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Everybody Needs Jesus, Part 1 | The Bad News Before the Good News

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
April 21, 2023 3:00 am

Everybody Needs Jesus, Part 1 | The Bad News Before the Good News

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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April 21, 2023 3:00 am

What kind of doctor would run some tests and leave out all the bad news? The bad news may be hard to hear but, before you can cure the disease you have to know about the disease. Today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie points out that believers have the cure for an eternal disease . . . a problem that could affect us for eternity. And we’ll recognize the importance of delivering the bad news and good news side by side so people can be saved from the sickness of sin.

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A New Beginning is the daily half-hour program hosted by Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Southern California. For over 30 years, Pastor Greg and Harvest Ministries have endeavored to know God and make Him known through media and large-scale evangelism. This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.

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Hey, everybody, you're listening to A New Beginning, which is a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners. If this program has impacted you, I'd love to hear from you. So just send an email to me at Again, it's

You can learn more about becoming a Harvest Partner by going to This is the full story. Before you can fully appreciate the good news of forgiveness, you need to understand the bad news. Bad news, God hates sin. Good news, God does not hate sinners. Even more good news, God loved us so much He sent His Son to die on the cross and take that judgment upon Himself.

What kind of doctor would run some tests and then leave out all the bad news? The bad news may be hard to hear, but before you can cure the disease, you have to know about the disease. Today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie points out that believers have the cure for an eternal disease, a problem that could affect us for eternity. And we'll recognize the importance of delivering the bad news and good news side by side so people can be saved from the sickness of sin.

This is the day, the day when life begins. Let's read now a few verses together. Romans chapter 1. I'm going to start in verse 16.

Paul writes these words. I'm not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes, first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. For in the gospel, the righteousness of God is revealed, a righteousness that is my faith, from first to last, just as it is written, the just shall live by faith. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth and unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities, his eternal power and divine nature, so they have no excuse for not knowing God.

All right, if you're taking notes, here's point number one. Salvation is not earned, but it's given to us as a gift from God. Again, salvation is not earned, but it is given to us as a gift from God.

Look at verse 17. The just shall live by faith. This word just is speaking of your new position before God. I'm just or made right with God. I'm justified, I'll explain that more as we get deeper into Romans, but I'm in a right relationship with him.

I am a child of God now. I stand right before the Lord, not because of what I've done, but solely because of what he has done. Now, my objective as a Christian is to walk and to live by faith. The just shall live by faith. Point number two, this salvation that God has given us is given because God loves us.

It's given to us because God loves us, not because I merit it, not because I deserve it, but because God loves me. Verse 18, for the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness. Some of you are thinking, excuse me, I don't see how that verse gives you that point. The wrath of God is revealed against ungodliness and unrighteousness, and your point is God loves us? Yes, that's right.

Listen to this. A God of love must hate anything that harms those he loves. A God of love must mean business when he declares something off limits. So when we say that God has wrath, we're simply pointing out that he is against anything that harms each of us. But when we say God has wrath, it's not like our wrath. Our wrath is ignited when someone cuts into our lane.

We get angry by something. That's not God. So let's not take the idea of wrath and apply that to God in that sense. God's wrath is settled. It's thought through.

There's a reason for it. So it comes down to this. Before you can fully appreciate the good news of forgiveness, you need to understand the bad news. Bad news, God hates sin. More bad news, the wages of sin are death. Good news, God does not hate sinners.

In fact, he loves them. Even more good news, God loved us so much he sent his son to die on the cross and take that judgment upon himself. So the bottom line is the only way to be forgiven of sin is through Jesus. Not through good works, not through clean living, not by religion or by rule keeping.

Point number three. There is no excuse for living in rebellion against the God who loves you. There's no excuse for living in rebellion against the God who loves you.

Look at verse 19 of Romans 1 and I'm reading now from the New Living Translation. They know the truth about God because he's made it obvious to them. For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and the sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities, his eternal power and divine nature so they have no excuse for not knowing God. All around us is the evidence of God.

Not only in our lives, but all through creation you see God's hand at work. I read an interesting statement that was written by Robert Jastrow, an astrophysicist and former director of NASA. Here's what he said and I quote. Now we see how the astronomical evidence supports the biblical view of the origin of the world. For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He scaled the mountains of ignorance. He's about to conquer the highest peak and as he pulls himself over the final rock, he's greeted by a band of theologians who've been sitting there for centuries. End quote.

I love that. Written by a scientist. Oh they're searching and they're trying to find out the origin of the universe and they finally discover, oh yeah, those theologians, those Christians, those Bible believers were right all along. Bottom line, God will reveal himself to the true seeker. So when someone says, oh I'm seeking God, then they will find their way to Jesus Christ.

Let me flip that around. If they don't find their way to Jesus Christ, are they a true seeker? I don't care who they are or what their state. How many of you have ever heard of Helen Keller? Well Helen Keller when she was a very young girl had a disease affect her in a dramatic way. She lost her sight, her hearing, and her speech.

She was effectively isolated from the world. There's a lady named Ann Sullivan. It made it her life's purpose to reach Helen. And Ann taught Helen how to communicate through touch. And Helen eventually even learned how to talk. And when Ann tried to tell Helen about God, Helen's response was she already knew him, she just didn't know his name.

I love that. So God revealed to her, despite the fact that she couldn't hear, she couldn't see, God still made himself known to her. And he will make himself known to every person who really wants to know him.

Point number four. When you're out of fellowship with God, you have conflict with other people too. When you're out of fellowship with God, you have conflict with others too. Verse 18. The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth and unrighteousness. Ungodliness basically is describing our rebellion against God.

Unrighteousness is basically describing our sin against man. Remember when Moses came down from Mount Sinai, he had two tablets, right? The Ten Commandments. And they weren't five and five by the way.

They were four and six. The first four commandments had to do with our relationship with God. You shall have no other gods before me.

Don't have graven images. Don't take the Lord's name in vain. And the second six commandments had to do with our relationship with people. You shall not kill. You shall not steal. You shall not commit adultery. The point is is that unrighteousness is when we sin against each other and godliness is when we sin against God.

And here's the thing. God is basically saying, look, I will give you over to the way you want to live if that's the way you want to go. Look at verse 28.

He gave them over to a depraved mind. In other words, God will allow you to pursue what you want to pursue. Careful what you wish for. You might get it.

So look, if you want to run from God, God's not going to stop you from exercising your free will. The prodigal son went to his father who's paraphrased basically said, dad, I'm sick of waiting for you to kick the bucket. I want my inheritance now. So give it to me. We would have understood it if the father would have said, no, son, I love you too much.

You're going to make bad decisions and hurt yourself. I won't give it to you. The father said, here you go, boy, and gave it to his son. And off that boy skipped out of town with all that money. And man, he blew it all.

Messed up his life and regretted it. But the point is the father allowed him to exercise his free will. Now take the children of Israel. They were delivered from Egypt and God fed them with manna every day. Remember manna, manna in the morning, manna in the afternoon, manna in the evening. It's manna all day long.

By the way, the word manna comes from the Hebrew krispokrimo. You've probably never heard this before. That's because I'm making it up.

That's why you've never heard it. But it was sweet to the taste. It was called the food of angels. The awesome thing is you woke up in the morning, there's manna waiting for you.

It's there all day long. You didn't have to go out and get your food. It was nice. After a while though they got sick of it.

They went to Moses. We're sick of manna. We've had everything you have to offer. We're tired of banana pancakes. We're tired of manna cotti. We're tired of anything with manna. We want meat.

We remember meat. And God says, you really think they want meat? Moses says, that's what they're asking for.

And before the Lord said, stand back Moses. And the Bible says it rained quail on them. These birds just fell out of the sky. These guys were so hungry for meat. They ate the birds before they were even prepared. It was sort of like bird sushi.

The worse. And you know what the Bible says? It turned bitter in their mouth.

And the Bible then comments and says, He gave them what they wanted but sent leanness to their souls. Coming back to my point, careful what you ask for. You might get it. I want this. God don't hold me back. The Lord says, I'm telling you don't do that. I'm going to do it.

The Lord says, go for it. And off we go. Yeah! And then we say, it turns bitter in our mouth.

Right? Oh now I see why you told me not to do this. Yeah, that's why. Or you're like the prodigal. You come to your senses. How easily the Father could have said to the prodigal, you made your bed boys sleep in it.

Don't come here anymore. No. Is that what the Father did? He welcomed the prodigal back with open arms. But God will let you do what you want to do.

And that's what this is saying. He turned them over. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. Hey I don't know if you know about this but we have a weekend service called Harvest at Home.

It's exclusively for people that are tuning in literally from around the world. Listen to this. We even have Harvest groups where you can get into a small group with folks from all around this planet of ours and study the Word of God. So join us this weekend, Saturday and Sunday for Harvest at Home at Well we've been highlighting the lessons learned from the parable of the prodigal son as we consider the danger of rejecting God. Pastor Greg continues now. Now verses 28 to 32 of Romans 1 describes what happens when you push God out of your life and when God lets you do what you want to do. And I'm going to read those verses from a modern translation so just listen. Since they didn't bother to acknowledge God, God quit bothering them.

I like that translation. And let them run loose. And then all hell broke loose.

Rapid evil, grabbing and grasping, vicious backstabbing. They made life hell on earth with their envy, wanton killing, bickering, and cheating. They kept inventing new ways of wrecking lives. It's not as if they didn't know better. They know perfectly well they are spitting in God's face and they don't care.

Wow. Sounds like a little bit of commentary on our culture today. And notice it says they suppress the truth in unrighteousness. This speaks of a determined action to go one's own way. In other words it's not just a person that says I want to live without God. I want to live in my sin. But I don't want you to have a relationship with God. In fact I don't want you to impose your opinion on me. I have found that the people that talk the most about tolerance can be some of the most intolerant people I've ever met.

Do you understand what I'm saying? Tolerance. Tolerance. And they say Christians are so intolerant.

I don't think that's true. The Christians I know are some of the most tolerant people I've ever met. Now we may not agree with a person's ideas but we'll still show kindness to them. We'll still try to help them. We'll try to reason with them and of course try to persuade them to believe in Jesus and live by what the Bible says. But even if they choose not to we won't harm them. We won't try to silence them. But there are those today that want to silence those of us who believe in our faith and we believe in what the Bible says. Listen folks. This is why every one of us needs to register and vote. This really matters right now. That's your cue to applaud.

Go for it. Some of you aren't applauding. Well I don't know. It's getting political. Of course I'm getting political.

My faith spills into every area of my life and yours should too. If it should affect everything that I do and everything that I think and yes even the way that I vote. You know some would mischaracterize Christians as wanting to sort of legislate morality.

When in reality for years we've seen immorality legislated in a way. We're actually not trying to do that at all. If anything we don't want more government. We want less government. We want the government to leave us alone because we don't believe government is God. We believe God is God and we believe the gospel has the answers not government. We want the freedom to believe what we believe and we don't want to be silenced. And by the way our founding fathers believe that. Their objective is not to keep church out of state but more to keep state out of church.

People want to fight any influence of faith in the public square. But our founding fathers wanted us to have the freedom to express our faith. And there are people who if elected will try to suppress us from doing this. So we need to register. We need to vote. We need to be informed on issues. Vote for candidates that want us to keep our liberty as Christians to practice our faith.

Vote for candidates that support the life of the unborn child still in the womb. This isn't rocket science. Point number five. When you reject God ruin follows. Verse 21. Though they knew God they did not glorify Him as God nor were they thankful but they became futile in their thoughts and their foolish hearts were darkened. By the way this verse reminds us why we're on this earth to start with.

Why are we on this earth? To glorify God. Psalm 28 says give unto the Lord glory. Give glory and strength that's due to His name.

Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness. And then over in Psalm 107 it says give thanks unto the Lord for He is good and His mercy endures forever. So we are to give glory to God but these people are not glorifying God. They're not giving thanks to God.

Number six. When you reject God you'll lose perspective in the way that you think and live. When you reject God you'll lose perspective in the way you think and live. Verse 22. Claiming to be wise they became utter fools.

And by the way that word fools is a root word moron or moronic. Instead of worshiping the glorious ever living God they worshiped idols. Made to look like mere people and birds and animals and reptiles. Now some people would worship animals. You say well I don't worship animals.

Well what about the bears and the seahawks and the lions and the falcons. Now I'm just kind of kidding about this. A little bit. A little bit.

Let me explain. Nothing wrong with having a team that you love. Nothing wrong with wearing your team colors.

When you get a permanent tattoo in the middle of your forehead with your team logo maybe it's a little excessive. But you know you'll see people at games they're dressed in the colors of their team. They have their face painted and they're screaming and yelling. And then afterwards if their team doesn't win they get in fights with people supporting the other team.

And there's all this emotion. And then someone sees someone at church with one hand lifted up and they'll say that's fanatical. Can we be at least as fanatical about our God as we are about our favorite sports team. At least.

Better yet. Better yet can we not be more fanatical or to use another word more worshipful or glorifying of our God. You know there's a growing trend in our culture today that some experts have defined as pet worship.

You know where I'm going with this right. I mean I love animals as much as the next guy. I've always been an animal lover. Love dogs. Cats you know.

But even cats. I'm OK. I tolerate cats. OK.

I'm tolerant. I actually have a cat in my neighborhood. He shows up. And he's kind of a cool cat.

And he just sort of hangs around. And so he you know he comes because I've given him milk before. So I put a little dish of milk out. And so the other day I went to get him some milk and all I had was almond milk.

Well I. And it was full because who wants to drink almond milk. I don't even know how it got on my fridge.

I didn't buy it. I thought well the cat will never know the difference so I poured almond milk in his bowl. Even the cat didn't want the almond milk. And that made me respect the cat. You know like OK you know what I respect you more because you're a discerning cat. You know the difference between milk from cows and milk from almonds.

Anyway. But nowadays you know people have become so obsessed with their animals right. They want to take them on airplanes. And I understand some people get stressed when they fly. But I saw a picture of someone.

I'm not making this up. Trying to take a peacock on an airplane. Do you know how big a peacock is. In other words someone wanted to take their pig on an airplane.

My wife's done that for years with me but that's another story. But you know. And now dogs. Dogs go everywhere. Dogs are with us at the table. Dogs. You know you're carrying the dog. You push.

You know where I'm going right. You put the dog in the stroller. Just stop that.

Do not put your dog in the stroller. Just don't. Now that's a silly illustration. But we let other things take the place of God. Pastor Greg Laurie. Pointing out the way the culture so easily turns from God.

And begins focusing on other things. And there's more to come in this message called Everybody Needs Jesus Part 1. It's part of our Roman series here on A New Beginning called Relentless Grace.

Well our friend Levi Lusko is here with us today. He and his wife have co-authored The Marriage Devotional. Not A Marriage Devotional. The Marriage Devotional. Levi let's talk about symptoms. We're talking to somebody right now who hears about this book about strengthening marriages.

And they're thinking, yeah, I'm good. You know, our marriage is fine. Hey, no one's hired a divorce lawyer yet. So, Dr. Levi, what would be the symptoms of a marriage that could use a little TLC? You know, a little help and encouragement. A little straight talk from Levi and Jenny.

Yes, the hey it's the Luskos Luskos. Well, you're right. It is a little prideful to call it The Marriage Devotional. But I must confess the reason we chose that article is because we wrote The Marriage Devotional we wished existed.

I've always believed when you write a book you should do so because the book you want to read isn't out there in the world. And Jenny and I are always looking to grow in our marriages. You know, it should be to your point, Dave. Roger Federer had a tennis coach and multiple of them at his last match. So the higher you go in anything, the more coaching is craved. So even if you've been married for a while, you can always tune it up. You can always do better. You can always have and benefit from more training.

I heard Troy Aikman once say he never once threw a single pass in the NFL that wasn't criticized and critiqued afterwards by his coaches. Because that's how you get to the level that you can improve. So, you know, Jenny and I are always trying to grow in our marriage. And we love looking at Pastor Greg and Kathy and talking to them.

And they've helped us so much, especially through the trial of Linyago in heaven with their experience they gained from when Christopher went to be with Jesus. And then we were, you know, looking for a marriage devotional. And some that we read didn't have enough scripture. Some we felt like the authors were never vulnerable and they didn't tell us the real nitty-gritty. Others were too short. Some were too daunting. We thought, hey, what if there was kind of the one ring to rule them all?

And that was what we tried to put into this, blending some of the best ingredients, authenticity, based on scripture. Lots of actionable, tangible, hey, here's what you should go and do right now. Because, you know, you get decades into marriage. You're sitting there on your date night and it's kind of, what do you want to talk about? What do you want to talk about?

How was your day? So we wanted to give people some, hey, ask these five questions that kind of mix it up. And I think they'll be really helpful to people. So, Levi, what are some of those conversation starters you have in your book? Okay, so here's one that says, the conversation starter list is, when I look at you, I see you becoming the one God has called you to be in these areas, blank. So that would be one where they would get to specifically praise growth in their spouse. I would describe the kind of person I feel called to be, but I'm not yet as, blank.

Now, how is my progress in getting there? So then the spouse could actually weigh in and say, well, you know, I see you growing in this area, but this might be holding you back. One is, I have felt God personally growing and changing me as an individual through the process of our marriage in this way. And so now they're getting to do that.

I mean, think about it. If you're waiting for your appetizer to actually be having a conversation like this, it's going to spur you on to a much more interesting and hopefully sanctifying conversation than just kind of, yeah, how was your day, right? Yeah, excellent. So these are some of the insights you'll find in Levi and Jenny Lusko's new book on the topic of marriage, titled The Marriage Devotional. And we want to send this to you for your gift of any size, 52 devotions that you and your spouse can go through together to strengthen your marriage. You know, the reason we offer a book like this, and this is a large book, and I might even add it, it's an expensive book if you order it, and rightly so. It's well worth the price, but we offer it for your gift of any size, which means we want you to have it, but also we want you to be generous when you send that gift because we will use it to get the gospel out and teach the Word of God to more people and how needed that is today. So order your copy of The Marriage Devotional from Jenny and Levi Lusko from us here at A New Beginning.

Yeah, that's right. We have a copy waiting for you. And thanks so much for partnering with us to help change lives. Mention The Marriage Devotional when you call us with your donation at 1-800-821-3300. Call anytime 24-7. That's 1-800-821-3300. Or write A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514.

Or just go online to Well, next time, Pastor Greg brings us more great insight from our study in the book of Romans called Relentless Grace. Join us here on A New Beginning with pastor and Bible feature Greg Lord. 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. Share a view on your favorite podcast app and help others find hope.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-21 05:05:53 / 2023-04-21 05:16:42 / 11

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