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The Refreshing Power of Revival: Reaching the Unreachable

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Cross Radio
November 22, 2021 3:00 am

The Refreshing Power of Revival: Reaching the Unreachable

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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November 22, 2021 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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Everybody you're listening to a new beginning, which is a podcast made possible by harvest partners.

If this program is impacted you love to hear from you. So just send an email to me at greg@harvest.org again it's greg@harvest.org you can learn more about becoming harvest partner by going to harvest.org today on a new beginning pastor Greg Laurie offer some help in home really important privilege of sharing our faith with those in our circle of influence once and for a moment to think of someone you know that you can't even imagine the Christian maybe it's your father or your baby at your son or your daughter.

Maybe it's an angry contentious neighbor, thinking they could never come to believe in Jesus so they could listen to this. No one is beyond the reach of God and his the opportunity to participate in giving life for mom and dad bring life into this world with her newborn baby and as believers we have the privilege of bringing the message of life as we share Christ.

But some folks are not easily persuaded or stuck in their sin don't want to move today on a new beginning for Greg Laurie points out how we can reach the unreachable part of a series called will look for at the greatest revival in human history that took place in the city of Nineveh and of course the man that God used to bring this revival about was name Jonah. Let me ask you a question when you hear the name Jonah what you think of next the way, of course, we always think of the whale. The funny thing when you read the book of Jonah is only a few verses about this. Well, 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 in the longer is out there. It could have been a one-off custom design creature, God made just for Jonah.

I don't know what he was in the belly of the beast for three days and three nights out of the end up there.

Well it all started when he was running from God is a 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 at Jonah flat out refused wife 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. There were the about enemies of Israel. Therefore, Jonah wanted nothing to do with. He had no concern for their souls. It didn't concern him, that God would judge his nation effective as his open God would judge this nation. So Jonah literally bought affair on a boat going the opposite direction. What that didn't work out so well for him. God set a big storm and then a big fishing to give Jonah a big spanking there in the belly of the fish. Jonah called out to the Lord and then God gave him a second chance Jonah Tuten says the Lord spoke to the fish and it vomited Jonah on the 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 repented and regurgitated believing and bar righteous in row. He was believes in peace. He was victorious and vomited. And one more. He was regurgitated in robot. Imagine if you're laying around at the beach and then about you saw the site incomes. This massive beast cruising through the water becomes right to the shore. It opens up his mouth makes a retching's out and out roles. Jonah John. His skin was probably bleeds from that gastric juices in the whale's belly.

And here's this message in 40 days Nineveh is going to be over thrown the good Jonah chapter 3 he preaches this message that God gave him and he says 40 more days and Nineveh is going to be over thrown. 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. 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 when 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 is well within happen in our nation as well. You know God is given to secret weapons to the church today. They are not boycotting and protesting. They're not even registering and voting the two secret weapons. God is given to the church our 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 five we read this amazing story. The people of Nineveh believed God's message from the greatest to the least in the car to fast to 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 changes mind, it did not carry out the destruction he had threatened.

This is a stunning turnaround.

An entire city filled with thousands of people turn to God en masse in a revival takes place in the judgment of God is turned away. It just shows is 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 say something like, praise the Lord. Listen to this. No one is beyond the reach of God may be at your father or your mother may be at 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 so 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 judge was coming and they repented God tells us in second Chronicles 714 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 I 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 only go back to comparing this to maybe the romance between a man and a woman you know when your 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 in 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 to 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 closable forces all the way in. You pull the chart in the restaurant but you let her fall and then he pointed her and laugh and a you take her to French restaurant Celeste when you took her to was I think it was Joe Kinsey, Bob sword, the Goldenrod says I don't know but does something's happened even sort of slipped away. Go back and do those romantic things again so to speak. If you want your marriage to be strong 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 them 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 complement him constantly tell them what a great guy he is, how much you care for him and then when that time is 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 people. She says I'll do it. And so for the next three months she complemented her husband affirmed her husband told her husband how much he loved and appreciated him, and when the three months came door close. The attorney called her and said all right let's get this divorce started she said divorce were going in our second honeymoon. You see, the point is, she did what she probably should've been doing all along and in the same way in our life as Christians. What were 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 keep that fire burning but when we neglect those things we begin to integrate glory will have the second half of his message in just a moment. We hear from listeners all over some who listen to a new beginning.

Pastor Greg's podcasts and even to the recent SoCal harvest Greg Laurie and I may help out what my southbound and I crying and let him know that my friend, I like and you never get outbreak that I have a grandson and calendar that and they hate they have to go to pay yet. The path to My current particle prayer will never forget what you apply what they help clear and I want to let you know, Greg Laurie to come back by his shirt.

When you request prayer will make sure to pray for your need. If you have a story of how one of Pastor Greg's outreaches is touched your life to call ensure with us. Call 866-871-1144. That's 866-871-1144 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 the you don't want to reach because you have a discomfort talking to a person like that. I told you before that my mother was married and divorced seven times right and I 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 cool to my mom. He lived in Hawaii: Eddie and I 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 a dime. 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 and he's not doing well. His health is failing.

If you like to say something to him is that I'm good. I don't want to say anything to that bill directed by the Lord to go meet with him so I took my wife Kathy over there. We sat in his tiny little apartment 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 done for me and I we had changed me and I said I would like to invite you to come over here just across the street. Basically any hear me speak and he said no, no, I can drive you over if you like it know you wanted nothing to do with it so that see that's why don't even try to reach she's got. Then there was another guy my my married name Oscar Laurie. He adopted me and I was love this man because he cheated me as a father should treat a son.

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 other suitcases and I said where are we going to set Hawaii, I said words 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 amount found him living in New Jersey and I said let's get some lunch together. He said oh no, come to my home would like to get to see you and know you again and 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. Their Red Bank, New Jersey and and he was waiting at the station and he I remembered them immediately and before I knew it I was calling them dad again, and one night we were sitting at the table and his wife made us a beautiful Italian meal and and she said to be great. Tell me how you became a Christian and then how did you become a minister. As I shared my story. My dad was just staring at me, not really responding out by the way, I left out something needs to be an attorney cycle. The guy was standing before a judge give you my testimony and I don't. 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 it was having serious heart problems and even blocked out at the wheel of his car and so he was on the restricted diet was exercising a lot so he's listing I tell my story of how I came to Christ and then the dinner was done and Oscar my father would Dr. be said Greg. Let's walk in the morning.

I said okay 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 were walking along 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. That was like a double espresso.

I said will dad maybe you don't understand what I said let me go over it again. I went over to get he says yes I want Jesus to come in the my life and I said will what we need to do is break and he drops to his knees were in the middle of the park were just walking. At this point he drops to his knees. I wasn't to get on my knees but since he was on his knees. I got on my knees and I love them. In this prayer in Christ came into his life that he lived 50 more years got involved in the church was a leader in this church you may think amazing story, but you know 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 you need to reach bring 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 is 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 time. But here's were praying for one more great spiritual awakening maybe two more maybe three or four more.

That's up to the Lord, but are job. Our mission is similar to Jonah we are to proclaim the good news. 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 316 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, that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have ever lasting life. So here's the message of love for God so love the world that he gave. Here's the message of judgment wherever believes in him should not perish soap.

I don't believe in him all parents have.

I don't believe in him all face the judgment of God. Romans 623 is similar. First, there's a message of judgment. The wages of sin is death within the loving offer of forgiveness, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Years ago I was walking on the street. I am Hawaii. I was a young pastor at this point the guy was holding the sign that said, the wages of sin is death, and he was yelling to the people God hates you and God will judge you and I want to Skype for a few minutes and I thought he's misrepresenting the Lord so I walked up to him and I said excuse me knee still yelling, God hates you, for God will judge you, excuse me, I don't hate you.

In a judge. Excuse me yeah what what you want, you know whether to 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 going to judge me when 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 God spared Nineveh got 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 would know better representative than Jonah and no more gospel than he preached in their streets. He could surely do the same thing for America." Jesus actually validated the story of Jonah and he said as Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale, so the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth is what Christ was saying just as Jonah was in the belly of that be. So I the son of God will be crucified on a cross and all 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 absorb God's judgment that you should've absorbed and that I should've absorbed any died in my place. Again, God loved you so much he gave his only begotten son, that 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, 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 then needs to stop.

Stop running from him and run to 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 want to know that you go to heaven when you die if you want Jesus Christ to be your savior in your Lord and your friend why don't you just pray this prayer after me for these. Worse, Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner.

I'm sorry for that sin. I turned from, and now that I choose to follow you from this moment forward. Thank you for sharing this prayer answering this prayer in Jesus name I pray, amen. Praying that prayer pastor Greg Laurie leading them in a prayer asking Jesus to be their Savior. And if you just pray that prayer first of all we want to be the first to welcome you into the family of God. And we also want to help you grow as a Christian would like to send you our new believers growth packet is free of charge and it will help you get started right in walking each day with the Lord. Ask for the new believers growth packet to write a new beginning. Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or call 1-800-821-3300 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest.org yesterday were excited about making available a new book called the Jesus music yes you live through the start of Jesus music as I did, but for someone younger. What makes this history so important and so interesting. This is the roots of the music that we have all come to love.

I love history. I've always loved to know about just reprinted think rock 'n' roll is an example. You know rock 'n' roll music really started with with a group of individuals in what was called Sun Studios in Memphis Tennessee producer name Sam Phillips discovered a young singer named Elvis Pressley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis of Carl Perkins and so that music turned into what we call rock 'n' roll.

And so Nellis go back to the origins of Jesus music. It was a bunch of bands that were forming during the Jesus movement. Names like Larry Norman bands like love song mustard seed faith Andre Crouch of the disciples, and many others were innovating and creating music that was different than anything.

People have heard before. It was current with culture, but it was music that honor God. Fast forward to today. Artists like Chris Tomlin mercy me. Jeremy Camp Phil Wickham for King and country. You know the list just goes on these amazing artists or produces great music at all started a long time ago in the late 60s with these bands that would record these records literally sell them out of the trunks of their cars go on the road and perform these songs. Little did they know that this is going to be the tip of the spear of a whole industry that was to follow. So if you've ever wondered about how this music got started. If you want to know some behind-the-scenes stories of some of your favorite artist you want to know more about what you may have missed.

It's all here in this brand-new book called the Jesus music written by my friend Marshall Terrell by the way have written three books of Marshall Terrell, as you may know, Steve McQueen, the salvation of an American icon, Johnny Cash, the redemption of an American icon, and Billy Graham. The men I knew that working on 1/4 book with Marshall right now but this is a book he wrote in his own but I have the opportunity to write the forward for it because this is a book that you're going to love. I will send it to you for your gift of any size.

By the way, for a high quality book hardcover glossy pages.

Lots of photographs lots of information stories in the history of the music that's a part of our life today. It's called the Jesus music and will send you a copy of this book for your gift of any size whatever you can send will send this copy to you and I would encourage some of you to be generous because when you are generous with your finances. We will put that money to work in expanding this ministry to reach more people with the teaching of the word of God and the message of the gospel so order your copy of this brand-new book the Jesus music from us right here at harvest ministries. That's right, your donation is an investment in changing hearts and lives.

It's an investment in keeping pastor Greg's teaching coming to you each day. So with your investment today. Be sure to ask for the new book called the Jesus music. You can write a new beginning. Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or call us at 1-800-821-3300 reaches any time 24 seven again at 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest.org well next time will sharpen our focus on the story of Jonah lessons the book teaches us about personal evangelism. Join us here on a new beginning.

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