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. All things will be different. Better. A new body is coming. If you were disabled on earth, you will not be disabled.
If your body has cancer, you won't have it dead. If your body's worn out with age, it won't be in heaven. Some things you probably won't see in heaven.
Income taxes, hospitals, plastic surgeons, grief counselors, funeral homes, telemarketers. It sounds pretty good already, doesn't it? Well, today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie pulls back the veil as we get a glimpse of our resurrected life. But more importantly, we find out what it takes to make sure we'll get to live a resurrected life. Today we'll consider what made our free gift of eternal life possible.
This is the day, the day when life begins. John 21, the title of my message is Breakfast with Jesus. We're reading a story now where literally the disciples of Jesus were having breakfast with Him. What an unexpected event because He had been crucified.
He had been beaten beyond human recognition. None of His disciples ever thought they would see His face again. That brings us to the story before us now in John 21. So the disciples go fishing. Peter says, I'm going fishing.
The other side, we'll go with you. And so a voice from the shore silhouetted because it wasn't quite morning yet, shouts out, hey, throw your net on the other side of the boat and you'll have a catch. And they did it and of course there were so many fish their nets were breaking and then John the perceptive one says, it's the Lord. Peter jumps out of the boat, he swims to the shore, he comes up on the beach there and Jesus is sitting behind a fire that he made himself. Did Peter have a flashback?
Oh, I remember this when I was before a fire denying that I knew him three times. And that's where our story begins here in John chapter 21 beginning in verse nine. When they got there, they found breakfast waiting for them.
I love that. They found breakfast waiting for them. Jesus said, bring some of the fish you've just caught. So Simon Peter went aboard and dragged the net to the shore and Jesus said, now come and have some breakfast.
Imagine this. Right before the Lord is a resurrected, physical Jesus, now their sadness turns to joy, their fear turns to hope, but it should not have been a surprise. This is why he came, to die on the cross and to rise again.
You see, when Jesus died on the cross, he conquered sin, but when he rose again from the dead, he conquered death. You know, when I was a kid, I was terrified of death and I thought about it a lot. And I think the reason I was terrified of it was my thought at that moment of my life, probably 12, 13 years old, was when I died, I would no longer exist. And I could not comprehend the idea of no longer existing. So it was a very scary thing that I thought about. But now as an older man, I am no longer afraid to die.
And I'll tell you why. Because Jesus said, do not be afraid. I am the living one. I died, but look, I'm alive forever and ever.
I hold the keys to death and the grave. You do not have to be afraid of death. We want to go to heaven as Christians.
The apostle Paul said, I desire to depart and be with Christ, but I need to be here with you. Listen, no one loves life more than the follower of Jesus Christ. Because we see life in another dimension. We see life as a gift to us from God. We're appreciative to God for it.
We can see nature as his handiwork. We can enjoy the simple pleasures that he's given us. We don't need drugs to make that better.
We don't need alcohol to escape from it. We have this relationship with God. So we love and we cherish life. Having said that, we know a better life is coming.
So you don't have to be afraid. Easter was the death of death. Death used to be an executioner.
The resurrection just makes him a gardener. And it's something we all face, but remember, it's not the end. Okay, so let me just share three takeaway truths about what this all means to you. Number one, because of the resurrection of Jesus, one day I will receive a new body.
Isn't that great to know? You know, when Jesus rose from the dead, it was effectively a preview of things to come. Because we too, one day, will be resurrected. 1 Corinthians 15, 20 says, the truth is, Christ has been raised up, the first in a long legacy of those who are going to leave the cemeteries.
But we have to wait our turn. Christ is first, then those with him at his coming. Understand this, Jesus Christ rose with a real body, in a real world, in a real way, with a real voice. He wasn't a phantom. He wasn't a ghost.
He was a real person. He still bore, as we mentioned, the marks of the crucifixion even after he rose. So that's a reminder to us that when we receive that new body God has for us, you will still be you. You won't become another person. You'll be a radically righteous, resurrected you. Secondly, because of the resurrection of Jesus, our new bodies, our glorified bodies, will be much like his.
1 John 3, 2 says, Beloved, now we are the children of God. It's not been revealed what we will be, but we know when he is revealed we will be like him. For we will see him as he is. We will be like Jesus. Our bodies will be like Jesus. So what do we know about the body of Jesus? Number one, it was recognizable, including the scars from the crucifixion. Secondly, he did not have the normal limitations that people have.
He could appear and disappear at will. Thirdly, he ate food. What's he doing here in John 21?
He's making breakfast, making it. Hey guys, I want to use the fish you've brought, and I bet Jesus was a great cook, don't you think? And so he made that meal for them, and it's a reminder that just as Jesus ate in his glorified body, we will eat too. So when we get to heaven there's going to be the wedding feast of the Lamb. Matthew 8.11 says, people will come from the east and the west and take their place at the feast with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.
How cool would that be? But we'll be reunited with loved ones. Loved ones that have preceded us to heaven. Sometimes people ask the question, will we recognize one another in heaven? Maybe the answer is, well, do you recognize one another on earth?
Let's start there. But the answer, of course, is yes. You will know less in heaven. You'll know more in heaven. You and I will still be us, just the radically upgraded version.
We'll know fully as we are known, the Bible says. And third point, and final point, because of the resurrection of Jesus, our bodies will no longer age or get sickness or break down. Now, some of you are older and you're saying, amen. Some of you are younger saying, yeah, I'm young, man. I look pretty good still. In fact, I've been taking selfies of myself for your whole sermon.
I love the way I look. Yeah, but you're going to get older, faster than you may think. I was talking to two of my granddaughters a number of years ago, Stella and Lucy. And they asked me the question, one of them did, Papa, how old will we be when we are in heaven? I said, wow, I don't know the answer to that.
Maybe 33. They said, why do you say that? I said, well, that was the age Jesus lived to, and maybe that's the age we'll be in heaven.
I'm not really sure. And then Lucy said, I want to be three in heaven. I said, why do you want to be three in heaven? She said, I miss the old me.
Funny. But you that are young, you need to know that your body's already starting to break down. Did you know your brain starts breaking down at the age of 20? Experts say as we get older, the number of nerve cells in the brain decrease. We start out with 100 billion brain cells, but in our 20s, the number begins to decline. By 40, we're losing up to 10,000 brain cells per day.
You've probably already lost 5,000 brain cells just listening to me. But because of the resurrection of Jesus, a new body is coming. If you were disabled on earth, you will not be disabled in heaven. And then the new earth, if your body has cancer, you won't have it then. If your body's worn out with age, it won't be in heaven.
And we can also have resurrected relationships. You know what I find interesting is how Jesus almost acted as though he had not even left when he was with the disciples. For instance, there were two disciples that were walking along and they saw the risen Lord. They were stunned. And Jesus had a greeting for them.
I mean, you would have thought he would have said, ta-da. But instead he says, hello. Common greeting. Like, hey, how's it going? Good to see you. Wait, you're Jesus risen.
Yeah, I'm here. He sort of picked up where he left off. He appears in the upper room. Hey, Thomas, I heard what you said earlier.
Go for it. And he's here with the disciples. Hey, guys, I have breakfast for you. Come on. Well, I can't believe you're here. Yeah, I'm here. Let's have breakfast together.
Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. Hey, everybody, what are you doing this weekend? I'd like to hang out with you at Harvest at Home. What is Harvest at Home? It is a time of worship and Bible study exclusively designed for people that are viewing in from all over the place. So you can be a part of our extended congregation at Harvest at Home.
Join us this weekend, Saturday and Sunday, for Harvest at Home at Harvest.org. Well, glad you're along for Pastor Greg's message today called Breakfast with Jesus. Let's continue now. Come back to John 21 for a moment.
We'll close. Here's Simon Peter coming in from the water. He sees Jesus before the glow of the fire. And Jesus says this to him in John 21, verse 15. Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?
He might underline that phrase, more than these. Yes, Lord, Peter replied, you know I love you. Then feed my lambs, Jesus said.
Now here's something I left out on purpose. Jesus had already appeared to Peter after he appeared to Mary Magdalene. However, we don't know what happened in that meeting. The Bible doesn't tell us anything apart from the fact that he did appear to Peter. I'm sure it was at that point that he forgave Peter.
Peter's heart was broken because he had denied the Lord three times. And that's why I find it interesting that the question of Jesus is, do you love me more than these? After that, he just asked, do you love me?
First time, do you love me more than these? Probably gesturing to the other disciples. Why would he ask that? Because Peter in the upper room after Christ had identified Judas as the betrayer said, though I'll deny you, I will never deny you. Jesus said, since you brought it up, I wanted to let you know that before the rooster has crowed twice, you will deny three times that you know me.
So Peter had sort of built himself up at the expense of other people. I don't like it when people do that. I don't like it when people feel they have to put others down to lift themselves up.
Well, they can't do this, and they can't do that, but I can do it, but just shut up, okay? Because those are your famous last words, because the Bible says pride goes before a fall. And that's what happened to Peter. He went right out from there, and before you knew it, he had denied the Lord not once, not twice, but three times exactly as Jesus had said. So Jesus says, okay, hey, Peter, do you still love me more than these?
Peter just says, hey, I love you. I'm not saying that anymore. I've learned my lesson.
What was happening? Jesus was giving to Peter a second chance. Am I talking to somebody here today that needs a second chance in life? You know, as a Christian, you failed.
As a father, a husband, you failed. As a person who should be walking with God and be more spiritually mature at this point, you failed over and over again, and you feel like I shouldn't even be here at church today. I feel like a hypocrite.
No, listen. I'm glad you're here, because this church is not a museum for saints. It's a hospital for sinners to get right with God, right? But don't wait until next Easter to come back. You know, let us help you to get better spiritually.
He'll give you a second chance and a third chance and a fourth and as many as you need. It would be a great day to recommit yourself to the Lord, and you could mark it in time, Easter. But I love that Jesus used this picture of eating so many times.
He was always having meals with his disciples, and he actually said in Revelation 3.20, Behold, I stand at the door and I knock, and if you'll hear my voice and open the door, I will come in and dine with you. Isn't that great? Let's say after church you went home, you're having your Easter brunch, and you have a window in your front door so you can see out, people can see in. And you get a knock on your door. You look out.
It's me. It's Greg at our front door. You kind of go, hey. And you go back eating your meal. I keep knocking, knocking.
I look hungry. I'm knocking. You say, just ignore him. He'll go away. And so I knock and I knock, and maybe after an hour, I get the message.
Don't want me in your house. Jesus stands at the door of our life and knocks, and I think we feel like he'll just stand there forever and knock. In our youth, we say, well, I have my life to live. I have my wild seed to sow. I have things I want to do maybe later.
We hit middle age. Well, I'm busy now. I have my responsibilities. I have my career.
I have these other things. Then we get older. We don't even care. We just think he's always going to stand there knocking. Well, in a sense, he will. My concern is not that Jesus will not knock.
It's that you will become so indifferent you won't even notice it anymore. Don't you understand? If you can see Jesus and he can see you and you don't open that door, to not say, come in, Lord, is actually your way of saying, go away, Lord. It was that idea, that truth, that biblical verse that arrested the mind of a 17-year-old kid named Greg on his high school campus. Lonnie the preacher said, Jesus said you're for me or against me. Suddenly I realized I was against Christ by not being for him. I didn't want to be against Jesus. I always believed he was out there somewhere. I always called on him when I was in trouble.
But I never thought I could have a relationship with him. That was the day I gave my life to Christ. And this can be the day you give your life to Christ so you can know you will go to heaven when you die. Do you know you will go to heaven when you die? Are you sure of it? If I ask you, will you go to heaven when you die, if your answer is in the first person, we have a problem. In other words, well, yes, because I'm a member of a church or yes, because I was baptized. No, your answer should not be in the first person. It should be in the third person, meaning, oh, I know I'm going to heaven because of what Christ did for me on the cross.
That's how I know. He died for my sins. He rose again for me. And you can come into a relationship with him today. He's knocking.
He's just waiting for you to open the door and invite him in. So we're going to close in prayer. If you want to be sure you'll go to heaven when you die or if you want to recommit your life to him or if you want to find the meaning and purpose of your life, it can start right here, right now. Let's pray. Father, I pray for everybody that's here. I pray for anyone that does not know you yet. I pray this would be the moment they would believe.
Well, our heads are bowed and our eyes are closed and we're praying. How many would say right now, I need Jesus. I need my sin forgiven.
I'm not sure if I'll go to heaven when I die. Pray for me. Listen, if you want Christ to come into your life, if you want him to forgive you of your sin, if you want to fill that hole in your life or if you want to be sure you'll go to heaven one day, wherever you are, pray this prayer out loud after me. Again, pray this out loud after me, okay?
Pray these words. Lord Jesus, I know that I'm a sinner, but I know that you're the savior who died on the cross for my sin and rose again from the dead. Now Jesus, come into my life. Be my savior. Be my Lord. Be my God.
Be my friend. I choose to follow you from this moment forward. Thank you for hearing this prayer and answering this prayer. In Jesus' name I pray.
Amen. Pastor Greg Laurie with an important prayer. And if you prayed those words today and meant them sincerely, if you've asked the Lord to forgive your sins, we want to be the first to welcome you into the family of God. And we want to help you get started living this life of faith. Let us send you our New Believers Growth Packet.
It's designed to answer the questions new believers have and get them started in their walk with the Lord. We'll send it without charge when you contact us and ask for the New Believers Growth Packet. Here's our round-the-clock phone number, 1-800-821-3300. Again, 1-800-821-3300.
Or write us at A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, California, 92514. Or just go online to harvest.org and click on Know God. Well, it's such a treat to have Pastor Levi Lusko with us today. Of course, he's the senior pastor of Fresh Life Church with campuses in Montana, Wyoming, Oregon, and Utah. And he's the author of a new book called The Marriage Devotional that we're making available.
You and your wife wrote this together, right, Levi? Yeah, Jenny and I have been married for 19 years, and it's been such a journey. We've lived in multiple states in that time, seen five kids come into our home, seen one child go home to be with Jesus in heaven, and blazing the trails of leading in the church. We've definitely learned a lot of things, most of them the hard way.
And we're not trying to give any ivory tower truth from a perfect place. But a lot of the stuff that we are offering up, we've discovered along the way in our brokenness, in our pain, in the beauty of watching God work. But it really has been an amazing discovery of God working in our marriage. And we want to share that to help other people who are struggling, because the truth is marriage is hard. Levi, you mentioned that you have one child in heaven.
That's your daughter, Lenya. And I remember the day you called me and told us to pray, because she was still alive, but tragically she did not make it, and she went to be with the Lord. You know, marriages fall apart when a child dies on many occasions. Your marriage didn't fall apart, I would even say from observing it. Not that your marriage wasn't strong to start with, but I would say your marriage has gotten even stronger. So talk to us a little bit about the impact of having the child die, and then just how external hardship can strengthen a marriage in general.
Well, you know, of course it wasn't easy, as you and Kathy know from experience, too. But I found the truth of what Jesus said, that if you build your house on the foundation of his words and doing them, then you're like a man who's a home built on a rock. And the storms that come can't destroy the house, as if you're built on sand. And that's one of the key messages that we want to point people to in this book, is if you build your life on the right things, then storms don't destroy your house.
In fact, if anything, they make it stronger, like you said. And that really is the message of the Beatitudes, that you can be brokenhearted, but see God right there in the midst of it. And Jennie and I found that our hearts were more stabilized on heaven. Our hearts were more focused on the next world.
We cared less for this world. And I think that if you have a weak marriage, a trial like that will make it weaker. If you have a strong marriage, the trial will make it stronger. And so our message in this book is, prepare for the pain you're not yet in.
Train for the trial that's yet to come. And build your house today on the rock so that tomorrow's hardship, which is going to come, whether it's from your aging parents getting sick and dying, or a hardship economically, or something really happening in your own personal health. Those things are going to challenge your marriage vows.
But if you do the hard work of centering your life on the gospel and living your life worshipping in the Holy Spirit, being planted in a local church, then that hardship is just going to center you more on the things that you're already anchored on. That's fantastic. I'm speaking with Levi Lusko, who's a longtime friend, an amazing pastor, and the author, along with his wife Jenny, of a brand new book called The Marriage Devotional. It's 52 devotions that you can go through with your spouse that will strengthen your marriage. And it's our gift to you this month for your gift of any size to help us continue on here at A New Beginning to teach God's word and to proclaim the gospel and do everything we can to strengthen marriages, marriages just like yours. So order your copy of The Marriage Devotional from Jenny and Levi Lusko from us here at A New Beginning.
Yeah, that's right. It's a book with a tremendous amount of biblical counsel to strengthen that important relationship. Thanks for partnering with us so these daily studies can continue. And when you make that donation today, be sure to ask for The Marriage Devotional. 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, California, 92514.
Or go online to harvest.org. Well, next time, Pastor Greg returns to his marriage series called Am I Doing This Right? Good insight to strengthen our marriages. Join us here on A New Beginning with pastor and Bible teacher, Greg Laurie. This is the day, the day when life begins. The preceding podcast was made possible by Harvest Partners, helping people everywhere know God. Learn how to become a Harvest Partner, sign up for daily devotions, and find resources to help you grow in your faith at harvest.org.
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