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What the Resurrection of Jesus Means to You | The Power of the Resurrection

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
April 16, 2024 3:00 am

What the Resurrection of Jesus Means to You | The Power of the Resurrection

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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April 16, 2024 3:00 am

The Resurrection is a pivot point for the entire Christian faith. Paul told the Corinthian church, “If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.” Thankfully, he then said, “But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead.” And today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie points out how the Resurrection provides the power we need to break through the barriers and live the Christian life.

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

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You're listening to A New Beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners, helping people everywhere know God.

Visit our website and learn more about Harvest Partners at harvest.org. There is no sin, there is no habit, there is no addiction, there is no vice that needs to hold you any longer. The resurrection of Jesus assures me I have all the power I need to live the Christian life. The resurrection is a pivot point for the entire Christian faith. Paul told the Corinthian church, if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised.

And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless, and so is your faith. Thankfully, he then said that Christ has indeed been raised from the dead. And today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie points out how the resurrection provides the power we need to break through the barriers and live the Christian life. In our last message, we talked about what the death of Jesus means for you. Now let's talk about what the resurrection of Jesus Christ means to you. Mark chapter 16.

I'm reading verses 1 to 8. On Saturday evening, when the Sabbath ended, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Salome, went out and purchased burial spices so they could anoint Jesus' body. Very early on Sunday morning, just at sunrise, they went to the tomb, and on the way they were asking each other, who's going to roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb? But as they arrived, they looked up and saw the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled aside. And when they entered the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a white robe, sitting on the right side, and they were shocked.

And then the angels said, don't be afraid. You're looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He isn't here. He's risen from the dead.

Look. This is where they laid His body. Now go tell the disciples and Peter that Jesus is going ahead of you into Galilee. You'll see Him there, just as He told you before He died.

The women fled from the tomb, trembling and bewildered, and said nothing to anyone because they were too frightened. So what the resurrection of Jesus means to you. Six practical truths on how the resurrection of Christ impacts you and me today.

Here's number one. The resurrection of Jesus assures me I am accepted by God. Let me say that again. The resurrection of Jesus assures me that I am accepted by God. Romans 4.25 says He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. Somewhere, I don't know how this happens, but people, even Christians sometimes think that you must earn the favor of God. You must do certain things and then God will love you.

But the opposite is the case. There's nothing you can do to earn the favor of God. And the fact is God loves you no matter what you do.

Isn't that great to know? You're accepted by God. You're loved by God.

Listen. God's not mad at you. God is mad about you.

Number two. The resurrection of Jesus assures me I have all the power I need to live the Christian life. Romans 8.11 says the Spirit of God who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you.

And just as He raised Jesus from the dead, He gave life to your mortal body by the same Spirit living within you. So, dear Christian friends, you have no obligation whatsoever to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. You know, sometimes people say, I've tried to live the Christian life and I failed.

Okay. Let me say something you might find surprising, even provocative. It's not hard to be a Christian. It's impossible without the help of the Spirit of God. So there has to come a moment where I say, I can't do this. I can't live by what this book teaches. I can't resist those temptations in my own strength.

I need a power greater than the power I personally have. And that's where the Holy Spirit comes in. Jesus said, without Me you can do nothing. But then Paul writes, I can do all things to Christ who strengthens me.

Listen to this. There is no sin. There is no habit.

There is no addiction. There is no vice that needs to hold you any longer. The resurrection of Jesus assures me I have all the power I need to live the Christian life.

Number three. The resurrection of Jesus assures me that I too will live forever in heaven. It assures me that I too will live forever in heaven.

Listen to this. Death died when Christ rose. Because Jesus rose, I too will rise. Because Jesus died, I will never die.

Now you might say, Greg, you're delusional. And you're getting old by the way. So do you realize that you could die someday, maybe even soon?

Hey, I'm aware of that. I'm not denying the reality of death. But I'm also looking at it in another way. Because for the Christian, we never really die. Oh sure, our body goes into the ground. But we live on because the real me is the soul that lives on. And God will resurrect my body also. But death is not the end of the road.

It's just a bend in the road. And when Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead, he conquered death. 1 Corinthians 15, 54 says, when these perishable earthly bodies have been transformed into heavenly bodies that will never die, the Scriptures will come true. Death is swallowed up in victory. Oh death, where is your victory? Oh death, where is your sting? Have you ever been stung by a bee? I was walking on the beach with my wife not long ago and there were all these bees out there.

I don't know why. I've never seen so many bees on the beach. And Kathy said, be careful of the bees. I said, I'm not going to step on a bee.

And right then guess what happened? Of course, I stepped on a bee. It hurt. And then my foot was sort of swollen.

So not something you want to do if you can avoid it. It's interesting that death is compared to the sting of a bee. I heard the story of a father who was traveling in his car with his son who was highly allergic to bee stings.

In fact, if the little guy got stung, he could die as a result. So a bee somehow got in the car and it was buzzing around and the little boy was panicking and screaming. And suddenly the father reached out his hand and closed it. And then he opened it again and the bee came out again. And the boy said, daddy, daddy, the bee is still out. And the father said, son, don't worry, look.

And the little boy realized that he had taken the stinger of the bee. You see, and that's what Jesus did. He took the sting of death.

He bore it in your place. The tomb is not an entrance to death. It's an entrance to life. And the moment we take our last breath on earth, we take our first breath in heaven. And because of the death and resurrection of Jesus from the dead, I don't have to be afraid of dying. 1 Corinthians 15, 20 says, Christ has been raised from the dead and he has become the first of a great harvest of those who will be raised to life again. And so this is the great hope that we have right now.

Because that brings me to point number four. The resurrection of Jesus assures me that I will receive a new body just like his. Now there's some confusion about these new bodies. I read a stat not long ago that said two-thirds of Americans believed it would be a resurrection of the dead, but they also believed that they will not have bodies after the resurrection. Well, what do you think you're gonna be? A ghost?

Casper the friendly ghost. No, you're not gonna be a disembodied spirit just floating around. You're gonna be you. Because God is gonna resurrect your body. God will resurrect the body of every person who has died in faith.

And you will be a radically upgraded version of yourself. Job said in Job 19, 26, in my flesh I will see God. I myself will see him with my own eyes.

I and not another. And the example of the model of this, dare I use the word prototype, understand the context I'm using it in, is Jesus. Jesus died and he rose again from the dead. Now was he still Jesus? Of course. Was there any connection between the risen Lord and the crucified Lord?

Again, yes. Because he still bore in his body the marks of the crucifixion. But remember, he would sit down with the disciples and eat food. You know, and I don't think he was like translucent.

You could see the food going down. He was in a body. But he was in a resurrected body.

And you and I will have a new body one day as well. Colossians 3, 4 assures us with these words, when Christ who is our life appears, you shall be like him. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. Well, today, Pastor Greg is offering six ways the Lord's resurrection affects our lives here today. Let's listen.

Number five. Because of the resurrection of Jesus, we will have resurrected relationships. Have you ever been talking with someone on the phone and suddenly they drop out but you don't know they dropped out. So you are still telling them something, maybe something very important and there is silence and you are thinking, oh they don't like what I am saying or they are judging me or they hate me.

No, actually you lost service right there. And so you know what it is like to be cut off in a conversation. Seriously though, if you are in a conversation with someone you love and then suddenly they are taken, they die.

And you can't finish that conversation how hard that is. Because of the resurrection of Jesus, we are going to pick up what we last left off with loved ones who have preceded us to heaven. You know when Jesus rose again, there was a familiarity with Him and the disciples, the connection to the past. And so one day we will be reconnected with loved ones.

And listen to this. It won't just happen at death. It will happen then. But there is a generation that will not see death. A generation that will not go to the grave. A generation that will be caught up in a moment in the twinkling of an eye into the presence of God. Sometimes it is called the rapture. Will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air.

Here is a description of it in 1 Thessalonians 4.14 and a number of other verses from that chapter. Since we believe Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus comes, listen, God will bring back with Jesus all the Christians who have died. For the Lord Himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout and the call of the archangel and the trumpet call of God.

First all of the Christians who have died will rise from their graves and then will be caught together with them who are still alive and caught up into the clouds to meet the Lord in the air and remain with Him forever. So comfort and encourage each other with these words. So one day it is possible we could be this generation. You are just walking around going about your business, eating a burger, making a phone call, getting up in the morning, going to bed at night. Whatever it is you are doing. And then just in a moment.

You can't even measure it in time. You are in the presence of God and you are in the presence of your loved ones who have preceded you to heaven. It is a twinkling of an eye.

By the way that is not even the blinking of an eye. The word twinkling comes from the root word Adamos. It is from the root word Adam.

It means something that cannot be divided. So think about all that Jesus has done for you. Because He died and rose, there are so many blessings available to us. We are made acceptable to God.

He gives us the power to live the Christian life. We know we will go to heaven. We know we will be reunited with loved ones. We know we will have new bodies given to us.

And this can happen at any moment. And there is one last thing. And this is number six. What the resurrection of Jesus means to you. Because Jesus died and rose again from the dead. We need to tell others.

We need to tell others. Go back to Mark 16 verse 15 and then verse 20. Then He told them, go into all the world and preach the gospel to everyone. And the disciples went everywhere and preached and the Lord worked through them confirming what they had said by miraculous signs. Now this is part of what we call the Great Commission here at the end of Mark's gospel. The other part of the Great Commission is found in the end of Matthew's gospel chapter 28. Where Jesus says, Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. And teach these new disciples to obey the commandments I have given you. There are two very important things to note here.

Number one. They are a command. Listen. If you are a Christian you are commanded by Jesus to go into all the world and preach the gospel. If you are a Christian you are commanded by Jesus to go and make disciples. What does that mean? To preach the gospel means to verbally articulate the message of the gospel. And what is that?

In a nutshell here it is. God loves you. You are separated from God by your sin. Christ died for your sin and rose again from the dead. If you will turn from your sin and believe in Him you can know with certainty that you will go to heaven when you die. I am commanded by Christ to go into all the world and preach that message.

But there is another part to it. And make disciples. What does it mean to make a disciple? It means to help them to get up on their feet spiritually. Jesus explains it.

Go and make disciples teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you. Listen. When I became a Christian at the age of 17. This is 10 years ago. I am kidding.

You knew that. Ok. A long time ago. I didn't really know what I had done. I didn't understand what it meant to be a Christian. I didn't own a Bible. I had never been to church for the most part except when I was a little kid going with my grandparents. I didn't know what the next step was. No one offered me a new believer's Bible like we offered to folks that responded to the gospel. I didn't know. But thank God a guy named Mark just came up to me.

I am in high school. And he said, hey I saw that you prayed and accept Jesus the other day. Because I did it right there in the front lawn of my high school campus. And I was a bit resentful. I am like, yeah so? He says, oh that is great. And I would like you to come to church with me. And my response is, no thank you. No I want you to come to church with me Mark said. I said, no I don't want to go to church with you. He says, where do you live? I want to pick you up and take you to church.

I don't want to go to church. The next thing I know I am in Mark's car going to church with him. And after that he took me home to his family and they were all Christians. And we would sit around the dinner table and have a meal. And then they would talk to me about what the Bible said. He discipled me.

He helped me get up on my feet spiritually. You can do that for someone. Let me take it a step further. You must do that for someone. Because it is not only good for them.

It is good for you. You see they need you to stabilize them. And you need them to be energized. It is sort of like when you are around a bunch of kids. It can almost energize you. For a while.

Maybe a couple of hours. And it is good if they go home and then you take a nap. Seriously a new believer can energize you.

Why? Because as they discover for the first time the truths of God. You in many ways can rediscover them.

Because sometimes we don't appreciate all that God has done. So I am urging you to go into all the world and preach the gospel. So number one there is a command. That is why we call it the Great Commission. Not the Great Suggestion.

Number two. These words were not directed to the original twelve but to everyone. In other words this is not just for the so-called professionals. Oh well Greg you are an evangelist. You do that. Or maybe the pastor should do it. Or the missionary.

No. Everyone should do it. Everyone should do it. The student should do it. The businessman should do it.

The housewife should do it. No matter what you do or who you are. You are commanded to go into all of your world and make disciples.

This is the Great Commission. And what is the message we are proclaiming? It is the message of the gospel. And maybe you would like to believe the gospel right now. In other words you would like Jesus Christ to come and live inside of you.

One story I touched on in my message today. And it is really one of my favorite post resurrection appearances of Christ. Is when Jesus walked with those two disciples on the Emmaus road. The thing is they didn't know it was Jesus. They thought he was a stranger. But at the end of their journey they realized they had been talking to the risen Christ.

And here is the part of the story I wanted to focus on. The Bible says Jesus acted as though he would keep on walking. And they said no stay and have a meal with us. And the Bible says as they broke bread suddenly they realized it was Jesus.

Isn't that interesting. Jesus acted as though he would keep walking. Listen to this. Jesus will not force his way into any person's life. If you don't want Christ in your life well you don't have to have him. But if you want him in your life he wants to come in. He wants to save you from your sins.

That's why he died on the cross. He wants to transform your life. He wants to give you the power over all addiction and vices.

And any other thing that has a hold of you right now. He wants to give you the guaranteed assurance that you will go to heaven. But you must ask him to stay. Just like those two disciples did. Jesus said behold I stand at the door and knock and if any man will hear my voice and open the door I will come in. Right now Jesus is knocking at the door of your heart of your life. And if you want him to come in it can happen right here right now.

It's so simple it will blow your mind. It's as simple as praying. The Bible says whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved. So in a moment I'm going to pray a prayer.

And I'm going to ask any of you that are watching right now who are not sure if Jesus is living in your life. You're not certain that your sin is forgiven. You don't have the confidence that you'll go to heaven when you die. I want you to pray this prayer with me. You can pray it out loud if you like.

You can pray it silently. But you pray this prayer and mean it and God will hear you. So if you want Christ to come into your life pray this prayer right now.

Just pray these words. 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 ask you to come into my life right now and forgive me of all of my sin.

I want to see you in heaven one day. Thank you for hearing this prayer and answering this prayer. In Jesus' name I pray.

Amen. Pastor Greg Laurie with an important prayer with those making the decision to follow Jesus today. And if you've just prayed that prayer, well first of all we want to welcome you into God's family. And we'd like to help you as you begin to walk with the Lord. Let us send you Pastor Greg's New Believers Bible. It'll help you get started off right. It has scores of special helps for those who are new to the faith. Answers to common questions and suggestions for getting grounded in the faith. Just ask for the New Believers Bible when you call 1-800-821-3300. That's a 24-hour phone number, 1-800-821-3300. Or write A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514.

Or just go online to harvest.org and click Know God. Well we're excited to make available a brand new book. It's a 90-day devotional for kids by pastor and author Levi Lesko called Marvel at the Moon. Levi's here today and we wanted to have a little fun. So Levi Lesko are you ready to play How Well Do You Know Our Moon? Absolutely.

Alright let's begin. How many miles away is the moon? Well it's a range because its distance is constantly varying.

But it's roughly 240,000 miles depending on how its orbit is going. You are correct. First one correct from Levi Lesko. Well done.

Very well done. Okay second one. Does the moon rotate in the same direction as the earth or the opposite direction? Well there's asynchronous rotation so the moon always keeps its back faced away from us. We never have seen the dark side of the moon.

So it does rotate but it's asynchronous rotation. You are correct sir. Very good. Alright how much smaller is the moon than the earth?

Oh gosh well it's roughly the size of the United States so it's substantially smaller. He is a cheat sheet. Levi is correct again. Now next one.

How many people have walked on the moon? Wow. Oh wow 21? My sources say 12. Oh 12. 12's right. No, no, no. It's 12.

Go with your sources. On which Apollo mission did they say, Houston we have a problem? 13. Okay let's check the radio communications from that mission. Houston we have a problem.

Okay standby 13. We're looking at it. You are correct sir. Now what percentage of the moon's surface is made of green cheese?

Zero percent. That was an easy one. You are correct sir.

When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie is that really a moray? That's a fact. That's actually established. You are correct sir and Levi Lusko has gotten a perfect score on our How Well Do You Know Our Moon contest. Except I said the astronauts backwards it was 12 not 21 so I said that wrong.

Oh well we'll give you that. We'll call that 10% wrong. 90. So did you have to do a lot of extra studying to prepare all 90 devotions in this book?

You know substantially. I probably read 10,000 pages and visited the Smithsonian Air and Space. All three of the significant sites to the NASA program in the United States. Got to interview several astronauts but I loved it.

That was not suffering at all. That's amazing. You know I had the opportunity to meet a couple of astronauts myself. In all places I was in a department store in London, England waiting for my wife to shop. And who was standing there? John Glenn.

At that point he was a senator and we just started engaging because he was waiting for his wife as well. I mean it was so amazing to meet this legendary astronaut. And then on another occasion I met astronaut James Irwin who walked on the moon and talked about how he sensed the presence of God there. I mean these guys so amazing and so courageous these astronauts that went into outer space. And Levi's long had a fascination with outer space and astronauts and the space program. And he's taken that personal interest and turned it into an amazing book for kids.

And it's called Marvel at the Moon. 90 devotions based on the Bible and outer space that you can use to engage your little ones and teach them more about Jesus Christ. And we have this book which is beautifully illustrated by the way available to you this month for your gift of any size. So whatever you send we'll make sure that gets put to good use to get the gospel out to more people and to teach the Word of God. And you're going to love this gorgeous hardback cover book that you'll keep on the nightstand next to your child's bed and you can read to them.

You'll probably want to do it again after you finish these 90 devotions. So order your copy of Marvel at the Moon right now. Dave tell them how they can get one for themselves. Yeah it's so simple just contact us with your investment and mention that title Marvel at the Moon. We'll be glad to send it right out to you. Call us at 1-800-821-3300. 1-800-821-3300. Or write A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514. Or go online to harvest.org. Well next time Pastor Greg begins a series on a significant topic. Have you ever felt your prayer life needed a little help? Well help us on the way next time. Join us here on A New Beginning with Pastor and Bible Teacher, Greg Laurie. Or go online to harvest.org.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-04-16 05:29:53 / 2024-04-16 05:40:33 / 11

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