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The Refreshing Power of Sharing Your Faith: The Importance of Evangelism

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Cross Radio
November 23, 2021 3:00 am

The Refreshing Power of Sharing Your Faith: The Importance of Evangelism

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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November 23, 2021 3:00 am

Whatever we’ve accumulated in life, we can’t take it with us when life is over. It’s like a game of Monopoly . . . the cash, the houses, the hotels . . . when the game is over, it all goes back in the box. But there is one exception. People. We can take people to heaven with us. The Lord invites us, urges us, to share the Gospel, and invite them to Christ. Today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie offers good encouragement as a part of his encouraging 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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You are listening to a new beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast made possible by harvest partners, helping people everywhere know guide this at our website and learn more about harvest partners@harvest.org as we toured the gospel design is meant to be shared, not those were shares of hope and coming up to new beginning Greg Laurie points out, when we shared the hope of the gospel will find that we live more fulfilled lives ourselves to serve others use yourself and brush you can't take it with us when life is over is like a game of Monopoly houses the hotel. The game is over. It all goes back in the box. There is one exception. People take people to heaven with the Lord invites us, urges us to share the gospel. Like Christ today on a new beginning.

Laurie offers good encouragement, supportive friend.

Will those Christians were supposed to sharpen you probably heard the great commission is you don't know to visit funded two Gospels Matthew and Mark Mark's version have Jesus saying go into all the world and preach the gospel. Matthew's version is going to all the world and make disciples of all nations teaching them to observe all things that I've commanded you, baptizing them in the name of the father son and the Holy Spirit. Hello, I am with you always says, our Lord, the great commission, we know were supposed to do it, but frankly, most of us don't. Studies have shown that 95% of Christians have never led another person to Christ only 2% of churchgoers invited an unchurched person.

The church in the last year and 59% of all Christians say they seldom or never share their faith with others.

Honestly a little bit like Jonah, by the way you be looking at Jonah chapter 3, so turn in your Bibles and we talked about Jonah a little bit in my last message which was titled the refreshing power of revival but we can be like Jonah, we don't want to bother ourselves with the needs of other will get into this a little bit more in a few moments, but Jonah was called to go preach to these people who lived in Nineveh and then about was the capital of Assyria and the Assyrians are the enemies of the Israelites and is a patriotic Jew.

He didn't want to go preach to his enemies even care about them and we can be this way as well for brutally honest was that I don't really care that much about nonbelievers and and II have what I need and I don't want to share it. Hey, this goes back to our childhood when we were taught to share. We would be happily playing with the little toy is a baby or a toddler, and then another child's introduced into this setting and someone says share your toying with your cousin or your little friend and you start fighting over the toy we don't like to share often as Christians, we hoard the truth but listen the gospel by design is meant to be shared, not kid, and sometimes workorders of truth instead of shares of hope. Sometimes you become so inward in our focus. We miss this great truth is you give to and serve others. You yourself will be replenished and refreshed.

Jesus put it this way. He said give and it shall be given to you press down, shaken together, running over with the same measure you give it will be given back to you.

Listen, the Bible says that God is looking for people to show himself strong on behalf of he's looking for someone like you will actually say usually Lord, how go where you want me to go I'll say what you want me to say listen, will you be that person. If so, a wonderful adventure awaits you. I believe that sharing your faith can be exciting, joyful, and dare I use the word fine.

Yes, you heard me right. Someone 26 six says those who go out weeping carrying seed this so will return with songs of joy carrying their sheaves with him you for that old song bringing in the sheaves bring in the she's that's what that's about. You go out with sadness, concern for people that don't know the Lord would you come back with joy because people of come to Christ.

Jesus said there is joy in heaven over one sinner that comes to repentance and CS Lewis pointed out quote joy is a serious business of heaven." Jesus said, it is more blessed to give then it is to receive an the word blessed is interchangeable with what happened. So you can translated as follows. It's a happier thing to give that it is to receive and that is certainly true when we sharing the message of the gospel already pointed out that there is joy in heaven. Every time a person puts her faith in Jesus Christ and that there is joy in heaven because of that, there to be joy on earth and in our hearts we had the privilege of playing a role in that as well listen next to personally knowing the Lord the greatest joy I know is bringing others to him and then watching them grow and be transformed third John 14 says I have no greater joy than to hear.

My children are walking in truth joy. There's joy in telling people about Jesus and seeing them grow in Jesus. The apostle Paul wrote to the believers there in Thessalonica about the great joy he was experiencing as he watched them grow spiritually and he said in first Thessalonians 219. What is our hope, or are joy our crown of boasting before the Lord Jesus that is coming, is it not you you all right are our glory and our joy.

Listen to this. The happiest Christians are the evangelistic Christians me say that again the happiest Christians I know are the evangelistic Christians and the least happy Christians I know are then knit picky con there arguing over theological minutia and never telling others about Jesus. It was the old country preacher, Vance Abner, who once said, if were too busy using our sickles on each other or going to miss the harvest." Yes, there is a happiness that we are missing out on it were not sharing our faith. You know they have done studies and found that when you help someone else. There is an actual release.

I've been your fence. They call it the helpers high and actual euphoria that one can experience by helping a person that's true just helping in general. But when you're pointing a person to Christ and they would come to believe in him that's the greatest joy of all you know is Christian. Sometimes we find ourselves down and depressed and lethargic. We don't understand it because were reading our Bibles were praying, going to church.

We want to be in a small group but there's a sort of depression that is said into our life and we wonder why.

Maybe it's because you need to start thinking of others instead of just yourself. Maybe this is not all about you.

This is about you getting grounded in your faith and in helping others to come and believe in Jesus.

I have a 10 step cure for depression before I give it to you. Let me just say I acknowledge the reality of clinical depression, and I know some people have a serious struggle with this. I'm not really talking about that talking about the depression that many people have in life. So I have a 10 step cure for depression so you might want to write this down 10 steps.

Step number one find someone who is greater needs, then you and do something for them, find someone who is greater needs and you and do something for them that step number one step number two is repeat step number 19 more times. Yet it is look at the needs of others and share Jesus with NBC's Satan wants to steal your joy as a Christian and he wants to keep people from coming to Christ.

He doesn't want you to hear what I'm saying to you right now because at the direct threat to the kingdom of darkness. The devil's unhappy he lost to. He's unhappy that you transferred your citizenship from his kingdom to God's kingdom. He's unhappy you change your eternal address from hell to heaven. But I'll tell you what if you want to make them really unhappy start trying to bring people out of his kingdom and to God's kingdom.

Listen, God wants us to do this. He wants us to share our faith because God chooses to reach people through people that were told over and Romans 1014 how can they call on him unless they believed in him, how can they believe in him unless they've heard about him and how can they care about him unless someone tells them how true knowledge God could do this work without us. He could roll away the heavens above the space through and say hello humanity I'm God and you're not believing me right now with no God chooses to reach people through people are Greg Laurie will have the second half of this message in just a moment hearing from listeners who been impacted by Pastor Greg's teaching God's word is encouraging. Listen to these comments from one of her listeners, Esther, Greg wanted to reach out and let you know how much I appreciate your teachings and how the Lord uses you to give hope and understand.

I'm a combat veteran who served in Afghanistan right after 9/11. I've really been struggling with how the situation in Afghanistan holding my anxiety and PTSD is been really aggravated recently. I say this to thank you for helping me during this extremely difficult time with your teaching from God's word God is giving you an amazing gift to be able to explain and teach his Word in a way that I can understand it. Client thank you for pointing us to the cross and helping me person to stay focused on the blessed hope that Christ is coming back and all things will be righted. How have these studies in God's word help to if you have a story. Call us and share with us: 866-871-1144 866-871-1144. What were considering the story of Jonah today and Pastor Greg points out the lessons it teaches us about the importance of evangelism normally think of the story of Joan as I pointed out last time we focus on the whale, but the book of Jonah is not about whale. There's only two verses that deal with that crazy sea monster. He got swallowed by the book of Jonah is a story of a massive revival that came about through the efforts of one man and that man was Jonah.

He was called to preach to Nineveh, which was a great city. By the way, the population of Nineveh was around 300,000 might've been a little smaller but that was a mega-city back at that time. The reason the population was so high is because it became the capital of Assyria. There was a magnificent palace built there so it was a very, very large city of its day, 300,000 Strunk. It was a great city. We read and Jonah 12. But Jonah said I don't want to go preach to that great city so that we read in Jonah 14 God sent a great win.

And then that when brought a storm and Jonah was ultimately swallowed by a great fish Jonah 117 but the ultimate story of Joan. It is about a great God, who showed great love to velocity like Nineveh and offered them his forgiveness.

If we miss that we missed the whole point of the story started the story of a police officer who pulled over some guy would to Penguins in the backseat of his car. The officer said sir I don't know if you know this but Penguins are an endangered species. You can drive around with 10 wins in your card so take them to the zoo and the man said I will officer the next day the officer some driving around with the Penguins again but this time they were wearing Hawaiian shirts and sunglasses. The officer said excuse me, I told you to take those Penguins to the zoo yesterday. The man said I did and I were going to the beach today is the point of what the officer was trying to say and we can very easily miss the point of the book of Jonah, God turned around 300,000 people through one man, how was he able to do this because you and I well we want to be the Jonah in our neighborhood. The Jonah and our family, the Jonah in our sphere of influence. Hopefully mine is being swallowed by a sea monster. Okay, so if you're taking notes. Here's point number one, it takes a changed person to change other people. It takes a changed person to change other people. It started with Jonah himself. Of course he was swallowed by. Maybe the whale or whatever that creature was it was in the belly of that whale. The Jonah had a personal revival.

It was there that he repented of his sin and recommitted himself to the Lord and was willing to do with the Lord and called them to do and so what happened the whale cruises up to the beach there on Nineveh. I wonder what that was like you to sit down on the beach, catching some rays. Watching the surf and all of a sudden you see this large object coming toward you. The Ninevites understood what is that what that headset it so Waylon and the whale pulls right up and the start opens his mouth and vomits the Bible says he vomited. Joan outcomes Jonah pulled Tom, what would he look like. His skin was probably bleached white from the gastric juices of the sea creature he probably smelled worse than anyone you've ever smelled before any of the message. 40 days and Nineveh shall be overthrown. Well, what a story this is the listen.

Jonah was the right man at the right place at the right time. I wonder if you know somebody right now that the Lord is been nudging you to talk to you know it's interesting for me because sometimes I'll be out and about and I just see someone in an I just the Lord. I don't know how to explain this but just in my heart. I sent I should go start a conversation with them and I and I don't know what to see them exactly.

I don't know how the conversation will go. I don't know anything about them. But I've since I've come to realize that I need to respond to those promptings of the Holy Spirit.

That's how it started just a little nudge a little prompting a little direction, look at that person right there when did you engage that person in a conversation.

Did it ever occur to you that God is place you right where you are right now to reach certain people. One of my favorite Bible stories is the story of the beauty queen adopts a it's found in the book of Esther, the king of Persia wanted a new queen so we had this beauty contest and had Dossett a very attractive young Jewish woman entered the contest had been raised by her uncle Mordecai. Her father had died and incredibly, she won the beauty contest and she became the queen of Persia something to fairytale writer Prince comes and now she's the queen, and if it was a fairytale.

It would end with these words, and they lived happily ever after with this is in the fairytales is the Bible story which means it's true, it actually happened because of villain enters the story more sinister than any billing you've seen in any child story with a plan to literally exterminate the Jewish people and I meanwhile had Dossett also known as Queen Esther was oblivious to what was going on. The king signed a decree that every Jew would be put to death, but Esther was living in the lap of luxury, you know she was being pampered there in the palace and she knew nothing of the plight of her fellow Jews, so one day your uncle Mordecai shows up outside the walls of the city and in these calling out for Esther someone says I think this guy is Rick related to use you all send him some new clothes, and he didn't want new clothes. He wanted her attention and I love what he said to his knees. He says to her, if you keep quiet at a time like this. Deliverance in relief of the Jews will arise from some other place with you and your relatives will die then Mordecai makes this very well-known statement, but who knows perhaps you were made. Queen for such a time as this. In other words he's saying Esther this is your wake-up call. This is why you are aware you are. You're not there by coincidence here, thereby Providence to save your people.

And if you don't do it, God will find someone else.

So, did it ever occur to you that you are where you are because God wants you there to the problem is is will we become Christians, we want to remove ourselves from bad influences stay away from ungodly people who might tempt us to do ungodly things, and that's good. But we have to be careful that we don't lose contact with nonbelievers.

We can sort of retreat in what we might describe as a Christian bubble that we would listen to Christian radio by our car from a Christian car dealer.

We watch Christian movies and we boycotted so many stores there is none left to go to anymore were sort of isolated all by ourselves. But listen Jesus ago in the wall the world and preach the gospel tried to go. I had to leave my comfort zone. My safety zone.

Even Jesus did not say the whole world should go to church but he did. In effect, say the church should go to the whole world, so you need to go to where people are to that person in the restaurant that's serving you. Tell them that God loves them.

Make sure you leave a tip.

Don't be a cheapskate. Nothing worse than sharing your faith with a waitress or a server and then not leaving them a very generous tip. But what about the person you're pumping gas or on the other side putting Gus in their car there just might come a moment for you to start a little conversation.

Start by praying and asked the Lord to lead us because you are where you are for such a time.

Is this not listen to this guy does not need you to accomplish his work. God can reach people without you, but he would rather reach people with you and through you again Mordecai said to Esther.

If you keep quiet and a time like this. Deliverance in relief for the Jews will arise from some other so seize the moment Greg Laurie encouraging us to seize the moment to take advantage of those opportunities God gives us to share the hope of Christ.

Good encouragement today here on a new beginning, and there's more to come from.

This message is a study called the refreshing power of sharing your faith, part one W. Greg I know you really like contemporary Christian music. I know you listen to it quite a bit and that you were there back when contemporary Christian music was first born held that the Jesus music you were you are a tuba player want you never know.

I guys I thought.

I remember seeing you trying to fit that into your Corvair.

Oh, that was another guy with long hair and a beard back in the day. Yeah I don't think there was a lot of tubas in the in the music back then. Maybe in the brass section but yet so I did see it happen before my eyes.

And you know I've always been a lover of music. I grew up in music of the late 60s and 70s and so you know I listen to the same band you listen to and after I became a Christian I thought well I guess that's over with them. I can listen to those bands anymore. I guess I'll just listen to choirs. I'm not really sure. And so I went to Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa and a whole movement was happening called the Jesus movement and along with that movement was a whole new form of music, later to be called contemporary Christian music back then. We just called it Jesus music and what I love was these were guys like me that plaintiff Kelly music I like to listen to, but it had lyrics that honored and glorified God and proclaim the gospel now fast forward to today and the music is chains in the stalls of change, but the message is essentially still the same and this music is so important.

It's become a whole industry. It touches thousands of people around the world.

But here's about to tell you how it all got started I got started in a spiritual awakening the title of this book that we want to offer to you for your gift of any size is simply the Jesus music. By the way, there's a documentary film by the same title as come out from my friends the Irwin brothers at kingdom production so we want to take this beautiful hardbound brand-new book and offer it to you for your gift of any size whatever you send will use it to continue our ministry and then you'll have your own copy of the Jesus music to enjoy yet such a great book such rich history and fascinating stories get a copy for yourself or for someone else. Maybe a Christmas gift when you send your donation today. Be sure to ask for the Jesus music.

You can write a new beginning. Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or call 1-800-821-3300. We are here to take your call 24 seven that's 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest.org everybody Greg Laurie here encouraging you to join us as we give her what we call Harvest at Home. It's worse and it's a message of the word of God.

You can watch it with your family and your front room where you can watch it on the go on your tablet on your phone or your computer.

Take it with you. Take the word of God with you. Join us for Harvest at Home harvest will next time. Pastor Greg highlights a number of specific lessons we learn from Jonah's outreach to the city of Nineveh. Good information is coming. Join us here on a new beginning. Pastor and Bible teacher Greg Laurie and everybody thinks you're listening to this podcast to learn more about harvest ministries follow the show and consider supporting it. Just go to harvest.org and find out how to know God personally go to harvest.org and click on know God