You're listening to A New Beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners, helping people everywhere know God.
Visit our website and learn more about Harvest Partners at harvest.org. And bring this generation to Jesus Christ. We're going to do everything we can to change this course and call people to Christ and pray for a mighty spiritual awakening to sweep our nation and beyond. As you may know, the new feature film Jesus Revolution opened in theaters last week, and the response was overwhelming. People from all over the country are talking and posting about it on social media.
Celebrities and music artists are recommending the film. People are coming to the Lord and coming back to the Lord, having seen the movie. And today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie explains how the project came together and how it's all about igniting the next great spiritual awakening. All right, let's grab our Bibles and turn to Revelation chapter three. Revelation chapter three, and the title of my message is It's Time for Another Jesus Revolution.
How many of you agree with that? It's time. So if you watch the news like I do, or you read a news feed, you know that America is at the crossroads right now. Literally, our nation is unraveling before our very eyes.
Why? Because we have rejected what God says in his word. We're sowing the wind, and now we're reaping the whirlwind. You know, the closest parallel time that I can think of to today would be the late 60s, early 70s. Yes, I've been around that long. I was born in 1952. Elvis was still singing. Marilyn Monroe was on the screen. You know, Ike was president.
You probably never even heard of Ike. And all these decades that have come and gone since then, I look at today, and I especially look at this young generation today, and it reminds me a lot of what was happening in the late 60s, early 70s. We have a drug epidemic that is sweeping our nation. But this whole drug revolution, this whole stupid mentality propagated in the 60s of turn on, tune in, drop out, that's where it all started. And we basically smoked a lot of marijuana and took LSD.
Here's what I find ironic. Those are the two most popular drugs again right now. Pot use is up so much now. More people smoke pot than cigarettes. It's become really mainstream with edibles and all of the things legalized in many states. And now experts warn of a cannabis use disorder that causes psychosis and addiction. So our young people have all of this happening to them, and then you add social media. That's like putting gasoline on a fire.
So everything is amplified. In many ways, it's not as bad as it seems, but it's right there in your face. Self-harm among young people is up 334%. Overdose is up 119%. Anxiety up 94%. Depression up 84%. The US suicide rate has increased 30% since 2000 and tripled for young girls. This generation needs help.
So here's what I want to say. We're not going to take this lying down. We are going to stand up and do everything we can here at Harvest to reach this generation. I know other churches are doing this too, and I applaud everyone that is. All I can speak for is this church. We're going to do everything we can to change this course and call people to Christ and pray for a mighty spiritual awakening to sweep our nation and beyond. Now we don't decide when a revival happens.
God does. We can't make it happen. We can't organize it, but we can agonize for it in prayer. We can prepare the ground.
Maybe I should restate it. We can prepare the ground. Get our hearts ready. Revival starts with you.
It starts with me. It starts with us as a church, but it begins right where we are. 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 he was just that man who was willing to take a risk.
But he was right there at the epicenter of this great awakening. And I once asked Chuck, Chuck, do you think we'll ever see another Jesus movement? He paused for a moment and he said, would you stop asking me stupid questions? No, he didn't say that. No, he should have said that because I always was asking him questions. He said, Greg, 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? It's a prayer of the psalmist. Lord, revive us again.
I love these words from Habakkuk chapter 3 verse 2 where he says, I've heard all about you, Lord. I'm filled with awe by the amazing work you have done in this time of deep need. Revive your work as you did in days gone by. So I know you that are younger, you think, well that's cool but that was then and this is now. Your prayer should be Lord.
Do it again. It's our responsibility as those who are now older to pass this on to the next generation. In Joel 1-3 it says, tell your children about it. Let your children tell their children and their children the next generation. My generation, one of our theme songs was forever young.
Just doesn't work anymore. You know we've gone from acid rock to acid reflux. You know The Who, the great band The Who. You know that song talking about my generation.
They've updated it to talking about my medication. See that's and you know the Beatles. How many of you have heard of the Beatles?
Well the Ringo Starr is in his 80s and instead of singing I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends, he's singing I Get By With A Little Help From The Pens. No but seriously you know we've had our day and now it's time for the next generation to have their own spiritual awakening. Here's what's amazing. The Jesus movement was not a political revolution though some called for that. Some are calling for it today. It was not a moral revolution. It was a Jesus revolution. In fact it's of all things it was Time Magazine that dubbed it Jesus revolution.
We didn't call it that. We called it the Jesus movement but Time saw it was more than a movement. They saw it was a revolution. The word revolution means upheaval, change. It means turning around, returning to something.
That's what it is. So what are we returning to? We're returning to New Testament Christianity. We're returning to the faith that was given to us from the Lord practiced by the early church. So this great movement happened.
No one can pinpoint it exactly. Probably 1969, 1970 and all these people started coming to Christ. It was happening all around the country but the epicenter was California. I want to see it happen again in California.
Because our state is so lame right now. I want something good to come out of California. You know what the number one export of California is right now? Californians.
I know this because I've gone to the places they're all going to. I just did a crusade not long ago in Boise, Idaho. There were so many Californians that have moved there. I said to them my job is to preach to the Californians and take them back with me home again.
They were very excited about that. So wouldn't it be great if we had a new export? Another Jesus revolution.
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 John Irwin who's become a good friend of mine came to me around seven years ago and we had lunch and he had this magazine with him.
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 Lions Gate 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. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. How encouraging to hear how this man was impacted by the ministry of Harvest. And if you have a story to share, email Pastor Greg. Greg at Harvest dot org. That's Greg at Harvest dot org. Well you tuned in for a special program today.
We preempted what we had planned to bring you. Since everyone's talking about it, Pastor Greg is outlining the story behind the making of the new film Jesus Revolution. Let's continue. 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.
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. And you know, we're so divided in America. We're even divided in the church. And we're divided over second and third tier issues. And it's time for us to come together and pray together and work together and do something to change what's happening. There's an old country preacher named Vance Havner that once said if we're too busy using our sickles on each other, we'll miss the harvest. And I think sometimes we're debating all these things when there's a lost world out there. And of course the late 60s, early 70s was a time of division as well. It's so bad right now that I read that 43% of Americans think we're headed toward a civil war.
This is crazy. We need God and we need another spiritual awakening. One writer put it this way and I quote, if all the sleeping people will wake up, if all the lukewarm people will fire up, if all the dishonest people will confess up, if all the disgruntled people will cheer up, if all the estranged people will make up, if all the gossipers will shut up, if all true soldiers will stand up, if all the dry bones will shake up, if all the church people will pray up, then we can have a revival.
That's all set. Right? When we look at the breakdown in culture, we're quick to point the finger at Hollywood. It's Hollywood's fault.
Or it's because of these politicians in Washington D.C. and they may all play a role in it to some degree. But when God sees the breakdown of a nation, He doesn't point His finger at the White House. He points it at His house. In II Chronicles 7.14, God says, if My people, which are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then God says, then I will hear them and I will answer this prayer and I will forgive their sins and heal their land. Now we all gravitate toward the heal the land part.
Yes, Lord, heal our land. God says, My people. That means you. That means Me. That means us. Oh, they're all so evil. Look at the horrible things we're all doing.
Yeah, maybe it's true. What about you? Do you need to humble yourself and seek His face and turn from your wicked ways?
Do I need to do that? That's the prescription for revival according to Scripture. 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? You know the Bible says that we should quench not the Spirit. So to quench means to extinguish something. Like extinguishing a fire. Like when you go out camping.
And the camping trip is done and you extinguish the fire. It sort of reminds me of the beach. My favorite time of going to the beach is right after I arrive and right when I leave.
Right? The beach seems like such a great idea. When you get there you lay out your towel and you get out your book. And then you know you've got your sunscreen. You've got your sunglasses.
And this is going to be great. And five minutes pass and the whole beach is empty and some person comes and sets their towel right next to yours. It's like an entire beach. Towel right next to yours. And it even touches your towel.
I think that's against the law. And then it starts getting hot and you're sweating. Now another person sets up their little fort and now people are putting tents up on the beach. Full blown tents. They set a tent up in front of you. And of course that guy is having a conversation on his cell phone on speaker. So you're hearing the whole conversation.
And it's getting more crowded. And then the seagull flies off with your lunch. And then they come back for your small poodle.
Which isn't that big of a loss. But you say I want to go home again. So the happiest moment is getting there and leaving.
Right? But you know if you build a campfire on the beach you need to extinguish it. Sometimes God's Holy Spirit will nudge you. Why don't you do this? Why don't you say that?
Why don't you go here? And we say no. That's quenching the Spirit. See God wants to fill you with the Holy Spirit. The Bible says don't be drunk with wine. But 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. So I love how the Lord says don't do this. Instead do that. Hey don't get drunk. No brainer. Don't do that.
Don't waste your time doing that. But be filled with the Spirit. So we don't need the Spirit. We need the Holy Spirit. Empowering us. Filling us. Pastor Greg Laurie pointing out the important components of spiritual awakening that were true during the Jesus movement. And how we can allow them to be true today to help usher in the next great awakening.
Glad you're joining us today here on A New Beginning. And by the way Jesus Revolution is still in theaters. Theater goers are loving it. It received an A plus cinema score and doubled box office estimates.
I saw a social media post that reflects what so many are saying. She wrote, This movie should be seen by everyone. I laughed. I cried. It was absolutely amazing.
I will see it again. So many people have brought friends and loved ones who haven't yet met Christ. Why not follow their lead? And then drop Pastor Greg an email afterward and let him know how you enjoyed the film.
Write to Greg at harvest dot org. Well we're speaking with author Randy Alcorn today about his book called Heaven for Kids. And Randy I wanted to ask you, you invite kids to ask their parents to take them on an excursion to, wait for it, a junk yard.
Why is that? Yes, that is something that I came up with years ago and actually did with our children when they were very young. And I did it with my grandchildren years later. And I had girls, two daughters and I have five grandsons. And the grandsons absolutely loved the junk yard. I mean this was like, this is terrific.
I think they loved it a little more than the girls did. But the whole point in going to the junk yard is to say, see all this stuff out there? And I'm able to say to them, do you know how valuable this stuff used to be to people? I mean there were people who fought over these things. I mean people have been divorced over possessions and people have died and left these behind. These things that seem so precious just grow old and nobody cares about them and they become junk.
Well that's the way it is in this world. Now Jesus talked, and this is what I would say to my kids, and so I said to my grandsons, Jesus talked about treasures in heaven where moth and rust do not destroy and where thieves do not break in and steal. Store up for yourselves treasures not on earth, Jesus said, but store up treasures in heaven.
Why? Not just because it's the right thing to do, it is the right thing to do, but because it's the smart thing to do. Because those possessions are going to last, so whatever we send ahead to heaven, like the things that God will reward us for, for being faithful to him and obeying him and all of that, those things will be waiting for us when we get to heaven. All those possessions that we accumulate and value, those will not be waiting for us.
That's right. If you've just joined us, I'm speaking with author Randy Alcorn, who's written many books, but we're talking about his book, Heaven for Kids. And you know, when we offer these resources to you, we always say for your gift of any size. We're hoping that you'll be generous, because when you invest in our ministry, you're investing in the preaching of the gospel. You're investing in the teaching of the word of God. And every year, we literally have thousands and thousands of people pray and ask Jesus Christ to come into their life.
As you know, if you're a listener to A New Beginning, I'll often throw the net, if you will. I'll give people an opportunity to accept Christ, even leading them in a prayer. I've received so many letters from people over the years who've told me they prayed that prayer, and they marked that day as the day they became a Christian. I've run into people on the street who've told me about it, and we're going to continue to preach the gospel and give people an opportunity to come to Christ. So if you want to lay up for yourselves some treasure in heaven, we would encourage you to invest in our ministry. And as our way of saying thanks to you, we will send you this book by author Randy Alcorn, Heaven for Kids. And Greg, you didn't ask me to do this, but I just want to tell people, I really believe in this ministry.
I believe in Harvest, I believe in the ministry of the program, of the Harvest churches, and I've seen firsthand the results. And I'll say this, that I've never been around you for very long where it doesn't come right back to the centrality of the gospel, the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ. And sometimes we make the mistake, and even ministries can make this mistake, of just kind of assuming that people know Jesus, they've not only heard the gospel, but they've responded to the gospel, and so we don't have to mention it. So let's just move on and get into the deeper things of the Christian life. We've got to go back to the gospel, and Jerry Bridges used to say, Preach the gospel to yourself every day, because the gospel, even for those of us who do know Jesus, our life is about the grace of God, and the grace of God in Jesus. We know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich yet for our sakes he became poor, that we through his poverty might become rich.
That should be central to our thinking, and if people don't know Jesus, there's no greater need they have than to know Jesus, and if people do know Jesus, there's no greater need than to grow in him and know more and walk with him more. Thanks so much for those kind words, Randy. Well, if you believe in the importance of sharing the gospel, as we do consistently here on A New Beginning, we hope you'll invest so this work can continue.
And we'll say thank you for your investment with this book from Randy Alcorn called Heaven for Kids. You can call us to make the arrangements. Our number is 1-800-821-3300. That's a 24-7 phone number, so call 1-800-821-3300. Or write A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514.
Or go online to harvest.org. Well, next time, tune in for Pastor Greg's message called What to Do When the Bottom Drops Out, Insights from the Life of David. Join us here on A New Beginning with pastor and Bible teacher, Greg Laurie. This is the day, the day when life begins. Thanks for listening to A New Beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners. Helping people everywhere know God. Sign up for daily devotions and learn how to become a Harvest Partner at harvest.org.
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