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Never Say Never | Don't Say This to the Lord

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
August 23, 2022 3:00 am

Never Say Never | Don't Say This to the Lord

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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August 23, 2022 3:00 am

Have you ever been to an auction, or seen one on TV? Maybe classic cars or farm animals. As you’re sitting there, you have to be very quiet and still. You scratch your head at the wrong moment and you’ll suddenly own a 1500 lb Texas Longhorn! Today on A NEW BEGINNING, we’ll see we need to be careful in our speech and attitude toward the Lord. Pastor Greg Laurie points out how our behavior should draw people to the Lord, not stand in the way of that decision.

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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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We're glad you're joining us for A New Beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast supported by Harvest Partners. Get more encouraging audio content when you subscribe to Pastor Greg's Daily Devos.

Learn more and sign up at When we call Jesus Lord, it means he's in charge. Today, Pastor Greg Laurie points out our everyday speech should reflect that relationship. Never, Lord. Those are two words that do not go together. Yes, and Lord, go together. Where, Lord, goes together? When, Lord, even goes together. You can even throw in why, Lord, if you like, but never say never to the Lord. Have you ever been to an auction or seen one on TV, maybe classic cars or farm animals? As you're sitting there, you have to be very quiet and very still.

You scratch your head at the wrong moment and you'll suddenly own a 1,500-pound Texas Longhorn. Today on A New Beginning, we'll see we need to be careful in our speech and attitude toward the Lord. Pastor Greg Laurie points out how our behavior should draw people to the Lord, and not stand in the way of that decision. So the book of Acts. It's the work of the Holy Spirit that happened through the lives of ordinary people. It was the Spirit of God working through the Word of God in the hearts of the people of God, and it was said of them that they turned their world upside down. Well, now in the book of Acts we have sort of a shifting of the gear, if you will, and there's a change in the strategy of the church. Well, they now seem to get a better understanding of the simple fact that they were to take the gospel to everyone. Acts chapter 10.

Go over to verse 9. The next day as Cornelius' messengers were nearing the city, Peter's up on the flat roof to pray. It's around noon. He's hungry. He was hungry. Not hungry. And while lunch is being prepared, he fell into a trance, and he saw the sky open and something like a large sheet was let down by its four corners, and in the sheet were all sorts of animals, reptiles, and birds. And then a voice said to him, get up, Peter.

Kill and eat them. Verse 14. Never, Lord, Peter declared.

Hey, if you have a pen, underline those two words. Never, Lord. We'll come back to them. I have never in all of my life eaten anything forbidden by our Jewish laws. The voice spoke again and said, if something God says is acceptable, don't say it isn't. Okay, we'll stop there. And so the idea here is this is not about food. This is about people. This sheet with all of these critters that were on it is a metaphor that God is giving to Peter, and he's saying leave your comfort zone and go to a new group of people, specifically the Gentiles. And it's interesting that this happened in a place called Joppa. Does Joppa ring a bell with any of you Bible students? Of course, you remember the story of Jonah. And God called Jonah to take God's message to the people of Nineveh who were renowned for their wickedness and cruelty. And Jonah flat out refused and he got a boat going in the opposite direction from a little place called Joppa. I've been to Joppa. It's a seaport in Israel.

And it's a beautiful little spot actually. And so there at Joppa Jonah ran from God. You know the rest of the story. A great storm came and he was thrown overboard and swallowed by a great fish. Ultimately he repented and was given a second chance and went to Nineveh and preached to them and a great spiritual awakening broke out. But it's interesting it's Joppa. Joppa is the place where God was directing Jonah and now Peter to go to people they were not necessarily comfortable with.

So here's a challenge I have for you. Would you take the gospel to people who have hurt you? Would you take the gospel to people who have offended you? Would you take the gospel to people who have mistreated you? Or people you're not comfortable with?

Or people you don't even necessarily want to be with? I saw a very interesting interview recently done with Elon Musk. And of course he's innovative with his electric cars and his rockets and all the things that he's involved in. Very intelligent man. So he actually did an interview not with the New York Times.

Not with a major news site like CNN or Fox News. Instead he does an interview with the Babylon Bee. How many of you have heard of the Babylon Bee? Okay so the Babylon Bee is a satirical Christian website.

They sort of poke fun at the church and poke fun at politics etc. And so he follows the Babylon Bee on Twitter. So they thought wow what if he would do an interview with us and they asked him. And much of their shock Elon Musk agreed. So they're sitting down with this very wealthy man. Very powerful man. Very intelligent man. They're talking about all kinds of things. Sort of the woke movement in our country which he doesn't appreciate either.

And also about electric cars and technology. And then one of the editors at the Babylon Bee says would you just accept Jesus Christ right now as your personal Savior. Kind of abrupt. And Elon Musk kind of you can tell he's taken aback by this a little bit.

He contemplates it for a moment. And then he says actually there's many things about Jesus and what he taught that that I agree with. Including forgiving people. Turning the other cheek.

Blowing the extra mile. And now these are appealing teachings that are in the Bible. Forgiveness is one of the greatest of all.

But as C.S. Lewis once said, everyone thinks forgiveness is a lovely idea until they have someone to forgive right. So that's a good point. But would you go to them with the gospel. That's effectively what Peter was being commanded to do. And so he obeyed the Lord.

Unlike Jonah who went the wrong way but got rerouted and eventually got it right. Peter did immediately what God called him to do. Go to Acts 10 verse 24.

They arrived in Caesarea the following day. Cornelius was waiting for him and called together his relatives and close friends to meet Peter. Peter entered his home and Cornelius fell to the floor before him in worship. Peter pulled him up and said stand up.

I'm a human being like you. Cornelius got up and they talked together and went inside and where the others were assembled. And Peter said you know it's against the Jewish law for me to come into a Gentile home like this. But God has shown me that I should never think of anyone as impure.

So I came as soon as I was sent for. And Peter preaches the gospel to Cornelius. And the result was he is converted.

Think of what God can do to the life of one person. You know Chuck Smith once said to me Greg everything in life is preparation for something else. And God was getting Peter ready.

And God is getting you ready for something unexpected that's going to happen in your life. But you have a choice. You can be a Jonah or you can be a Peter.

You can either run from it or you can run to it. Speaking of Chuck Smith Chuck was a pastor not a especially successful pastor by his own admission. He had struggled and gone to a few churches. And this is in the late 60s now. And the whole counterculture movement is happening. And all the kids are turning to drugs. And the country is in chaos. And there's riots in the streets and division.

That's unbelievable. And so his wife Kay. Chuck's wife Kay says you know honey we should start praying for these kids.

Chuck wanted nothing to do with these counterculture kids. He thought they all needed a haircut. A shower. And they needed to get a job.

Right. And I was one of those kids. And by the way I was a clean hippie. I showered every day.

And I ironed my clothes. That was very un-hippie of me. But I did that anyway.

Just wanted to point that out. So Kay said let's start praying for them Chuck. So they would go down Huntington Beach. And they would sit there in their car and all these young kids are walking around on the streets doing drugs and everything else. And they are praying Lord touch them. And Chuck still his heart was pretty hard to the whole idea.

But then it started to soften. And they said Lord all right help us. How do we do this. Send us a hippie. And one day lo and behold knocking on their door a genuine living breathing hippie appears. And he was a Christian. And so pretty soon they opened up their church Calvary Chapel to all these young kids. Well some of the old folks weren't that excited about it. And so the hippies would sit on one side of the church and the old folks would sit on the other side of the church.

But more and more young people started coming and Chuck was very excited to see them having their lives changed. But the problem was the kids were coming in and sitting in the seats and there were those little holders for communion cups. They were poking their toes up through them and they were barefoot. And so the elders came to Chuck and said Chuck we can't have these hippies in the church barefoot.

They have to wear shoes. And because we just laid new carpet. And it was avocado green shag carpet right. So the next Sunday Chuck is in the foyer the entrance of the church with a wash basin and a cloth to wash the feet of all the hippies. So the elders said okay we get the message. And a revival broke out. It was a literal spiritual awakening. And we call it the Jesus movement.

And it impacted not just California but the country and the world. Because one man. One man was able to overcome his prejudice. Overcome his hang-ups. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. Hey everybody what are you doing this weekend? I'd like to hang out with you at Harvest at Home. When is Harvest at Home? 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 at Harvest at Home. Join us this weekend Saturday and Sunday for Harvest at Home at Well we're getting some important encouragement today to share the gospel even with unfamiliar people.

Even with those outside of our comfort zones. Pastor Greg points out how God prepared Peter to do just that. God was getting Peter ready to bring this message and he obeyed.

Now here's the thing. Let me come back to that early statement of Peter. Never Lord. Never Lord he says.

Those are two words that do not go together. Yes and Lord go together. Where Lord goes together. When Lord even goes together. You can even throw in why Lord if you like. But never say never to the Lord.

That's why the title of this message is never say never. Really when you say never Lord or no Lord that is what I would call an oxymoron. You know what an oxymoron is right.

Here's an oxymoron. Jumbo shrimp. Jumbo shrimp.

How can it be shrimp and be jumbo. Or how about this one. Virtual reality. That's very popular now with the metaverse. But is it really reality if it's virtual. Here's another civil war. How do you have a civil war. Here's another deafening silence.

If it's silence how can it be deafening. Here's another genuine imitation. Here's two more.

Airline food. That's an oxymoron. And one more.

Government efficiency. Right. Never Lord. Never say never. You can say why Lord.

You can say where Lord. You can say when Lord. But never say never Lord. Because God's plan is better than your plan. And you should never be afraid to commit an unknown future to a known God.

Now let's be honest. There are times we don't understand like or even agree with God's plan. Has the Lord ever led you to do anything you didn't necessarily want to do. We've all had times like really Lord. You really want me to do that. I don't know.

I'm not comfortable with that. Even Jesus struggled with the will of the Father in the Garden of Gethsemane. You recall that as He contemplated the hordes of Calvary which were coming. He knew all things that were about to happen. Being God He knew that His beard would be ripped from His face. He knew His back would be lashed with a Roman whip. He knew that He would be struck repeatedly. He knew that He would be nailed to a cross. But worst of all He would never sin. Knew that He would have to bear all of the sin of humanity for all time upon Himself. And that meant that as He faced the judgment of God that He would be temporarily separated from His Father. And He recoiled from that. And in the Garden of Gethsemane He prayed, Father if it is possible let this cup pass from Me.

Nevertheless not My will but Yours be done. Dr. Luke gives us a detail that Jesus sweat as it were great drops of blood. Some medical experts think this may have been describing what is known as hematrydrosis.

Where when a person is under intense pressure their perspiration is actually mixed with droplets of blood. This may be what Christ was experiencing but whatever it was He actually said to the Father, Father if it is possible let this cup pass if there is any other way. Let's go that way. But then He says, nevertheless not My will but Yours be done. You know it is ok to pray for the cup to pass.

Maybe you are going through a time of hardship right now. And you are saying, Lord it is enough. Could you just make this stop? Could you get me through this?

Could you bring an end to this? It is ok to pray that. And sometimes God will let the cup pass. Sometimes God will still the storm. Sometimes God will heal the sick person or even raise the person from the dead. But other times He will not do that. And it is in those times that He will walk with us through the hardships of life.

And we will see and we will see Him on the other side. You know no life is an unfinished life. We think success is a long life. Actress and comedian Betty White died at the age of 99. They had actually done a People magazine cover story and her. Betty White reaches 100. But unfortunately she didn't make it to 100. But I saw many many articles celebrating the life of Betty White.

Because we think isn't that great. She made it to 99. That is the ultimate goal. To live a long life.

Well that is a fine thing. But success is not necessarily a long life. Success is a life that is lived for the glory of God.

Even if it is a shorter life. If it is lived for God's glory it is still a success you see. Because as Corrie Tynboom said, a life is measured not so much by its duration but by its donation you see. So there are times things don't make sense.

Stephen was the first martyr of the early church. What a tragedy. A life cut short. An unfinished life.

But was it? Only God knows these things. But what we must do. Live as though it were your last year. What if it is? What if the Lord said you're done and you're coming to heaven. Or the Lord said I'm done.

I'm coming back to earth and taking you back to heaven. Whatever it is live it as though it were your last year. I'm not saying this to depress you.

I'm saying this to motivate you. Like yeah let's make this year count. Let's make every month count.

Let's make every week count. I'm going to recommit myself to bring glory to God and say to the Lord not my will but yours be done. If you're a true Christian you cannot say never Lord. Instead you should say yes Lord. Is God calling you to reach out to someone right now? Is God calling you to forgive someone right now?

I encourage you to do that. Who is that Cornelius that God wants you to reach with the gospel? To build a bridge to? Listen God is preparing you to bring the gospel to people so respond to those opportunities. Coming back to Elon Musk. So he's doing that interview with the Babylon bee and he says he believes in many of the things that Jesus taught. And then Elon Musk makes this statement quote as Einstein would say I believe in the God of Spinoza. And I had to look that up to be honest with you because I didn't know who Spinoza was. So Einstein once allegedly made this statement that he believes in the God of Spinoza. So Spinoza was a philosopher who believed that God was not the creator of the world but the world was a part of God and he also believed that God was not one to concern himself with the fates and actions of human beings.

Okay so it's sort of this disconnected power out there. And so Elon Musk says I agree with that statement but if I could sit down with Elon Musk right now I would say there is a God in heaven who loves you that wants to be involved in every aspect of your life and you can come into a relationship with him. And that is why he sent his son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for our sin because we've all sinned and fallen short of God's glory and broken his commandments but Christ died in our place and rose again from the dead. So it's not just about admiring Jesus. It's about knowing and following Jesus.

That's for everybody. But you know maybe I'm talking to somebody who has been seeking God like Cornelius. You know you've responded to what you know.

You've responded to as much light as you've received. But I want to finish it for you. My wife is putting a puzzle together and I don't know why she puts puzzles together. But she does. She loves it. Someone gave her a puzzle for Christmas so she works on it every night and I look at it and I think why? Just why?

Who cares? You know but she likes it and and now it's starting to take shape and you can kind of see what image is going to be there on the puzzle. And so maybe that's a description of your life.

You're sort of putting the puzzle together but there's these missing pieces that don't make sense. That was Cornelius. I know there's a God. I know it's not the God of Rome. I know it's not these false gods.

I know it's not being in power because I have all that and I know that's not the answer. I know it's out there somewhere. He was a true seeker and the Lord said I see that seeker. And the Lord revealed himself and gave him the gospel and gave him the missing pieces to the puzzle and Cornelius believed.

Here's the missing piece of the puzzle. Yes you are made by God. Yes you are here to glorify God. Yes you can know God but you must reach out to him.

Call out to him. And as the Lord says those that seek me will find me. And in closing if there's anybody here that needs to reach out to God and ask for his forgiveness this is the moment to do it. If there's anybody here that needs to recommit themselves to the Lord this is the time and the place to do it. So let's pray. Father thank you for your word to us.

Thank you for your love for us. And I'm praying for any person listening maybe they're here or watching online wherever they are Lord if they don't know you help them to come to you and believe. Listen just as surely as Cornelius reached out and believed you can reach out and believe now and be forgiven of all of your sin. And if you've never asked Christ to come into your life if you've never asked him to forgive you of your sin if you don't know that you will go to heaven one day you can make a commitment to him here. And I'm going to lead you in a simple prayer and if you want to pray this prayer with me this is a prayer of committing your life to Jesus. Just pray these words Lord Jesus I know that I am a sinner but I know you're the Savior who died on the cross for my sin and rose again from the dead. I choose to follow you.

I want to know your plan for my life. I ask you to come into my life and I ask this now in Jesus name. Amen. An important word of prayer from Pastor Greg Laurie. Today on A New Beginning he's helped people make the most important decision of their lives.

The decision to ask Jesus to forgive their sins and be their Savior. If you've just prayed that prayer and meant it sincerely we want to be the first to welcome you into the family of God. And we want to help you get started living as a believer. We'd like to send you Pastor Greg's New Believers Growth Packet. It's free of charge. It'll help you get started off right so call us at 1-800-821-3300.

We can take your call anytime 24 7 that's 1-800-821-3300 or write A New Beginning Box 4000 Riverside, California 92514 or go online to You know Pastor Greg many people have been watching the stock market go in the wrong direction. But as believers we know that when we invest in the kingdom of God it only goes up.

Yes. Matthew recorded Jesus words store up your treasures in heaven where moths and rust cannot destroy and thieves do not break in and steal. And we have a way for listeners to make an investment in eternity don't we? That's true.

You know you can't take it with you but you can send it on ahead. And when you invest in a ministry like Harvest you are literally laying up for yourself treasure in heaven and the stock market doesn't affect that the economy doesn't affect that and no other thing affects that. It's there waiting for you. So I would ask you to prayerfully consider becoming a Harvest Partner. A Harvest Partner is someone who stands with us every month and gives a financial gift and it's a reoccurring gift. So it's something that we can depend on as we make plans for responding to opportunities that come our way so often to reach new people with this message that we bring. So if you believe in what we're doing if what we're doing is a part of your life and it's been a blessing to you or perhaps even you or a member of your family or someone you know has come to Christ as a result of listening to a new beginning would you like to see more people hear this message? If so join the team and become a Harvest Partner.

Here's Dave to tell you a little bit more. Yeah we have some special ways to thank our Harvest Partners. We send them a resource each month to show our appreciation.

This month we're sending Pastor Greg's book Steve McQueen The Salvation of an American Icon. But these close friends are really the backbone of our support and allow us to reach so much further with the gospel. We're looking for new Harvest Partners right now. Pastor Greg is inviting a thousand new friends to step forward and really that's just a handful of our friends in each community where a new beginning is heard. They're people who believe in the importance of sharing the gospel and they see how effectively the Lord is using this ministry and they say count me in I want to be a part. So can we count you in? Get the details at slash partner or call us anytime night or day at 1-800-821-3300.

That's 1-800-821-3300. Well next time some important insight on the power of prayer as Pastor Greg takes us to Acts chapter 12. Great encouragement is coming your way. Join us here on a new beginning with pastor and Bible teacher Greg Laurie. Hey everybody thanks for listening to A New Beginning. This is a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners. So for more content that 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 just go to
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-07 01:04:11 / 2023-03-07 01:14:07 / 10

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