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The God of Second Chances | Sin's Danger and God's Grace

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
March 13, 2023 3:00 am

The God of Second Chances | Sin's Danger and God's Grace

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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March 13, 2023 3:00 am

Currently here on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie is presenting a fascinating series called House of David. We’re following the life of David through ups and downs, challenges and victories. And today, we come upon a well-known story in 2 Samuel. It’s full of insight about the danger of sin, but thankfully also encouragement about the grace of God. It’s full-strength medicine for those who’ve suffered the sickness of sin and are wondering if there’s a way out of the mess they’re in.

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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 gregatharvest.org. Again, it's gregatharvest.org.

You can learn more about becoming a Harvest Partner by going to harvest.org. Here are some important words for those who've fallen into a pattern of sin. Currently here on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie is presenting a fascinating series called House of David. We're following the life of David through ups and downs, challenges and victories. And today we come upon a well-known story in 2 Samuel. It's full of insight about the danger of sin, but thankfully also encouragement about the grace of God.

It's full strength medicine for those who've suffered the sickness of sin and are wondering if there's a way out of the mess therein. Well, here before us now in our series, House of David, is a story of a man who desperately needed forgiveness. At the beginning of this series, I pointed out that when you say the name David, two other names come to mind. David and Goliath and David and, that's it, David and Bathsheba.

And that's a story we're gonna look at right now. One story, David and Goliath, was his greatest triumph. The other story, David and Bathsheba, was pretty much his greatest defeat. David, of course, was a young man plucked from obscurity and chosen by God to become the king of Israel.

And he walked right into the pages of history. In our first message in this series, I pointed out that there's more written on David than any other biblical character apart from Jesus himself. For instance, there's 14 chapters dedicated to Abraham and Joseph.

There are 11 chapters dedicated to Jacob. But there are 66 chapters of the Bible dedicated to the life of David. So clearly, God wants us to do a deep dive into the life of this man that is uniquely called the man after God's own heart.

Of course, he came to be this great leader, but he didn't start out that way. He was a shepherd boy who became the giant killer. And when he was anointed by the Lord to be the king by the prophet Samuel, immediately the sitting king, Saul, set aside son David and wanted to destroy him.

And we've already looked at that in depth. And Saul and his son Jonathan, who was a close friend of David, died on the battlefield. But Prince Jonathan asked David to make a commitment that he would care for his kin, for his offspring, for his descendants. And so after David ascended to the throne, when many kings would be destroying any potential enemies or threats to the throne, David said, is there anyone left of the house of Saul that's still alive?

And someone told him about Mephibosheth, who was disabled. And David brought him into his home and treated him as a member of the royal family. So just amazing, he's forgiving his enemies, he's extending mercy, he's making pretty much one great decision after another. It's pretty much summed up in Psalm 57, which he wrote, these words, my heart is fixed, my heart is fixed, oh Lord. So this was a guy that knew what his priorities were and he was living a godly life.

Being a Christian has been defined this way, long obedience in the same direction. So that's David, he's on a roll. He's doing great. He's been a king now for 20 years.

He is 50 years old and something is beginning to go amiss. Of course, it started with a lustful look and then it became a nationwide scandal and the repercussions of it lasted for the rest of his life. The sin of David and Bathsheba. And by the way, no sin has gotten as much press as this sin apart from Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.

Seems like everyone's heard this story in one way, shape, or form. And so it just shows that even when you've been walking with the Lord for a long time, you still are vulnerable to falling. That's a very important thing. The Bible says, let him that thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. So as you're listening to this message, you're thinking, well I would never do any of these things.

You could be closer to doing those things than you think you are. Rather our attitude should be, oh God help me. As it has been said, but for the grace of God there go I. Lord help me to stay close to you. So here now is the very familiar story of David and Bathsheba. I'm reading from 2 Samuel chapter 11 verses 1 to 5. I'm reading from the New Living Translation. The following spring, the time of year when kings go to war.

You might underline that phrase. The time of year when kings go to war. David sent Joab, that's his general, and the Israelite army to destroy the Ammonites. In the process they laid siege to the city of Rabbah. But David stayed behind in Jerusalem. Late one afternoon, David got out of bed after taking a nap and went for a stroll on the roof of the palace.

I'll stop there. Now back in these days they would have a rooftop terrace. It's a flat roof so he's walking around kind of on the patio on top of the palace. And I've been to the city of David in Israel. And where his palace was you could see that on that perch he could pretty much see everything that was going on in his city.

So he's taking a walk up there on the patio. And he noticed a woman of unusual beauty taking a bath. He sent someone to find out who she was and he was told she's Bathsheba the daughter of Eliim and the wife of Uriah the Hittite. Then David sent for her and when she came to the palace he slept with her. Then she returned home.

When Bathsheba discovered she was pregnant she sent a message to inform David. We'll stop there. Again he's 50 years old and he's been ruling for 20 years. Now this is an age where sometimes it's said men have a midlife crisis. I don't know how much I really believe in this so-called midlife crisis.

I think it could happen at any age or any stage of your life. We don't read that David got a red chariot or you know or whatever. But he's idle. And this is really where it all started. I mean this guy had been on a roll up to this point. And now the devil attacks him.

So this brings us to point number one if you're taking notes. David's fall came after great spiritual success. David's fall came after great spiritual success. When did Jesus get attacked by the devil?

Answer. After his baptism. Remember he was baptized by his cousin John in the Jordan River. And the Spirit of God came upon him in the form of a dove.

And the father said this is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased. And then we read immediately after that Jesus went into the wilderness to be tested by the devil. After the dove came the devil. After the blessing came the attack.

The two often go hand in hand. The devil waits for the moment when he thinks we're the most vulnerable. Where maybe we lower our guard spiritually. You remember there was Peter in the upper room.

Who said in the presence of Christ and the other disciples. Though I'll deny you I will never deny you. Don't ever say anything like that.

You have no idea what you are capable of. And when I say you I mean me as well. So the pride going before the fall. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. So many listeners have commented on the help they receive from these daily messages. God's Word ministers to them.

And it often gets them through some of their darkest hours. Pastor Greg, four years ago I was heartbroken when my husband went to be with the Lord. I prayed for God's comfort and for him to restore me and draw me closer to him. He led me to the sermons you gave a couple of years after your son Christopher went to heaven. I listened over and over to your messages as I mowed the lawn, planted flowers and worked around the house. You use your gifts so well and I'm very grateful. Last fall my mom broke her leg and my dad went to heaven.

But through it all your messages continue to be so helpful and comforting. Thank you Pastor Greg. Well the first principle Pastor Greg brought us so far in our study of David and Bathsheba is that David's fall came after a time of great success.

Let's continue now. Okay number two, the sins we commit today may come to haunt us tomorrow. If David didn't fall suddenly, as with everyone it's usually a process. 2 Samuel 5 tells us he was living in direct disobedience to God because he took concubines into his home. You don't know what a concubine is. It's basically a mistress and he had quite a few of them on the payroll.

And so he was indulging himself and he was living immorally before God. So I think sometimes we think I can make this compromise. I can handle this.

I'm strong. I read a story just yesterday on a news site about an 80 year old man who was bit by a rattlesnake and died. Well that isn't that shocking of a story to hear, 80 years old. But as it turns out this particular man was an authority on rattlesnakes and in particular on timbler rattlers. He would go out into the wild. He would find them and no one else could find them. He'd kill them.

He'd skin them. He was literally an expert on all things concerning rattlesnakes. And then he ends up getting bit by one. And where did he get bit? He had one in captivity. He was keeping one as a pet or something and it bit him.

So I think in the same way with sin. We might say well I can handle this. Because this guy had been bitten by rattlesnakes before and survived. So he probably said I'll never die from a rattlesnake bite. I can handle this. I'm in control of this.

And he became probably too casual and confident. Take away truth. Don't keep rattlesnakes as pets. And just to let you know he should not be your pet. He comes with a warning system called a rattler.

Isn't that nice of him. You know there are other venomous snakes that don't have a warning system. They just strike and you are dead. This guy is like hey yo what's up. Hear this rattle rattle rattle.

Don't come near me. That's why we adopted the rattlesnake as a symbol of America with the words don't tread on me. Right. So that's what the rattler is saying. But this guy thought he could handle the rattler. And what happens he ends up dead. That's how it is with sin.

I can handle this. I'll never capitulate to this sin. I'll never fall in this area.

And next thing you know you get struck and you're dead. That's what was happening with David. He was slowly turning away from the Lord. He was allowing lust to consume his life. Maybe you thought if I have all of these women that will satisfy me. But actually it didn't satisfy him because it was out of God's order. Listen God has given to you a sexual drive. There is nothing sinful about it.

There is nothing evil about it. And there is a proper place to satisfy your sexual drive. And that place is in a committed marriage relationship. And that is the only place it's going to be rightly satisfied. But if you have lust in your life and you feed that lust. There's many ways you can feed it. Looking at pornography.

Other areas. It's like putting gasoline on a fire hoping it will put the fire out. Here's the thing you need to think about when you come to the subject of lust. You don't feed lust you starve it. And so David was not satisfied. This just fueled his appetites. And now he's basically fattening himself up for the kill.

And when does it happen? One warm spring night when his army was at war. David was taking a nap.

Bringing me to point number three. David was sleeping when he should have been fighting. He was sleeping when he should have been fighting.

He's kicking back. He's just taking a little time off. And by the way there's nothing wrong with taking some time off. But you can't take a spiritual vacation. The spiritual battle rages all day and all night long.

It's even raging when you're asleep right? So you can't take a day off. I wish you could.

I wish we all could. But it is important to take time off and refresh ourselves physically. And even spiritually. We read in the Gospel of Matthew that the crowds were pressing in on Jesus and the disciples. And he said to them in Matthew 6 31. Come apart by yourselves to a deserted place and rest for awhile. And then we read for many were coming and going and they didn't even have time to eat. Jesus is saying guys let's take some time off. Let's get away from the crowds. And we all need to take time off.

We need to come apart and rest or we will fall apart spiritually. But that's not what was happening here. David was being idle. He was being slothful. His armor was off in more ways than one. In the time when kings lead their soldiers into battle.

David was taking long naps. So he was already setting himself up for an attack. Point number four. Our greatest battles don't necessarily come when we are working hard. They don't necessarily come when we are working hard. They often come when we have some leisure time.

Or even when we are bored. Alan Redpath a great British preacher that I got to know personally. A wonderful godly man. Once made this statement. Times of leisure are to be more dreaded than those of the most strenuous toil.

Let me say that again. Times of leisure. Taking time off.

Are to be more dreaded than the times of intense toil. So basically he is saying you know we are not in this campaign right now. We are not doing this other thing right now.

I can just sort of relax. And that's what David did. He lowered his guard. Now this would have been a temptation for any man right.

Because the Bible tells us in second Samuel 11 two. Bathsheba was a woman of unusual beauty. That means this girl was hot. I mean this girl was like.

Whoa whoa whoa. She is so beautiful. That's how beautiful she was. The Bible does not exaggerate. So when the Bible tells you something like this.

It is making a very important point. She was drop dead stunning. Then add to the fact that she didn't have any clothes on. Now add to the fact David is filling his mind and heart with lust.

And now Nitro just met glycerin. As he saw her it would have been a temptation for any person. Who could then turn away. Take 20 cold showers. Go into a worship service.

Whatever you need to do. For David it was like whoa. And you know a lot of times it is a second look to get you into trouble. Right. You look at something and you go. Right. So I think David's first look was real long. Way too long. And now he just crumbles and swiftly takes action.

All rational thinking went out the door. He is like an animal driven by lust for what he wants. He dispatches his servant to find out who this beautiful woman is. Now you have to admire the boldness of his servant. Who says in second Samuel 11 three.

Sire. Your majesty. King David. She's Bathsheba. The daughter of Elahim. And the wife of Uriah the Hittite.

Kudos to this guy. He knows what David's thinking. He's not stupid.

Yet she's married. So don't even think about it. Had no effect whatsoever on David.

Point number five. When you are deluded by sin you don't think clearly because sin makes you stupid. When you are deluded by sin you don't think clearly because sin makes you stupid.

David was in this stage right now. You know it is amazing how people rationalize bad behavior. How they rationalize sinful choices.

They'll say things like well you know I'm just not happy in my marriage anymore. Or well I work really hard. I deserve this. Or hey everybody else does it.

Why shouldn't I? Or hey I'm human like everyone else. Besides we all make mistakes. Don't judge me. Say whatever you want to rationalize a sinful decision.

David was effectively doing the same. And sometimes they'll say well it was more than I could handle. The devil made me do it. The devil can't make you do anything you don't want to do. Now he can bring some heavy duty temptation your way. But if you're setting yourself up already to start with you can see how you would be more vulnerable to that temptation.

But here's the thing. 1 Corinthians 10 13 says, There is no temptation taking you but such as is common to man. But God who is faithful will not allow you to be tempted above what you are able. But will with the temptation make a way of escape that you may be able to bear it.

Let me loosely paraphrase that. With every temptation you've ever faced. Let me take a quick poll. How many of you have given in to temptation before? Well you're a sinful bunch.

We all have. I'm kidding. Okay. Now of you that have given in to temptation was there a way out? Yes or no? Of course there was. No. One guy.

No. There he is. There always is. And sometimes the way out is as simple as the door.

Literally. Like I'm going to now get up and walk out of this place where I'm getting tempted. This is why I'm told in 2 Timothy 2 22, Flee youthful lusts. Remember the story of Joseph. Potiphar had a wife. We don't know where her name was. Mrs. Potiphar. Mrs. Robinson. Mrs. Robinson I'm not sure.

That's an old cultural reference by the way. She's an older woman trying to have sexual relations with a younger man. She kept hitting on Joseph day in and day out.

Nonstop. Then one day she just grabbed him and pulled him down on the bed. She said lie with me. And what did Joseph do? He did what any clear thinking red blooded young man should do under such circumstances. He ran like crazy.

He didn't lay there and go, Okay well you know I can handle this. Go ahead. What are you talking?

No. I've got to get out of here. And literally sometimes it's running away from whatever it is. Practical counsel on avoiding temptation. From Pastor Greg Laurie today here on A New Beginning. And there's more to come from this message called The God of Second Chances. You know Pastor Greg, when my grandson was small and was watching a movie on TV where the little boy in the film rode his bike up to the front porch of a house, you could sort of see my grandson perk up and go running to the front door of our house to see the little boy on the bike.

You know fantasy and reality had sort of merged in his mind. But kids are surrounded by fantasy fiction type things about heaven. How do we train young minds to see heaven as a real place?

Yes. That's a great question. And there are so many distorted views of heaven in movies and television and even cartoons and things that kids watch. And maybe they're scared of heaven or they don't understand heaven. And that's why we're offering a very special book this month to our listeners for their gift of any size called Heaven for Kids, written by my friend Randy Alcorn, who happens to be with us right now.

So Randy, why is it important to teach our kids about heaven? And will this book help a parent or a grandparent to do so? Or even if a kid got his hands on this book, will it be understandable to them now?

Yes, and I think it will be very helpful. We have had the benefit over the years of receiving many, many letters from kids. We just recently posted a letter from, it seems like it was an 8-year-old. The book is written for, you know, the target audience is 8 to 12-year-olds, but there have been 6-year-olds that have read it, 5-year-olds that have really enjoyed it. There have been teenagers that have read it and enjoyed it, and there's been adults.

There's actually a group of men in a men's group that read Heaven for Kids together. And the idea was, they thought, well, you know, the big book, I don't know. It was a little too much for us, but man, we love the kids' book. What I'd say about it, too, is there's a lot in the book that simplifies, that takes maybe deeper concepts and makes them more simple for the benefit of kids and that group of men who studied it through as well. But, you know, it's also, I think, just a thing that's so important that kids, in their own way of thinking, are able to hear stories. And that's why I quote from the Chronicles of Narnia extensively throughout the book and tell little stories from Narnia and quotes from C.S.

Lewis and what he had to say in the Narnia books, because they can relate to the main characters of those stories who are children. So, yeah, I think it's been very helpful. We've gotten lots of letters from kids who have read the book in other languages, and it's just been so fun to see kids' reactions.

That's fantastic. So, Dave, tell our listeners how they can get a copy of Heaven for Kids. Yeah, we'd be glad to send this book your way. It's such a great resource for parents and grandparents, babysitters, even gift a copy to your church's lending library. We're making Heaven for Kids available to thank you for your investment in the work we do each day here on A New Beginning.

We're 100% listener supported. It's the only way we can cover the costs of bringing these studies your way. So, thanks so much for your generosity. And be sure to ask for Heaven for Kids when you donate today. You can call us at 1-800-821-3300. Call anytime around the clock at 1-800-821-3300. Or write us at A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514.

Or go online to harvest.org. Well, next time, more from our studies of perhaps David's greatest time of failure and how we can learn from his mistakes. There's good news coming too. 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.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-13 05:02:38 / 2023-03-13 05:12:45 / 10

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