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How to Look Up When Things Look Down | Uncomplicating the Gospel

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
September 6, 2022 3:00 am

How to Look Up When Things Look Down | Uncomplicating the Gospel

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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September 6, 2022 3:00 am

Some people come to Christ instantly, as soon as they hear the Gospel. It’s the miracle of a moment. Others resist that decision for decades, until one day they realize their need for Christ. Sometimes it’s a crisis or tragedy that brings them to that point, other times it’s as though their eyes suddenly opened. Today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie shows us the miraculous conversion of a certain Philippian jailer . . . a conversion that would sweep through his entire family.

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

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Everybody you're listening to a new beginning, which is a podcast made possible by harvest partners. If this program is impacted. Do I love to hear from you. So just send an email to me at greg@harvest.org again it's greg@harvest.org you can learn more about becoming harvest partner by going to harvest.org today on a new beginning pastor Greg Laurie takes just one miracle arrived in the book of act causing the jailer regarding Paul and Silas want to become a believer. What must I do to be seen in Paul says believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved. Why we complicate this message. It's so simple believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will and the Christ soon as they hear the gospel is the miracle of the moment others resist that decision for exactly one day they realize their need for Christ. Sometimes it's a crisis tragedy brings them to other times it's as though their eyes open today on a new beginning. Greg Laurie shows his miraculous conversion of a certain version would sweep through his entire family Bible acts chapter 6 seen in the title of my message is how to look up when things looked down.

Now what we're reading about here in the book of acts is the second missionary journey of the apostle Paul and Paul now has a new wing man and his name is Silas another headed to a place called Philippi, so he arrives with Silas and there's this lady there.

Your name is Lydia. Lydia was a very affluent woman and says that she sold purple garment. So back in this day are treating expensive cloth with expensive purple dye would be what we would call a designer down the designer shirt so this is a woman who was very affluent very well. Often this is the first convert of this second missionary journey. So here's the devil now with his counter attack acts 16 verse 16. As we went to prayer a certain slave girl possessed with the spirit of divination, who brought her masters much profit started following us so this demon possessed woman now starts following the apostles. She was shouting these men are servants of the most time and have come to tell you how to be say.

Actually this word she said could be translated. She shrieked figures Paul and Silas walking along the Philippi she's behind him screaming that Sarah outside God woman truly getting on my nerves and it's interesting because in the original language and says she had the spirit of Python and what that means is, there was a myth that the python snake guarded the temple of Apollo and so there was a side weird demonic thing and so Paul cast the demon out.

Well now the people who were controlling this woman effectively trafficking her pimping her out, if you will, and making a lot of money off of her were outraged because this witchy woman was their source of income.

So when they exercise edema may also exercise the income for her masters. So now they're angry back 16 verse 20, though they go try to whip up the people in the whole city is in an uproar because of these Jews, they shouted their teaching the people to do things against Roman customs, a mob quickly formed against Paul and Silas in the city officials order them strip and beat them with a wooden rod so we picked up in acts 16 verse 23 what happened after that they were severely beaten.

Then there were thrown into prison in the jailer was order to make sure they didn't escape, so we took no chances and put them into the inner dungeon in clap their feet in the stocks around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening. Verse 26.

Suddenly there was a great earthquake and the prison was shaken out of foundations and the doors flew open and the chains of every prisoner fell off the jailer woke up to see the prison doors open. He assumed the prisoners had escaped and he drew his sword to kill himself. Paul shouted to him, don't do it wrong here trembling with fear. The jailer called for lights and ran to the dungeon and fell down before Paul and Silas, and he brought them out and ask servers.

What must I do to be say their reply believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved along with your entire household, then they shared the word of the Lord with him and all who lived in this household the same hour the jailer wash their wounds, he and everyone in this household were immediately baptized. He brought them into his house and set a meal before them. He and his entire household rejoiced because they all believed in God is and that one of the greatest stories in the Bible so Paul and Silas are flogged. Verse 24 says he clamp their feet in stocks. They were thrown into a dark filthy underground whole of vermin filled dungeon shredded backs were laid open from the whipping. They were put on hard ground there in these stocks that were spread, causing excruciating pain and they didn't know what their future was they didn't know there were going to be delivered Paul and Silas had not read acts 16 yet they were living it real time, as I've often said jokingly. Job never read the book of Joe. He did know how the story ended. They might be free as God delivered Peter, but they might die because God allowed James gives me Stephen to be martyred James as well. Actually, so he did know how this story within but that's what makes this all the more remarkable when it says in verse 25.

Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God.

The other prisoners were listening never wake up in the middle of the night you're troubled by something yet something is bothering you some worrisome anxiety. It's a good time to pray. I don't appreciate seeing you might wake up your spouse if you're married, but tell you could, but remind yourself of Scripture correct your thinking with with the word of God says and that's a good thing to do.

In fact, the psalmist writes in Psalm 42 verse eight through each day the Lord courses and feeling love upon me through each night I sing his songs praying to God who gives me life there singing praises to God and the other prisoners were listening. By the way this word for listening means to listen very carefully or literally to listen with pleasure. I don't think anyone ever heard anyone sing on this dungeon before our Paul and Silas doing a two-part harmony. You know, Linda McCartney, Everly Brothers something like that.

I don't think so. But the fact that they were giving glory to God. As such, at first. Circumstances really cause others to pay attention, listening with pleasure, if ever, been maybe driving along any of the radio on and you're listening to music and a song you like comes on so you turn it up to hear this. I love this song and you sing along with it. Then someone turns the volume up in your singing all by yourself. If you don't sound nearly as good as you thought you did well there singing praises to God, everyone's listening because this is such an unexpected thing and it reminds us there that there is a lost world out there and they're watching you and I as a Christian mother watching what we do when things go the wrong way. How do we handle it when a child goes prodigal. How do we handle it when were laid off at work.

How do we handle it when we get sick. How do we handle it. When hardship comes into our line and what we can still give glory to God. That is a powerful testimony that will open their heart as it did in the life of the jailer. He had never seen anything like this before. He was moving very deeply known earthquake comes and it is a supernatural earthquake because no earthquake would break chains off of your hands necessarily all the doors swing open this guys ready to kill himself wife, because if you're a Roman jailer given this responsibility in your prisoners escape. You will be put to death so that I was going to do it myself. Some don't nurture yourself wrong here still in this man falls down before them and I love the Burbage and I use King James here instead of new living servers.

What must I do to be say a term of respect, servers, gentlemen.

Whenever you have I want. That's what must I do to be saved. So Paul gives him the truth of the gospel is a Paul probably could relate to this guy is that all you I know the sky.

I used to be this guy except maybe I was a little worse. The fact that this man could whip them and treat them so horribly. Will Paul used to hunt down Christians send them to prison even killed. So he that I used to be that way. I want to help this guy out, what must I do to be saved, believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved, and immediately the jailer believes any washes their wounds.

Verse 33 says that everyone in this household was immediately baptized. Now I love household home was impacted a lot of times the way that Jesus comes into a family is the one person one person believes they become a Christian. And now this kind of upsets the family.

Jesus said do you think that I've come to bring peace of your know I tell you division a mother will be divided against her daughter, a father against his son. Your enemies will be those of your own household. We we then save what I thought. Jesus came to bring peace. He did and he does but sometimes before that piece there is a division. Let me illustrate it because many of you love this to you become a Christian and a Thanksgiving. Maybe there was a lot of drinking and a lot of partying and a lot of whatever that was my life for and I know your Christian anything I'd like to pray when it's time to eat.

Say grace you've never said grace in your family before and okay whatever. Let's pray you pray your prayer and a lot of people don't like it one bit. But then one other family member comes to Christ, then another one comes to Christ, so there's division of first resentment but now they're coming to Jesus.

One by one, for you know it it's a Christian family. I've seen it happen so many times passed on from generation to generation to grade more will have the second half of this message just a moment. I don't know if you know about this, but we have a weekend service called Harvest at Home exclusively for people that are tuning in literally from around the world listen to this. We even have harvest groups where you can get into a small group with folks from all around this planet of ours, studying the word of God is so join us this weekend Saturday and Sunday for Harvest at Home@harvest.org acts 16 today as Pastor Greg presents his message how to look up when things looked down so that all of the people that Paul and Silas reach in this chapter the up in the outer. A lady named Lydia that down in the out of the demon possessed woman. The soldiers somewhere in the middle solidity of the designer, the former snake girl in a jailer Python girl all these people come to faith the rich and the poor, the slave and the free the men and the woman all one in Christ and ready to rock their world and they became the nucleus of the church of Philippi that Paul wrote an epistle to known as Philippians right now let me come back and consider the question of the jailer. What must I do to be sick.

What must I do to be saved. He asks and Paul says, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved. Why do we complicate this message. This is the apostle Paul, a very credible source that we can look to on how to share the gospel.

As I said earlier, people can get so tied up into a theological pretzel is are trying to articulate the gospel. No one can understand it. I don't even think the person describing it understands it, it's so simple believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be say that said that pharmacy but we have to define it.

What is it mean to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ is a mere intellectual assent to the fact that a man named Jesus came to this world died in across it even rose from the dead. It includes that, but there's much more because the Bible says the demons believe, and tremble going back to Python girl.

What was she saying, these men are servants of the most high God was that technically true, actually wants it just the way she said and that she was possessed by a demon. Even the demons believe, and tremble using. So some people say I believe in Jesus therefore I'm disabled do you believe in the way the Bible tells you to believe Jesus said for God so loved the world he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life. By implication, believing means to take hold of one thing and let go of another or to put it another way, it's to believe in and repent of C you have to repent of your sin. On the day of Pentecost, Peter said they said, what shall we do, they wanted to believe he says red parents and be converted in times of refreshment will come from the presence of the Lord. To repent needs to turn from known sin now honestly, you may not know all the stuff you're doing to sin yet so your repent of what you know to repent up and as you get to know the Lord better you repent for things as you realize a lot of things that are right but the point is is believing means to trust him to cling to, and rely on if the put your full weight on something I'm putting my full weight of 160 pounds you left. That's my left leg locates a I'm putting my full weight on this platform. I'm expecting it to hold me and you put your full weight in Christ. As I pointed out earlier is not Christ. Plus good words.

Christ plus baptism price plus X, Y, and Z. It's Jesus and Jesus alone.

I believe in him that, for the me please. It will save weird word think it's weird at all is and that the perfect work I'm either someone is in a burning building in a courageous firefighter rushed in and brought them out if you read about it later. It would probably say a person was saved. I have some was drowning out of the ocean caught in a riptide and a lifeguard swam out to save them.

That's the word we use.

They save them and this is what God does he save that you say saves us from what he save that for starters from future judgment. Romans 59 says, since we been made right in God's sight by the blood of Christ, he will save us from God's judgment.

How will I be saved.

The Bible says whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be say and that's what we need to do. We call on his name you know it.

Sometimes you hear people say why I tried Christianity. I tried Jesus Christ. It didn't work for me while I immediately dismiss your statement because I know you didn't try Jesus first was not a product okay so what's the return policy on this. I'll be honest with you I like to play around with gadgets okay so I order something online. First thing you do return policy. Can I return.

This is a restocking fee. Okay is I want to see this in real life and I want to see if I like. I look like it or hairdo like at whatever so people come to Jesus all right with the return policy is not working. I try to infer all holy Jesus Christ is not a product if it didn't work, it's because you failed not because he failed to seize not in it.

He's a him and he'll change be like a person saying try the home medicine thing it didn't work for me. I'm still sick way it would happen.

We went out of the doctor.

He did the diagnosis of your problems that you need to take this medication twice a day until it the bottles done and I think you'll be better so you go down to get the prescription filled and you never open and never do anything the doctor said you get sicker.

Yeah I tried medicine. It didn't work for me know. You didn't follow the doctor's directions try try the whole health club thing I did the whole gym membership joined the gym. Yes, I did. Did you ever go to the gym. Oh yeah what did you do Serrano talked that one for donuts afterwards. Okay, that no acute that's you that's on you don't say you tried the gym and it didn't work. You didn't do what you were supposed to do so. If you really believe in Jesus and you start following Jesus and you repent of your sins and you start reading the Bible you get involved in the church and you develop a prayer life.

Your life is going to change. I'm just telling you right now that's guarantee worry about the return policy. You will want to return anything yet. So believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you be saves only close be there somebody here and there are people here is just weird things preacher say maybe there somebody here, what aren't you talking to people yes but I say this somebody probably is someone here who says I'm here at church.

I like it here. I don't fully understand all of this. I do want to change, but I don't know that I saved. I mean I don't have the guaranteed assurance that I I'm to go to heaven will it's clear that I'm telling you can walk out here today knowing beyond the shadow of a doubt, your sin is forgiven and you're going to heaven one day. What is Jesus a he says for God so loved the world he gave his only begotten son whosoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life. How do you do that with the jailer. He just believed right there.

I believe and I let's go for let's baptize you guys, this is amazing how long will that take him to do doesn't say in a month past. No immediate that's how quickly God will save you and forgive you of your sin. Let me give you an opportunity in closing to get right with God and be saved and know that you go to heaven one day and be ready for the Lord to return. Let's make sure you're right with God.

Let's pray father I pray for any person here now. If they don't know you. I pray at this very moment your Holy Spirit work in their hearts and bring those that are not saying to you to be saying to be forgiven to be made right with God Jesus name I pray a great glory important closing prayer if you like to make a change in your relationship with the Lord.

Pastor Greg will help you do that in just a moment before today's addition of a new beginning. Concludes then we want to mention Pastor Greg's compelling resource called Revelation, a book of promises. Nearly everyone can think of a question that like to ask about the book of Revelation may be something about the 144,004 if believers will be here when the Antichrist is revealed when they find answers in your new book 100%.

They will honey just give quick answer to every one of those questions for the hundred and 44,000. There hundred and 44,000 Jewish people who believe in Jesus as the Messiah. There sort of like 144,000 kosher Billy Graham's combing the planet sharing the gospel in their under divine protection and then you mentioned will believers be here to see the Antichrist. I think the simple answer is no because the Bible says he who now restrains will continue to do so until he is taken out of the way and then will that wicked one, be revealed, whom the Lord will destroy with the brightness of his coming.

The restraining force in the world today is the work of the Holy Spirit through the church. It is my opinion that Antichrist cannot be revealed until the church is removed, so we should not waste time looking for Antichrist, but instead be looking for Jesus Christ. So the main thing we want to focus on is being ready to meet the Lord. So I answer those questions and a lot more in this book called Revelation, a book of promises. It's hardcover this is a pretty thick book folks and Morgan ascended to you for your gift of any size because I believe this is going to be a resource that you can go to time and time again as you study this book. It's understandable. It's down to earth. It's practical.

I don't use a lot of theological language I speak in a way that you can grasp it and I want to send you this book again for your gift of any size whatever you can send will use to reach more people with the gospel in the teaching of the word of God. Yet we so much appreciate that investment is really an investment in touching and changing lives.

So get in touch today with that donation and will thank you with a copy of Pastor Greg's book Revelation, a book of promises and by the way, will include a bookmark designed by our team to show the timeline of end times events very clearly what comes before watch what comes after what to write us today at a new beginning. Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or call us anytime around the clock at 1-800-821-3300 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest.org and then the pressure just before we go. Would you mind praying with the person listening who wants to make a change today in the relationship with the Lord. I'd be happy to Dave you know is you been listening to this today. Maybe you've heard another voice. By that I mean yeah you heard me say a few things, but you heard God's voice speak to you deep in the recesses of your heart and it suddenly dawned in you. This is what I need order stated more accurately. This is who I need I need Jesus. And I want Jesus, but maybe you don't know how to make that connection. Let me help you pray this after me right now if you want Jesus Christ to comedy your life Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner and I am sorry for my sin and I need your forgiveness right now. Would you come in to my heart, my life as Savior, as God as friend. I choose to follow you from this moment forward. Thank you for calling me and accepting me and for giving me in Jesus name I pray, amen. I know there was a relatively short prayer.

Maybe you felt something as you prayed it.

Maybe you felt nothing, that doesn't really matter because God's word says these things we write to you that believe on the name of the son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life. It doesn't say so. You may think you have it or you may hope you have it of gods in a good mood.

No that you can know it and I want you to know if you pray that prayer and minute Jesus Christ, the son of God has come into your life. So congratulations, you're now a Christian now continue to follow the Lord to help you would like to send you some resource materials recolor new believers growth packet will answer many of the questions you might have get you started off right in your new relationship with the Lord. So get in touch and ask for it will send it to you free of charge. Just call 1-800-821-3300. That's her 24 hour phone number 1-800-821-3300 or write a new beginning. Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or go online to harvest.org and click on know God Pastor Greg brings us grading heard on the challenge of reaching out with the gospel cultures it's lost its way. Join us here on a new beginning. Pastor and Bible teacher Greg Moore. Thanks for doing new beginning.

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