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The Rapture & Revival | The Next Event on the Prophetic Calendar

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
February 17, 2023 3:00 am

The Rapture & Revival | The Next Event on the Prophetic Calendar

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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February 17, 2023 3:00 am

In 2 Peter 3, we read, “The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.” Some people accepted Christ yesterday—good thing the Rapture didn’t happen the day BEFORE yesterday. Coming up on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie helps us learn all we can about the Rapture . . . that great event when we’re suddenly caught up to meet the Lord in the air.

Listen on harvest.org

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JESUS REVOLUTION is in theaters everywhere February 24, 2023. Catch an early screening February 22. Go to https://jesusrevolution.movie/ 

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.

Support the show: https://harvest.org/support

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Today's episode of A New Beginning is brought to you by Harvest Partners. Helping people everywhere know God.

Learn more at harvest.org. And while you're there, browse our library of free e-books designed to help you grow in your faith. We know Jesus could come back soon, but how soon? Pastor Greg Laurie addresses that question today here on A New Beginning. We were praying back in 1970 that Jesus would come back. You're saying, well, Greg, wasn't your timing a little bit off? Yeah, maybe we were a little early, but guess what?

It impacted us in the way that we live. And consider this, we've never been closer to the return of Jesus Christ than we are right now. He is coming back again. I still believe it. In 2 Peter 3, we read, the Lord isn't really being slow about his promise, as some people think.

No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. Some people accepted Christ yesterday. Good thing the rapture didn't happen the day before yesterday. Coming up on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie helps us learn all we can about the rapture, that great event when we're suddenly caught up to meet the Lord in the air. Why don't you grab your Bibles and turn to 1 Thessalonians chapter 4.

1 Thessalonians chapter 4. The title of my message is Revival and the Rapture. So we are talking about the Jesus revolution. You know in the day we called it the Jesus movement, but either phrase is great because you know what it was about?

Jesus. It wasn't called the God revolution, though God did it. It wasn't called the Bible revolution, though we read the Bible a lot and still do. It was called the Jesus revolution because it was about Jesus. And sometimes in the church we forget what our message is.

Our message is Jesus Christ. What is a revolution? Generally we think of a revolution in a negative sense, an upheaval, and it can be that.

But this was a positive revolution. A word revolution also means a turning around or a rotating or a returning to something. It is a returning to something. And what is it a return to? It is a return to New Testament Christianity. It is a return to being like the church of the first century that turned their world upside down. That is why we call it a revival. To revive is to restore to original condition. Once someone asked the great evangelist Billy Sunday about revival and he said they tell me a revival is only temporary. He said so is a bath but it will do you some good. And some of you need to take that literally and I won't say who.

No I am joking. But you know we need a revival. We need a bath if you will, a cleansing, a returning to something that God did many years ago. But the first century church, you know they rocked the world. It was G. Campbell Morgan who said quote organized Christianity that fails to make a disturbance is dead.

And that is true. Everywhere the apostle Paul went there was either a riot or a revival. And sometimes I wonder if it is time to rescue Jesus from modern day Christianity.

One person put it this way and I love it. Revival is when God gets so sick and tired of being misrepresented He shows up Himself. And we are saying Lord do that again. And there were some earmarks of the Jesus movement. Things that I remember. One of them was there was a sense of expectancy in the services. By the way no one was ever late for church because if you were well you wouldn't get a seat. There was a sense that God is going to do something here in this service. So we came with open hearts and with open Bibles. And I think it is very important the way we go to church that we come saying I want God to speak to me today.

I am open to that. And it was a move of the Holy Spirit. The Jesus movement was it was the Holy Spirit of God working through the Word of God in the hearts of the people of God. It was a work that He did then and it is a work He still wants to do today. And there was one other thing we talked a lot about back in those days and it was the return of Jesus Christ.

It was in a lot of messages. And you are saying well Greg wasn't your timing a little bit off. What was that 45 years ago. Yeah maybe we were a little early but guess what. It impacted us in the way that we lived.

And consider this. We have never been closer to the return of Jesus Christ than we are right here right now. He is coming back again.

I still believe it. And we are going to see what the Bible says about what I believe is the next event on the prophetic calendar. It is called the rapture. You have heard that before. Some people would say well you can't find the word rapture in the Bible. Well that is true in a way. But you can also not find the word Bible in the Bible nor can you find the word Trinity in the Bible.

And those are all things that we know are true. So let's understand what the rapture is. There is a Greek word harpazo that is used many times in Scripture. This word harpazo describes a catching up of people into the presence of the Lord. If you have a Latin translation it is translated rapturus where we get our English word rapture from. So I don't care if you call it the rapture or if you call it the harpazo. Hey call it the great escape if you want to.

Whatever you call it. It is a real biblical event. Jesus said in John 14, in My Father's house are many mansions of where we are not so I would have told you. If I go I will come again and receive you unto Myself that where I am you may be also.

That word receive is harpazo. I will catch you up into heaven. So it is a real event that is coming. And in my understanding of Bible prophecy it can happen at any moment. Looking at the big picture I think the next event on the prophetic calendar is the rapture. On the heels of that will be the emergence of a world leader who will be charismatic. He will be a great peacemaker. He will come about with economic solutions. But in reality the Bible says he will be the antichrist. And the prefix anti doesn't just mean against.

It also means instead of. He will come as a false Messiah. Some people will think he is the Messiah.

He will rebuild the third temple in Jerusalem. And then ultimately he will perform what is called the abomination of desolation where he erects an image of himself and commands people to worship him. And that marks effectively the halfway point of the seven year tribulation period. The tribulation period ends with the battles of Armageddon. And then Christ comes back in the second coming. And then there is the millennial reign of Jesus.

It lasts for a thousand years. And then finally heaven comes to earth. The new Jerusalem like a bride waiting to meet our groom. And some guys are saying, I don't want to be a bride. You are a bride.

Deal with it. In the church we are the bride of Christ. That is what the Bible calls us. And so this moment, this event, this rapture can happen at any time. And that brings us to our text. 1 Thessalonians 4 16. The Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ shall rise first. And then we which are alive and remaining will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. So shall we always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words. This phrase caught up is from the Greek word harpazo. That word is used 13 times in the New Testament.

It means to take forcibly, to snatch, or to catch up. So here is a few questions. Why is there a rapture? Well Paul gave this teaching in response to the believers in Thessalonica who had loved ones die. And they wondered will we ever see our loved ones again. So Paul is telling them you are going to be reunited with your loved ones. In fact in 1 Thessalonians 4 13 he says, We don't want you to be uninformed brothers about those who have died so that you will not grieve as those who have no hope.

A very important thing Paul is saying. We don't want you to be uninformed brothers. So he talks about Bible prophecy. And I bring this up because sometimes people will say no one can understand these things. And so it is just a waste of time to even try.

No. Why would Paul have said we don't want you to be uninformed brothers if God did not want us to know about the events that are coming. And coming back to that event I mentioned the abomination of the vesalation.

Jesus referred to it in Matthew 24. He says, And when you see the abomination of desolation, then let the reader understand. So we need to understand what these things mean. In the book of Daniel in the 12th chapter it is said that the things of Bible prophecy the understanding of Bible prophecy will increase in the last days. One of the signs of the end times is we will have a better understanding of what all of these things mean. We often talk about the book of Revelation. What does Revelation mean. It means the unveiling. It is God's desire to reveal not to conceal. And then Paul goes on to say, So comfort one another with these words.

Why? Well because when a loved one dies we miss them. Many of you have loved ones in heaven right now.

Well Kathy and I do. Of course our son is there. And our mothers are there. And my father is there. So you know that kind of connects you to heaven. You think about it. And you wonder about having conversations with them and what it will be like to be reunited. So this is what Paul is saying.

And this is why they should comfort us. He says, We will be caught up together to meet them in the air. Who? Loved ones who have preceded us. I was talking with a dear saint the other day yesterday actually.

She is 95 years old. And she wanted to know when she dies what happens to her body. And what happens to her spirit. I said, Well what happens when you die is your spirit goes into the presence of God. And your body goes into the ground. But at the rapture your body is going to be resurrected.

So your body will be resurrected in a perfected state. So that is when that all is going to happen. So this is this great hope.

Now look. The rapture can happen in our lifetime. But we need to always be ready to meet the Lord. So you either get to heaven through rapture or you get to heaven through death.

Cab or Uber. I don't care. I am just going to go to heaven. So the idea is to be ready. And this brings comfort to you because you know you will see your loved ones again. Imagine what it would be like to suddenly be reunited with a loved one you had been cut off from for so long.

And to be in their presence again. Husbands reunited with wives. Wives reunited with husbands. Parents reunited with children. Children with parents. Brothers with sisters. Sisters with brothers.

Friends with friends. That event is going to happen. And it is a glorious event.

Not so good for people that don't believe. Jesus said, Two men will be in a field. One will be taken. The other left. Two will be sleeping in a bed. One will be taken.

And the other left. Watch therefore, for you don't know what hour the Lord is coming. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. Hey everybody, what are you doing this weekend? I'd like to hang out with you at Harvest at Home. What is Harvest at Home? It is a time of worship and Bible study exclusively designed for people that are viewing in from all over the place. So you can be a part of our extended congregation at Harvest at Home.

Join us this weekend, Saturday and Sunday for Harvest at Home at Harvest.org. Well, we're talking about the rapture today. Pastor Greg is bringing a message called The Rapture and Revival, part of a series titled Jesus Revolution. We're preparing for the release of the feature film Jesus Revolution, coming February 24th.

Pastor Greg continues now. When is the rapture? Oh, this is one that people have asked for many years.

When is it? Well, here's what Jesus says, No one knows the day or the hour, not even the angels nor the Son, only the Father. If you were to go back to the original language and translate that, it would come out to say, No one knows the day or the hour. And actually what it means is, No one knows the day or the hour. And why do I say that? Because every now and then someone comes along and they say, I have cracked the code. I know when the rapture is.

No they don't. No one knows the day or the hour. It could happen today. It could happen tonight. It could happen tomorrow. It could happen in a month, in a year, in a decade. We don't know when it will happen. But we want to watch and be ready.

But I will tell you this. When it happens it will happen so quickly you can't even measure it in time. We are told over in 1 Corinthians 15, I tell you a mystery will not all sleep but will be changed in a moment in the twinkling of an eye at the last trumpet. The trumpet will sound.

The dead will be raised incorruptible and we shall be changed. The twinkling of an eye. Not even the blinking of an eye. How long is the twinkle of an eye?

Well I don't know. It is from the Greek word atomos. We get our English word atom from it.

Something that is very small. I guess the twinkling would take as long as maybe it would take to say the word atomos. It is just that fast. So some will say, well I will accept Christ when the rapture happens. Really? You better be fast.

You see people getting raptured. Lord Jesus. Oh that is way too long.

Lord no too long. No. It is too late. And you will be left behind and you don't want that to happen. So why is it important to believe this? Well if I believe it, and I really should if I believe the Bible, it will have an effect on me spiritually. In 1 John 3 it says, he that has this hope purifies himself even as he is pure.

So if I really believe this it is going to impact me in decisions I make, things that I do, everything really. Someone once asked the great evangelist D.O. Moody, if you knew the Lord would return tonight, how would you spend the rest of the day? Without hesitation he said, I wouldn't do anything different than I do every day. See this is the whole point. If I really believe this, how many of you believe Jesus could come back?

Ok. If you believe this, have you told anyone about Jesus? Do you know relatives, friends, others, and need to hear this good news? Live every day as though it were the last day. Because one day it will be. Martin Luther once said, there are two days of my life. There is this day and there is that day. And that day he was referring to was the return of the Lord.

So we want to be ready. Now why has Jesus not already come back? Well let me take a quick poll. How many of you have become a Christian since 1970? You have accepted Christ since 1970. Raise your hand. Ok. That is a lot of you.

I would even say a majority of you. We were praying back in 1970 that Jesus would come back. Aren't you glad He didn't answer our prayer? It says in 1 Peter, the Lord is not late as some men count lateness. He is long suffering toward us.

Listen. Not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. The Lord is waiting for the final people to believe. It is even possible that somewhere on this earth, possibly even in this service or watching somewhere, is that final person the Lord is waiting for to get saved. And then the rapture is going to happen. Can you imagine if you knew who that person was?

Would you be tempted to apply pressure? Like dude could you get saved like now so we can get out of here. But the Lord is waiting.

Why? Because He loves us. He wants us to have a relationship with Him. But here is our prayer. When that day happens only the Lord knows. But we want Him to send at least one more spiritual awakening to America. We need a fifth awakening.

I would be so bold as to say we even need a sixth and a seventh should the Lord tarry. But listen revival that can happen for you right here right now. We can talk about how the church needs revival. But you can just ask yourself the question do you need revival? Do I need revival? What is revival?

It is being restored to original condition. You know if you want to see a revival you should do revival like things. And that is what we are sort of doing here today. We are remembering things. Things that happened before. And we are saying do it again. And in the same way if you want to see revival in your life do revival like things.

In Revelation chapter 2 Jesus talks to the church and He says you know what I know you guys are discerning and you work hard and you test those who say they are apostles and are not. But I have this against you. You have left your first love. So remember therefore from where you have fallen and do the first works quickly.

Very interesting. He says you know you are doing a great job but there is a problem. You have left your first love. So first you should remember. And I am going to ask you to remember right now. Think back in your life. Some of you have been a Christian for a while. Some of you not as long. But was there a time in your life where you were stronger spiritually than you are now?

Was there a time in your life as a follower of Jesus where your passion was greater and the fire burned hotter than it is burning right now? Remember that. It is a point of reference. Now repent. He says remember from where you have fallen and repent. And it is interesting He uses the phrase where you have fallen. See we think of falling away from the Lord as something dramatic. Oh they abandon their faith and they are doing all these horrible things now.

And yeah that is a form of it. But Jesus said if you have left your first love you have fallen. It is sort of like a slow motion fall.

It is not as dramatic but it is still falling. Remember from where you have fallen. Then He says and do the first works quickly. So the three R's of revival. The three R's of getting right with God are remember, repent, and repeat.

Go back and do those things again. I heard about a lady that wanted to divorce her husband. But she didn't want to just divorce him. She wanted him to suffer. So she went to an attorney and said what can I do when I divorce my husband to bring the most pain possible? The lawyer said whoa.

Evil laugh. He said I have the solution. He says for the next six months I want you to smother your husband with affection. Tell him how wonderful he is. How responsible he is. How much you respect him. How much you care for him. And then at six months get him with the divorce papers.

He won't know what hit him and it will make his life miserable. She said I will do it. She told her husband how much he loved him. How great he was. How much you respected him.

How much she adored him. And the lawyer calls at six months and says okay let's get this divorce going. She says divorce.

We are going on our second honeymoon. So the point is she was doing what she should have been doing all along. And in the same way if we want revival just do revival like things. If you want to restore a marriage that is failing go bring the romance back in your marriage.

Do the things you did in the beginning. The same is true of your relationship with God. And I wonder if some of us need revival in our life.

Look it can happen. We just say Lord I need to be restored to that original condition. I need to get back to that walk I once had with you. You know there are some of you here that might have been around in the days of the Jesus movement. That is great. What a wonderful thing that was.

But this is now. How is your relationship with God now? Are you walking with the Lord today?

And are you ready for His return now? Well if not this is a great opportunity to get right with God. If you want to be sure that you are ready to meet the Lord. If you want to be confident that you will be ready to be caught up to meet Him in the air you need to ask Jesus Christ to come into your life. He died on the cross for you 2,000 years ago.

He shed His blood for you. He paid the price for every sin you have ever committed. And if you will put your faith in Him and ask Him to forgive you you can be confident your sin is forgiven and you can know for certain that you will go to heaven when you die and you can also know for certain you will be ready for the rapture. You will be rapture ready.

And if you are not sure if you are now here is an opportunity for you to make that commitment a recommitment of Christ. Let's all pray together. Father I pray now for every person that is watching if they don't know you Jesus.

If they're not right with you help them to get right with you. We ask in Jesus name I pray. Amen. Pastor Greg Laurie with an important prayer and if you'd like to make a change today in your relationship with the Lord Pastor Greg will help you do that in just a moment before today's edition of A New Beginning concludes. And then we hope you're making plans to see Jesus Revolution the brand new movie from Pastor Greg and the Irwin brothers of Kingdom Story Company.

It's a compelling look at the time of the Jesus movement of the late 60s and early 70s and how the chaos and uncertainty of the era prepared the way for spiritual renewal. Things were really bad. The Vietnam War was still raging. Young men were coming back in body bags. There were riots in the streets racial tension at an all-time high. The country seemed to be coming apart at the scene. Think for yourself and question authority. Get as high as you possibly can.

Turn on tune in and drop out. It was a hopeless time for many. I could be in the middle of a crowd. Pastor Chuck Smith of Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa reached so many. They're lost.

They need the Lord. One of those young people who found the Lord was a teenager named Greg Laurie. And I walked into this church crammed full of people.

They were in the pews sitting on the floor standing on the sides. The place was overflowing and I was overwhelmed by it all to be honest with you. Pastor Greg came to Christ during the Jesus movement and his experiences are the thread that runs through the new feature film Jesus Revolution. It's coming out soon. Pastor Greg 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 weren't 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 surprised 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 that's what it's all about. Well, mark the date. February 24th is the official release of Jesus Revolution. It's a moving evangelistic story wrapped in a great motion picture.

And by the way, there will be a special national preview showing February 22nd, two days earlier. It'll 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. That's what we're all about, sharing the hope of Christ with those who need that hope. To get tickets to this special preview, February 22nd, go to jesusrevolution.movie.

Now that's dot movie, not dot com. Again, jesusrevolution.movie. And thanks so much 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 depth.

It's also called Jesus Revolution. We'll send you the book to thank you for your investment. So get in touch today. Our 24-7 phone number is 1-800-821-3300. Again, 1-800-821-3300. Or write A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514.

Or go online to harvest.org. And one other thing, if we may, you may be familiar with 2 Chronicles 7-14 which 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 follow that biblical direction, to humble ourselves and pray each day for revival in the church and a spiritual awakening in the culture.

It's our 7-14 campaign. Would you pray with us each day at 7-14? At 14 minutes after 7, we're all praying for revival and praying that the movie Jesus Revolution would help light the fire.

Thanks for joining us in that. Well, Pastor Greg, today you wrapped up your message by talking about eternity. How can someone listening know that they're going to heaven? Well, that's a great question, and I guess let me take it a step further.

I know that is the most important question you can ask. How can a person know they're going to heaven? Let me say at the outset, I believe I'm going to heaven. In fact, I'll take it a step further. I know I'm going to heaven. Is it, Greg, isn't that kind of arrogant?

Not really. Because I know this because God has made a promise to me, and I've believed that promise. The Bible says, We write these things to you that believe on the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life. I've believed on the name of the name of the Son of God. Thus I know I'll go to heaven when I die. Here's my question to you. Do you believe on the name of the Son of God? Is there any more important issue than that?

I can't think of one. So I'd like to lead you in a simple prayer, and this is a prayer where you will be asking Jesus to forgive you of your sin, and you'll be asking him to be your own Savior, friend, Lord. It's a prayer only you can pray.

Pray these words if you would. Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner, but I know that you are the Savior who died on the cross for my sin and rose from the dead. Jesus, come into my life. I want to believe in you. I want to follow you.

I want this relationship with you. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sin and rising again from the dead, and I thank you that you've heard this prayer, and I believe you've come into my life. In Jesus' name I pray.

Amen. I want to help you grow in your faith. I want to help you grow spiritually. So I have a free gift for you. It's called the New Believers Growth Packet. What's in it?

No, not a bag of seeds to plant in your backyard. I guess it's sort of a form of a bag of seeds because I want to sow some spiritual seed in your life to help you develop as a follower of Christ. So I'm going to send you a copy of the New Testament in the New Living Translation, but it's a special edition. It's called the New Believers Bible, and it's filled with notes that I wrote that will encourage you in this new commitment or recommitment you've made to Christ, and there's some other materials in the New Believers Packet as well. So order your copy today, and I'm so glad I had this privilege today to lead you in that prayer. God bless you.

You've made the right decision, the decision to follow Jesus Christ. And here's how to get that New Believers Growth Packet. You can call us at 1-800-821-3300.

That's a 24-7 phone number, 1-800-821-3300. Or drop us a note at A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514. Or go online to harvest.org and click the words, Know God. Well, next time, Pastor Greg brings us important insight on personal evangelism and the key role it plays in bringing the next great spiritual awakening to our culture. Join us here on A New Beginning with pastor and Bible teacher, Greg Laurie. The preceding podcast was made possible by Harvest Partners, helping people everywhere know God. Learn how to become a Harvest Partner, sign up for daily devotions, and find resources to help you grow in your faith at harvest.org.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-22 05:30:06 / 2023-02-22 05:42:41 / 13

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