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How to Be a World Changer at the End of the World | Leading Others to Jesus

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
December 12, 2023 3:00 am

How to Be a World Changer at the End of the World | Leading Others to Jesus

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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December 12, 2023 3:00 am

History records the names of individuals who made a difference . . . a real difference. Henry Ford, Albert Einstein, Billy Graham, Martin Luther King, The Wright Brothers. They got something done. What if Thomas Edison had decided to stay in bed the day he finally got his light bulb to work after 1,000 failures? Today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie points out how we can make a difference as we shine a light on this dark culture, and point out how Jesus is coming back . . . soon!

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A New Beginning is the daily half-hour program hosted by Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Southern California. For over 30 years, Pastor Greg and Harvest Ministries have endeavored to know God and make Him known through media and large-scale evangelism. This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.

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You're listening to A New Beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast supported by Harvest Partners. For more ways to deepen and challenge your spiritual walk, enroll in Pastor Greg's free online courses.

Sign up at harvest.org. 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? History records the names of individuals who made a difference, a real difference. Henry Ford, Albert Einstein, Billy Graham, Martin Luther King, the Wright brothers, they got something done.

What if Thomas Edison had decided to stay in bed the day he finally got his light bulb to work after a thousand failures? Well, today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie points out how we can make a difference as we shine a light on this dark culture and point out how Jesus is coming back soon. The title of my message is how to be a world changer at the end of the world. Because you, my friend, are a last days believer. Now, do I believe Jesus could come at any time? Yes. 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 earth. 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 a last days 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, the 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 you know, 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 four 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 seven. 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. 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's going to send rain so he says to Noah I want you to build a boat or an ark. You know one of the greatest practical acts of faith in all of history it's 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 didn't ever 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'm 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 day's believer should be. He builds this massive boat. Now let's see if we can identify some principles from his life.

If you're taking notes here's 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's 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's a mystery. It's not a mystery to us because we know what it means.

But it's 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're living in the end times. We know we're 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've 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'd 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's engaged in helping the unborn. She's in a pro-life kind of a ministry.

Isn't that a great story? Her name is Crystal as I recall but so this is the idea it should affect us in the way that we live. To fear God does not mean I'm afraid God's gonna hurt me or hit me. It means that I reverence him.

I honor him. I have a respect for him and that's 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's a reminder I'll never judge the earth like this again so every time you see a rainbow it's a reminder that God keeps his promises. Have you ever noticed it's really hard to photograph a rainbow?

I love rainbows. I'll see when I'll say Kathy look at the rainbow and we'll drive pull the car over I'll jump out pull up my phone hold it up then I look at the picture it's so sad it's like what happened to the rainbow you can't photograph one very easily can you it's 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's made that promise to us as well. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. Hearing about listeners who find Jesus because of Harvest Ministries is so encouraging. Pastor Greg I've watched the movie Jesus Revolution at least four times. I cried when it showed you getting baptized. I realized that if it wasn't for your salvation I wouldn't have mine. God always has such wonderful plans. Do you have a story to tell? If so would you share it with us? Call 866-871-1144.

That's 866-871-1144. Well we're considering the example of Noah a real world changer and Pastor Greg's message called how to be a world changer at the end of the world. Point number three Noah walked with God when no one else did. He walked with God when no one else did. Genesis 6 9 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's not going to work very well right. So when I'm 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.

If he stops I stop. That's what it's like to walk with God. Years ago I was over in Maui and I was scuba diving and so we decided to dive off in a little island called Mulikini and the dive is a hundred feet down. Hundred feet is pretty deep don't you think?

It is for me. I usually go 30 feet or so hundred 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 in here. Air left and I looked over at my instructor. Through the mask I could actually see him roll his eyes. So he gestures.

I swim over. He points and he told us about this ahead of time. On the back of 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'd go down and do little tiny strokes. I'm 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 okay. 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. The next point Noah was a witness for God. He was a witness for God. He's 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 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 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 but 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 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 taking in the other left.

Two women will be grinding at the mill. One will be taking in 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 want to 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 want to 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 now. We're going to 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 and follow you from this moment forward and we ask this in Jesus' name. Amen. Pastor Greg Laurie with an important prayer today on a new beginning and if you know you need to make a change in your relationship with the Lord well Pastor Greg wants to lead you right now in a word of prayer. Pray this after me if you would Lord Jesus I know that I am a sinner I have broken your commandments I have fallen short of your standards but 2,000 years ago you died on that cross for me then you rose again from the dead so Jesus come into my life and be my Savior and my Lord and my God and my 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.

Amen. And listen if you have just prayed that prayer with Pastor Greg and have meant those words sincerely well first let us welcome you into the world of prayer. If you have just prayed that prayer with Pastor Greg and have meant those words sincerely well first let us welcome you into the family of God and then we want to help you get started in living this new life of faith. Pastor Greg would like to send you his New Believers Bible. It's an understandable translation and it has hundreds of helps and special features with the New Believer in mind. Let us send this resource to you free of any believers Bible when you call 1-800-821-3300. That's 1-800-821-3300.

Or write A New Beginning Box 4000 Riverside, California 92514. Or go online to harvest.org and click Know God. Well Pastor Greg it's such a wonderful thing to hear from our listeners.

Yes. They write to us from all across the country and even all around the world. In fact take a listen to this. Hi Greg. I'm a young Christian living in rural Australia and I recently went with my mom to watch The Jesus Revolution. The movie really touched me and gave me a new insight into the lives of young Christians just like me. I enjoyed the movie so much that I'm so excited for the opportunity to show it to all my friends who aren't Christians yet and are still trying to find their way in the world. I would just like to thank you and all your team for all that you guys have done to spread the gospel around the world.

Every morning my brother and I listen to your podcast through a local radio station on the way to school. It's a great way to strengthen ourselves and to encourage us to spread the Lord's word. I wait eagerly for the day I am able to be at one of your crusades in America or maybe even here in Australia. Thank you for obeying God all those years ago so that you bless all of us today through Christ.

God bless you all. Wow that's a beautiful letter from that young lady from down under Australia. We had some great crusades over the years and maybe one day we'll return again but to her I would just say thank you for writing and what an inspiration that is because you know Dave that was exactly what we were trying to do when we made this film.

We wanted people to feel what we felt to almost take them back in time so they could experience it for themselves and I think it succeeded. I've talked to so many people of all ages who've said oh wow for those that were there it was a flashback it's like I was back where I was before but for others like this young lady who wrote they're saying man I want that for my generation and I pray they do have it for their generation. The gospel is for every generation. The gospel is for every person young and old men and women boys and girls think about this. This young lady listens to our podcast every day on the way to school.

How amazing is that? So as we come now to the end of one year and we're poised to enter into another what a great time to invest into the future to invest in the next generation to invest in young people they need to hear the gospel. Our job is to pass this on that's every generation's job we carry the gospel into our generation then we pass it on to the next one and they do the same and they pass it to the following generation and so I'm going to ask you in this month of December as we celebrate the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ to make a generous year-end gift to Harvest Ministries so we can continue to reach every generation but especially young people like that young lady we just heard from. Thank you for your generosity. Give generously and invest in the future with us here at Harvest. Yeah and you can make your donation easily and securely by going online to harvest.org or write us at A New Beginning Box 4000 Riverside California 92514. You know the end of the year is the most strategic time for us so get in touch today. You can also call us anytime 24 hours a day at 1-800-821-3300.

That's 1-800-821-3300. Well next time one of Pastor Greg's most fascinating presentations called What I Would Tell My Younger Self. Personal practical wisdom coming our way. Join us here on A New Beginning with pastor and Bible teacher Greg Laurie. 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 / 2023-12-12 05:41:22 / 2023-12-12 05:51:45 / 10

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