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Things Jesus Never Said | Sunday Message

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
January 15, 2023 6:23 pm

Things Jesus Never Said | Sunday Message

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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January 15, 2023 6:23 pm

Pastor Greg Laurie’s continuing in our Walk This Way series! He’s taking us into the book of James where we find instruction and direction for walking in the way of Jesus. Don't miss this!

Notes

1. God is angry with me and wants to ruin my life.

“I have loved you with an everlasting love.” —Jeremiah 31:3

2. God loves me and accepts me as I am (this is the opposite of the first one and is also wrong in a different way).

God does love you and accepts you as you are, but He does not want to leave you that way!

3. Follow your heart.

The modern use of the word heart is primarily thought of as emotion.

Do not follow your heart; follow God’s heart (in other words, His Will).

“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you.” —Ezekiel 36:26

4. Trust your gut.

The problem with trusting your gut is when selfishness is the motivating factor.

Instead of trusting our gut, we should trust in the Lord.

5. We need to learn to love ourselves.

The real problem is, we love ourselves too much.

6. You deserve to be happy.

“Every man, whatsoever his condition, desires to be happy.” —Augustine (A.D. 397)

God is happy!

Jesus said, “Happy are they that hear the Word of God and keep it.” 

7. God wants us to follow our dreams.

God loves you and His plan for you is better than your plan.

God is omniscient (all-knowing). 

What bothers you or brings tears to your eyes is a concern to God.

God knows your tomorrow!

The way to life is through death, the way to up is down, and the way to happiness is sadness. 

8. We need to live our lives God’s way, not the way of the world.

Wisdom is known by its actions.

Wisdom is known by its good fruit.

God’s wisdom is pure (moral purity).

A wise person is not so arrogant to think they cannot learn anything; they will talk to a person, not about a person.

We need to be bridge builders, not bridge burners.

9. If I live a good life, I will go to Heaven.

There will be bad people in Heaven.

There will be good people in Hell.

It is not enough to know about God; we need to know God.

Scripture Referenced

Jeremiah 17:9

Proverbs 16:25

Proverbs 3:5–6

Luke 11:28

Psalm 147:4

Psalm 56:8

1 Kings 3:9

James 1:5

James 3:13

James 3:17–18

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Learn more about Greg Laurie and Harvest Ministries at harvest.org.

This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.

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A New Beginning
Greg Laurie

Hey there. Thanks for listening to the Greg Laurie podcast, a ministry supported by Harvest Partners. I'm Greg Laurie encouraging you.

If you want to find out more about Harvest Ministries and learn more about how to become a Harvest Partner, just go to harvest.org. You would hear your voice and know what true wisdom is, and that you would give us this wisdom for all of the challenges, opportunities, and issues of life that we face each and every day. So we commit this time of Bible study to you now. In Jesus' name we pray, amen. Okay, grab your Bibles and turn to James chapter three, and the title of my message is Things Jesus Never Said.

But before we dive in, I wanted to mention this. I know you know this, but this is the countdown now, folks. In 38 days, the Jesus Revolution film opens around the country. This is the release of the film on February 22nd.

This is the date that we really ought to try to go for this simple reason. This is the one night where we've been allowed to add extra material to the film. In fact, I just shot a special presentation of the gospel. So what's going to happen on February 22nd when you go into a theater? You'll watch the film.

But afterwards, I present the gospel and invite people to come to Christ. It looks like an evangelistic crusade in theaters all over the world. It's across America, literally.

So this is a big one. And also, if this is well-responded to, a lot of people go to theaters, if it opens big, then they add new theaters, and more people are exposed to it. You're going to start seeing the campaign rollout and the promotion and all that stuff.

But we're looking at this a little differently, not just this movie is opening. We're seeing it as a spiritual tool to bring the gospel. The gospel to people, right?

This is the whole thing. And this is the vision of John Irwin, the director who came to me about seven years ago with a copy of the Time Magazine with the Jesus Revolution cover and said, I want to make a movie about this. And so he wrote this script and used my life as part of it and other lives and wove it all together, I think, in a powerful way. And the idea of it is the fame of revival spreads the flame of revival. Let me explain that. By telling a revival story that happened in a time that is very parallel to the time we're living in right now, we are hoping and praying that a young generation will see it and pray for their own Jesus Revolution.

That's the whole point. And we're praying thousands of people come to Christ as a result of seeing it. So again, February 22nd, that's the best time to get tickets.

Of course, February 24th. The campaign in the very near future, we're calling it 714. 714.

And this is based on Second Chronicles 714, where God says, if my people, which are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and forgive their sin and heal their land. So we're gonna ask everyone to set their phones, the little alarm, at 714. You can do it in the morning or the evening or both. If you like. And when your alarm goes off, you pray, Lord, send a spiritual awakening to America.

And then number two, Lord, bless this film and use it as a tool to help see that happen. That's what it's all about. So you can start this now. You don't have to wait until we officially announce it. But this is something we're gonna start doing, and we're seeing this as a spiritual outreach, an event that, well, it's like if we held a Harvest Crusade in theaters around America.

That's what it's like. So let's all be proud. We're praying, and we'll see what the Lord will do. It's really our origin story. We're telling the story of how this church started. How many of you have seen the film? Okay. How many of you have not seen it yet? Okay, so more have seen it, I think. So you know, it tells the story of how this church started, and it's gonna be very exciting. So that's what I have to say about that.

All right. So James chapter three, things Jesus never said. You know, there are certain things that people believe to be true that are not true. We call them old wives' fables, right? And if you're an old wife, sorry, but this is the expression. Old wives' fables. And we've heard these from our childhoods. As an example, if I drop a piece of food on the ground, if I pick it up before five seconds, it's okay.

It's often called the five-second rule. That's not true. Because bacteria transfers to food immediately. Here's another one we've all heard from our childhoods. Don't go swimming after you've eaten, or you'll get cramps, and you could even drown. Completely not true at all, okay? No science behind that. That tall tale is all wet, okay?

So that's not true. How about this one? I probably shouldn't say this at church, but it's believed. Human urine heals jellyfish stings. How many of you have heard this before?

How many of you have tried it? Whoa! You raise your hand. You're the only one. You raise your hand. It's okay. You're not the only one who believes it. We won't go into detail about how that works. We'll just say this. It doesn't work.

Experts, doctors say you should actually get tweezers and try to pull the stingers out of your foot or wherever you were stung. So no, that's not it. How about this one? If you're sick, you should eat chicken soup. It'll help you get better. That one is true.

I love that. And it seems from my life when I eat chicken soup, if I have a cold, it really does help, and they've actually done research on this and found that it actually does help, okay? And there are things believed about God and about the Bible that are not true.

Here's a couple of easy ones. God helps those who help themselves. The Bible says God helps those who help themselves. The Bible does not say that. Now, the idea behind it isn't completely wrong. If I was applying it in this way, for instance, you know you need to go out and get a job and you need to work and be responsible.

You can't just sit around on your La-Z-Boy and binge on Netflix, right? Because the Bible says God helps those who help themselves. Well, I have a better virtue. See, the Bible says if you don't work, you don't get to eat, okay?

So go get a job. So, I mean, if you were to get really technical, God helps those who can't help themselves, right? Because when we get to the end of ourselves or really get to the beginning of God, here's another one I've been quoted. You know the Bible says godliness or cleanliness is next to godliness. And that's usually what a parent says when they want their child to get clean, right?

Now, I'm all for soap and being clean. But the Bible does not say cleanliness is next to godliness. But there are many sentiments that people carry in life that are simply not biblical. One would be, well, God is angry at me and he wants to ruin my life.

Some people think this. God's just out to ruin everything that I planned for myself. You know, that is so wrong. God's mad at me. God is not mad at you. God is mad about you. If there's one thing that's clear in scripture, it is this. God loves you.

You see it from Genesis to Revelation. He says I have loved you with an everlasting love. Therefore, with loving kindness, I have drawn you. The Bible even says God is love. God will bless you. God wants to give you a life that is worth living. Now, let's take the flip side of that and we hear people say God loves me and accepts me as I am, right?

This is usually said by someone that is probably doing something they should not do. Yeah, I know that I go out and I party and get drunk on the weekend, but God loves me and accepts me as I am. Well, I know that we're getting a divorce and we don't have a biblical reason, but still, God loves me and accepts me. He accepts me as I am. I know that I shouldn't do this, but God loves me and accepts me as I am.

Other variations of this is no one is perfect. One of my favorites, hey man, don't judge my journey. Yeah, might judge your journey a little bit, especially because your journey might lead you to the wrong place. You might be discerning and a Christian is to make judgments. When Jesus says, oh by the way, their favorite verses are judge not lest you be judged and let him that is without sin cast the first stone, right?

That's our way of saying go away and stop talking to me, Christian, with your Bible. Now, it is true Jesus said judge not lest you be judged, but a better translation would be condemn not lest you be condemned, but this idea of God loves me and accepts me as I am needs to be looked at. So is it true that God loves me and accepts me as I am?

I would say technically the answer is yes, but now let me add another statement to it. God loves you and accepts you as you are, but he doesn't want to leave you that way. So I don't have to do something to earn the love of God. I have the love of God. It is extended toward me even as a sinner. While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us, the Bible says. He also loved the world that he gave his only begotten son.

So he loves me, but he doesn't want to leave me the way that I am. The classic example is the story of the prodigal son. He sinned against his father. He came to his senses. He decided to return home and the father saw him and ran toward him and threw his arms around him and kissed him and hugged him and said rejoice. This my son who is dead is alive again.

He who was lost is family. He sat down and then he said get this kid a bath and some clean clothes because the boy had been hanging out with pigs. He didn't smell right. He needed to clean his life up. He needed to learn that cleanliness is next to godliness, right?

So this is us. We come to Jesus with all of our sin, with all of the things that are wrong and God says I love you. I accept you as you are. Now repent of your sin and live a new life and I'll give you the power to do that. From my Holy Spirit.

So that's a commonly believed idea. And then the Bible even says keep yourself from the love of God. That doesn't mean do things to earn God's love. But what it means is stay in a place where God can actively show his love toward you. Stay away from things that would separate you from God.

Okay, here's another one that we've all heard. Follow your heart. It's similar to God loves and accepts me as I am. Other variations of this idea would be the heart wants what it wants.

What does that even mean? The heart wants what it wants or listen to your heart and you will find the truth. In other words, you're God with all of your heart, soul and mind.

It didn't make that kind of a distinction. It would include your mind as well as your heart. But it will say follow your heart. In other words, follow your emotion. And we use this phrase about our heart all the time. If someone is very emotional, we'll say they wear their heart on their sleeve, right? If we're sad, we say I'm heartbroken. If we're insensitive to the needs of others, we'll say you are so heartless. Or why someone doesn't care. We say where's your heart?

Well, maybe they should check their sleeve because that's the last place they left it, right? Then there's countless songs about the heart. Bruce Springsteen had a hungry heart. Billy Ray Cyrus had an achy breaky heart. Maybe that's why Toni Braxton sang Unbreak My Heart because Billy Ray gave her an achy breaky heart. Especially an achy breaky heart. But then Celine Dion reminds us that the heart will go on, even if it's achy breaky and it's been broken, right? Okay, so should we follow our heart? No.

Why? The Bible says in Jeremiah 17, 9, the heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? You see, we need to follow God's heart, not our heart. When it aligns with the word of God, our mind changes and our heart changes. Ezekiel 36, 26, God says I'll give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you. And then we're told in Psalm 37, four, take delight in the Lord and he'll give you the desires of your heart. When you get your life aligned with God's will, when you get your prayers in sync with what God wants for you, he will give you the desires of your heart because the desires of your heart will change. But if you just say follow your heart and follow your emotion, you can get into a lot of trouble.

Here's another thing people believe. Trust your gut. Just trust your gut. I don't know, I'd like to trust my gut. I don't know, my gut gets me into trouble.

Maybe I'm hungry in the evening and I'm driving home and my mind says you should just have a nice salad. The gut says Taco Bell, right, a gut. Trust your gut. Now sometimes we're maybe having a conversation with someone and we get a sense.

You could call it intuition. Like I don't know if this person is on the up and up. I don't know if I trust that person.

And there's some value there. We have certain insights maybe but the Bible doesn't teach us to trust our gut because our gut or our emotions can get us into trouble. In Proverbs 16, 25 we read there is a way that seems right to a man but the end thereof is the way of death. So instead of trusting our gut, we need to trust in the Lord. That's what the Bible teaches. Proverbs 3, 5 says trust in the Lord with all of your heart. Lean not into your own understanding.

In all of your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your paths. Here's something else Jesus never said. We need to love ourselves. Love ourself. You need to love yourself more. The problem is you don't love yourself enough.

So untrue. You love yourself. I love myself. When someone takes a picture and you're in the picture, who do you look for first?

And then what do you say? Don't post that. Why? I look fat. Don't post it.

Let me Photoshop it quickly. You know what's our favorite form of photography? Selfies. You know we love ourselves already. So this is pretty much an established fact. In fact we love ourselves too much. But wait, doesn't the Bible say love your neighbor as you love yourself? So therefore the Bible's teaching you to love yourself.

No. The Bible is saying it's obvious you already love yourself. Can't you love your neighbor as well? See the Bible actually teaches the opposite of loving yourself. It actually tells us that we are to love the Lord our God with all of our heart, soul, and mind and put Christ first. Sometimes a variation of this is I'm trying to find myself. Usually before someone does something really stupid they'll say I'm just trying to find myself. Jesus effectively says if you want to find yourself you need to lose yourself or dedicate yourself to me. He says if any man come after me let him deny himself and take up the cross and follow me for whoever will lose his life will find it.

Here's another one. I deserve to be happy. I know what I'm doing is maybe not the right thing but I deserve to be happy. In 7 Augustine said everyone whatever his condition desires to be happy. So this pursuit of happiness is not unique to modern times. Mankind has always wanted to be happy. And the problem is we go about trying to find happiness in the wrong way. Oh if I was famous I'd be happy or if I had all this money I'd be happy or if I did this or did that I would be happy and it's simply not true. The comedian Dave Chappelle was making millions of dollars. He said he was not happy and he was quoted to say the higher up I go the less happy I am.

And that's why it shouldn't be a shock to us when we read of some celebrity overdosing on drugs or going into rehab for the 30th time or sometimes tragically even taking their own lives. It's because they've climbed to the top and they found out there's nothing there. See when you don't have it you may think yeah one day maybe though if I won the lottery then I would be happy. But then you find out no that's not where it is. So it's not wrong that you want to be happy.

You just need to go about finding that happiness in the right way. I deserve it. Do you deserve it?

Let's not get into that. If we're gonna talk about what we deserve I'll be blunt with you. You deserve to be judged for your sin and so do I. So don't say to God I deserve to be happy. The Lord says really we're gonna go there?

Okay let's take it another way. Can I be happy? The answer is yes. Does God want me to be happy?

Again the answer is yes. But you'll never find happiness by pursuing it. You'll find happiness by pursuing the Lord.

Right? The Bible says happy are the people whose God is the Lord. Luke 11 28 says happy are those that hear the word of God and keep it. So if you want to live a happy life live a holy life. Live a godly life and put the Lord first and you will find that happiness will come as a result.

Here's another one. God wants me to follow my dreams. To dream the impossible dream. Right? And we love to quote that great theologian Jiminy Cricket who told us when you wish upon a star makes no difference. No difference who you are. Anything your heart desires will come to you if your heart is in your dream.

No request is too extreme. When you wish upon a star your dreams come true. Right?

Exactly. Now let me say God can speak to you through dreams. We even know that God came to Solomon. Appeared to him in a dream. I'll talk about this in a moment.

And said I'll give you anything you want. Joseph also had the Lord speak to him through a dream. So it's not bad to have a dream. Even if it's the impossible dream. But sometimes your dreams are not the best dreams.

You get what you want and your dream might turn into a nightmare. So here's what it comes down to. I want to find God's plan for my life. Listen to this. God's plan for your life is better than your own. Put his will first. And that's hard for us to do.

Because that goes back to my first point. God's against me. God hates me.

Wrong. God loves you. God has a plan for you.

It's a good plan. I have my dream. Okay I have my dreams. So dedicate your dreams to the Lord. Okay Lord this is kind of what I think I want. But I can tell you after living a few years. That I can look back on my life and thank the Lord he didn't answer some of my prayers.

Right? Thank God for unanswered prayers. The Lord said no. God if you loved me you'd let me.

No I love you and that's why I'm not letting you. That's when you get older. And you look back in retrospect and realize my plan for you is better than your plan for yourself. Listen God is omniscient. It's a theological word that simply means God is all knowing. God knows everything. He knows everything about you and me and all of us. In fact the Bible even tells us in Psalm 147 verse four. He determines the number of stars and calls them each by name.

Can you imagine that? God knows everything. He knows all the stars. So in 2021 the James Webb telescope was launched. Now a little more than a year later the results are blowing the minds of astronomers and scientists. This space going infrared telescope captures previously unobservable planets. Stars and galaxies right out to the edge of space and beyond. These are actual images on the screen from the James Webb telescope.

It's inspiring. This is the creation of God that we've never seen before. And astronomers now estimate that there are 100,000 million stars in the Milky Way and outside of that millions and millions of other galaxies.

And what did we just read? We read that God knows every star each with its own name. Boy I'd run out of names fast if it was up to me.

Mary I don't know. I mean every one of those stars has a name that God has given them. So I bring this up because if God has named all the stars and all of the galaxies out there does he not care about you?

He does. In fact if it concerns you it concerns God. Psalm 56 says you keep track of my sorrows. You've collected my tears in your bottle.

You've recorded each one of them. There's one in your book. So you can take a step of faith today knowing that God knows your tomorrow. He's already been there.

He's getting things ready for you. So don't follow your dreams. Follow the Lord who has a better plan for you than your own. And don't let the culture dictate the way that you think. There's a mentality. All that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life is not of God but it's of the world. What does that mean? Does that mean like if I have a great burger?

Man that's a delicious burger. And someone says love not the world. That's wrong. That's not what it means.

Okay. But I see a glorious sunset. Oh look what the Lord did. Love not the world. No that's not what the Bible means. The world in the Bible speaks of a mentality. It speaks of a way of thinking. It speaks of a culture.

The Bible tells us the God of this world with a small g is Satan. So this thinking that's in academia. This thinking that's in social media.

This thinking that is in the film industry and the television industry. This thinking that we see all around us. This thinking thinking that is against God. That is against what the Bible teaches. That exalts us and makes us the center of the world.

The center of the universe that tells us to pursue our selfish desires and do whatever we want to do. This worldly thinking, that's a real definition of it, is not from God. That's not the way the Christian should think. We need to learn to think biblically.

And because the Bible, the way the Bible tells us to live is pretty much in direct contrast to the way the culture tells us to live. Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God and He'll exalt you in due time. The way to life is through death. In other words, dying to yourself and putting the Lord's plans above your own.

The way to up is down. The way to happiness is sadness. Meaning I mourn over my sin.

I repent of my sin and I seek happiness in the way that God wants me to have it. The paradox of the Christian life is the more we give, the more we receive. The more we sacrifice, the more God blesses.

The more we give, He gives. If you want to find life, you lose life by giving it to Jesus. So that brings us to James chapter three.

Because now we're told what wisdom is and why we should seek it and how it should play out in our life. James chapter three, verse 13. That was a long introduction, wasn't it?

Oh, you liked it? Okay. Verse 13, James three. Be wise and understand God's ways. Prove it by living an honorable life. Doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom.

But if you are bitterly jealous and there's selfish ambition in your heart, don't cover up the truth by boasting and lying. For jealousy and selfishness are not God's kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. Verse 16. You will find disorder and evil of every kind.

So here's my next point if you're taking notes. We need to live our lives God's way, not the way of this world. That starts with a new way of thinking. Biblical and Godly wisdom. This is in direct contrast to the so-called wisdom this world offers. We have a contrast here in James three about the wisdom from above and the wisdom from below.

The wisdom of the scripture or the wisdom of this culture. I mentioned this already, but when Solomon was a young man, his father David died and now Solomon was going to ascend to the throne and the Lord appeared to him in a dream. Said Solomon, what do you want? I'll give it to you.

Anything you want, it's yours. So Solomon said, well Lord, I would like to have wisdom and understanding in my heart so I can govern your people and so I can know the difference between right and right. And God answered that prayer and said Solomon, because you have not asked for wealth or power or any of these other things, I'm going to give you the wisdom you prayed for and I'm going to give you these other things as well. You'll be the wisest of all men and he was in his day. We should pray this same prayer.

Earlier in James one five it says if anyone lacks wisdom, let him ask of God who gives generously and will not hold back. I pray that all the time. We sit down for a business day. A business meeting. We sit down to prepare a message. We sit down and think about our future. I love to say Lord, you promised in your word to give us your wisdom. We're praying for it right now. Which is another way of saying I need to know your will, Lord. Show me your will.

And so this is something we should all be seeking after. The Bible says the fear of the Lord or the reverence of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. You need to be smart and not necessarily wise. There are smart people that do stupid things, right? I've seen people that are very intelligent. They have degrees hanging on their wall. They're highly educated. Maybe very successful in their field.

But then they go and do the most ridiculous thing imaginable. Wisdom is different than intelligence. You know intelligence is acquiring knowledge and applying it.

Developing certain skills. But wisdom really comes from a different place. Some wisdom comes from life's lessons. We learn things from life. Things that we've done right and we also learn from our mistakes. But the ultimate source of wisdom is from God and his word.

That's what we want to build our lives on. Jesus told the story of two men who built their lives on two foundations. They're described as the wise and the foolish man.

They built their lives on the rock. And the storms came and beat upon that house but it stood because it was built on the right foundation. In contrast, the foolish man built his house on the sand.

The same storms came and his house collapsed. And Jesus concludes and says so in the same way. Whoever hears these sayings of mine and does them, he is the wise man. Whoever hears these sayings of mine and does not do them, he is the foolish man. So wisdom is known by its actions.

Verse 13 of James 3. If you're wise and understanding God's ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with humility that comes from wisdom. You know if you claim to have wisdom and you know the scripture, show it by living a godly life. And not only living a godly life but doing it with humility.

Humility is so important because when you've walked with the Lord for years, you've acquired some knowledge, you may come off like Mr. Noah. So you know we're having a conversation about something and now you're going to pontificate on all that you've learned. And this is a challenge for older folks because we've lived long lives and we love to tell stories and we love to share what we've learned but sometimes younger people don't always want to hear all of that. Maybe we could listen a little bit more. We might even learn something still. The moment is right. We can share some life lessons we've learned or an insight from the scripture that we have but if you have true wisdom, you'll have humility.

You'll learn to be a good listener. Also I would say true wisdom is known by good fruit. And what does that mean? Look at verse 17, James 3. So favoritism, it is always sincere and those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness. So from this we learn God's wisdom is pure. This speaks of moral purity. Don't tell me about your insights from scripture. Don't tell me about your wisdom if you're not living a moral life.

If it does not affect you in the way that you live, then it's obviously not worth much. So this is something James is pointing out. Look at verse 17. You're willing to yield to others and you're full of mercy. Sometimes people acquire knowledge. We could call it wisdom and they weaponize it. And by weaponizing it, I mean they use it to berate people. They use it to beat people down. I know more than you.

You're stupid. Why don't you know what I know? And sometimes even Christians do this to other Christians and this is not the way of God's wisdom. You don't use wisdom from God. You don't weaponize it. You don't use it to tear people down.

You use it to build people up instead. You're not a morally superior person standing over others and deriding them. You're peace loving.

You're considerate. A wise person is not so arrogant that they think they can't learn anything. I began to develop a friendship with Billy Graham. And Billy was in his probably early 70s at that point.

Or very late 60s. And he invited me to join him on crusade trips and then he asked me to start helping him with his messages and preparation. I thought why would you want to hear from some stupid 30 year old? You're Billy Graham. But this is the thing that amazed me about Billy Graham was his humility. And his willingness to keep learning. He was always a learner. Always had questions.

Always wanted to grow more. He didn't even say Greg just share something from the scripture with me. Which was very intimidating to preach in front of Billy Graham I have to tell you. You know because he's Billy Graham. And you're thinking well what can I possibly say to him.

But Billy was a student and he was a learner to the very end of his life and I thought that was such an admirable quality. Cause I've met other people that are the very opposite of that. You know you share something with them.

They'll cut you off. Kind of correct you. Tell you the way you should be thinking about it. That's not the way you use wisdom. You use wisdom with humility. And to help others. And to be a peace maker not a trouble maker. And a bridge builder not a bridge burner.

And be a stepping stone and not a stumbling block. Okay so one last thing that Jesus never said. If I live a good life I will go to heaven. This is believed by so many people it's shocking.

Sometimes it's even believed by Christians. We maybe don't say it out loud but in our way of thinking we reason if I do X Y and Z I will have the favor of God. If I remember to get up this morning and read my Bible and if I make sure I'm at church on Sunday and I'm a part of a small group and I share my faith now God will bless me.

Now you should do all those things and more. God is not gonna bless you because of the things you do for him. Oh if I live this good life I'll get to heaven. Well no that's not true. I mean even to play it out logically if you say well if my good deeds outweigh my bad deeds I know I'll get to heaven. Let's just say that's true.

For the sake of a point. Your good deeds must outweigh your bad deeds. Do you really think your good deeds outweigh your bad deeds?

I would suggest to you they don't. So even by your own set of standards you fall short miserably but actually the very opposite is true. Let me say something that might surprise you. There's gonna be bad people in heaven and there's gonna be quote good people in hell. There's gonna be bad people in heaven and by bad people I mean people that maybe literally came to Christ on their deathbed and they got into heaven like that thief on the cross. That we call him the thief. He probably was a murderer the Romans didn't crucify thieves.

He probably was a living in rebellion against Rome probably killed a Roman soldier did something radical and he's crucified next to Jesus and he turns to the Lord and says Lord remember me when you come into your kingdom and Jesus said you better get busy doing good works because that's the only way to get in. No Jesus didn't say that. Another thing Jesus didn't say. He said truly I say to you today you'll be with me in paradise. But why did he say that? Because on the spot in that moment that man believed. That's how long it takes to believe.

Just like that. Lord remember me. Interestingly prior to this he had been mocking the Lord along with the other man who was crucified and the crowd below. Hey if you're the Christ why don't you save yourself. Then Jesus said father forgive them for they know not what they do. This man in a nanosecond believed and turned to Jesus. And said Lord remember me when you come into your kingdom.

That's how fast faith can happen. And I prayed with many people on their deathbeds. And led them to Christ right before they entered into eternity. And how wonderful it is to say to someone not because you put your faith in Christ you will go to heaven. So there's going to be quote bad people in heaven. Because heaven is not for good people it's for forgiven people.

Okay. And there's going to be good people in hell. And when I say good people I say people that trusted in their own human efforts.

People that trusted in their own personal reality. Maybe even someone that trusted in the religious things they did. Jesus said many will come to me in that day and they'll say Lord Lord did we not prophesy in your name and cast out demons in your name and do many wonderful works in your name. And they might say Lord Lord were we not baptized in your name.

Did we not receive communion in your name. And Jesus says to them depart from me I never knew you you workers of iniquity. Oh but these are good people. These people paid their taxes. These people recycled and put the right trash in the right can. They're real.

And didn't damage the environment. They're good people. Yeah but you're not good enough. That's why the Bible says it's not by works of righteousness that we're saved but it's his mercy that he extends to us for by grace you've been saved through faith not of works lest any man should boast.

No. Jesus never said if you live a good life you go to heaven. But here's what Jesus did say. Jesus did say come on to me all of you who are exhausted with life and are bending beneath its weight come to me and I will refresh you with rest.

What a promise. He says that to us. Yes God loves you. No God is not against you. Yes God has a plan for your life.

Yes his plan is better than your own plan. Will you say Lord I want your will above my own. Will you put him first in your life. Then you will find the happiness you want.

Not only from seeking it but from seeking him. And it all starts with asking Jesus Christ to come into your life. And I wonder if you've all done that.

I would think you have. You're at church or you're watching right now wherever you are on one of our campuses or watching online that's all good. But has there been a moment in your life where you ask Jesus Christ to forgive you of your sin and you ask him to come into your heart and life to be your savior and your lord. You say well I was raised in a Christian home.

Well that's great. But there still has to be a moment where you come to Christ. And you believe in him. This is a decision only you can make. I made that decision many years ago as a kid. And many of you made that decision at a marked point in time you can remember.

And you'll know it if you've done it. And if you're not sure if you've done it you can do it right here right now in a moment we're gonna close in prayer. And I'm gonna extend an invitation for anybody here who wants their sin forgiven. They want to fill that hole in their heart. They want to find the happiness that they desire.

They want their guilt removed. Or they've made some big mistakes and they've sinned against the lord and they want to make a recommitment to him. You can do that right here right now as we close in prayer. Let's all pray. Your spirit will convict and convince them of their sin and bring them to yourself right now.

Now while our heads are bowed and our eyes are closed and we're praying together. How many of you would say today Greg I need Jesus. I need my sin forgiven. I'm not sure that I'll go to heaven when I die.

But I want to be sure. I want this relationship with God. I'm ready to say yes to Christ. Pray for me if that's your desire. If you want your sin forgiven. If you want to know that when you die you will go to heaven. If you want your guilt removed.

If you're ready to ask Jesus to come into your life wherever you are. I want you to raise your hand up and I'm gonna pray for you. Raise it up high where I can see it. God bless you. Raise your hand up. God bless you.

Anybody else? Raise your hand up. God bless you and you. What a great way to start this year.

Making this commitment to Christ. Anybody else raise your hand. Let me pray for you right now. God bless you. Some of you are watching this screen.

I obviously can't see you. If that's okay you raise your hand as well. God bless all of you. Father I thank you for each one of these and I pray you give them the strength to stand up and follow you from this moment forward. For we ask this in Jesus name.

Amen. Listen everyone that Jesus calls he calls openly and publicly. And in a moment we're gonna have our worship band lead us in a song. This song starts. You there raise your hand on that last moment of prayer saying that you wanted Christ to come into your life. I'm gonna ask you to get up out of your seat and step into the aisle and walk down here to the front and I'm gonna lead you all in a prayer. Now you in the balcony it takes you a little longer but you come down those stairs. You that are outside. You come around to the back of the sanctuary.

You at Harvest Orange County. You just walked to the front there of the stage. And then you do the same. You walk forward to the front of the stage. And then when you all get to the front we're all gonna pray a prayer together.

So again if you raise your hand even if you did not. But you want your sin forgiven. You want Christ to come into your life. You wanna know a certainty that you'll go to heaven when you die.

You wanna fill this hole in your heart. Get up out of your seat. Step into the aisle. Walk forward. And make your public stand for Christ.

Get up and start coming right now. Make your stand for Jesus Christ. If you're online you can pray it wherever you are. So again as I pray, pray this out loud after me. Let's bow our heads and pray.

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 my sin.

And rose again from the dead. Jesus I turn from my sin. I repent of my sin. I repent of my life. As my savior and Lord. As my God and my friend. Fill me with your Holy Spirit. I choose to follow you Lord.

From this moment forward. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

Amen. To learn more about Harvest Ministries follow this show and consider supporting it. Just go to Harvest.org. And to find out how to know God personally go to Harvest.org and click on Know God.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-15 20:20:46 / 2023-01-15 20:36:25 / 16

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