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Every Generation Needs Jesus | In Need of Grace

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
May 26, 2023 3:00 am

Every Generation Needs Jesus | In Need of Grace

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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May 26, 2023 3:00 am

Some people think Jesus is for people who can’t get through life on their own. Many believers can’t imagine trying to get through life on our own. But the more important fact is Jesus is for those who can’t get to Heaven on their own. And we’re all in that category. Today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie continues our study series in Romans called Relentless Grace with insight on how the Gospel needs to be shared with everyone. . . because we’re all in need of that grace.

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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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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. See this, the up and the outers need Jesus too. The person that seems to have it all together on the outside, that person needs the Lord.

You might be down and out, you might be up and out, but hey, you're still out. But Jesus says, come on in. Some people think Jesus is for people who can't get through life on their own. Many believers can't imagine trying to get through life on our own. But the more important fact is Jesus is for those who can't get to heaven on their own, and we're all in that category.

Today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie continues our study series in Romans called Relentless Grace, with insight on how the gospel needs to be shared with everyone, because we're all in need of that grace. I told you the story not too long ago about two brothers that were arguing. One was the biological son to the parents, the other was adopted. So the son who was born to the parents said to his brother, you know what, our parents love me more than they love you because I'm their actual biological son. You were adopted. The adopted boy said, well, they chose me.

They got stuck with you. Did you know that you have been chosen by God himself? Before your parents are born, before their parents are born, before their parents were born, before our first parents were on planet earth, Adam and Eve. Before there was a planet earth and the councils of eternity, God Almighty chose you.

He chose you to be his child. That's mind bending if you stop and think about it, because God knows all things, you see. God is omniscient. That's a word that just means all knowing. Imagine for a moment if you were omniscient. You knew everything about everything and everyone. I'm not so sure I'd like to be if I could be. I would hate to know what people really think of me sometimes. But if you knew what the future would be and you knew what horse would win that race and who would win the Super Bowl and who would medal in the Olympics or whatever, you knew all things.

Well, if you were a betting person, I'm sure you would bet on the winning horse, not the losing horse. Yet, God chose you. Because if anyone knows how big of a failure you are, it's you. If anyone knows how big of a failure I am, it's me and my wife. We know better than anyone our own shortcomings, yet God chose us, so we think, wow, why would God choose me? I mean, what merit or goodness or quality did God see in me that caused him to choose me?

I hope this doesn't disappoint you. It's not based on anything you did. You don't deserve it.

I don't deserve it. I think the reason God chose us is the same reason he chose the nation Israel, the Jewish people. He said in Deuteronomy 7, I did not set my love upon you or choose you because you were more in number.

You were actually less. I chose you because I loved you. Why did God choose you? Because he loves you.

Know this. God loves you. God shows you. Now we start thinking, yeah, but how did he choose us? On what basis did he choose us?

And do we have any say so as to who gets chosen and who isn't chosen? And I want you to know the greatest theological minds have debated this for centuries, and I am going to resolve it right here, right now, today. Someone is thinking, really? You think so?

No, I don't think so. There are good people on both sides of this theological debate, but I think what we need to do is all agree on this fact. We have been chosen by God and we should rejoice that we have been chosen by God. Now sometimes when we talk about this we talk about the elect. The elect is a phrase that would be used to describe those who were chosen as compared to the non-elect.

And so one person put it this way, quote, try to explain election and you may lose your mind. Try to explain it away and you may lose your soul, end quote. So what was the basis for the choice of God? Some would say it is irresistible grace. This would be the Calvinistic view. The reformed view. Irresistible grace. They would say God's irresistible grace has been extended. You have no choice in the matter.

You actually can't resist it. And some would even say they believe in something called double predestination. Meaning that God already chose who is going to go to heaven and who is going to go to hell. And we have no say so in the matter. So God is sitting up there in heaven and He is saying, heaven, heaven, hell.

I don't mean you. I don't want to alarm anyone. I will just gesture up this way. Heaven, heaven, hell, hell, hell, hell, heaven, heaven, hell, hell. So it is just you are going to hell. You are going to heaven.

You have nothing to say about it. God decides. And they would even believe some in something called limited atonement. Meaning that Christ only died for the elect or the chosen ones. So if you are not one of the elect, actually Christ did not die for you at all.

Let me just say at the outset I disagree with these views. I believe that Jesus Christ died for the sin of all of the world. Jesus put it best when He said, for God so loved the world. He gave His only begotten Son and whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. Earlier in Romans we read Paul writing, Romans 5, when we were without strength in due time Christ died for the ungodly. Scarcely for a righteous man one will die. Perhaps for a good man some would dare to die. But God demonstrated His love toward us.

That while we were yet sinners He died for us. Irresistible grace. I think you can resist the grace of God. Because you have a human will. In fact Stephen even said to the members of the Sanhedrin before they stoned him, why do you resist the Holy Spirit? Don't tell me it is irresistible.

It can be resisted. Christ died for the whole world. And the truth is eternal life is available to anybody who wants it. There are so many verses that support that view. In Revelation 22 17 Jesus says, whoever will let him come and believe.

And so it is extended to everyone. Here is the thing that it is hard for people to accept. Predestination, meaning God chose you, and the free will of man are both taught in the Bible.

Sometimes they are placed side by side. So we feel we have to choose one or the other. But I don't think so.

Here is the bottom line. God wants all people to believe. He is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. God extends His mercy to you. But you must receive that mercy. He is choosing you.

Will you choose Him? See if you extrapolate this out and take it too far some would even say well I can't even tell a person God loves them. Because if they are not one of the elect and I tell them God loves them I might be giving false assurance to one of the non-elect. And I am afraid to go and just tell people to believe in Jesus because if they are not one of the predestined ones and they believe they are actually going to hell.

Are you kidding me? But this is the kind of theological pretzel people get themselves wrapped up in over this topic. Listen it is not for us to worry about who is chosen and who is not chosen. Our job, our commission given to us by Jesus is to go into all the world and preach the gospel.

G.L. Moody was a great evangelist. I like him for maybe four reasons. Number one he was an evangelist. Number two he was bald. Number three he was fat. And number four he was considered to be a bit illiterate.

So I relate to this guy. But he was a far greater evangelist than I will ever be but he made this statement and I like it. He said Lord save the elect and then elect some more.

That is good. I am not going to worry about who the elect are, so called the chosen ones are. I am just going to preach the gospel and I believe the ones that have been chosen by God will believe. You want to know how to determine if you are one of the chosen ones?

Believe in Jesus Christ and you will confirm you have been chosen by God. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. Be sure to sign up as soon as possible at Israel.harvest.org.

Again it is Israel.harvest.org. Hope to see you there. And now Pastor Greg continues his message from Romans chapter 9 called Every Generation Needs Jesus. Everybody needs to hear the gospel no matter who they are. Everybody needs to hear the gospel no matter who they are.

Now we will think the down and outers need to hear it. Go up to Skid Row and preach the gospel to them those people with all of their problems. Go into the prisons. Go into the jails. Preach to those people. Hopefully they will get converted and not rob me anymore. Right?

Yeah. Go to the down and outers. Well yes the down and outers need Jesus. Thank God you are never so down or so out that He won't reach out and save you. But listen to this. The up and the outers need Jesus too.

The person that seems to have it all together on the outside. That person needs the Lord. You might be down and out. You might be up and out.

But hey you are still out. But Jesus says come on in. Everybody needs to hear this. Every generation needs to hear it. Every baby boomer needs to hear the gospel.

Every millennial needs to hear the gospel. By the way so much is made about the baby boom generation and the millennial generation. I read an article that said that generation X is feeling left out. I read an article that said baby boomers and the rising wave of millennials are hogging the spotlight while generation X is struggling. Sorry generation X.

You need Jesus too. Every generation does. And now on the heels of the millennial generation we have generation Z. They have been described by experts as the loneliest generation.

I think the challenges and pressures that young people are facing today are in many ways unprecedented. A lot of that has to do with social media. You know I was an early adopter of these smart phones. I was very excited about them. Now I wish I could gather them all together in one place and destroy them. Because I think in so many ways they are ruining our lives. And they are having a very detrimental effect on the lives of young people that live in a virtual world. And in this virtual world they live in they are not able to communicate with one another. We have never been more connected and disconnected at the same time.

And I think young kids will see how many followers they have on social media or look at somebody else on Pinterest or Instagram. And oh wow look at them. They are living the perfect life. And my life sucks.

What is wrong? And they communicate through texting more than they communicate through face-to-face conversations. And maybe that is one of the reasons that the anxiety and the depression is so high among young people today.

And maybe that is one of the reasons why the suicide rate is going up not plateauing and certainly not going down. But every generation needs to hear the gospel. Psalm 145 verse 4 says, Let each generation tell its children your mighty acts.

Let them proclaim your power. Baby boomers. Generation X. Millennials. Generation Z. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. The answer is Jesus for every generation.

Number two. The religious person needs the gospel as much as the pagan person. By pagan I mean the non-believer. Religious person. Paul is addressing the Jewish mindset in verse 6.

He says, So wait then. Has God failed to fulfill His promise to Israel? No.

Not at all. Those who are born into the nation of Israel are truly members of God's people. Being descendants of Abraham doesn't make them truly Abraham's children.

So basically saying, look, just because you are born a Jew doesn't mean you really understand what it means to be Jewish and what it means to have a relationship with God. You could apply that to Christians too. I think sometimes people think, well, I was raised in a Christian home. I must be a Christian.

No. You were just raised in a Christian home. Sometimes some of the worst sinners are people raised in Christian homes because they rebelled against it. And sometimes some of the greatest saints come from Christian homes.

It just depends on the person. We love to put all the blame on the parents but we have a say-so in how we go in life regardless of how we were raised or maybe not raised. But you need to have your own faith. You can't live off the faith of your parents. You can't live off the faith of your spouse or somebody else. You need your own relationship with Jesus Christ. And here is the funny thing.

One of the easiest places to get your heart hardened to the gospel is actually in church. You are in a dangerous place right now. Did you know that? You probably didn't think so.

It is dangerous in this regard. As you hear the truth of the gospel, you hear the truth of the Word of God, but you decide if you are going to be responsive or resistant to it. Some of you. I don't know why you are here. You came here to make someone happy. You came here because your wife said, if you don't come to church with me, I will never feed you again. So here you are. You are here to make your parents happy. You are here to make your kids happy or a friend happy. But you are not open to what I am saying.

You are just thinking, just come on. End. Please. I am praying.

End. You have your arms folded. Everyone with their arms folded.

They are not folded. You are just kind of blowing this off. You are living another kind of life thinking about what you are going to do after you get out of here. Did you know it is a bad thing to have that attitude and come to church and hear the Word of God because your heart can get hard in the place where it ought to be getting soft. The same sun that softens the wax hardens the clay. Example. The Pharaoh of Egypt. And he is spoken of here in chapter 9 verse 17. The scriptures say that God told Pharaoh, I have appointed you for this very purpose of displaying My power in you and to spread My fame throughout the earth. So you see God chooses to show mercy to some and He chooses to harden the hearts of others so they refuse to listen. So we are talking about the Pharaoh.

Remember him? Moses went to him and demanded the release of the Jews from his captivity. Moses did some pretty amazing miracles in front of the Pharaoh including taking his staff, throwing it to the ground and it becomes a snake. The Pharaoh had these magicians that worked for him and somehow they were able to replicate some of these miracles and they threw their staffs to the ground and they became snakes. But then Moses' staff that became a snake ate their snakes showing the power of God. Then Moses took his staff and touched it to the Nile River and it turned to blood. And the magicians of Pharaoh took what little water was left and turned it to blood.

Maybe it would have been a better idea to turn the bloody water back to good water again. But whoever said that sin makes sense. Hashtag sin makes you stupid. Well my point is Pharaoh watched this and we read and Pharaoh hardened his heart. Another miracle. Pharaoh hardened his heart.

Another miracle. Pharaoh hardened his heart. Pharaoh hardened his heart. Then all of a sudden God hardened Pharaoh's heart.

God hardened Pharaoh's heart. Wait. What? Contradiction.

No. Two sides of one coin. Yeah Pharaoh was the one that decided he was going to harden his heart in the presence of God. And then God simply confirmed Pharaoh in the decision that he already made. This phrase for God hardening Pharaoh's heart could be better translated God strengthened Pharaoh.

He strengthened him in the decision he had already made. You see Pharaoh dedicated himself to evil in direct opposition to God's redemptive plan. He chose evil. God did not choose it for him. He had opportunity after opportunity to repent but he chose not to. So we can't say oh God did this to Pharaoh.

Pharaoh did it to himself. And the Lord confirmed him in the decision he had already made. Yes our hearts can get hard in church even because the author of Hebrews writes in Hebrews 3.12 to believers. Be careful then dear brothers and sisters. Make sure that your own hearts are not evil and unbelieving.

Turning you away from the living God you need to warn each other every day while it is still called today so none of you will be deceived and hardened against God. Yes it's available on DVD now. Pastor Greg you've probably seen the film more times than nearly anyone having been there during the entire production of the film from start to finish.

Yes. Let me ask you what scene in particular stands out to you? What's a memorable moment to you? One of my favorite scenes in the film Dave is when Chuck is with his daughter Jen. And Jen wasn't really walking closely with the Lord in the film version of her life and in the story of Jesus revolution. And she was a believer but she was disillusioned. She was wondering why Christians weren't more loving. And one day her dad comes home from a church service and he was a little discouraged at that particular moment in the story. And he's getting ready to eat the food that's left on the table for him by his wife Kay. And then there's Jen standing there and they have a conversation. And I love what she says to her father.

So picture this for a moment. Chuck is sitting at the table. Across from the table is his daughter Jen and she says this to her father. You're out past curfew. You okay? Oh I'm alright babe. I know I've been distracted. I haven't been around a lot.

No dad stop. I have something that I want to say to you. See I was almost done with this whole Christianity thing. I was like where's the love you know? What are we even doing here? Where is Jesus in all of this? He seemed like a radical dude.

I'd like him but this I don't know. But then you did what nobody else would even dare to do. You let the hippies in.

Come to find out Jesus came in with them. And you know what? I'm proud of you. You opened yourself up to something you didn't understand. And I've changed because of it.

Thousands of us. But you don't have to carry it all. Okay? Don't lose yourself in all of it.

Also don't do drugs. I love that statement Jen makes to her dad. When the hippies came in Jesus came with them. Now that is not to imply that Jesus wasn't in their church and wasn't working in their church. But it's sort of showing how Jen was seeing things. That she was a disillusioned church kid but these young people coming to Christ impacted her.

And then she wanted to be closer to the Lord and made a recommitment to Christ as a result. Beautiful story. Beautiful scene. And we want you to see it instead of just listen to it. And that is now possible because the Jesus Revolution film is available on DVD and we want to send you a copy. Now I know it's out there streaming already. Some of you may have already watched it on some streaming platform like Apple or Amazon. But listen. The Jesus Revolution DVD is special for a couple of reasons.

Number one it has bonus content. Including something that I think is very important. It's a special message I filmed as the sun was setting on the beach where I present the gospel.

And I even have a prayer that a person can pray to accept Christ. There's other bonus content on this film as well. And you can show it to as many people as you want. And we will send you this special harvest edition of the Jesus Revolution film for your gift of any size. That helps us to continue to preach the gospel and teach the Word of God. So order your copy right now. And you can see that scene with Chuck and his daughter and your own personal copy of Jesus Revolution on DVD.

Yeah that's right. So get in touch with us today. Our phone number is 1-800-821-3300. We'll send the DVD your way along with a free streaming code to thank you for your donation right now. And thanks for keeping in mind that this resource costs us more than is generally the case.

So your generosity is certainly appreciated right now. Again call us anytime at 1-800-821-3300. Or write A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514. Or go online to Harvest.org. You know there's nothing like hearing the Word of God and worshiping the Lord together. I want to encourage you to join us for something we call Harvest at Home. It happens every Saturday and Sunday at Harvest.org. You can join Christians from around the world as we worship and we study the Word of God together.

So join us for Harvest at Home at Harvest.org. Well join us next time for more insight on the way the gospel offers hope to every generation. Join us here on A New Beginning with pastor and Bible teacher, Greg Laurie. This is the day, the day when life begins. A New Beginning is a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners, helping people everywhere know God. If this show has impacted your life, share your story, leave a review on your favorite podcast app, and help others find hope.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-26 05:19:34 / 2023-05-26 05:28:51 / 9

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