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September 20, 2022 3:00 am
If we preach a watered-down gospel, and people respond that half-of-a-gospel message, are they really responding to the truth? The whole truth? The truth presented clearly in Scripture? That’s an important question, and Pastor Greg Laurie tackles that today on A NEW BEGINNING. We’re studying the life of the prophet Elijah—a man who stepped out in courageous boldness and made a difference in his time. Let’s find out today how we can do the same in our time!
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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 you, I love to hear from you.
So just send an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org again it's email@example.com you can learn more about becoming harvest partner by going to harvest.org overall representation of the gospel even includes the uncomfortable poor pastor Greg Laurie says we have to resent the whole truth and nothing we cannot promise the forgiveness of God without speaking of repentance. We cannot all for the hope of heaven that warning about Hell but their city race and love that message we give people so we don't sign them away. We want to reach that help them have their spiritual eyes and down. People respond to that gospel message are they really responding to the truth the whole truth. The truth presented clearly in Scripture. That's an important question Greg Laurie tackles that you're on the new beginning studying the life of Elijah man who step out in courageous people made a difference in his time. Find out today how we can do the same. Elijah the prophet came at a very dark time in the history of Israel. But this single man changed history and caused Israel to turn back to God. And it shows how one man or one woman can make all the difference in weight to live in very dark times in our country right now we have all of the turmoil we have the crime we have the divisions racially and politically.
And then we of the family that's under attack right now. I many not only want to redefine the family they want to redefine what a man and a woman actually is, and now we hear about the Supreme Court overturning Roe V Wade. This is very good news.
This is an answer to prayer but not everyone's excited about another so just more turmoil, more division in the country today and reminds us of the passage it says in the last days.
Things would go from bad to worse. And at this stage of the history of Israel closely parallels America today. Basically, the people had abandoned God. I thought they didn't believe in God anymore. They had just put other gods in his place little historical background here before we dive in and usually have had years under the leadership of Saul, David and family Solomon so so you know wasn't the worst thing about time, but he was the great King, and he was replaced by David who was probably the greatest king in the history of Israel, though he had his flaws and setbacks and sins. Then finally his son Solomon, who ruled well for a time and was known as the wisest man in all of the world, even the Queen of Sheba came to sit at his feet, but of course he had his backslide he return to the Lord. But then there was a division after King Solomon died in Israel was divided into two sections was southern kingdom, and the northern kingdom and idolatry exploded and now there's a new king in town and his name is a habit. He was the most sinful king up to that point and if I was about enough. He married an extremely wicked woman named Jezebel, who effectively was the power behind the throne.
Jezebel was an overt worshiper of the God bail and she introduced bail worship to Israel by the way bail means master or Lord, bail is the God of the elements, the God of the weather, the God of the sun, the stars, and that's why it's so significant that when Elijah based off of the profits of bail up on Mount Carmel really asking the God was real to answer by fire that should've been a walk in the park for bail.
But nothing happened because bail wasn't real. He was a false God. And that's when Elijah was seeking the show.
Another thing about bail is bail required the sacrifice of children, the firstborn son had to be sacrificed to bail you can see images of this false God made out of metal with its hands outstretched and the idea was to like print get him burning very hot in the place little baby in the arms of the outstretched idol that was your sacrifice to this false gods of things were getting really horrible in Israel at this point no human Jezebel planted what was known as the sacred Grove group of trees that were used for the worship of*now, in contrast to bail Ashtoreth was was the goddess of sex and violence, and the people thought that they could just worship these false gods with impunity, then nothing would ever really happen, and I wonder are there not current versions of these gods today do we not bow at the altar of sex and violence have you listen to music lately. Have you seen a movie lately.
Have you watched television lately. You see these things constantly being brought upon us, and then you talk about sacrificing our children in the name of reproductive rights people sacrifice the lives of unborn children, its modern idolatry human Jezebel were so bad that the Bible says of them in first Kings 16. Ahab did more to provoke the God of Israel. The anger that all the kings of Israel were before him, so they thought.
Pay. This is great, the true God doesn't really care. We can have all this fun, we can break God's laws. We can live a morally and do all of these things, but of course God warns in Scripture. Don't be deceived, God is not mocked whatsoever a man sows, that will he also reap. So let's start the story first Kings chapter 17 verse one just simple verse and lines of the testified of the inhabitants of Gilead, said to Ahab is the Lord God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, I'd underline that the Lord God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years except in my work stuff there. Elijah flung down the gauntlet of his challenge. At the very nerve center of Israel. There was a new kid in town is very name set it all. His name means my God is Jehovah. It was a rebuke to the king and queen your God may be bail but my God is the Lord and my God is alive in your God is not worthy kid that courage go back to verse one is the Lord God of Israel lives, before whom I stand point number one Elijah stood continually in the presence of God. Elijah stood continually in the presence of God, though he was technically in the presence of Ahab and Jezebel.
He was always conscious of God's presence wherever he went he was aware God is with me. God is hearing that God is watching this and also God is leading me and God is guiding me.
He always walked closely to the Lord and listen to this.
When you stand in the presence of God.
You will not bow before any man. It'll give you a curds that you never thought you could have before. It's a supernatural courage. Proverbs 28 one says the righteous are as bold as a line.
This awareness of God's presence give Elijah to stand his ground and it's a good reminder for us to keep in mind the simple fact that to whoever we speak wherever it is and wherever we go.
God is and one person can make all the difference in the world you're an army of one, but one with God is a majority number two. Elijah was a man of prayer. He was a man of prayer, James 517 says Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for 3 1/2 years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops. It was Elijah's prayer in private. That was the source of his power in public and it's worth noting that James points out, he prayed earnestly.
You know you can pray and then you can really pray right and earnest prayer, earnest like he prayed with passion. I was in the lead back kind of prayer, but it was a forceful prayer even the word earnestly is a Hebrew idiom that means he prayed with prayer.
There was an intensity in the prayer that he prayed and reminds me of the story. Next, 12 of when Peter was arrested by King Herod and he was imprisoned it was going to be executed. The next day we read in acts 12 constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church that same phrase, constant prayer beads, passionate, earnest prayer and I think how often do we pray about things were so quick to complain about things were so quick to be in despair over things pray about them. Remember, the Bible says you have not because you ask not bring it to.
Don't worry about anything the Bible reminds us, but pray about everything. And that's what Elijah did. Mr. Greg Lord will have the second half of this message just a moment, you know, there's nothing lying here in the word of God and worshiping the Lord together.
I will encourage you to join us for something we call Harvest at Home every Saturday and Sunday harvest.org you join Christians literally from around the world as we worship and we study the word of God together. So join us for Harvest at Home and harvest. Pastor Greg is offering a principles drawn from the life of Elijah principles that will help us be men and women who make a difference, just as Elijah did was continue.
There's 1/3 principle. He knew the Scripture any act. Elijah knew the Scripture, and he acted on it. It appears he bases this bold proclamation he makes to Ahab and Jezebel on Scripture because Deuteronomy 1116 gives this warning.
Be careful or you will be enticed or turn away, and worship other gods and doubt to them. Then the Lord Zingo will burn against you and he will shut the heavens. So it will not rain, and the ground will yield no produce, and you will soon perish from the good land the Lord is giving so Elijah read that said brothers warning so I don't know if he was acting on this passage in particular. But he went into the court of the king, and he made this bold statements in the number four Elijah faithfully delivered the message he faithfully delivered the message.
You know sometimes we have a good news message. Sometimes we have to give a bad news message and it's hard to do the latter more than the former. And we need to have a message to deliver.
And it's wonderful to tell people that God loves in its truest.
It's wonderful to tell people Christ can forgive us of all of our sin is fantastic to tell people that he can give them the peace that passes all human understanding and that they can have the whole of heaven and this is all true but it's not as easy to say Jesus Christ is the only way to the father and there is no other way to him because he himself said I am the way, the truth and the life and no man comes to the Father but by me. But we need to be faithful to God and deliver this message. Having said that, we want to do it with as much grace and compassion as we can you do it with grace. As I've said before, if you want to win some be when sent me put it another way, be a nice person.
Okay, just in general be a nice person be a kind person be a friendly person in general be an affirming person be a helpful person.
When the moment comes for you to deliver the gospel.
You must do so with clarity and accuracy. But Colossians 46 says be pleasant and hold their interest when you speak the message, choose your words carefully and be ready to give answers to anyone who asks questions. The great evangelist feel moody once said that whenever you talk about how you should always do so with a tear in your eye, and I think sometimes people and they deliver the message about how may take a little perverse pleasure and same. It you're going to have Susie know you this you break your heart to deliver that message but it is part of the whole counsel of God. Listen, we cannot promise the forgiveness of God without speaking of repentance we cannot offer the hope of heaven without warning about health, but there should be grace and love and that message we give to people so we don't drive them away because we want to reach the person who is living morally, we want to reach the person that is making bad decisions and is getting into drugs or alcohol or whatever it might be you want to share with compassion, listen. Nonbelievers are not the enemy. There, under the control of the enemy don't treat a nonbeliever like that of the enemy because the Bible says they been to give captive by Satan to do his will. And don't forget you used to be one of those people, but sometimes it can become very intolerant. I said, and we want to yell at them and we want to argue with the way you want to reach them and help them have their spiritual eyes opened and have them come to Christ that mentioned abortion in this message and I want to close with two communications. I received one was a letter and one was actually a voicemail. So the first one was from a young lady named Crystal and she writes I listen to Greg every day on the radio while I was working at Planned Parenthood I worked there for over a year was a certain sermon, writes Crystal. That scared me and it hit harder than it it hit before and one day I was counting the pieces of the dismembered DB.
I thought about Greg's sermon where he said of Jesus came back right then what I be left behind.
I was preaching on the imminent return of Christ that I asked the question, is there anything that you're doing right now, you would be ashamed to be doing. If Christ came back in here is Crystal assisting a doctor and an abortion procedure and it Johnson heard that this is the most horrible thing ever. She repents of this. She quits her job at Planned Parenthood and now she's an advocate for the lives of unborn children since the power of the gospel. But what about the woman who's had the abortion. Is there any hope for her so lady left a voicemail of a radio program and she says I have a 45 minute commute to and from work and I was listing though one of Greg Lori's podcast and I finished losing one of the sermons title.
Let's talk about heaven. She writes I had an abortion back in 2010 and it's been a long journey of healing. When I finally came to the realization that the safest place is to be at the foot of the cross.
I was able to fully experience God's grace and mercy that he has for me. I'm getting emotional because I know one day I'll be reunited with my baby, as well as with Jesus Christ and I want to say thank you. This is important because you could look at some young woman and she got an abortion, you begin to lash out at her wake.
She needs God's healing. She needs God's forgiveness. We need to have compassion on people and see them as God sees them, not as the enemy but as sheep without a shepherd. This is why Jesus came and died on the cross for our sins so this compassion is so important. Here's a take away truth. God give second chances is not great enough, regardless of what bad decisions you have made in your life. The Bible promises that God can bring beauty for ashes in the oil of joy for mourning so I just want you to know that God can forgive God can give you a second chance and you can start over again.
This is the good news of the gospel. We must never lose sight of and let me close by just saying if you have never asked God to forgive you of your sin or if you have failed as a believer and need to make a recommitment. You can do it right now. Let's pray father, thank you for the hope of Scripture. Thank you for Jesus did for us on the cross, dying for our sins, and is that lady wrote she was experiencing mercy and grace because she found it at the foot of the cross.
That's the only place where we can find forgiveness. That's the only place where we can be reconciled with you. This is how we come to know you and I prefer any that have joined this, if they don't have this relationship. If you let this be the moment they believe in Jesus or recommit their life to Jesus. We commit each one to you. Now I know what I had to about were praying together. Maybe there somebody here that needs Christ to come another life be their Savior and Lord. You don't have this relationship with him. Maybe there somebody here that is messed up as a follower of Christ, but you stumbled you follow what you want to make a recommitment to him. This is your moment when you can do it. You could just pray this prayer after me or Jesus, I'm sorry for my sin and I turn from it now and I choose to follow you is not just my Savior but also as my Lord my God and I want to do what you want me to do so, I commit myself that I think you for the forgiveness you give Jesus name I pray. Pastor Greg Laurie praying with those asking the Lord to forgive their sins and if you just pray that prayer and meant those words and your sins have been forgiven and we want to welcome you into God's family or back into God's family letter send you some resources to help you as you walk out pathway of faith we call this resource collection are new believers gross packet will set it free of charge when you call us at 1-800-821-3300. We can take your call anytime. That's 1-800-821-3300 or just go online to harvest.org yesterday were excited to make available your book on Revelation, yes. Now many Bible students know that revelation promises a blessing to those who read here and keep the words of this book. That's right so it seems. Even the Bible acknowledges that revelation is no ordinary Bible study. That's right, it stands out from every other book of the Bible. Of course it's the final book at the end of your Bible and the word revelation means unveiling because it's not God's desire to conceal to reveal in Bible prophecy is not given to scare us but to prepare us and there is a special blessing attached to this book. In particular, and it's in the first chapter of Revelation, and that promise is blessed is the person that reads, hears and keeps the words of this book. So they've it's interesting because that phrase read means to read out loud so there's a blessing on you if you will simply read this book, then it says you must hear it you know Jesus will often say he that has ears to hear, let them. Here are about a vernacular would be. Listen up.
Pay attention so I have to read it. I have to hear it and then finally I need to keep it. Meaning I need to take these Jews in this book and apply them in their own life. What we study Bible prophecy is not just to know more about the future but it's for us to know how we should live in the present and I've written a book simply called Revelation subtitled a book of promises. This is a thick book. This is a hardcover book that will be a resource that you can go to again and again.
Here's what I've had a lot of people say to me for the first time I understood how this book applied to me. I think this is very understandable, but a very relevant book, especially for the times in which we are living so for your gift of any size were offering you this book. Revelation a book of promises. So whatever you can send a helper ministry is greatly appreciated. This helps us to get the gospel out get the teaching of the word of God out so order your copy of this book available from harvest ministries right now. Yeah that's right it will rush a copy back to you to thank you for your investment in these daily teaching opportunities.
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It helps you see the order of events very clearly. It comes automatically with the book, so send your donation today to a new beginning. Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or call us at 1-800-821-3300. We can take your call anytime 24 hours a day at 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest.org the next time Pastor Greg has important insights drawn from the challenges of larger face insights that will help us face the trials of our lives. Join us here on a new beginning.
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