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The Writing Is On the Wall | Robust Faith

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
October 31, 2022 3:00 am

The Writing Is On the Wall | Robust Faith

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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October 31, 2022 3:00 am

Be steadfast and immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord. That was an exhortation from the Apostle Paul in First Corinthians. We DO the work of the Lord, and we’re to BE steadfast and immovable. When the winds of change blow through our culture, we’re to be solid as a rock. And today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie points out how to do that as we consider a man who showed us how NOT to do that. We’re considering an epic failure in the Old Testament.

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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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Hey, everybody. You're listening to A New Beginning, which is a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners. If this program has impacted you, I'd love to hear from you. So just send an email to me at Again, it's

You can learn more about becoming a Harvest Partner by going to Pastor Greg Laurie says we need to make sure we're not living a lightweight form of Christianity. Today, he points out our faith needs to be robust and it needs to be substantial. When we get on a scale in general, we want to weigh less, not more, right? Well, that's not true of God's scales. When we get on God's scales, we want to be a heavyweight.

We want our life to have substance and meaning and weight because of our relationship with God. This is the day when the lost are found. This is the day for a new beginning. Amazing grace, how sweet the sound.

Again, you're cute along the angels are singing. This is the day, the day when life begins. Be steadfast and immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord. That was an exhortation from the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians. We do the work of the Lord and we're to be steadfast and immovable. When the winds of change blow through our culture, we're to be solid as a rock. And today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie points out how to do that as we consider a man who showed us how not to do that.

We're considering an epic failure in the Old Testament. Maybe a year ago, I went to the gym. Believe it or not, I go to the gym, okay?

And they had this really fancy high-tech machine. And the guy says, hey Greg, we'd like to do a test on you. No charge. It's free. We'll measure you. We'll tell you what your body fat is. You know, you'll learn everything you need to know about where you're at right now physically.

I said free? Okay, let's do it. And so they measured me, my height, my weight, my body fat, etc. So right out of the gate the guy asked me, how tall are you? I said, I'm five, ten and a half. He goes, oh, he measured me. He says, you're actually five, nine and a half. So wait, no, I am five, ten and a half.

No, you aren't anymore. So I realized, oh great, I've shrunk an inch. And then he says, and you're overweight.

Great. So now I'm bald, I'm fat, and I'm shrinking. It's like that song says, I'm not half the man I used to be.

I guess that's true. In my case I thought, why am I gaining weight? And then I realized, I think I know the reason. It's something I discovered at the market not long ago. They're called chica chips.

Have you ever seen these? Okay, so these chips, they're very affordable. They're like three dollars and fifty cents a bag. So I bought a bag and tried them.

I thought, these are good. They're like addictive. I ate the first one. Then I ate two. Then I ate three.

Then I'm almost eating an entire bag. So I blame it on chica chips. So I said to my wife, Kathy, I have to stop buying these chips. They're evil chips. Don't let me buy them anymore.

But is that the market not long after that? With one of my granddaughters and I grabbed a couple bags and put them in the basket. And she said, Papa, why are you buying the evil chips? Because I like them. Well, so I did a little post on Instagram about these chips. Jokingly calling them the evil chips. And I got contacted by the chica chip company. And they were very happy.

Because I pointed out, I call them the evil chips only because I'm addicted to them because they're so good. And they thanked me. And as their way of saying thanks, they sent me a big box full of chips.

And I didn't know this. They're a Christian company. And I noticed that next to the little character, this little tortilla chip guy.

On the back they have John 3 16 written there like this. All right. So my wife says, why are you eating the evil chips? I said, they're not evil chips. They're Christian chips.

And it is my responsibility as a Christian to support this company. But I didn't work out too well on the scale. So I've gone on this keto diet. Has anybody here tried the keto diet? You're really screaming for the keto diet?

Okay. The keto diet is the greatest diet on earth for the first three days. Because you can eat meat. You can eat cheese. You can eat fattening things. Avoid carbs. But like literally after two days I'm dreaming of carbs.

I'm dreaming about pizza. And the worst kind of diet to be on is the keto diet. And then eat carbs while you're on it.

Because now it becomes the weight gain diet. So you know when we get on a scale, in general, we want to weigh less, not more, right? Well that's not true of God's scales. When we get on God's scales, we want to be a heavy weight. We want our life to have substance and meaning and weight because of our relationship with God. 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. And 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 is not mocked.

Whatsoever a man sows, that will he also reap. Don't be a mocker of God. I used to mock Christians because I didn't know any better. I thought they were crazy. I thought they were delusional. But I had to admit they were pretty happy.

And so as a 17 year old kid, this is 10 years ago, plus decades more, I'm on high school campus. I decided to eavesdrop on the Christians. And I started off looking at them with skepticism and sort of laughing at them. And for the first time I heard what it was they were saying.

And that was the day that I ended up believing. And so this is what happens here. Here's a guy who could not respond appropriately to the writing that was on the wall.

And I think the writing is on the wall for our culture right now. You see it in the news feed. You see it in events that are happening around the world. You see it in violence. Random acts of violence. I was just talking with the police chief and he was telling me violent acts are up.

I said, chief I see these things on the news. Is it really that bad? He says it is more than ever.

It's hard for the police officers out there right now. And we of course have the continuing opioid crisis. And we continue to have conflicts over in the Middle East.

And we continue to have just instability among the nations of the world and the potential for war. We are literally seeing Bible prophecies being fulfilled before our very eyes. And the writing is on the wall. So are we going to read it or are we going to ignore it? Are we going to pay attention to it?

And here's what the writing said to young King Belshazzar. Buddy your number is up. And one day your number is going to be up. And one day my number is going to be up.

And we don't know when that is. Heard about a pastor that went to visit a man named John who was very sick. In fact he was dying in the hospital. He couldn't even breathe. He needed an oxygen mask to assist him.

Therefore the pastor could not hear what he was saying. And his condition suddenly grew worse. And so the pastor dropped to one knee and began to pray fervently for John. And he could see John was trying to say something.

But he couldn't speak because of the oxygen mask. And the pastor gave John a pen and a piece of paper. And John scribbled something down and tragically right there John passed into eternity. So the pastor took that little note that John wrote and put it in the pocket of his coat.

And kind of forgot about it. Until a few days later when he was doing the memorial service for John. And as he was getting ready to speak it suddenly occurred to him. John wrote me a note. These are actually his last words. And without even reading it he said to all the people assembled at John's funeral. He wrote me a note.

I am sure it will inspire all of us. And he pulled it out and read these words. Pastor you are standing on my oxygen tube. It is a joke people.

There never was a guy named John dying in a hospital. It is a joke. Okay.

Make a note. Wait one sec. I never used this joke again.

People took it seriously and were traumatized and didn't really laugh. Okay I got that. It is all a joke. But there is going to be a day when we hear those final words and we too will pass into eternity. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. E-mails, letters, and phone calls from listeners are so encouraging to us.

And they let us know the effectiveness of these studies. Pastor Greg, I wanted to relate an extraordinary experience my Bible study group shared recently. We are studying your tell someone online class material and had come to the fifth week called What is the Gospel? Our usual study leader was ill and asked me to lead the group of 15 or 20 which, by the way, includes two very experienced pastors. I was hesitant and felt very insecure but agreed to fill in. Just as we were getting started, a young lady walked into the meeting room and sat down to join us. I had not seen her at church for several years and to my delight, she participated in the discussions and soaked in the message of the gospel as you presented it. Afterward, while we were enjoying refreshments, I noticed that our pastor and the young lady were talking off to the side. And within a few minutes, he announced to the group that she had accepted Christ right then and there.

We were able to love her, congratulate her, and welcome her. And then we found just the right resources that she might need and began to get her connected with other believers. Pastor Greg, I'm so thankful that you included that chapter as it was exactly what this young lady needed to hear.

Thank you and your team at Harvest for all that you do. What an encouraging story of how God's Word touched this young woman's life. If you or someone you know have had their life changed because of the ministry of Harvest, would you let Pastor Greg know? Just drop him an email, Again, that's And check out all of Pastor Greg's free online courses at Well, Pastor Greg is highlighting the biblical account of the demise of Belshazzar.

Today's message is titled, The Writing is on the Wall. A little background on Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar. So Nebuchadnezzar was the king of Babylon. He conquered Israel and brought them into captivity back into this land that was filled with all kinds of false gods and idols. He was a very cruel king. In fact, he took the king of Israel and forced him to watch his own children be put to death before his very eyes and then he gouged out the eyes of the king of Israel. So this is a wicked man. This is an evil man.

This is what you would probably think of as an unreachable man. But the prophet Daniel interpreted the dreams of King Nebuchadnezzar. And God ultimately humbled this powerful king. And he came to his knees and he put his faith in God and literally told his entire kingdom he was now a believer in the Lord God of Israel. It would be like if someone like Kim Jong Un of North Korea came to Christ and told everyone, I am a Christian now. Or someone like Saul of Tarsus who was a Christian killer hunting down followers of Jesus. But the Lord got hold of him and transformed him into the Apostle Paul.

One of the greatest preachers of all time. This is a reminder that no one is beyond the reach of God. Think of the most evil person you know. Maybe it is your mom or dad. Maybe it is a neighbor. Maybe it is a coworker.

Maybe it is somebody else. But whoever this person is you can't even imagine them ever believing in Jesus Christ. And I am telling you right now start praying for them and don't give up on them because no one is beyond the reach of God. God reached Nebuchadnezzar. And so he told everyone he believed. But somehow this message did not get passed down to his son and ultimately to his grandson. So Nebuchadnezzar died and his son ruled in his stead. And the name of his son was Evil Miradoc. Who names their kid Evil Miradoc? I mean that kid ended up being a self-fulfilling prophecy. He lived up to his name. People come up with really random names to name kids these days.

I actually did a Google search. Weird names that parents have given to their children. And these are all real names.

None of these are made up. These are things that parents have literally named their kids. Starting with A-B-C-D-E. What kind of a name is that for a kid?

At least they know the beginning of the alphabet. How about this one? A real name. Arson. Arson. Do you really want your kid to live up to that name?

Arson. Another child was named Bacardi. Why not Tequila? I mean you are naming your child after booze.

How about this one? They named their child Banana. Oh that kid is going to have a great time in school.

I guarantee it. Another child was named Brick. Brick. Another child was named Burger. Another was named Chaos. Chaos. Would you hang around with a kid named Chaos? Hey how's it going? My name is Chaos.

Want to go do something? Not really. Well I've got my friend Arson here. Now I don't want Arson or Chaos.

I want nothing to do with you. Here's another one. I'm not making this up. Parents named their kid Gassy. That's just sad.

Gassy. Another kid was named Hashtag. Really? Another kid was named Ikea. Really? What about Target?

I don't know. That would be really a bad name. But then another child was actually named Kale. Oh that's really sad. No one will ever play with a child named Kale because no one really wants to eat Kale.

They are forcing it on us. Right? Another child was named, I can't believe this, Netflix? Really? This is our child Netflix?

Yes. We almost named him Amazon Prime. Or Hulu.

But we went with Netflix instead. And then one kid was named Riot. Riot.

Hey Riot, do you want to play with Chaos? I mean it's crazy. Two more. They named their child Keesh.

Oh man. Keesh. And the final one, Velveeta.

Velveeta, Keesh, and Burger. We're all going to play together. Gatsby, you fit in here somewhere as well. So Nebuchadnezzar named his son Evil Miradok. He lives up to his name.

He turns out to be an evil person. And clearly, Evil Miradok did not pass that faith on to his grandson. Look, my son Jonathan is a pastor today. He's not a pastor because his dad's a pastor.

He's a pastor because he put his faith in Christ. You have to make your own commitment to Christ. God doesn't have any grandchildren.

Just sons and daughters. And the way you become a son or a daughter of God or a child of God is by receiving Christ. The Bible says for as many as received him, he gave them the power to become sons of God. So as Daniel 5 opens, we have the grandson of Nebuchadnezzar, the son of Evil Miradok going out of his way to laugh everything off. And he went out of his way to mock and challenge God.

Let's see how that went for him. 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.

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. Suddenly 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. And 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, drinking makes you do stupid stuff, doesn't it? I just read about a four year study that determined the following. And I quote, young adults who drink frequently are more likely to show bad behavior, bad decision making, and other patterns that their peers who don't drink show. You needed a four year study to reveal that?

I could have told you that for free. 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're worshiping these false gods and they're breaking God's very law. And now they see a handwriting on the wall. Verse five, at that very moment, they saw the fingers of a human hand writing on the plaster wall of the king's palace.

So check it out. They're looking at the wall. There's a lamp lighting it. And they see this hand. They don't see the arm. They just see a hand writing this heavenly graffiti up on the wall.

What is that? And they read it in those mysterious words, many, many, tekel, farsen. So here's a man who had reached all of his goals. This is a man who had checked all 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. You know, a lot of people think fame is going to fill their soul. You know, if I can just get some more followers on Instagram or Twitter, you know, if I can just become more well known. I read a survey that said 81% of 18 to 25 year olds said getting rich is their generation's most important goal. 81%, getting rich is the most important goal. 51% said the same thing about being famous. My response is careful what you wish for.

You might get it. Actor and comedian Jim Carrey was quoted to say, I hope everyone will one day get rich and famous and they will have everything they ever dreamed of and know that is not the answer. David Bowie of Fame said, fame puts you where things are hollow. Amy Winehouse, who tragically died of alcohol poisoning at the peak of her fame, made this statement, fame is like terminal cancer. I wouldn't wish it on anyone.

Justin Bieber posted on Instagram a while ago, hey world, that glamorous lifestyle you see portrayed by famous people on Instagram, don't be fooled into thinking their life is better than yours. Careful what you wish for because a lot of people get it and they see how empty it is. Belshazzar had that and more and he is terrified as he sees this writing on the wall. The smirk is gone. The defiance of God is gone. And now he is sobering up quickly. Pastor Greg Laurie, pausing at a pivotal moment in the story of Belshazzar from Daniel chapter five.

And there's more to come as this message continues here on A New Beginning. You know, Pastor Greg, I really enjoy those fixer-upper kind of programs on TV. You know, they'll take an old home and renovate it. Yeah. And maybe it's because I'm a frustrated non-carpenter myself and I'd love to be involved in a project like that.

Yes. But it's always a big deal when they have a problem with the foundation. You know, when there's a foundation problem, everything stops until they get it corrected. Yeah, true. And you know, with our spiritual lives, when there's a problem with the foundation of our faith, it can bring our spiritual growth to a stop. Yeah. But we have a special resource that can help with that.

Yes, we do. It's called the New Believer's Guide to Effective Christian Living. You know, Dave, I'm just like you. I love the idea of doing home repair, but I'm not very good at it. If my wife sees me walking through the house with a hammer, she's alarmed.

Where are you going? What are you trying to fix? Because I will inevitably make whatever I'm trying to fix. Worse.

Though I love to go to the hardware store and look at all the cool stuff. Hey, maybe I'll try this. Not very good in that area. But I'll tell you what. One area that I think I can help you in is in rebuilding your spiritual foundation. And you've got to keep that strong. Because if you don't have your electrical and plumbing and actual foundation right, all the rest is really of no consequence. And that's true spiritually, too.

Sometimes we forget the basics. Basics like regular Bible study, having a prayer life, being an active part of the church, sharing our faith. Basics like how to know God's will, how to resist temptation, how to share your faith. I deal with all of this and more in this resource that's simply called the New Believer's Guide to Effective Christian Living. It's a very understandable, readable book.

You can keep it in your back pocket. You might even have a few extras on hand to give out to someone that could use some encouragement. But I think that you will be encouraged by this book as well. This is for the person that's new in their faith. And it's also for the person that might find themselves stuck spiritually.

Again, it's called the New Believer's Guide to Effective Christian Living. And we have a copy with your name on it. And today is our last opportunity to mention this.

So get in touch right away. We're sending this helpful resource to thank you for partnering with us so these studies can continue to come your way. We're so thankful for listener support.

Candidly, it's the only way we can cover the costs of making these studies available. So thank you so much for your generosity. And when you contact us today with your donation, be sure to ask for the New Believer's Guide to Effective Christian Living. You can call 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 on live to Well, next time, Pastor Greg comes back to conclude the story of the handwriting on the wall. We'll find out what happened to King Mel Shazzar. Join us here on A New Beginning with pastor and Bible teacher, Greg Laurie. This is the day, the day when life begins. Thanks for listening to A New Beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners, helping people everywhere know God. Sign up for daily devotions and learn how to become a Harvest Partner at
Whisper: small.en / 2022-11-09 19:09:01 / 2022-11-09 19:15:17 / 6

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