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The Refreshing Power of Revival | Evangelizing to the Unreachable

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
April 29, 2024 3:00 am

The Refreshing Power of Revival | Evangelizing to the Unreachable

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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April 29, 2024 3:00 am

God has given us mere humans the opportunity to participate in giving life. A mom and dad bring life into this world with their newborn baby. And as believers, we have the privilege of bringing the message of new life to people as we share Christ. But some folks are not easily persuaded. They’re stuck in their sin and don’t want to move. Today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie points out how we can reach the unreachable. It’s part of his series called Refresh.

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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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Hey, everybody. You're listening to A New Beginning, which is a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners. If this program has impacted you, I'd love to hear from you. So just send an email to me at Again, it's

You can learn more about becoming a Harvest Partner by going to I want you for a moment to think of someone you know that you can't even imagine being a Christian. Maybe it's your father or your mother. Maybe it's your son or your daughter. Maybe it's an angry, contentious neighbor. You're thinking, they could never come to believe in Jesus.

Oh, they could. Listen to this. No one is beyond the reach of God. Amazing grace, how sweet the sound. Again, you hear all the angels are singing. This is the day, the day when life begins. God has given us mere humans the opportunity to participate in giving life. A mom and dad bring life into this world with their newborn baby. And as believers, we have the privilege of bringing the message of new life to people as we share Christ. But some folks are not easily persuaded. They're stuck in their sin and don't want to move. Well, today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie points out how we can reach the unreachable.

It's a part of his series called Refresh. This is the day, the day when life begins. So I want to look for a few moments with you at the greatest revival in human history. And it took place in the city of Nineveh. And of course, the man that God used to bring this revival about was named Jonah.

Now let me ask you a question. When you hear the name Jonah, what do you think of next? The whale, of course. We always think of the whale.

It's a funny thing when you read the book of Jonah. There's only a few verses about this whale. By the way, the Bible never says whale. The Bible says it was swallowed by a great fish. The root word could be translated sea monster. It could have been a whale. It could have been some creature that has come to exist and no longer is out there. It could have been a one-off custom designed creature God made just for Jonah.

I don't know. Well, he was in the belly of the beast for three days and three nights. How did he end up there? Well, it all started when he was running from God. You see, God came to Jonah and he said, I want you to go to the city of Nineveh and I want you to preach the message that I give you to them. And Jonah flat out refused.

Why? Nineveh was a wicked city. Nineveh was known for their atrocities and their intense cruelty that they would demonstrate toward their enemies.

And Nineveh, the capital of Assyria, they were the about enemies of Israel. Therefore, Jonah wanted nothing to do with them. He had no concern for their souls. It didn't concern him that God would judge this nation. In fact, it was his hope that God would judge this nation. So Jonah literally bought a fare on a boat going the opposite direction.

Well, that didn't work out so well for him. God set a big storm and then a big fish and he gave Jonah a big spanking. And there in the belly of the fish, Jonah called out to the Lord. And then God gave him a second chance. Jonah 2 10 says, the Lord spoke to the fish and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.

And the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time saying, go to Nineveh, that great city, and preach to them the message that I give to you. So here was Jonah now, repentant and regurgitated, righteous and roughed. He was bleached and beached. He was victorious and vomited.

And one more, he was regurgitated and revived. Imagine if you were laying around at the beach in Nineveh and you saw the sight. In comes this massive beast cruising through the water. It comes right to the shore. It opens up his mouth, makes a retching sound and out rolls Jonah. Ta-da.

His skin was probably bleached from the gastric juices in the whale's belly. And here's this message. In 40 days, Nineveh is going to be overthrown. Look at Jonah chapter 3. He preaches this message that God gave him. And he says, 40 more days and Nineveh is going to be overthrown.

Now you might think that's a pretty hopeless message, but actually it's more hopeful than you may realize. They had 40 days to repent. They had 40 days to get right with God. The fact of the matter is God sent no warning to Sodom and Gomorrah. Judgment fell on them.

But in the case of Nineveh, though they were wicked, the Lord gave them a second chance. I wonder what we would do in America if we were given a 40-day warning. Would we turn to God? Because in this story, it starts with the king who turns to God and then all of the people do it as well.

Would that happen in our nation as well? You know, God has given two secret weapons to the church today. They are not boycotting and protesting.

They are not even registering and voting. The two secret weapons God has given to the church are prayer and preaching. So Jonah has prayed in the belly of the beast. Now he's preached to the city of Nineveh walking through their streets.

What happens next? You need to go now to Jonah chapter 3 verse 5 and we read this amazing story. The people of Nineveh believed God's message from the greatest to the least and declared a fast and put on burlap to show their sorrow.

When the king of Nineveh heard what Jonah was saying, he stepped down from his throne and took off his royal robes and dressed himself in burlap and sat on a heap of ashes. And everyone prayed earnestly to God. And when God saw what they had done, how they had put a stop to their evil ways, he changed his mind and did not carry out the destruction he had threatened.

This is a stunning turnaround. An entire city filled with thousands of people turned to God in mass and a revival takes place and the judgment of God is turned away. It just shows us that no one is beyond the reach of God. I want you for a moment to think of someone you know that you can't even imagine being a Christian. It's hard for you to even picture them holding a Bible and saying something like, praise the Lord.

But listen to this, no one is beyond the reach of God. Maybe it's your father or your mother. Maybe it's your son or your daughter. Maybe it's someone you know that gives you a hard time at work. Maybe it's an angry, contentious neighbor. Maybe it's a public figure. You're thinking, they could never come to believe in Jesus.

Oh, they could. And you need to start praying for them that God will reach them. Again, this was a revival. God told these people 40 days judgment was coming and they repented. God tells us in 2 Chronicles 7, 14, if my people which are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and churn from their wicked ways, then it will hear from heaven and forgive their sin and heal their land. Listen, if you want to see a revival, just do revival-like things.

Don't overly mystify this. Just do those things that you know you should be doing as a follower of Jesus Christ. Let me go back to comparing this to maybe the romance between a man and a woman. You know, when you're first taking a girl out as a guy, you want to make a good impression on her, so you actually shower and your shirt is clean. And you show her great respect and maybe as you pick her up, you open the door of the car for her and then you go to the restaurant, you pull out the chair for her, you take her to a nice French restaurant.

Then you get married and things change a little bit. You still open the door for the car, but you just close it before she's all the way in. You pull the chair out in the restaurant, but you let her fall and then you pointed her and laugh. And you take her to French restaurants. The last one you took her to was, I think it was Jochen's de Box or the Golden Arches, I don't know. But something's happened.

You've sort of slipped away. Go back and do those romantic things again, so to speak, if you want your marriage to be strong. I heard a story about a woman that wanted to divorce her husband in the worst way. She went to an attorney and said, I want to divorce my husband, but I want this to hurt him. I want him to feel a lot of pain.

And the attorney said, oh really? Well, okay, I have a plan for you. He says, for the next three months, I want you to smother your husband with affection. Compliment him constantly.

Tell him what a great guy he is, how much you care for him. And then when that time has come to an end, you'll drop the divorce papers on him. He won't know what happened. He won't see it coming.

It'll even be more painful. She says, I'll do it. And so for the next three months, she complimented her husband, affirmed her husband, told her husband how much she loved and appreciated him. And when the three months came to a close, the attorney called her and said, all right, let's get this divorce started. She said, divorce?

We're going in our second honeymoon. You see, the point is, she did what she probably should have been doing all along. And in the same way in our life as Christians, when we're doing the things we should always be doing every day, getting up and reading the Bible, having a prayer life, being involved in our church, sharing our faith, when we do these things, it fuels the fire of revival and keeps that fire burning. But when we neglect those things, we begin to faith. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. Thank you for being such a good role model to me. We appreciate hearing how Pastor Greg's studies are impacting lives. Would you consider sharing your story? If so, call us and let us know.

Call 1-866-871-1144, 866-871-1144. And now Pastor Greg continues his helpful insight on personal evangelism from the message called The Refreshing Power of Revival. Is there somebody that God has called you to reach that you don't want to reach because you have a discomfort talking to a person like that? I've told you before that my mother was married and divorced seven times, right? And after I became a Christian and a pastor, the Lord spoke to my heart to go back to these husbands of my mother and share the gospel with them.

It didn't always go so well. There was one guy who was especially cruel to my mom. He lived in Hawaii.

I'll call him Eddie. And he beat my mother and almost killed her. And in fact, one night he knocked her unconscious with a wooden statue. And as I saw her laying on the floor bleeding, I thought my mother had died.

She left him after that. And I had a very hard heart toward this man, even after I was an adult. And I was over in Hawaii preaching at the Waikiki Shell. And someone said, Greg, you remember your old dad, Eddie?

Yes. He lives right across from the Waikiki Shell. And you know what? He's not doing well. His health is failing. If you'd like to say something to him, I said, I'm good. I don't want to say anything to him. And I felt directed by the Lord to go meet with him. So I took my wife, Kathy, over there and we sat in his tiny little apartment.

He used to live in a beautiful palatial home. And there he was in great pain, obviously, not doing well in life. And I told him what Christ had done for me and how he had changed me. And I said, I would like to invite you to come over here, just across the street, basically, and hear me speak. And he said, no, no, I can drive you over if you like. No, he wanted nothing to do with it.

See, that's why I don't even try to reach these guys. But then there was another guy my mom married named Oscar Laurie. He adopted me.

And I always loved this man because he treated me as a father should treat a son. But my mom left him. In fact, she left him and we flew over to Hawaii when she married Eddie. So I was getting out of school in New Jersey and the car was packed up with our suitcases. And I said, where are we going? She said, Hawaii. I said, where's Dad?

She said, he's not coming. And I didn't see him for the rest of my childhood. But after I was a young pastor, I sought him out, found him living in New Jersey. And I said, let's get some lunch together.

He said, oh, no, come to my home. I've got to get to see you and know you again. And I'll introduce you to my new wife, Barbara. So I took the train out with Kathy and our oldest son, Christopher, to New Jersey there.

Red Bank, New Jersey. And he was waiting at the station. And I remembered him immediately. And before I knew it, I was calling him Dad again. And one night we were sitting at the table and his wife made us a beautiful Italian meal. And she said to me, Greg, tell me how you became a Christian. And then how did you become a minister? And as I shared my story, my dad was just staring at me, not really responding.

Oh, by the way, I left out something. He used to be an attorney. So I felt like I was standing before a judge giving my testimony. And I didn't seem like it was going very well. Another thing I left out was my father had just had a heart attack only a short time before and was having serious heart problems and even blacked out at the wheel of his car.

And so he was on a restricted diet and he was exercising a lot. So he's listening. I tell my story of how I came to Christ. And then the dinner was done. And Oscar, my father who adopted me, said, Greg, let's walk in the morning. And I said, OK. He knocked on the door of my room at 6 o'clock in the morning New Jersey time, 3 o'clock in the morning California time. I was still pretty groggy.

And as we're walking along in the park, he says, Greg, I was listening very carefully to what you said last night. And I said, yeah. And he said, I would like to give my life to Jesus Christ. Boy, did I wake up fast.

It was like a double espresso. I said, well, Dad, maybe you don't understand what I said. Let me go over it again.

And I went over it again. He says, yes, I want Jesus to come into my life. And I said, well, what we need to do is pray. And he drops to his knees.

We're in the middle of a park. We're just walking at this point. He drops to his knees. I wasn't going to get on my knees. But since he was on his knees, I got on my knees. And I let him in this prayer. And Christ came into his life. And he lived 15 more years, got involved in the church, was a leader in his church. Amazing.

Amazing story. But I didn't really want to reach these men that my mother was married to. But I had to leave my comfort zone and go to them. Maybe there's someone like that that you're thinking of right now that you need to reach. Well, bringing this message to a close, God gave a second chance to Nineveh. And God loves to give second chances.

The Lord does not want to bring judgment. But we know this. Every nation's days are numbered.

Every great world empire that has been on this planet, they had a beginning, a middle, and an end. And the same will happen to the United States of America in God's timing. But here's what we're praying for. One more great spiritual awakening. Maybe two more.

Maybe three or four more. That's up to the Lord. But our job, our mission is similar to Jonah. We are to proclaim the good news and tell people that there is a God who loves them. It's a message of mercy. But it is also a message that says there's judgment if we reject that mercy. Classic example, John 3.16 offers both the forgiveness and the ramifications of not accepting that forgiveness. Jesus says, for God so loved the world, He gave His only begotten Son, and whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

So here's the message of love. For God so loved the world that He gave, here's the message of judgment. Whoever believes in Him should not perish. So if I don't believe in Him, I'll perish. If I don't believe in Him, I'll face the judgment of God. Romans 6.23 is similar. First, there's the message of judgment. The wages of sin is death. But then the loving offer of forgiveness.

But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Years ago, I was walking down the street. In Hawaii, I was a young pastor at this point. The guy was holding the sign. It said the wages of sin is death. And he was yelling to the people, God hates you, and God will judge you. And I watched this guy for a few minutes, and I thought, he's misrepresenting the Lord.

So I walked up to him, and I said, excuse me. And he's still yelling, God hates you, and God will judge you, excuse me. God hates you, and He'll judge you, excuse me.

Yeah, what, what do you want? You know, why don't you put the rest of that verse? It is true that it says the wages of sin is death, but the rest of it says, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Then he told me God was gonna judge me. Well, he was misrepresenting God.

Yes, it is true judgment can come, but it's also true that Jesus Christ took the judgment of God on the cross of Calvary in our place, so we don't have to face it. God spared Nineveh. God extended mercy to Nineveh.

A spiritual awakening happened in Nineveh. One person put it this way, quote, if God could bring a mighty revival in Nineveh with no better representative than Jonah and no more gospel than he preached in their streets, he can surely do the same thing for America, end quote. Jesus actually validated the story of Jonah, and he said, as Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale, so will the Son of Man be, three days and three nights on the heart of the earth. Here's what Christ was saying. Just as Jonah was in the belly of that beast, so I, the Son of God, will be crucified on a cross and I'll rise again from the dead. He validated the story and used it as a picture of his own death and resurrection. Listen, Jesus died for you.

Jesus absorbed God's judgment that you should have absorbed and that I should have absorbed, and he died in my place. Again, God loved you so much, he gave his only begotten Son and whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life. Have you asked Christ to come into your life? Have you asked him to forgive you of your sin? Do you have the hope right now that you will go to heaven when you die? If not, wouldn't you like to have it right now? Have you been running from God like Jonah?

That needs to stop. Stop running from him and run to him. If you've never asked Jesus into your life, you can do it right here, right now. So if you want your sin forgiven, if you wanna know that you'll go to heaven when you die, if you want Jesus Christ to be your Savior and your Lord and your friend, why don't you just pray this prayer after me? Pray these words, Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner.

I'm sorry for that sin. I turn from it now, and I choose to follow you from this moment forward. Thank you for hearing this prayer and answering this prayer. In Jesus' name I pray, amen.

An important moment for those praying that prayer. Pastor Greg Laurie leading them in a prayer asking Jesus to be their Savior. And if you've just prayed that prayer, first of all, we wanna be the first to welcome you into the family of God. And we also wanna help you grow as a Christian. Let us send you Pastor Greg's New Believers Bible. It's full of wonderful study helps for those who are new to the faith, and the scripture text is an easy-to-understand translation. Ask for the New Believers Bible when you call 1-800-821-3300.

Call anytime 24-7, 1-800-821-3300. Or go online to and click Know God. Well, we're excited to make available a new devotional book for kids called Marvel at the Moon. It's written by our good friend, pastor and author Levi Lesko.

90 devotions, all based on the amazing things to be discovered in outer space and God's creation. Levi, did you have devotion times with your parents when you were a kid? Yeah, my dad, who's my hero and my best friend, he was the best man at my wedding. Ever since I was a little boy, he has just been so good to lead me in devotions. As a family, we didn't always make it easy on him.

We'd be crawling all over the couch and raising a fuss. And I always tell parents, lower your expectations. If you're expecting your kids to be sitting like they're in a cathedral, you need to adjust your expectations. You may not get two, three minutes in, but they're gonna remember that you tried, and they're gonna remember that you made it a priority to open up scripture and to point them to these things. And I think so fondly back on me as a young man, and I'm trying to continue that legacy with my kids, and I believe that by God's grace, they'll do that with their kids as well.

Amen. That's great insight from pastor Levi Lesko, and I've got a resource for you, and we've been talking about it with Levi. It's his new book, Marvel at the Moon. This is a way to get those conversations started with your children, even with your grandchildren. So it's 90 devotions based on outer space and the Bible written by pastor Levi Lesko. This book is accessible, it's fun, it's beautifully illustrated, and it will not only engage the interest of the child, it'll engage your interest as well as you read it to them. So you can order your copy of Marvel at the Moon from us here at Harvest Ministries.

And listen to this. You can have it for your gift of any size. Now, some maybe can only give a little, and we appreciate that, but others can be more generous. And I encourage you to be generous because whatever you give will be used to carry this ministry on so more people can hear the word of God taught and hear the gospel proclaimed. So order your copy of this new devotional by Levi Lesko, Marvel at the Moon.

Yeah, we have a copy waiting for you. Just get in touch with your investment and ask for Pastor Levi's new devotional book, Marvel at the Moon. And time is running out for us to mention this resource, so get in touch with us right away. The fastest way to connect is to go to our website,, or just give us a phone call, 1-800-821-3300.

We can take your call anytime, again at 1-800-821-3300. Hey everybody, I want to encourage you to check out the new Harvest Plus app. It's on Roku, Apple TV, and Google Play, among others. And you can stream incredible content on all major platforms for free. You're gonna find live events, our evangelistic films like A Rush of Hope, Johnny Cash, The Redemption of an American Icon, Steve McQueen, The Salvation of an American Icon, and our newest film, Fame. Plus, our TV programs, our podcast, Harvest at Home, and a lot more.

Stream it all on any device for free using the new Harvest Plus app. Well, next time, we'll sharpen our focus on the story of Jonah and the lessons the book teaches about personal evangelism. Join us here on A New Beginning with pastor and Bible teacher, Greg Laurie. This is the day, the day when life begins Thanks for listening to A New Beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners. Helping people everywhere know God. Sign up for daily devotions and learn how to become a Harvest Partner at
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-04-29 05:20:48 / 2024-04-29 05:31:36 / 11

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