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 is still in theaters, and the response has been overwhelming. More than five million have seen the film, and we're hearing reports of hundreds of thousands who are making decisions for the Lord having seen it.
It shattered box office expectations week after week. And today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie explains how the project came together, what happened during filming, 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 pouring 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.
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. 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 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.
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. So 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. 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. 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, 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 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. 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 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 percent 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. And so he has his daughter, Jan, and they're talking about this and 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 Jan 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 a 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 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 spiritual awakening. Glad you're joining us today here on A New Beginning. And by the way Jesus Revolution is still in theaters. More than 5 million people have seen it.
And the comments are so encouraging. One person said, I was saved in 1972. Visited Calvary Chapel in 73.
As a college student the movie was exactly like I remember. God was pouring out his Spirit upon all flesh. My mom, dad, sister, brother, family, friends coming to Jesus shortly after me. And on and on the story goes. And then another who said, as a teenager listening to Pastor Chuck, I never saw him as anything but Pastor Chuck.
I never considered the man himself. How did God reach him and open his heart to all of us? And he continues, I met Greg Laurie in 1973 when he came to Cerritos High School and spoke at our Bible as Literature class.
I'll never forget walking him up to the office in his Jesus sandals, brown corduroy pants and vest carrying his rabbit fur wrapped Bible. He said, the movie touched me. It was well worth seeing.
So many comments like these. And then Pastor Greg shared this. A lady writes me, great movie. My kids are 10 and 11 and they loved it. My son who was 10 leaned over while the movie was playing and whispered that he was sorry for being disrespectful and he's planning to bring his Bible to school the next day so he could ask his friends to meet him at the pavilion at recess so he could tell them about Jesus. He said, I know mom that might sound kind of scary but I'm not scared because Jesus wants me to be bold.
Well that's just a sampling of the social media comments we've seen. And we hope you get a chance to see Jesus Revolution. In fact, 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. Pastor Greg? I'm speaking with Randy Alcorn, the author of Heaven for Kids, and the book that we're offering this month is a resource for all of our listeners so you can learn more about the afterlife and especially how to share it with your children. Randy, one of the questions I've had asked of me over the years is what happens to pets when they die? Now we've heard it said all dogs go to heaven.
I think I can make a pretty good case for cats not entering into heaven. I'm just kidding. Maybe not. I'm not sure.
You can send your cards and letters to Greg Laurie. Yes, that's right. No, I'm kidding. I'm kidding people.
But play a laugh track, Dave, so they know I'm kidding right now. Okay. Okay, so anyway, seriously though, Randy, what happens to our pets? We can grow very attached to them. They become a part of our family. When a pet dies, where do they go? Well, I just had an experience which was a year and a half ago when our golden retriever Maggie was going to die and we knew it. I took a walk with our grandsons Jake and Ty who live nearby and they'd grown up around Maggie and when they would come over and spend the night and we'd go on walks and adventures together out in the woods around us along with Maggie and so I got those guys together and we took one last walk with Maggie and they were saying goodbye to Maggie but I was saying, you know, here's the thing, guys.
I really believe, I actually believe that Maggie will be on the new earth with us and here's why. Because Romans chapter 8 says that the whole creation groans with longing and looking forward to the resurrection of God's children and he keeps saying the whole creation. There's people grown and we suffer.
Well, who else suffers besides people? Well, animals. And so he's saying the whole creation is looking forward to the resurrection.
Well, why? It would make no sense to be saying that unless there were other suffering beings and who else would that be but animals? So then it comes down to I think that's clearly saying some animals alive today that have suffered in this world will be on the new earth and live there forever. Animals can have a ministry in your life. I come home to my dog Gracie now every day and I'm telling you she is a comfort to me since Nancy has gone to be with Jesus. I mean, I loved that dog before but there's times where I'm crying and she's just cuddling up to me and God has ministered to me through her. So I think that the relationships that we have with animals I would not at all be surprised if they're there.
In fact, I'd be very surprised if they weren't there. Excellent. These are insights from author Randy Alcorn about how to share the truth of God's Word specifically on the topic of heaven with the little ones at different ages. And the title of the book is Heaven for Kids and we want to send this book to you for your gift of any size as we continue to preach the gospel and teach God's Word to people here in A New Beginning.
Yeah, and your investment helps that important work continue. So thanks so much for your partnership. Get in touch today for your own copy of Heaven for Kids.
And today is our last opportunity to mention this. So get in touch right away. You can call us at 1-800-821-3300. That's a 24-7 phone number, 1-800-821-3300. Or write A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514.
Or go online to harvest.org. Well, next time, we'll return to insights from Pastor Greg's series Am I Doing This Right? Practical insights coming for Christian parents. Join us here on A New Beginning with pastor and Bible teacher Greg Laurie. This is the day, the day when life begins 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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