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Learn more and sign up at harvest.org. So I'm here the gospel many times over their lives and ignore it each and every time. Pastor Greg Laurie. Every time you hear the gospel and you say no to it, your heart can become harder. Your conscience can become more seared and then before you know it, you're going to have your last night, you're going to have your last meal and you're going to give your last statement and then you're going to enter eternity and the thing you want to be sure of is that you will go to heaven. This is the day when the lost are found. This is the day for a new beginning. This is the day when the lost are found. If I had only known, it's a sentence filled with regret. If I'd only known that would be the last time I'd seen my mom.
If I'd only known the house wasn't safe to live in or the water wasn't safe to drink or the car wasn't safe to drive. Many may have a similar regret when they one day stand before the Lord. Today on The New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie brings us face to face with the regret that enveloped a certain Old Testament king that serves as a strong warning to all of us. So we're going to look at a story now that you've probably heard before, and some of you maybe haven't, about a young man who happened to be the king of Babylon who was weighed on God's scales and this guy was the lightest of light weight. This is a story where God wrote on the wall of the palace. You've heard that expression, the writing is on the wall, right?
This is where that expression came from. This is a story of Belshazzar who was the grandson of King Nebuchadnezzar. So this king we're going to look at in a moment went out of his way to mock and attack God and he faced the consequences.
Listen to this. It's never a good idea to mock God because the Bible says, Be not deceived. God does not mock whatsoever a man sows. That will he also reap.
Let's see how that went for him. In Daniel 5 starting in verse 1 I'm reading from the New Living Translation. King Belshazzar had a great feast for a thousand of his nobles. He drank wine with them and while Belshazzar was drinking the wine he gave orders to bring in the gold and silver cups that his predecessor Nebuchadnezzar had taken from the temple in Jerusalem.
Now I'll just throw in a little detail. These cups and such were used for the worship of God. He wanted to drink from them with his nobles, his wives, and his concubines and he brought these gold cups taken from the temple, the house of God along with his kings and nobles and they drank from them and when they drank from them they praised their idols made of gold, silver, and stone. So he's going out of his way to laugh at that which God had set apart. Finally they saw the fingers of a human hand riding on the wall of the king's palace near the lampstand. The king himself saw the hand as it wrote and his face turned pale with fright and his knees knocked together in fear and his legs gave way beneath him. So it all starts when Belshazzar said, I'm going to have a big party and I'm going to show off all my cool stuff.
Kind of like what guys do when another guy comes over to visit, come out in the garage and look at my stuff. So that's Belshazzar. Check out all of my stuff.
Look at what we took from Israel. Look at all of these things. So he's going out of his way to make fun of God and then the drinking begins.
You know when you drink and you come under the influence of alcohol this can really lead to some bad things as it did in this story. They are worshiping these false gods and they are breaking God's very law and now they see a hand riding on the wall. Verse 5, at that very moment they saw the fingers of a human hand riding on the plaster wall of the king's palace.
So check it out. They are looking at the wall. There is a lamp lighting it and they see this hand. They don't see the arm. They just see a hand riding this heavenly graffiti up on the wall.
What is that? They read it in those mysterious words, many, many, tekel, farsen. So here is a man who had reached all of his goals. This is a man who had checked all of the boxes for success. He climbed to the top and he found there was nothing there.
Belshazzar was the most powerful and famous and wealthy man in all of the world. And he is terrified as he sees this riding on the wall. The smirk is gone. The defiance of God is gone.
And now he is sobering up quickly and he doesn't know what to do. And what does it say? It says you have been weighed in God's balances. Loose paraphrase, you are a spiritual lightweight. The Bible says he turned pale and his knees started knocking. It is implied in the original language he defecated.
I mean think about it. You see this hand riding on a wall. Man this guy sobered up so quickly. And so enter the queen mother. It is time for grandma to show up. This is the wife of Nebuchadnezzar and she comes into her foolish grandson and she says you know what? You need to call for the prophet Daniel. Now Daniel had been there through the life and career of Nebuchadnezzar. He didn't have much to say to evil Miradot.
He had kind of gone off the grid, shut down his social media accounts. He is 90 years old. They say, Daniel you need to go see the king. Right now Daniel sort of comes out of mothballs and walks there into the court of Belshazzar and sees what is happening. Belshazzar didn't know a thing about Daniel. It is almost like he was intentionally ignorant. He didn't want to know about his grandfather and his conversion.
He wanted to live his life the way that he wanted to live and that is how some people are. You tell them about Jesus and say I don't want to hear about it. I don't want to talk about it. I remember for years I talked to my mom about my faith in Christ. She said I don't want to talk about that. I don't want to talk about that.
Over and over I don't want to talk about that. One day I felt directed by the Lord to go to her and say we are going to talk about this today and thankfully that conversation resulted in my mom finally coming around to Christ and following Him. But it took a long time because the hardest people to reach are members of your own family. And so you might know somebody like this but God wants to reach Him and He doesn't want you to give up on them. So the prophet Daniel tells Belshazzar about his grandfather's conversion. He says in 22, Belshazzar you knew all of this but you have not humbled yourself. You knew it.
He didn't do anything about it. Sometimes the question is asked, what about the person who has never heard the gospel? Will God send them to hell if they live in the middle of a jungle or in the middle of a desert.
They are always in a desert or a jungle. Will God send them to hell? Listen, you will be judged according to the light you have received. But here is the bottom line, you have heard the gospel. You say what do you mean gospel? The gospel is a word that simply means good news. And the good news is that there is a God in heaven who loves you. But the bad news is you have broken His commandments and fallen short of His glory. But Christ died on the cross for your sin and if you will turn from your sin and put your faith in Jesus as your Savior and Lord He will forgive you and you can go to heaven when you die and find the meaning of life right here and now. That's the gospel. So don't say I've never heard it. You just heard it and God will hold you accountable. So Daniel says you were willfully ignorant of this.
You didn't want to hear it. And now God has said your days are numbered. That's what many means. Many your days are numbered.
Your number is up. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in 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 and study the Word of God. So join us this weekend Saturday and Sunday for Harvest at Home at Harvest.org. Well today Pastor Greg is pointing out how we all will one day stand before the Lord.
Today's message is titled The Writing is on the Wall. Psalm 90 verse 10 says 70 years are given to us. Some may even reach 80. You don't know how long you are going to live. I'm just one year shy of 70.
So it's real. I understand it but I'm not afraid. God gives me 10 years, 20 years, 30 years.
Every day is a gift to me from God and I want to live it for His glory and I want to reach people with the gospel. You cannot extend your life. You know you think if I just have a healthy diet and I exercise more it seems like every time you turn around it's a person who's out jogging who drops dead and has a heart attack.
Meanwhile the random person that eats all the wrong foods lives longer. I remember watching this show on television the news program and they said we have a man who's over 100 years old and he's going to reveal the secret of his longevity. So I watched a whole dumb program just to find out what this guy did.
Finally they revealed it. He's this old dude and he says, every day I eat a hot dog. Like seriously? And it showed him in the market buying these really random hot dogs. Not even like Hebrew national.
These are the kind that it's questionable what they are made from. He ate one of these hot dogs every day. He lived past 100 years old. Well the billionaires are trying to crack the code. You know when you are a billionaire you can do all kinds of stuff. Flight outer space. And so this is something that you know I've got all this money and now the billionaires are trying to figure out how to extend their lives through technology. They want to find a cure for aging. One well known billionaire once they have a computer chip strapped to his brain.
I'm not making this up. One Silicon Valley billionaire is investing in a startup that promises to upload your brain into a computer to grant eternal life to you. To your consciousness.
No? Technology is not going to give you eternal life. Technology is not going to extend your life and it's certainly not going to save your soul. Only God can do that. Here's another thing.
I'm not making any of this up. Billionaires are getting blood transfusions from healthy young people. Feeling ages 16 and 25. Feeling this could reverse aging. It had an unexpected side effect.
They found a strong desire to move back into their parents' homes and play video games all day long. That they didn't plan on that. But he says you've been waiting in the balances and you've been found lacking. You want to have weight in your life as a follower of God. Well Belshazzar was saying, oh you know thank you for revealing this to me. I want to reward you. I want to lay some bling on you. I'm going to give you a gold chain. See they were wearing gold chains even back then. And it says that verse 29, he dressed Daniel in purple robes and a gold chain was put around Daniel's neck and he was proclaimed the highest ruler in the kingdom.
But that night King Belshazzar the Babylonian king was killed. It's too late. He went too far. You know there is a point of no return where you reject something. You reject the gospel. You say no to God and your heart can be irreparably hardened.
Every time you hear the gospel and you say no to it your heart can become harder. Your conscience can become more seared. And then before you know it you're going to have your last night. You're going to have your last meal. And you're going to give your last statement. And you may not even necessarily know it's your last statement. Michael Jackson was trying to make a comeback and he was rehearsing for a world tour. And his final words were, this is it.
This is really it. And he died shortly after making that statement. Nostradamus who is known for predicting the future predicted it right at least one time. He said, tomorrow I shall no longer be here.
And he wasn't. The famous artist Pablo Picasso gave his last words, drink to me. Drink to my health because I can't drink anymore. A leader of a famous rock band took his own life. And on a note clipped on his shirt he wrote his final words, I am a lonely soul.
Are you a lonely soul? It was too late for Belshazzar. He went too far but it's not too late for you. You want to be ready. You want to get right with God. And so all he had to do was admit his sin.
But he was unwilling to do that. This is not the only time God has written. God wrote on a wall in our story before us. But there's another time God wrote.
It's when Jesus walked this earth. And you remember there was a woman caught in sexual sin. And they brought her before Jesus and they threw her on the ground. And they said, the law says she should be put to death.
What do you say? And Jesus looked around at these self-righteous, sanctimonious hypocrites. And the Bible says he reached down and started right in the sand. I'm wondering what did he write?
Was it a tic-tac-toe game? Here he said, I'm x, you're zero, go. I don't know what he wrote. But then he stood up and said, let him that is without sin among you cast the first stone.
And the Bible says, they left from the oldest to the youngest. Then he turned to this woman and he said, woman, where are your accusers? She said, I have none, Lord.
He said, neither do I accuse you. Go and sin no more. He wrote on the sand and he forgave her, just as God wrote on the wall. And I wonder if there's somebody right here that's been running from God. Maybe you've gone out of your way to make fun of Christians. But you're realizing you need God right now because listen to me, one day your number is going to be up. One of these days you're going to have your last meal and you're going to make your last statement and then you're going to enter eternity. And the thing you want to be sure of is that you will go to heaven and be right with God. And I wonder right now, as you hear me, I wonder if you could say, I know I will go to heaven when I die.
Or maybe that's something that has a big question mark over it. I was talking to a guy not long ago we were out riding motorcycles and we were watching this guy fish and we started to chat with him and I started talking to him about Christ. And I asked him a question, do you think you'll go to heaven when you die? And he said, I think so. And I said, why? He says, because I'm a good person.
And I said, I'm sure you're a very good person. But unfortunately you're not good enough to get to heaven in your own ability. Because we've all sinned and we've all broken God's commandments. And that's why God sent His Son Jesus Christ to die for us on the cross. But it's not just enough to know that intellectually I have to respond to it and the Bible says I need to repent of my sin.
The word repent means to hang a U-turn, it's a military term that means turn around and about face. So instead of running from God you run to God and then you need to receive Jesus Christ into your life as your Savior and Lord. And that's why I want to close this message for you right now. This is your moment to ask Christ into your life and be forgiven of all of your sin so you can know with certainty you'll go to heaven when you die.
If you haven't done that, do it now. You say, well I'll do it when I'm older like you. I wait till I'm like 80, okay here's the problem with that. If you hear the gospel over and over again and say no to it you're going to be set in your ways. It won't be that God doesn't want to forgive you.
He's always willing to forgive but there could come a point where you would go beyond the point of no return and actually you would not want to be forgiven. So don't put it off. And then how do you know you're going to make it to 80?
How do you know you're going to make it to 70? Belshazzar was a very young man when his life came to an end. This could be the last night for somebody that I'm talking to right now. But if you're a Christian you don't have to be afraid. Because the Bible says to live is Christ and to die is gain. I'll now go into God's presence but if you're not a Christian you should be scared. You should be worried.
But that can all change. Right now for you if you'll say Lord forgive me of my sin come and live in my life I want to be ready to meet you one day. If you've not done that yet you can do it right here right now. I'm going to close with a prayer and I'm going to ask you if you don't have Christ living in your life if you're not sure your sin is forgiven I'm going to ask you to respond to this invitation I'm going to extend you right now. So let's all bow our heads and everybody pray. Father thank you for your love for us. Thank you so much for sending Jesus Christ to die on the cross for our sin and to rise again from the dead. Now I pray for everyone here and everyone that's watching and listening wherever they are. If they don't know you yet let this be the moment they believe. Let this be the moment they come to put their faith in Jesus Christ.
We commit them to you now. In Jesus name I pray Amen. Pastor Greg Laurie with an important prayer and if you'd like to make a change in your relationship with the Lord today Pastor Greg wants to help you do that and he'll do so before today's edition of A New Beginning concludes. Well Pastor Greg there's a brand new movie coming out that we're really excited about. It's called Johnny Cash the Redemption of an American Icon. That's right. In fact you've called it an evangelistic documentary.
Yes. Why did you choose Johnny Cash as the subject for this film? That's a great question. So bottom line I love to see thousands of people come to Christ at Harvest Crusades and people coming to the Lord listening to our radio broadcast but I also like to focus on how Jesus works in the lives of individuals. You know some people are changed in a moment. Others have a lifelong struggle but the Lord is with them every step of the way and Johnny Cash he's one of those people. The Lord was faithful to him. The Lord loved him and Johnny loved the Lord but Johnny did struggle throughout his life. That's why it's a redemption story. So the title of this film we want people to go see is Johnny Cash the Redemption of an American Icon because it shows how patient God is, how loving God is and how God wants to reach people no matter where they are in life. So I'm asking the listeners to help me tell this story and I'm asking them to support this film.
Yeah absolutely. Be praying about who you can bring with you to see Johnny Cash the Redemption of an American Icon. It's a strong presentation of the gospel and we're making tickets available to those who partner with us in our efforts toward teaching believers and reaching unbelievers. Thank you for your generous donation. It's a Fathom event and it's coming up soon.
You'll find the dates at harvest.org and tickets are limited so go online today to harvest.org or call us anytime around the clock 24-7 at 1-800-821-3300. That's 1-800-821-3300. Pastor Greg, a few moments ago you spoke of how someone can accept God's offer of eternal life.
That's right. Could you help the person who wants to do that very thing right now? Yes, I'd be delighted to. Listen, as you've listened to this program today, maybe something's been happening inside of your heart where you're sensing, I need to do this personally, but how do I do it and what do I do? Let me help you. It's very simple.
In fact, it's so simple you may be shocked. God, this relationship with Him is just a prayer away. The Bible says if you will call upon the name of the Lord, you'll be saved. So I'd like to lead you in a prayer where you do just that. You call on the name of the Lord. This can be the moment where you change your eternal address literally from hell to heaven.
Just pray these words, Lord Jesus, I know that I'm a sinner, but I know that You're the Savior who died on the cross for me and rose again from the dead. Jesus, I choose to follow You from this moment forward. In Your name I pray. Amen.
I know. It's such a simple, short prayer, but you just called on the name of the Lord and you know what? He heard that prayer and if you meant that prayer in your heart, He answered that prayer. Now let me help you to get started on the right foot in your new life in Jesus Christ, the greatest adventure awaits you, the life of walking with God. I want to send you what we call a New Believer's Growth Path that includes the New Believer's Bible and a whole lot more. And let me be the first to say to you, congratulations and welcome to the family of God. And to get that free New Believer's Growth Pack, just ask for it if you've prayed along with Pastor Greg to receive Christ today. We'll be glad to send one your way. Call us at 1-800-821-3300, that's a 24-7 phone number, 1-800-821-3300. Or write A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, California, 92514.
Or go online to harvest.org and click No God. You know, sometimes the bottom just drops out of our lives. We don't see it coming and we're left reeling, wondering what to do, so many questions, so few answers. Well next time, Pastor Greg addresses those life-altering crises head on with important insight from God's Word and from his own experience. Join us here on A New Beginning with pastor and Bible teacher Greg Laurie. This is the day, the day when life begins. 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 harvest.org.
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