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It's Time for Another Jesus Revolution | Are We Desperate Enough?

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

It's Time for Another Jesus Revolution | Are We Desperate Enough?

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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March 24, 2023 3:00 am

Today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie shows us how we can help usher in the next great spiritual awakening. We'll see how the Jesus Revolution began, and how that kind of awakening can happen in our time. 

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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. Chuck Smith and Lonnie Frisbee were like nitro meeting glycerin. It was an explosive result. God used both of them. Pastor Greg Laurie had a front row seat for that ministry explosion, often called the Jesus Movement. And he explains how the story is told in the popular new movie, Jesus Revolution. Maybe you've heard about it.

It's in theaters right now. And I think the timing is 100% perfect for where we're at right now. 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 now 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 gonna 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.

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 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. 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. 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 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. 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 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. 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 the 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 air tags on everything. The other day I lost my wallet and I tried to track down my air tag. 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 the 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. 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. 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 going to sell it. We were going to 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. Today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie is recalling how he came to Christ during the Jesus movement. And we're discussing the way the story is told in a powerful way in the new movie Jesus Revolution in theaters now. Let's continue.

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 Harvard's 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 a hundred million people will see this film.

Think about this. So 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 Irwin's other films they had a hundred thousand people respond. We're going to be ready for them. We're going to be ready for them with A New Believer's Bible.

We're going to be ready for them with follow-up materials. This is going to 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 ah that 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. You know just go back and do them. Well we don't feel 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 him. 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 revolution 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 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 then we want to help you get started in this new life of faith. We'd like to send you something called our New Believers 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 Believers Growth Packet. You can call us anytime night or day at 1-800-821-3300. That's 1-800-821-3300. Or write us at A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, California 92514.

Or go online to harvest.org and click the words Know God. Have you seen the film Jesus Revolution? You know it's been so exciting to watch what's happened. We heard it's the most successful film Lionsgate has released since 2019. People are taking notice and people are coming to the theaters. And more importantly, people are coming to Jesus Christ.

Here are just a few comments from social media. This one says, We went to see it and of course I cried. It was so moving. Even my husband, who is a retired police officer, cried. And he doesn't cry.

It moved him deeply. And then there's this one. I took my mom and daughter to see it and all three of us loved it. Three generations.

A Boomer, a Gen-Xer, and a Millennial. No matter your age, you'll enjoy it. And then I love this one. I've seen it nine times.

Taken 30 others with me during those trips. Thank you, Greg, for sharing your faith journey. And then this short one.

Chuck washing the feet. I lost it. Well, Jesus Revolution is in theaters now. And boy, what a great opportunity to bring someone who needs to hear the good news of God's love for them. You know, sharing the gospel is what we're all about here at A New Beginning. And we want to tell people about the Lord in whatever way we can through films, through our harvest crusades, through books and social media, and of course through radio.

And we appreciate your partnership that makes that happen. It's the investments of listeners that keeps this daily study coming your way. And if you can make an investment right now, we want to send you an important book called Heaven for Kids. It's by best-selling author Randy Alcorn.

Get some help explaining the dynamics of eternity to your kids or grandkids. It's written in a helpful question-and-answer format. All the questions are right up front in the table of contents, so you can find the topic you want right away. And again, we'll be happy to send this important resource to thank you for your investment in keeping these insights coming your way. So contact us today for your copy of Heaven for Kids. You can call us at 1-800-821-3300.

That's a 24-7 phone number. Again, 1-800-821-3300. Or write A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, California, 92514.

Or go online to harvest.org. Well, next time, important biblical insight from Pastor Greg's family series and a message called How to Do Marriage Right. Join us here on A New Beginning with pastor and Bible teacher Greg Lord. 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 / 2023-03-24 05:14:58 / 2023-03-24 05:24:33 / 10

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