Hey everybody, Greg Laurie here. You're listening to the Greg Laurie Podcast and my objective is to deliver, hopefully, compelling practical insights in faith, culture, and current events from a biblical perspective. To find out more about our ministry, just go to our website, harvest.org.
So thanks for joining me for this podcast. most notably the sudden departure of my son to heaven in the month of July of this year. No parent wants to outlive their child.
No parent wants to plan a funeral service for their son or their daughter. And when I heard the news that my son had been killed in an automobile accident, I felt like time stood still and all the air was sucked out of the room. And when you hear the expression, A fate worse than death, I can say hearing that news was just that.
Why? Because if you could hear what your son was saying to you, you would not have been able to tell him that it is just that. words and die from them. I felt that was such a situation to hear those words said.
I just felt like I don't know how you even lived through something like that. What is so hard is you just miss him. You miss the big things.
You miss the little things. And I was constantly communicating with my son. We were either talking or we were on the phone or emailing or texting. In fact when I didn't know where he was I sent him an email and I said, where are you? Question mark. Call me.
Exclamation mark. And he never responded. And that is because you can't make phone calls from heaven.
And that is where he went. Immediately into the presence of the Lord. And that is what has got me through something like this is that assurance. That hope that he is in heaven right now. And I have to say if I didn't have Christ in my life giving me that hope I don't know how I could get through a single day.
Much less a week. I have been preaching about heaven for 35 years. My grandparents are there. My mother is there. My father who adopted me is there.
Now my son is there. So I find myself thinking about heaven a lot. In fact the Bible says, let heaven fill your thoughts.
And I have been doing just that recently. Reading what the Bible has to say about heaven. Thinking more about eternity.
And that is going to be my theme for the next three nights here at the Wachovia Center. I want to talk about eternity. I want to talk about the weightiest matters there are. More important than how the stock market is doing. More important than how your day is going or how your career is going or how anything else on this earth is going.
These are the most important issues we will ever discuss together. Because check this out. Life on earth whether you live to be nine or 90 is like a blip on the screen. The Bible says we live our life like a story that has already been told.
It is like a vapor that appears for a moment and vanishes away. And it is our short time on earth. It is here that we determine where we will spend eternity. And it is my hope that thousands of you will change your eternal address in the next three nights if you need to. Destination. Heaven.
And you can know that with certainty. Maybe you have seen some of our bumper stickers or our billboards and a slogan we coined this year was down to earth talk about heaven. Interestingly my son selected that slogan months before. He worked on this campaign. He was involved in the design of the art that you see around you right now.
The arrows pointing up. This was his idea to sort of get us thinking about eternity. Little did I know that I would be talking about him being in heaven when I would be doing these crusades.
We talked about this crusade and how we were looking forward to it. And I wish he were here. Maybe he is watching from heaven. You know we don't know.
But he might be. But I know that his dear wife Brittany and his daughter Stella are both here tonight along with my wife Kathy and my son Jonathan. So they wanted to be here in prayer supporting this event. His wife Brittany is here to serve as a new believer counselor. So when people come down on the floor she wants to talk to them about that commitment they are making to follow Jesus Christ. Because we all know this great gospel message we proclaim tonight is true.
And we want as many people as possible to go to heaven. I have to tell you it is a shocking thing to go out and pick up the newspaper and read about your own child. But there was a headline in the newspaper that was not true.
The statement was Christopher Laurie. Dead. My son is not dead. He is more alive than he has ever been before. He is in God's presence. Jesus said, "'I am the resurrection and the life and he that believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live, and whosoever lives and believes in him shall never die.'"
Now listen. I am not in denial. I understand what death is. I understand what a funeral service is and what a grave is. I know that this body ceases to exist. But the real you, the real me, the living soul lives for eternity. And when we leave this earth it is just a change in where we are. Not a change in who we are.
We are still us on the other side. In fact tomorrow night I want to talk to you what happens on the other side in a message I am going to share with you called Email from Eternity. I am going to talk about both heaven and hell. You don't hear people talk about that very often.
But I am going to talk about it because Jesus spoke more about hell than all the other preachers of the Bible put together. But my goal is to keep as many people as I can from going to a place like that. So we will talk about that tomorrow night. But tonight my theme is what do you live for.
That is the topic I want to discuss with you. What do you live for? You know everybody lives for something. What gets your blood pumping? What gets you excited? What is your passion in life? I read a statement once that said is it an alarm clock or a calling that gets you out of bed in the morning? What gets you out of bed? What is the purpose of your life? A poll was done on the Oprah Winfrey Show and the question was asked what is your life's passion?
Seventy percent of those that were polled had no idea. As it turns out many people are enduring instead of enjoying their lives. And their favorite day of the week is someday. Someday they say.
My ship will come in. Someday I am going to build that dream house. Someday I am going to retire. Someday I will find that perfect relationship.
Someday my prince will come. And an astounding 94 percent of the people who responded to a survey said they were enduring the present while waiting for something better to happen. What people don't plan on happening is death. My son was only 33.
This was unexpected. And you here in Philadelphia and in the greater Delaware Valley know about this sort of thing. Recently you mourned the tragic death of police officer Patrick McDonald who was only 30 years old.
He was the fourth Philadelphia police officer killed in the line of duty within the past year. Or maybe someone close to you has died in your family. Your mother. Your father. A friend. A coworker.
Maybe a son or a daughter. And it has hit you really hard. This has no mercy. Tragically three people die every second. 180 every minute.
11,000 every hour. That means that 250,000 people enter into eternity every single day. Death strikes everyone. That is why David said, Lord remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered and my life is fleeing away. My life is no longer than the width of my hand. An entire lifetime is just a moment to you. Human existence is but a breath. You know in ancient times they discussed the topic of death a lot more than we do today. We don't like to deal with it. You will have someone selling you life insurance and they will say, well if something were to happen to you. If?
Isn't it only a matter of when? Isn't that why I am talking to you about life insurance? We don't like to even use that word death. Ancient merchants often wrote the words memento mori, which means think of death in large letters on the first page of their accounting books. Philip of Macedon, father of Alexander the Great, commissioned his servant to stand in his presence and repeat these words, Philip you will die. In contrast Francis Louis XIV decreed that the word death could not be used in his presence. And more of us today are more like Louis than we are like Philly denying death and avoiding the very discussion.
But check this out. Only those who are prepared to die are really ready to live. Are you prepared?
Let's talk about that uncomfortable subject tonight. Before us here in Philippians 1 are some verses from the apostle Paul. This was a man who lived life to its fullest but he was also a man that understood the shortness of human existence. And he made these statements and I read to you now from Scripture. Philippians 1 Paul says, "'For me to live is Christ and to die is gain. For if I live on in the flesh this will mean no fruit for my labor. Yet what I will choose I cannot tell. For I am hard pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better.'"
I love his statement, "'For me to live is Christ.'" You know when you hear someone saying something like that you think they are out of touch with reality. They sort of have their head in the clouds. And you know they are so heavenly minded they are no earthly good. Right? I have found that those who are the most heavenly minded are of the greatest earthly good. It was C.S. Lewis that once said, "'Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in.
Aim at earth and you will get neither.'" I find those who are quote heavenly minded do a lot for other people. Look at the great hospitals, the great universities, and the relief organizations out there that have been started and are run to this day by Christians. When there is a crisis anywhere in the world Christians are always first in compassion reaching out in tangible ways to help people. It is always that way.
It has always been that way. Have you ever heard of an atheist relief organization? No. They just write books trying to destroy the faith of those who have had their lives changed by Jesus Christ while we go out and try to change the world for good. But you see Paul said for me to live is Christ. See for the believer they are in a win-win situation.
What do I mean by that? Win because if you live it is Christ. But if you die it is gain.
You can't lose. A Christian can enjoy life like no one else. That beautiful sunset. The taste of great food. The joy of love and marriage. The comfort of family and friends.
Laughter. We don't need drugs. We don't need alcohol to give us that fulfillment.
We have it in a relationship with God. Of course I didn't always believe that. When I was a young kid I thought drugs would fill a void in my life so I used them. I thought drinking and partying would fulfill me.
So I went down that road. But I saw how empty it was as many of you have seen. And some of you are figuring out right now. But yes we can enjoy life like no one else. But we also know there is more to come. Much much more when we meet the Lord and we are reunited with loved ones who have gone on before us and we are in the very presence of God. We recognize that the greatest joys that life throws our ways are but hints of heaven. C. S. Lewis put it this way. C. S. Lewis the author of the Chronicles of Narnia said and I quote, "'All the things that ever deeply possessed your soul have been but hints of heaven. Tantalizing glimpses. Promises never quite fulfilled.
Echoes that died away just as they caught your ear.'" Lewis says, "'But if I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy the most probable explanation is I was made for another world.'" He concludes, "'Earthly pleasures were never meant to satisfy but to arouse to suggest the real thing.'"
End quote. The real thing friends is heaven. And we know that heaven is out there if we put our faith in Christ. To live is Christ Paul says and to die is gain. Only the person who says to live is Christ can then say to die is gain.
Coming back to an earlier question. What do you live for? Some people live to just live.
Fill in the blank. To live is to just live. Take it one day at a time they would say. Life is mere existence. They have no philosophy to speak of. They don't contemplate the meaning of life. They just live for the moment. Satisfy whatever desire comes their way. In fact if you bring up the topic of life's meaning they say I don't want to talk about it. Just keep the conversation light. They just live.
They just exist. Another person might say, well hey man to live is pleasure. To live is to have fun.
To enjoy the moment. And that is what people dedicate their entire life to. They just can't wait until the weekend.
You know they work so hard. Oh the weekend is coming. The weekend is coming. We are going to party. We are going to do this.
We are going to do that. Have you ever noticed that you spend most of your time waiting to do something that isn't even all that good when you are doing it? Be honest.
I mean I will be straight with you. Before I was a Christian I had some fun. I had some pleasures. I also had a lot of guilt. A lot of misery. And a lot of emptiness. And I spent a lot of time in between those literal moments.
Those minimal moments of pleasure. Sort of like going to an amusement park. You spend three hours waiting for the ride. And now they have these little signs in some amusement parks. If you are at this point in the line you will be on it in one year. You know.
Is this supposed to encourage me? So you get on the ride that lasts like what two minutes and then you get on another line and you wait. And that is what life can be like. You are waiting. Waiting. Waiting.
Have a few pleasures. Waiting. Waiting.
Waiting. Sure there is some pleasure. The Bible even says there is pleasure in sin for a time.
But then the Bible also warns that the wages of sin they are death. The Bible says of a woman that lives for pleasure she is dead while she is living. Be honest. Maybe you were at a party recently drinking one hand cigarette and the other laughing away and you were thinking to yourself, this sucks. Why am I doing this? I am not happy. I don't even know if any of these people in this room are my friends.
I don't think they would care if a car ran over me tomorrow. Why am I wasting my life? Have you thought that lately?
That is not a bad thing to consider. Because there is a deadness and an emptiness in that pursuit of pleasure. Another person might say for me to live is to get even. Instead of live and let live they would say live and let die man.
I will get you. They like to fight. They live for conflict. They are looking for someone to be mad at. Uptight angry people. What a waste of life. Another might say to live is possession. They might have a bumper sticker on their Ferrari. He that dies with the most toys wins. You just want to sideswipe a person like that don't you? Not that I would.
Just you think about it. One of the wealthiest men that ever lived was King Solomon. And he had everything you could want.
He said, I built huge house for myself. I planted beautiful vineyards. I collected massive sums of silver and gold. I had men and women. I had everything a man could want. And then I looked at all of us and it was all so meaningless.
It was like chasing the wind. There was nothing really worthwhile anywhere. If you don't believe that just take a look at so many of these celebrities and sports stars that make all of this money so quickly. And you look at them going into drug rehab or alcohol rehab or committing suicide. If possessions fulfilled a person why are there so many miserable successful people? Maybe they have what many others just dream about and they know now from experience that is not the answer. Solomon knew that as well.
Maybe you know it as well yourself. What are you living for? To live as Christ and to die as gain.
All these other things will not satisfy you. And think about who wrote this. These words were written by Paul. Now some of you don't know who Paul was. Paul was an apostle. But he is the last guy anybody ever expected to become a follower of Jesus. See Paul used to be known as Saul. Saul from a place called Tarsus. He was a religious man. He was a man that thought Christians were the enemy. In fact he thought he was doing God a favor by hunting down Christians and putting them to death. It was Saul of Tarsus that presided over the death of the first martyr of the church.
A young courageous man named Stephen. But one day Saul met the living Jesus on the Damascus Road. And Jesus said, Saul, Saul why are you persecuting me? And Saul was transformed in a moment and he said, Lord who are you and what do you want me to do? And then the murderous Saul became the powerful Paul.
The one who made the statement that I have already mentioned to you tonight. Maybe you like to mock Christians. Maybe you go out of your way to harass people that have faith in Jesus Christ. You think they are just a bunch of idiots.
In fact you came here tonight to mock a little bit more. I don't know if you have ever heard the proverb that says, when you throw a rock into a pack of dogs the one that barks the loudest is the one that got hit. Think about it.
Sometimes. Sometimes the ones that argue the most are closer to coming to Christ than the ones who are completely passive. It is true. You know they will say, well I have a question for you Mr. Christian. What about this?
And what about that? How do you respond to this? And they are always arguing.
Always giving you a hard time. Maybe the reason you are that way is because deep down inside you know it is true. And you are fighting it.
That is what Saul was doing. Maybe you have come here tonight with your arguments and with your anger and with your hostility. Maybe you are mad at God. God let this happen to me I am mad.
Listen. People have asked me, Greg are you mad at God for allowing your son to die? I will be honest with you. I don't understand why God let this happen. I would give anything for it not to have been. If there was a way I could have traded places with Him and gone in this place I would have done it in a heartbeat.
And any of you who are parents out there know I mean that when I say it. I wasn't given that choice. Am I mad at God?
No. I am sad. I am very sad.
I am sad all the time. But how could I be mad at a God who forgave me of all of my sin and forgave my son of all of his sins and holds him safely in his arms tonight? Honestly I think sometimes people say they are mad at God as an excuse for the way they have chosen to live.
Saul was that way but he became a believer because God got hold of him. To live is Christ and to die is gain. Now this is a wonderful thing when you can say to die is gain because you know that you will go to heaven. That doesn't mean that Christians have a death wish. It doesn't mean that we get up in the morning and say, man I hope I die today.
That would really be cool wouldn't it? No man. We want to live. As I said earlier no one loves life more than the follower of Jesus Christ. But at the same time we know the best is yet to come. It is yet to come.
Not here. We don't live under the illusion that life is a fairytale. You know we know life hurts. We are realists. Sometimes people say, you know Christian Jeb you are heading the ground. You don't know what is going on. Oh stop with that.
Christians are the greatest realists around. We know what is going on. Here is one thing we know.
Man is not basically good. Anyone who believes that is half crazy. We know man is sinful. The Bible teaches us that. Human experience teaches us that. We know life is hard.
We know there are things that happen in life we cannot explain. But at the same time we know that there is a God who loves us and we know that life on earth is not all there is but there is life on the other side. And as we put our faith in Christ we know we will meet Him one day.
But we can live full meaningful lives at the same time. But you see we go through life with hope and with purpose. And when that day comes for us to leave this world we know that God has something better.
I want to depart and be with Christ Paul said, which is far better. Why is it better? Well because heaven is better than earth.
That is sort of the understatement of the century. But why? Because God is there. And Satan is not there. And sin is not there. And temptation is not there.
Nor are human disabilities there. Or human sorrow. Or any of the other horrible things we experience in this fallen world. The Bible says, speaking of heaven in Revelation 7, they stand in front of the throne of God serving Him day and night. They will never again be hungry or thirsty.
They will be fully protected from the scorching noontime heat. And the Lamb who stands in front of the throne will be their shepherd and He will lead them to the springs of life giving water and God will wipe away all their tears. Why is heaven better than earth? It is better because I am moving from a tent to a mansion. It is true. The Bible compares our body to a tent.
Perfect illustration. It says in 2 Corinthians 5, we know that this earthly tent that we live in will be taken down when we die and we leave these bodies. But we have a home in heaven. Eternal.
Made by God. It is a tent. You don't live permanently in a tent.
Now listen. You can do anything you want with your body. You are not going to stop time from moving on. You can stretch it. You can inject it with all kinds of stuff. You can do everything you can to stop time.
But it isn't going to work. Life just moves right on. But we are going to leave a tent and we are going to go to this mansion. This new place. Remember the TV show The Beverly Hillbillies.
Remember the theme song. Old Jed was out hunting. Went up from the ground. Came a bubbling crude.
You know. And he struck oil. And the first thing you know old Jed is a millionaire. The kid folks said, Jed move away from here.
California is a place you ought to be. So they loaded up the truck and they moved to Beverly Hills that is. Movie stars.
Yeah you got it. Swimming pools. Movie stars. One day. You can see what I do with my spare time right.
Memorizing really lame songs. One day we will leave this broken down tent of a body to a mansion to a dwelling place far greater than Beverly Hills or any other exclusive neighborhood into that new body that God has for us. Why is heaven better? Heaven is better because it is immediate. When a believer dies they go immediately into God's presence. Immediately. Just like that. I saw a couple of people jump when I clapped.
I am sorry. They may have dozed off though so it could be a good thing. The apostle Paul said that to live is Christ to die is gain. And then he also said that we are confident rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord. You don't depart and go to a place to sleep somewhere. You go right into the presence of God. It is immediate. The moment you take your last breath on earth you take your first breath in heaven.
It is true. It is better because in heaven all of our questions will be answered. We all have questions we would like to ask God. I heard about one woman's question for God. In an ambitious moment she decided to invite a lot of her friends over for dinner. She was overwhelmed with all the preparation.
She could hardly get it all done. And after all of her guests arrived she turned to her little five-year-old daughter and said, honey why don't you offer the prayer for everyone. And the little girl said, well mommy I don't know what to say. And she said, you just say what you heard mommy said. So the little girl said, ok let's pray. Lord why on earth did I invite all these people to dinner?
You know where it is? Good question. Well seriously though we have legitimate questions for God I have thought about this a lot with my son. Why?
Why did this happen? No scenario really works quite honestly. I have pretty much given up asking why. The Bible doesn't promise a peace that always gives understanding.
It promises a peace that passes understanding. But friends listen. One day I will know why. One day I will know why. Right now the Bible says, I am seen through a glass darkly, but then I will see face to face. You know there are certain things that are fuzzy. They don't make sense. They are unclear. But one day it will all come into perfect clarity. But until that day we wait on the Lord.
We don't live on explanations. We live on promises. One day we will know. But until then we must trust. And lastly heaven is better than earth because Paul said, I will be with Christ.
That is the great joy. Yes it is wonderful that we will get new bodies. And by the way if you want to see me in heaven don't look for a bald guy.
Look for a guy with hair. Ok. It is a new.
It is a glorified body. Maybe an afro. I don't know.
Then again what if we are all bald in heaven. Huh. See.
Maybe it will be the hair after instead of the hair. No. Forget it. You know. Whatever it is it is going to be good.
I really care less. But the greatest joy of heaven, even greater than a new body, even greater than a reunion with my loved ones, even greater than all the bliss and perfection is Jesus will be there and will never be separated from Him again. Listen. You don't go to heaven to find Christ. You go to Christ to find heaven. And you can find Him tonight.
He is with us right now. So here is what I am saying to you. Take the worst case scenario of life. Finding out you are going to die. Or having someone close to you die or a child die before you.
And know this. You will not be alone. Jesus will be with you walking through it with you.
Tears in His eyes. The Bible says, "'Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for you are with Me.'" I have hit rock bottom folks. And I can tell you God was there and God is here and He won't give you more than you can handle. You don't have to be afraid. Jesus said, "'Don't be afraid.
Only believe.'" That doesn't mean we don't have sorrow. It doesn't mean we don't cry. I think the sorrow of a Christian overseeing a loved one die may be greater than that of a nonbeliever.
Because a nonbeliever often will not think about it. I don't want to deal with it. But we think about it and we miss that person. The Bible even says there is a time to mourn. There is a time to laugh. We mourn.
But at the same time the Bible says we don't sorrow like those who have no hope. We have hope that we will see them again for our loved ones who have died are not just a part of our past but also a part of our future. I was thinking the other day about my son, which I often do. And I was thinking it has been 80 days now since I saw him last. 80 days since our last conversation. 80 days from my last contact with him. But then I thought, but it is 80 days closer to when I will see him again.
He is a part of my future. So what do you live for? If you say for me to live is money then to die will be to leave it all behind. If you say for me to live is fame then to die for you will be to be forgotten. If you say for me to live is power then for you to die is to lose it all. But if you say to live is Christ then you will be able to say to die is gain.
The reason we do not have to fear death is because 2000 years ago God came to live among us as a man. We will be celebrating it in a short time. They have already started putting out decorations for the holiday season. The Christmas season. When do they start?
August? Well we celebrate that day in the little town of Bethlehem where God Almighty came to be born as a helpless little baby in that manger. And that little baby grew to be a man. And He lived a perfect life. And He died a perfect death. You see Jesus was born to die that we might live. He came to this earth with a purpose of dying for our sin because He knew that Greg Laurie was a hopeless sinner who had broken His commandments and He knew that you could never do anything to meet His righteous requirements. So Jesus more than a good man, the God man, voluntarily went to a cross and bore the sin of the world. With one hand He took hold of sinful humanity.
With the other hand He took hold of a holy God and they pounded spikes through His hands and He bled and He died there for the sin of the world. For your sin. For my sin. And then He rose again from the dead three days later and defeated death at the cross so you don't have to be afraid to die. You can live forever in Christ.
So let me ask you this in closing. Do you want to go to heaven when you die? And by the way heaven is not your default destination. And by that I mean you can't just say, well I know I will go to heaven.
You know that is just the way it is. All dogs go to heaven. I know cats won't go there. That is for sure. Don't get me started on cats. I am just kidding.
But listen. It is not your default destination. And by that I mean you can't assume you are going to heaven. In fact the Bible would teach the contrary. The Bible would teach broad is the way that leads to destruction and many there are that go that way and narrow is the way that leads to life and few there are that find it. You will go to heaven because you choose to go to heaven.
You see it is a choice where you say I want to go. But you say, well how can you know? First of all you have to admit you are a sinner. The Bible teaches that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.
Every one of us have sinned. And what is sin? Well there are different ways the word sin can be defined. But one way to define the word sin is to cross a line. The Bible talks about trespassing sin. Maybe you have been walking through a beautiful park and they have just planted some grass and they have a little sign there that says no trespassing.
If you step over you just trespassed. When you cross a line you have sinned. The Bible says you shall not commit adultery. You shall not take the Lord's name in vain. You shall not lie.
You shall not steal. We have broken those commandments therefore we have stepped over the line. That is sin. Well you might say well ok. I know I have sinned but I haven't sinned as much as some people have sinned.
Check this out. God doesn't grade on the curve. One sin is enough to keep you out of heaven.
It is true. The Bible says if you have sinned in one point of the law you are guilty of all of it. So stop thinking you are ok because you are not as bad as someone else.
And another way that we sin is falling short of God's standards. Jesus said be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect. Are you perfect? You say no. Are you? No. Not at all.
Far from it. That is where Jesus comes in. Because I have sinned you see. So admit you are a sinner. Stop making excuses for it.
Stop blaming it on someone else. Admit you are a sinner. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God the Bible teaches.
Number two. Recognize that Jesus Christ died on the cross for you. Yes He died for the world.
It is true. The Bible says, For God so loved the world He gave His only begotten Son. And whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. But it is also true that Christ died for you friend.
For you. The apostle Paul said He loved me and He gave Himself for me. Jesus died for you so you could be forgiven of your sin.
Then thirdly you must repent of your sin. That is a word we don't hear very often these days. Repent. It is a word from the Bible.
It is an important word. It is a word that speaks of being sorry for what you have done but it also means being sorry enough to stop. The Bible says godly sorrow produces repentance. The Bible says there is joy in the presence of the angels over one sinner that comes to repentance. The Bible says God has commanded people everywhere to repent.
You say, well I haven't even pented that I know of. How do I repent? Let me simplify it for you. To repent means to change your direction. So you have been going away from God.
It is time to hang a U-turn alive. Turn around. Start going toward God. You know there are things that you are doing that are wrong. Turn from those things.
Repent. And be converted the Bible says in times of refreshment will come from the presence of the Lord. And then you must receive Christ into your life. This is the bottom line. Being a Christian is not just being raised in a Christian home or going to a church on Sunday.
Being a Christian is when you say Jesus Christ come into my life and forgive me of my sin and be my Savior and my Lord and my God and my friend. Have you done that yet? I can't do that for you. The person who brought you here tonight cannot do that for you. Your parents can't do that for you. God has no grandchildren. Only sons and daughters. How do you become a son or a daughter of God? The Bible says, for as many as received Him He gave them the power to become sons of God. You see my son Christopher is in heaven tonight. Not because he was Greg's son but because he was God's son through faith in Christ. That is how I know he is in heaven right now.
That is how you can know as well. You must receive Him into your life. Jesus says, I stand at the door and I knock and if you will hear my voice and open the door I will come in. You need to say, Lord come in.
And then you must do it publicly. That is why in a moment I am going to ask you to make a public stand for Jesus Christ. In a few moments we are going to have a prayer. I am going to ask you if you want your sin forgiven. If you want to go to heaven when you die.
If you want that void inside of you filled. I am going to ask that after we have a prayer that you will get up out of your seat and walk down here and stand here on this floor and I am going to lead you in a prayer of commitment to Christ. You say, well what do I need to walk down some aisle for? Well the reason I am going to ask you to do it is because Jesus said, if you will acknowledge Me before people I will acknowledge you before My Father and the angels in heaven. But He said, if you deny Me before people I will deny you before the Father and the angels. Walking down these aisles won't make you a Christian. Standing on this floor won't make you a Christian. Putting your faith in Christ will do that. But this is a way to publicly say I mean business and I don't care who sees me do it. Because I am serious. I am going to call you to make a stand.
It will take some courage on your part. And lastly you must do it now. The Bible says today is the day of salvation.
Tonight. Don't put this off. You never know when life will end. This could be the last opportunity that some of you have to hear the gospel before death knocks on your door. Don't think it couldn't happen friend.
It could. And then the other problem is every time you hear the gospel like you are hearing it tonight and you don't say yes to it your heart can get a little harder you see. The Bible says he who is often reproved hardens his heart and he will be cut off from that without remedy. He can just sort of get callous to it. Oh I have heard that before.
Man if you are just sensing that tug deep inside of you respond. You say, well Greg wait a second man I have a lot of questions. That is all right. You come with your questions to Christ.
Well I am really messed up. My life was you know really I have all kinds of troubles and I have an addiction problem. You come with your troubles and you come with your addiction.
Jesus says, come unto me all you that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. You come. Don't clean your life up and come to God.
Come to God and He will clean your life up for you. He will change you. He will give you the strength.
Jesus cleans His fish after He catches them. You come tonight. We are going to give you that opportunity. Let me say one last thing. This is an either or proposition I am presenting to you tonight. By that I mean Jesus did not offer Himself as one of many ways to God. Essentially saying listen if you want to come my way that is great.
If you want to go another way that is fine. No. No.
No. Jesus said, I am the way the truth and the life and no man comes of the Father but by me. And Jesus said, you are for Me or against Me. By not saying yes to Jesus you are automatically saying no to Him. It is accept or reject. It is follow or turn away from. That is your choice. You have before you tonight. Jesus didn't say admire Me.
He said follow Me. Don't let somebody else do your thinking for you friend. You think for yourself right now this is the most important decision you are ever going to make in life. Make the right one for Jesus Christ. In the moment we are going to pray and I am going to invite you to say yes to Jesus and change your eternal address from a place called hell to a place called heaven. I am going to give you an opportunity to ask Christ to come into your life to forgive you of all of your sin and give you a new meaning and purpose and hope in life like you have never had before. So you think about what you are going to do as we all pray together now. Let's all bow our heads if you would everyone praying. Now Father I pray for everyone in this arena. I pray for everyone listening to this message. We have just shared the gospel truth with them. Help them Lord see these words are true. Help them come to You and believe and receive the forgiveness only You can give.
Work Lord by the power of the Holy Spirit in the lives of each of these we pray in Jesus' name. Amen. Hey everybody.
Greg Laurie here. Thanks for listening to our podcast. And to learn more about Harvest Ministries please subscribe and consider supporting this show. Just go to Harvest.org. And by the way if you want to find out how to come into a personal relationship with God go to KnowGod.org. That is K-N-O-W-G-O-D.org.
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