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September 27, 2022 3:00 am
Trying to live a godly life in an ungodly world can seem like we’re trying to walk up a downward escalator. The culture is trying to drag believers right into a quagmire of hopeless humanism and angry atheism. But God has a plan. Today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie helps us revisit one of the most exciting stories of the Old Testament when a single prophet of God confronts 850 feckless false prophets and watches God’s plan unfold.
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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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Today's episode of a new beginning is brought to you by harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God. Learn email@example.com and while you're there, browse our library of free e-books designed to help you grow in your faith is all of your life needs to be repaired. You get your own spiritual life and you realize that snowboarding is no longer read the Scripture your life so alter the fair coming up to Greg Laurie take stock of where we are and make the necessary adjustments so the fire all of my life. I want the power of God. Repair your first ungodly white walk-up downward as the culture is angry atheist God is beginning to Greg Laurie is one of the most exciting stories of the Old Testament single prophet of God is God walking up my spirit and I'm holding yeti cup. You don't get a cup of metal God nice got you don't drop it right. I got my yeti cup loaded up with ice and water and my soul catches the top stair now.
The weird thing is I'm trying to get my footing right holding the yeti cup aloft because I did not want to spill the ice water and somehow I'm running along for a few of foot or so and I go airborne. They go face first into a built-in desk up there. I open my eyes. There's blood on the floor in my back hurts really badly and I cried out to Kathy. I've fallen and I can't get up and say that exactly what it was close. I said I'm hurts and she heard the sound upstairs at some of what you heard Buffalo with all the noise in the ghetto.
By the way, I spilled the water yeti cup goes flying and so we went to the ER and I have actually my two had punctured my face and actually keep the sunlight and so they had to sew my lip up from behind. I soul of the stitches. It's still a little bit swollen and actually put a stitch on the outside than I have little hit my nose pretty hard. Then I had to go to bed x-rays and all the stuff so you know that the guy says, oh, I wanted to give it gets her back x-rays you want to write in a wheelchair. I said no I'm fine you in on what kind of hurt. Go ahead and take out wheelchair ride so it was really great because this guy was a Christian. He goes I'm not supposed to say this but I listen to you on the radio all the time. When we pray for you so the whole time is like praying for me. It just got I love to give.
God always has his people everywhere doesn't think so. I say that Wayne what happened to me but also to segue into our message. I fell. I wasn't expecting to fall but I did fall.
Unfortunately it did not brace my ball with my hands as one should but I took it right on the face then were going to look at it away. What could be described as a fall in Elijah's life, or at least Islam where he fell into a deep depression over also been a look at his recovery. But before we do that will look at the victory that preceded it.
So remember all the profits of bail were gathered there together for the big showdown 850 prophets of bail versus one man of God and so was getting ready to happen but here's an interesting thing I'd never noticed before. As I was really looking at the story Abby for that fire fell on the altar. The altar had to be repaired is my first point. If you're taking notes. If we want to see God work. We must do our part. If we want to see God work. We must do our part first Kings 1830 Elijah said to the people come here to me. They came to him, any repaired the altar of the Lord that have been torn down.
See before the fire was going to fall. The altar had to be repaired, and I ask you right now does the altar of your life need to be repaired. You know you look at your own spiritual life and you realize it it's not what it used to be used to be stronger than you are now does your altar need to be repaired, no longer read the Scripture every day as you used to.
Prayer is not a part of your life as it once was your church attendance is erratic at best and so your altar needs to be repaired is I want the fire of God to follow my life. I want the power of God.
Good repair. Your altar first to the church of Ephesus. Jesus says I know how hard you work and how discerning you are, but I have this against you.
You've left your first love. Remember therefore from where you will fall in and repent and do the first works again. Interestingly since first. Remember, was there a place in your life when you were stronger spiritually than you are right now. Just ask yourself that question was a type if the answer is yes. Now we come to step number two. Remember, and then repent. He says repeat and do the first works quickly, but universe you up to repent and then repeat do it again. Interesting that Jesus says how you will fall to leave your first love is a form of falling and so this is something we all need to do in our own life. As the apostle Paul said get back get back get back to where you once belonged what Paul McCartney with similar similar sentiment sort of like a marriage. How many of your married razor again. How many of you are happily married razor in existing God is when he gets no really is about the same except for this couple right so if in your marriage. You have lost the love is so to speak. You should not wait for the emotion of love to return rather go back and start doing loving things. In other words, make the motion and the emotion will catch up and we talk about a spiritual awakening in America how much we need and how much we wanted. God wants to send it. So what's the problem we have to do our part. Then God will do his part. What is our part second Chronicles 714 gives it to us. God speaking says if my people, which are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and forgive their sin and heal their land. Loose paraphrase repair your altar get ready for the work of the Holy Spirit and we look at our country right now and we look the acts of violence right are just out of control and it every time you open up a new site. There's a new act of violence. A new shooter. Someone driving the car. Do a crowd of people. Someone with a knife. It's something and people that we needed to stop the guns get rid of the gun. I'm sorry to say that's never going to happen. We don't need gun control.
We need self-control that starts of a heart. The heart, the heart needs to change and so this is something that people don't talk about the root of all of this is that we've turned away from God. We've thrown God out of our classes, we don't want those 10 commandments we don't want to prayer in the school. Don't even bring your Bible on the school campus or we do these other things will we see we redefine the family. We can even say what a woman or a man is any longer. And we wonder why our young people are confused by and so we see this right down the breakdown of the family is at the root of almost every problem in America today it is 85% of these people that take guns and shoe people came from a broken home. Specifically, a fatherless so those numbers even go higher when you look at other people were engaged in criminal activity, drug abuse, the list just goes on and on.
And we need to turn back to God.
Repair the altar repair the family let it start with your family. It's so easy to point a finger at someone else.
But make sure your family is strong men make sure you're the spiritual leader in your family. Mr. Greg Moore will have the second half of this message just a moment.
It's encouraging to hear from listeners who are impacted by pastor Grace teachings hi Pastor Greg, I'm a 65-year-old guy who grew up during the same era as you and have a similar background as I also came from an alcoholic family, I simply want to say that I feel really a special bond with you Greg and I'm sure there are others who share that with you as well. Thank you for sharing your testimony and I feel blessed to be exposed to harvest ministries. My wife and I are also harvest partners who want to help you speak the Holy Spirit guide over our world as it is needed so much in these times. Thank you. It is a privilege to bring these studies your way and were thankful for our harvest partners to make them possible that you consider partnering with this so they can continue. Make a donation firstname.lastname@example.org that's harvest.org were talking about committing ourselves and our families to God today. Pastor Greg study is based in first Kings 18. It's an account that underscores the need to worship God and not let anything else take his place. Well, back to the shootout of the Carmel Corel so here they are up on the mountain 850 prophets a bail versus one profit of God. Elijah says let's let the real God answer by fire.
Look at first Kings 1827. About noon time Elijah began mocking that the left this out G Scott for Shirley. He's a God, maybe he's away on a trip or he's asleep. He needs to be wakened and so they shouted louder, why left out one word one phrase perhaps even daydreaming or is relieving himself with ornaments. I want so shall louder so they shouted letter following their normal custom cut themselves with knives and swords until the blood gushed out.
They raved all afternoon until the time of the evening sacrifice.
But still there was no sound, no reply. No response like this is a menu got to sleep in the need to wake him up. I'm so glad God doesn't fall asleep dimmer fall asleep. You didn't plan on it.
Why is it when we fall asleep we always denied when someone asks you sleeping. No word you fell asleep, the other day I eat something in a put me in the into a temporary food, you know what I'm talking about is and I was asleep for like I don't know five minutes. I woke up I literally didn't know where I was from moment where am I what just happened.
I'm under the influence of an in and out Burger I don't know what it was. I'm so glad that doesn't happen, the God God isn't going to food, God is not asleep at the wheel.
God is always paying attention to what is happening to someone 24 says he that keeps Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps second Chronicles 69 says the eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.
So God is not just a way God is aware God is watching because he's omniscient, which means all-knowing and omnipotent, which means all-powerful and omnipresent, which means present everywhere is fully aware of what you're facing. Of what is going on in your life and what is going on in the world.
I love when Elijah says then verse 27 maybe your God is daydreaming or is relieving himself. Yes, that's what he meant maybe or gods on the celestial toilet that was a joke at their expense, but I don't think they were laughing yes Elijah was mocking them in a way their own gods were mocking them because her own gods were nonexistent their own gods had no power to do anything. I love this statement when it says they raved all afternoon till the time of the evening sacrifice. But still there was no sound, no reply. No response and I think Ahab saw this King Ahab could see that bail had no power bail was not there to answer the call of these people and sometimes the Lord will allow people to see the futility of their own gods. They will turn to the true and living God thing.
Most of us we look back on that moment in our lives before we came to Christ, we probably come to a point where we had seen the emptiness of life and of this book I've written. Lennon Dylan, Allison, Jesus examines the spiritual life. A lot of these people that had unbelievable fame and success and wealth, and they climbed to the top of the mountain and they found that there was nothing there for many of them they had to hit rock bottom before they would look up they had to see the emptiness of the so-called God's will for they would turn again to the true God. These false gods are sort of like filters we put on photos to make things look better but really they don't look better at all read about an Instagram influencer age 28, who tragically took her own life. There was a column written about her and there was a comment made by another influencer who said, quote social media does not bring happiness.
It does not bring fulfillment, it does not bring connection" not that that's very true. It just doesn't. But we want to present ourselves as very happy and very attractive and look at the life I'm living, but we don't see what it's really like 69% of adults and 81% of teens use social media. This I influencer went on to say, quote it's really just smoke and mirrors there just showing an edited part of their life that they want others to see." That's true that's everything this world offers it, just smoke and mirrors.
It's fake. It's not real.
Their false God will never satisfy. But some people spend their whole life figuring that one out and other people see it sooner and they come to Christ sooner will. Anyway, here's the big contest so Elijah says yeah you guys go do your thing to you done to well what a mess. Blood everywhere seriously. Now it's my turn and he says I want you to repair the altar, which they did. Now I want you didn't douse it with water wanted to do it again do it again three times a douse the altar wife because when God answered this prayer. He wanted everyone to know it was the Lord was the coincidence it was in the special trick.
It was something that was super natural bring me to point number two. Our job is to pray God's job is to answer.
Again, our job is to pray God's job is the answer. You have a problem right now you have a challenge right now you have a concern right now. Now.
Have you prayed about this or something you really need in your life have you prayed about it. Maybe it's a healing. Maybe it's provision maybe it's a mate. Maybe it's something else. The Bible says you have not because you ask not to.
Not only that, but Jesus says ask and it shall be given, seek and you will find knock and the door will be open so our job is to pray God's job is to answer first Kings 1836 at the time of sacrifice.
The prophet Elijah step forward and pray Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and I am your servant, that I've done all these things at your command, answer me, Lord, answer me so these people will know that you Lord our God, that you are turning their hearts back again love this prayer just confidence in God.
He didn't cut himself.
He didn't scream he didn't yell he didn't jump up and down. He just pray what happened first Kings 18 verse 38 then the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice of one of the stones in the soil and looked up the water in the trench when all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried the Lord. He is, the Lord is God love this guy was not done. Not only did he send the fire now is going to send the rate don't forget they've been experiencing a horrible distraught.
They haven't seen water for over three years and God revealed to Elijah that it was going to rain but when he looked up in the sky. There was not a cloud in the sky. Not a single class. You know, and sometimes a weatherman get it wrong right. Oh, it's gonna rain today and it's clear or it's going to be clear today and it rains I listen you want to know if it's gonna rain just find it when I washed my car always rains in that day and as I told you before.
Bald men always know when it's raining first.
That is absolutely true will walk in long enough.
It's raining You said no it isn't, yes to this, because I'm a bald man and I just felt the first drop get the right so but he knew because the Lord revealed to him that the ring was going to come. What I find surprising in the narrative. Elijah goes and tells King Ahab.
Hey, it's gonna rain you ever get in your chariot and head back to the positive. Those rain tires on the Jerry King powerful rainstorm is coming and the king gets in to his chariot and off he goes bringing me to point number three God answers prayer the way he wants and when he wants God answers prayer the way he wants and when he wants to underline the word when first Kings 1843 he says to us servant will look toward the sea and the sermon one look and said there's nothing there seven times Elijah said go back to 123456 that there's nothing in the seventh time this servant reported. Well, there is a cloud as small as a man's hand rising from the sea. Elijah said go telling Pitch up your chariot and go down before the rain stops business interesting. Elijah knew it was gonna rain before everybody else knew. And I think when you were walking with the Lord in your living by faith. You will see things other people do not see you know he was 11 when says faith is the substance of things hoped for. It's the evidence of things not seen. Faith sees invisible things you see what can be, not just what is you see past the Lord can direct you and here's another thing to consider. We as believers know a storm is coming.
People in our world affairs and what what's going on is violence on the streets and in the crazy things happening on the stock market and the aggression of powers overseas and it's almost like the end times. What I don't know. It is the end times we know it we know because we read our Bibles.
We know the prophecies are being fulfilled before our very eyes. We know the antichrist is coming, we know the tribulation period is coming we know judgment is coming. Best of all, we know that Jesus Christ is coming again. We know Greg Laurie talking about seeing our lives through eyes of faith and with the insight we get from God's word pastor Greg mentioned his book, Lennon Dylan, Allison, Jesus, you can get more information about that book and how to order email@example.com, you know, the book of Revelation is a rewarding study of Bible prophecy, and in the book from Pastor Greg he paint such a full picture of its authorship. The time in which it was written and the circumstances in which our redemption takes place. The apostle John wrote the book of Revelation. John was one of the apostles that one would Jesus Christ. In fact, in his gospel.
He described himself as a disciple that Jesus love. He outlived all the other disciples and they trying to put them to death. According to church tradition and a pot of boiling oil. John would not die.
So instead, the banished distant island of Patmos and isolated little island out in the middle of nowhere, and when he was placed on that island. No one ever thought they would hear from John again. Maybe even John felt abandoned by God. I don't know but I know this much Jesus Christ came to the apostle John on the island of Patmos and the Lord took John into the future third catapulted him into the next dimension and he saw things that no man had ever seen before. John had a front row seat to the beginning of the tribulation. Tells us about the antichrist.
The mark of the beast. The battle of Armageddon and the second coming of Jesus Christ also tells us about the millennial reign of Jesus with a lamb and the lion will lie together and John tells us about the momentous event when heaven and earth all come together again, and he will these words down in the book that is simply called Revelation. It's the revelation of Jesus Christ. Revelation means unveiling so given on bail veal Jesus Christ to pastor Greg digs deep into these words are prophecy and revelation, a book of promises.
Tell us about this resource?
Yeah, I think far too often we think of Revelation we we think it's ominous and horrible and yes there are some very heavy duty events described in this book, but it is a book that reveals Jesus Christ to us. It's a book that is filled with promises. That's what we called it revelation about God promises this is a book he would leave out of a coffee table or by your nightstand, a book that is over 400 pages long, but understand it's a very assessable book. The way that I wrote it I did so in a way that you can understand what the Bible teaches on the end times because I know you have an interest in these things but but I want to help you know how it applies to you. There's not a lot of theological verbiage that will confuse you.
Everything isn't down to earth terminology that you will understand and it will show you how all of these great events that are in our future apply to you and D today living I think you're gonna love this book from harvest ministries that were simply calling Revelation a book of promises. I think you're right and were making this book available to thank you for your investment in the work we do here each day.
It's an investment in changing lives for eternity. It's an investment in bringing people to Jesus Christ. As will be doing at SoCal harvest coming up November 5 and sixth so get in touch with your donation today and will thank you with a copy of Revelation, a book of promises and we won't be mentioning this much longer. So contact us soon. Just call us at 1-800-821-3300. That's a 24 seven phone number 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest.org. Next time we move forward in the story and discover Elijah surprisingly found himself in a time of depression covers and principles for those challenges in our lives. Join us here on a new beginning.
Pastor and Bible teacher for everybody. Thanks for 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