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. Well, you know what the worst sin of all is? The worst sin of all is unbelief. That's the worst sin, unbelief. All other sin can be forgiven.
But if you will not believe, what's in? Some people look at sin the way some count calories. That sin? No, that's nothing. That's like a broccoli sin.
You can do that one. It doesn't even count. That other sin? Oh, no, no, no. That's a hot fudge sundae sin.
Stay away from that one. Well, the truth is we should count sin less like calories and more like poison. Sin kills. The wages of sin is death. And today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie helps us see the antidote.
This is the day, the day when life begins. Turn to Romans chapter 1. The title of my message is Everybody Needs Jesus. And if we learn nothing else from the first chapters of Romans, we will discover that we're all sinful. It's like Paul is systematically trying to show everybody falls short and that's why the gospel is so powerful because we all need it in our life. So 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. Salvation is not earned, but it's 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. Notice it does not say the just shall live by feelings.
Our feelings can really mislead us, right? I mean, you can have all kinds of emotional reactions to all kinds of things, and you need to understand that the Christian life is a walk of faith. This salvation that God has given us is given because God loves us. 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, and He will make Himself known to every person who really wants to know Him. 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, rampant 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're spitting in God's face, and they don't care.
Wow. 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. 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. God will not force you to believe, but rather will let you go your own way. Verse 24.
He abandoned them. Okay, you guys, go for it. You don't want me? You don't want to glorify me? You don't want to give thanks to me? I won't impose my will on you.
Go ahead and live the way that you want to live. He abandoned them. Verse 24. To whatever shameful things their hearts desired, and as a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other's bodies. Now, Paul goes on to focus on a number of sins. He talks about greed, he talks about envy, murder, strife, slander, homosexuality in verses 26 and 27.
Here's the point that Paul is making. All sins separate you from God, including immorality. All kinds of immorality. And by the way, in Rome at this time, it was so depraved, women were treated as mere objects, in some ways like slaves. Babies were discarded at will. In Greek and Roman culture, after a woman had a baby, she would go to her husband. And if the husband approved, the child would live. If the husband refused the child, the babies would be put to death. Not directly killed, but they would place the newborn baby in a clay pot or a jar out on the front door and they would desert it. You see, they just discarded children. They had no respect for life. So, here's the point.
This was a corrupt, wicked place to live. But now Paul sort of shifts gears. So in chapter 1, he's kind of talking more to the pagan mindset, the person who has no faith in God. But now he kind of goes to the more religious person. The moralist.
And he kind of throws them under the bus too. Because if it's immorality without God, it doesn't make you good enough to get to heaven. Romans 2, verse 1.
I'm reading now from the New Living Translation to verse 4. You may think you can condemn such people, but you are just as bad. You have no excuse. When you say they are wicked and should be punished, you're condemning yourself. For you who judge others do the very same things. We know that God in His justice will punish anyone who does such things. Since you judge others for doing these things, why do you think you can avoid God's judgment?
When you do the same things. Don't you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, impatient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can't you see it's the goodness of God that brings you to repentance?
Bottom line. Everybody needs Jesus. In John chapter 3 is a story of the religious, educated, moral leader Nicodemus.
A man that was sought out for his advice. But a man who despite his religiosity had a big hole in his heart. And he came to Jesus one night and they had a conversation. And it resulted in Nicodemus' conversion. After John 3 is John 4. Which I think is the inside of the day, don't you? After John 3 is John 4.
Anyway. And what does John 4 tell us? It's the story of the woman at the well. The exact opposite of Nicodemus. This is an immoral woman. Married and divorced five times.
Living with some guy. And she has a hole in her heart just like Nicodemus did. And so Jesus enters her world and changes her and she becomes a believer. Two very different people. One a man and the other a woman. One moral. One immoral. Both needed Jesus.
Why do I bring this up? Because everybody needs Jesus. That's why we should not be ashamed of the gospel of Christ.
For it is the power of God. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. Emails, phone calls and messages from listeners are so encouraging to us.
And they let us know the effectiveness of these studies. Pastor Greg. I first heard you on the radio in the 1990s. I'd go through the different stations just to hear you preach. Your messages about Jesus helped me in such a huge way.
To get through some really hard times. It was the highlight of my day just to listen to you. My kids remember and comment on your voice. My son calls it the Jesus voice.
I have found that there's nothing impossible through Jesus Christ. God bless you and your family. Has Pastor Greg heard from you? Why not call us and share your story? Here's the number. 1-866-871-1144.
866-871-1144. And now Pastor Greg continues his message called, Everybody Needs Jesus, Part 1. It's really not important to fixate on what particular sin a person is involved in. The issue is they need Jesus. The immoral person needs Jesus. The moral person needs Jesus. The man, he needs Jesus. The woman, she needs Jesus.
Everybody needs Jesus. That's really what Paul is saying in Romans chapter 1. Now we classify some sins as worse than others. Oh, if you do this, that's really bad. Well you know what the worst sin of all is?
You might be surprised by my answer. The worst sin of all is unbelief. That's the worst sin.
Unbelief. Why is that the worst sin? Because all other sin can be forgiven.
But if you will not believe, what then? That by the way is what the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is. Jesus said all manner of sin will be forgiven people. Except the person who blasphemes the Holy Spirit, that's the unforgivable sin. What is the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit? Well the Holy Spirit, a member of the Trinity, has come to convict and convince us of our sin.
The Holy Spirit has come to show us our need for Jesus and to bring us to Him. If I reject the work of the Holy Spirit or blaspheme or insult Him, I'm effectively saying I don't need Jesus. I don't want Jesus. And I don't want to believe in Jesus. That's the unforgivable sin. If I can't believe in Jesus, there's no hope because the Bible says how can we escape if we neglect so great a salvation. Yes, as Christians we need to give the bad news but don't forget the good news. The bad news is you're a sinner.
The good news is there is a Savior. Years ago I was in Hawaii on Oahu walking down Kalakaua Boulevard. You ever been there?
I mean drag there on Waikiki. And there's a guy standing on some steps. He has a sign. It says the wages of sin is death.
And he had flames painted on it for effect. And he was yelling at people, God hates you. God will judge you.
I'm thinking, what is wrong with this guy? And so I stood there and watched him rant for a while and then I said, excuse me, God will judge you. Excuse me, God will destroy you.
Excuse me, what? I said, I was looking at your sign there, yeah. I said, it says the wages of sin are death? Yes. Why don't you finish the verse?
Because it goes on to say, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. You know, flip it around, right? Then he told me I was going to hell so you know. So I killed him. Now, let me explain.
No, that's a joke I did. But I mean, come on. That's a guy misrepresenting God. Only giving the negative, not giving the positive. So don't just give the bad news, give the good news. But listen to this. Don't just give the good news and forget the bad news.
Right? And this is probably what more deal with. We'll say, oh, God loves you. Jesus will forgive you. He'll change you. You'll be fulfilled. You'll find the meaning and purpose of life. And then, yeah, I love it. I don't really want to believe in Jesus. I'm pretty happy as it is. So what happens to me if I don't believe in Jesus?
You respond, do you like warm climates? Wait, what? Are you really that terrified to tell the truth? You might have to use the H word.
What is that? Well, there's a hell. Oh, there's a heaven, but there's a hell. And the last thing God wants to do is to see anyone end up in hell. That's why he sent Jesus to die in our place and take his judgment upon himself. Earlier in the message, I asked the question, would you as a parent die for your child?
Well, of course, most of us would. God did something even more amazing than that. He sent his son to die for us. How easily God could have said, look, turn from your sin. Oh, you want to?
Okay, then just face the consequences. He says, no, turn from your sin. Listen, I'm gonna go to the next level. I want you to do this so bad, I'm gonna send my own son. My son, my beloved son. My only begotten son. I'm gonna give him for you. You don't deserve it, but because I love you so much, I'm gonna give him for you, and he's gonna die for you. And if you'll just turn from your sin and believe in him, you can spend all eternity with me. What a deal. If you reject that, that's craziness.
And I want to close the service by extending that invitation. Maybe you need Christ in your life. Everybody needs Jesus.
I don't care who you are. You're not good enough to get to heaven. Because one sin is enough to keep you out. That's why you need Jesus. So we're gonna pray in a moment. And I'm going to extend an invitation for you to believe in Jesus and be forgiven of all of your sin. If you need him in your life today, here's your chance.
To have your slate wiped clean and have a fresh start in life. So we're all gonna pray right now. Please, everyone pray with me. Father, thank you for your word to us today.
Lord Jesus, thank you for coming and dying on the cross for us and rising again from the dead. And now you stand at the door of our life and you knock. And you say, if we'll hear your voice and open the door, you'll come in. I pray for any person here or watching that does not yet know you. Help them to see their need for you. Help them to come to you.
Help them to be forgiven by you. In Jesus' name I pray, amen. An important word of prayer from Pastor Greg Laurie. And if you need to make a change in your relationship with the Lord, Pastor Greg will help you do that before today's edition of A New Beginning concludes.
So please stay with us. The title of today's message is Everybody Needs Jesus, Part One. Look for that title online at harvest.org if you'd like to get an instant replay. Again, that's at harvest.org. Or, why not subscribe to our daily podcast?
It's free of charge. Just go to Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, or Spotify. Well Pastor Greg, we have a special guest in the studio today, a good friend of the ministry. Maybe you could provide the introduction. Well Levi Lusko is our guest right now and he's written a brand new book called The Marriage Devotional.
He wrote it along with his wife and he deals with a lot of very important topics including parenting. Boy, is that challenging today right now. So Levi, you have a lot of experience. You have five children.
One is in heaven, little Lenya. And you have daughters and now a son. Tell us a little bit about the challenges of parenting and give some advice on how to do it better. Well, there's definitely a struggle and a learning curve there, Pastor Greg. But, you know, a lot of marriages make the mistake, unfortunately, of de-prioritizing the marriage the moment a child comes along.
And it's easy, you know. Johnny's gotta get to soccer and Ruth's got piano lessons and all this. And pretty soon the marriage ends up on the back burner and is not the source of strength that it needs to be for the kids to have the confidence they need to have. And something as simple and as practical as asking the question, is there a child sleeping between you? Child-centric parenting is a tragedy because putting the kid in the middle, putting the kid where they're kind of like, hey, they cry when we go on date nights so we don't go on date nights. They would put up a fuss if we went out of town together and did a marriage retreat so we're not gonna do it. And I've talked to child counselors who say that's too much weight to put on a child. Ironically, the kid may cry when you go out for a date night but they're also gonna develop the confidence that, hey, this home isn't about me.
It doesn't rotate and revolve around me. My parents care more about Jesus and each other and that gives me hope going out into the world that one day I'm gonna find a marriage like that myself. And you don't want the empty nest season to expose an emptiness in your marriage. So you wanna maintain that connectivity all throughout those years and it's a little bit of a hot take culturally speaking but if there's a child literally sleeping between you then there's not things happening in the marriage bed that should be happening that's gonna help you guys stay meaningfully connected and the devil will be able to get in between you two. Wow, great and practical insights from Levi Lusko from his new book The Marriage Devotional. Order your copy from us right now and we'll send it to you for your gift of any size.
Yeah, that's right. And the subtitle is 52 Days to Strengthen the Soul of Your Marriage. You can read them once per day or once per week if you'd like. Practical biblical counsel to take your marriage to the next level. And when you partner with us so these daily studies can continue we'll be glad to send this resource to thank you and we'll only be able to mention this resource a short time longer. So give us a call today at 1-800-821-3300 that's a 24-7 phone number 1-800-821-3300 or just go online to harvest.org. Well Pastor Greg, a few moments ago you spoke of the need to get our hearts right with God.
Right. Could you help someone who wants to do that right now? Yes, I'd be delighted to. Listen, as you've listened to this program today maybe something's been happening inside of your heart where you're sensing I need to do this personally but how do I do it and what do I do? Let me help you. It's very simple.
In fact, it's so simple you may be shocked. God, this relationship with him is just a prayer away. The Bible says if you will call upon the name of the Lord you'll be saved. So I'd like to lead you in a prayer where you do just that. You call on the name of the Lord. You know, sometimes when I'm talking with someone one-on-one and they want to accept Jesus Christ I'll have them pray a prayer after me.
Maybe you'd like to do that right now. Thousands have done this over the years listening to our broadcast and the Lord has changed our lives and it can happen for you right now. This can be the moment where you change your eternal address literally from hell to heaven. I'll pray a simple prayer and I would just ask you to pray this prayer out loud if you like. After me, just 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 me and rose again from the dead. Jesus, I choose to follow you from this moment forward. In your name I pray. Amen.
I know. It's such a simple, short prayer but you just called on the name of the Lord and you know what? He heard that prayer and if you meant that prayer in your heart he answered that prayer. Now let me help you to get started on the right foot in your new life in Jesus Christ. The greatest adventure awaits you. The life of walking with God. I want to send you what we call a New Believers Growth Pack. What is that? Well, first of all, it's a copy of the new New Believers Bible.
And by that I mean we have redone this from ground level up. I've rewritten the notes and it's a new living translation with a lot of notes on how to grow spiritually woven through this unique edition of scripture. So I'll send you the New Believers Pack that includes the New Believers Bible and a whole lot more.
And let me be the first to say to you congratulations and welcome to the family of God. And to get that free New Believers Growth Pack just ask for it if you've prayed along with Pastor Greg to receive Christ today. We'll be glad to send one your way. Just call us at 1-800-821-3300.
We're here around the clock. That's 1-800-821-3300. Or go online to harvest.org and click the words Know God. And while you're online with us why not begin receiving Pastor Greg's daily devotions via email every day. They're free of charge. We'll send them to the email address you provide for us.
And when they arrive you can read them or with one click listen to the audio version. Sign up today free of charge at harvest.org. Next time Pastor Greg helps us take a look at the destructive power of self-righteousness. We'll learn to recognize its danger and avoid it in our own walk of faith. Join us here on A New Beginning with Pastor and Bible teacher Greg Lord. This is the day, the day when life begins. Hey everybody, thanks for listening to A New Beginning. This is a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners. So for more content that can help you know God and equip you to make Him known to others or to learn more about how you can become a Harvest Partner just go to harvest.org.
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