February 21, 2023 3:00 am
We can send a text to someone on the other side of the planet at practically the speed of light. Through social media, videos can circumnavigate the globe as the event happens. It’s an exciting time for communication. And there’s nothing more important to communicate than the hope of Christ. Just when the world has so much capability, it also has so much need. Today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie says it’s time we all do our part to get that message out.
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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.
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You're listening to A New Beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast supported by Harvest Partners. For more ways to deepen and challenge your spiritual walk, enroll in Pastor Greg's free online courses.
Sign up at harvest.org. If ever there was a generation that needs to be engaged with the gospel, it is this generation. Our culture has lost its way, and today Pastor Greg Laurie says the good news of God's forgiveness has never been more needed and available. So don't tell me the day of evangelism is over because the gospel still works.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. People need Jesus, and they'll always need Jesus. We can send a text to someone on the other side of the planet at practically the speed of light.
Through social media, videos can circumnavigate the globe as the event happens. It's an exciting time for communication, and there's nothing more important to communicate than the hope of Christ. And just when the world has so much capability, it also has so much need. Today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie says it's time we all do our part to get that message out. Evangelism is never going to be passé. It's always going to be something God wants us to do.
Now we might find new and creative ways to do it, but ultimately we never want to deviate from this calling God has given to all of us. But you know America was a much different place 30 years ago. George H.W. Bush was the president. Home Alone and Pretty Woman were the top movies in the theaters.
The top TV shows were Seinfeld, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and The Cosby Show. My how things have changed. The top songs on radio were Ice Ice Baby by Vanilla Ice.
You Can't Touch This by MC Hammer and Vogue by Madonna. And the internet was just coming into its own. Social media did not exist yet. And so this new technology was coming. Email was just beginning.
Texting was still in the future. And so we were able to go around the nation and around the world and share the gospel. So some things have changed, but some things have not changed at all. Of course the need of humanity hasn't changed. The solution to that need, which is the gospel, never changes. And every generation is looking for answers. And I look at this young generation today and I think to myself if ever there was a generation that needs to be engaged with the gospel it is this generation.
And we are going to do everything we can to engage them. Consider this. The U.S. suicide rate has increased 30 percent since the year 2000 and it has tripled for young girls. Opioid deaths have increased three times in teens in the last 20 years as well.
From January 1, 2006 to December 31, 2013. This is a staggering statistic. There were 3,567,000 suicide attempts in emergency department visits from people 10 and older. Three million people tried to take their lives.
And in just seven years that is 3,5 million attempted suicides. So don't tell me the day of evangelism is over because the gospel still works. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. People need Jesus and they will always need Jesus.
So we want to keep that in mind. Always. You know in the church we get excited about a lot of things. Some people get excited about the latest conference. Oh this conference was so amazing.
Did you go to this conference? Others might get excited about a new building program. Oh we got our new building up. Others might get excited if their candidate got elected. You want to know what God gets excited about?
If I can use that verbiage of God. God gets excited. Heaven gets excited when people believe in Jesus. The Bible says there is joy in heaven over one sinner that comes to repentance.
I mean think about that for a moment. Every time a person churns from their sin and puts their faith in Jesus Christ there is a shout of praise in heaven. There must be a lot of praising in heaven.
Because you think of all the people that come to the Lord each and every day. I mentioned the Great Commission. Let's go to our text now. Matthew 28.
Let's read it. This is a very important statement that frankly we all should commit to memory. Jesus says, Matthew 28 verse 18, all authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations. Notice the word therefore. As I have told you before whenever you see the word therefore find out what it is there for. He is drawing upon what has been said.
What was just said. All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. So go therefore. Because He has this authority.
We are His representatives. So we go therefore and what do we do? Make disciples of all nations. Baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you and lo I am with you even to the end of the age.
There is one more version of the Great Commission if you will. That is in Mark 16, 15 where Jesus simply says go into all the world and preach the gospel to every person. So to pull it all together the Great Commission is to go into all the world and preach the gospel led by the Holy Spirit to bring people to Christ than to disciple them.
This is where a lot of people miss a key element. It is not just to proclaim the gospel. It is to lead people to Christ and disciple them. Get them up on their feet spiritually. Teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you and lo I am with you to the end of the age. I believe if we would just obey the Great Commission we would experience personal revival.
Why do I say that? Because when you get your eyes off of yourself for a moment and think about somebody else that is lost and separated from God and leave your comfort zone and seek to share your faith next to being a Christian this is one of the most joyful fulfilling things we can do. And this is why the devil doesn't want us to do it. If there is one thing Christians and non-Christians have in common it is this. We are both uptight about the gospel. Satan is uptight with us sharing the gospel. We are uptight with sharing the gospel. So nonbelievers they don't want to hear it. Don't talk to me because like we were saying earlier they think you are going to shove it down their throat.
They think you are going to be judgmental and mean we should never be that way. Listen if you want to win some be winsome. Be nice about it. Share the gospel with a smile on your face. Care about the person you are talking to.
And build that bridge. So many times Christians burn bridges instead of build bridges. And the objective is not to win the argument.
It is to win the soul. Because I have seen some Christians who are very knowledgeable and they come in with both gospel guns loaded and they unload them on the nonbeliever and tear down their arguments and humiliate them and the nonbeliever says, what a jerk. I never want to talk to a Christian again. You could have done a lot more if you just would have showed a little compassion and love and let them share for a while and say what they think and now you can respond appropriately with the message of the gospel. But this is the great commission.
But sadly for many the great commission is the great omission. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. You know there is nothing like hearing the word of God and worshiping the Lord together. I want to encourage you to join us for something we call Harvest at Home. It happens every Saturday and Sunday at Harvest.org. You can join Christians literally from around the world as we worship and we study the word of God together.
So join us for Harvest at Home at Harvest.org. Well Pastor Greg is pointing out today how the great commission has been given to all believers. We're all to pass on the good news and we're getting some practical insight today on doing just that. Now let me say something that might surprise some but I believe it's true. I believe to not share the gospel can actually be a sin.
And you might say well Greg you're going too far. Well wait hold on what is the sin? There's different definitions of sin because there's different kinds of sin. One definition of sin is to cross a line. So if I'm told don't step on the black carpet and I step on the black carpet I just cross the line.
That's called a trespass. So when I break a commandment or I do what God tells me not to do I just cross the line. That's a sin. That's a sin of commission. But then there's a sin of omission. The sin of omission is not doing what I should do.
The Bible says to him that knows to do good and does not do it to him it is sin. So if I'm walking down a street and there's a house on fire and there's a crowd of people standing outside and someone says there's a child on the second floor of that house and I just walk by maybe take a shot you know go off post it on Instagram what a jerk I am. I mean you know hopefully I'll call 911.
Maybe I'll be a hero and try to run in and save the child. But to walk by with complete indifference that's almost criminal. In the same way if I really believe the Bible and I really believe what the Bible says about the afterlife that there really is a heaven and there really is a hell. If I really believe the gospel which effectively says Jesus Christ is the only way to the father and I really believe if a person rejects Christ they will spend eternity separated from him and I don't even try to engage a person in a conversation. That could be the sin of omission you see.
So we don't want that to happen. And I think also we miss out on a great blessing. Here's how it spiritually revives you. When you get a new believer in your life it can reinvigorate your faith.
Listen to this. A new Christian needs an older believer in their life to stabilize them. An older Christian needs a younger believer in their life to energize them you know. So you know if you've known the Lord for a long time and you just hang around with other people that have known the Lord for a long time you go to church you go out afterwards maybe you argue theological minutia. But when you have a brand new believer that's hearing this all for the first time man it's going to change you.
First of all you're going to have to mind your p's and q's. Because if you have a brand new Christian and you're driving to get lunch after church you might drive the speed limit for the first time in years. You might think about what you're going to talk about over lunch. Not that normal conversation that you have where you complain about things or or argue about things. But you might actually talk about things that would interest the new believer. And then they'll ask you questions and you may not have the answers.
Then again you may have a lot more answers than you think. See God does not give us this truth to hoard and to keep to ourselves. He gives us this truth to share. And Jesus said, give and it shall be given unto you pressed down shaken together running over with the same measure you give it will be given to you.
When you're a generous believer in every way that includes with your finances that includes your evangelism that includes everything where you're a giving person God will replenish your supply. And I think when you're around a new believer and they're asking you questions well it reminds you of things you've forgotten. Haven't you ever shared something with someone and as you're sharing it you get re-excited about it again? Because you're telling them what Jesus did and what it was like when you first came to Christ and how your life was changed.
And as you're sharing your story you're getting all fired up about it. That's why you need to do it. It's not just for the lost people folks. It's for us. It's for us too. It's sort of like going to Disneyland with kids or adults. You know when you go to Disneyland with adults it's not always that much fun especially if they're older adults. Because first of all they're going to complain about the admission price.
Which is somewhat justifiable. What is it like a thousand dollars now? And then you know you walk in and now they have these little things if you're standing here in the line you'll be on the ride in two days. It's like you know I don't even want to know that. That makes it miserable for me. And you know so you're you're tired and you don't you know it's a whole different experience.
A lot of critiquing things. Oh you know this is so fake and all that. Go with the kid. Just go with the kid. And see Disneyland through the eyes of a child.
It'll be a whole new experience for you. They're excited. They want to go on the crazy rides. They want to have fun.
It's a magical place for them. And I think in the same way when we only hang around older believers and we never engage new believers we can actually begin to find ourselves in a place of complacency in a place of dullness. And actually what we need is a new Christian in our life that will revive us again. And I think this is part of discipling.
I'll tell you something. I kind of broke all the rules the way I came to Christ. And by that I mean normally you share the gospel with someone. You either lead them to the Lord and you bring them to church and they come to Christ.
Then you follow up and you help them grow in their faith. None of that happened for me. No one invited me to anything. I wouldn't even have people give evangelistic booklets to me out on the streets.
They would give them to people around me and skip me. What was that all about? I actually wanted them to. I think it was sort of this look on my face. I don't know what it was. Must have intimidated people.
Can you imagine? Anyway. So you know my story. I saw the Christians meeting on the front lot of my high school campus. I sat close enough where I could eavesdrop on their conversation.
No one invited me to the meeting. But I heard the gospel. And I heard enough to understand I needed Jesus. And I went forward and prayed and asked Him into my life. Now I could have gone the wrong direction.
I could have fallen through the cracks. But thank God someone followed up on me. And His name was Mark. He came up to me maybe a few days later and said, hi is your name Greg? I said yeah. He says I saw that you accepted Jesus Christ the other day. I was like yeah so? Because I didn't really know what had happened to me. I'm like yeah so? Yeah I did.
What about it? Well you need to start going to church. No that's ok. No you need to come to church with me. No I don't really want to go to church with you.
Yeah whatever. Where do you live? I'm going to come pick you up. No I don't want to go to church with you I said. No you need to come to church.
Come on. And he was so persistent just to make him stop I said ok here is my address. He shows up at my house. I did not want to go to church. Now so all I had known of Christianity literally was a Bible study of like 25 young people. I had not been in a church pretty much my whole life. Maybe when I was a little boy with my grandparents.
But I don't remember a lot about that. So I go to this church. It is Calvary Chapel. It is in the middle of the Jesus movement.
There are people everywhere coming out of the windows practically worshipping God. And I literally walked in and it kind of freaked me out. There was too much love in one place. And you have to understand the way I was raised my mom never hugged me.
I'm not saying this to elicit sympathy but if you feel bad for me go ahead. But she never hugged me. She never said I love you. So literally I was in a home where there was no affection. No I love yous. And I walked up and a complete stranger comes up. Some girl.
God bless you brother I love you. And she hugs me. I'm like. It is like I didn't want to be hugged. I didn't want to be in this place. And it was so packed out. There was no seats and I was glad.
And I started to walk away. And someone in the front row recognized me because they went to my high school. They said Greg come sit with us. And I walk in and they are singing happy happy happy happy. Where does this happy feeling come from.
Jesus. I'm like why are they pointing up. What is up there. What is happening. And I sat in the front row and I thought oh man. You know and I was very uncomfortable. And then a guy walks out. He's old. He's bald. And I'm thinking oh really.
His name was Chuck Smith. And I thought I don't want to listen to some adult. I don't like adults.
Because all the adults I had been exposed to were not very good examples to me. And this guy comes out and he brings his Bible and I'm thinking oh brother this is going to be so boring. And he opens up the Bible and it just comes alive.
And I'm like drinking it in. And you couldn't get me out of the place after that. I went every night of the week to every Bible study they had.
This guy Mark he said I want you to come home and meet my parents. I had never been around a Christian family. My mom was married and divorced seven times. We didn't sit around a table and eat a meal and have a prayer followed up by a Bible study. Are you kidding me.
She would be passed out on the floor. That was my life. So I'm sitting in this house. We have our little meal. We have prayer. They say grace. I had never done that before. And afterwards let's have a Bible study.
And they are talking about things in the Bible. And I'm drinking it in. I'm like a sponge.
I'm like SpongeBob SquarePants. No not like that. But I'm just taking it in.
I had never heard this before my life was changed. Why. Because one guy just said I'm going to go help that guy. Greg. And he took me under his wing. And because he did that for me here I sit today.
And you know here's the thing. We all know the great you know rock star preachers if you will. The Billy Grahams of the world.
Thank God for them. But you know a lot of times it's the unsung heroes that play a key role. Someone who is so secede in the life of the Billy Graham. Or someone that follows up on someone.
That stands in the gap for someone. You don't have to be a theologian to do this. And by the way you know more than you think you know.
I already said that. But you really do. Because you sit in church all the time and you hear all these Bible studies. It's going in your heart and it's going in your mind. And when you try to help someone it'll start coming to your memory. Because the Holy Spirit will bring it to your memory.
So I'm telling you. You can be used by God to share the gospel. Pastor Greg Laurie with important insights on the need for all of us to share the good news with those around us.
It's just too important not to. And here at A New Beginning we want to help you. You'll find a host of resources at our website. One in particular is our free online course on evangelism called Tell Someone. Many believers feel under-equipped to share their faith effectively. Well that can change with the help of this free online course.
Find out more at courses.harvest.org. 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.
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 6 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 could reach potentially in three weeks in movie theaters what it has taken us 30 years to reach in live events.
Oh my goodness. 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 tomorrow. 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 the special preview tomorrow go to jesusrevolution.movie.
That's dot movie not dot 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. And one other thing if we may you may be familiar with 2nd chronicle 714 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 714 campaign. Would you pray with us each day at 714? 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 next time Pastor Greg brings more insight on how personal evangelism plays an important part in bringing a spiritual awakening to our culture. Join us here on A New Beginning with pastor and Bible teacher Greg Laurie. Hey everybody thanks for listening to A New Beginning. This is a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners. So for more content that can help you know God and equip you to make Him known to others or to learn more about how you can become a Harvest Partner just go to harvest.org
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-21 05:44:26 / 2023-02-21 05:54:44 / 10