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It's Time for Another Jesus Revolution | The Gospel's at Your Theater!

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
February 24, 2023 3:00 am

It's Time for Another Jesus Revolution | The Gospel's at Your Theater!

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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February 24, 2023 3:00 am

The last great spiritual awakening in America came in the late 60s and early 70s. It was a time of turbulence and upheaval, a time of uncertainty and angst. People were looking for answers, and hope. The Jesus Movement was a time when scores of people found that hope. And today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie describes how the new movie, Jesus Revolution, in theaters today, can provide the same answers and hope for this troubled generation.

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JESUS REVOLUTION is now in theaters! Tickets are selling out! Get yours: 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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Hey everybody, you're listening to A New Beginning, which is a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners.

If this program has impacted you, I'd love to hear from you. So just send an email to me at greg.harvest.org. Again, it's greg.harvest.org.

You can learn more about becoming a Harvest Partner by going to harvest.org. Coming up today, Pastor Greg Laurie comments on the premiere of the new movie, Jesus Revolution, opening today in a theater near you. When this film opens nationwide, in just the theatrical release, 10 million people will see it.

When it goes to streaming, upwards of 100 million people will see this film. Think about this. So this is going to be the most significant thing we have ever done in 50 years of ministry. The last great spiritual awakening in America came in the late 60s and early 70s.

It was a time of turbulence and upheaval, a time of uncertainty and angst. People were looking for answers and hope. The Jesus movement was a time when scores of people found that hope. And today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie describes how the new movie, Jesus Revolution, in theaters today can provide the same answers and hope for this troubled generation. I was having a conversation with Pastor Chuck Smith some years ago, and for those of you that don't know Chuck, he is called the father of the Jesus movement. And I once asked Chuck, Chuck, do you think we'll ever see another Jesus movement? He paused for a moment and he said, I'm not sure if we're desperate enough.

Now that was some years ago. I think we may be desperate enough right now where we're really going to start seriously praying about this. Psalm 85 says, will you not revive us again that your people may rejoice in you? Lord, do it again and do it here.

We would pray. God has given us a tool, a tool that we've never really had before, and it's a really amazing tool. It's called a movie. And Jaron Irwin, who's become a good friend of mine, came to me around seven years ago.

He's in his 30s. He's a great filmmaker. He's made films like I Can Only Imagine. How many of you have seen I Can Only Imagine? Great film.

Woodlawn, I Still Believe, American Underdog. Very talented Christian guy who makes films. So his little film studio called Kingdom Story Company has become a part of Lionsgate, which is a major Hollywood film studio. And so he came to me seven years ago and said, I want to make a movie about this story, this Jesus movement. And he heard that I was around back then. I said, yes, I told him my story.

We got to know each other. He tried to make it. There were things that interrupted it, and it wasn't made as quickly as we were hoping it would be made. But now seven years later, it's done.

And I think the timing is 100% perfect for where we're at right now. All right. So there's this pastor. I've referenced him already named Chuck Smith.

Chuck pastors a very small church. It's not doing very well. And meanwhile, the whole 60s counterculture is happening. Kids are freaking out. They're on drugs. And Chuck doesn't know what to do. His wife Kay has a heart for these kids. And she wants to reach them. Chuck thinks they all need to get a haircut, take a bath, and get a job.

He's not really open at all. And so he has his daughter, Jen. And they're talking about this. And he's trying to understand it. And he says, if I could meet a hippie, I'll ask him what this is all about. So Jen meets this evangelist from San Francisco who's named Lonnie Frisbee.

And she brings him home. But dad doesn't know he's going to meet this hippie evangelist. To his eternal credit, Pastor Chuck Smith stepped out of his comfort zone. He let that crazy guy come preach in his church. And before you knew it, Christian music was beginning.

Chuck Smith and Lonnie Frisbee were like nitro meeting glycerin. It was an explosive result. God used both of them.

Now if you're taking notes, here's point number one of my message. The Holy Spirit was at work. The Holy Spirit was at work.

There was a sense of expectancy in those services back in those days. No one was ever late for church, right? Sometimes we're late for church. We arrive late. We leave early.

No. There's a sense of what is God going to do. And this is what set the early church into motion. It was the Holy Spirit. God's Holy Spirit wants to work in your life.

The question is do you want him to work? We need the Holy Spirit empowering us, filling us. Another earmark of the early days of the Jesus movement, and I might add of the early church, is there was a belief in the imminent return of Jesus Christ. I believe that Jesus Christ is coming again. I believe that we are seeing signs accelerating right now, reminding us that Bible prophecy is literally being fulfilled before our very eyes. And I believe that the next event on the prophetic calendar will be the rapture of the church. That's when we're caught up to meet the Lord in the air in a moment in the twinkling of an eye. Now if you believe this, it will affect you in the way that you live.

The Bible says he that has this hope, that is the hope of the Lord's return, purifies himself even as he is pure. Sort of like when you were a little kid. Maybe you got in trouble and your mother gave you this ominous warning. Just wait until your father gets home. So now you're dreading dad's arrival. Poor dad. He just wants to come home. He's working.

No. Wait until dad gets home. But let's say you were a good little boy or girl and you heard daddy's car pull up in the driveway. You run to greet him. See the idea is if I'm right with God I get excited about and I look forward to the return of Jesus. If I'm not right with God it might fill me with a certain sense of dread. And I want to shift gears now over to Revelation 3 because these are the words of Jesus to the church of the last days.

The church living in that time before the return of the Lord. Revelation 3 verse 7. And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write, these things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that has the key of David, he who opens and no one shuts, he who shuts and no one opens. I know your works. I've set before you an open door and no man can shut it. You have a little strength. You've kept my word and you've not denied my name.

Here's my third point. Jesus has given to us an unprecedented open door. Verse 7. He opens and no man shuts. The door in the Bible is a symbol of opportunity and the key is a symbol of authority. Paul talked about this in 2 Corinthians 2 when he says, I came to Troas to preach the gospel of Jesus because a door was opened to me of the Lord. See God opens doors.

And what does that mean? It just means a conversation you're having with someone. All of a sudden there's a moment. There's an open door. They bring up something and you want to go through that door with the gospel. And Jesus has the key.

He opens the doors. I'm glad he has the keys. If I had the keys, they would be lost by now. I'm always losing keys. I lose everything. I have those little Apple AirTags on everything. The other day I lost my wallet and I tried to track down my AirTag. It started beeping. It was like right behind me on the chair. It had come out.

It's embarrassing. But Jesus doesn't lose the keys. He wants to open these doors. God opened a door for Chuck Smith. He walked through it.

Listen. There are some things only God can do and there are some things only we can do. God will open the door.

Only you can walk through that door. He'll open those doors for us when we walk through to share our faith. In the church we want our doors open. We don't want to put up a wall where God has put in a bridge. We want to be a stepping stone, not a stumbling block to people coming to Christ. It should never be difficult for people to come to Christ.

A couple may show up at church or living together outside of marriage. They should come and hear the gospel. Someone might come. They're strung out on drugs or booze. They need to hear the gospel. They might be gay. They need to hear the gospel.

They may dress in a way that makes some people uncomfortable. Our job is to call them to Christ. I don't say clean your life up and come to Christ.

I say come to Christ and He'll clean your life up. That's what we're here for. Because I've said so many times that church should be a hospital for sinners, not a museum for saints. So if you go to the ER at the hospital and say, ew, who are all these sick people? They're sick people at a hospital. There are people that need a doctor. That's what the church is.

We're here as a hospital for sinners. So let me tell you a little bit about myself. I was raised in a broken home. My mom was married and divorced seven times. She was a raging alcoholic.

She pretty much passed out every night from drinking. It was a home filled with constant domestic violence every single night. And so I went on a search when I was a kid. I thought there has to be more to life than what I'm living.

I hated my life. I was looking for meaning. I was looking for purpose.

But I didn't know where to find it. So now it's the late 60s. The whole drug culture is erupting.

And I'm thinking maybe that's where it's at. So I started smoking marijuana every single day. And I started seeing my creative abilities just drain out of me. My personality was changing.

It was a very negative thing. And yes, it was a gateway drug that opened the door up to other things. So I experimented with LSD. And one day I took acid, or dropped acid as we used to say, and I completely flipped out.

I had a bad trip. And we were in a car. And we had a kilo of marijuana in the trunk.

That's a lot, by the way. And we weren't gonna sell it. We were gonna smoke it ourselves. That's how stupid we were. The car spun out of control. I was flipping out.

And God got hold of me. So let me explain the potential of this film. So it has taken us 30 years plus to reach six million people in live attendance at Harvest Crusades. I mean, that's pretty amazing, right? And so 600,000 people have made a profession of faith.

So we're thankful for that. But when this film opens nationwide, in just the theatrical release, 10 million people will see it. 10 million people. And then, when it goes to streaming around the world, upwards of 100 million people will see this film.

Think about this. And also at the end of the film, there'll be a number on the screen that people can call for spiritual help. When they did this with I Can Only Imagine, one of John R. Wynne's other films, they had 100,000 people respond. We're gonna be ready for them. We're gonna be ready for them with a new believer's Bible.

We're gonna be ready for them with follow-up materials. This is gonna be the most significant thing we have ever done in 50 years of ministry. But right now, we have 500 of our young people at Harvest up at a camp right now. Isn't that great?

500 of them. So we're passing this on to the next generation. You see, there's a generation that preceded many of you that believed in what God was doing and they helped us build this building and establish this ministry and all the things we've been able to do for almost 50 years. They made that contribution. Now we're the generation and we want to get it ready for the next generation, right? That's our job.

It's like a relay race. We grabbed that baton and we pass it on. So here's my last point and my message. God has given us the power and the resources we need. So we're looking at this church of Philadelphia, the church of the last days. Jesus says, I've opened a door before you that no man can shut. And then he says in verse eight of Revelation, through you of a little strength. By the way, that's not a negative comment about its weakness, but a commendation of its strength.

In other words, this is a church coming back to life. I remember when I got COVID, I was feverish and I was lethargic and I was tired. Usually I have a lot of energy. And I remember I thought I'm better now. And I got up and I wasn't better. I just wanted to sit there. And finally, my strength started to return and I got stronger and stronger.

And next thing you know, I'm eating donuts. Okay, so this is the picture here. It's a sick person coming back to life. It's a church coming back to life again, an awakened church getting back to its roots. And this is what we all want to do, but it starts individually.

Just think about you. Was there a time in your life where you were stronger spiritually than you are right now? If there was, you can return to that. We can talk about revival all day long.

We can talk about an awakening in America all day long, but it starts with you as an individual. And what did you used to do when you were a younger Christian? Well, I would just bet you read your Bible every day. And I would just venture to say you probably had a prayer life. And I bet you were regular at church.

And I bet you shared your faith. Do you still do those things? See, sometimes we have a breakdown in the basics and we wonder what is going wrong. It's not rocket science, people. We need to get back and do those things again.

Listen, if you want to see a revival, do revival-like things. Let's say that I'm talking to a married couple. Let's see. I'll use you as an example, Gabe. Gabe has a wife named Tiffany. And let's just say that you came to me and said, Greg, we've lost the spark in our marriage.

And Tiffany said, all Gabe wants to do is play the guitar and sing. And I would say, well, you guys, listen, instead of waiting for the emotion, why don't you go back and do the romantic things you used to do when you first started going out? Just go back and do them. Well, we don't feel it. It doesn't matter if you feel it.

Just do it. Emotions will catch up. Same can be true of our relationship with God. I'm waiting for some big, massive encounter with God, some emotional experience. That may happen. It's great when it does. But often, it's just getting back and doing those revival-like things again. And then I will personally have spiritual revival. Let me close with this.

Greg, me, that guy up on the screen, it's a movie version of me. But the story is true. I knew nothing about God. All literally I knew about Jesus was I'd seen his movies. And I liked them.

That was it. No one had ever shared the gospel with me. No one ever read the Bible to me for the most part. And then I heard the gospel for the first time from that guy, Lonnie.

And in that moment, I gave my life to Christ. And the statement that got my attention and turned me around was when Lonnie said, Jesus said, you're for me or against me. I looked around at the other Christians.

I thought, well, they're definitely for them. I'm not one of them. Does that mean I'm against God? I didn't want to be against God.

I just didn't know what it all meant. And I thought the Christians were all a little bit crazy. And maybe we are. But maybe we're the most sane people in the room. And the world's going crazy. That's the truth.

And I try to thought I'm for size. What if it's true? What if Jesus is real?

What if he can change my life? Because of my upbringing, the cynicism I developed as a result, I quickly dismissed it. There's no way it's true.

No way it could work for me. Thought came back, but what if it is true? I responded, it can't be true. And then Lonnie said, if you want to accept Christ, get up and walk forward right now. And that was the day I walked forward and gave my life to Jesus. And I want to close this special Jesus Revolutions service with an opportunity for you to believe in Jesus. Your life can be changed by Christ just as surely as mine was, just as surely as every person on this platform has had their life changed and the people sitting around you. Jesus died on the cross for your sin.

He paid the price for all the wrongs you've done. And he'll come and forgive you and come and live in your heart. If you've never asked Jesus to come into your life, you can do it right here, right now.

Let's pray. Father, we pray for anyone that has joined us. If they don't know you, if they don't have a relationship with you, if they're not sure they're going to heaven when they die, would you speak to their hearts and help them come to you right now? Now while our heads are bowed and our eyes are closed and we're praying, maybe there's somebody here that would say, I want a relationship with Jesus Christ. I want him to forgive me of my sin. I want to know that when I die, I will go to heaven.

Pray for me. I'm ready to say yes to Jesus today. If that's your desire, if you want Christ to come into your life, if you want him to forgive you of your sin, if you want to go to heaven when you die, wherever you are, pray this prayer out loud after me.

Say, Lord Jesus, I know that I'm a sinner, but I know that you're the savior that died on the cross for my sin. I choose to follow you from this moment forward as my savior and my Lord, as my God and my friend. Thank you for hearing this prayer and answering it. In Jesus' name, I pray.

Amen. God bless each one of you that prayed that prayer. An important prayer from Pastor Greg Laurie today here on A New Beginning. And if you've just prayed those words and have meant them sincerely, well, first of all, we want to welcome you into the family of God, and we want to help you get started in this new life of faith. We'd like to send you something called our New Believer's Growth Packet. It's free of charge, and it'll help answer your questions and begin to build a strong foundation for your faith. So get in touch and ask for the New Believer's Growth Packet. You can call us anytime night or day at 1-800-821-3300. That's 1-800-821-3300.

Or go online to harvest.org and click the words Know God. In the new movie Jesus Revolution, Pastor Greg points out how the time is right for another great spiritual awakening, like we saw during the Jesus movement of the late 60s and early 70s. The tension and chaos of the culture was so similar to what we see today. The Vietnam War was still raging.

Young men were coming back in body bags. There were riots in the streets. The country seemed to be coming apart at the scene. The time was right for a change. The time was right for the Jesus movement. There's two Time magazine covers that sum it up. I believe it was 1967 when Time magazine did a cover. It was black background with red type reversed out, asking the question, is God dead?

Very ominous. And then just a few years later, Time magazine 1971, this sort of psychedelic image of Jesus on the cover with a statement, the Jesus revolution. What a difference a few years made. What a difference a revival made. I think understanding the backdrop of the time helps you to understand the powerful move that took place. Well, Pastor Greg, you pointed out that your dream for this new feature film, Jesus Revolution, is that it would lay the groundwork for the next spiritual awakening. We need it. And the time is right for it. You would say the conditions are similar now to the time of the Jesus movement, right?

Yes, I would. Very similar. In fact, I can't think of any two decades that are more alike than the late 60s, early 70s, and this moment in American history. Certainly, I wouldn't say that of the 80s, the 90s, or even the early 2000s.

But right now, it's so parallel. It's even kind of interesting how certain drugs have made a comeback. Weed is so widespread, marijuana.

More people smoke marijuana today than cigarettes. And LSD has made a comeback. And these are bad things, by the way. And those are drugs that my generation experimented with, myself included, searching for answers and, of course, not finding them. But then just the divide between generations, the racial division, which was very strong in the late 60s, just the general chaos.

So many things are similar. And we had a revolution, but it wasn't a political revolution. It wasn't a moral revolution. It was a Jesus revolution. And so, wow, I look back and I think, God, I was able to be there. And now other people can see what it was like. When you watch this film, Jesus Revolution, you're going to feel, in many ways, like you're going back in time.

And that was our hope. As I spoke with the director, John Irwin, you know, I had vivid memories of details. You know, I'm a designer.

You know, before I was a preacher, I was an artist. And so, I remember, I noticed things. I noticed colors and textures and other things. So I gave him as much detail as I could.

And I tell you, he captured lightning in a bottle. There are scenes in this film where you feel like you're there experiencing it for yourself. It's very interesting. When older people watch this movie, it's sort of a flashback, to use a 60s term. They remember, like when my character, Greg, is baptized. I see people get tears in their eyes.

They're reflecting back on their own conversion. But when young people watch it, it's an entirely different experience. It's almost as though they're experiencing it themselves, now, in real time. So I think this movie is going to reach people of all ages. And I'm hoping that young people are impacted. And I'm hoping that they'll see it and say, we want this to happen in our generation. We want our own Jesus movement. And this film played a role in that.

We would be so excited. You know, it's been said, the fame of revival spreads the flame of revival. So this is a revival story. And our hope and prayer is that it's not just a film, but that it creates a movement, that it moves people toward God, and inspires a generation of younger people to pray for their own Jesus revolution.

Yeah, yeah, that's right. It's something we can all use as a tool to help bring friends and loved ones face to face with the hope of the gospel. Today is the official nationwide premiere. To get tickets, go to jesusrevolution.movie.

That's.movie, not.com. Again, jesusrevolution.movie. We hope you'll pray that God uses this as an instrument to bring many people to Him. And we hope you'll partner with us to keep spreading the good news in creative ways such as this. If you can invest in this work right now, we'd like to send you Pastor Greg's book called Jesus Revolution.

It obviously goes into much more detail. And it would be our privilege to send this to you to thank you for your donation. So call us anytime at 1-800-821-3300. That's 1-800-821-3300.

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, next time, Pastor Greg launches a new series examining the practical lessons to be learned by an inspiring study of the life of King David. Join us here on A New Beginning with Pastor and Bible Teacher, Greg Laurie. This is the day, the day when life begins. 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 / 2023-02-24 05:16:38 / 2023-02-24 05:27:08 / 11

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