment Greg Moore will have the second half of this message just a moment, you know, there's nothing like hearing the word of God and worshiping the Lord together.

I will encourage you to join us for something we call Harvest at Home every Saturday and Sunday harvest.or you joint Christians, literally from around the world as we worship and we study the word of God together. So join us for Harvest at Home and harvest. Pastor Greg present his opening message in the book of acts he's pointing out how those first century believers were impacting their culture that says her neck 17 six they're disturbing our city. We need to disturb more cities with the gospel. That's what's needed in the world today. We need a holy disturbance Bible commentary. G.

Campbell Morgan said and I quote organized Christianity which fails to make a disturbance is dead." That's true, you know the facts of the matter is forever Paul the apostle when something happened it was either conversion or a right it was action constantly, and think about this. These guys didn't have all the tools we have at our disposal. Thomas did not tweet. Paul did not have a Facebook page. Peter did not have an Instagram page or a YouTube channel but yet they were able to change their world and here's an amazing thing to think about for the first time in human history are generation literally has the ability to fulfill the great commission in our lifetime. Never thought about that.

We literally have the ability of the great commission to get the gospel out with all the tools of Tet with all the mass media we can do more than we could ever do before.

But the point of the matter is, these guys didn't have any of that tech and look what they did. They permeated their culture. Everyone was aware of their faith, church Julian, a church leader a wrote these words around 200 of the early church quote we have filled everyplace among you, cities, islands, fortresses, towns, marketplaces that very can tribes companies palaces the Senate the forum and then he says we will have nothing to you, but the temples of your God." Secures the way the early church thought everybody had a part to play. Everybody had a role to fulfill everybody had just to discover and use. And that's the same for us today. We need to go out and permeate our culture. We need Christians in the arts, making music, film, and doing graphic design. We need Christians in politics, bringing godly wisdom in the leadership of our nation because the Bible says when the righteous rule, the people rejoice. We need Christians, doctors, lawyers and business people instead of isolating. We need to be infiltrated every Christian in the church of the first century, at least most of them understood they had to do their part and as we read the book of acts will do that in the week they get what happens may seem radical to us at times.

But in a way it wasn't radical at all because anything short of that is a watered down version so we need this radical upside down Christianity today and that is the start and are lying.

Yes, we need a rogue Bible but before revival can start in the church.

It needs to start in you and it needs to start in me. So let's look now at a few verses from the book of acts chapter 1.

I'm in reverse is one the 4 inch or some points with you and I'm reading from the new living translation. My first book, I told you Theophilus writes about everything Jesus began to do and teach until the day he was taken up together and after giving his chosen apostles further instructions to the Holy Spirit during the 40 days after he suffered and died.

He appeared to the apostles from time to time, and he proved to them in many ways, he was actually alive and he talked to them about the kingdom of God. There is point number one if you're taking notes before you can change the world. You yourself must first be changed before you can change the world, you must first be changed to give verse three during the 40 days after he suffered and died.

He appeared to the apostles. The apostles number.

We think of these guys we we see them in stained glass standing on pedestals. Peter, James, John Andrew Matthew later Paul. The list goes on these great men of God but one thing we see clearly in the Gospels and in the book of acts is these guys were humans just like we are. They have their shortcomings.

They made their mistakes, but God views that we saw but they were saying that I can't connect to them. I can relate to them well. They were saints. But technically you're a saint to her about Sunday school teacher that was talking to her class and she said the kids. Can anyone tell me what is St. James little girl raised her hand up teacher called on her and the little girl said, thinking of the stained-glass windows with the saints, and them she said saint those are people that the light shines through an extra.

That's all a saint is a saint is a true believer you're a saint. I must say were all saints and we can be used by God as well listen the greatness of the disciples was not because of who they were. It's because God put his hand on the it's almost as though the Lord went out of his way to find the most ordinary people to do the most extraordinary things through. First Corinthians 126 Paul says isn't it obvious that God deliberately chose men and women at the culture overlooks God chose these nobodies to expose the hollow pretensions of the somebody interesting insight.

There are the other day that while ago now, but someone paid $1 million for offenders try to cast her guitar. Now this, a very popular guitar in and they normally would cost you somewhere around $600-$1500 but this guy paid $1 million for offenders Strat why because it was the guitar that Bob Dylan played at the 1965 Newport folk Festival. This was a defining moment because Dylan was known to play acoustic guitar in his harmonica, but he busted out offenders.

Stratocaster plugged it in and all the folk purists freaked out and they thought it was some form of heresy in their folky world, but that became a seminal moment in rock history. That's the guitar sold for $1 million. Maybe that makes a little more sense and some guy that bought a piece of the burned up fender Stratocaster that one was played by Jimi Hendrix at the Monterey pop Festival and at the end of playing the song while thing Hendrix for lighter fluid on it started on fire through pieces of it into the audience. Some guy grabbed the piece and that piece of the guitar was sold later for $380,000. Okay so here's the point. The value clearly was not in a burned a piece of a guitar that value was in good played the guitar see if I pick up a guitar and play it and try to sell it goes down in value.

But if Eric tried to pick up the same guitar and plated. It goes up in value. Jesus did not call these men became apostles because they were great. They became great because Jesus called that's the difference God wants to use you. Maybe you're like a burned out guitar maybe you don't have a lot to bring to the table you don't have a lot to offer to the Lord God can work through you.

So these apostles.

They had their lives changed when they saw Jesus risen from the dead see they never thought they would see Jesus again with a look at his feet and traumatized body hanging on the cross of Calvary, which according to Isaiah 53 as the prophet spoke prophetically. He was so beaten and marred traumatized.

You could not even tell he was a man but Jesus rose again and appeared many times over a 40 day.

He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, who came to anoint his dead body at the tomb.

He appeared after that to Simon Peter that he appeared in the upper room to the disciples and specifically to Thomas was that I won't believe it until I can put my hand in the wounds in his thigh.

He appeared to two disciples walking on the Emmaus Road. He appeared to Simon Peter again at the sea of Galilee, telling him to feed God's sheep and he appeared over 500 people at one time.

This transform them. Jesus was basically popping up everywhere and they knew he was alive and they knew he had risen Izzy before they can change the world. Jesus needed to change them. First someone one says John writing we proclaim to you the one who existed from the beginning, whom we have heard and seen. We saw him with our own eyes, and we touch them with our own hands. He is the word of life. Listen to this. If you want people to follow Jesus you must be a good example as a follower of Jesus example what you go to a dentist with half of his teeth missing. You can even understand what he was saying. I figured what was what happened here teeth. He tells you while I never really brushed her took care of my feet when I don't want to do dental work on me about this one would you go to a music teacher was tone deaf. Would you go to a gym and have is your trainer someone who was morbidly obese.

I don't think so you would want that person to be an example of what it is they're teaching you to do right so the same way we say that people follow Jesus with her, looking at you. They're looking to see if you yourself are following Jesus.

Paul said follow my example as I follow the example of Christ in verse Corinthians 11.

So first, it must have been to what Esther, Greg Laurie first lesson of many to come. My new study series.

In the book of acts, a series called the upside down life and will bring the whole series your way here, a new beginning today I am Amy Grant and I have been playing music and telling stories since I was a teenager I don't want to make this thing negative, but at the same time I want to be honest I can get emotional never shared this whole thing and will allow the proud owners This thing is no longer in all intricacies and everything would just end out the story was so that's an excerpt from a brand-new film called the Jesus is produced by the Irwin brothers. You know the best for their films like I can only imagine. I still believe in that share their releasing the feature film based on my life and on the spiritual awakening call the Jesus movement. The title of the film will be Jesus revolution while out of this movement of God that happened in the early 70s, a whole new form of music came to be that we call contemporary Christian music today but in the initial stage it was just called Jesus music. It became an industry with all kinds of people involved and there's some drama in the story. As you'll see, but what I love is that the story of redemption. How God is use flawed people to bring this music to us. But listen, God always goes out of his way to use ordinary people to do extraordinary things.

You may be surprised by blessed by encouraged by this movie that were going to send you for your gift of any size on DVD, Blu-ray, and also downloadable again. It's called the Jesus music you may have seen it in the theaters run screaming platforms that you can have your own copy Ellison whatever you send will be used to help us here at a new beginning, and harvest ministries to teach God's word and proclaim the gospel so order your copyright now of the Jesus music you love this really is a terrific film. It's a fascinating story, along with plenty of surprises we will bill it to send it your way were sending it to say thank you for your partnership. 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 and today is our last opportunity to mention this, so just give us a call at 1-800-821-3300. We can take your call anytime again at 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest.for one next time for insights to help us reach out and impact our culture's new series in the book of acts join us here on a new beginning.

Pastor and Bible teacher Greg Laurie everybody thinks her list. Beginning this is a podcast made possible by harvest partners. So for more content 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.

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