Today's episode of A New Beginning is brought to you by Harvest Partners, helping people everywhere know God.
Learn more at harvest.org. And while you're there, browse our library of free ebooks designed to help you grow in your faith. I look at this young generation today, and it reminds me a lot of what was happening in the late 60s, early 70s. This generation needs help. And Pastor Greg Laurie is praying the new film, Jesus Revolution, will help light a fire 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 is in theaters now, and the response has been overwhelming. It's being talked about all over social media, and we're hearing reports of hundreds of thousands who are making decisions for the Lord having seen the film.
It shattered box office expectations week after week. 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. 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, Craig, 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? That's a prayer of the psalmist. Lord, revive us again.
I love these words from Habakkuk chapter three verse two 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. I know you that are younger. You think, oh, 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 three 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 isn'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. And the word revolution means upheaval, change. It means turning around, returning to something.
That's what it is. And 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. But wouldn't it be great if we had a new export? Another Jesus revolution.
Lord do it again 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. John 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 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. It's such a blessing to hear from listeners who take time to express their appreciation. Pastor Greg you're the best. I listen to you every day. Thank you so much for sharing the love of the gospel and helping me have a closer walk with Jesus.
How have these daily studies ministered to you and your family? Would you let us know? Tell us your story by emailing Pastor Greg. Send it to greg at harvest dot org.
Do it today while you're thinking about it. Again greg at harvest dot org. Well you've 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 percent 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. Well said 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. Second 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. You know 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 that 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. 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 fast 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 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 spirits. 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 and theater goers are loving it. It received a rare A plus cinema score. In fact this is director John Irwin's fourth A plus cinema score. That's the first time any any director has received four.
Let me read a couple of social media posts. This one my light has been out for a long time. This movie ignited that flame again.
Thank you Pastor Greg. Can't wait to see it again. So many have said they're going to see it again.
And here's another social media post. We saw the movie this afternoon. No film has ever moved me this way. It was my own personal revival. I wept through a lot of it.
This was absolutely the best movie I have ever seen. Thank you. So many comments like these. And then Pastor Greg relayed what some news outlets have been saying about the film.
Here's some of the headlines that have been posted out there. Jesus Revolution shocks Hollywood with packed theaters number three finish. Miraculous.
I like the choice of that word. Kelsey Grammer won't apologize for the difference that Jesus has made in his life. Another headline.
This is from the Daily Beast. This is not a Christian website okay for sure. Why Kelsey Grammer's Jesus Freak movie made film history. Little snarky but good.
How about this one. Revival goes nationwide. Hits theaters after Jesus Revolution film as well as ORU Portland Ohio State.
So God's at work. I see two things coming from this movie. Number one I see Christians getting revived. I've heard this story over and over again of people saying it just moved my heart and I made a recommitment to Christ. But also it's really exciting to see how people are coming to the Lord as well. My 10 year old son said he imagined he was Pastor Greg Gloria as we're driving home. He wants to become a pastor like Greg. That night I found him in the closet on his knees saying he confessed his sins and view of his life. His view of life has changed and he wants to have a more meaningful life in Jesus. Isn't that sweet story.
Love that. I took my husband who was Catholic to see and he loved it. I haven't been to Harvest Riverside in 20 years but after seeing the movie I knew it was time to go back. Took my husband Sunday to Riverside. His first time we both prayed the prayer accepting Jesus and bought new Bibles will be there tomorrow morning bright and early. God is good.
Isn't that great. Well we hope you get a chance to see Jesus Revolution or get a chance to see it again. In fact we hope you get a chance to bring someone who needs to meet the Lord. And by the way there's a free four-part devotional series available based on the film if you want to take the spiritual value of the movie even further.
Just go to jesusrevolution.movie and click resources. Well we're talking with Randy Alcorn today author of the book Heaven for Kids. And let me ask you Randy when a child experiences the loss of a friend or a loved one is that a good time to begin a conversation with them about heaven? Well I would say this if you haven't had the conversations it would be a good time to begin.
A better time would have been to begin earlier you know and just to have that foundation and that context. I think we can talk to children about heaven at really young ages. I know we did with our kids and I just think it's wonderful where they just are reassured. They love Jesus so it means if anything bad happens to them their parents love Jesus. If mom or dad die, if a sibling dies, if a neighbor kid dies, lots of times you'll have children come home and one of their classmates has died and it's tragic.
Could happen at grade school level, high school, whatever it might be. And I think the time to begin in teaching kids about heaven is just as soon as we can communicate with them about anything. They should hear about Jesus and Jesus said I go to prepare a place for you that where I am you may be also.
That's how much he loves us. He wants us to be with him forever and we're told of the life to come in Psalms 16 11. In his presence is fullness of joy at his right hand are pleasures forevermore so they should learn to want to be with Jesus and also to know the world that Jesus has is preparing for us is a world I mean beyond our wildest dreams so much better than this one yet like this one in a number of respects just without the bad parts. Excellent explanation about heaven and why we should teach our children about it at a very young age so we have a resource to help you do that. It's a book written by Randy Alcorn who you've just heard from and it's called Heaven for Kids. You can read it to your kids. You can give it to your kids to read for themselves. You'll have some very interesting conversations and I think that some of the parents and grandparents reading it to their kids might learn a little more about heaven themselves so get your copy and we want to send it to you as quickly as possible. Yeah that's right and we have a copy on hand waiting for you. It's a resource that belongs in every family's collection.
It's in a question and answer format and all the questions are listed right in the front in the table of contents so you can immediately go to the subject you're looking for. We'll be glad to send you your copy of Heaven for Kids to thank you for your partnership so we can keep bringing you these daily studies here on A New Beginning. Call us at 1-800-821-3300. You can call right now.
It's a 24-7 phone number 1-800-821-3300 or write A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, California 92514 or go online to harvest.org. Well next time Pastor Greg launches a practical series on marriage and the family. The title, Am I Doing This Right? So many of us ask that question eventually.
Well some answers next time. Join us here on A New Beginning with pastor and Bible teacher, Greg Laurie. A New Beginning is a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners, helping people everywhere know God. If this show has impacted your life, share your story, leave a review on your favorite podcast app and help others find hope.
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