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Honest to God | Getting Rid of the Facade

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
August 12, 2022 3:00 am

Honest to God | Getting Rid of the Facade

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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August 12, 2022 3:00 am

When we hide behind a facade–a false-front–trying to pretend we’re someone we’re not, we’re not fooling God. He knows who we really are. In fact, He knows us better than we know ourselves. Today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie points out the peril of living an imitation life. It’s a disappointment to the Lord, and our act may not be believable to those around us either. It’s a good opportunity for a reset, and to live a life of transparent honesty going forward.

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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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Eli, 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 raises a visible daily word for coming up to Greg Laurie point shown of the Lord is looking for honesty is looking for those with pure heart, is a person who is warm, playing a role in God doesn't like it when you do that on this sooner than online say for false, you know, you really arebetter than we know ourselves today on a new beginning for Greg Laurie points out imitation disappointments of the Lord may not be believable. Who goes around is a good opportunity to live a life of transparent honesty. My message today is August God on Halloween.

You know maybe you put on the cost to maybe you put on them. You pretend to be something that you are not. That's what I want to talk about my message today that I'm calling on us to God is you don't want to be a hypocrite and a technical definition of a hypocrite is it someone who's playing a part. Someone who is effectively an actor there presenting an image that is not really them and they want you to believe that they are this person then in context. This would be a person pretending to be a Christian. It is actually not a Christian at all. Now let's be honest.

One of the things that keeps nonbelievers away is hypocrisy in the church right. How many of you heard some nonbelievers say well the reason I don't go to church.

Is there too many hypocrites, therapy, or that one that we all heard it when you get to say no, come to our church. It's hypocrite free that's impossible. I sometimes say the people.

If you find a perfect church and there's no hypocrites in it. Please don't join it because you'll ruin it right. We are imperfect people serving a perfect God and overwrought as we all have moments of hypocrisy but to but sometimes this is used as an excuse that nonbelievers offer as the why they will not become Christians. I was at a Harley dealership a while ago and in some guy I was talking to him about the Lord and he said well what about all the different religions that are out there. How can one believe to be true and the others not be true, and that that moment a really loud Harley rode by was super loud pipes. I said you sure that that is the sound of a genuine Harley-Davidson motorcycle and he said yeah that's right I said and there's a lot of imitations out there on the road but there's only one Harley and I have to say riding a Harley myself. When you see someone coming on the other side of the road toward you. If you ride Harley.

You do this little sideways wave if you're a writer you know what I'm talking right, you can ride used to run another kind of motorcycle you don't acknowledge okay just it's kind of an elitist thing because we think were cool, warm or not, but whatever. My point was just because there's imitations doesn't mean there is not a genuine and in fact, the very existence of all the imitation shows there has to be the real one there somewhere. So here's the doublethink. He knows there's the genuine Savior Jesus Christ. He knows it's too Christ said people come to God, therefore he effectively floods the market with cheap imitations to distract and divert people from the real thing. But let's understand what a hypocrite really is a hypocrite is not a Christian who is following Christ and slips up because the people appointed, accusing finger, you just got angry.

You exceeded the speed limit while you were driving you were inclined you.

You didn't do this exactly right.

And we all have moments where we don't live up to standards we have in Scripture and the faith that we have, but that happens but that's not hypocrisy that is well humanity were all little falls short but the difference between a person who falls short and admits it and is sorry for it and tries to do better and a person who's playing a role is is one is trying one is walking with the Lord.

The other is in walking with the Lord at all. Look were all going to fall short. Even the apostle Paul admitted his personal struggle in Rome and 70 said this I don't understand myself at all. I really want to do what is right and I don't do it instead. I do the very thing I hate.

I know perfectly well what I'm doing is wrong. My bad conscience shows that I agree that the laws good, but I can't help myself because it send them side me that makes me do these evil things now that was not Paul's everyday experience, but it was a candid admission. Having said that, that does not mean more content with the state that were in because were always seeking to become more like Jesus and to live godly lives. Paul said in Philippians 3 friends. I'm not all that I should be, but I'm focusing all of my energies on this one thing forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead so well little falls short in some way shape or form. The fact is, the further we go in the Christian life. The more we realize we need to grow and so here is the difference I hypocrite is a person who was putting on a performance they're playing a role there hiding behind a mask and really they're not a believer at all, and ironically hypocrites are often the most critical people of all. It doesn't surprise me when I find a hyper critical person turn out to be guilty of sins that are far worse than this sins there criticizing and other people's lives. I bring this up because were going to look at a very interesting couple in the Bible. Ananias and Sapphire. They were to hypocrites who found out the hard way that you can pull the wool over God's eyes. Now here's the thing to remember Jesus save this most scathing words, not for sinners but for hypocrites.

He saved his scathing words for the Pharisees now being a Pharisee was not in and of itself a bad thing a Pharisee could be a very devout man.

He could be a man who really sought to know God by memorizing the Scripture and in living by the standards he lived by but unfortunately many of the Pharisees had no interest in God at all.

And for them it was more about the inner and Jesus was very critical of them calling them whitewashed tombs, which means you look good on the outside, which are dead in the inside. In contrast with sinners. Jesus was incredibly compassionate. Take the woman caught in the act of adultery is an example. The Pharisees grabbed her through before Jesus not because they cared about the law or what was right or wrong they just wanted to put him to attest that hopefully he would fail the drawer down at the feet of Christ.

They say the law says this woman should be put to death. What you say Jesus looks around at these creepy self righteous arrogant hypocrites. We read that he stooped down and writes in the sand stands up rights in the sand again. Then he looks at them and says let him that is among you without sin cast the first stone. The Bible says they left from the eldest to the youngest now he looks at this woman who actually was guilty of this and he says woman, where are your accusers.

She says I have no more. It's interesting though very word to be used for woman is it's a term of respect. It's almost as though we called her Mama lady. I don't know she'd ever been called out before but he said damn lady woman, where are your accusers showing that he didn't just see her for what she was.

He saw her for what she could become yet the moment she was an immoral woman caught in the act but he saw that she could become a woman of God woman lady ma'am where your accusers. I have done Lord then go and sin no more. And we see this over and over again. He's loving and patient and compassionate with sinners, even being called the friend of sinners, but very quick to deal with self righteous hypocrites. Listen to this.

Better to be an honest sinner than a line St. me say that again. Better to be an honest sinner than a line St. or hypocrite hypocrisy is driven many people away from the church and many young people in particular.

So here's the deal. Your kids are not expecting perfection from you.

They know you mess up just as well as you know, and I think periodically it's not a bad idea to apologize to your children like Cantu that the lose respect for me, probably gain respect for you while dad finally owning up to what he actually does is actually admitting that the wire it added probably should've apologizes for people apologize to your parents apologize to your spouse we all love moments of hypocrisy and we want to avoid that kind of lifestyle at all costs. Your great glory will have the second half of this message just a moment to everybody.

What are you doing this weekend. I like to hang out with you that harvest and home services own. It is a time of worship and Bible study exclusively designed for people that are viewing in from all over the place so you can be a part of our extended congregation that harvested home. Join us this weekend Saturday and Sunday for today. Pastor Greg is presenting a study of the sin of Ananias and Sapphire in a message called honest to God, let's listen. So here we come now to the story of how the devil changes his approach.

At first he attacked the church outwardly and then blew up in his face. Instead of weakening the church. It strengthened the church so now he comes in a different way first became like a lion now is going to come like a serpent, just like he came to even the garden of Eden slithering in. That's how the devil often works well attack you on the outside and you're fighting them here, but you might be letting them in somewhere else solicited the backdrop of the story. Barnabas is seen giving a gift to the church for the use of ministry dialer. Barnabas is called the son of consolation whenever you read about Barnabas he's encouraging someone he's he's doing something that encourages others in and here he is giving that's how no one forced them to do this. No one pressured him to do this and periodically we have people come to us and say I want to give a gift to the ministry because I want to invest in what you guys are doing were so appreciative of that. But here's a think this was a voluntary he didn't have to do it but he wanted to do it. In other members in the church did the same thing. There were sort of pitching in and helping out because some believers because of persecution were losing their employment. They needed help so the church was pooling their resources wasn't forced on them by the government and was voluntarily done by members of the church of the congregation, but so Ananias and Sapphire is see this may think while looking at all the people appreciate this.

We want to be seen as virtuous people to so this is what happens next in one of the most shocking stories in the Bible quite candidly. That's chapter 5, starting at verse one reading from the new living translation. There was a man named Ananias, with his wife Sophia results in property you brought part of the property to be apostles but claimed it was the full amount. His wife agreed to this deception underline that this deception then Peter said Ananias why is Satan filled your heart. You lied to the Holy Spirit and you kept some of the money for yourself. This property wasn't was yours to sell or not sell as you wish or not, and after selling that the money was yours to keep or to give away. Why would you do a thing like this. You're blind was your lying to God and as soon as Ananias heard these words, he fell to the ground and die and everyone heard about it was terrifying within some young men wrapped the minute she took amount. About three hours later his wife comes in not knowing what it happened. Peter asks her what was this price you and your husband received for the land.

She said yeah that was the price. Peter said how good the two of you even think of doing something like this conspiring together to test the spirit of the Lord you might underline that phrase tests the spirit of the Lord just outside the door are the young men who buried your husband carry you out to and instantly she fell to the floor and died in the young men saw she was dead and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband a great fear gripped the entire church and all the others who heard what happened. How's that for a story while so people say I wish we could see more miracles in the church today like they had in the book of acts really about this miracle he was God was doing this today if he was people would be dropping like flies in a church service.

Maybe starting with the preacher of God dealt with the church today as he dealt with Ananias and Sapphire. It every church would have to have a full-time undertaker on staff in a morgue in the basement. I did hear about a preacher who a lot of people dying when he was working.

But see, it turns out this preacher was moonlighting as a lifeguard and they noticed like 10 people would die every day he was out there is lifeguard stand so they went to try to figure out what was happening with this preacher. He had been trained in new uses equipment they Psalm up there and as someone was in trouble and waving back and forth. The preacher lifeguard said. God bless you. I see that in publishers but so this is a serious thing, and why did God deal so severely with these two people because they committed a specific sin against this spirit that still can be committed today. They lie to the spirit of God.

Verse four. You've not lied to men but to God. Their sin was that he lied to the holy spirit, the Holy Spirit is a member of the Trinity father-son and Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit has a will. The Holy Spirit has a personality. The Holy Spirit can be specifically syndicate. There are specific sins identified in the Bible that can be committed against the holy spirit. For instance, you can insult the spirit you can resist the spirit you can light of the spirit is a story here shows and you can blaspheme this spirit. So what is this about again. Ananias and Sapphire rep were hypocrites they were playing a part. They were pretending to be something that they were not. They wanted people to think they were really devoted to God. They were now before we criticize them what you saw starts off this question that we ever done anything like this. The answer is yes.

Here's how you know we put on a performance maybe there's a prayer meeting in and it's our turn to pray and we hop the prayer never prayed with people like that. They just pray for for and it is a very flowery prayer because what are they doing.

They want to impress you write all our father, we thank you today and I thank you Lord as I was studying your word for three hours how you spoke to my heart and then Lord I as I was actually leading people to Christ.

On the way over your six or seven. As I recall, the Lord, what is not all about your talking more about you than the Lord. And so this is the thing we can do this same thing that Jesus called out the Pharisees in Matthew six in a modern translation. He says especially careful when you're trying to be good so you don't make a performance out of it might be good theater. But the God who made you will not be applauding.

Don't pray for theater don't worship for theater. You know something about examiner really just you notes sing louder and live my cancer and that's all good. We want that, but don't do it in a way we are drawing unnecessary attention to your self. Sometimes people will pretend to be a Christian when it works to their benefit. Maybe your Christian girl and some guy come sentences at like to take you out for dinner and you say well I don't want to be involved with anyone who's not a Christian.

Are you a Christian and he says yeah, he said it was kind of creepy. Doesn't the Bible say something about greeting one another with the holy kiss. So can we might be lying here make right or maybe when you go to buy a vehicle on number of years ago I was looking at some truck and the car dealer was cussing up a blue streak. All this profanity and then he says. So tell me, I would your name Greg get what you do for a living, pastor all of a sudden it's like hallelujah praise the Lord brother just be an honest center not aligned car dealer is that redundant, like are not kidding.

But there's good car dealers I know if you only if you cannot get but anyway you know you they say one thing.

All of a sudden there a Christian sometimes when someone is running for office and they want to get the evangelical vote. All of a sudden there's little religious rhetoric in their speeches and they show up at church and they want to be noticed and everybody look out here. I am so be careful to not put on a performance. God doesn't like it when you do that again. Let me emphasize better to be an honest center than a lying seines so don't put this show on that with Ananias sub environment were doing.

They were intended to be something they were not great glory. Lifestyles of transparent honesty as we walk with the Lord good insight today here on a new beginning.

What were so happy to make available pastor Greg's revealing book on the life of popular actor Steve McQueen. It's called Steve McQueen the salvation of an American icon.

Pastor Becky came to Christ. When most people considered him one of the elite movie stars of his day, but he realized something was missing. What does that teach us about reaching out to everybody, including those that look like they have at all. That's right Dave you know I don't care how a person looks on the outside inside.

Everyone is empty. Everyone is lonely. Everyone is afraid to die, and everyone is searching, Steve McQueen was the number one movie star of his day. Some people that are listening know who he was. Others don't let me put it into the modern context. Let's just say that Tom Cruise came to Jesus Christ and started talking about it would not make an impact on culture.

Let me take it a step further.

What if Johnny Depp came to the Lord okay so now take Johnny Depp and take Tom Cruise and put them together. Tom Cruise is known for doing his own stunts.

A Johnny Depp is known for his offscreen crazy behavior McQueen was that and more. He was a guy who was always getting into trouble. He was a guy who made a mess of his life. A guy who did his own stunts and thank you. He drove his own racecar in the film that he did call Del Monte did his motorcycle stunts and the great escape, so this was a guy who was a man's man. He had it all together seemingly on the outside but he was searching and very few people know that the number one movie star in the world. Steve McQueen came to Christ. Now he came to Christ. A number of months before he found out he had cancer. Sometimes people think though Steve found out he was sick and then he became a Christian know it's not bad at all. He became a Christian when he was the number one movie star in the world and actually was attending church regularly. He wanted to be an usher and church. Imagine having Stephen Queen helping you find your seat in church, but not radically transform Steve's life so I written a book about it and it has interviews with people that knew Steve well, including his widow Barbara McQueen also Leonard to wit Steve's pastor and others that knew Steve very well in his day, and they help put the story together this amazing story of the unlikely transformation of the number one movie star in the world.

So if you want to know more about how Steve's life was changed and now your life can be changed or how someone you know who seem so far gone can have their lives changed then order your copy of Steve McQueen the salvation of an American icon from us here at harvest and we will send this to you for your gift of any size and by the way whatever you send will be used to continue to teach the word), a new beginning and get the gospel out so more people like Steve McQueen can come to know Christ as an investment, it reaches beyond this life and were so thankful for your generosity. It's the only way we can meet the expenses of bringing these daily studies your way to contact us today with your donation and be sure to ask for your copy of Steve McQueen the salvation of an American icon. You can call us at 1-800-821-3300.

We can take your call anytime 24 seven that's 1-800-821-3300 or write a new beginning. Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 four just go online to harvest God for next time pastor Greg has more insight on the dangers of lying to the spirit and the other offenses we can commit against the Lord.

Join us here on a new beginning. Pastor and Bible feature great glory cast with meat. Will my harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God learn how to become harvest partners sign up for daily devotions and find resources to help you grow in your faith

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