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No One Is Beyond the Reach of God | Sunday Message

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Cross Radio
November 14, 2021 3:00 am

No One Is Beyond the Reach of God | Sunday Message

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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November 14, 2021 3:00 am

How does one go from being an enemy of the Christian faith to one of its key evangelists? In this episode, Pastor Greg Laurie surveys the most stunning conversion in the book of Acts—when Saul came to faith.


God gives us absolutes for our own protection.

Religion can turn you from God.

God promises that His Word will not return void.

“Saul was uttering threats with every breath.” —Acts 9:1

Jesus is the only Way to God because the Bible says so!

Only Jesus was qualified to bridge the gap between a Holy God and sinful man.

We are not people of “a way” or even “a better way,” but “the only way.”

Saul not only heard Jesus; Saul also saw Jesus!

What were the goads Saul was kicking against?

The arguments, life, and death of Stephen.

The spread of the gospel and the response of the believers.

The gospel is: “The power of God unto salvation to everyone that believes.”

“May your money be destroyed with you.” —Acts 8:20

Be thankful for what God has given you!

True repentance will result in a changed course in life.

Two men placed side by side in Scripture: Simon and Saul.

Simon wanted power and fame.

Saul had power, fame, and influence and fought with Jesus, but ultimately Saul believed.

Paul said two things to Jesus:

“Who are You, and what do You want me to do?"

Scripture Referenced

Ephesians 4:31–32

Isaiah 55:11

Acts 26:11

James 2:19–20

John 2:23–24

2 Corinthians 7:10


Learn more about Greg Laurie and Harvest Ministries at

This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.

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Hey there, thanks for listening to the Greg Laurie part just a ministry supported by harvest partners on Greg Laurie encouraging you if you want to find out more about harvest ministries. To learn more about how to become a harvest partner, just go to and now it's time to have a Bible study. So grab your Bible or your tablet or your phone or however your reading the Scripture and turned to ask eight were also to look in acts chapter 9 in the title of my messages.

No one is beyond the reach of God not want you for a moment to think about someone you know it is not yet a Christian. Now I want you to think of someone that frankly you can't even imagine them becoming a Christian you think a stretch to think of this person walking around carrying a Bible and saying praise the Lord. Think about that person and maybe that person is antagonistic towards you. Maybe that person is an outright atheist and now I want you to start praying for that person. Why because no one is beyond the reach of God, I'm writing the new book. It's a spiritual biography and as you may know, I've already written three my first one was called Steve McQueen the salvation of an American icon, and it's a story of how good then number one star in the world but number one movie star in the world became a Christian, rather unexpectedly, I might add that I wrote Johnny Cash, the redemption of an American icon and Johnny's different from Steve. He was raised in the church for the had his ups and downs but recommitted this life to the Lord. Toward the end and recorded some of the best music of his entire career. Finally I wrote a book called Billy Graham the man I knew, so the title of my new biography is Dylan Lennon, Alice and Jesus say what is that book about. It's about the spiritual search of rock stars and I have a chapter on John Lennon another chapter on Bob Dylan. Another chapter on Alice Cooper. You know, I find these folks interesting because they breathe rarefied air.

There's supremely talented individuals are at the door at the top of their game. They fill stadiums they make a lot of money.

They have everything that people dream about and they break the rules and do whatever they want to send, and hence the term always lives like a rock star and then they face the consequences. And quite honestly, a lot of these people are not with us any longer. They make bad choices and then they reap the consequences. This reminds me of a little event that happened with my grandson Christopher the other day he was on the ocean playing with one of his little friends and his mom said it was time to go and does suckle. Christopher comes into the beach and he has little red marks on his face and his dad said son one of those red marks on your face.

He said there from a jellyfish. She said, but what happened.

Christopher said will me and my friend heard mom say it's time to go so we picked the jellyfish up and kissed her goodbye.

That's never a good idea never just a jellyfish. Goodbye because you're going to have the effect that if you do, it will coming back to these rock stars you know they break all the rules and they live the way that they want to live and they face the tragic results that come from that.

Think of so many who have left us so soon, Jimi Hendrix, Amy Winehouse, Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain, the list just goes on and on and on. And frankly, you might personally know somebody that has died of a drug overdose or drunk themselves into an early grave or would make bad decisions and reap the consequences of it. But here's the way I look at it you know some people be the wrong decisions. Others made the right ones. As an example, John Lennon made a profession of faith to follow Christ. Yes that's right, John Lennon of the Beatles asked Jesus to come into his life, but unfortunately that was a short-lived experience for the very real one for the time that he was believing he seemed to walk away from it so we don't know how that story again because we don't know what happens when a person is facing the afterlife as Lennon was was when he was tragically assassinated in New York City in 1980.

We don't know that John did not call out to Jesus. One of the things that bring out in this book is going to be three surprises will be good to have some of the people we never thought would be there will be there. Some of the people we thought would be there will be there the third surprise will be there then there's Bob Dylan. Very influential musician influence John Lennon. There's so many other people in rock music and he made a very overt commitment to Christ and actually recorded three amazing gospel theme albums and seemingly sort of didn't walk away, but to stop talking about it, but it appears that Dylan still believes he's a work in progress and we know people like this we know people that look like they've committed their life to the Lord, then they don't seem to be walking with the Lord. But it's not how you start, it's how you end we all know people were a work in progress. Finally, I write a chapter on Alice Cooper and many other rock stars, some that I've gotten to know personally who became Christians and Alice who I interviewed recently is a follower of Jesus Christ impact just to give you a little snippet of where he is at spiritually hear something he said to me recently that I knew Christ what Jesus Christ was and I was denying them.

I knew that there had to either come a point where I either accepted prices for a living that life or if I died in this. I wish it was a lot of trouble and that's what really motivated me. I just got your point of saying I'm tired of this life. So like, what would you say the somebody that's thinking there's some kind of an answer or fulfillment in the trappings of this kind of life or drugs, or any of better alcohol, even what would you say to them as the wheel. What course they should follow. There's an old old saying that you know trying to fill that hole that God should have, with alcohol, drugs, sex, money, everything, and it never works.

So again, the point of this book and really of this message is to remind you that no one is beyond the reach of God so don't give up on people you love. I want to look at two people in the book of acts. There are effectively placed side-by-side there quite a contrast. One was known as Saul of Tarsus and the other was known as Simon the magician. One had a real conversion that would be Saul of Tarsus.

The other did not. Though it appears that he became a believer and I'm talking about Simon the magician, but let me kind of focus for the first part of this message on Saul of Tarsus. This is the man that went out of his way to destroy this growing movement of people who were following Jesus Christ. Maybe you know someone like that someone that gives you a hard time. Some of that's always criticizing you for what you believe some of that just peppers you constantly with hard questions and you think, what is the problem with this person did it ever occur to you that they may be under the conviction of the Holy Spirit, what is that mean that means that the Holy Spirit is working on a person's heart and seeking to bring them to Christ and that person is resisting that sometimes the people that lash out the most. Maybe closer to the kingdom of God, then you realize there's a saying that goes along these lines. When you throw a rock into a pack of dogs that won the parts allowed us is the one that God's yet so in the same way the winded parts allowed is that criticizes the most.

The pushes back harder than anyone else actually be closer to coming to Christ than someone else. For instance, you might talk to someone about your faith in the safe. You know I'm so happy that you found religion and you seem like a much happier person than you were before. And then you say would you like to come to church it be sometime in the sink. I would some time, but he was given they never come when you talk to somebody else and their argumentative and they're so resistant that person may actually be closer to coming to Christ and the person is rather benign in their response, Saul hunted down Christians for sport. He treated them like wild animals and wanted to arrest and imprison, and in some cases execute them.

Of course Saul presided over the death of the first martyr of the church.

We already looked at his life. His name was Stephen. And rather than satisfying him.

It almost seemed to add more fuel to the fire and then Saul of Tarsus, the Christian killer ultimately became Paul the apostle because he had an encounter with Christ on the road to Damascus, the conversion of Saul of Tarsus is the most unexpected conversion.

Probably in all of church history so unexpected affected when it was revealed to the believers in the church that Saul was now a Christian. They didn't believe it there and think you know there's no way that guy would ever become a believer, reminding us that no one is beyond the reach of God.

This man Saul who had previously been controlled by Kate was not motivated by love and he was a man that changed the world so significant and unexpected was the conversion of Saul of Tarsus that there was a British agnostic from the last century that thought it should not be hard to disprove the story and he felt if he disprove the story of the conversion of Saul, he could then undermine all of the Bible, so he went about his research and wrote about in the book called observations on the conversion and apostleship of St. Paul. This man's name was Lord George Littleton and his amazing conclusion after carefully studying the life of Saul was, it was all true and Littleton himself became a Christian and he made this statement in his book quote. Paul's conversion and apostleship alone. Julie considered are a demonstration sufficient to prove Christianity to be a divine revelation." After his encounter with Christ, Saul, later to become the apostle Paul blazed a trail, leaving behind many converts and churches. He preached the philosophers Pharisees, rollers, soldiers, sorcerers, sailors, slaves, and most likely this Caesar himself. This man was fearless. This man change the world. Saul was a guy who never did anything halfway, that we call him Saul of Tarsus why because he was from the city of Tarsus, which by the way, was a very important city in the Roman world.

It was famous for its university and rank among other great universities in Athens and Alexandria is one of the most honored in the Roman world. This means that Saul was a Roman by birth. He had Roman citizenship, which was actually a big deal and would work in his favor.

Later on in the book of acts as we will discover, but there in Tarsus.

Saul also learned Greek philosophy and Roman law, so it's not just that he knew the Scripture. This guy understood Roman law, Greek culture Greek philosophy and then he was schooled under the famous Camelia who was referred to as the teachers, teacher, and this all produced of zealous young man who became very successful early in life. He joined the Sanhedrin. Now the Sanhedrin was sort of like the Supreme Court of their day about the difference between the Sanhedrin and the Supreme Court as they ruled over civic and religious decisions and considering that Saul was very young, means that this guy climbed his corporate ladder.

He was very successful and very powerful and even famous and he presided over the stoning of Stephen and this is shows something that I find very interesting, and it simply, this religion can turn us away from God. You know, people they know religion is good. We need more religion in our life.

I just need a little religion. Someone might say I beg to differ. You don't need a little religion.

You need a lot of Jesus.

The problem with religion is its focus on what I do do acts Y and Z and I may find the approval of God and I may get to heaven if you were to sum up all the religions of the world and one word it would be due do this do that if you were to sum up Christianity in one word it would be done now.

Technically speaking, Christianity of course is a religion but if we want to speak biblically. Christianity is a relationship with Christ himself.

It's possible to be a religious person and not have a relationship with God and Saul is a textbook example of that Eddie was filled with hate and rage. You know, it amazes me that there are religious people sometimes even some that profess to be Christians that are just perpetually angry. They're always attacking other people, if anyone disagrees with their doctrinal position are there philosophy. The attached that person and they love to tear others down is a great theologian Taylor Swift pointed out, the haters are going to hate, hate, hate, and some of them are even in churches today. The problem would be in a better person is. You rarely keep it to yourself. You tend to want to spread around and get others angry as well and this makes God sad affect the apostle Paul wrote about things that grieve or make sound and sorrowful the Holy Spirit in Ephesians 431 from the Phillips translation.

He says let there be no more resentment no more anger or temper. No more violent self assertiveness are no more slender. No more malicious remarks. Instead, Paul writes, be kind to each other be understanding. Be ready to forgive others as God for Christ's sake has forgiven you so true. Listen to this.

Whatever your issue or your cause or your doctrinal position as a believer if it makes you a mean argumentative malicious person than Fred you and miss the point when someone loves to constantly run others down. I'm telling you something is wrong and there spiritual life. Don't be surprised if you find the person who complains and criticizes the most is guilty of something far worse in their own life. So were introduced for the first time now to Saul of Tarsus here in the book of acts chapter 8 of and reverses 1 to 4 from the new living translation. Saul was one of the witnesses and he agreed completely to the killing of Stephen.

This means he was part of the Jewish Sanhedrin, a great wave of persecution began the date sweeping over the church in Jerusalem and all of the believers except the apostles were scattered to the regions of Judea and Samaria. Some devout men came and buried Stephen with great morning, but Saul was going everywhere to destroy the the church he went from house to house dragging men and women to throw them in the present, but the believers who were scattered preach the good news about Jesus wherever they went. So let's set the scene. Stephen is been martyred. The churches spreading out actually Saul is helping God's work get started because the church would've been happy to have a little holy huddle in Jerusalem and stay there forever. Despite the fact that Christ himself said, going to all the world and preach the gospel, despite the fact that Jesus said eight you shall receive power, after the Holy Spirit is come upon you to be witnesses to me in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria. The uttermost parts of the earth effectively.

Jesus is saying, did out-of-town guys take this message everywhere and instead they're staying in town and not going anywhere and along comes Saul of Tarsus, hunting them down arresting them so the church spreads out and it's like a wildfire that sweeps across the land.

And here is Saul hunting them down. Want drove Saul, why did you have so much hatred for Christians. I think it was the way Stephen die praying for the person who did this to him, praying for the people that were responsible for his death. And as I pointed out earlier, Stephen did not reach thousands of people. He didn't even reach hundreds of people, but he reached one in particular, and the one that he reached was Saul, later to become Paul so you could call that one whopper of a convert everywhere heard of Mordechai Hamm at something something you would order in a deli.

All of the Mordechai Mordechai Hamm was a evangelist from the past. Most people don't know is they reverted DL Moody Weaver to Billy Sunday reverted George Whitfield, of course, refer to Billy Graham but how many of us have heard of Mordechai well Mordechai Hamm is a guy preaching when a young farm boy from Charlotte, North Carolina, best known as Billy Frank walked down the aisle and gave his life to the Lord. Billy Frank is better known as Billy Graham so though Mordechai Maybe didn't reach as many as others reached he reached one whopper of a convert. Ever heard of Edward Kimball. Yeah, probably not what Edward Kimball was a shoe salesman and he had a coworker whose name was Dwight and Edward took it upon himself to share the gospel with young Dwight and one day Dwight accepted Christ into his life and Dwight went on to become DL Moody and so maybe Edward Kimball didn't reach a lot of people but he reached one very significant person that was Moody himself who is your one is there someone that you can point to right now and say thank God I played a role in the conversion of that person and if the answer to that question is not just my responses. Why you should at least reach one. The fact is, you should reach many more than one so Stephen reached is one in his one was Paul. Listen to this. Sometimes when you're sharing the gospel people act as though they're not listening but actually they are.

Remember this, God promises in Scripture his word will not return void, but it will prosper in the place where he sends it. The Bible is a little bit like a time bomb that made detonate.

Later, you may share some truth was someone you may share some verses with someone and they act as though they're not listening or they argue with your walk away from your hang up the phone or whatever but maybe in the middle of the night.

Don't wake up in the be thinking about what you shared because God's word is alive and powerful.

So just so those seeds leave the results in the hands of God. Knowledge of peers look at this amazing story of the conversion of Saul of Tarsus for next chapter 9 now still in the new living translation verse one Saul was uttering threats with every breath, and he was eager to kill the Lord's followers so we went to the high priest and requested letters addressed to the synagogues in Damascus asking for their cooperation in the arrest of any followers of the way you might underline the phrase come back to it. Followers of the way he found there.

He wanted to bring the book men and women back to Jerusalem and chains listen to this, as he was approaching Damascus on this mission. A light from heaven suddenly shone down around him. He fell to the ground and he heard a voice say to him, Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me who are you, Lord. Saul asks and the boys replied I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. Now get up and going to the city and you will be told what you want to do the men around. Saul stood speechless for they heard the sound of someone's voice but saw no so here Saul. Now she's the dunkers.

It is like a wild animal. It's interesting phrase here verse one it says he was uttering threats with every breath. Another way to translate that is, he was a rabid gene the church.

He was a go wild animal out to destroy these followers of Christ in his own language. Later he said a raging fury obsessed in and asked 2611. If you would've met Saul of Tarsus at the beginning the journey and said son you are going to meet Jesus before you get to Damascus, he would've thought you were out of your mind, reminding us of the Scripture that says is anything too hard for the Lord. I love this description here of these first century believers look at verse two when it says that Saul requested letters addressed to the synagogues in Damascus asking for their cooperation in the arrest of any followers of the way followers of the way this is how these believers were described at this point this is before they were actually called Christians that happen later. That was the name given to them critically, I might add, not as a compliment, but under this point, there were known as the followers of the way I think it's a great phrase actually, no doubt, based on the statement of Christ in John 14 six when he says I am the way the truth and the life see even back then it was very irritating to a religious zealot like Saul of Tarsus that these people believe that Jesus was the only way to God and frankly, it still irritates people today. I just read an article that pointed out that 70% of born-again Christians disagree with the statement that Jesus is the only way to God. 70%. First of all I would say 70% of so-called born-again Christians need to start reading their Bible.

Listen to this. This is a nonnegotiable for us as followers of Jesus, why is Jesus the only way to the father's simple answer because the Bible says and Christ himself said so Artie quoted in state. Lori said I'm the way the truth and the life and no man comes the father but by me at 412 remind us there is salvation in no one else.

There is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. I know in our minds we think it's very fair-minded and benevolent of us to believe that all religions are good and all religions teach the same thing but it's not true.

If you take an honest look at the religions of the world. They do not all teach the same thing and as I said earlier, if you were to sum up religion in one word, it's do do do do the Christianity again is done except finished work. It's a gift that God gives us this gift of four infants listen only Jesus was uniquely qualified to bridge the gap between a holy God and sinful humanity.

Jesus not just a good man, but rather the God man was fully God and fully man and when he went to the cross and lead his hands out and they pounded spikes through those hands and feet was taking hold of that holy God we've offended and taking hold of sinful humanity, whom he represented and dying in our place. No other Guru. No other prophet has done this for you. They were followers of the way so it's afternoon, the sun probably is shiny, the zealous Saul is out to hunt down the Christians and a light from heaven. Sun shines down around him and he falls to the ground, ensures these words, Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me interesting little twist on the story. Those who were with Saul heard the voice but could not make it out it was just a sound but Saul heard the voice. Why is how is it that God could speak and they would hear a sound. They saw the phenomena of it, but they didn't understand Jesus said my sheep hear my voice, you know, I can talk to a crowd of people and sometimes I'll go to a whole bunch of people at one time and sigh and one will respond and the others will not. To the gospel and I just think that the Lord speaks to certain people in certain ways, and God was speaking to Saul by the way, Saul not only heard Jesus he saw him because he later writes an excellent 27 he saw Jesus and what is Jesus saying Saul so what are you persecuting me so who is this supernatural boy speaking the Saul, Saul, probably really scared because I think you already knew the answer. Who are you, Lord, tell me who you are that I'm persecuting and ending Saul saying don't say Jesus don't see Jesus. Don't say Jesus and then Jesus says I am Jesus us us us us us us at Seco hi Jesus, whom you are persecuting an Excel knew it all along the very one. He was attacking and attacking his followers was the one that was calling him on this particular day notice that Jesus says why are you persecuting me listen to this one, people attack Christians there effectively attacking Christ, what a persecutor raises a hand against us.

They are in fact raising a hand against Jesus Christ himself, so I want to remind you of your hurting if you're being criticized unfairly if you're being persecuted for your faith.

God is more than aware amazing statement is made. This is from the King James version verse five Jesus says it's hard for you to kick against the go, we read that we have no idea what that means.

Object code is basically a sharpened step.

So let's say you're out plowing your field in your your oxen are not moving as quickly as you would like them to.

So instead of putting the pedal to the metal you take the goat and stick it in the oxen simple stripe and stick a listen. Let's step it up.

That's go a little faster. So Jesus uses this phrase you're kicking against the goats.

In other words, I speaking to you I'm making you aware of your need for me.

I'm bringing you into the conviction of my Holy Spirit and your fighting would be fighting, fighting, are you fighting with God right now. Listen your arms are too short to box with God.

Your point to lose. You could go down, stop fighting with God, the story of Jacob and the book of Genesis effect with God. He wrestled with an angel of the Lord, and finally he gave in anyone from rustling to nestling from resisting to resting in God gave to Jacob, a new name but I love how he finally just stop fighting stop fighting with God because actually just plan for you is so much better than your plan for yourself. You think you a better idea for your life and God. God is that all mapped out for you if you will follow his plan. The thoughts of the things toward you.

According to Jeremiah 20 and 11 are good their thoughts of peace and not of evil, stop running from God, stop fighting with God and instead say Lord who are you and that's what Saul said who are you, Lord, and what you want me to do will get more into the life of Saul in our next message from the book of acts. Now let me come back to the other person I mentioned earlier in my message. Remember it's a contrast between two men, Saul of Tarsus and Simon the magician over to go back now back to acts chapter 8 verse nine we read amending Simon had been a sorcerer there for many years. Amazing the people of Samaria and claiming to be someone great.

Everyone from the least of the greatest often spoke of him as the great one. The power of God. They listen carefully to get because for a long time. He astounded them with his magic, but now the people believed Phillips message of good news concerning the kingdom of God in the name of Jesus Christ. As a result, many men and women were baptized, and Simon himself believed and was baptized and he began following Philip wherever he went, because he was amazed by the signs and great miracles that Philip or for your first glance it looks like this man. Simon the magician becomes a belief. So who is this guy well it appears he would be steeped in occultism and maybe just a little trickery.

A little sleight of hand you know there are people that practice magic today often card tricks.

By the way, I hate card tricks. If I meet some magician a printed card in the car. Please know I know how you even do the trick.

Just don't do that trick but you know it sleight of handed it so smoke and mirrors. If you will, but there may have been devilish input into his abilities. But whatever was this guy what was all that in the bag of chips people were following him. They thought he was amazing, but Philip shows up and wrecks everything in a good way. Philip was preaching the gospel and no people are turning to Christ and nothing is more powerful than the power of the gospel because the Bible says it is the power of God under salvation to everyone who believes will Simon is no magic trick that can match the power of the gospel.

So we read in verse 13 Simon himself also believed any was baptized. Let's do it right. It says he believed and it says he was baptized so clearly, he became a Christian right well I don't know because the proof is in the pudding. By the way, what is that even meet.

Why don't I have to find proof in the pudding. I don't know, but the proof will be in the results in the evidence in a person's life will after this we see the heavyweight apostles, the dumb, Peter and John are doing heavy duty miracles and Simon comes to them and says hey guys can I buy this power of God, so I can do miracles to Peter. Never one who was at a shortage for words puts Simon in his place and rebukes him.

In verse 20 is this may your money be destroyed with you thinking that God's gift can be bought. You will have no part in this for your heart is not right before God. So, repent of your wickedness. Perhaps he will forgive you of your evil thoughts because Peter says I can see you're full of bitter jealousy a that's a heavy duty charge. Peter was leveling toward Simon the magician says, may your money be destroyed with Eucharistic JB Phillips translation puts it, to hell with you and your money you can buy the gift of God, you know, sometimes we may end be someone else, you may end be there career. I wish I had their career, you may end be there family. I wish I had their wife or their husband or I wish I had their money here.

I wish they lived in their house and this can even happen to Christians.

I wish I had their ministry was my ministry was as big as their ministry. I wish I could speak the way that they speak. I wish I had the gifts that they give never do that. Don't be jealous of someone else's calling her gifts.

Just be faithful to what God is called you to do. The Bible says we been many, are one body in Christ everyone of us are members one of another, and we have gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us whatever gifts spiritual gifts you have are given to you by the grace of God. You did nothing to earn them or to merit them.

Just be thankful for them. Make sure that you use up but Simon was jealousy wanted these gifts and I don't think he was a believer at all. He had a faith that is similar to the faith of the demon. Is it what you talking about over in James two.

It says you believe there is one God, and that's true. But even the demons believe in Trumbull, don't you know a foolish man that faith without works is dead. If I can interview a demon that I would never want to do that. I think you might be surprised to find demons or brother Orthodox in their fate if you were to interview a demon or Lucifer himself and say Lucifer do you believe that Jesus is the son of God's answer would be yes because in the temptation in the wilderness. He prefaced each of his temptations with these words. Since you are the son of God, whether to do this. It was an acknowledgment and if I were to ask Lucifer do you believe the Bible is the word of God. Again, his answer would be yes.

He knows it's true he disobeys it he hates it, but he knows the truth of it and so you can say why believe Jesus is Lord will that's good.

But you have to then commit yourself to him.

I don't think Simon was a believer at all is a fascinating passage in the Gospel of John chapter 2 we read when Jesus was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in his name when they saw the signs which he did listen to this. Jesus did not commit himself to them because he knew all men. Another way to translate this is the believed in him, but he didn't believe in them and then Simon. His faith was not real so contrast these two guys, here's one guy Saul of Tarsus who doesn't want Jesus he's not seeking Jesus and Jesus seek for him and he becomes a believer. Here's another guy, Simon, who appears to be seeking Jesus, but he isn't at all I ask.

In closing, where you at, are you a person that puts on a good show and you pretend to be a Christian but you really are not a Christian at all. I hope this would be a moment where that would change as it will bring him a religious person as we've already pointed out religion can be the very thing that keeps you away from God.

Religion can blind you to your need for Christ because someone will say, are you going to heaven when you die and you say we just because I've done these things I I go to church. I give my confession I received communion and because of this all go to have an owner know that son are you getting together it's because you believe that Jesus Christ, the son of God died in the cross for your sin and you turn from your sin. That's what Peter said to Simon. Repent of this sin.

So I repent of my sin. I turn from it and believe in him that I can be forgiven. Have you done that you or maybe you're like Saul you been running from God and your angry with Christians you're angry with anybody that even opens the Bible in your presence. Why is that is it because actually deep down inside you know this is all true see the implication of that statement from Jesus you're kicking against the goals of the sharpened sticks was you know this is true in you been resisting, and I'm talking to somebody right now you know what I'm saying.

This trip I don't need to convince you that you know why are you running still. What are you afraid of God's plan for you is better than your plan for yourself heard the story about an attorney that contacted a man said he wanted to meet with him with this man was sure it was some kind of subpoena.

So he resisted this attorney. He made sure that the attorney would never find them infecting moved out of his house and and had an address, it was very hard to find because he never wanted to be served papers by this attorney until this went on for years. He kept eluding that invading this attorney and then finally this man got very sick and he was dying he was in the hospital and as it turns out, the attorney was sick as well in his bed was real wheeled up right next of the men would been running from him and the man said go ahead and serve me papers. I've been running from you all these years. I don't even care and I'm going to die.

The attorneys that serve you papers sir I wanted to inform you that you would inherited $50 million. That's us running from God.

I don't want this. I'm against it.

Why God loves you. God's plan for your life is better than any plan you have for yourself and it can all happen for you know I mentioned earlier that some people have ruined their lives chasing after empty things like drugs, partying and drinking and all the rest may be that you maybe you find yourself addicted and you can't get out of this cycle that you are in you find yourself trapped. You don't know how to be free. Jesus can enter into your life and forgive you of all of your sin and give you a new beginning. Can you talk about a messed up guy Saul of Tarsus.

Let's get real. He was a murderer and he wasn't just a man who killed others. He killed innocent Christians. He hunted down men and women and sent them to prison.

In chains, could God forgive a man like that. Oh yes, he was forgiven.

They spent the rest of his life sharing that message with other people. God can forgive you, no matter what sins you've committed but you have to admit you are center and realize that Christ died on the cross for you think you'll turn from that's in a believe in Jesus you can be forgiven right here right now in your life can change just as Saul's life changed in a moment I'm in a prayer simple prayer.

There's no magic in this prayer is just a prayer that you can pray, but it's your heart moving toward God.

We are say Lord I need Jesus in my life.

If you want Christ to forgive you of your sin if you want a fresh start in life. If you want to know the when you die you will go to heaven or maybe you fallen away from the Lord and and he wanted to start all over again that just stop whatever you're doing and pray this prayer with me. You can pray it out loud if you like you can pray quietly in your heart the previous words.

If you would, Lord Jesus, I know that I'm a sinner but I know that you are the Savior died on the cross for my sent and rose again from the dead. I turn the Lord from my sent and I choose to follow you from this moment forward as my Savior and my Lord is my God, my friend in Jesus name I pray, and met everybody thinks you're listening to this podcast to learn more about harvest ministries follow the show and consider supporting it. Just go to a and find out how to know God personally go to and click on know God