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Learn more and sign up at harvest.org. And then that can bring you to the worst thing of all, which is the conscious denouncing and rejection of God. The Lord created us with a will of our own.
In doing so, He knew some people would reject Him, but that was His plan from the beginning. And yet the Holy Spirit calls out to us, drawing us to the Lord. It's the wise person who heeds that call. Today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie points out that's just one of the jobs of the Holy Spirit. He has a multidimensional role in the lives of believers, and few of us know just how involved He is in our lives.
It's about time for the whole story. The Holy Spirit is going to do a unique work in your life. He's going to seal you. He's going to guide you. He's going to advocate for you. He's going to empower you, and He's going to fill you again and again. Those are things that the Holy Spirit does. When you become a Christian, He seals you. He seals you.
Ephesians 1-13 says, It's as though God has put His mark on you. So here comes the devil. I'm going to wreck havoc in this life.
I'm going to destroy this life. Wait, wait, wait. Property of the Lord Jesus Christ. He backs off.
He backs off. That's what it means to be sealed by the Holy Spirit. What else does the Holy Spirit do?
He teaches us. 1 Corinthians 2-9 says, So that's the Holy Spirit doing that for you. You know what else the Holy Spirit does? He empowers you for service. He gives you power. Look at verse 17. So now when you become a Christian, the Holy Spirit lives inside of you.
But there's even another dimension of power you can experience. Because over in Acts 1-8 it says, So the Spirit comes in you when you become a Christian. But then the Spirit can come upon you with the dimension of power, giving you a boldness or a courage to be a witness for Christ or to share your faith. I just need to take hold of it and ask the Holy Spirit to empower me and fill me again and again and again. And you refill.
Some people, you know, you need to get more refills than others do. But we all need a refill of the Spirit. And at the end tonight we'll ask God to fill all of us with the Spirit. I said earlier that the Holy Spirit has emotion. He has emotion. Because the Bible tells us He can be resisted. You can resist the Holy Spirit. Acts 7-51, Stephen is standing before the Sanhedrin.
He's just a young guy. And he is being brought there before them because of his faith. And he could have just been very nice and diplomatic and gone home for dinner. But instead he sought us an opportunity to talk about Christ. And so he addressed these people who were very significant, powerful people.
The Sanhedrin was sort of like the Supreme Court of the day. And so he addressed them. Maybe he wasn't as diplomatic as he could have been when he started his message by saying, You stiff-necked people with uncircumcised hearts and ears. Not off to a great start, but it was true.
And really what he's saying is you guys should know this and you don't know it. And then he says, Why is it that you always resist the Holy Spirit? So when you're a non-believer and God's Holy Spirit is trying to do His work to show you your need for Jesus, and you say no to Him, that's called resisting the Holy Spirit. And the Holy Spirit can be resisted. Now Calvinists believe in irresistible grace. And irresistible grace means that no matter what, if God's called you and preordained you, you're going to become a believer even if you don't want to become a believer because it's irresistible grace.
I beg to differ. Because if it was irresistible, why did Stephen say, Why are you resisting the Holy Spirit? Yeah, it's true that God's Spirit will come and call you and try to bring you to Jesus, but He will not take over your will. You can resist the Spirit, and many do resist the Spirit.
And then if you continue in that course, that can lead you to the next step, which is insulting the Holy Spirit. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. It's a joy to hear when these studies have truly impacted lives. Listen to these comments from one of our listeners. Pastor Greg, your messages mean so much to me. They inspire, convict, and uplift all at the same time. In 1996, I did a 180 in my life and followed who I knew to be God all along.
I just had never listened to His voice before. My life and my choices before that were a mess. When I asked Christ into my heart, God picked me up, dusted me off, and turned me around. My life, my coping skills, and my new choice of friends have changed dramatically. As my conviction grew, I decided to rededicate myself to God in 2019. Your messages have really lifted me to a higher level on my road and growth in Christ, and I thank you from your sister in Christ.
How have these studies and God's Word touched your life? If you have a story to share, why not call us and tell us about it? Call 866-871-1144. That's 866-871-1144. Well, Pastor Greg has been talking about resisting the Spirit and the consequences, and he says it's also possible to insult the Spirit of God.
He continues. Did you know you can insult the Holy Spirit? Hebrews 10 29 says, Think how much more terrible the punishment will be on those who have trampled on the Son of God and treated the blood of the covenant as if it were common and unholy. These people have insulted and enraged the Holy Spirit. Wow. Man, if there's one thing I do not want to do, it's enrage the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit is God, and His purpose is to convince me of my need for Jesus, and if I resist Him and say no and no and no, there can come a point where I'm now insulting Him. And it's interesting because it says they treat the blood of the covenant as if it were common and unholy.
Wow. It would be like, let's say you want to marry a girl, and you're going to propose marriage. I remember a young man said to me once, I want to propose to this girl that I'm in love with, and I want to do it at the end of your message.
And we happened to be in Israel, and we were on the Mount of Beatitudes. He says, I'm going to propose to her. I said, is she going to say yes?
He said, I believe she was. I said, because you really don't want to do this in front of everyone. She says no.
No, she's going to say yes. So I set him up. It happened to be her birthday, so it was pretty easy to do. I said, you know, it's her birthday today, and she thought I was going to say, let's all sing happy birthday. And I said, and his name was Aaron, her name is Michelle.
I said, Aaron has something he wants to say to you. And out comes Aaron, and he proposes, and thankfully she said yes. Okay, so she would have said no.
That would have been a bad thing. Well, let's say that you were going to propose to a girl. The big moment has come. You've hired an orchestra, but they're hiding, you know. And you come out, and you drop down to one knee, and you're there at a table in a restaurant.
The orchestra is ready to fire up, and you drop down to the knee, and you pull out your little ring, and you hold it up and say, I love you with all of my heart. Will you marry me? And then she looks at you and says, no. Because I find you completely unattractive. Everything about you offends me, and I would never, if you were the last man on earth, I wouldn't marry you. Then she says, oh, by the way, can I still order dinner? Okay, do you think you might be hurt by that?
Do you think you might be insulted by that? I mean, you've just put it all on the line. So here comes the Holy Spirit, and he says, you need to believe in Jesus. Jesus died on the cross for you.
Jesus shed his blood for you at Calvary, and all you need to do is believe. And you go, ugh, you know. Can I get to this later? Can we talk about this another time? See, that dismissive attitude actually is an insult to God. And that's what the Bible means when it says you're taking the blood of the covenant and acting as if it were common and unholy.
You're taking the message of the death of Jesus and dismissing it like it means absolutely nothing. This is scary because first you start by resisting the Spirit. No, I don't want that.
I don't want that. Then you take it to the next level, and you're insulting the Spirit. And then that can bring you to the worst thing of all, which is the unforgivable sin that's blaspheming the Spirit.
And I'm asked about this all the time. And sometimes Christians ask me, do you think maybe I blaspheme the Holy Spirit? Before I was a Christian, you know, I cursed everything. I might have cursed the Spirit somewhere.
Well, that's not what it means. In fact, the very fact that you would be concerned about blaspheming the Spirit would indicate to me you've certainly not blasphemed the Spirit. The person who has blasphemed the Holy Spirit is a person that wouldn't ask about it. They wouldn't care about it.
Their heart would be so hard it would be the last thing they even have a concern about. It's a sin that only a non-believer can commit. But the word blasphemy means the conscious denouncing and rejection of God. It's defiant irreverence, the sin of intentionally and openly speaking evil against God. So it's not just, well, I don't believe. It's like, not only do I not believe, but I hate everything that you believe. And I will go out of my way to mock God and mock followers of Christ and even do damage to those who have put their faith in Jesus. Now you are headed to the point of no return.
Because Jesus said, all manner of sin will be forgiven except he who blasphemes the Holy Spirit. This is the worst thing that can possibly happen. Here's what scares me. I think the easiest place to get a hard heart is in church.
Does that surprise you? You might say, oh no, Greg, the easiest place to get a hard heart is hanging out in bars or hanging around godless people. Yeah, you can get a hard heart hanging around those people. But I think it's easier to get a hard heart in church.
And I'll tell you why. At least someone right now who's in a bar, who's hanging around a bunch of low lights, getting high or whatever it is they're doing, maybe with that person right now at this very moment, the light just went on and they said, this is horrible and I need to change my life. In a way, they might be a little closer to the kingdom of God than someone in this room. You're going, you lost me. You're saying a person at a party who's high could be closer to the kingdom of God than someone in this room?
You heard me right. Because maybe that person in that sinful state realizing their need for God is saying, I need to get right with God. I need to go to church.
I need to have my life changed. But the person sitting in church right now has their arms folded. Who has their arms folded? And here's what you're thinking. I've heard this. I've heard this. Oh, I know this. I heard this when I was a little kid. Okay, that's nice. Congratulations. But you see, you can hear this truth and then not respond to it and that's how your heart will get hard.
The same sun that softens the wax hardens the clay. So the same message that can change one life can have another say, oh, I know that. I've heard that.
I know all about that. And they reject it. So be careful because you don't want your heart to ever get hard.
You want to have a heart that's open and responsive to the work of the Spirit. Right now the Holy Spirit is speaking to some of you who are not Christians yet. And He's saying, you need to do this now. You need Jesus in your life now.
You know it. And maybe that thing I described, that scenario about sort of seeing the emptiness of your life happened to you recently. And here you are in this room or listening to this message. And you're saying, I need to do this. Good, that's the Spirit. But see the Spirit will bring you so far.
Then you have to respond. The Holy Spirit will not force you to believe. The Holy Spirit will show you what you need to do. The Holy Spirit will show you why you should do it. But then you have to act on it. He'll help you as you do that. But you need to say, I'm willing to take the next step. You say, what's the next step? Admit you're a sinner and ask Christ to come into your life.
And what happens if you do that? Let's go back to a statement Jesus made and close with this. Jesus said, if anyone loves me, he'll keep my word and my Father will love him. And we will come to him and make our home with him.
That's his promise. He wants to come and take residence in your heart. He wants to be involved in your life. He wants to be your best friend. But even more, he wants to be your Father. He wants to be your Advocate. He wants to be your Savior. He wants to be your Lord. But he will not force his way into your life. The Holy Spirit is saying you need this.
And you know you need it. Now you have to act on it. So in a moment we're going to pray. And I'm going to extend an invitation for some of you that maybe have never asked Jesus to come into your life. You don't know if your sin is forgiven. Maybe you've been resisting the Spirit. Maybe you've been running from God. But it's time for you to come to the Lord and believe in the Lord.
Maybe you've been in the church for most of your life but you've never made this personal commitment. You can't live off the faith of your parents. Or the faith of your friends.
Or the faith of your husband or your wife. You have to have your own relationship with God. Jesus died on the cross for you.
He rose again from the dead. And he'll come and live in your heart and life right here, right now, if you'll ask him to come in. Because he stands at the door of your life and he knocks and says if you'll hear his voice and open the door, he'll come in. So we're going to pray in a moment. And I'm going to extend an invitation in this prayer for you to believe in Jesus. I pray that God's Holy Spirit shows you your need for the Lord. And that you respond to the work of the Holy Spirit and come to Jesus Christ tonight.
Let's all bow our heads. Father, now we pray that your Holy Spirit will work. That you will speak to hearts. Convict and convince them, Lord. Show them their need for Jesus. Only you can do that.
I can't do it, but you can. And I pray for those that are seeing this need now that they will reach out to you. And receive the forgiveness you offer. Lord, don't let them leave here with a hard heart.
Don't let them say no and then have their heart get a little tougher. Lord, help them to respond and believe in you tonight with us. Amen. Pastor Greg Laurie with an important invitation today here on A New Beginning. And if you'd like to make a change in your relationship with the Lord, Pastor Greg will help you do that in just a moment. And he'll also close by inviting us to be filled afresh with the Holy Spirit. So don't go away. Pastor Greg, your new movie called Jesus Revolution is coming out in just a few weeks. The third week of February.
That's right. What do you think will surprise people the most when they see Jesus Revolution? Okay, I think they're going to be surprised at how gritty and realistic it is. We don't pull our punches. We show the emptiness of bad choices, including drugs.
We show the search of a generation. Number two, I think they'll be surprised at how funny the film is at times. It's huge laughs in certain moments of the film.
Very enjoyable. I think they'll be moved very emotionally. I think they'll shed a tear or two when they watch certain scenes from this film. But then the last thing I would say is they'll be surprised at how much gospel is in it. Like how the gospel is there in the story. And there's even a moment where Greg and this hippie evangelist named Lonnie Frisbee pray together. And I believe when that scene is played in the theaters that there will be people praying that prayer along with Greg. So there's a lot of twists and turns in this film that surprise people.
But I've had so many people say they just loved it. And John Irwin, who's made many incredible films, Woodlawn, American Underdog, I Still Believe, I Can Only Imagine, says hands down this is the best film I've ever made. It's the most important film I've ever made. Every film I've made has been leading to this film.
So I really think you need to get out there and see this film in the theater. And you know what? Take someone with you. It's a great shared experience with someone you care about. Take someone with you that does not yet know the Lord.
I think you could have an incredible conversation after and you might even find that person open to giving their life to Jesus. Yeah, that's right. And what a great thing that would be. Well, mark the date. February 24th is the official release of Jesus Revolution nationwide. Begin making plans now to bring someone with you to see this film. It's a moving evangelistic story wrapped in a great motion picture. And you know, that's what we're all about.
Sharing the hope of Christ with those who need that hope. Thanks for partnering with us as we share the gospel in this innovative way. You partner with us as you support the film at your local theater. And you partner with us when you send a donation to support sharing the gospel. In fact, to thank you for your generosity right now, we want to send you the book that tells the story in more detail.
It's also called Jesus Revolution. We'll send the book to thank you for your investment. So get in touch today. Our 24-7 phone number is 1-800-821-3300. That's 1-800-821-3300. Or write A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514.
Or go online to harvest.org. Well, Pastor Greg, I know there are some in our audience who felt God speaking to them today through your message. And they want to make a change in their relationship with the Lord.
Could you help them with that? Yeah, you know, Dave, the Bible says whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved. So I want to lead you in a prayer where you will be doing just that, calling on the name of the Lord. So listen, if you want your sin forgiven, if you want to know that when you die you will go to heaven, if you want Jesus Christ to come into your life and take away your guilt and your shame, then just stop what you're doing and pray this prayer with me right now.
Pray this after me if you would. Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner. I have broken your commandments.
I have fallen short of your standards. But 2,000 years ago you died on that cross for me. Then you rose again from the dead. So Jesus, come into my life and be my Savior and my Lord and my God and my friend. I choose to follow you from this moment forward. Thank you for calling me and accepting me and forgiving me. In Jesus' name I pray, amen.
Amen. And listen, if you have just prayed those words with Pastor Greg and meant them sincerely, the Lord has heard you and forgiven you of your sin. And we want to welcome you into the family of God. And we'd like to send some follow-up materials your way to help you begin to live a life of faith. Let us send you our New Believers Growth Packet. Just give us a phone call at 1-800-821-3300. You can call any time. Again, dial 1-800-821-3300.
You can also write A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514. Or go online to harvest.org and click on Know God. And then before we close, Pastor Greg wraps up this way. Well, one of the things that the Holy Spirit wants to do in our life is fill us.
The Bible says, be filled with the Holy Spirit, speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your hearts to the Lord. You know, it's interesting, in the original language that can be translated, be being filled. So the idea is do it over and over and over. I mean, do you have to refill your car with gas every, you know, week or so? Sure you do. Some of you drive SUVs every eight hours. But the idea is you have to refill it.
Otherwise it will stop running. We need refills of the Spirit. So what did Jesus say? You will receive power after the Holy Spirit has come upon you to be witnesses. So we want that power, right? We need that power. There's no way we can do what God wants us to do without supernatural power. And it's here for us. The same power that was poured out on Pentecost is available to the believer today.
So we're going to ask God's Holy Spirit to fill us. I think sometimes we make this way too mystical, you know. You've got to lower the lights. You can lower the lights if you want. You can turn the lights up if you want.
It's not like the Holy Spirit's afraid of light, you know. Make it dark and then I'm going to sneak in, do my thing, leave. No, no.
Lights on, lights off, doesn't matter. Why? It's an emotion. You've got to feel it. Yeah, you might feel it. You can have a huge emotional moment as the Holy Spirit fills you. And then again, you might feel nothing. I just filled my car up with gas last night. I had no emotional experience. Except when I saw the bill. No.
How much it cost. But the reality is the car ran. So yeah, you might feel it, you might not feel it. It's not about feeling. It's not about being mystical. It's just about saying, I need this power. Give me this power. Give me this power.
I receive it. Because. Because Jesus says the Father will give the Holy Spirit to those who what? Ask him.
Just ask him. And he'll give it. So let's do that right now. Let's all pray. Father. You've promised us another helper. An advocate. A friend.
Another friend. Alongside of us. To empower us. To seal us. To bear witness in our hearts that we're your children. To lead us. To give us the power we need to be the witness you've called us to be. To help us bring forth spiritual fruit. Lord, we need that power.
We want that power. We pray for the filling of the Holy Spirit right now. I pray that you will fill everyone in this room with the Holy Spirit. Why don't you just say, Lord, fill me with the Holy Spirit. You say that to God right now.
You say it. Lord, fill me. Say it in any way you want to say it. But just say, Lord, fill me now.
This is personal. Just fill me. Fill me with this power. Give me all the gifts you want me to have.
All the power that is needed for what you call me to do. Fill us all, Lord. And we receive this filling of the Spirit. And now, Lord, help us to walk in the power of the Spirit. Because it's not by my, nor by power, but by your Spirit, says the Lord. So thank you for the Holy Spirit. We receive Him now, in Jesus' name.
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