We're glad you're joining us for A New Beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast supported by Harvest Partners. Get more encouraging audio content when you subscribe to Pastor Greg's Daily Devos. Learn more and sign up at harvest.org. God has a job for us to do as believers.
It's an important job. And Pastor Greg Laurie points out we've been given the resources to do it as well. Jesus said that the Father would give the Holy Spirit to those that ask Him. How many of you feel that you need more power from the Holy Spirit? Well, God wants to give you that power.
And He wants to fill you, and He wants to refill you, then He wants to refill you again. So, what do you have to do to receive it? You just pray for this power. 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 hear all the angels are singing.
This is the day, the day when life begins. Ever try to accomplish the simplest tasks in a power failure? Everywhere you go inside your home, you instinctively reach for the light switch, and it doesn't work. If you can't see, you can't do much. All right, just watch TV.
Oh, yeah, I can't. Well, today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie points out power is just as necessary in accomplishing the work God wants us to do. And we'll find out today that work has never been more necessary. This is the day, the day when life begins.
Turn to Acts chapter 2, and the title of my message is Jesus Revolution, the Holy Spirit in Revival. You know, in the late 60s and the early 70s, America seemed to be unraveling. There was a very real threat of nuclear war in the mid 60s. Nikita Khrushchev made some very serious threats against our nation, including placing nuclear missiles in Cuba. And President Kennedy faced off with him in what is called historically the Cuban Missile Crisis. But for kids in school, I was one of those kids in school, we thought we might all die tomorrow. So one year after the Cuban Missile Crisis, our youthful president, John F. Kennedy, was assassinated in Dallas on November 22nd, 1963. All of America mourned.
Meanwhile, the Vietnam War, which was never officially declared, raged on with young men coming home in body bags. And then the drug revolution is breaking out at the same time. Thousands of kids are turning to drugs for some kind of self-realization, some kind of answer, hopefully, and it just made things worse. Add to the drug revolution, the sexual revolution, with the discovery of the birth control pill in the early 60s. Free love reigned, and everybody just wanted to express themselves and push away those parameters and those barriers that existed for so long. It all sort of culminated in a big music festival called Woodstock, which was billed as three days of peace and music. And Jimi Hendrix played the Star-Spangled Banner on his electric guitar.
Everything was really groovy, man. But then in 1968, all the psychedelic colors turned to black and white as reality began to kick in and we reaped the consequences of all of these horrible decisions. It was in 1968 that civil rights leader Martin Luther King was assassinated. And then on the heels of that, shortly after, as a matter of fact, Robert F. Kennedy, the brother of President Kennedy, who was running for the presidency, was also assassinated in Los Angeles right here in California. And then all of these rock icons died in a relatively short period of time.
Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones, Jim Morrison of the Doors, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin. So this is the reality. And because things were so dark, with riots in the streets and division, Time magazine put out an ominous cover story. Black cover, red letters reversed out, is God dead?
That's how a lot of people felt. That maybe God was dead, but God was not dead. God was very much at work. And we don't know exactly when it started or where the actual beginning of it was, but in the middle of the drug revolution, in the middle of the sexual revolution, God sent the Jesus revolution. I had the privilege of being there.
I had a front row seat. I didn't know it was a revival. I didn't know I walked into the middle of a spiritual awakening. And there was a man that opened his heart and opened his church to it named Chuck Smith. And so all these young kids are getting saved.
And they want to go to church. And a lot of churches, one looked at them and said, you're not coming in here looking like that. But for the churches that opened their doors to the Jesus people, as they were called, or the Jesus freaks, as they were also called, those churches experienced revival. For the churches that kept their doors shut to these folks, they did not experience revival.
Here are some things that kind of stand out to me about that time. Number one, there was a sense of expectancy in the services. So when you came to church, you came with a sense that God is going to do something. No one was ever late for church back in those days, by the way, because if you were, you wouldn't get a seat.
So that sense of expectancy. Number two, the Word of God was pretty much taught in every service. You know, Pastor Chuck Smith taught us to love the Bible, and we would go through books of the Bible, and our lives were changed by the Bible. And then also, there was worship. It was a whole new kind of worship that was born before our very eyes.
We would give invitations in pretty much every service. And I think what happens is when nonbelievers come to a church that's alive, a church that's experiencing revival, they want to know God. So we brought friends, and people would accept the Lord.
Here's another big earmark of that time. We believed in the imminent return of Jesus Christ. We believed that Christ could come in our lifetime. So some of you would say, well, what is that, 45 years ago?
I think your timing was a little off, Greg. Yeah, well, you know what? I don't regret living in belief that Christ could come back.
And you know what? We're 45 years closer to His return than we were there. I still believe it. I believe Jesus could come in my lifetime. But we need to pray that God will do this again. Psalm 85 says, will you not revive us again that your people may rejoice in you?
The prophet Habakkuk understood this when he prayed this prayer in Habakkuk 3.2. I've heard all about you, Lord, and I'm filled with awe by the amazing things you've done. In this time of deep need, revive your work as you did in years gone by.
Show us your power to save us. And so it's similar to how you might feel now. Some of you might be thinking, well, that must have been so great back then.
I wish I could have been around then. God wants to do it again because Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Okay, so it starts with us. Revival is a community saturated with God, wrote one person. Another said, revival is an invasion from heaven. Richard Owen Roberts wrote these words, quote, Revival is an extraordinary movement of the Holy Spirit, producing extraordinary results. You know, in the book of Acts, where we read about the Holy Spirit being poured out on the church, we see a very important principle. It is the Spirit of God working through the Word of God in the hearts of the people of God.
Really, you need all three. The Spirit of God working through the Word of God in the hearts of the people of God. And the people that Jesus used to change his world were very, well, ordinary people, uneducated, calloused hands, few social graces. Many of them were outcasts, but in a relatively short time, they changed the world. And they didn't have social media. Thomas did not tweet. Peter did not update his Facebook page.
They didn't use any of these tools. They had a road system and a common language that they could use to bring the gospel to the rest of the world under the control of Rome at that time. But really, it comes down to this. It was a work of the Holy Spirit. So Jesus told them all after he died on the cross and rose from the dead, go to Jerusalem and wait. And he said in Acts 1a, you shall receive power after the Holy Spirit has come upon you to be witnesses for me in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the rest of the planet, the uttermost parts of the earth. And so they went to Jerusalem. It's the day of Pentecost.
They don't know what they're even waiting for. And suddenly the Bible says there was a mighty rushing wind. And then there were these divided flames of fire over their heads.
I don't even know what that was all about. It was never repeated again in Scripture. And then they spoke in new languages. They spoke in tongues glorifying God. And people are watching trying to figure this out. There's a lot of nonbelievers there because people had come from all over to be in Jerusalem at that particular time. So Simon Peter gets up to preach. And that in itself is no small thing. Only days earlier, this Simon Peter denied Jesus three times.
What happened? He had been empowered by the Holy Spirit. And here's what Peter said in Acts 2, verse 15 from the New Living Translation. These people are not drunk, as some of you are assuming. It's 9 o'clock in the morning. It's too early for that.
Hey, man, the bars aren't even open yet. He says what you see was predicted long ago by the prophet Joel where he says in the last days God says I'll pour my spirit out on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy and your young men will see visions and your old men will dream dreams.
Incredible. That was the day of Pentecost. You might say, well, we need another Pentecost. No, we don't.
The last one was good. We don't need another Pentecost any more than we need another Calvary because the same power that was poured out by the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost is available for believers today. You need to simply receive it. Again, Acts 1-8 says you'll receive power to be a witness, power to share your faith, power to speak up and be counted, power to churn your world upside down. And here's the promise that was given here in Acts 2 about that power that was poured out on Pentecost. This promise is unto you. It's to your children and all that are afar off and even as many as the Lord our God shall call. So God is still giving this power today.
What do you have to do to receive it? You just pray for this power. In Ephesians 5 it says be filled with the Holy Spirit, speaking to yourself in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your hearts to the Lord. And in the original language that can be translated be continuously filled with the Holy Spirit.
And by the way, in the original Greek it's also a command. God commands you to be filled with the Spirit each and every day. But I think we make too much out of this and we feel it has to be some emotional thing. We're gonna pray for people to be filled with the Spirit so dim the lights and sing slow songs.
Well, look, you can do that if you want but the Holy Spirit can be poured out when the lights are on or off, okay? And it doesn't have to be emotional. Talking about being filled. When you go and put gas in your car, do you have an emotional experience?
Probably not until you see how much the gas costs. That's an emotional experience. Or if you have an electric car, when you plug it in the wall, do you have an emotional experience when you do that?
Maybe if you're standing in water when you do it, you might. But generally it's not an emotional thing, it's just something you do. You put gas in your car, you do it again and again, sometimes once a week, others once every six months if you have a Prius, right, I guess, because your tires are the size of donuts, I don't know. But the thing is is you fill your car and your life needs to be filled in the same way with the Holy Spirit.
So what do you do? You simply ask God. Jesus said that the Father would give the Holy Spirit to those that ask Him.
And I think we ought to do that right now. How many of you feel that you need more power from the Holy Spirit in your life? Raise your hand up.
All right. Well, God wants to give you that power and He wants to fill you and He wants to refill you and then He wants to refill you again. So we're gonna pray and here's what we're gonna do is I'm going to lead you in a prayer and I would ask you to pray this prayer after me out loud even, very similar to what we would lead someone coming to Christ in, but this is a different kind of prayer. And if this is what you want in your life, pray it. If you don't want this, don't pray it.
No one's forcing you to do anything. But if you feel that you need more power to be a witness, if you feel that you want those gifts of the Spirit that God wants to give to you and you pray this prayer with me right now. Let's bow our heads. Father, we're asking that you will bless this moment as we ask you for something you've told us you want to give us.
And we want everything you have for us. So we're asking you to hear our prayer. And if you want God to fill you with the Holy Spirit, I want you to pray this out loud after me. Pray these words.
Lord Jesus. I am weak. But you are strong. And you've promised power to me. Power to be a witness.
Power to change the world. I need this power in my life, Lord. So I am asking you now in the name that is above all names, the name of Jesus Christ, I'm asking you to fill me with the Holy Spirit.
Give me all the gifts you want me to have. Give me all the power that I need to serve you, to glorify you, to be used by you. I receive this power in my life now. In Jesus' name I pray.
Amen. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message today. We're so grateful to hear of the changed lives through Harvest Ministries. And if you have a story to tell of how these studies have touched your life or that of a family member, I hope you'll contact us today. Email Pastor Greg.
Greg at Harvest dot org. That's Greg at Harvest dot o-r-g. Well, today Pastor Greg is helping us receive God's power to do God's work in helping bring about a spiritual awakening in our culture. He continues his study now in Acts chapter 2. So all those folks are gathered together on the day of Pentecost. The Holy Spirit is poured out.
Non-believers are standing there watching this all happening, and they don't know what's going on. Peter gets up and preaches to the people, tells them the gospel, and Jesus died on the cross for their sin. And they didn't know what to do, and we read in Acts 2 37, Peter's words pierced their hearts, and they said to him and the other apostles, brothers, what should we do?
Peter replied, each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God. You know, I think when you come into a setting like this as a non-believer or as a visitor, you wonder, what does this mean? What is this all about? It's about Jesus.
It's about a relationship with Jesus. And you know, it's a funny thing, when you're around people that have something they're enjoying, you want it too. Have you ever gone out with folks to eat after church maybe, and maybe you don't want to eat, you're trying to lose weight, and you say, I'm just gonna drink water. And so your friends order burgers and fries and onion rings and all that good stuff, and you're watching all, and then you say to our friend, can I have one of your fries? Just one, they say, go ahead. And you eat one fry from someone else, and it's like the greatest french fry you've ever had in your life.
Then you order your own, right? I think when a Christian is living as they ought to live, it's contagious. Other people want it.
They desire it. And maybe you've come here today, you're watching on a screen right now at one of our campuses, wherever you are, and you don't have this relationship with Jesus Christ. And your question is the same as the people on the Day of Pentecost. What does this mean?
What should we do? Peter says, repent of your sins and turn to God. That's it. What does it mean to repent of your sins? It means to turn from your sin, to stop living that way, to change your direction in life, and then turn to God. Put your faith in Jesus, and he will come and take residence in your heart.
Folks, listen. This is about a relationship with God. That's why we didn't call it the church revolution or the Bible revolution. It was the Jesus revolution. It was people having their lives turned around by Jesus. And Jesus is still in the revolution business today. He's still changing lives.
And he can change your life. I don't know what state you're in. I don't know what path you're on. But as I talked about hopeless people turning to drugs or alcohol, trying to find answers, maybe that describes you. Maybe there's somebody else here that's been so despondent you've contemplated suicide. Maybe there's somebody else here that is just wondering, you've checked all the boxes.
You've got all the things you thought you would want in life to make yourself happy, and there's just this big hole in your heart. Some of you are older, and you're thinking a lot about the afterlife. And you're wondering what's gonna happen to you. And you hope that God will let you in heaven.
Listen, we can get all of that resolved right now. He'll fill that void in your life where you will no longer need drugs or alcohol or any other kind of substance to fill it. He can also forgive you of your sin so you can know with certainty that you will go to heaven when you die.
You don't have to guess on that or worry about that. And also, by having Jesus in your life, you can know with confidence that if you were to come in our lifetime or if you were to come today, you would be ready to meet him. You would be ready to go to heaven.
And if you're not sure of that, you need to respond to an invitation I'm going to extend in a moment. Listen, Jesus died on the cross for your sin. He rose again from the dead and he will come into your life. This is personal. Yeah, true, corporately we all believe this, but it's personal. The way God works in a person's life, it's as though you're the only person on earth he's doing it for.
But in reality, he's doing it for many, many others. But he'll do it for you today because Jesus, who died on the cross and rose from the dead, 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 I'm going to extend an invitation for you to come to Christ. This is for everybody here. It's for everybody watching me on the screen right now, whatever Harvest Campus you're at.
This is for you. And if you don't know Jesus right now, respond to this invitation I'm going to now extend. Let's all bow our heads, please. Everybody praying. Father, now we pray that your Holy Spirit will convict and convince every person here, every person watching wherever they are of their need for Jesus and help them to come to you and help them believe in you right here, right now. In Jesus' name I pray, amen.
Amen. Pastor Greg Laurie with an important prayer. 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 to brothers and sisters in Christ, please be in prayer right now for those who are making this kind of decision. And then put this movie on your must-see list, Jesus Revolution.
It follows Pastor Greg's own story through the crazy time of uncertainty in the 60s and early 70s, when words of hope were often eclipsed by despair. Brotherly love disintegrates to violence. Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.
I've seen the promised land. There were riots in the streets, racial tension at an all-time high. The President of the United States, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, is dead. The man charged with the assassination of John F. Kennedy has himself just been shot. There was so much instability in America. Four persons, including two women, were shot and killed on Kent State University's campus today during renewed demonstrations involving hundreds of students. The government of South East Tom has surrendered to the beat cause.
I shall resign the presidency effective at noon tomorrow. The country seemed to be coming apart at the seams. I think when you realize how dark things were in the culture, you can have a greater appreciation for this move of the Holy Spirit that resulted in the Jesus movement. In this new film, Jesus Revolution takes you inside the Jesus movement. Focusing on the lives of Greg and Kathy Laurie, hippie evangelist Lonnie Frisbee, and Pastor Chuck Smith. It's a look at where hope is found in the midst of darkness. Pastor Greg, how can this movie help us spread the gospel on a greater level going forward?
That's a great question, and here's the answer. Consider this, over 30 years of holding events in stadiums and arenas around the world has enabled us here at Harvest Ministries to reach around six million people. That's pretty good. Thank God for that. And we've seen well over 500,000 people make a profession of faith.
But listen to this. When this film opens in theaters, it has the potential to reach, and this is conservative, 10 million people. So we can reach potentially in three weeks in movie theaters what it has taken us 30 years to reach in live events. So I think that this can be one of the most effective things we've ever done evangelistically in our entire history. So that's why I'm saying to all my friends out there who are listening, your support of Harvest Ministries at this crucial time enables us to respond to this unprecedented opportunity that has been dropped into our lap with this feature film called Jesus Revolution. This is a moment in time.
We can't miss this moment in time. So I'm asking you to support us with your prayer and your finances so we can lead these people to Christ and then disciple them, get them grounded in their faith. Because the Great Commission is not just to go preach the gospel, it's to make disciples of all nations. And that's exactly what we want to do, as Jesus said, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you.
Yeah, yeah, that's right. It's such a strategic time for your support. Thanks so much for partnering with us by sending an investment in evangelism and by supporting this film by seeing it. Jesus Revolution will be officially released February 24th. It's a moving evangelistic story wrapped up in a great motion picture. And by the way, there will be a special national preview showing February 22nd, two days earlier. It will feature special bonus content, including an easy-to-understand presentation of the gospel by Pastor Greg. So make plans to bring someone who needs the Lord. To get tickets to this special preview February 22nd, go to jesusrevolution.movie.
Now that's.movie, not.com. Again, jesusrevolution.movie. And to thank you for your generosity and partnering with us right now, we want to send you the book that tells the story in more depth.
It's also called Jesus Revolution. We'll send the book to you to thank you for your donation. 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, California, 92514.
Or go online to harvest.org. 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 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 this new life of faith. Let us send you our New Believers Growth Packet. Just ask for it when you call 1-800-821-3300. That's a 24-7 phone number, 1-800-821-3300. Or write us at A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, California, 92514. Or go online to Harvest.org and click on Know God.
And then one other thing. As you know, 2 Chronicles 7.14 says, If my people, who 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 I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. Well, Pastor Greg is asking us all to do just that, to humble ourselves and pray each day. At 7.14 each day, we're committing to praying for revival among believers and a spiritual awakening in the culture.
And we're asking God to use Jesus' Revolution as the catalyst. Will you join us in this? Commit to praying with us each day at 7.14.
Thanks so much. Well, next time, as Pastor Greg continues his series called Jesus Revolution, he'll show us the direct connection between revival and prayer. Join us here on A New Beginning with pastor and Bible teacher Greg Laurie.
Hey, everybody. Thanks for listening to this podcast. 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.
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