Hey there. Thanks for listening to the Greg Laurie Podcast, a ministry supported by Harvest Partners. I'm Greg Laurie encouraging you.
If you want to find out more about Harvest Ministries and learn more about how to become a Harvest Partner, just go to harvest.org. Amen. Let's all grab a seat. Who wants to hear a Bible study?
Raise your hand. Alright, so grab your Bible and turn to two passages with me. This is our final message in our series we're calling The End of the World, What Does the Bible Say? And the passages we want you to turn to are Ezekiel 37 and Hebrews chapter 11.
Wanted to mention a couple of things before we dive in. We're starting a brand new series next Sunday in the book of Joshua. And the title of it is Joshua Living in the Land of Promises. You know God delivered the Israelites from Egypt, right? They cried for deliverance for years. The Lord sent them Moses.
Now they're out. They're free from the Pharaoh. And now they just need to make the journey from Israel to Egypt and it took them 40 years.
Look, it would take two months at the most on foot, 40 years. Why did that happen? Was it because men were in charge and no one wanted to stop and ask for directions?
Was the GPS broken? Well, they were going in circles. They were living in a self-imposed wilderness of disobedience. And in many ways, that can be a picture of the Christian life. You know, we're saved from our sin just as they were delivered from Egypt. But instead of living in that land of promises and that land of victory, we live in a self-imposed wilderness of mediocrity and compromise.
And we take one step forward and two steps back. How do we get into the promised land or the land of promises, if you will? Well, we'll talk about that starting next Sunday. Jonathan and I will be teaching through the book of Joshua.
Looking forward to that. And by the way, this is a great time to jump in and join a harvest group. How many of you are in a harvest small group?
Raise your hand up. Okay, well, a lot of you who aren't in one, you can get in one now. Here's why a small group is great. Because some things are learned in rows and other things are learned in circles. So you're in a row right now and it's great to come and learn and study God's word together. But a circle, when you're in a smaller setting with people that you can talk with and you can interact and ask questions, it's a great way to learn. And also, it's a great way to make new friends. So get in a harvest group and you can do that after the service today.
Go over to the connect table on each campus. And finally, as you know, we're celebrating 50 years as a church and we have a little pin that we've made, the harvest 50 year anniversary pin. And they're available in the bookstore if you'd like to buy one.
I'm wearing one myself right now. It's a great thing to commemorate 50 years of ministry. So that's all the time we have today. God bless.
Thank you for coming to church. Okay, so the title of my message is how to be a world changer at the end of the world. I just read a poll that revealed most Americans believe our country has spun off its axis. And I would say it's not just our country, it's really the whole world. Why do things seem so crazy right now?
Doesn't it seem to you as though things are accelerating in the wrong direction on every level? You know why that is? It's because we're living in the last days. We're facing off with Antichrist and his 10 confederated nations under him. And then we read about the kings of the east and the kings of the east. We don't know who they are exactly.
We can guess at it. We'll face off with Antichrist and his forces in the final battle in the valley of Megiddo. They're in Israel and it's called the battle of Armageddon. So here's what it's like. Prophetic events are like dominoes closely stacked together. Let's pull up our little graph on our screen and look at it again. Let's take a picture of what's coming down. Think of every one of these events like a domino. Once the first one falls, they're all gonna fall in rapid succession. Okay, so in my opinion, which is the right opinion, and if it wasn't, I wouldn't hold it, but I do think it's right.
But some disagree with me and I respect their right to be wrong. Okay, so in my opinion, the order of prophetic events is number one, rapture. The rapture, the harpazo is the Greek word. We're caught up to meet the Lord in the air. That can happen in any time. Sometime after that, Antichrist emerges on the scene.
He comes initially as a man of peace, as a peacemaker, but soon it's revealed that he's a troublemaker. If Satan had his son, this is it. That inaugurates the seven-year tribulation period. It begins peacefully, but at the midway point, God's judgment falls on people culminating in the final battle of Armageddon fought in the valley of Megiddo, and then Christ returns. Then we have the millennium, the thousand-year reign of Christ, and Jonathan talked to us about that last time, and then the New Jerusalem comes down from heaven to earth. Okay, so that's the big picture. So once that first domino falls, the others fall in rapid succession.
So we're waiting for that. Now, there's something I haven't talked about yet that is a very important part of the prophetic puzzle, and that is the nation Israel, because the Bible makes very specific predictions about the scattering and regathering of the Jewish people in their homeland. For instance, the Bible tells us the Jewish people would be scattered in the four corners of the earth. Has that happened? Yes, it happened. It says they would be regathered in their land again. Has that happened?
Yes, it has. Scripture tells us that they'll be regaining Jerusalem as their capital. That's not happened yet. We're waiting on that, and it's interesting to know that the Bible tells us that end times events will revolve around this tiny little sliver of land called Israel, and in that tiny sliver of land is the city of Jerusalem. Jerusalem means city of peace. Ironically, more wars have been fought at her gates in any city in world history. It's one of end times events, and indeed it is. Not Washington, not Moscow, not Paris, not New York City, not Irvine, not Pedaly.
That's a city in the Inland Empire. It's gonna be Jerusalem, and she has always been the capital of Israel, and one of the great things that the Trump administration did was moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, recognizing that is her capital. And now there they are, but there's hostility against Israel, and specifically toward Jerusalem. God told us that in the end times, she would be an intoxicating drink, a heavy stone, and a burden for the whole world. Zechariah 12 says, I'll make Jerusalem and Judah like an intoxicating drink to all the nearby nations that send their armies to besiege Jerusalem. On that day, I'll make Jerusalem a heavy stone. A burden for the whole world. None of the nations who try will be able to lift it. So let's think now a little bit about the nation Israel.
She is a modern day miracle. To think that there is a nation called Israel, a homeland for the Jewish people. Who would have ever thought such a thing could happen as World War II was raging, and Hitler was building his third Reich bent on world domination, and he came up with something he called the Final Solution, and the Final Solution was his desire to eradicate the Jewish people from the face of the earth.
He built all these concentration camps with names like Treblinka, and Ravensbrück, and Auschwitz, and others, and there are six million Jewish men, women, and children were put to death by Hitler. Hysteriously, unexpectedly, but actually right on schedule, it's like Jewish people around the world got the collective message, it's time to return to our homeland, and they began to return, and they began to try to build a nation again, and on May 14th, 1948, Israel officially declared themselves a nation again, and the prophetic time clock began to tick. A super sign that such a thing would even happen.
Never has a nation been able to maintain its national identity even three to 500 years after being removed from its homeland until Israel. David Jeremiah, in his book, What in the World is Going On, writes this, and I quote, This event was specifically prophesied, and it happened exactly as foretold. It's clearly a miraculous act of God, end quote.
Absolutely true. And listen, God gave this land to the Jewish people. It's in the scripture over in the book of Deuteronomy. He says in Deuteronomy 1a, I'm giving all this land to you. Now go in and occupy it for the, this is the land the Lord swore to give to your ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
And all their descendants. So let's read now what the Bible says about the regathering of the Jewish people to the land of Israel in Ezekiel 37. And I'm gonna read verses one to six from the New Living translation. Then he asked me, son of man, can these bones become living people again? Oh sovereign Lord, I replied.
You alone know the answer to that. Then he said to me, speak to the bones and say, dry bones, listen to the word of the Lord. This is what the sovereign Lord says. Look, I'm gonna breathe into you and make you live again. I'll put flesh and muscles on you and cover you with skin. I'll put breath in you and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.
I'll stop there. It's like God told Ezekiel to preach to a graveyard. Now listen, I've spoken to some pretty dead audiences before. And you would be one of them.
Not really, no. But I mean to preach to a graveyard, to a bunch of dry bones, well what does this all mean? What do these bones represent?
It's clearly explained in Ezekiel 37, dropped on to verse 11. And he said to me, son of man, these bones represent the people of Israel. They're saying, what does this all mean?
They're saying, we become old dry bones, all hope is gone. Now give them this message from the sovereign Lord. Oh my people, I'll open your graves of exile and cause you to rise again. And I'll bring you back to the land of Israel. When this happens, you'll know I am the Lord. And I'll put my spirit in you and you will live and return home to your own land and know that I'm the Lord. And I've done everything just as I promised, for I the Lord have spoken.
Wow. So this has happened before our very eyes. Now after Ezekiel 37 is Ezekiel 38. Is that not an amazing insight?
I can count. After 37 is 38, what happens in chapter 38? Let's read about it. Because this massive force from the north of Israel marches on her.
This hasn't happened yet, but it will happen. Ezekiel 38 verse 2, son of man, set your face against Gog, land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshach, and Tubal. Prophesy against him and say, thus says the Lord God, behold I'm against you Gog, the prince of Rosh, Meshach, and Tubal. I'll turn you around and put hooks in your jaws and lead you out with all of your army, horses, and horsemen all splendidly clothed, Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya.
I'd underline those three words, Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya are with them, all of them with shield and helmet. Now drop down to verse 8. A long time from now, now of course Ezekiel is writing this years and years ago, thousands of years ago.
A long time from now, he's saying, this is in the distant future, this is going to happen. In the last days, so this is the last days event, you will swoop down, speaking to Gog and Magog, on the land of Israel, which will be lying in peace after her recovery from war, after the return of her people from many lands. You and your allies, a vast and awesome horde, will roll down on them like a storm and cover the land like a cloud. This is what the Lord says. At that time evil thoughts will come into your mind and you will devise a wicked scheme. And you'll say, Israel is an unprotected land with unwalled villages, I'll march against her and destroy these people who live in such confidence.
We'll stop there. Interesting phrase, live in such confidence. You know when Israel became a nation, it was a huge struggle to establish her statehood in 1948. Then they were attacked in the 67 war. They were attacked again in the 70s in what has been called the Yom Kippur War. And they prevailed. Even when their enemies attacked, not only did they survive, they won the battles and even expanded their territory, regaining control of the ancient city of Jerusalem, which is really key to the fulfillment of Bible prophecy.
But it says they live in such confidence. That can only be said fairly recently. Israel has become a very strong economic and technological power today. I had the privilege of being on a Zoom call last week with Prime Minister Netanyahu with a small group of evangelical leaders and he was talking to us about how things are in Israel at the moment. And he said to us that Israel is a strong economic, military, and technological power. He says other nations now come to Israel for advice on how to fight terrorism. And he said this is because Israel is strong. And he said nobody makes peace with the weak. It's a different attitude. They're not this vulnerable, weak nation. It's like hey, we can take care of ourselves. And people even come to us now.
Really much, really a description or a repeating of what the scripture says. They live with such confidence. Now who is Magog? Who is this force from the north of Israel attacking her? Now if I laid a map out for you of the world and we looked at Israel, to the immediate north of them would be Russia. And this is a whole other thing I could go into for another 25 minutes easily describing to you why I think Russia could be Magog. I don't think anyone can say with absolute certainty but I think you can make a very good case for it and many Bible prophecy experts that I respect believe it is modern day Russia. It is worth noting that among the allies of Russia is Persia. Persia is the name of Iran. On March 21, 1935 Persia changed their name to what we call Iran and they are an ally of Russia. So God specifically says that Magog will have an ally in Persia if Magog is Russia. And I do believe with absolute certainty that Persia is Iran. That means this was prophesied hundreds of years ago and now they have an alliance.
This is so unlikely. They really had no reason to have an alliance but we know they have one today. Back to our conversation with Prime Minister Netanyahu. He said Iran and Russia are very disturbing to us. Iran supplying Russia with drones. Russia helping Iran with nuclear weapons. The only way to stop Iran is with a credible military threat.
Now let me say this. This is the leadership in Iran. The Iranian people are wonderful people. Most of them don't want these people in control of their nation today. And they have rebelled on many occasions and we have heard wonderful stories of revival breaking out among Iranian people and we are hearing stories of them turning to Jesus Christ. So I am talking about a regime.
I am talking about who is in control of the story right now. But think about the aggression of Russia. We have seen what is happening in Ukraine. But Russia, I read this one day ago, Russia has a new intercontinental missile system that they claim could destroy all of the United Kingdom. One single missile. It has 15 nuclear warheads on it and they put it on combat duty. You know what the name of that missile is?
Because Satan too can't make this stuff up. Crazy. Let's just play this out. Let's say Magog is Russia. Let's say they march on Israel with their allies. Well if this were to happen you could see how this would trigger a chain of events. An expert on the Middle East wrote these words and I quote, Iran knows how to unlock the doors to a nuclear Armageddon. There is a growing sense in Israel that Jerusalem is quickly running out of time. Tehran has inserted the nuclear key into the gate lock of Armageddon and is beginning to twist it open.
So we can say whoa, everything could just fall into place immediately and certainly it is a sign of the times. We know that the leaders of Iran have claimed on more than one occasion threatened to wipe Israel off the face of the map. This is why I do not support giving money to the regime of Iran. This is why we need to remember they have supported terrorism around the world. That is not where we want to be putting our money as a country. And here's something that might surprise you and I'll just say it and this might offend someone. But I don't care anymore because I'm 70.
Alright so. America needs Israel more than Israel needs America. Now certainly Israel has benefited from their relationship with us. We've provided them with a lot of things. Most notably the so-called Iron Dome which is a very sophisticated defense system that has protected them and helped them from many attacks that continue to come their way. But why does America need Israel? Because of a promise that God made in Genesis 12-3 when he said, I'll bless those that bless you and I'll curse those that curse you. Look at any nation historically that has raised their hand against Israel and has sought to destroy her. And look at what happened. There's a blessing promise for those that support Israel and support the Jewish people.
And I'm happy and proud to say our nation has done that. But in this story Israel stands alone. And here's what God says is going to happen in Ezekiel 38-18. This is what will happen on that day when Gog attacks the land of Israel. My hot anger will be aroused declares the sovereign Lord. And then he says he will decimate Magog with their armies.
And there's so many weapons that it takes seven years to destroy them. And then God's going to pour his spirit out on Israel. So let's go back to our graph. Where does this event fit in the prophetic puzzle? Short answer, I'm not sure. I'll give you an educated guess. I think it could happen sometime before or right after the rapture.
Why do I think that? Because it takes seven years for them to burn the weapons. And the tribulation period is seven years. So maybe that's where it will happen. But it's somewhere in here. And here's another thing. It triggers. A great spiritual awakening happens in Israel after God destroys Magog and God.
But that is not happening right now. And here's an interesting verse in the New Testament, Romans 11, 25. I want you to understand this mystery, writes Paul, dear friends.
So you don't feel proud and start bragging. Because some of the Jews have hard hearts. But this will last only until the complete number of Gentiles comes to Christ. So God's going to pour his spirit out on Israel. But he hasn't done it yet. But when the full gathering of the Gentiles come in, which is King James 4, the full number of people believing in Jesus is completed, then the rapture happens, you see. So this is why I believe there might be walking this planet some person that God is waiting for to believe.
Can you imagine if you knew who that person was? Hey, dude, could you get saved like now? Let's go.
Come on, what? What are you waiting for? The last person believes and we're caught up to meet the Lord in the air. So we're waiting for that event to happen. And so, okay, you say, interesting. But so what?
Well, this should affect you and the way that you live. Because you, my friend, are our last day's believer. Now, do I believe Jesus could come at any time? Yes. Do I believe it might be 10 years from now or 20 years from now?
Yeah, it could be. I don't know. I'm not a date setter. I don't know when he'll come. No man knows the day of the hour. But I do believe it could happen at any moment. And I think we should live in anticipation of that as followers of Jesus Christ.
But there is a prototype for us to look at. A man who in his way was the last day's believer and his name was Noah. Noah lived in the darkest time in human history apart from our time.
In fact, it was as dark as it's ever been. But it'll even get darker in the end times. And it's called the days of Noah. And Jesus said the last days, the days before his return, would be like the days of Noah. So in this dark time, we need to shine as lights. Because this world as we know it is going to come to an end. As the song says, the end of the world as we know it.
Right? But when we say the end of the world, we mean the end of an evil age. Satan is described in the Bible as the God of this world.
Prince of the power of the air that works in the hearts of the children of disobedience. The Bible says he's blinded people to the truth. And this is why the Bible says in 1 John, love not the world.
Neither the things that are in the world. For if any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the eyes, the pride of life, is not of the Father, but it's of the world. And so don't love this world system. Instead of the world transforming me, I as a follower of Jesus should be transforming the world.
And Noah was a real world changer. What is a world changer? It's someone that doesn't accept the status quo. They don't want to march lockstep with current culture.
Instead they want to change the culture. In other words, it's like the difference between a thermostat and a thermometer. Now I have a thermostat at home. It's one of these smart thermostats. And I set it at certain temperatures and then it starts thinking.
I think this now. And for some reason my thermostat, which I set at 70 when I go to sleep, feels at 4 o'clock in the morning it should be 75 degrees. I never told it to do that.
I've had arguments with it. What are you doing? Go back to 70 where I set you. Goes back to what it wants to go to. But when a thermostat works properly it sets the temperature of the room. A thermometer, it just tells you what the temperature is. Now here's my question. Are you a thermostat or a thermometer?
When you walk into a room do you just adjust to the temperature or do you change it? Is the world changing you or are you changing the world? See Noah was a world changer and we need to be just like him. What was he commanded to do? God told him to build a giant boat.
Look at Hebrews 11 verse 7. By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear or reverence, he prepared an ark to the saving of his household by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith. This would take a supreme act of faith to build a boat when it had never rained before. Noah had never heard the song Raindrops keep falling on my head.
Never heard it. Because no raindrops had ever fallen. At this point in the book of Genesis there was sort of this water canopy over the earth. It was sort of a terrarium like environment.
Beautiful, lush, green. And now God is going to send rain so he says to Noah I want you to build a boat or an ark. One of the greatest practical acts of faith in all of history.
It is when Noah cut down that first tree to build this ark. And by the way the Bible doesn't tell us he was a ship builder or a carpenter. Reminding us that God often calls unqualified people to do his work.
Think about it. He calls us to do unexpected things. Because we never planned on doing that.
He calls us to leave our comfort zones and do what he leads us to do. As an example I never aspired to be a preacher. And some of you are thinking maybe you should have not become one. Well I had a different plan for my life. I was 16 years old and my goal was to be a cartoonist. And my backup plan was to open a pet store.
That's it. But I came to Christ at the age of 17. The Lord changed the trajectory of my life and he called me to preach and do what I am doing now. But it was very unexpected. So God does not call the qualified.
He qualifies the call. God can do extraordinary things to ordinary people who are willing to leave their comfort zone and obey the Lord. Will you be one of those people? Right? Remember this. The ark was built by amateurs and the titanic was built by professionals. So Noah models for us what a last days believer should be. He builds this massive boat. Now let's see if we can identify some principles from his life.
If you are taking notes here is point number one. God revealed secrets to Noah. God revealed secrets to Noah.
Hebrews 11 7. He was divinely warned. God showed him what was coming when no one else knew about it. And God speaks to us as well.
Listen to this. Christians know things the world does not know. It is interesting when Paul speaks of the rapture he says behold I show you a mystery.
We shall not all sleep but we will be changed in a moment in the twinkling of an eye. It is a mystery. It is not a mystery to us because we know what it means.
But it is a mystery to non-believers. People look around on our world right now and they think what on earth is happening? Why is culture collapsing?
Why is there expansion of government control? Why are people so depraved doing such horrible things as they do today? But we understand because we know we are living in the end times. We know we are living in the last days. We know that man is bad and God is good and judgment is ultimately coming to planet earth. We know it will get worse before it gets better. But we also know Christ is coming back and will right every wrong. We have read the last page of the Bible and we know we win in the end.
Right? Bringing me to my next point number two. Noah had great reverence for God. As you wait for the return of the Lord you should live with reverence toward God. First John tells us, he that has this hope that is the hope of the Lord's return purifies himself even as he is pure. What does that mean? It means if I really believe Jesus is coming it should affect me in the way that I live. It should affect me in the decisions I make.
Bring an awareness of his imminent return. I remember receiving a letter from a young lady that worked for Planned Parenthood and she actually assisted the doctor in the aborting of unborn children. And she talked about how she would, I hate to be descriptive but I will, take the little parts that have been severed and place them out on the table there after the abortion had been completed. And somehow in her mind she rationalized this as a thing she could do. And one day she said she was listening to my radio broadcast. This was in North Carolina.
And I made a statement where I said if Christ were to come back today are you doing something you would be ashamed to be doing if he returned? And suddenly she realized what she was doing was so wicked and so horrible. And she turned to Christ. And now she is engaged in helping the unborn. She is in a pro-life kind of a ministry. Isn't that a great story?
Her name is Crystal as I recall. So this is the idea. It should affect us in the way that we live. To fear God does not mean I am afraid God is going to hurt me or hit me. It means that I reverence him. I honor him.
I have a respect for him. And that is what Noah had. And then God sent a promise or an indication of a promise after the flood. It was a rainbow. After the judgment came on the earth through the flood the Lord put a rainbow in the sky and he said look at this rainbow Noah. It is a reminder I will never judge the earth like this again. So every time you see a rainbow it is a reminder that God keeps his promises. Have you ever noticed it is really hard to photograph a rainbow?
I love rainbows. I will see one and I will say Kathy look at the rainbow. And we will drive, pull the car over.
I will jump out, pull out my phone, hold it up. And then I look at the picture. It is so sad. It is like wee wee wee wee. What happened to the rainbow?
You can't photograph one very easily can you? It is almost as though the Lord is saying put down your stupid phone and just enjoy it. And be reminded that I keep my promises. So he made that promise to Noah. And he has made that promise to us as well.
You know it is interesting. One of the signs of the last days is people will say we are not living in the last days. 2 Peter 3 says I want to remind you in the last days scoffers will come mocking the truth and following their own desires.
And they will say what happened to this promise that Jesus is coming again? For before the times of our ancestors everything has remained the same since the world was first created. And then Peter says they deliberately forgot that God made the heavens long ago by the word of His command and brought the earth out of the water and surrounded it with water. And He used the water to destroy the ancient world with a mighty flood.
Point number three. Noah walked with God when no one else did. He walked with God when no one else did. Genesis 6 says Noah walked with God. The prophet Amos gives us a key as to what it means to walk with God. He says can two walk together except they have agreed? So the idea is you stay in harmony. To walk with God is to be in harmony with God. Think of a tandem bicycle. You know where two people ride the bike and you have to pedal in the same direction.
If one person has a foot on the brake it is not going to work very well right? So when I am walking with God I stay in sync with God. I don't run ahead of God. I don't fall behind God. If the Lord turns to the right I turn to the right. He stops. I stop.
That is what it is like to walk with God. Years ago I was over in Maui and I was scuba diving. And so we decided to dive off into a little island called Mullikini. And the dive is 100 feet down. Any scuba divers out there?
Any scuba divers? Okay whatever. There was one. Yes. Well two. Good. Yeah. 100 feet is pretty deep don't you think?
It is for me. I usually go 30 feet or so. 100 feet. So I was really stressed out. And as I was descending to the bottom I was breathing so hard my friend said all these bubbles were coming out of my tank. Everyone else a few bubbles. And then we finally got to the bottom. I looked at my little cage. I hardly got any of the air left. And I looked over at my instructor and I did this which means I am out of air. Through the mask I could actually see him roll his eyes like this. So he gestures.
I swim over. He points. And he told us about this ahead of time on the back. He had two tanks.
We had one. He had something called an octopus. Not a literal octopus but another regulator attached to a shorter hose that was on his tank so if someone lost air you could get air. So I took my regulator out. I put his regulator in with the shortened hose and everywhere he went I went. And the hose was short. So I was on a short leash.
So he would go up a little bit and I would be doing little tiny you know strokes and he would go down and I would do little tiny strokes. I am just kind of floating over him hoping I don't die. But I had a choice.
Stay in sync with my instructor or drown. And I preferred life. And we made it out of there ok. But the point is that should be us and God. Where the Lord goes I go.
And I stay close to him. Noah walked with God. Number five Noah was a witness for God. He was a witness for God. He is identified in 2 Peter 2, 5 as a preacher of righteousness. A preacher of righteousness.
And you know what. He didn't reach that many people. He pretty much reached only his family.
Hebrews 11, 7 says, By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly reverence, prepared an ark to the saving of his household. But hey he did reach his family. And I say to you don't lose your family. Husbands, men, fathers, be a man of God. Take time for your children.
Take time for your wife. Take time for your grandchildren. Mothers, wives, be a woman of God. Be a godly grandmother. Be there. Help your offspring come to know Jesus Christ.
That's mission number one. Reach your family. And it's so sad when I see Christian homes where the kids have turned away from the Lord because the parents have been too preoccupied with themselves. And have no time for them. The best thing you can spend on children is not money.
It's time. And lots of it. And Noah reached his family. Let me contrast Noah with Lot. Lot's a guy in the Old Testament also in the book of Genesis. He became a leader in Sodom and Gomorrah. He was a wicked man. Or excuse me I should say a compromised man. He was identified as a believer and a righteous man.
But he was very compromised. And one day the Lord said I want you out of this city and bring your family with you. And the Bible says that when Lot told his family that judgment was coming they laughed in his face. Contrast him with Noah. When Noah spoke his family moved.
When Lot spoke his family laughed. Because no one listens to a compromiser. No one cares what the compromiser says. You have to live it before you can preach it. Not perfectly. Not flawlessly.
None of us do. But when you set that godly example and you speak your children will listen. People will listen. And Noah did that but Lot did not. So they left that city and judgment came. But world changers draw their families to Christ. So let me wrap this up and conclude. You want to be a real rebel?
Be a true follower of Jesus Christ. Makes me laugh today. I'm a rebel. And everyone says the same stuff. They parrot the same expressions. Effectively they march in lockstep.
And they have a form of group think. And they call themselves rebels. That's not rebels. That's not a rebel. A rebel is someone that says I'm not doing that. I'm doing what God says. You want to be a real rebel?
Follow Christ. You don't even need a black motorcycle jacket. And you don't need a wallet with a chain on it. Because bikers favor those.
Who would steal a wallet from a biker anyway? But I digress. That's a true rebel in today's culture.
So let's wrap it up. A world changer is someone who wants to change the culture. They think for themselves. They do what is right.
They follow Christ and they affect their surroundings more than their surroundings affect them. How do you live or how should you live as the last day's believer? Have reverence for God, number one. Number two, walk with God.
Number three, be a witness for God. Let me go back to one more passage. Here's how Jesus described the last days in Matthew 24. He says the arrival of the Son of Man will take place in times like Noah's before the great flood. Everyone was carrying on as usual, having a good time right up to the day Noah boarded the ark.
They knew nothing until the flood swept everything away. Then Jesus says the Son of Man's arrival, he's referring to himself, basically saying when I return, it'll be just like that. Two men will be working in the field. One will be taken and the other left.
Two women will be grinding at the mill. One will be taken and the other left. So stay awake, be alert. You have no idea what day your master will show up. Wow, just like the days of Noah. And I wonder right now, are you alert and are you awake and are you ready for the Lord's return? If Christ were to come back today, and he could, would you be ready to meet the Lord or would you be one of the ones that Jesus said would be left behind?
You don't wanna be that person, but that can all change. You can make a decision right now to get right with God and he'll forgive you of your sin and you can live with confidence, knowing that if Christ comes in your lifetime, you'll be ready to meet him and also know that when death comes and it will come, that you'll be ready to go into the presence of the Lord. You don't have to be afraid when Jesus Christ is living in your life. But if you don't have Christ in your life, you should be very afraid. So I wanna tell you how to get right with God.
Here's what it comes down to. You're a sinner, I'm a sinner. We've all broken God's commandments. But 2,000 years ago, Christ died on the cross for our sins and paid the price for every wrong we've ever done and every sin we've ever committed and he rose again from the dead and he's alive. And he stands now at the door of our life and he knocks and he says if we'll hear his voice and open the door, he'll come in. He'll come and live inside of you and forgive you and give you a fresh start in life. He'll give you a new beginning. He'll fill that hole in your heart, so to speak, that you've tried to fill with all these things the culture says you should chase after. What you really are longing for is God himself and you'll be ready to meet him.
And if you've never done that yet, you can do it right here, right now. We're gonna close with a word of prayer and I'm going to extend an invitation for anyone here who wants to put their faith in Jesus and be ready for the Lord's return. And I'm also going to extend an invitation for anyone who maybe has been living a compromised life, like Lot, who I referred to. You've been trying to live in two worlds.
That doesn't work, does it? You have too much of the Lord to be happy in the world and too much of the world to be happy in the Lord. It's a miserable no man's land and I bet you're just sick and tired of being sick and tired. Why don't you make that commitment to Christ now? You won't regret it. Let's pray. Father, I pray for everybody here, everybody listening and watching wherever they may be.
If they don't know you yet, let this be the moment they believe, the moment they come to you now. Now while our heads are bowed and our eyes are closed and we're praying together, if you would like Christ to come into your life, if you would like him to forgive you of your sin, if you would like to know that when you die you will go to heaven, if you want to be ready for the return of Jesus, I want you to raise your hand up wherever you are and I want to pray for you. Raise your hand up saying I need Christ today.
I want to be ready for his return. I want Jesus to come into my heart and life. Pray for me. Raise your hand up and I'll pray for you.
Raise it up high where I can see it. God bless you and you and you all over. God bless you.
Anybody else? Raise your hand up. God bless you guys. God bless you. Yes, I see you.
Anybody else? Raise your hand up. Let me pray for you. You're saying I need Jesus today. God bless all of you.
Other hands are going up so if yours hasn't gone up yet, you can put it up now. Let me pray for you. God bless you.
Well, our heads are still bowed. Maybe there's someone here that would say, man, I've been living a compromised life. I know it's right and I'm not doing it and I want to repent. I want to get right with God. Pray for me today.
If you need to make that recommitment to Jesus Christ, I want you to raise your hand up right now and let me pray for you. God bless you. God bless you.
God bless all of you. Father, I thank you now for every one of these folks that has raised their hand. Now give them the strength to stand up and follow you from this moment forward and we ask this in Jesus' name, amen. You know, Jesus says, if you will acknowledge me before people, I'll acknowledge you before my Father and the angels in heaven.
And then he says, but if you deny me before people, I'll deny you before the Father and the angels. In a moment, I'm gonna ask you that raise your hand during that last moment of prayer to take another step and that other step is I'm gonna ask when this song begins that you would get up out of your seat, walk down these aisles and stand in front of this platform and when you all get up here, I'm gonna lead you in a prayer. You say, but why do I want to do that?
Because you're making a public stand and you're saying I mean this. I want to follow Jesus. Maybe you didn't raise your hand, but you want Christ to come into your life. You want to get right with God. You want to be ready for the Lord's return or you want to make that recommitment to him, you get up and come as well. Now you guys in overflow areas here in the sanctuary and there at Harvest Riverside, I'm gonna ask you to do the same thing. When the song begins, I want you to get up out of your seat and walk up toward the platform. So wherever you are on our campuses, make your way to the stage here in the sanctuary and stand up here and in doing so, you're saying I want to follow Jesus Christ.
Again, if you raised your hand even if you did not, you want Christ to come into your life, you want your sin forgiven, you want to make this commitment or recommitment to him right now, get up out of your seat, come on down here and we'll pray together when you get here. Get up and come now, wherever you are. Come on, here's the first one. There's another one. There's another one.
There's another one. I don't want anybody, I don't want anyone leaving right now. I want to keep these aisles open for people coming forward. This is a holy moment when people make this commitment to Christ and God may be speaking to your heart and you know this is what you need to do.
Why would you put this off? You may never have another moment like this again. You guys at Harvest Riverside, I want you to get up and walk forward to the stage and we're gonna all pray this prayer together.
Here also we have these little overflow venues around the campus. You're watching the screen. Leave that space and come and join us here in the sanctuary as we sing this chorus again and then we're all gonna pray together. So anybody else who wants to make this commitment a recommitment to Christ, come right now.
All right. You that have come forward I want to lead you in a prayer. I'm gonna ask that you would pray this prayer out loud after me. This is where you're asking Jesus Christ to come into your life, to be your Savior and Lord. So again as I pray, pray this out loud after me, okay? Let's all bow our heads and pray this after me. Lord Jesus, I know that I'm a sinner but I know that you're the Savior who died on the cross for my sin and rose again from the dead.
I choose to follow you from this moment forward. Be my Savior and my Lord. Be my God and my friend. Thank you for hearing this prayer and answering this prayer. In Jesus' name I pray, amen. God bless you. God bless you guys. God bless you all. Hey everybody, thanks for listening to this podcast. To learn more about Harvest Ministries follow this show and consider supporting it. Just go to harvest.org. And to find out how to know God personally go to harvest.org and click on Know God.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-10-29 07:44:27 / 2023-10-29 08:03:38 / 19