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The World Changer at the End of the World, Part 2 | The Lord Is There to Catch Us

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
August 10, 2023 3:00 am

The World Changer at the End of the World, Part 2 | The Lord Is There to Catch Us

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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August 10, 2023 3:00 am

Funambulism is the skill of walking the tightrope...the high wire. And performers face mortal danger...it’s a long way down. The last thing they want (literally) is to make it only half way across the high wire. Today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie points out it’s even more important to finish the race of life well. There’s mortal danger, there’s uncertainty and breathless moments. But thankfully, when we fall, the Lord is there to catch us and restore us.

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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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Today's episode of A New Beginning is brought to you by Harvest Partners, helping people everywhere know God.

Learn more at harvest.org. And while you're there, browse our library of free ebooks designed to help you grow in your faith. You don't want to just start this race well, you want to finish the race well. How many trip and fall in their race of life? Coming up today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie urges us to press forward and not rest on our laurels. Extensive Bible knowledge and years of spiritual experience make you think you're somehow above it all?

You think you've reached some kind of a plateau spiritually? The Bible warns that Him that thinks he says tikki lest he fall. Funambulism is the skill of walking the tightrope, the high wire, and performers face mortal danger. It's a long way down.

The last thing they want, literally, is to make it only halfway across the high wire. Today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie points out it's even more important to finish the race of life well. There's mortal danger, there's uncertainty, and breathless moments. But thankfully, when we fall, the Lord is there to catch us and restore us. And I want to focus on a man who lived in the last days, if you will. Now they were His last days.

They're different than ours. We're waiting for the judgment that will come upon the planet by fire. He was waiting for the judgment that would come upon the planet by water, and His name was Noah. He was living in the days before the great flood. And Jesus actually brought Him up as a picture of what things will be like before Christ returns. In Matthew 24, it said, the arrival of the Son of Man will take place in days like Noah's. Before that great flood, everyone was carrying on as usual, having a good time. Right until the day that Noah boarded the ark, they knew nothing until the flood swept everything away.

And then Jesus says the Son of Man's arrival will be like that. Two men will be working in a field. One will be taken, the other left.

Two women will be grinding at a mill. One will be taken, and the other left. So be alert and be awake because you have no idea when your master will show up. All right, so in light of that, how should we live? Let's go back to that last day's believer, Noah. How did he live? We already saw this together.

If you're taking notes, here's point number one from our last message. Noah had a great reverence for God. Noah had a great reverence for God. Hebrews 11, 7 says, Noah moved with godly fear or with godly reverence.

I think that's something that's lacking in the lives of many believers today, an actual reverence for God. Number two, Noah walked with God when no one else did. Genesis 6, 6, 9 says Noah walked with God. Then we know that Noah was also a witness for God. 2 Peter 2, 5 says he was a preacher of righteousness.

Listen to this. Did you know that Noah lived 120 years and never had a single convert? Yet he's called a preacher of righteousness. He stands as an example to all of the faithful seed sowers out there who cannot always measure their success in sharing the gospel outwardly.

Maybe that describes you. You've told your whole family about Jesus. No one's believed. You've told all your friends about Jesus.

Not one of them has become a Christian. You've let your neighborhood know you're a believer. You've invited them all to church and no one has responded to your invitation and you feel like a failure.

Well take heart because it's not over till it's over. You see my job is to sow seeds and by that I mean my job is to get the gospel out there and it's the Holy Spirit's job to bring about a conviction in the heart of a non-believer. Only he can do that but don't underestimate the power of that little seed that you've sown in your family's life, in your children's life, in your grandchildren's life, and in the lives of others. I read the story about a missionary who was named George Smith. He probably thought his ministry was a complete failure. He'd been in Africa only a short time and then he was driven from the country leaving behind only one convert.

A very poor unknown woman. He died not long after that while on his while on his knees praying for Africa. Years later a group of men stumbled upon the place where George Smith had prayed and they found a copy of his Bible that he left behind in Africa and they met the one convert of George Smith's ministry. But as it turns out that one convert had reached others who reached others and a hundred years later a mission agency discovered 13,000 people traced their conversion to the ministry of George Smith.

Okay so you got to think forward. So you're taking the time to sow the seed of the word of God in the life of your child and you don't have some great far-reaching ministry and you feel like you don't have enough to do. Listen you don't know who that child will turn out to be. You don't know about that seed that you sowed in another place so you just pray and leave it in God's hands.

So no it didn't have a lot of people that believe but we're still talking about him today aren't we? So he did reach his family and that's a big deal because Hebrews 11 says, by faith Noah being divinely warned of things not yet seen moved with godly reverence and he prepared an ark or a boat for the saving of his household. So he did reach his family and I can think of people who've gone into ministry that have done a great job reaching out to a lot of people and have neglected their family in the process. My first priority is to God. My second priority is to my family.

Okay so that's very important to me and it should be to every one of us. You know contrast Noah with Lot. Lot in a sense was like Noah in that they were both awaiting a cataclysmic judgment. Noah was awaiting the judgment of God that came through the flood. Lot was waiting for the judgment of God that came upon Sonim and Gomorrah. But Lot was so compromised though he was a believer but he was so compromised he could not even reach his own family. So when he revealed to his family that God's judgment was coming and he said we got to get out of town they laughed at him like he was telling them a joke. Blew him off. Why should we listen to you? You?

What kind of example are you? He couldn't get his own wife out of the place. He got out of the city but she looked back and faced God's judgment. So the point is he was a failure in reaching his own family but Noah was not. And then the Lord gives to Noah a very unusual command. It's in Genesis 6.

So pop over there now. Genesis 6 verse 14. The Lord tells them to build an ark or a boat.

Verse 14 of Genesis 6. Build a large boat from gopher wood says the Lord and waterproof it with tar inside and out then construct decks and stalls throughout its interior. Make the boat 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high. Leave an 18 inch opening below the roof all the way around the boat. Put the door on the side and build three decks inside of the boat.

Lower, middle, and upper. So this was a supreme act of faith considering the fact that it had never rained up to this point. It had not rained yet.

The way the earth was watered was through this unique sort of water canopy the Lord had set in place creating a terrarium type effect on planet earth and you had all the beautiful vegetation and so forth. So it had not yet rained and there was no water nearby and the Lord says, build a boat. Noah is thinking a boat.

What am I going to do with a boat? But he obeyed the Lord. One of the greatest acts of faith in history when Noah cut down that first gopher wood tree to build this ark.

But he did it. You know it's an interesting thing because Noah was not a builder. The Bible doesn't tell us he was in the building profession. He was what you would call an amateur.

Well I think experts built the Titanic and that didn't turn out so well. But an amateur built the ark and it was very buoyant and very seaworthy as we will see as we will see in just a moment. But he put feet to his faith and did what God told him to do. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. You know there is 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 we're studying the Bible's account of Noah today in a message called The World Changer at the End of the World Part II.

Let's continue. I want you to think about the spiritual life of Noah for a moment. He had to sit on that boat for 40 days and 40 nights as the rain came and he ultimately was on board around a year. And the sea can be a very lonely place can't it? And that thing must have stunk honestly.

All those creatures in there. But now his voyage is about to come to an end. And God's Holy Spirit blew across the land and the clouds began to dissipate. The sun appears and eventually the grass and the plants and the trees begin to come back to life. As the children's song says, the sun came out and dried up the landy landy.

Everything was fine and dandy dandy. You ever heard that song? But he waited and finally the moment has come for him to get off of this ark.

And I want you to notice what he does. Genesis 8 20 says, then Noah built an altar to the Lord. He built an altar to the Lord. You know it would have been very easy to just climb up that boat and say okay man I'm so sick of being on the water.

I want to just run around for like a month on terra firma. On firm ground. But the first thing he did because he had his priorities in order is he built an altar to the Lord and gave thanks to the Lord. He put first things first. And there's a lot of ways that we can do this as well. The simple act of saying grace over a meal is a great way to just give thanks to God. And by the way when your meal comes and you say grace it doesn't honestly need to be a 10-minute prayer okay. Just give thanks and eat the food. Pray for the the missionaries afterwards.

It's good. Pray for them. But eat the food while it's still warm. And I think it's actually a really great testimony if you're in a public place with your family and you bow your heads to say grace. But just make sure you leave a tip afterwards and don't be a bad witness right. But that's a way to put God first. Remembering the Lord with the faithful giving of your finances. Whatever money you make that's given to you by God. And you take a tithe of that.

Also known as a tenth of that. And you give it to God. And the scripture promises that if you honor the Lord with your wealth and the first roots of your crops your barn will be overflowing. I saw a bumper sticker on a car that said tithe if you love Jesus anybody can honk. Right.

So that's just a percentage. Okay I'm putting God first. And then another way to put God first is you know on Sunday it's like we're going to church today. That's what we do on this day. The Lord's day. Remember God. And God remembered Noah. You know Ecclesiastes 12 one says remember now the Creator in the days of your youth.

I think sometimes when we're young we think well you know I've got my wild oats to sow. Really why? Well just because everyone says I do. Why should you?

Why would you? Do you want to do things today that you'll regret tomorrow and in the years and maybe even decades to come? Why not start sowing spiritual seed in your youth and lay a good foundation in your youth. It's almost like we have this big free past to be crazy in our youth and do every wrong thing imaginable. Well that is certainly not what God wants you to do. That's why he says remember the Creator in the days of your youth.

Such an important time. The early years of our life. I became a Christian at age 17. I did some stupid things prior to that. Things I regret.

But I'm thankful I didn't go much longer than that. And I look back on that day and I look at the course that the lives of some of my friends took that didn't believe as I believed. And I'll run into some of them every now and then. And they're into their second and third and fourth marriages. Some of them have substance abuse problems.

Some of them never stop partying. And I just think of the course I took and how God blessed me and how God has taken care of me. And I realize I made the right choice. And when you're young that's a perfect time to make the right choice.

Okay so here is the story. Noah's Ark. Beautiful. They make it to the new land. And now they're giving thanks to the Lord. And if this were a movie and if we wrote it this is where the story would end. You can see the closing scene. Noah's looking up to heaven.

Tears coming down his face. The flowers are growing. And the animals are hopping around. And there's a rainbow. And the credits are on the screen. But that's not how the story ends. Because this is a Bible story. And Bible stories are true. They're not fairy tales. And when something happens that is not convenient it's there anyway.

Because if it happens it happens. And all scripture is given by inspiration of God. And the Lord doesn't cover up the flaws of the great men and women that he used. The story is told of the great British legend Oliver Cromwell who was having this portrait painted. And he said to the painter, make sure to paint me warts and all. That's because the painter was known to sort of flatter the people he painted. Cromwell said, I want people to see me as I was. And indeed when you look at the portrait of Cromwell he has warts on his face. And so when the Bible gives us a painting of one of its heroes. If there's warts you'll see them.

If there's flaws you'll be aware of them. So what happened next is kind of sad in many ways in the life of Noah. But it did happen. Genesis chapter 9 verse 20. After the flood Noah began to cultivate the ground and he planted a vineyard. One day he drank some wine that he had made and became drunk and lay naked inside of his tent. Ham the father of Canaan saw his father was naked went outside and told his brothers. Then Shem and Japheth took a robe and held it over their shoulders and backed into the tent to cover their father. And as they did this they looked the other way so they would not see him naked. Wow!

Really? After all of that walking with the Lord. After all of that exercise of faith. This is how you're going to thank the Lord. Well this is what he did.

A few things popped out from this story. First of all it teaches us anyone can fall into sin. Anyone can fall into sin including you. And if you think well that'll never happen to me or I would never deny the Lord or I would never sin in that way.

You could. Now prayerfully and hopefully you won't. And the fact is God will never give you more than you can handle.

Right? Because the Bible says in 1 Corinthians 10 13 there is no temptation taking you but such as is common to man. But God who is faithful will not allow you to be tempted above your ability to resist.

There's always a way out of every temptation isn't there? How many of you have been tempted to sin? Raise your hand if you've been tempted. Okay how many of you have been tempted to sin and you've given into the temptation?

You better raise your hands all of you. Because we all have haven't we? Now let me ask you this. Go back to that temptation you gave into whatever it was. Was there a way out? Could you have resisted it? Could you have walked out of a door? Could you have terminated the conversation or whatever you were dealing with? Could you have gotten out of it had you chosen to?

The answer is yes. But if you don't choose to well you can choose the wrong thing. And that's what Noah did. You know it may surprise you to know that sometimes those who have known the Lord longer can be more vulnerable to slipping than the person who is young in the faith. Does that make sense to you? Sometimes those who have known the Lord longer can be more vulnerable to slipping than the person who is young in the faith.

You say but why? Because when you're young in the faith you know you're weak and vulnerable. So you're careful and you hopefully surround yourself with godly people. But when you've known the Lord for a while you're thinking well I'm I'm pretty good.

I don't think I need to have those safeguards on my life anymore. I'll just pretty much not be accountable to anyone and do what I want when I want. The next thing you know you're falling. Extensive Bible knowledge and years of spiritual experience make you think you're somehow above it all. You think you've reached some kind of a plateau spiritually but you'll never reach that plateau. And the Bible warns that him that thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. You know there's a number of godly people who fell after they'd known the Lord for years. Moses comes to mind. Remember when he struck the rock with the staff and water came out? Well he struck a rock again later in the story when the Lord had not told him to and was yelling at the Israelites saying must we get water out of the rock as we've done before? Kind of taking the glory for himself that only belonged to God and because of this the Lord didn't let him enter the promised land. Moses the man of God. The man that the Lord spoke to at the burning bush. The man who led the exodus out of Egypt. The man who put up with all of the whining and complaining of the Israelites and was so faithful to the Lord blew it at the end and he didn't make it into the promised land. David the sweet psalmist of Israel. The king of Israel and the man uniquely identified as being after God's own heart sinned later in life as well. He was in his 50s.

Appears to be having something of a midlife crisis. Kicking back in his rooftop when he should have been leading the troops into battle and instead he's scoping chicks. And he sees the beautiful Bathsheba ironically bathing herself. And he lusts after her and you know the rest of that story.

How he she became pregnant and he had her husband killed to cover it up. But that happened after he'd known the Lord for years and then David's son Solomon fell into gross sin in his later years as well. Solomon was given such great wisdom from heaven that people came from around the world to sit at his feet and drink it in.

And yet he went on an epic backslide and recorded it for us. It's called the book of Ecclesiastes. It talks about all the things he tried and experimented with and all the things that were so empty and ultimately he says hey here's the conclusion. Fear God and keep His commandments. That's the whole duty of man. So you say well why are you bringing all this up? I'm just saying that anybody can fall into sin if they choose to. You don't want to just start this race well.

You want to finish the race well. Good insight based on the life of Noah from Pastor Greg Laurie. Today on A New Beginning he is presenting a message called The World Changer at the End of the World Part 2. Well Pastor Greg the new movie Johnny Cash The Redemption of an American Icon is such an engaging film.

Yes. It highlights the spiritual journey of the man in black but it does so from a number of different perspectives. You hear many people reflect on Johnny's unique story.

Tell us about that. Well when you order your copy of Johnny Cash The Redemption of an American Icon on DVD along with the streaming code so you can download it to your computer your phone or your tablet you're going to see that a number of very well known people talk about their relationship with Johnny Cash. One man in particular who actually narrates the film and was very close to Johnny in fact he toured as a member of Johnny's band is Marty Stewart. Marty tells us now a story of the last time he was with Johnny Cash and what happened.

Give a listen. I went over to his house and I was about to go on the road and I just wanted to go check in on him hug his neck tell him I love him and I had recorded a song of his called The Walls of a Prison that I wanted to play for him. And so I played it for him and I said at his feet he put his hand on me he said excellent son. I said you got it. I knew he didn't want to hang out too long so we talked a minute and before I left the room he says I there anything in this room you want.

I said just your love. He said you got that. As I was about to leave he was sitting in his wheelchair with his back to the window and the late afternoon light was coming in and I had my camera all in my bag and I said JR let me take your picture. And there was like four frames and the first three he just kind of looked like this I said JR.

He reared up and he looked like an old president and when I got the negatives back of it there's the picture. Before I left the room I said how's your spirit? He said good. I said you got plenty of rope left. He said I got plenty of rope.

I said all right I'll be home in 10 days whatever it was. I didn't think it would come while I was gone on that trip but it did. Country music singer Marty Stewart from the movie Johnny Cash the redemption of an American icon. You know the film could focus on all of Johnny's hit records or the massive crowds that came to see him. It could focus on his TV shows or recording an album at Folsom Prison but instead it focuses on Johnny himself who grew up poor faced unbelievable heartache but always in a home with a deep resounding faith in the Lord and that's what pulled him through the tough scrapes and failings of his later years. Now Pastor Greg refers to this as an evangelistic documentary and it's so inspiring.

It's great encouragement for the rest of us who've had some failings. We want to send you a copy of Johnny Cash the redemption of an American icon on DVD along with a free streaming code so you can watch it on your phone or tablet or TV. We'll send it to say thank you for your generous support of these daily radio studies. So why not contact us today call 1-800-821-3300 call anytime 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest.org. Well next time Pastor Greg wraps up our study of Noah the finale to our series called Heroes of the Bible. Join us here on A New Beginning with pastor and Bible teacher Greg Laurie. The preceding podcast was made possible by Harvest Partners helping people everywhere know God. Learn how to become a Harvest Partner, sign up for daily devotions and find resources to help you grow in your faith at harvest.org.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-08-10 05:20:59 / 2023-08-10 05:30:43 / 10

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