Share This Episode
A New Beginning Greg Laurie Logo

The World Changer at the End of the World, Part 1 | Last Days Believer

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
August 9, 2023 3:00 am

The World Changer at the End of the World, Part 1 | Last Days Believer

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 2117 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.


August 9, 2023 3:00 am

The world has been through a hailstorm of crisis and calamity...sickness, death, economic upheaval, uncertainty about the future. Hope may seem in short supply. But today on A NEW BEGINNING, we’ll see it’s only in short supply if we’re going to the wrong supplier. Pastor Greg Laurie introduces us to a man who faced an epic challenge but depended on God’s provision to see him through. We’ll learn to follow in his footsteps as Pastor Greg introduces this Last Days believer.

Listen on harvest.org

---

Learn more and subscribe to Harvest updates at harvest.org .

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 .

Support the show: https://harvest.org/support

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

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. We live on promises, not explanations, so we should not spend too much time wondering why. Instead of saying why, we should say who, as in who do I turn to? You turn to the Lord.

Because the Bible says He's the God of all comfort. The world has been through a hailstorm of crisis and calamity, sickness, death, economic upheaval, uncertainty about the future. Hope may seem in short supply, but today on A New Beginning, we'll see it's only in short supply if we're going to the wrong supplier. Pastor Greg Laurie introduces us to a man who faced an epic challenge, but depended on God's provision to see him through. We'll learn to follow in his footsteps as Pastor Greg introduces this last day's believer.

This is the day, the day when life begins. Well the guy I want to focus on, well everyone knows the story, his name was Noah. He was a last day's believer because he was living in the time before the flood came. Why did the flood come? Why did God send judgment on the earth the first time? The answer is found in Genesis 6.

I want you to turn over there if you would. Genesis 6. First book of the Bible.

Genesis 6 5 gives us a description of the world and the days of Noah. Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth and that every intent of his thoughts was only evil continually. You might underline that. Only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry he made man on the earth and he was grieved in his heart.

I'd underline that too. I'll come back to it. So the Lord said I'll destroy man whom I've created from the face of the earth.

Man at peace creeping in birds of the air. I'm sorry I made them. We'll stop there. What exactly was going on here on planet earth to bring God's wrath so heavily? Genesis 6 5 gives the answer.

The Lord saw the wickedness of man was great in the earth and every intent of the thought of his heart was only evil continually. And God said he's grieved. Now it's interesting that the word grieved is used here in verse 6. You only grieve for those you love. You don't grieve when some random person cuts you off on the road. You get angry maybe.

Upset. But it doesn't grieve you. It grieves you when your child is disrespectful or goes astray or someone you love or care about says or does something that hurts you. You're grieved only by the people you love.

Right? So the fact that God uses the word grieved shows us that this is hurting the heart of God because he loves humanity. God takes no pleasure in bringing judgment on anyone. So then our immediate response is well then why does God send judgment? Okay here's the answer.

You ready? God sends judgment because he is loving and just. No, no. How could a God of love judge anyone? That's our default response.

No I'm telling you God sends judgment because he's loving and just. Let me illustrate. Let's say that you had your small toddler playing in your backyard and suddenly a wolf appeared. Climbed over your fence. Fangs showing and was running full speed toward your daughter. Toward your child. Toward your son.

What would you do? I would like love the wolf. No, no. Kill the wolf.

Right? Stop the wolf. Why? Because you love your child. You love your child more than anyone or anything else or if they came to harm your spouse or harm someone you care about you protect that. No the wolf is our brother. No the wolf is not your brother. The wolf's a wild animal and you need to stop thinking crazy thoughts like that. Alright so because you love your child you protect them.

You hate that which would harm your child so in effect you bring judgment. And so their wickedness was great. They just wouldn't stop. It just became more and more intense. But wait did these people have an opportunity to believe?

Listen to this. God is going to judge people according to the light that they have received. But I suggest to you we've received a lot more light than people realize. As an example we have the light if you will of nature. Just the handiwork of God surrounding us speaking of his power and his creative ability.

I mean to me it takes more faith to say there's no God and this all happened randomly than it takes to say I believe that there's a creator behind all of these things. Have any of you ever seen the Sistine Chapel? Raise your hand if you have. A few people.

Quite a few of you. Okay pretty magnificent right? Well how did that even come to be? Well we all know Michelangelo painted it. It took him a long time.

What have I told you? Well I don't believe a guy named Michelangelo painted it. I think there was a wagon full of buckets of paint. Somebody threw a stick of dynamite in it and it blew up. I call it the big bang theory.

And the beautiful fresco on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel appeared. You think what are you crazy? Oh you see that 747 over there?

That wasn't created by the engineers at Boeing. I believe that there was a tornado in a junkyard. And that's the result. You would dismiss me as a lunatic. But yet we'll take something as amazing as creation or even the human body and say well it happened randomly.

I have a hard time seeing that. I think it takes more faith to not believe than it takes to believe. Romans 1 18 says God shows His anchor from heaven against wicked people who push the truth away from themselves because He's put this knowledge in their heart. From the time the world was created people have seen the earth and the sky and all that God made so they have no excuse for not knowing God. By the way at this time earth was in much better shape than it is now. Now if you go to a beautiful place like Hawaii you see the handiwork of God in a sunset.

People just sit out there and wait for the sun to set. It's just so amazing. That's something the Lord does for us. But at this time historically things were still in a quasi-Eden like state. We're closer to God's original creation than we are now. So the power of God was on display.

They had all of that. Number two we have the testimony of conscience or the light of conscience. Romans 2 14 says even when non-believers who do not have God's written law instinctively follow what the law says they show in their hearts they know right from wrong because God's law is written with them in them in their own consciences accusing them or telling them what they're doing is right. So you say what about the person who's never heard the gospel. Well you have the testimony of nature and you have the testimony of your own conscience. You know instinctively what right and wrong are. And so many of us don't even live according to those dictates. Some will say I don't like organized religion.

What does that even mean? I don't like organized religion. Oh do you like disorganized chaos instead? And what's your definition of organized religion? Praying a prayer.

Opening the Bible. I don't like anything organized. Okay. So what do you live? I live by my own standards. I suggest you don't even live by your own standards. I think you break your own rules so you make new rules up.

And then you break those don't you? So you have the testimony of nature. You have the testimony of your own conscience. And these people have the promise of a redeemer. God had revealed to Adam and Eve there was coming one who would crush the head of the serpent who had deceived them. And of course that was a reference to the arrival of Jesus. And fourthly they had the people of the godly lives of Adam and Eve. Even though Adam and Eve sinned they still walked with the Lord after this. So they had that testimony. And so God will judge you according to the light you have received.

Point number three. Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. Genesis 6 says simply that Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. Now does that mean God had grace on Noah because he lived a righteous life?

No actually it's the reversal of that. The word grace means God's unmerited favor. Because he received God's grace. He responded to the grace that God extended toward him. He experienced it. God loves us and wants a relationship with us.

So he found grace or favor in the eyes of the Lord. Look the only way a person comes into a relationship with God is by admitting their own need. And that's hard for a lot of people. We don't want to say I need God. I'm strong.

I can do this on my own. Aaron Rogers in that interview went on to say you know I think that Christianity is a crutch. Crutch? It's a whole hospital man. I need more than a crutch.

I need everything. I need every piece of equipment in that spiritual hospital. I have no shame in saying I need God. I'm not embarrassed to say I depend on God.

We all should. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. Hearing about listeners who find Jesus because of the ministry of Harvest is so encouraging. Pastor Greg, I was saved as a five year old little girl while listening to you preach the gospel.

It was 1995 at Angel Stadium. And I knew even at that age that I needed to make my way down for the altar call. It's a day I will never forget. Even down to the Harvest Crusade counselor who prayed with me and my parents. I am now serving Jesus every day and walking out my calling. I just watched your movie Jesus Revolution and cried watching your story unfold. I'm so grateful that you accepted the call to Jesus all those years ago. Thank you Pastor Greg.

How have these studies in God's Word touched your life? If you have a story to share, why not call us and tell us about it? Call 1-866-871-1144.

That's 866-871-1144. Well Pastor Greg is presenting a study today titled The World Changer at the End of the World Part 1. Let's continue now. Judgment was about to come.

And I wonder if there's somebody here that has had a wake up call lately. Something that's happened in your life that's gotten your attention. Everything was going great. And then you got the call from the doctor. And everything changed.

Everything was fine. Then your wife, your husband, your boyfriend, your girlfriend broke up with you. Your dog even left you. But the cat won't leave for some reason. And you really want the cat to leave and you wanted the dog to stay.

Even more than your girlfriend, frankly. Whatever it is. Something has happened. Or you've had a close brush with death. But I think there's three things we should keep in mind when something like this happens.

Number one. Remember that life is precious. Life is precious. I have an Apple Watch right here. Funny thing with this crazy watch. It periodically says to me, breathe. It's like, I'm breathing. It's even said it to me when I'm like working out. Breathe. What's wrong with you? But I think there's a good message there. Breathe.

Right? That breath you're trying right now, that's a gift from God. Because there might be someone in a hospital room struggling, hoping for that next breath. But I just breathe in.

I breathe out. That's a gift from heaven. And I shouldn't take it for granted. Every day of my life is a gift from God.

Every single heartbeat. It's a blessing. Don't take your health for granted. Don't take your family for granted. The Bible reminds us in Psalm 90, teach us to realize the brevity of life so we may grow in wisdom.

Kobe was a very successful man with many beautiful things. But I'm sure he would have traded it all for another precious day of life. He was not given that choice. Don't take life for granted. Number two. Don't ask why, ask who.

Don't ask why, ask who. Eleven years ago, our son Christopher was killed in an automobile accident. It was crushing. Devastating. I wondered if I would even survive it. It was so massive for both Kathy and myself and our son Jonathan and Christopher's wife. Brittany, it was just life altering.

And it's like time stood still for all of us. And if words could have killed you, I mean hearing certain information, that could have killed me. I felt like literally I could have died.

It was so overpowering. But in my time of weakness, when I needed the crutch. I needed the hospital.

I needed intensive care. And I called out to the Lord and guess what? He was there for me. And He sustained me on that day and sustains us all to this day. Because the Bible says He's the God of all comfort.

Sometimes things happen in life that are unfair and tragic. And we want an answer. I demand an answer. I want to know why. If God told you, you wouldn't be happy.

I mean if the Lord said, alright alright, I'm tired of you asking why, I'm going to tell you why. Are you ready? Write this down. Okay, I'm ready.

Ready? Here's why. I don't agree with that.

You wouldn't like it. It wouldn't make sense to you, this side of heaven. We live on promises, not explanations. So we should not spend too much time wondering why.

Instead of saying why, we should say who. As in who do I turn to? You turn to the Lord. And you cry. And you cry. It's okay to cry. It's good to cry. In fact you must mourn when you've lost a loved one.

In fact if you do not properly mourn the loss of a loved one, it can affect you in a very bad way. Because you cry out to God. You bring your pain to God.

You bring your sorrow to God. And then the last thing is we must prepare. We must prepare. Life is precious. Don't ask why, ask who.

We must prepare. Life is not a respecter of persons. It doesn't care if you're rich or poor, religious, or you have no faith at all.

If you're famous, infamous, or not known. It knocks at every door. It'll knock at your door.

It'll knock at mine. It's not the end. Because there's an afterlife. We talk so much about this life. But the afterlife goes on forever. The afterlife, the before life if you will, is pretty short when compared to the afterlife. And Jesus said, I am the resurrection and the life. And he that believes in me though he were dead, yet shall he live.

And whosoever lives and believes in me shall never die. That is why Jesus died on the cross. You see at the cross he defeated sin. But at the resurrection he defeated death. Death died when Christ rose. So my question for you is, are you prepared for the afterlife? I told you the story before of a man who was walking through a graveyard.

And he saw a tombstone. And on it were inscribed these words, pause now stranger as you pass by. As you are now so once was I. As I am now so you will be. So prepare for death and follow me.

The man was overheard to say, to follow you is not my intent until I know which way you went. Are you prepared for the afterlife? What if this were your last night on earth? Well it won't be. How do you know? You don't know. No one knows. The Bible says it is appointed unto a man who wants to die.

And then comes the judgment. God is appointed the hour. He doesn't reveal it to us. Frankly I am glad I don't know.

Aren't you? We don't know. It could be tonight. It could be ten years. Twenty years. Fifty years. Seventy.

Eighty years. I don't know. God knows. I don't worry about that. But be ready. Be prepared. Heaven is a prepared place for prepared people. And then one day I will stand before God. And the Bible says, and the books will be opened.

And a book will be opened which is the book of life. And the key is you want your name written in the book of life. How do you get your name written in the book of life? By believing in Jesus Christ. If you have put your faith in Christ and you have asked Him to be your Savior and Lord, your name is in the book and no one is taking your name out of the book.

You are good to go. But then there is the books. Books are going to be opened. And I wonder what is in the books.

You know the Bible doesn't say. Maybe one book is a book of all the times you heard the gospel and blew it off. Maybe another book is a record of how you had your own standards that you didn't even live by. Maybe another book is all the commandments you broke. I don't know what is in the books.

But whatever it is it is not real good. Because if you are even at this great white throne judgment that is bad. But you don't have to be there at all. You see Jesus died on the cross and He absorbed the wrath of God in your place so you don't have to deal with it. He died there for you.

As I have said many times He came to pay a debt He did not owe because we owed a debt we could not pay. Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. You can have this grace in your life because the Bible says, For by grace you are saved through faith, not of works, lest any man should boast. You are not going to get to heaven because of all the good stuff you have done. You are going to get to heaven because of the sacrifice Jesus made for you on the cross.

And you admitted you are a sinner and you turned from your sin and you believed in Him. Then you can know, listen, you can know that you will go to heaven. Do you know that right now? If not why would you not want to get this resolved? Frankly is there anything more important than that that you could think of?

Anything? Than where you will spend eternity? And so I want to close with just an opportunity for anybody here. Anybody watching, listening, wherever you may be to make sure your name is written in the book of life. To put your faith in Jesus Christ. He stands at the door of your life and He knocks and He says, If you will hear His voice and open the door He will come in. If you have never asked Jesus to come into your life you can do it right here, right now.

And you can be prepared for the afterlife and not be afraid of death any longer. So let's all bow our heads and everybody praying, Father thank you for your word to us tonight. And I pray for any person here or maybe they are watching or listening wherever they may be.

If they don't have a relationship with you, help them to come to you now we pray. Amen. Pastor Greg Laurie with an important prayer about entering into a relationship with the Lord. And if you'd like to make that kind of change in your relationship with God today, Pastor Greg will come back and help you do that before today's edition of A New Beginning concludes. Well Pastor Greg, Johnny Cash has been in heaven for about 20 years now.

That's right. If you had a chance to ask the man in black one question, what would it be? What would I ask Johnny Cash? Hey Johnny, are we actually related? Because you know when I was a kid, you all know my story if you've seen Jesus Revolution, my mother was out living her wild life so for a period of my childhood I lived with my grandparents. We called them Mama Stella and Daddy Charles and they were from Arkansas. And I remember watching Johnny on TV in my grandparents home and every now and then Johnny would get himself into trouble and my grandfather would be reading the newspaper and he'd fold the top down, look over to his wife Stella and he'd say, Stella, your cousin's in trouble again. So I grew up wondering if I was related to Johnny Cash. Well I actually did some research with a genealogist that goes to our church and as it turns out I probably am related to him distantly because my grandparents came from the same area of Arkansas that Cash came from and my grandmother's maiden name was Stella Fowler Cash. So hey Johnny, are we cousins?

That might be interesting to find out. But I thought how cool in heaven it would be to go see Johnny in concert. You know the funny thing, we think about heaven as this surreal place with you know just sitting around in clouds and actually the Bible describes heaven as a real place for real people where we do real things and you might be out with some friends and they say, hey we're going to go to see Handel's Messiah tonight. Handel himself will be there, want to come? You'd say, no man, I'm going to go see Johnny Cash. You mean the man in black? Well he's actually the man in white now. You know, will we hear Johnny Cash perform music in heaven?

Why not? So one day we will see him and we'll be reunited with loved ones that have gone before us but you can hear him and learn a lot more about him right now in a new resource that we are offering. Now as you recall we did a film called Johnny Cash the Redemption of an American Icon that was in theaters around the United States. Well now it's available for the first time on DVD. Now it is streaming out there on different platforms like Apple and Amazon but we're offering it on DVD with some special bonus content including a special presentation of the gospel I did sort of wrapped around the story of Johnny Cash and also we have a streaming code with this DVD that we're offering you which means you can download the movie to your laptop, to your phone, to your tablet.

You can keep the DVD or give it away to a friend. What a great gift to give to a non-believer or someone that's really struggling spiritually. So we want to make this available to you now for your gift of any size. Whatever you send us will be put to good use to enable us to continue to teach God's word and preach the gospel here in the beginning and we will rush you your own copy of this brand new DVD Johnny Cash the Redemption of an American Icon. Be generous in what you send. We have to pay a bit more for this resource than we normally pay and we want to thank you in advance.

You're going to love having this movie in your home or available to show to people whenever you want. It's yours to keep. Alright, well the fastest way to make those arrangements is to call us at 1-800-821-3300. We're here around the clock to talk with you. Again, 1-800-821-3300. And thank you for your generosity. Your gift helps us reach out with the gospel each day here on A New Beginning. You can also write us at A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514.

Or go online to Harvest.org. And then Pastor Greg, just before we go, would you mind praying with that person listening who wants to make a change today in their relationship with the Lord? I'd be happy to Dave. You know, as you've been listening to this today, maybe you've heard another voice. By that I mean, yeah you heard me say a few things, but you heard God's voice speak to you. Deep in the recesses of your heart and it suddenly dawned on you, this is what I need. Or to state it more accurately, this is who I need. I need Jesus and I want Jesus.

But maybe you don't know how to make that connection. Let me help you. Pray this after me right now if you want Jesus Christ to come into your life. Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner and I am sorry for my sin. And I need your forgiveness right now. Would you come into my heart and my life as Savior, as God, as friend?

I choose to follow you from this moment forward. Thank you for calling me and accepting me and forgiving me. In Jesus' name I pray, amen. I know that was a relatively short prayer. Maybe you felt something as you prayed it. Maybe you felt nothing.

That doesn't really matter. Because God's word says these things we write to you that believe on the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life. It doesn't say so you may think you have it or you may hope you have it if God's in a good mood.

No, that you can know it. And I want you to know, if you prayed that prayer and meant it, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, has come into your life. So congratulations, you're now a Christian. Now continue to follow the Lord. And to help you, we'd like to send you some resource materials we call our New Believers Growth Packet.

It'll answer many of the questions you might have and get you started in your new relationship with the Lord. So get in touch and ask for it. We'll send it free of charge. Call us at 1-800-821-3300. We can take your call anytime, 24-7.

That's 1-800-821-3300. Or write A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514. Or go online to harvest.org and click Know God. Well next time, more insights from the life of Noah about living wholeheartedly for God, no matter what's going on around us. Join us here on A New Beginning with pastor and Bible teacher, Greg Laurie. This is the day, the day when life begins. Thanks for listening to A New Beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners, helping people everywhere know God. Sign up for daily devotions and learn how to become a Harvest Partner at harvest.org.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-08-09 05:32:11 / 2023-08-09 05:43:08 / 11

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime