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Power Over Death | Sunday Message

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
April 2, 2023 7:07 pm

Power Over Death | Sunday Message

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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April 2, 2023 7:07 pm

In this Sunday episode, Pastor Greg Laurie completes our 7 Signs of Jesus series with the last sign. In John 11, four days after the death of Lazarus, Jesus brings him back to life. Listen in for insights over Christ’s victory over death. 


Death is not fair; it’s harsh and mean and rips those we love away from us.

Death is not a friend; it’s an enemy!

“The last enemy to be destroyed is death.” —1 Corinthians 15:26

God did not want people to die.

1. Life is filled with pain, sorrow, and the death of loved ones.

2. God loves us.

(Therefore, whatever He does or allows to happen in your life, as His child, is motivated by His everlasting love for you).

“Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.” —John 11:3

“He is a very present help in time of trouble.” —Psalm 46:1

Even though we cannot see how the situation will end, or why it has come upon us, we can know it flows from the love of God and is controlled by Him.

We think of the temporal; God thinks of the eternal!

Mary and Martha brought their doubts to Jesus! 

3. Because Jesus loves us, He weeps with us in our times of pain.

(Jesus was/is God, with all His power and glory, but He also was a man who felt our pain and sorrows.)

Death breaks God’s heart, just as it breaks ours. 

The word troubled could be translated as, “He was mad!”

4. God can be glorified through human suffering and bring good out of bad.

Sometimes God will be glorified through the removal of affliction (in this case, death); and other times, He will be glorified through the enduring of the affliction.

Heaven is the earthly life of the believer, glorified and perfected.

Death is an enemy, but it was also destroyed!

Jesus Christ has power over death!

Scripture Referenced

1 Peter 4:12

Ecclesiastes 3:11

Isaiah 53:3–4

Isaiah 43:2

Revelation 1:18


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Hey there. Thanks for listening to the Greg Laurie Podcast, a ministry supported by Harvest Partners. I'm Greg Laurie, encouraging you.

If you want to find out more about Harvest Ministries and learn more about how to become a Harvest Partner, just go to How many of you believe in the name of Jesus? Yes.

Alright. Let's all pray together. Father, we're so glad to be here today because we believe in the name of Jesus.

And all that He has done for us. And now as we open your Word, we pray that you will speak to our hearts because you've told us in Scripture that you come in the volume of your book. So as we open the book that's inspired by you, that's breathed by you, we know Jesus will come to us and speak to us and we want to hear from you, Lord, today. So we commit this time of Bible study to you now. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen. You can all be seated. Welcome to church.

Everybody, hello to Harvest Orange County, Harvest at Home, watching at as well. Now let's turn in our Bibles to John chapter 11 and the title of my message is Power Over Death. John 11. So my grandchildren used to have a bunch of rabbits. And they had different names. Fuzzy and Cotton. One was named Chubby Cutie. Which is funny because that's what my wife calls me.

So back to Fuzzy and Cotton. They were a couple, let's say they were very successful at bringing more rabbits into the world. And my granddaughter Ali came to me one day and she was in tears and she said, Papa, Fuzzy the rabbit died.

And then she said, it's not fair. And I assured her that Fuzzy had lived a very long life. He had many offspring that he left behind. We counted around 80 bunnies that were left from Fuzzy. And so I actually saw Fuzzy using Tinder on his phone one time. But that's another story for another day.

But you know, I just said, hey, you know, this happens. And of course we wonder, will we see our pets again in heaven? Well, I think it's a pretty simple answer. All dogs go to heaven.

No cats do. It's simple. No, no. None of that's true. But will we see them? I don't know.

Who knows? It's possible that you might see your pet on the other side somewhere. But we don't have certainty of that. But we know that when heaven comes to earth and what we call the new earth, that there will be animals with us. And we read about a little child leading a lion, which would be the ultimate pet. A lion. That's one cat I can get behind, right?

A lion. And so we don't know about these things. But Allie raised a good issue. And it's simply this. Death is not fair. Death is harsh.

It's mean. And it rips people that we love away from us. Sometimes expectedly. We know it's coming.

Other times, unexpectedly. We're all still reeling by this horrific act of pure evil against these innocent people on this Christian school campus in Nashville, Tennessee. Six people died altogether. Three of them were precious little children. And one was the daughter of the pastor there, Pastor Scruggs.

And another little girl was trying to pull the fire alarm to warn the other children. Our hearts just break because it's so hard for us to wrap our minds around the death of a child. You know, we know that grandparents are going to definitely die and then parents in time and even us in time.

But nobody plans or thinks through the death of a child or doing a funeral service for your child. Just last Saturday, yesterday, our son Christopher had his birthday. He's in heaven. He's been in heaven for 14 years now. And he is 48 years old. I could say he would have been 48, but I believe he's very much alive.

So I'll say he is 48. Though I don't know that they count years in heaven like we do on earth. And we know we will see him again. And Kathy and I and our son Jonathan went to his grave and we reflected on his life. And we all prayed and recommitted ourselves to the calling God has put on our lives. And you say, well, that's a really morbid thing to do.

I mean, go to a grave and well, yeah, but it's a grounding thing to do. I'll tell you that because it just reminds you one day I will be here, too. I've told you this before about a person who was walking through a cemetery and they saw tombstone and on it were inscribed these words. Pause now, stranger, as you pass by. As you are now, so once was I. As I am now, so you will be. So prepare for death and follow me. And a person reading that was overheard to say to follow you is not my intent until I know which way you went.

Right? The Christian can look death right in the face and not be afraid because we know death is not the end. We know there is life beyond the grave. Sure, we're realists. You know, people accuse Christians of being out of touch with reality.

I think other people are out of touch with reality that don't deal with this topic head on as we ought to. Because only those who are prepared to die are really ready to live. So we look at death and we say, I'm not looking forward to it, but I know it's not the end and I know I'm simply changing my address from earth to heaven because I've put my faith in Jesus Christ.

And that's how we can view it. And this is, not only does a believer have the hope that the moment they die they go immediately into the presence of God, but the Bible also teaches there will be a bodily resurrection. That means the body that is in the grave now will one day be resurrected.

We will see our loved ones again. But we're so uncomfortable with this topic. We don't even like to use the actual words. Instead of saying someone died, we'll say, well, they passed on.

Or technically you might say, well, they expired. An undertaker, we call him a mortician. A coffin is called a casket.

A graveyard is a memorial park. Well, that's whatever you want to call it. It is what it is. And death is harsh. And death is mean. And death is final. And death is real. And death is not our friend.

It is the enemy. In fact, 1 Corinthians 15, 26 says the last enemy to be destroyed is death. And actually, God never wanted us to die. There was no death in the Garden of Eden before Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit. There was no sickness. There was no aging. There was no need for police officers or the military or anything of that kind. There was no suffering at all.

It was pure bliss. But our first parents ate of the forbidden fruit. And sin entered the world and so did death. And this is a story before us now in John 11 of three people that were impacted by the death of someone they loved. We're talking about Mary, Martha, and Lazarus.

And we're talking about when Lazarus, the brother, got sick and died. And by the way, they were inseparable. They were close siblings. Not all siblings are close. Sometimes we have sibling rivalry.

They're fighting with each other all the time. But other siblings do everything together. I remember when I first met my wife, Kathy, she wasn't my wife yet. And she was at a Bible study with her two sisters.

They went everywhere together. Mary, excuse me, Mary, right, Mary, Kathy, and Dodie. And so there they were sitting in front of me. And I noticed Kathy. And I noticed her because there was a light shining on her. And I realized later Dodie was holding a flashlight over her head. And I noticed her and I thought, wow, there's something about this girl.

I want to meet her. So I went up to all of them. Hey, how are you?

I'm Greg. And so I said, you want to go get coffee after church? And we did.

And then another week passed. I saw them again. Hey, you want to go out after church and get some dessert?

Sure. And we all went. And the third week I said to Kathy, hey, you want to go out after church and get some dessert? And she said, sure, I'll get my sisters. I said, I don't want your sisters.

I just want you. And thus our relationship began. But they did everything together and so did Mary, Martha, and Lazarus, a tight-knit family. So this is sign number seven in our series that we're calling the Seven Signs of Jesus. The first sign was turning water into wine at a wedding. The final sign was the resurrection of a man from the dead. So we go from a wedding to a funeral, reminding us that God is in control of all things in our life from the beginning to the end.

He's there with us in our joys and our sorrows. But the ultimate sign of Jesus was not even the resurrection of Lazarus, as amazing as it was. The ultimate sign of Jesus was his death and resurrection.

Everything was building to this crescendo. Jesus said, a wicked and an adulterous generation seeks after a sign, but no sign will be given to them without of the prophet Jonah. And as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster or the great fish, so will the eye, the Son of Man, Jesus speaking, be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights. Loose paraphrase, Jesus says, you guys want a miracle? You want a sign?

Here it is. I'm going to die on a cross, I'm going to bear the sin of the world, and I'm going to rise again from the dead. We'll celebrate that next week. But let's see what happened to Lazarus. John 11, I'm starting in verse one. I'm reading from the New King James Version. Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha, and it was that Mary who anointed the Lord with fragrant oil, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.

Therefore the sister said to him, saying, Behold, he whom you love is sick. So we'll stop there. What did we learn from this story? Point number one of your taking notes, life is filled with pain and sorrow and the death of loved ones. Is that not the most depressing point of all time? But is it not true? Sorry, and I have to be the one to break this to you in case you don't know it, but life is filled with the pain, death, and sorrow of loved ones.

Now, when you're younger, this is hard to wrap your mind around. But you see people dying, and it starts to settle in that one day this will happen to you as well, so this is what we see. And when tragedy comes in our life, or we lose a loved one, we say, Why me?

Why is this happening to me? But it's ultimately going to happen to everyone, including you. In fact, we're told in 1 Peter 4, 12, don't think it's strange concerning the fiery trial which will try you as though some strange thing is happening to you. So we have to accept this fact, but that brings me to point number two, God loves us. God loves us. Don't rush over that.

Don't misunderstand it. Let it sink in. God loves you. I want you to say this out loud. God loves me.

Go. It's true. Do you believe that? God loves you. OK, so no matter what you're facing right now, don't forget this simple fact. Therefore, what he does or allows to happen in your life as his child is motivated by his everlasting love for you. Let me repeat that.

It's on the screen. God loves you. Therefore, whatever he does or allows to happen in your life as his child is motivated by his everlasting love for you. Now I'm interested in what Mary and Martha do. Remember, Lazarus is still alive, but he's very sick. They know this is serious. So they send word to Jesus, the one that you love is sick. In verse 3, another translation of the same statement is, Lord, your dear friend is very sick. And this is an excellent example of what we need to do when we are in crisis. We are not here to tell God what he should do, but we are here to tell him about our problem and say, Lord, here's my problem.

And they describe it to Jesus. Call on the Lord. There's nothing wrong with asking God to help you. Nothing wrong with asking God to deliver you.

In fact, you should do it. Because in the book of James it says you have not because you ask not. Now God may deliver you from your problem and he may simply walk with you through your problem, but bring it before the Lord. When the Israelites are criticizing and turning against Moses, we read in Exodus 15, 25, he cried unto the Lord. When Hezekiah received a threatening letter, we read in Isaiah 37, he spread it out before the Lord. When John the Baptist was beheaded, his disciples went and told Jesus.

That's what we should do. Christ says, go and tell Jesus, hey Jesus, I have a problem. I have a need. I have a burden. I have this thing that's happening to me right now and I'm asking you to help me. Psalm 46 one reminds us that Jesus is a very present help in times of trouble.

A present help. Now they could have said, now look Lord, you owe us. We fed you and your disciples a lot of times. You see, Jesus and his boys would often frequent the house of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. Mary, Martha, and Lazarus could legitimately say Jesus is our friend. You see, they lived in Bethany and Bethany is striking distance from Jerusalem. So as Christ would make his way into the city, he would just stop by. I wonder if he came by unannounced.

He certainly couldn't text Martha. Hey, Martha, how's it going? We're on our way into Jerusalem, man, are we hungry and we all know what a great cook you are.

Could you make something for us? Sure, come on in, Lord, and then they would all come. They probably all went into the kitchen together. Why is it that in our homes everyone wants to hang around in the kitchen? You might even have a proper living room that no one ever uses.

The most worthless room in a home, the living room. We all want to be in the kitchen because that's where the action is, right? Isn't this making you hungry right now? Because that's where the food is and everyone, you know, people are leaning up against the stove and they close their kitchen on fire, but the food's there.

It's good, right? So they could have said, Lord, we fed you so many times. You kind of owe us.

It's time to reciprocate. But they didn't do anything like that. They just said, Lord, the one that you love is sick. They didn't even say the one that loves you is sick. They said the one that you love is sick. They weren't even appealing on the basis of their love for Him.

They were appealing on the basis of His love for them. Let's pick the story up. John 11, verse 4. When Jesus heard about it, He said, Lazarus' sickness will not end in death.

No, it happened for the glory of God, so the Son of God will receive glory from this. Now, don't miss this verse. Although Jesus loved Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, He stayed where He was for the next two days.

I'd underline that, actually. Although Jesus loved Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, He stayed where He was for the next two days. Then He said to His disciples, let's go back to Judea. He loved them, so He waited.

That doesn't make sense. We would expect that verse to say, because Jesus loved Mary, Martha, and Lazarus, He got on the back of the fastest horse and rode to them. Or, hey, in the case of Christ, He could have just moved there.

Just, boom, here I am. Or He could have spoken the Word. He didn't even have to go to them. He could have spoken the Word and said, Lazarus, you are healed. But none of this happened. He delayed His arrival.

Why? Listen, because He loved Lazarus. Now, we think this is a contradiction. If Jesus really loved Lazarus, why didn't He immediately go and heal him? And in the same way, when hardship, tragedy, or even death come into our lives, we wonder, if God really loved me, why did He let this happen? Right?

We've asked this before. If God loved me, why did He let this happen? It's hard to see through eyes that are filled with tears. And the point that we need to see in all of this is not why it's happened, but remember, God is in control.

And also remember that His delays are not necessarily His denials. A verse I love, Ecclesiastes 3.11 says, God has made everything beautiful in His time. See, we look at the small picture. God looks at the big picture. We look at the temporal.

God looks at the eternal. See, I'm an artist of sorts, more of a cartoonist, if you want to call that an artist. I like to think of myself as an advanced doodler. But I like to draw. If there's a piece of paper near me and a pen, I'll start drawing.

I can't stop myself. And people will say, do a caricature of me. Now, a caricature, by its very definition, is an exaggeration of something. And so if someone says, draw me, I'll look at them and I see them in a certain way, as something of an artist and also as someone with a warped sense of humor. And I might see flaws and go, wow, your ears are quite big, so in the drawing I do of you, your ears are going to be gigantic.

And that's what a caricature is. That's why I never do caricatures of girls. Because I'll draw a girl and make her perfect, flawless, so cute and adorable. She'll say, I don't look like that.

But guys, I'm brutal, man. I just, yeah, I'm going to go for it. It's meant to make you laugh, right? So even before I begin to draw, I might start laughing. You don't see anything in the paper, but I see it in my imagination.

I know what I'm going to do. So God is drawing a picture of our life. He does a stroke here, a line there, and we say, I don't, what is this? I don't see what it's going to be. The Lord says, you're going to like it. Wait till it's done. We're a work in progress.

He's looking at what He's ultimately going to do in your life. So Mary and Martha, I wonder if they bragged on Jesus a little. Hey, we know Jesus. Look, we've got Him in context on our phone. Look. Right there, Jesus. Right there.

I could text them right now. He's over here all the time. Let me tell you all of His favorite meals. Let me tell you what's He like in person. Let me tell you what He's like in person. They might have said, you see, Jesus will show up.

He's our friend. And not only did Jesus not show up, but He got there late and even missed the funeral. So Lazarus has now died. And not only has he died, he's in the process of decomposition. In fact, that's Martha who says to Jesus, Lord, by now He stinketh. That's King James.

I like that translation. That's a nice way to tell someone they don't smell right. Have you used deodorant lately? Well, I don't know why you asked. Because by now you stinketh.

Think about using that if you like. It's all yours. So He shows up late. He comes into town. The funeral service is over.

It's a complete disaster. What happens next? John 11, verse 20. Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met Him.

Mary was sitting in the house. And Martha said to Jesus, Lord, if You would have been here, my brother would not have died. But now I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give you. Jesus said, Your brother will rise again.

Martha says, I know. He'll rise again in the resurrection of the last day. Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection and the life. He that believes in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. And whosoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. I love that statement.

Don't you? What a powerful statement of Jesus Christ. But Martha is effectively saying, allow me to paraphrase, Jesus, you blew it. We were bragging on you. We were expecting you to show up. If you had been here, my brother would not have died.

You miss the opportunity. Jesus says, Your brother will rise again. Yeah, I know, in the resurrection.

No, Martha, read my lips. I am the resurrection. I am the life. He that believes in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. But we've all said things like this, maybe to the Lord. Where were you, Lord? Where were you when my marriage dissolved? Where were you when my parents divorced? Where were you when my child went astray?

Where were you when my loved one died? And so there's nothing wrong with telling God how you feel. You know, I think sometimes people will say, you know, never pray a prayer like that. No, pour your heart out to God. And if you're hurting, tell God you're hurting. If you're confused, tell God you're confused.

If you don't like what's happening to you, go ahead and tell Him you don't like what's happening to you. But cast it on the Lord. See, I think the problem is sometimes we withdraw from God in times of crisis. We don't talk to God. We don't talk to anybody else.

We're in our little cocoon of depression and misery. No, you call out to God. God, why did you let this happen?

Now, don't expect an answer. I think if God told you why things happen, you wouldn't be satisfied anyway. You know, because how is it going to make things better? God says, my ways are above your ways. My thoughts are above your thoughts. We live on promises, not explanations.

So we should not spend too much time asking why. But I love what Jesus says. He says, your brother will rise again, and I am the resurrection and the life. And then Mary now comes.

We pick the story up. John 11, verse 32. Then Mary came, where Jesus was, and saw Him, and fell down on His feet, saying, Lord, if You would have been here, my brother would not have died. Therefore, when Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews that came with her weeping, He groaned in the Spirit and was troubled, and He said, Where have You laid Him? They said, Lord, come and see.

Now the shortest verse in all of the Bible. John 11, 35. Jesus wept.

Two words. Jesus wept. And the Jews said, See how He loved Him.

Point number two. Because Jesus loves us, He weeps with us in our times of pain. Because Jesus loves us, He weeps with us in our times of pain. Yes, Jesus was God walking among us, but Jesus was also a man who felt our pain and sorrows. Isaiah 53 says of Jesus, He was despised and rejected a man of sorrows, and acquainted with the bitterest grief.

We turned our backs on Him and looked the other way when He went by. He was despised, and we did not care, yet it was our weaknesses that He carried. It was our sorrows that weighed Him down.

Wow. Jesus has walked in your shoes and then some. He voluntarily put Himself in the way of danger to bear your sorrows on the cross. He didn't just bear your sins, He bore your sorrows. You might say, God doesn't know what it's like to live in this earth. Oh, doesn't He? Well, God doesn't know what it's like to lose a son. Doesn't He?

He gave His only begotten son. Well, God doesn't know what it's like to be misunderstood. Oh, I think He does. God doesn't know what it's like to be rejected by people and be betrayed.

Oh, He knows that well. Well, He doesn't know what it's like to be lonely. Listen, Jesus was the loneliest man who ever walked this earth, when He hung on that cross and bore the sins of the world. And even His Father turned His face away at that moment, causing Christ to say, my God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Jesus understands everything that you are going through right now.

And He cares. And He sorrows with you in that time of sorrow. Hebrews 2, 17 says, it was necessary for Jesus to be in every respect like us. That's why He had to enter into every detail of human life. And then when He came before God as high priest to get rid of people's sins, He would have already experienced it on Himself, all the pain, all the testing, and would be able to help where help was needed.

He knows what you're going through. Death breaks the heart of God, just as it breaks ours. So we say to Him, why doesn't He do something about it?

Well, actually, He has. Look at John 11, verse 33, and then I'll drop down to verse 38. When Jesus saw her weeping and saw the other people wailing with her, He was moved with indignation and was deeply troubled.

And again, verse 38, He was deeply troubled, and they came to the grave, and it was a cave with a stone rolled across its entrance. Now, this word used here for trouble can be translated mad. Jesus was mad. Yes, Jesus had anger.

He never lost His temper like we do. But He had righteous indignation. He was angry. Why was He angry? Was He angry at Mary and Martha for doubting Him? No. Was He angry at the people who were mourning the death of Lazarus?

Again, no. He was angry with the grim reaper, if you will. He was angry with death itself. He was angry because this was not the way it was meant to be, and it made Him angry. Then He says, remove the stone. Martha says, Lord, He stinks.

Move the stone. And then He says, Lazarus, come forth. And Lazarus comes back from the other side. He's still wrapped up in bandages. So it's not like Lazarus comes out, hey. He's more like, um, um.

Someone unwrap these things. It's a good thing Jesus said, Lazarus, come forth, because if He simply said, come forth, everybody in every grave, in every place would have burst out at that moment. Lazarus, in particular, come forth. And by the way, I feel sorry for Lazarus.

You say, why? Because he had to die twice. Isn't it bad enough to die once?

This poor guy had to go twice. You know, when a loved one leaves you, you want to communicate with them. And sometimes people try to contact people on the other side. Never do that.

The Bible forbids it. They can't hear you. And any messages people say are coming from the other side, that's not true, okay? But I understand the longing to communicate with someone that has died. You can't talk to them. They can't talk to you.

So don't try. But you can talk to the Lord about what you're facing. But let's just say, for the sake of a point, that we can make a phone call. When did this become the symbol of a phone call? But we all do it, right? Someone called me.

A phone doesn't look like that, but anyway. Let's just say we could call our loved one in heaven and say, I've missed you so much. And guess what? I want you to come back here again. You know what would happen?

They'd hang up on you. What? I don't want to go back there. No, come back. It's so great.

We have the greatest burger. What? What? We saw an amazing sunset.

I'm sure you did. If they could speak to you. But you're not seeing what I'm seeing right now.

I can't wait till you join me here. No one in heaven would ever want to come back to earth if they were even given the choice. But having said that, here's Lazarus called from the other side. Now he has to die again and face all of the challenges of life. But here's the big story. Not just that a man was raised from the dead.

But it's this. Death is not the end. The tomb for the Christian is not the entrance to death, but to life. Heaven is the earthly life for the believer, glorified and perfected. So your loved ones, they're in pure bliss.

The reason they don't want to come back is because it's better where they are. It'd be like, imagine the most beautiful place you've ever been. You know, maybe some tropical island looking at the greatest sunset of all time. Eating your favorite food with someone you love and dolphins are jumping out and unicorns are galloping by.

I don't know. I didn't know unicorns, but you know. Yeah, it's just a perfect moment. All this is so great. And then imagine someone saying, we need to leave immediately and go to the dump. I hear they're burning some trash right now. Why would I want to go to the dump when I'm here? And that's what it would be like to go from heaven to earth. That's why Paul said, I have a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. But it's important for me to stay here with you.

Heaven is so much better, but the real message here is that death is not the end. And God will be with you in the hardest times of your life. And He'll be with you in the greatest times of your life. He'll be with you for all of your life.

He'll never abandon you. Jesus said, I will never leave you or forsake you. One of my favorite verses is Isaiah 43. When God says, when you go through deep waters and great trouble, I'll be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up. The flames will not consume you. David said in Psalm 23, yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.

Why, David? Because you are with me. God will be with you in every phase of your life.

Going back to the first miracle, water into wine, wedding day, amazing day. He's there at the birth of a baby. He's there at the death of a loved one.

He's there at the beginning of life, the middle of life, and he's there at the end of life, and then he's there to take you to the afterlife. So you don't have to be afraid anymore. It doesn't mean we want to die. Christians don't just sit around and say, hey, man, I wish I would die today.

That'd be cool. No, we don't want to die, but we don't fear death. If this is the day, we say, fine, Lord, to be absent from the body is to be present with you, whatever you have in mind, because no one loves life more than the Christian, right? Hello? Yes, thank you. I'm not sure about you guys.

No one loves life more than the Christian. Well, I don't know. I have to think about that for a moment. I know you really are responding in your heart. You just need to express it a little bit more. Say amen.

That's how you do it. Every now and then, amen. Okay. Don't give me your fake amens. I don't want them.

And don't do them at the wrong points either. The sermon's now over. Amen.

No, not then. But he will be with you. You don't have to be afraid. So I want to close with this statement of Jesus.

I just love it. Jesus says, I'm the resurrection and the life. He that believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.

And whosoever lives and believes in me shall never die. Then he asks, there you go. You're getting it. That's good. That was good. Perfect. We need more of that. Harvest Orange County, more of that. Okay.

You guys in Riverside are good. You just stay where you are. It's time to up the game with the amen-ing, okay? But don't overdo it.

We'll find the balance together. Whoever lives and believes in him shall never die. But what does it mean to believe in Jesus?

Does it mean to merely acknowledge a man named Jesus walked this earth some 2,000 years ago and even to acknowledge he died on a Roman cross and even to acknowledge he rose from the dead? Well, that's important. But it's more than that. It's believing in him. And what does that mean? It means to put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ as your savior.

I know we use this phrase a lot, but I think it's accurate. Personal Lord and Savior. He becomes your God. He becomes your Lord. He becomes your friend. And he comes into your life.

You say, well, how does that happen exactly? Through prayer. When I say, Lord, I'm sorry for my sin. I believe you died on the cross for me and paid the price for every sin I've committed and I turn from my sin, or as the Bible puts it, I repent of my sin. I change my direction in life and I believe in you.

I trust you. And if you do that, God will forgive you of all of your sin. And you can know with certainty that you will go to heaven when you die and you can find the meaning and purpose of life.

You say, well, I want that to happen for me now. Well, it can and it will for some of you because we're going to pray together and I'm going to extend an invitation for anyone here that wants to ask Jesus Christ to come into their life and be forgiven of all of their sin so they can know with certainty they'll go to heaven when they die and so they can find the meaning and purpose of life. Let's all pray. Father, I ask you to speak to the hearts of all those that are here, all those that are watching, wherever they are. If they don't know you, we pray that your Holy Spirit will convict and convince them of their sin and their need for Jesus and help them to come to you and believe right now. Now while our heads are bowed and we're praying, maybe there's someone here that would say, I need Jesus today. I want my sin forgiven. I'm not sure that I'll go to heaven when I die, but I want to go to heaven.

I want to find the meaning and purpose of life. Pray for me. 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 know that when you die, you will go to heaven, if you're ready to say yes to Jesus, wherever you are, I want you to raise your hand up and I'm going to pray for you. Raise your hand up and let me pray for you. God bless you. God bless you and you. Wherever you are, raise your hand up. I'll pray for you today.

You're saying, I want Christ in my life today. Let me pray for you. God bless you.

Anybody else? If you haven't raised your hand now, do it. Let me pray for you.

God bless you and you. Now there's others watching on screens. You can raise your hand wherever you are.

I can't see you, but that doesn't matter, does it? The Lord sees you. You say, I need Jesus too and we'll all pray together. Anybody else?

I'll wait one more moment. If you want Christ in your life, raise your hand. Let me pray for you.

God bless you. I'm going to ask every one of you that just raised your hand to stand to your feet. You heard me right. Stand up. Maybe you didn't raise your hand, but you want Christ to come into your life. Stand up and we're going to pray together.

We're going to settle this right here, right now. Stand to your feet. By the way, people are standing. Are you one of them? Do you need to be?

Anybody else? Stand. Wherever you are, wherever you're watching me, just stand up. This is a commitment you're making to Christ.

Make it where you are. Just stand to your feet. I'll wait one more moment.

Anybody else? You want Jesus Christ to come into your life and forgive you of your sin. Stand up and let me pray with you. God bless you that are standing. Now I'm going to pray a prayer and I'm going to ask that you pray it out loud after me. In fact, I'm going to ask everyone to pray this prayer as we encourage these folks praying it for the first time. So as I pray, pray this out loud after me.

Let's all pray together. Lord Jesus. I know that I'm a sinner. But I know that you're the savior who died on the cross for me. You paid the price for my sins.

I ask you to forgive me now. I repent of my sin. And I choose to follow you from this moment forward as my savior and Lord. As my God and my friend. Thank you for hearing this prayer and answering this prayer. In Jesus' name I pray.

Amen. Hey everybody, thanks for listening to this podcast. To learn more about Harvest Ministries, follow this show and consider supporting it. Just go to And to find out how to know God personally, go to and click on Know God.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-02 20:18:38 / 2023-04-02 20:34:41 / 16

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